NJPW fans were a buzz yesterday because the entrants for G1 Climax 30 were announced. The G1 Climax is a big deal because the winner gets a contract for an IWGP Heavyweight Championship match at Wrestle Kingdom. It has the same meaning as the Royal Rumble for example. The tournament has had other forms but is currently a round-robin with two groups. It’s huge for a career to win a group and make the finals but stars can also be made in individual matches. Find out who to watch for in our G1 Climax 30 preview.
To start off the G1 Climax 30 preview I’d like to talk about those who didn’t get selected.
I’m a sad bread club because there’s no Koji in this year’s G1. It’s more heartbreaking because he gave up his last opportunity so his friend, Tenzan, could get one last go.
This stinks because Nagata has been doing great work lately. His efforts have certainly been fun to watch this summer.
I’d love to see Hiromu step up to the heavyweight division, but it apparently wasn’t in the cards. It’s probably for the best because the Junior division is getting thin. He’ll probably be a Jr tag champion soon.
There’s no Tama Tonga or Tanga Loa this year. I’m sure it’s because they’re tag team specialists but I still want more of a smooth shaved Tama.
Cockroach (Gokiburi) Mask-
No Cockroach Mask probably because of his bum knee. I also hear he wants to spend more time with his son. Shout out to the three people who get this.
This is Kota’s 6th entry, 4th consecutive. He also won the 2019 G1. Ibushi is a stud handpicked for the main event but still hasn’t won the big one. He looks to be the first to score repeat G1 victories since Hiroyoshi Tenzan did it in 2004.
This is Cobb’s 2nd entry, 2nd consecutive. He is currently feuding with KENTA over right to challenge for the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship. Cobb normally appears by way of NJPW’s partner, ROH. However, it looks like NJPW is shopping for a full time monster. Don’t be surprised if Cobb establishes himself permanently in this tournament.
This is Okada’s 9th entry, 9th consecutive. He also won the 2012 and 2014 G1. Okada has been wrapped up in his KOPW2020 project since losing at Wrestle Kingdom. Okada will certainly have a high point total in the tournament.
This is Ishii’s 8th entry, 8th consecutive. He is also one third of the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Champion. I want Ishii to win with all my heart. However even if it doesn’t happen, his matches will still be must watch.
This is Ospreay’s 2nd entry, 2nd consecutive. Ospreay was building momentum in the heavyweight division but then the pandemic hit. After a long break that included a scandal, his performance here might be a good indicator on where he stands with the company.
This is Shingo’s 2nd entry, 2nd consecutive. He’s looking to rebound because he just lost the NEVER Openweight Championship to Suzuki. Their tournament match will certainly continue the feud.
This is Suzuki’s 9th entry and 1st selection in two years. He is also the NEVER Openweight Champion. He’s bound to have a good showing but the story might be who can beat him and earn a shot at the NEVER title.
Taichi said he didn’t want in but here he is. This is Taichi’s 2nd entry, 2nd consecutive. He is currently one half of the IWGP Tag Team Champions. Taichi is one of the best heels in wrestling.
This is White’s 3rd entry, 3rd consecutive. Jay White is NJPW’s best heel and he’s getting better. The promo he cut on the last NJPW STRONG made me a believe that he is the last RocknRolla.
This is Yujiro’s 7th entry and his first after a five year hiatus. I’m not sure why he’s back in the tournament but NJPW has been putting him in big spots lately. I expect him to eat a lot of pins.
This is Tanahashi’s 19th entry, 19th consecutive. He also won the 2007, 2015 and 2018 G1. The road to the G1 finals always runs through the Ace. His knee has been bothering him lately but he seems to find new strength come G1 time.
This is Juice’s 4th entry, 4th consecutive. Juice missed the whole summer due to a leg injury. It will certainly be interesting to see what shape he’s in.
This is Goto’s 13th entry, 13th consecutive. He also won the 2008 G1. He is currently one third of the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Champions. Goto is alway a contender and his G1 matches are certainly must watch. He also has a prominent place in the center of the promotional poster.
This is Yano’s 15th entry, 14th consecutive. He’s also the Provisional KOPW2020. I can almost guarantee that Yano won’t win the tournament but I can guarantee he’s going to steal some surprise victories. I I were a betting man I’d avoid Yano matches all together.
Unfortunately this is YOSHI-HASHI’s 4th entry, first in two years. He is also one third of the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Champions. It’s obvious I’m not a fan but NJPW seems to be pushing him recently.
This is Naito’s 11th entry, 11th consecutive. He won the 2013 and 2017 G1. Naito is the IWGP Intercontinental & Heavyweight Champion. Last year Naito lost the G1 but, through a series of unprecedented events, found a way to leave the Tokyo Dome as double champion.
This is SANADA’s 5th entry, 5th consecutive. SANADA is also a non-dojo guy that deserves his spot in the sun. His match with his former partner EVIL will certainly be a drama at it’s best. I wouldn’t be surprised if EVIL pins Naito and SANADA wins the tournament. Hence setting up SANADA versus EVIL at the Dome.
Zack Sabre Jr.-
This is ZSJr’s 4th entry, 4th consecutive. He is also one half of the IWGP Tag Team Champions. ZSJr had a strong showing last year. I believe you’d have to be an idiot not to enjoy ZSJr matches. He’s the best technician today. So if you’re not a fan read a book.
This is KENTA’s 2nd entry, 2nd consecutive. He recently won the right to challenge for the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship in the NEW JAPAN CUP USA. His indifference cost him in last year’s G1 but he still had the last word at Wrestle Kingdom. People forget that KENTA was once the hottest name in Japan. Therefore he’s out to make them remember.
This is EVIL’s 5th entry, 5th consecutive. The summer belonged to EVIL because he captured the IWGP Intercontinental & Heavyweight Championship. He recently lost his titles but the tournament offers multiple paths to getting them back.
I’ve been terrible at predicting NJPW results lately but, to be fair, they’ve been very unpredictable. My best guess is an Ibushi versus Tanahashi final. I think Ibushi beating his mentor and tag partner to repeat would be poetic. It’s certainly a matter of time before Ibushi wins the Heavyweight Championship. I hope the wait ends at Wrestle Kingdom.
That’s all for the G1 Climax 30 preview but stay tuned to ALL EVERYTHING ENTERTAINMENT for all your wrestling news.