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  1. #1
    Puerto Rican dude living in Japan Degenerate's Avatar
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    NJPW G1 Climax 28

    The participants of this year's G1 Climax have been announced:

    - Kenny Omega
    - Michael Elgin
    - Jay White
    - Kazuchika Okada
    - Hiroshi Tanahashi
    - Tetsuya Naito
    - Minoru Suzuki
    - Zack Sabre Jr.
    - Tomohiro Ishii
    - Evil
    - Hangman Page
    - Sanada
    - Juice Robinson
    - Toru Yano
    - Togi Makabe
    - Bad Luck Fale
    - Tama Tonga
    - Yoshi-Hashi
    - Hirooki Goto
    - Kota Ibushi

    Blocks and marquee matches will be announced in the next two days.

    Not a whole lot of surprises, although it's nice to see a few new faces in Jay White and Hangman Page. A lot of people seem to be surprised by Ibushi's participation given where the last few matches are being held. I guess all is forgiven in time (and maybe money).

    So who do you guys have winning this? My gut tells me it's going to be Okada. I believe the last times he went into the G1 without being the IWGP Heavyweight Champion, he won the tournament. My alternate pick would be Ibushi, setting up the long-awaited match against Omega. I wouldn't be surprised if they gave Omega the win to cement his status as the guy pulling the wagon, but that would probably be a long shot.

    Lots of people online are clamoring for Naito to win again but I don't know if he can or should pull off the "road to redemption" story after failing at both of the biggest shows of the year.

  2. #2
    I’m with you that it’ll be Okada or Ibushi. I just can’t split them but my gut too says Okada. Sort of depends on what they want at WK I guess. Can’t see them wanting Kenny beating Ibushi closing the show over Okada regaining his title.

  3. #3
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    What if Ibushi wins at Wrestle Kingdom. I'm not a fan of going back to Okada/Omega right now. I don't think it can be topped.

  4. #4
    They won’t give Ibushi the belt unless he signs with them I would assume and he isn’t doing that. I think we get Kenny v Ibushi without the title anyway.

  5. #5
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    It's probably unlikely that he wins the G1 in the same year as he wins the NJC but I don't think there's ever been a big match between ZSJ and Omega? That could be one to promote. Although it's hard to imagine for a variety of reasons.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  6. #6
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    I think ZSJ and Omega will happen but at Wrestle Kingdom i can't see it. The options to win the G1 are Ibushi, Naito or Okada

  7. #7
    As it should be. Macho Mourn's Avatar
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    Omega's contract is up after Kingdom. Ibushi's a Freelancer.

    That match, if it happens, won't be for the title.

    “Stoop to your own level. Your nature. Trust yourself. And most importantly... You have to learn what laws are really laws and not… Oppression."

  8. #8
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    That doesn't mean Omega is leaving though.

    Also think Ibushi being freelance is overblown

  9. #9
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    I mean, in the old days it would mean that you wouldn't keep the title on Kenny long if he wasn't going to commit to the promotion. NJPW might have a different perspective on it in 2018, but he doesn't have to be leaving at the end of the contract if they take the old-fashioned perspective. The chance of it would be enough to influence what they'd do.

    But as I say, maybe they'll look at it differently. But I take the point, it'd be a gutsy call to have a title match between two people who aren't fully locked down - especially when you could easily transition the belt back to someone like Okada or Naito either before or at the show.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  10. #10
    As it should be. Macho Mourn's Avatar
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    Omega would be silly not to play up a bidding war. Even if he's staying, he should force NJPW to commit to him financially in a way where he's among the highest paid in the industry. We know WWE is gonna throw the checkbook at him.

    That alone, spells Omega's run ending at WK (at the latest). I'd love to be wrong and see him hold it longer, but he'd be... a fool... to go any other route.

    “Stoop to your own level. Your nature. Trust yourself. And most importantly... You have to learn what laws are really laws and not… Oppression."

  11. #11
    Puerto Rican dude living in Japan Degenerate's Avatar
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    For some reason I was under the impression that the reason Omega is the IWGP Heavyweight Champion is because he'll be in New Japan for the foreseeable future, beyond next year's Wrestle Kingdom. Not sure if I read that or just made up that narrative in my mind.

