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NJPW G1 Climax 28 All-in-One Preview & Schedule

NJPW G1 Climax 28 All-in-One Preview & Schedule

Do you love pro wrestling? Do you hate sleep? Do you want to spend an exorbitant amount of time trying to predict a month-long round robin tournament, only to have your results screwed up by Toru Yano? Well then New Japan Pro Wrestling has just what you need: It’s the G1 Climax 28!

Every year, a select group of New Japan’s heavyweight wrestlers compete in the G1 Climax to see who truly is the best of the best. Recent winners include main event perennials Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kazuchika Okada, Tetsuya Naito, and Kenny Omega, all four of whom are in this year’s tournament. But the G1 Climax is known for seeing up-and-coming wrestlers soar to new heights and establish themselves as big players through gutsy performances and star-making victories. If you want to make a name for yourself, the G1 Climax is the place to do it.

Rules! Regulations! Words of Advice!

If you’ve watched a G1 Climax before (or any New Japan round robin tournament for that matter), you know how it works, but allow me to lay out the necessary info for any newcomers.

This year’s G1 runs from July 14 to August 12 and will feature twenty participants. They will be split into two blocks of ten, A Block and B Block. Each participant will wrestle everyone else in their block in order to score points. A win is worth two points. A draw is worth one point. A loss is worth zero points. There will be a thirty-minute time limit for each block match. Whomever has the most points in each block at the end of regular tournament play will move on to the finals, which will have no time limit. Should there be a tie for first place, the tiebreaker will go to whomever scored the win during the block play match between the tied wrestlers. Whomever wins the finals on August 12 will be declared the winner of this year’s G1 Climax and receive a contract that allows him the right to challenge for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship at Wrestle Kingdom 13 in the Tokyo Dome on January 4!

The tagline for this year’s G1 Climax is “Be a Survivor!” and while it is certainly appropriate for the wrestlers, it’s also quite appropriate for us spectators. I know I referenced this in my Best of the Super Juniors preview back in May, but I’ll reiterate it again here because it’s important: There is A TON of wrestling about to come your way. We’re talking NINETEEN 2 ½ to 3-hour long shows (at minimum) in the span of a month, oftentimes in chunks of three or four shows with no days off in-between. Trust me on this, G1 fatigue is real and it happens to the best of us. There are some tricks—like only watching the block matches or letting a few shows build up and binge watching them in one go—but unless you are Homer Simpson being force-fed donuts in Hell and asking for more, chances are your resolve will wear out. So my advice is to watch as much you can and skip as much you want; it’s pro wrestling, we’re supposed to enjoy this stuff.

Participants

Eighteen of the twenty wrestlers in this year’s tournament competed in last year’s tournament. 2017 was Yuji Nagata’s final year in the G1 Climax and Satoshi Kojima is currently on the shelf with an injury. Their spots have been taken by two men making their G1 debuts: Hangman Page and Jay White. Despite the lack of significant turnover from last year’s G1, this is still a pretty fantastic lineup of wrestlers. So let’s meet them!

A Block

Bad Luck Fale

“The Underboss” Bad Luck Fale

Allegiance: Bullet Club

Finisher: Bad Luck Fall, Grenade

Previous G1 Experience: 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017

A dominant force in every G1 Climax he’s entered, Bad Luck Fale is often in a league of his own when it comes to size and strength. The numbers don’t lie: Fale has scored at least ten points in all four of his previous G1 tournaments. He’s also scored some notable wins over New Japan megastars like Tanahashi, Okada, and Naito. He’s never won the G1, but this year could be different. Fale has taken time off to slim down and get in top peak physical condition. A leaner, meaner Bad Luck Fale could spell disaster for the other wrestlers in A Block (as well as the ring announcer) and send him to the winner’s circle. But with the recent rise of the BC Firing Squad, the question remains: Whose side is he on?

“King of Darkness” EVIL

“King of Darkness” EVIL

Allegiance: Los Ingobernables de Japon

Finisher: EVIL, Banshee Muzzle

Previous G1 Experience: 2016, 2017

If any wrestler in this tournament fits the expression “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” it’s EVIL.

