G1 Climax 28 : What to expect ?

So, is everyone enjoying the G1 Climax ? I sure am so far. So many great matches, moments, stories developing, the drama is there !
Today I’ll be making a recap of what has been happening so far, taking a look at the standings and, finally, see what could happen depending on the different match-ups, tiebreakers, and stories going on so far.

Starting off with a quick recap of some of the different events stuck in many heads. This G1 had quite a violent start for those who weren’t prepared. In the A block,Togi Makabe of all people started his tournament with two wins over Yoshi-Hashi and Minoru Suzuki, Jay White got the upset over both Hiroshi Tanahashi and Kazuchika Okada, both Okada and Suzuki started by losing two matches. As for the B block, not as much shockers besides Kenny Omega winning his first six matches, Juice Robinson staying with zero points until a win over Toru Yano in his 5th match, the usual Yano upset, this time over Kota Ibushi, Ishii and Goto going at war, SANADA delivering an incredible performance against Ibushi and one of the funniest matches of the tournament against Yano.
There has been one constant during this G1 tournament though, the trio of Tama Tonga, Bad Luck Fale and Tanga Loa, the Firing Squad or BC OG’s, kept interfering during Fale’s or Tonga’s matches, trying to help each other win at times, but mostly only to wreck havoc, as the main focus of the trio not in winning or look impressive in the ring during the tournament.

Now that the table is set, let’s now take a look at each block current standings.  

A block :

  • Hiroshi Tanahashi (14 points)
  • Jay WhiteKazuchika Okada (12 points)
  • Minoru SuzukiEVIL (8 points)
  • Bad Luck FaleMichael ElginHangman Page (6 points)
  • Togi MakabeYoshi-Hashi (4 points)

Keep in mind : Jay White holds the tiebreaker over both Tanahashi and Okada.

B block :

  • Kenny Omega (12 points)
  • Kota IbushiTetsuya NaitoZack Sabre Jr (10 points)
  • SANADA (8 points)
  • Hirooki Goto, Tomohiro Ishii (6 points)
  • Juice RobinsonTama Tonga (4 points)
  • Toru Yano (2 points)

Keep in mind : Omega and Ibushi both hold the tiebreaker over Naito.

As you can see, there are only six people who can potentially win their block now. Let’s take a look at the situation in each block and discuss what could eventually happen.

Starting with the A block, Hiroshi Tanahashi is leading, only losing one match to Jay White. Tanahashi, with his two points advantage over both White and Okada, is still quite safe. If he doesn’t manage to beat Okada, the Ace can also win the block with a draw. As long as he is not tied with White, Tanahashi controls his fate.

The Switchblade, for his first G1 Climax, sits second of the block, tied with Kazuchika Okada. White has the edge over both Tanahashi and Okada, who can’t afford to lose if they want to possibly win the tournament, as White only needs himself and Okada to win so he can win the block.
As for the Rainmaker, or should I say Balloonmaker, he not only HAS to win against Tanahashi to win the block, he NEEDS Jay White to either lose or go to a draw against EVIL, too.

Looking at the B block, the IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kenny Omega leads with 12 points. If Omega wants to be 100% certain of winning the block, he better not let Toru Yano upset him, otherwise, even if both Naito and Ibushi lose their next match, Kenny will have no other choice than at least score one point against Ibushi if he wants to win the block. If either Naito or Ibushi manages to tie with him, the Best Bout Machine will have way more pressure going in his match with the other half of the Golden Lovers.
Kota Ibushi is quite in a favorable position, with his 10 points and the tiebreaker over Naito. The Golden Star only needs to be able to at least tie with Omega if he beats him, which would give him the tiebreaker and a place in the finals of the G1. Beware of the match against Tama Tonga though, as the Bullet Club war looms over this match, Ibushi may get two points against the Tongan, but at what physical cost ?
Now looking at the G1 defending champion, Tetsuya Naito. Naito is in the least favorable position possible, as he already lost to both Omega and Ibushi, his only two losses. If Naito wants to win the B block, he not only needs to beat SANADA and Zack Sabre Jr, he also needs Omega to lose against Toru Yano, and the Omega vs Ibushi match to end in a draw. If Tama Tonga could also win against Ibushi, Naito wouldn’t mind at all, but this is not necessary as long as he keeps winning.

Now that the scenarios are settled, it’s time to make (kind of) a bet. Which scenarios I believe are the most likely to happen, and why so ?

  • Naito going back to back ?

I was the first being caught off guard by the idea, as I never thought the possibility of seeing Naito winning his second G1 in a row, his third overall, would be as high as it is right now. As he didn’t manage to defeat Omega or Ibushi, Naito can’t claim for either a title shot or a chance at winning the G1 contract against any of the Golden Lovers. The rivalry with Kenny Omega went a step further during this tournament, and it’s very possible that it culminates at Wrestle Kingdom 13.

Who he should face in the finals : Jay White or Kazuchika Okada.

  • Switchblade shocks the world ?

Let me say I don’t really believe Jay White will win the G1. Why do I talk about « shocking the world », then ? Well, this has been one of the trends with the Switchblade right from the start, as he defeated both Okada and Tanahashi. By advancing in the finals, for his first G1 Climax, over the two guys he already shocked many by defeating them both, Jay would once again send a huge shock to everyone watching. Winning the tournament is not even necessary, but don’t exclude that possibility, as Jay White is receiving a big, big push right now. Will we breathe with the Switchblade ?

Who he should face in the finals : Tetsuya Naito.

  • Golden dream match ?

These are technically two scenarios but they lead to one same ending. If Kota Ibushi wins the G1, he will most likely keep his contract (since Naito did not beat him) and face Kenny Omega at Wrestle Kingdom 13. If Omega wins the G1, he already told us all who he would pick as his opponent, and even if he didn’t, there is no need to search far to see who would be main eventing alongside Omega next January.
If I had to pick between both Ibushi and Omega, I would rather see Ibushi go all the way.

Who Omega should face in the finals : Jay White or Hiroshi Tanahashi.

Who Ibushi should face in the finals : Kazuchika Okada.

  • The Ace’s last dance ?

The one in a century talent Hiroshi Tanahashi hasn’t main evented Wrestling Kingdom the last two years, and he has shown that, even with the injuries trying to take him down, he can still go with the best of them, at the same level he always had. Since the bout for the vacant Intercontinental Championship, Tanahashi and Omega never crossed path, and this would also benefit Omega, as facing Tanahashi for your first Wrestle Kingdom main event as champion would be a huge deal.

Who should he face in the finals : Kota Ibushi or Kenny Omega.

Now with the scenario I would personally pick, that would be the Naito back to back G1 wins. Aside from my obvious bias towards Naito, as I’m trying to be as objective as possible, I think the story it would tell is worth going with. As I always said, Naito needs another run with the Heavyweight Championship. There may not be a better occasion to pull the trigger this time.

Here are the different scenarios I can imagine could happen to close the G1. Depending on who faces who in the finals, the story will not exactly be the same, which is why you can see different opponent sometimes for each scenario. This G1 Climax still has many things to offer and a few surprises left, so let’s all now sit back and enjoy the ending of one of the most exciting month of Wrestling !

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