The lineup for this year’s G1 Climax tournament is noteworthy for many reasons. The first reason why this year’s lineup is different is that, for the first time ever, it will feature four blocks rather than two.
The other reason this year’s lineup feels different is because there are multiple foreign stars, such as JONAH and Tom Lawlor, who are set to make their debut appearances in the tournament.
No Japanese talent is set to make their G1 debut in this year’s tournament, something that former IWGP World Heavyweight Champion Tetsuya Naito commented on.
Naito said that, while it’s good to have talent from all over the world competing in the tournament, it shows ‘something lacking’ from Japanese talent.
“It’s great to see entrants from all over the world. We have this worldwide feel, for sure, but this is New Japan Pro-Wrestling, so that says there’s something lacking from a Japanese standpoint,”
When asked if he felt like there was a bigger picture issue, he said:
“Right. But I am looking forward to it. I’ve spoken a lot about whether we need to have a large number of entrants. But I’ve never been in a four block G1, and I might end up thinking that this is the best format for it. We’ll have to wait and see.”
Naito started off on the losing end of his G1 Climax bracket, being defeated in the opening match by Hirooki Goto.
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