The former IWGP Tag Team Champion may look a bit silly at first glance, but wait until you see him in the ring; the guy is serious business. The gothic slugger made a major statement in last year’s G1 Climax, scoring a massive win over Kazuchika Okada and handing Okada his first pinfall loss in nearly a year. He also had strong performances against Minoru Suzuki and Kenny Omega (defeating the former) and finished third overall in B Block with twelve points. A G1 victory for EVIL would establish him as the next big star in New Japan Pro Wrestling and welcome us all to the Darkness World.

Hangman Page

Hangman Page

Allegiance: Bullet Club

Finisher: Rite of Passage

Previous G1 Experience: Inaugural Year

2018 has been a very good year for Adam “Hangman” Page. In March he wrestled his first singles championship match in New Japan, taking on IWGP U.S. Heavyweight Champion Jay White at Strong Style Evolved. Then in May, he wrestled Kenny Omega in his first New Japan singles main event match at Wrestling Dontaku. Hangman lost both matches, but it was clear that his stock as a singles wrestler was on the rise. Now that he’s entering his first ever G1 Climax, Page has a chance to make an even greater impact in New Japan Pro Wrestling. His Bullet Club brethren Omega shocked the world and won his G1 debut back in 2016. Let’s see if the Hangman can follow in his footsteps.

Hiroshi Tanahashi

“Once in a Century Talent” Hiroshi Tanahashi

Allegiance: New Japan Pro Wrestling

Finisher: High Fly Flow, Texas Cloverleaf

Previous G1 Experience: 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 (Winner), 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 (Winner), 2016, 2017

Go Ace! Go Ace! Go Ace! Hiroshi Tanahashi has won the G1 Climax twice. He is also the most experienced G1 competitor in this year’s tournament. This is his seventeenth consecutive year in the G1. That’s a lot. He’s still a few years shy of breaking the total G1 appearance record of twenty-one (held by Hiroyoshi Tenzan). 2018 has seen the “Ace of the Universe” come up short in some pretty big matches. He lost the IWGP Intercontinental Championship to Minoru Suzuki, lost in the finals of the New Japan Cup to Zack Sabre Jr., and then lost an IWGP Heavyweight Championship match against longtime rival Kazuchika Okada (which allowed Okada to break Tanahashi’s successful title defense record). Despite these losses, you would have to be a fool to count out Hiroshi Tanahashi in the G1 Climax. He’s gonna kill it like he does every year. Victory is never guaranteed in the G1 Climax, but with Hiroshi Tanahashi, the air guitar celebration is always a three-count away.

Jay White

“Switchblade” Jay White

Allegiance: CHAOS

Finisher: Blade Runner

Previous G1 Experience: Inaugural Year

Since returning from his learning excursion back in November, Jay White has been on an absolute tear. He ended Kenny Omega’s IWGP U.S. Heavyweight Championship reign and successfully defended his title against Hangman Page, David Finlay, and Punishment Martinez using his cunning and ruthless tactics. He proved himself to be not only one of the most capable champions in New Japan, but eventually the only capable champion in CHAOS when he became the stable’s only title holder following Dominion. White finally lost the U.S. Title to Juice Robinson in an intense battle in San Francisco, but the “Switchblade” still looked dangerous even in defeat. While losing the title right before the start of the G1 might seem like a bad omen, the history books say otherwise. In 2016, Omega lost the IWGP Intercontinental Championship; soon after, he won the G1 Climax. In 2017, Tetsuya Naito lost the IWGP Intercontinental Championship; soon after, he also won the G1 Climax. In 2018, we could see the trifecta unfold with Jay White losing his title, only to win his first G1 Climax and ascend to superstar status.

