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There are some posts on the last page of the Current New Japan thread in the Megathread Archive about the G1 Climax but I think it deserves its own thread. Going to be a barn burner this year.

 

A Block: Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kota Ibushi, Kazuchika Okada, Will Ospreay, EVIL, Sanada, Bad Luck Fale, Zack Sabre Jr, Lance Archer & KENTA
B Block: Juice Robinson, Tomohiro Ishii, Toru Yano, Hirooki Goto, Jeff Cobb, Jon Moxley, Tetsuya Naito, Shingo Takagi, Jay White & Taichi

Pretty stacked. They did a good job with the blocks, too. You have some money matches in the A Block & you have new & interesting matches in the B Block. Then they have guys like Yano & Fale in there to switch things up so it's not just a bunch of workrate matches. I'm really digging the line-ups. 

There's definitely some matches that catch my eye. Anything having to do with Jeff Cobb or Shingo, in example. I'm also curious on who is going to win it all this year. I want to say they're going to pull the trigger on Ospreay but it might be too soon & NJPW seems to wait awhile longer than most before trying things. Jeff Cobb Vs. Jon Moxley is going to be interesting. I'm really looking forward to Shingo Vs. Naito. You know what you're going to get with Tanahashi, Ibushi & Okada, so some of the intrigue there is gone for me but you know the matches will be good. Curious to see how KENTA looks nowadays, healthy & away from NXT. 

<Opening Day> Saturday, July 6th (Local time): American Airlines Center in Dallas TX, the USA
・Saturday, July 13th: Ota City General Gymnasium in Tokyo
・Sunday, July 14th: Ota City General Gymnasium in Tokyo
・Monday, July 15th: Hokkai Kitayell in Hokkaido
・Thursday, July 18th: Korakuen Hall in Tokyo
・Friday, July 19th: Korakuen Hall in Tokyo
・Saturday, July 20th: Korakuen Hall in Tokyo
・Wednesday, July 24th: Hiroshima Sun Plaza Hall in Hiroshima
・Saturday, July 27th: Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium in Aichi
・Sunday, July 28th: Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium in Aichi
・Tuesday, July 30th: Takamatsu City General Gymnasium in Kagawa
・Thursday, August 1st: Fukuoka Citizen Gymnasium in Fukuoka
・Saturday, August 3rd: Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium in Osaka
・Sunday, August 4th: Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium in Osaka
・Wednesday, August 7th: Hamamatsu Arena in Shizuoka
・Thursday, August 8th: Yokohama Cultural Gymnasium in Kanagawa
・Saturday, August 10th: Nippon Budokan in Tokyo
・Sunday, August 11th: Nippon Budokan in Tokyo
・<FINAL> Monday, August 12th: Nippon Budokan in Tokyo

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What are the matches that you're looking forward to the most? Who do you see winning the whole thing? Who is coming out of each Block?

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The match I am most excited for is KENTA vs. Okada. I have been thinking about it even before KENTA left the WWE - I think the first time it crossed my mind was when that tremendous G1 match between Okada & Marufuji happened. If this match follows somewhat of a similar dynamic, it could be absolutely fantastic. Really hoping that KENTA shows up, too. I loved his NXT heel run (tremendous matches vs. Aleister, Roddy, Roode, Oney, Ohno...), but his whole stint in 205 Live was super meh at best.

There's LOTS of very intriguing looking matches. First time I've been legit excited about New Japan in quite a while.

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Like with this year's BOSJ there's only one match I'm excited about, KENTA-Ibushi. There's nothing else that I'm really looking forward to but a bunch of stuff could be good.

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It would be easier and faster to list the match-ups that are not interesting to me. (Basically any combination of Juice, Jay, or Taichi... and maybe EVIL vs Fale). Every other potential match-up looks at least good to me.

Here are three sleepers that I am psyched for:

I loved Archer vs Ospreay in the New Japan Cup so I am looking forward to their rematch. 

Ishii vs Mox could be ultra-violent.

Shingo vs Naito could be some crazy LIJ on LIJ violence as well. 

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Ibushi vs Okada, Ibushi vs Ospreay, Ospreay vs ZSJ, KENTA vs Ospreay, KENTA vs ibushi, KENTA vs ZSJ, KENTA vs Okada, Ishii vs Moxley, Cobb vs Ishii, Naito vs Ishii, Naito vs Moxley, Naito vs Cobb, Naito vs Taichi, Takagi vs Cobb, Takagi vs Naito, Takagi vs Ishii, Juice vs Ishii ok stop there already. This is ridiculous on paper.

Ok, I'm going for Naito vs Ospreay in the finals, Naito wins.

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This is the Dallas card. I guess when it's clear that they weren't going to run Moxley on top there to pop a number then they kinda had to go with Okada vs Tanahashi on top. Not a blowaway card imo but Ibushi vs KENTA will be fascinating just to see how either of them are able to work.

 

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I’m more excited about this year’s entrants than I have been in a few years.  I’m not a big fan of Moxley but he should serve well to change things up.  Interested to see how well Cobb hangs in a setting like this, as well.

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Most exciting G-1 in a while, the additions of Cobb, KENTA, Moxley and Shingo are incredibly refreshing and will make a ton of days way more interesting that past years.

