After eighteen shows featuring ninety matches between twenty men, it all comes down to this. New Japan's G1 Climax holds its Final on Sunday, August 14.
Hirooki Goto of CHAOS and the current leader of the Bullet Club, Kenny Omega, both won their blocks on the last day - Goto thanks to a tie between company Aces and career-long rivals Kazuchika Okada & Hiroshi Tanahashi; Omega with a win over former IWGP Heavyweight champ Tetsuya Naito. Both men came out of the main round-robin portion of the tournament with 12 points, and will battle in one final showdown to be declared the winner of the 26th G1 Climax.
That winner will receive a match for the IWGP World belt, currently held by Okada, at Wrestle Kingdom next January 4 in the Tokyo Dome (provided they win their mandatory defense of that shot before WK - it's like if the Royal Rumble was a tournament instead of a battle royal, and then the winner had to beat someone else in a singles match before WrestleMania to keep his spot in the main event).
It could be a career-making win for Omega, who'd become the first gaijin to win the G1 and establish him as the most successful head of one of New Japan (and wrestling)'s most successful factions.
Goto won the G1 back in 2008, and has held just about every title in the promotion... except the top prize. Putting him over today could be New Japan's way to push him into the upper echelon of stars (whether fans want him there or not).
The final match of the tournament is the main attraction, but it's far from the only thing on the card. There are two other championship bouts on the show, and both center on men from New Japan's U.S. partner, Ring of Honor (ROH) - including that company's World championship.
The show will be broadcast worldwide on New Japan's streaming service, NJPW World, and feature English language commentary from ROH's Kevin Kelly & Steve Corino. It starts at 3PM Japanese time (2AM Eastern). We'll have results and a place for you to talk about it with your fellow Cagesiders while you watch!
- Jushin "Thunder" Liger & Tiger Mask over David Finlay & Ryusuke Taguchi by pinfall following an avalanche butterfly suplex on David Finlay.
- Chaos (Gedo & Jado) over Hunter Club (Captain New Japan & YOSHITATSU) by submission with Crossface of Jado on Captain New Japan.
- Chaos (Tomohiro Ishii & YOSHI-HASHI) over Great Bash Heel (Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma) by pinfall following Karma on Tomoaki Honma.
- NOAH (Go Shiozaki, Katsuhiko Nakajima, Masa Kitamiya, & Maybach Taniguchi) over New Japan (Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Katsuyori Shibata, Manabu Nakanishi, & Yuji Nagata) by pinfall following a Vertical Spike on Manabu Nakanishi.
- Briscoes (Jay & Mark Briscoe) (c) over Bullet Club (Hangman Page & Yujiro Takahashi) by pinfall with a Doomsday Device on Hangman Page to retain the IWGP Tag Team Championship.
- Jay Lethal (c) over Satoshi Kojima by pinfall with Lethal Injection to retain the ROH World Championship.
- Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI, EVIL, SANADA, & Tetsuya Naito) over Hiroshi Tanahashi, Juice Robinson, KUSHIDA, & Michael Elgin by pinfall following EVIL on Juice Robinson.
- Chaos (Kazuchika Okada & Toru Yano) & Naomichi Marufuji over Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale, Tama Tonga, & Tanga Roa) by pinfall following a Rainmaker on Tanga Roa.
- Kenny Omega over Hirooki Goto by pinfall with One-Winged Angel to win the 26th G1 Climax and become the first North American G1 Winner!