Kazuchika Okada

“Rainmaker” Kazuchika Okada

Allegiance: CHAOS

Finisher: Rainmaker

Previous G1 Experience: 2012 (Winner), 2013, 2014 (Winner), 2015, 2016, 2017

Something has happened to Kazuchika Okada. Ever since he lost the IWGP Heavyweight Championship to Kenny Omega, he’s been a different Okada than we’re used to: Red and black trash bag pants, a sleeveless t-shirt, balloons drawn with smiley faces tied around his waist, a techno remix of his theme song, a heightened air of levity surrounding his person.

Who is this man? Why is he like this? Maybe he’s trying to cope with losing the belt after holding it for two years straight. Maybe he carried the heavy burden of being “the company champion” for so long that he just wants to cut loose for a bit. Or maybe he’s been spending too much time with Chuck Taylor. Either way, Okada is still a massive favorite to win the G1 Climax. Because underneath that crimson mania, he’s still the “Rainmaker.” And no matter what color his pants are, Okada wants to win the G1 and get his title back. The only other years Okada has entered the G1 NOT as the IWGP Heavyweight Champion are 2012 and 2014. He won both of those years. So the smart money is on Lil’ Kazu, smiley balloons or otherwise.

Michael Elgin

“Big Mike” Michael Elgin

Allegiance: New Japan Pro Wrestling

Finisher: Elgin Bomb, Burning Hammer

Previous G1 Experience: 2015, 2016, 2017

Michael Elgin hasn’t exactly been moving the needle in New Japan lately. In last year’s G1, he scored key victories over Kenny Omega and Minoru Suzuki, but ended his run with only eight points. After a string of failed attempts to capture gold or win tournaments, it looked like Elgin’s fortunes were turning around when he defeated Hirooki Goto and Taichi at Dominion to win the NEVER Openweight Championship. Unfortunately his reign lasted a measly eight days, with him losing the belt back to Goto in his first defense. This made Elgin the shortest NEVER Openweight Champion in history. To say that Big Mike needs a Big Win would be an understatement, but winning the G1 Climax is easier said than done.

Minoru Suzuki

“The King” Minoru Suzuki

Allegiance: Suzuki-gun

Finisher: Gotch-Style Piledriver

Previous G1 Experience: 2004, 2005, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017

Minoru Suzuki is fifty years old, the oldest man in the tournament, and still one of the toughest, scariest, and most vicious sons-of-bitches to ever grace the squared circle. He doesn’t back down from any fight, no matter the opponent or the circumstance. Look no further than Suzuki’s thirtieth wrestling anniversary celebration where he wrestled Okada to a time limit draw in a FREAKING MONSOON! That is badass. Currently Suzuki is a double champion in RevPro, New Japan’s partner promotion in the UK. He is both the British Heavyweight Champion and co-holder of the Undisputed British Tag Team Championship with Suzuki-gun stablemate Zack Sabre Jr. Nothing would make Suzuki happier than to win the G1 Climax and add the IWGP Heavyweight Championship to his collection. Well, I can think of one thing that would make him happier: Maiming all nine of his G1 opponents along the way. Suzuki-gun ICHIBAN!!!

Togi Makabe

“Unchained King Kong” Togi Makabe

Allegiance: New Japan Pro Wrestling

Finisher: King Kong Knee Drop

Previous G1 Experience: 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 (Winner), 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017

Tanahashi may be leading the pack as the most experienced G1 Climax entrant this year, but right on his tail is Togi Makabe. This will be Makabe’s fifteenth consecutive G1 Climax, which is still pretty damn impressive and a nice example of his longevity in New Japan. That said, it’s been almost a decade since Makabe won his first G1 Climax in 2009. He’s never been able to return to such great heights in the tournament and it looks like his best days in the ring are behind him. It’s not like he’s been doing terribly. He’s scored eight points every year since 2014 and he always gets at least one big main event win under his belt, but he can never capitalize on the momentum to go any further. Makabe’s career needs a real kick in the pants and fast. Otherwise the G1 Climax will quickly become his last chance saloon.

