Excitement is building for one of the most thrilling events on the pro wrestling calendar, New Japan Pro Wrestling's G1 Climax.
This year's version, the 25th annual, will feature a 20 men competing across 19 dates - the most in history - for a spot in the finals August 16. Each show will be broadcast worldwide on New Japan's streaming service, NJPW World. Here at Cageside, we'll have open threads & results for each show, so you can watch along with the best pro wrestling community on the internet.
A primer for the event can be found here; a full schedule, more information on how to watch and some predictions here.
Opening day action takes place in Sapporo's Hokkaido Prefectural Sports Center, and it's all about A Block, one of two groupings whose winner will go on to a spot in the finals.
Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Doc Gallows
Togi Makabe vs. Toru Yano
Tetsuya Naito vs. Bad Luck Fale
Katsuyori Shibata vs. A.J. Styles
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kota Ibushi
Moving forward, we'll post records and standings. This being day one, all competitors start on even ground!
Enjoy the show!
Results from Day 1:
Hiroyoshi Tenzan defeated Doc Gallows via submission with the Anaconda Cross.
Togi Makabe pinned Toru Yano with the King Kong knee drop.
Tetsuya Naito pinned Bad Luck Fale with a cradle.
A.J. Styles pinned Katsuyori Shibata with the Styles Clash.
Hiroshi Tanahashi pinned Kota Ibushi with the High Fly Flow.
No upsets here, as all the favourites won. In terms of match quality, the first three matches that looked bad on paper were bad, but the final two matches unsurprisingly saved the tournament from getting off to a flat start.
Current standings in Block A:
Togi Makabe 2
Tetsuya Naito 2
A.J. Styles 2
Hiroshi Tanahashi 2
Hiroyoshi Tenzan 2
Bad Luck Fale 0
Doc Gallows 0
Kota Ibushi 0
Katsuyori Shibata 0
Toru Yano 0