Breaking It Down So You Can Enjoy It
New Japan Pro Wrestling G1 (means Grade 1) Climax 32 is a heavyweight tournament that goes on for over a month starting tomorrow. It is regarded as one of the most grueling events in pro wrestling. Most wrestlers have competing in this tournament as a bucket list item if they are true wrestler. The winner of the tournament will be awarded a contract for a shot at the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship on January 4th’s Wrestle Kingdom 17 at the Tokyo Dome.
What Is This Tournament?
The G1 is a round-robin tournament with 28 wrestlers divided into four equally sized blocks. Each wrestler will wrestle each person in their block once. It means a wrestler will wrestle at least 6 times in the G1. They are awarded points based on the results of each match. After the block stage, the winners of each block will move onto a single elimination phase of the G1 Tournament.
Time Limit Matches
All tournament matches will have 30-minute time limit. Championship matches in New Japan Pro Wrestling are 60-minute time limits. A lot of their regular matches go more than 30 minutes, so the Japanese call the G1 matches a “sprint.” Well, I don’t know about you, but I hate long matches unless they have one of my favorites in them or if they are a great match. My attention span for a regular match is about 8–17 minutes, so these will be hard on me. Especially if they are two wrestlers that I don’t know.
Throughout the block stage, fans keep up with the score in each block. The point breakdown is as following: 2 points for each win, 1 point for a time limit draw and 0 points for a loss or a no contest. After all the block matches are completed, the winner of each block is the wrestler with the most points. Yes, sometimes there are ties. Ties are decided by their head-to-head matches. After the block winners are decided, the semi-finals will happen on August 17th. The matches will be as follows: A Block versus B Block and C Block vs D Block. The winners of those two matches will meet in the finals on August 18th.
The G1 Schedule
The G1 Climax 32 Tournament starts tomorrow on July 16th at 4:00am EST and has 20 shows until August 18th. All of the cards between July 16th through August 15th will have 4–5 tournament matches. The undercard of these shows will be tag team matches that have wrestlers who will be facing each other in single matches later in the tournament. They are called “Preview Tags.” During these tag team matches, you will see different wrestlers working on body parts to get a physical advantage later in the tournament. Or you will see different wrestlers play mind games to get a psychological advantage.
What If the IWGP World Heavyweight Champion Loses in the Tournament?
Jay “Switchblade” White is the current world heavyweight champion of New Japan Pro Wrestling. The champion has only been won by the champion twice so you can expect to see Jay White lose at least one and possibly two matches. So, when a wrestler beats the champion during this tournament, the champion will not lose their title. However, after the tournament, traditionally the champion will grant the wrestler that beat them a match for the championship before the second night of Wrestle Kingdom 17 on January 4th. Therefore, you will know what the storylines are for the champion before Wrestle Kingdom 17.
Can the Winner of the G1 Tournament Loses Their Championship Shot?
The G1 Climax 32 Tournament Winner will also have storylines coming out of this event. The winner has to defend their shot at the championship against anyone that beat them in the tournament on his way to Wrestle Kingdom. So, if the eventually winner loses twice in the block stage, then you will get to see him defend his shot twice. In 2020, the Wrestle Kingdom Title Shot Contract changed hands when Kota Ibushi lost to Jay White at Power Struggle. This just adds to the road to Wrestle Kingdom which is one of New Japan’s biggest events.
Where Can I Watch?
You can watch all of the New Japan Pro Wrestling’s G1 Climax 32 Tournament events on www.NJPWWorld.com with English commentary. This Saturday (4:00am EST) and Sunday shows (1:00am EST) will be free. If you don’t want to stay up or get up that early, then New Japan Pro Wrestling will be putting it up shortly after it ends on their on-demand on same website. Currently, it costs 999 yen which equals $7.62 or 7.19 Euros.
Who Are the Wrestlers Involved?
A Block: Lance Archer, Bad Luck Fale, Toru Yano, Jeff Cobb, JONAH, Tom Lawlor, and Kazuchika Okada
B Block: Jay White, Tama Tonga, Tomohiro Ishii, Taichi, Great-O-Khan, Chase Owens, and SANADA
C Block: Tetsuya Naito, Zack Sabre Jr., KENTA, Hirooki Goto, EVIL, Aaron Henare, and Hiroshi Tanahashi
D Block: Will Ospreay, El Phantasmo, Juice Robinson, David Finlay, Yujiro Takahashi, YOSHI-HASHI, Shingo Takagi
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