YOSHI-HASHI

“Headhunter” YOSHI-HASHI

Allegiance: CHAOS

Finisher: Karma, Butterfly Lock

Previous G1 Experience: 2016, 2017

I don’t mean to sour any fellow YOSHI-HASHI superfans out there, but he isn’t exactly a favorite to win the G1. In his debut year in 2016, he finished last in his block with six points. In 2017 he finished second-to-last in his block with four points. And his three prominent singles matches this year so far (against Tetsuya Naito, SANADA, and Kota Ibushi) all ended up with YOSHI-HASHI counting the lights on the ceiling. So his chances of winning are rather slim, to say the least. However, I will stick up for the guy. Some folks balked at YOSHI-HASHI being in this year’s tournament, but not me. I think YOSHI-HASHI has matured into a solid, fiery underdog wrestler in recent years. He may not go far in the G1, but I think he’s gonna produce some good matches. So yes, YOSHI-HASHI does have his defenders. There are dozens of us. Dozens!

 

B Block

Hirooki Goto

“Fierce Warrior” Hirooki Goto

Allegiance: CHAOS

Finisher: GTR

Previous G1 Experience: 2008 (Winner), 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017

Current NEVER Openweight Champion Hirooki Goto has accomplished quite a lot in his New Japan career—including winning his first G1 Climax in 2008–but the one prize that’s always seemed to elude him is the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. And it’s not for a lack of trying! Since 2007, Hirooki Goto has challenged for the IWGP Title eight times. He’s lost every time. Goto has made it his priority since the start of the year to elevate the NEVER belt, but make no mistake: If there’s a chance for him to win the IWGP belt, he’s gonna make the most of it. The G1 Climax is that chance. He made it to the finals back in 2016, but lost to Kenny Omega. Can Hirooki Goto triumph over the rest of B Block, win this year’s tournament, win the IWGP Heavyweight Championship at Wrestle Kingdom 13, and finally alleviate one of the biggest cases of blue balls in wrestling history?

Juice Robinson

“The Flamboyant” Juice Robinson

Allegiance: New Japan Pro Wrestling

Finisher: Pulp Friction

Previous G1 Experience: 2017

After four failed attempts to win singles gold and prove he belonged in New Japan Pro Wrestling, Juice Robinson finally hit paydirt when he defeated Jay White to win the IWGP U.S. Heavyweight Championship at G1 Special in San Francisco. It was not only the crowning of the first American to hold the belt, but also an incredibly emotional climax to Juice Robinson’s underdog story. Now with gold around his waist and momentum on his side, Juice Robinson rushes headlong into his second G1 Climax. But just because he’s the U.S. Champion now doesn’t mean he’ll have it easy. B Block is stacked to the gills with top talent (including two other New Japan singles champions) and if Juice wants to make it to the finals, he’s gonna have to prove himself once again. Something tells me he wouldn’t have it any other way.

Kenny Omega

“The Best Bout Machine” Kenny Omega

Allegiance: Bullet Club/Golden Elite

Finisher: One-Winged Angel

Previous G1 Experience: 2016 (Winner), 2017

“If I was a betting man, I would bet on Kenny Omega.” Truer words have never been spoken since Omega himself uttered them during the 2016 G1 Climax. It was his victory in that year tournament’s that lit the fuse on his rocket to immortality. And now, two years later, Kenny Omega is entering his third G1 Climax as the IWGP Heavyweight Champion, the undisputed “Best Bout Machine,” and the king of the wrestling world. Another Omega victory this year would make him the first non-Japanese wrestler to win the G1 twice. He almost won it for the second year in a row in 2017, but was defeated by Tetsuya Naito in the finals. This year Omega has a chance to redeem that loss since he and Naito are wrestling on the first night of B Block. An Omega win this year would also make him the third man in history to win the G1 Climax as IWGP Champion. The last time that happened was in 2000 with Kensuke Sasaki.

Will Kenny Omega be the man to break that nearly twenty-year-long drought?

