Ahead of Block B's second night kicking off the second week of G1 Climax 2018 action, New Japan Pro Wrestling can already proudly proclaim this year's variant of wrestling's toughest tournament as a bonafide star-maker.
Emerging out of his United States Title defeat to Juice Robinson as the organisation's hottest heel, Jay White further abandoned the shackles of his limited 'Switchblade' character with career-defining victories over Kazuchika Okada and Hiroshi Tanahashi as the tournament commenced.
Back-to-back wins over NJPW's current and all-time 'Ace' have established White as an elite force in this year's event, not least because he's barely had to rely on his actual in-ring prowess to get the job done. A spectacular pr*ck of a heel, thework of his work is actually more of a work-in-progress - he's slithered into Block A's joint top spot via his reptilian slime rather than silky skill.
Perception is reality in pro wrestling though, with his trajectory unlikely to suffer for his referee-baiting art until his comeuppance is absolutely necessary. White's tale has been captivating most due to the quality of his opponents, but his narrative isn't alone on centre stage.
Togi Makabe, Michael Elgin and Tomorhiro Ishii have lit the tournament up in their own unique ways, wrestling machines Kenny Omega, Tetsuya Naito, Zack Sabre Jr and Kota Ibushi have lived up to and beyond their reputations in single showings, whilst Kazuchika Okada appears to be embarking upon possibly the bravest angle in industry history.
Square eyes on a square head, trained almost exclusively to Pro Wrestling, Sunderland AFC & Paul Rudd films. Responsible for 'Shocking Plans You Won't Believe Actually Happened', some of the words in our amazing Wrestling bookazines (both available at shop.whatculture.com), and probably every website list you read that praised Kevin Nash.