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Check out our video playlist and photo gallery from New Japan’s G1 Special press conference

New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) is putting on two shows in Long Beach, California this weekend (July 1 - 2) - the G1 Special in USA.

These historic shows are not only the first time the promotion has run events in the United States, but will also feature a tourney to crown the first ever IWGP United States champion and a showdown between IWGP Heavyweight champ Kazuchika Okada and Ring of Honor (ROH) World titleholder Cody Rhodes in what is the first match between the top champions of rival promotions in over 25 years.

Heading into the weekend, New Japan held a press event at the venue. Photographer Esther Lin and videographer E. Casey Leydon were on hand for SBNation and we’re the beneficiaries of their hard work!

Check out the above playlist of videos, including the FACEOFFS between the men who will compete for the US title (Michael Elgin, Kenny Omega, Tomohiro Ishii, Tetsuya Naito, Juice Robinson, Zack Sabre Jr., Jay Lethal and Hangman Page), Sunday’s IWGP Intercontinental championship match between Hiroshi Tanahashi and Billy Gunn, and Okada and Rhodes. We’ve also got the Q & A sessions with Omega, Okada, Naito and Tanahashi.

We’ve also got this gallery of amazing shots featuring everyone at the presser!

The G1 Special airs live on AXS TV tonight at 8PM Eastern, and tomorrow on the NJPW World streaming service (with a replay on AXS next Friday, July 7). Find out if AXS is available on your cable or satellite system here, and sign for New Japan World here.

We have a rundown of the card for both shows, which will be called by WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross and Josh Barnett, here.

We’ll also have a recap and results right here at Cageside Seats... but for now, get hyped with these photos and videos!

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