Kota Ibushi

“Golden Star” Kota Ibushi

Allegiance: Golden Elite

Finisher: Kamigoye, Last Ride Powerbomb, Phoenix Splash

Previous G1 Experience: 2013, 2015, 2017

Wrestler, daredevil, and oddball extraordinaire Kota Ibushi is back for his fourth G1 Climax. Ibushi was a surprise entrant in last year’s G1, but since he’s been hanging around (jumping around is probably more accurate) New Japan more often, his appearance in this year’s tournament was expected. Despite finding major success in both his home promotion of DDT Wrestling and New Japan’s junior heavyweight division, Ibushi has never been able to capture the big heavyweight accolades that New Japan has to offer. (The lone exception being the 2015 New Japan Cup.) A G1 Climax win would propel Ibushi into the stratosphere, but lest we forget who he has to face in the B Block to get there: His own tag partner and best friend Kenny Omega. After three-plus years of being apart, Ibushi reunited with Omega in January to reform the Golden Lovers. The two are now as tight as it gets, but they must wrestle each other on the final night of B Block in Budokan Hall, the very same venue where Ibushi and Omega last wrestled each other six long years ago. Earlier in the year, Ibushi said that he “didn’t want to fight someone I’m close with.” Unfortunately for Ibushi, he doesn’t have a choice.

SANADA

“Cold Skull” SANADA

Allegiance: Los Ingobernables de Japon

Finisher: Skull End, Rounding Body Press

Previous G1 Experience: 2016, 2017

Wrestling’s sexiest skeleton man (Sorry L.A. Park) is entering his third G1 Climax. He only scored eight points in both of his previous years, but the “Cold Skull” could easily climb the rankings in his third outing. The most interesting facet of SANADA’s G1 participation this year is that he is in the same block as the leader of LIJ, Tetsuya Naito. The two have never faced each other before, but like Omega and Ibushi, they now must do so for the sake of winning the G1 Climax. In last year’s G1, SANADA and EVIL fought in the opening night of B Block. SANADA emerged victorious that night, but will he have the same result against the more experienced Naito? And if SANADA does defeat Naito, what will the ramifications be later on down the road?

Tama Tonga

“Bad Boy” Tama Tonga

Allegiance: Bullet Club Firing Squad

Finisher: Gun Stun, Headshrinker

Previous G1 Experience: 2016, 2017

At G1 Special in San Francisco, Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa, and King Haku attacked Kenny Omega, Cody, the Young Bucks, and the rest of the Bullet Club that was present at the event. The beatdown accomplished two things: It announced the formation of a dangerous new group in New Japan, the BC Firing Squad, and it made Tama’s upcoming G1 matches a hell of a lot more interesting. One such match in particular is Tama Tonga versus Kenny Omega. If you recall, Tama and Kenny were in the same block in last year’s G1 as well. Tama mouthed off against Kenny during their match for caring too much about “The Elite” and not enough about “Bullet Club.” Kenny eventually won the match and the two reconciled… albeit not immediately. This year, I doubt there will be any reconciliation whatsoever. This means war.

Tetsuya Naito

“Uncontrollable Charisma” Tetsuya Naito

Allegiance: Los Ingobernables de Japon

Finisher: Destino

Previous G1 Experience: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 (Winner), 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 (Winner)

After winning the 2017 G1 Climax, it was supposed to be a foregone conclusion for Tetsuya Naito. He was gonna waltz his way into the main event of Wrestle Kingdom 12, a main event he was robbed of by a fan vote four years earlier, and win the IWGP Heavyweight Championship from Kazuchika Okada. That didn’t happen. Okada retained the title with his patented Rainmaker lariat and Naito walked away with nothing but a first class ticket to a YOSHI-HASHI feud. But Naito didn’t let it phase him. He kept calm, cool, tranquilo. Even when he lost the IWGP Intercontinental Championship to Chris Jericho in a wild brawl at Dominion, Naito still remained calm, cool, tranquilo. And so we come to the 2018 G1 Climax, where Naito once again has a chance to win that contract and main event the Tokyo Dome. Naito has a lot of supporters in the crowd, but a lot of enemies in the block. If he wants to win his third G1 Climax and go on to become IWGP Heavyweight Champion for the second time in his career, he’s gonna need what brought him to the dance last year. Yup, you guessed it: Calm. Cool. Tranquilo.