 

White vs Naito and Okada vs Ibushi seems to be the de facto semis at Budokan. The Osaka shows look fucking stellar, Ishii vs Moxley at Korakuen is gonna be a blast and Yokohama will have the privilege of Ishii vs Shingo.

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White vs. Naito is for sure a semi, probably straight up (although I have a hunch that they make Ishii vs. Taichi and Juice vs. Moxley meaningful too, perhaps with the underdogs in those pairs costing the big guys a chance at the block). 

The A block feels like it's definitely coming down to Okada-Ibushi and Ospreay-Tanahashi.

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What do people think about Ibushi & Okada being in the same block?  Losing the IC Title to Naito at Dominion seemed to make Ibushi a favorite to win this, but I'm not quite sure how you build him vs. Okada for WK after going at it on the final night of block competition.  Sure, you could have Ibushi go undefeated, lose to Okada that night and still win in the finals, but but I'd think you want to have something truly fresh for Wrestle Kingdom.

The additions of Shingo and Ospreay are huge, while KENTA and Cobb add some legit intrigue as well.  Very curious to see if KENTA has anything left.

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3 hours ago, WingedEagle said:

What do people think about Ibushi & Okada being in the same block?  Losing the IC Title to Naito at Dominion seemed to make Ibushi a favorite to win this, but I'm not quite sure how you build him vs. Okada for WK after going at it on the final night of block competition.  Sure, you could have Ibushi go undefeated, lose to Okada that night and still win in the finals, but but I'd think you want to have something truly fresh for Wrestle Kingdom.

I think it points to Naito being the favorite to get the shot at the Dome.

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1 hour ago, Migs said:

I think it points to Naito being the favorite to get the shot at the Dome.

Yeah, considering the fact that champion and challenger at the Dome have never been in the same block since at least 2012 leads me to believe Naito is the favorite. I wouldn't completely count Jay out as he's still clearly being presented as a big deal, but I don't think they give him a dome main event yet. It seems deliberate that they've kept Okada and Naito apart in the last G1, the NJ Cup, and this year's G1.

Sort of expected Okada-Tanahashi on the first night considering the last two times they've done the time limit draw in the A block finals, but I"m still pretty stoked. I know Okada said his goal was to have a match with Tana in the U.S.

The biggest question mark to me is how KENTA is going to do. He had a few solid matches  in NXT while his run on 205Live saw Ali of all people struggle to get good matches out of him. Not to mention the last Marufuji match was a bit of a bore. Hopefully if he settles more into a grumpy vet role as opposed to trying to recapture his former glory as a fiery asskicker.

Overall, this has the potential to be a truly fantastic tournament. G1 season is my favorite time of year!

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Considering the state Tanahashi was in for Dominion, I fear what he's going to look like by the end of the G1. 

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Agree that Naito is the logical pick based on how the blocks were constructed, but I'd think they want an IC Title match as either a semi underneath the IWGP Title or to headline night 2 at the Dome.  It'd seem odd and unlike NJPW to tie up both belts in one match, especially given next year's WK plans.

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22 minutes ago, WingedEagle said:

Agree that Naito is the logical pick based on how the blocks were constructed, but I'd think they want an IC Title match as either a semi underneath the IWGP Title or to headline night 2 at the Dome.  It'd seem odd and unlike NJPW to tie up both belts in one match, especially given next year's WK plans.

1) He could lose the IC Title on the way.

2) Perhaps more likely, if Naito is going to succeed in holding both belts - an IC Title match headlines night 1, and the IWGP title match headlines night 2. So Naito has to go through two matches to succeed and they get two main events out of the story.

I guess there's also the possibility he loses the title case on the way to the Dome, although that's never been done.

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All the credit in the world to user SteveOMatt on r/SquaredCircle on Reddit for these. Figured they were so good, it'd just be easier to post 'em here for this thread.

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This is the most fascinating lineup in some time. Lots of wildcards  that create a lot of intrigue here. I honestly have no idea who comes out the winner. I can see possibilities from Naito to Ibushi to Ospreay to Moxley. What if KENTA comes out motivated and in great shape? I am not sure what we are going to see from him, but the sky is the limit for peak KENTA. It feels like a time where they can afford to throw a curve ball at us here.

 

 

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Ishii/Shingo and Ibushi/KENTA sound interesting on paper so we'll see. Bummed no Suzuki. Bummed we don't get Ishii/KENTA. Bummed Ospreay's in it again and not Liger. 

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July 6th matches: Ospreay/Archer, EVIL/Fale, Sanada/Sabre, KENTA/Ibushi, Okada/Tanahashi

Okada/Tanahashi is always good. KENTA/Ibushi might be good but will be interesting, depends on what KENTA looks like nowadays. Sanada/Sabre could be good, if Sanada has his work boots on. EVIL/Fale will be bad. Ospreay/Archer, not a fan of Archer, so don't have any interest in that one. 

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5 hours ago, Coffey said:

 Ospreay/Archer, not a fan of Archer, so don't have any interest in that one. 

Curious if you had a chance to check out their NJ Cup match. I thought it was good.

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2 hours ago, Boss Rock said:

Curious if you had a chance to check out their NJ Cup match. I thought it was good.

Yeah, not a classic but a very enjoyable big/little match. Feel like both guys will be motivated and this should be decent at worst. 

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