    How active has Kota Ibushi been outside of New Japan as of late? While it might seem odd that someone so talented hasn't gotten a whole lot in that company, I also think that whole "he'll never win anything because he's a freelancer" isn't really a thing. I've seen Minoru Suzuki do a whole lot more in outside of New Japan and still have prominent title runs in the company.

    I've also seen other companies like All Japan have freelancers and outsiders win tournaments and titles, and it hasn't hurt the company at all. It might not be a proper comparison considering the state of both companies at this time but I think it's still something to think about.

  12. #12
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    Omega is also a possibility to win and then choose his opponent. So, there's four possibilities to win the briefcase. Okada, Omega, Naito, and Ibushi.

    Excited to see Hangman Page in the tourney. He's really becoming a stud. Disappointed that Yano and Yoshi-Hashi are in it again.

  13. #13
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    Yano is in it for the comedy jobber that loses most matches. Never a bad thing although most matches are the same. I like Yoshi Hashi but i'm with you on him.... Mainly because this lineup doesn't have alot of surprises... it would be nice to have some more fresh blood.

  14. #14
    Puerto Rican dude living in Japan Degenerate's Avatar
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    G1 Blocks have been announced!

    A Block

    - Kazuchika Okada
    - Hiroshi Tanahashi
    - Hangman Page
    - EVIL
    - Minoru Suzuki
    - Michael Elgin
    - Jay White
    - Togi Makabe
    - YOSHI-HASHI
    - Bad Luck Fale

    B Block

    - Kenny Omega
    - Kota Ibushi
    - Tetsuya Naito
    - Sanada
    - Juice Robinson
    - Hirooki Goto
    - Tomohiro Ishii
    - Toru Yano
    - Tama Tonga
    - Zack Sabre Jr.

    That means we'll get for certain:

    - The never-end and amazing saga with Okada vs. Tanahashi.
    - A repeat of last year's insane G1 opener between Ibushi and Naito.
    - What should be another classic with Omega vs. Naito.
    - And of course, the much-anticipated match between Omega and Ibushi.

    Obviously there will be some sleeper hits along the way as well. It's gonna get good.

  15. #15

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Team Farrell View Post
    So, it all comes down to Okada vs Ibushi, right?
    I think this pretty much guarantees that it will be an Okada-Ibushi final AND that Ibushi will beat Omega in the Block B final to get there. From there you can either go with Omega-Ibushi as the Wrestle Kingdom main event for the title or Omega-Okada V. My guess is it would be Ibushi, mostly cause I cannot see New Japan doing Omega-Ibushi only during the G1 or the second match happening at a minor event like Destruction or King of Pro Wrestling.


  17. #17
    Super Moderator Team Farrell's Avatar
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    I figure they'll do Omega-Ibushi at WK. They almost have to. Which means you're right and Ibushi takes it all.

    If one or both of them aren't sticking around (and I think Omega is) you flip the belt from Omega to Naito or someone at New Year Dash.

  18. #18
    As it should be. Macho Mourn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Team Farrell View Post
    I figure they'll do Omega-Ibushi at WK. They almost have to. Which means you're right and Ibushi takes it all.

    If one or both of them aren't sticking around (and I think Omega is) you flip the belt from Omega to Naito or someone at New Year Dash.
    NJPW doesn't do non-built title matches. They had that situation with Nakamura where he was IC champ and instead of giving Omega the match early, they stripped him.

    If neither is signed, they will not face for the title at WK. Especially with the idea that Omega will be heavily bid for.

    “Stoop to your own level. Your nature. Trust yourself. And most importantly... You have to learn what laws are really laws and not… Oppression."

  19. #19
    Puerto Rican dude living in Japan Degenerate's Avatar
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    The match cards for all the G1 Climax shows have been announced: http://www.njpw.co.jp/152714

    The headliners for the openers will be Okada vs. White in Day 1, and Omega vs. Naito in Day 2.

    The A Block finals is headlined by Okada vs. Tanahashi, while the B Block will have the long-overdue match between Omega and Ibushi.

    I'm selfishly happy that on the day I'm going in Osaka, the main events will be Ishii vs. Omega and Naito vs. Ibushi.

  20. #20
    The Brain
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    That's a hell of a great show to go to my man!!!