Tomohiro Ishii

“Stone Pitbull” Tomohiro Ishii

Allegiance: CHAOS

Finisher: Vertical Drop Brainbuster

Previous G1 Experience: 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017

Tomohiro Ishii is a bit of a paradox. He doesn’t slap fans’ hands. He doesn’t cut inspiring promos. He doesn’t even smile. And yet, despite Ishii having the personality of a wood chipper covered in railroad spikes, we all root for him to succeed in his career. We want him to kick ass and take names and win the big one. But that’s not who Tomohiro Ishii is. He doesn’t win the big one. He never does. The smaller-to-medium one, sure, but not the big one. The problem is that Ishii is so good at garnering support that he’ll likely sucker us all into thinking he might have a chance of winning the G1. He doesn’t, mind you. So it’s very important to remember that despite what you may feel during his matches, Ishii is not winning the tournament. I know you’d love for him to win and it may seem at times like he might win it, but it’s not happening. Nope. Not happening. Not at all. No chance………………….. unless….

Toru Yano

“Binwan Producer” Toru Yano

Allegiance: CHAOS

Finisher: Oni Koroshi, Multiple Pin Variations

Previous G1 Experience: 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017

The trickster dynamo of New Japan Pro Wrestling is back for more mischief and mayhem in this year’s G1 Climax. Toru Yano, like Ishii, never wins the big one, but that certainly doesn’t stop him from keeping others from winning the big one as well. That’s right, the “Sublime Master Thief” is New Japan’s resident G1 Climax spoiler. Using an array of underhanded tactics and sneaky roll-ups, Yano is able to beat any of his opponents faster than you can say “I really hope this match doesn’t ruin my brack- AW SON OF A BITCH!” This will be Yano’s thirteenth G1 in total, so he’s got plenty of devious experience to rely on.

Zack Sabre Jr.

“Technical Wizard” Zack Sabre Jr.

Allegiance: Suzuki-gun

Finisher: Orienteering with Napalm Death, Hypernormalisation, European Clutch, Octopus Hold

Previous G1 Experience: 2017

A dark horse in this year’s New Japan Cup, Zack Sabre Jr. defeated a murderer’s row of hunky icons (Tetsuya Naito, Kota Ibushi, SANADA, and Hiroshi Tanahashi) to become the first British NJC winner. He challenged Okada for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship at Sakura Genesis and lost, but it was crystal clear that ZSJ was now a made man in New Japan Pro Wrestling. Sabre defeating Okada clean in a rematch at Strong Style Evolved UK only reinforced this notion. Zack entered his first G1 Climax last year as a relatively fresh face, scoring an impressive ten points, but failing to reach the finals. After the 2018 he’s been having so far, Sabre could very well become the first British G1 Climax winner in history as well. With his legendary combination of God-tier submission skills and undying hatred of the British conservative party, Zack will ensure that every one of his opponents remembers those three simple words: JUST! TAP! OUT!

So those are your participants for G1 Climax 28! Let’s review:

  • A Block: Bad Luck Fale, EVIL, Hangman Page, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Jay White, Kazuchika Okada, Michael Elgin, Minoru Suzuki, Togi Makabe, YOSHI-HASHI
  • B Block: Hirooki Goto, Juice Robinson, Kenny Omega, Kota Ibushi, SANADA, Tama Tonga, Tetsuya Naito, Tomohiro Ishii, Toru Yano, Zack Sabre Jr.

Much like this year’s Best of the Super Juniors, B Block is the more stacked lineup of the two. There’s some top notch stuff in A Block as well, but B Block is just plain ridiculous.

Notable Matches

Honest to goodness, there are so many exciting matches in store that it’s hard for me to even narrow them down to a concise list. So I separated some choice cuts into a few categories.

Intra-Stable Warfare

  • Kazuchika Okada vs. Jay White (7/14) – The battle for CHAOS begins?
  • Kenny Omega vs. Tama Tonga (7/21) – Bullet Club vs. Bullet Club. Golden Elite vs. Firing Squad.
  • Tetsuya Naito vs. SANADA (8/8) – Can SANADA do what EVIL couldn’t in 2016 and defeat “El Ingobernable” in the G1 Climax?

