What a year New Japan Pro Wrestling has had so far. Wrestle Kingdom 11 somehow managed to surpass sky-high expectations, and Kazuchika Okada's IWGP Heavyweight Championship defences in the months since have been as varied as they have been astounding. The New Japan Cup ticked all the right boxes, and the Best of the Super Juniors has its most competitive field in years.
The 27th edition of the G1 Climax begins in exactly two months. The junior heavyweights will dominate the landscape for the next few weeks, meaning the attention of the heavyweights may well begin to move towards the annual round robin tournament. We have the small matter of Dominion and Okada/Omega II beforehand, but the G1 looms large.
The tournament has set the bar preposterously high over the last few years. Who can forget the final few days last year - a five-star time limit draw between Okada and Tanahashi, a match somehow eclipsed 24 hours later by Kenny Omega and Tetsuya Naito. It was Omega who ended the 26th G1 on top, the first gaijin to win the prestigious tournament.
Will Omega become the first man since Hiroshi Tanahashi in 2007 to repeat? Can Okada become the third man to win the G1 more than twice? Who else could find themselves making main event plans for the Tokyo Dome?