    I see no chance that Ibushi actually wins the title... probably ever, to be honest. New Japan is so tight with their top title holders, so even though Ibushi has pretty much only worked with New Japan and their partners (ROH, RevPro) this year, I don't think Gedo will forget the way Ibushi just suddenly bugged out a couple years back. He'll definitely challenge, maybe even at WK, but I don't see him winning.

    Definitely see Ibushi or Okada winning the G1, and it should be a lot of fun to get there. Block A looks a little weak to be but really glad to see Page in the mix. He and Suzuki should be a real blast. Block B looks loaded, looking forward to the big Sabre matches most of all.

  21. #21
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    Hard to look past and Okada/Ibushi final, isn't it?

    Part of me wouldn't be surprised if this is where they book Okada to have a completely unbeaten G1. He's not got the title now, they don't need to build him a feud for post-Climax, and can give him the briefcase if they want to to secure him and Omega/Okada V.

    Ibushi vs Omega happening as a finals night match, to me, suggests you're going to get a small version of what they could do together with an Ibushi win, which leads him into being a challenger in the interim period between the Climax and Dome.

    I don't think Okada isn't headlining the Dome, one way or another.

  22. #22
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    Sure, but what does headlining mean these days? He and Naito headlined the dome, but were the second to last match; same with Omega and Jericho this year and Tanahashi last year. It seems early for their 5th match to me and early for Omega to lose it before Wrestle Kingdom. I think Omega wins, but picks Ibushi as his challenger.

  23. #23
    Puerto Rican dude living in Japan Degenerate's Avatar
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    I'd love to see that, but that would probably mean that Omega has to beat Ibushi in the B Block finals. Challenging him after beating him already doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

  24. #24
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    I guess it's over six months away right now, and I'm not going to try and second guess anything as a result, but say you have the IWGP Heavyweight match as Ibushi vs Omega*, what would you do with Okada? Can you get him a special attraction singles bout with someone else on the roster? My head right now is screaming Okada vs Jericho, probably for the IC belt, but I'm not convinced that would be very good right now. The US title feels a really serious step down for Okada, although they could 'make' the belt with him I suppose, but that's not something I think they really need to do.

    Like I say, six months to go and lots of time for things to change. I'm actually pretty excited for this new era of NJPW!

    (* Would this be the first time that two former Junior Heavy champions have faced each other for the top title in NJPW? I feel like the answer has to be no, but my knowledge isn't really deep enough to pick any other matches out off the top of my head that meet that criteria)

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    Yes it would be because most juniors haven't moved up. Save Liger for a time and a few others

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Degenerate View Post
    I'd love to see that, but that would probably mean that Omega has to beat Ibushi in the B Block finals. Challenging him after beating him already doesn't make a lot of sense to me.
    But if they go into it with Omega up by a point over Ibushi, and they wrestle to a time limit draw, it does make sense, right?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oliver View Post
    I guess it's over six months away right now, and I'm not going to try and second guess anything as a result, but say you have the IWGP Heavyweight match as Ibushi vs Omega*, what would you do with Okada? Can you get him a special attraction singles bout with someone else on the roster? My head right now is screaming Okada vs Jericho, probably for the IC belt, but I'm not convinced that would be very good right now.
    Why do you feel that way? Jericho has already faced both Omega and Naito, so why not Okada? And why would a title have to be on the line? Jericho could lose it to either EVIL or Naito before then? Other options would be Naito in a grudge match (or defending the I-C against Okada) in quite a role reversal and some kind of grudge match with Jay White. They face each other the first night of G1 and White has already openly questioned why Chaos members can't challenge each other. Suzuki is another grudge match option, as is ZSJ. There are big matches out there for him. As big as Omega? Of course not, but what is?

  27. #27
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    I don't have a problem with Okada vs Jericho as a high profile match, don't get me wrong. My issue with it is I'm not convinced it will be high quality. I can see why Omega and Jericho worked together because Omega's crazy and Jericho went No DQ. Similarly I can see how the Naito match worked because Naito has always had a bit of an edge to him and Jericho turned into a complete brawl. They have both been quite 'smoke and mirrors' in covering up any Jericho issues.

    But I'm not sure whether the same style is something Okada can really do with an edge on him. I don't know, something in my head isn't clicking with it.

  28. #28
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    That's a fair point. I could kind of see an Okada with the arrogance he displayed at the beginning of the second fall against Omega dominating and looking down on Jericho, but then Jericho doing something to turn it around and bringing him into a knockdown-dragout fight, but otherwise, I totally get what you mean.

