New Japan Professional Wrestling is coming to the Cow Palace in San Francisco on July 7th and is aiming to deliver a show to remember: NJPW’s G1 Special in San Francisco!
In an effort to expand into the American market as part of a long-term plan, NJPW created the G1 Special show and designated it towards the west coast (presumably for easier travel). The G1 Special, as it implies in its namesake, is a promotional show designed to both showcase NJPW in America, as well as serve as a prelude to the G1 Climax, NJPW’s annual and most prestigious tournament.
The concept started back in 2016, with the initial idea being that the first 2 shows of the G1 Climax would be presented in the USA, an unprecedented move in the tournament’s history. Ultimately, it was decided that the show would be a preliminary for the G1 Climax and as a showcase for NJPW talent.
Last year’s G1 Special was a two-day event and saw the inception and crowning of the IWGP United States Championship in a tournament that spanned across both days. This year, the show will only be one night. However, the card is stacked with 5 title defenses to compensate.
The card for this year’s G1 Special is as follows:
—IWGP Heavyweight Championship
Kenny Omega (c) vs. Cody
—IWGP United States Championship
“Switchblade” Jay White (c) vs. Juice Robinson
—IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship
Hiromu Takahashi (c) vs. Dragon Lee
—IWGP Tag Team Championship
The Young Bucks (c) vs. Los Ingobernables de Japon (EVIL and SANADA)
–Kazuchika Okada and Will Ospreay vs. Tetsuya Naito and BUSHI
—NEVER Openweight Championship
Hirooki Goto (c) vs. Jeff Cobb
–Taguchi Japan (KUSHIDA and Hiroshi Tanahashi) vs. Bullet Club (Marty Scurll and Hangman Page)
–CHAOS (Toru Yano and Tomohiro Ishii) vs. Suzuki-gun (Zack Sabre Jr. and Minoru Suzuki)
–CHAOS (SHO, YOH, Rocky Romero, Gedo, YOSHI-HASHI) vs. Bullet Club (Chase Owens, Yujiro Takahashi, Tanga Loa, Tama Tonga, and King Haku)
Also announced, on July 6th, NJPW will be holding a signing ceremony for all matches, as well as a meet-and-greet with the following:
- Hiroshi Tanahashi
- Katsuyori Shibata
- Tomohiro Ishii
- Tetsuya Naito
- Minoru Suzuki
- Kenny Omega
- Young Bucks
Tickets for the Meet-and-Greet will go on sale on June 22, via Eventbrite, and can be accessed by clicking here.
Ticket information and purchase for the G1 Special, via TicketMaster, can be accessed by clicking here.
We will be following up with a breakdown and analysis for each match, as well as our predictions for the show, so be sure to look out for that article as the event draws near!
NJPW’s G1 Special will air live on AXS TV at 8pm EST on July 7 for US residents, as well as on NJPW World for non-US viewers.
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Image credit: New Japan Pro-Wrestling