NJPW G1 Climax 26 begins tonight in Tokyo

160718_njpwg1It’s arguably the most anticipated time of the year for New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) fans. The 26th annual G1 Climax begins tonight in Tokyo, Japan.

First officially held in 1991, but with a loose history that can be traced back to 1974, the G1 Climax is a round-robin style tournament.

Twenty members of the NJPW roster are split into two blocks (Block A and Block B) and pitted against one another over the course of 18 events. The eventual block winners then face one another to determine the winner of the G1 Climax.

The winner receives an IWGP Heavyweight Championship match at NJPW’s biggest event of the year, Wrestle Kingdom 11, in the Tokyo Dome on January 4, 2017.

Several members of this year’s G1 Climax spoke about the tournament during a press conference held yesterday, including IWGP Intercontinental Champion Michael Elgin.

“Exactly one year ago I stood up here and not a lot of you people knew anything about me,” he said. “In one year a lot has changed and I think everybody’s starting to realise how good Michael Elgin is … G1 Climax 26, Michael Elgin makes history and becomes the first foreigner to win the G1 climax.”

Elgin is part of Block B, which includes for G1 Climax winners Tetsuya Naito and Yuji Nagata among others.

New Zealand’s Bad Luck Fale is part of the talent-rich Block A—with former winners Hiroshi Tanahashi, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Kazuchika Okada, and Togi Makabe—and will be in action during tonight’s event.

“This G1, the Underboss takes over the G1 Climax,” he vowed.

NJPW G1 Climax 26 will be held over 19 events with the first taking place tonight, July 18, from 6pm NZST. Every event in the G1 Climax will air live on NJPW World, New Japan Pro-Wrestling’s video streaming service.

  • NJPW G1 Climax 26 [Block A]
    Monday, July 18, 6pm NZST
    Hokkaido Prefectural Sports Centre, Hokkaido, Japan
  • NJPW G1 Climax 26 [Block B]
    Friday, July 22, 9.30pm NZST
    Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
  • NJPW G1 Climax 26 [Block A]
    Saturday, July 23, 9.30pm NZST
    Machida Gymnasium, Tokyo, Japan
  • NJPW G1 Climax 26 [Block B]
    Sunday, July 24, 9.30pm NZST
    Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
  • NJPW G1 Climax 26 [Block A]
    Monday, July 25, 9.30pm NZST
    Fukushima Big Palette, Fukushima, Japan
  • NJPW G1 Climax 26 [Block B]
    Wednesday, July 27, 9.30pm NZST
    Wakasato Tamokuteki Sports Arena, Nagano, Japan
  • NJPW G1 Climax 26 [Block A]
    Thursday, July 28, 9.30pm NZST
    Tokorozawa Civic Gymnasium, Saitama, Japan
  • NJPW G1 Climax 26 [Block B]
    Saturday, July 30, 9pm NZST
    Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium, Aichi, Japan
  • NJPW G1 Climax 26 [Block A]
    Sunday, July 31, 7pm NZST
    Gifu Industry Hall, Gifu, Japan
  • NJPW G1 Climax 26 [Block B]
    Monday, August 1, 10pm NZST
    Takamatsu City Gymnasium, Kawaga, Japan
  • NJPW G1 Climax 26 [Block A]
    Wednesday, August 3, 9.30pm NZST
    Kagoshima Arena, Kagoshima, Japan
  • NJPW G1 Climax 26 [Block B]
    Thursday, August 4, 9.30pm NZST
    Fukuoka Civic Gymnasium, Fukuoka, Japan
  • NJPW G1 Climax 26 [Block A]
    Saturday, August 6, 8pm NZST
    Edion Arena, Osaka, Japan
  • NJPW G1 Climax 26 [Block B]
    Sunday, August 7, 9.30pm NZST
    Act City Hamamatsu, Shizuoka, Japan
  • NJPW G1 Climax 26 [Block A]
    Monday, August 8, 9.30pm NZST
    Yokohama Cultural Gymnasium, Kanagawa, Japan
  • NJPW G1 Climax 26 [Block B]
    Wednesday, August 10, 9.30pm NZST
    Yamagata Sports Centre, Yamagata, Japan
  • NJPW G1 Climax 26 [Block A Final]
    Friday, August 12, 9.30pm NZST
    Ryogoku Kokuikan, Tokyo, Japan
  • NJPW G1 Climax 26 [Block B Final]
    Saturday, August 13, 9.30pm NZST [Block B Final]
    Ryogoku Kokuikan, Tokyo, Japan
  • NJPW G1 Climax 26 [Grand Final]
    Sunday, August 14, 6pm NZST
    Ryogoku Kokuikan, Tokyo, Japan