First-Time Encounters

  • Juice Robinson vs. Kota Ibushi (7/19) – Warning: Charismatic babyface overload.
  • Kazuchika Okada vs. Hangman Page (7/20) – The Hangman’s biggest New Japan opponent to date.
  • Jay White vs. Minoru Suzuki (7/22) – Young psycho meets old psycho. Expect violence.
  • Kenny Omega vs. Zack Sabre Jr. (8/1) – It actually happened once before in England in 2013, but shhhhh don’t tell anybody.

Epic Rematches

  • Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Minoru Suzuki (7/14) – Tanahashi gets his first taste of revenge since Suzuki injured his leg and took his Intercontinental belt in January.
  • Tetsuya Naito vs. Kenny Omega (7/15) – The finals of last year’s G1 main events the first night of the B Block.
  • Tomohiro Ishii vs. Kenny Omega (8/4) – The fourth match of their incredible series.
  • Tetsuya Naito vs. Kota Ibushi (8/4) – Their match last year was bonkers. More please.

The Budokan Big Guns

  • Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kazuchika Okada (8/10) – Two prior G1 matches, both of them ending in time limit draws. Victory is key as the fate of the A Block could potentially hang in the balance. Will the “Rainmaker” reign supreme once more, or will Tanahashi outlast his rival?
  • Kenny Omega vs. Kota Ibushi (8/11) – A rematch six years in the making. The winner of B Block could be decided in this clash between Lovers. Will Kenny finally defeat Kota in a singles match, or will Ibushi keep his win streak alive?

 

Schedule

Every event will air live on New Japan World with English commentary.

July 14

Ota City General Gymnasium, Tokyo

A Block: Togi Makabe vs. YOSHI-HASHI

A Block: Bad Luck Fale vs. Hangman Page

A Block: Michael Elgin vs. EVIL

A Block: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Minoru Suzuki

A Block: Kazuchika Okada vs. Jay White


July 15

Ota City General Gymnasium, Tokyo

B Block: Tomohiro Ishii vs. Toru Yano

B Block: Juice Robinson vs. Tama Tonga

B Block: Hirooki Goto vs. SANADA

B Block: Kota Ibushi vs. Zack Sabre Jr.

B Block: Tetsuya Naito vs. Kenny Omega


July 16

Hokkaido Prefectural Sports Center, Sapporo

A Block: YOSHI-HASHI vs. EVIL

A Block: Michael Elgin vs. Hangman Page

A Block: Kazuchika Okada vs. Bad Luck Fale

A Block: Togi Makabe vs. Minoru Suzuki

A Block: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Jay White


July 19

Korakuen Hall, Tokyo

B Block: SANADA vs. Tama Tonga

B Block: Toru Yano vs. Zack Sabre Jr.

B Block: Juice Robinson vs. Kota Ibushi

B Block: Tomohiro Ishii vs. Tetsuya Naito

B Block: Hirooki Goto vs. Kenny Omega


July 20

Korakuen Hall, Tokyo

A Block: YOSHI-HASHI vs. Minoru Suzuki

A Block: Michael Elgin vs. Jay White

A Block: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Bad Luck Fale

A Block: Togi Makabe vs. EVIL

A Block: Kazuchika Okada vs. Hangman Page


July 21

Korakuen Hall, Tokyo

B Block: Kota Ibushi vs. Toru Yano

B Block: SANADA vs. Zack Sabre Jr.

B Block: Juice Robinson vs. Tetsuya Naito

B Block: Kenny Omega vs. Tama Tonga

B Block: Hirooki Goto vs. Tomohiro Ishii


July 22

Esforta Arena Hachioji, Tokyo

A Block: Michael Elgin vs. YOSHI-HASHI

A Block: Jay White vs. Minoru Suzuki

A Block: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Hangman Page

A Block: EVIL vs. Bad Luck Fale

A Block: Togi Makabe vs. Kazuchika Okada


July 26

Aore Nagaoka, Niigata

B Block: Hirooki Goto vs. Toru Yano

B Block: Tetsuya Naito vs. Tama Tonga

B Block: Tomohiro Ishii vs. Zack Sabre Jr.