  29. #29
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    I don't really worry about match quality with Jericho.. I mean, I know people want to see good matches but you need something for Okada and I think if it makes sense to keep him out of the main picture, Jericho is the one guy he hasnt worked with. That's if they can get Jericho to commit that long. Who knows, Jericho might not even work the Dome show.

  30. #30
    Super Moderator Team Farrell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LK3185 View Post
    I don't really worry about match quality with Jericho.. I mean, I know people want to see good matches but you need something for Okada and I think if it makes sense to keep him out of the main picture, Jericho is the one guy he hasnt worked with. That's if they can get Jericho to commit that long. Who knows, Jericho might not even work the Dome show.
    I still don't understand people saying that Jericho can't put out quality matches.

    He's not making any attempt to go out an have a technically great match, he's having brawls. He might have lost a step, but Jericho having lost a step is still five steps ahead of a lot of guys. Just over a year ago he was putting on some pretty damn good matches on WWE TV, and I find it hard to believe that a year would take that big a toll on his in-ring ability.

  31. #31
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    I'm not even saying Jericho is bad.. That wasn't my point. If you want him to work a 60 min epic like Okada/Omega you're not getting that. However, you're right. He's still having good matches, I think the matches with KO are underrated and he's worked around his limitations in New Japan.

    Still, as long as you have Jericho, I'd want him to work every important New Japan guy. Okada makes sense. Tanahashi... Suzuki hopefully.

  32. #32
    Member #25 SirSam's Avatar
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    So this is my first ever G1 and I have a question.

    HOW THE HELL DO I KEEP UP WITH THIS WHOLE THING?

    Seems like week in week out there will be absolutely sterling matches and there is no way I'll be able to watch them all. Also where do you go for the draw, tables, etc?



    @Sir_Samuel

  33. #33
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    Go to NJPW english site for the schedule of matches, you can find the two blocks on wiki or here.. As for keeping up. its only five block matches a show and usually they're not 30 plus minutes.. in fact,i think that's a time limit for these until the final. Plus they have some off days. I usually can't watch live and watch later.

  34. #34
    Puerto Rican dude living in Japan Degenerate's Avatar
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    Unless you have loads of free time, you shouldn't bother with trying to watch absolutely everything. It's a lot of wrestling in a short period of time and you'll just burn yourself out trying to steal enough time to see all of the matches.

    My strategy is that the only shows I make absolutely sure to try to carve time for and watch live are the block finals and the tournament finals. For all the other shows, I typically check the card of the tournament matches on the day of the show and if there's a match I'm very interested in, I'll try to see it live if I have a chance or the next morning at the latest. The following day I'll scan the Internet / social media for reports on the show's matches to see if there's any hidden gems that happened and then watch those even though I'll most likely be spoiled. It's worked out well for me in the past two years, and I haven't felt like I missed out on anything.

  35. #35
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    ^^^ That's what I do.

  36. #36
    Member #25 SirSam's Avatar
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    What are some of the better social places? Obviously we will chat about it here but it is a smaller community so might not be updated as quickly. I'm guessing twitter and Squared Circle?



    @Sir_Samuel

  37. #37
    As it should be. Macho Mourn's Avatar
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    Where were days I'd skip everything but the main few matches last year.

    For the most part, there will a point were some matches mean nothing and you'll simply skip them. Matches with Yoshi-Hashi especially.

    “Stoop to your own level. Your nature. Trust yourself. And most importantly... You have to learn what laws are really laws and not… Oppression."

  38. #38
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    I remember last year thinking at least 2 matches each show were worth checking out.

  39. #39
    Puerto Rican dude living in Japan Degenerate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SirSam View Post
    What are some of the better social places? Obviously we will chat about it here but it is a smaller community so might not be updated as quickly. I'm guessing twitter and Squared Circle?
    Those are pretty much my go-to places. They have enough people to point out which matches are worth going out of your way for.

  40. #40
    Member #25 SirSam's Avatar
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    Okada lost to ZSJ in the UK. Do you guys think it is possible they are going to run a story of Okada losing himself after losing the title going through the G1? Is it possible even Tanahashi beats him in the block finals?



    @Sir_Samuel

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