The G1 Climax 29 was an incredible tournament filled with epic matches and a final two nights that won’t soon be forgotten. As we do every year, Voices of Wrestling hosted a Pick ‘Em contest and I thought it’d be interesting to take a look at what you, our fine readers, predicted and how well that matched up with the G1 that we saw. This is the “Expectation vs Reality” scene from 500 Days of Summer come to the ring. Were you among the prognosticators, or were you, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, sipping his drink in the corner alone?

Let’s dive in!


What I’ve done here is taken every ballot and used the number of wins they predicted each wrestler to stack up over the course of the tournament, including the finals. That was plotted on a histogram to show how many voters thought that wrestler would get a given number of wins. The y-axis is the number of voters, the x-axis is the number of wins. The higher the bar, the more people thought that wrestler would garner that amount of wins. The actual amount of wins earned is highlighted in blue.

Gaming the System

This whole thing sort of assumes that everyone voted along with what they thought would happen in the tournament and not with what might give them the best odds to win the game. We chose match winners one by one. So if you were very confident say, Tetsuya Naito, was going to win the tournament, firstly, I’m so sorry, but more importantly, it might make more sense to just pick him to win every match because you don’t know where the one or two upsets might come from. There’s no way to know for sure how each voter played the game, so there’s nothing we can do about this, but it’s worth noting.

Enough of all that, let’s dive in!

Nailed It

There were 20 competitors in the G1 this year and the Voices of Wrestling voter hive mind nailed the win total on the money for nine of them. Pretty impressive!

Jon Moxley going 5-4 was probably a good call in hindsight. It puts him in a good position to be a serious player going forward, which it appears all but certain he will be for a while now. I’m not sure who the few folks were that had him sweeping the whole tournament, but shine on you crazy diamonds.

Seven of the other competitors that were predicted correctly all went 4-5. Little did we know going in that 13 of the G1 competitors would go 4-5 in their blocks and another three would go 5-4. With 80% of the field hovering right around a .500 record, there was obviously a ton of parity this year. As New Japan continues to sign and develop stars that they want to protect, this is probably a trend I would expect to continue in years to come.

The last successful prediction made was that of Kota Ibushi, the G1 Climax 29 winner. Most people expected him to get to the final and that’s exactly what he did, winning it all and making all of us out here shooting our takes into the ether look like we know what we’re talking about.

Close Enough

When it comes to Hiroshi Tanahashi, Jay White, Kazuchika Okada, and Taichi, you can see that voters hover right around the number of actual wins. The graphs have pretty well-defined center points and actual wins are right in that range. Not too shabby, I say.

The Underestimated

There were a handful of guys that were underestimated by our voting pool. You wouldn’t think Yano would win more than a match or two, but here we are in a world where he is one of the 13 who went 4-5. Who saw Bad Luck Fale winning four times? Well, about only 50 of us according to the data.

  How Y’all Holding Up?

I mean, just look at this graph.

It’s pretty clear that Voices of Wrestling readers and listeners were on board with everyone else that thought for sure Naito was going to win it this year, go on to the Tokyo Dome, beat Okada, then have a glorious title reign. Turns out… Gedo had other plans. Maybe next year? Don’t give up though, ungovernables, there’s all sorts of talk about a 2-night tournament at this year’s multi-day event. There’s still title defenses and briefcase defenses between now and then. Ibushi could well decide he wants to retire and raise penguins. There’s still hope. Tranquillo.

What About You?

How did your bracket hold up? Did you find yourself on that blue bar more often than not?