Tuesday, August 15, 2023

The G1 Blues

I woke up yesterday morning. I cannot remember the exact time, but let's just say it was sometime around 6am.

The first thing I thought to myself was: I had better go charge up the iPad ready for the G1.

That is what I always do on days when I have to watch New Japan Pro Wrestling's G1 Climax. So, I was programmed to started off my dad by making sure the tablet was ready to watch the G1.

The only problem with doing that on Monday morning was quite major.

The tournament ended on Sunday.

One of my main picks to win - Tetsuya Naito (the other pick was Shingo Takagi) - came out of the tourney with the trophy and the opportunity to challenge for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship on January 4th at the Tokyo Dome.

This year's version of the G1 had thirty-two participants. The field was split into four groups of eight for the round robin portion of the tournament. Once all of those matches were complete, the top two wrestlers in each group qualified for the quarter-finals. From there came the semi-finals until the last two - Naito and Kazuchika Okada - battled in Sunday's final.

I liked the way the tournament was structured with A and B Blocks wrestling on one night with C and D Blocks wrestling their round on the following show and so on. Each block had its own final night which was perfect.

32 participants did seem like overkill when I first saw the line-ups months ago. I still would argue that it is, but I did enjoy following along and feel that this way of doing the G1 is good if they're going to have more than two blocks of participants taking part.

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