B Block: Juice Robinson vs. Kenny Omega

B Block: Kota Ibushi vs. SANADA


July 27

Act City Hamamatsu, Shizuoka

A Block: EVIL vs. Hangman Page

A Block: Jay White vs. Bad Luck Fale

A Block: Michael Elgin vs. Minoru Suzuki

A Block: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Togi Makabe

A Block: Kazuchika Okada vs. YOSHI-HASHI


July 28

Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium, Nagoya

B Block: Tama Tonga vs. Zack Sabre Jr.

B Block: Juice Robinson vs. Toru Yano

B Block: Hirooki Goto vs. Tetsuya Naito

B Block: Kenny Omega vs. SANADA

B Block: Kota Ibushi vs. Tomohiro Ishii


July 30

Takamatsu City General Gymnasium, Takamatsu

A Block: Togi Makabe vs. Bad Luck Fale

A Block: Jay White vs. Hangman Page

A Block: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. YOSHI-HASHI

A Block: EVIL vs. Minoru Suzuki

A Block: Michael Elgin vs. Kazuchika Okada


August 1

Kagoshima Arena, Kagoshima

B Block: Tomohiro Ishii vs. Tama Tonga

B Block: Juice Robinson vs. SANADA

B Block: Toru Yano vs. Tetsuya Naito

B Block: Kenny Omega vs. Zack Sabre Jr.

B Block: Hirooki Goto vs. Kota Ibushi


August 2

Fukuoka City Civic Gymnasium, Fukuoka

A Block: Jay White vs. YOSHI-HASHI

A Block: Togi Makabe vs. Hangman Page

A Block: Michael Elgin vs. Bad Luck Fale

A Block: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. EVIL

A Block: Kazuchika Okada vs. Minoru Suzuki


August 4

EDION Arena, Osaka

B Block: Toru Yano vs. SANADA

B Block: Hirooki Goto vs. Tama Tonga

B Block: Juice Robinson vs. Zack Sabre Jr.

B Block: Tetsuya Naito vs. Kota Ibushi

B Block: Tomohiro Ishii vs. Kenny Omega


August 5

EDION Arena, Osaka

A Block: YOSHI-HASHI vs. Bad Luck Fale

A Block: Hangman Page vs. Minoru Suzuki

A Block: Togi Makabe vs. Jay White

A Block: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Michael Elgin

A Block: Kazuchika Okada vs. EVIL


August 8

Yokohama Cultural Gymnasium, Yokohama

B Block: Juice Robinson vs. Tomohiro Ishii

B Block: Hirooki Goto vs. Zack Sabre Jr.

B Block: Kota Ibushi vs. Tama Tonga

B Block: Toru Yano vs. Kenny Omega

B Block: Tetsuya Naito vs. SANADA


August 10

Nippon Budokan, Tokyo

A Block: YOSHI-HASHI vs. Hangman Page

A Block: Togi Makabe vs. Michael Elgin

A Block: Bad Luck Fale vs. Minoru Suzuki

A Block: Jay White vs. EVIL

A Block: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kazuchika Okada


August 11

Nippon Budokan, Tokyo

B Block: Toru Yano vs. Tama Tonga

B Block: Tomohiro Ishii vs. SANADA

B Block: Juice Robinson vs. Hirooki Goto

B Block: Tetsuya Naito vs. Zack Sabre Jr.

B Block: Kota Ibushi vs. Kenny Omega


August 12

Nippon Budokan, Tokyo

Final: A Block Winner vs. B Block Winner


Voices of Wrestling G1 Climax 28 Coverage


About The Author

Andrew Rich

Andrew Rich has written for Voices of Wrestling since early 2015. In addition to writing for VOW, Andrew is also one of the co-hosts of the wrestling music podcast Music of the Mat.

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