G1 Climax 32: The Good & The Bad

Another edition of the G1 Climax, the most prestigious tournament in wrestling, has passed us by. As always, there’s a lot to talk about the G1 Climax for better and worse, especially as we come close to Wrestle Kingdom at January 4th.

The first thing we need to talk about is gifs. The decision, made by TV Asahi, of not allowing gifs by fans of NJPW content remains a terrible decision from their part. TV Asahi basically banning all gifs and screenshots of NJPW content has become one of the biggest decisions against the growth of NJPW on the west. Because of the lack of gifs, it gave the impression NJPW is cold, and its somewhat true, but the lack of gifs made some people even forget the G1 was happening. This gif policy needs to change, but then again, this has been a subjected debated for a long time now and might never change.

This year’s G1 saw a format change with the G1, and it was both a positive and a negative. The addition of two new brackets added more excitement the tournament and created more possibilities for the tournament. One of the negatives of this, is that it created more matches and 2 more brackets to follow and things got confusing a little bit. Chris Charlton and Kevin Kelly did a fantastic job and carried shows when as mentioned before, things got confusing.

The booking of the G1 has pretty much been consistent to what we’ve seen with NJPW these last few years, but with some more bright spots than usual. Wrestlers like ZSJ, Ishii, Ospreay, Naito, Shingo and Archer were the highlight of the G1 with their matches. Other wrestlers like Jonah Rock and Tom Lawlor are great as this were their G1 debuts, and could easily return for next year’s G1. Despite all these, some matchday were dreadful sometimes due to bad match planning.

A very important subject is the finals and the winner of the G1. Some people think Ospreay should’ve won the G1 and become the second foreigner to win the G1 Climax. It looked like this was Ospreay’s time and some people read it that way but Okada winning is always a solid choice and a guaranteed solid number in terms of selling tickets, especially for Wrestle Kingdom just around the corner. Only time will tell if Gedo booked the wrong winner.

As of this writing, the Wrestle Kingdom main event looks to be Jay White vs. Okada. This is a match up we’ve seen a lot of with 5 singles matches against each other and 31 matches overall if we count tag team matches and other type of matches both have been against each other. A match up that has been booked too many times doesn’t make their upcoming Wrestle Kingdom main event that especial. Gedo used to be very careful with this and not burnt-out match-ups quickly, the best example of this is how protected was the Omega/Okada match-up.

We have several months ahead before Wrestle Kingdom and things could change, in particular the White/Okada main event could change. It will be interesting to see if NJPW keep the changes regarding the G1 format for next year, most likely they could go back to the previous format, just like we saw recently with NJPW go back to a single night Wrestle Kingdom. Some interesting things are ahead of us regarding NJPW.