New Japan Pro Wrestling is looking to become a true competitive company opposite WWE. Their G1 Climax specials in Long Beach, California might give them the edge they need. Scheduled for July 1st and 2nd, the special will include talent from ROH, NJPW, among others. All they were missing were the matches… until now.
The company announced several key matches for the two days in California, with several match of the year contenders in place. On July 1st there will be several tag team matches. Titan, Dragon Lee, Volador Jr. & Japanese legend Jushin Thunder Liger will face Hiromu Takahashi, Bushi, EVIL & Sanada, the group known as Los Ingobernables de Japon. It will also be Chaos v. The Bullet Club in an epic eight man tag. Roppongi Vice, Will Ospreay & The Briscoes will face The Young Bucks, “The Villain” Marty Scurll, Yujiro Takahashi & Bad Luck Fale.
To round out regular tag matches, David Finlay, Jay White, KUSHIDA & Hiroshi Tanahashi will face Sho Tanaka, Yohei Komatsu, Yoshitatsu & Billy Gunn. The IWGP Tag Team Titles will also be on the line as Guerrillas of Destiny defend their titles against War Machine.
Cody Rhodes gets a shot at Kazuchika Okada for the IWGP World Title on night one. Okada just faced Kenny Omega in another epic encounter at Dominion. It could be an interesting matchup, especially if Cody can win the Ring of Honor World Title from Christopher Daniels on June 23rd at Best in the World. While fans were expecting Kenny Omega to fight for the title, it could become a reality at some point. Anything is possible.
To close out the first day, the first round of the tournament to determine the newly created IWPG United States Heavyweight Champion will be going on. Here is the tournament bracket for the first day:
— njpw_global (@njpwglobal) June 12, 2017
It is very interesting to see Jay Lethal and Omega in the same side of the bracket. If I had to guess, I’d say the finals will be Naito v. Lethal. A dark horse pick could be Juice Robinson. The best case scenario would be for Kenny to win the tournament and challenge the IWGP Champion, whomever it may be.
The card for the second day (July 2nd) hasn’t officially been announced, but what has been should be great. It will include the semifinals and finals of the US Title tournament. Titles will also be on the line as Billy Gunn (yes, that Billy Gunn) challenges Hiroshi Tanahashi for his IWGP Intercontinental Championship. The Young Bucks also face their rivals, Roppongi Vice, in an IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title match. There may be some matches that have G1 Climax implications in them as well.
The July 1st live show airs live on AXS TV while the second night will be taped. Both will be available on New Japan’s Pro Wrestling World site.
NJPW knocked it out of the park with their Dominion show. With a lot of momentum, fans should be very excited for an event like this. The landscape of professional wrestling could change forever.