19 Ups & 4 Downs From NJPW G1 Climax 2019

Kota Ibushi is going to Wrestle Kingdom; KENTA and Shibata shock the world.

Kota Ibushi G1

The 29th G1 Climax tournament is finally over.

After 19 shows spread forgivingly over 37 days, New Japan Pro Wrestling's signature heavyweight tournament concluded with Kota Ibushi punching his Wrestle Kingdom 14 main event ticket, having felled IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada to take A Block, then 'Switchblade' Jay White in the finals. A stunning victory, and one that will yield an awesome Tokyo Dome headliner should he and the 'Rainmaker' make it to 4/5 January unscathed.

The competition yielded countless highlights. Brought in by Katsuyori Shibara before the G1, KENTA blew NJPW apart with an awesome angle on finals night, having accumulated a modest eight tournament points. Jon Moxley emerged as a violent, unhinged, credible threat to anyone in the company. Entering as junior heavyweights, Shingo Takagi and Will Ospreay toiled but grew throughout. Lance Archer is suddenly the best big man in wrestling. Tomohiro Ishii once again reminded everyone that is, at minimum, one of the three best wrestlers in the world. Tetsuya Naito, still NJPW's hottest star, was ultimately undone by a disastrous 0-2 start. The list goes on.

Unpacking such a monolithic tournament is tricky. Within, you'll find day-by-day breakdowns as well as every big-picture talking point from a G1 Climax that yielded over 60 hours of wrestling.

Let's do this...


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