The first night of the 2017 NJPW G1 Climax tournament has come and gone. The B Block kicks off tournament action bright and early June 20 at 5:30 AM EST. Night one did not have many upsets, however, many reference B block as the showcase block and with names such as Kenny Omega, Kazuchika Okada, Michael Elgin and more, it is easy to see why many have this opinion.
Shatoshi Kojima vs Juice Robinson: Juice is really over in NJPW. Satoshi Kojima is a hard hitting favorite of NJPW. Smart money would be on Kojima. But I’m going upset and thinking Juice wins and gets the two points.
Prediction: Juice Robinson
Michael Elgin vs Tama Tonga: This is my dark horse pick for match of the night. Both are hard hitting and technically sound. I wouldn’t be surprised if Elgin gets the nod. But I’m going Tonga.
Prediction: Tama Tonga
SANADA vs “The King of Darkness” EVIL: I’m drooling over this one. LJI brethren meet up in a match that will be EXPLOSIVE. Will they try to cheat each other (the LIJ way) or be honorable? That is what makes this matchup intriguing. I’m going to go with SANADA, because I’m a mark for him and I’m writing this preview. So there.
Kazuchika Okada vs Toru Yano: NJPW has done an amazing job of having stable mates’ face off in the G1. There is no way Okada loses this match. So smart money, remedial money, fake money, whatever money; must be on Okada. So that is the pick. But what If… (read on)
Prediction: Kazuchika Okada
Minoru Suzuki vs Kenny Omega: I love Kenny Omega. I’m a die hard, self-professed Kenny Omega fan. Deal with it. I think this will be a very competitive matchup. But I’m going with Omega.
Prediction: Kenny Omega
B Block Prediction: I’m torn on Okada and Omega but I think having the series be 1-1-1- sets up for an Epic Wrestle Kingdom showdown. In order for that to happen, Omega must win the G1 Tournament. I’m going with Omega
Dark horse candidate: Kazuchika Okada. It’s very hard to say the NJPW champion is a dark horse candidate but he is. A win in this tournament would only solidify his position as the most dominant champion in pro wrestling today. Also, NJPW could still do Omega vs Okada three at Wrestle Kingdom, it just becomes trickier and not as straightforward.
Match of the night: Elgin vs Tonga
Upset special: Juice Robinson over Kojima
Wouldn’t it be cool if: Toru Yano went over on Okada. I’m just going to say it, I’m a fan of the DVD shilling, cheating, and screwball. I would go crazy if he pinned Okada or won under any circumstances. He is a Japanese Colt Cabana and everyone loves Colt Cabana. If you don’t love Cabana then I just cannot trust you as a person.
I will be back with a preview of night three A Block action. Stay tuned to pro wrestling haven for up to date information throughout the entire G1 Tournament!