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G1 Climax

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The G1 (Grade One) Climax professional wrestling tournament is a weeklong event held each August by the New Japan Pro Wrestling promotion. The G1 draws standing room only crowds each night, record receipt gates and generates front-page coverage on the sports sections of several of the daily newspapers in Tokyo. Though it has sometimes been held as a single elimination tournament, it is usually (and currently) held as a round-robin, with winners from two blocks wrestling in the final to decide that year's winner. The winner of each block is determined by a points system; two points for a victory, one point for a draw, and zero points for a loss.

Tournament history

New Japan had an annual tournament since 1974 under various names: the World League (1974–77, based on the World League tournament from the old Japanese Wrestling Association) the MSG League (1978–82) the International Wrestling Grand Prix (IWGP) League (1983–87; although the first winner, Hulk Hogan was awarded a championship belt, this is not the beginning of the IWGP Heavyweight Championship). Most of these tournaments were dominated by New Japan's founding top star, Antonio Inoki. In 1987, all tournaments in the company were suspended, although in 1989 there was a World Cup Tournament which also included wrestlers from the then-Soviet Union and also a tournament for the vacant IWGP Heavyweight Championship.

With Inoki's dominance over New Japan gone, the promotion established the G1 Climax tournament in 1991 as a platform to showcase the company's top heavyweights and have them compete in round robin matches where the winners of the two divisions would then square off in the tournament finals. The first G1 was held from August 7 to August 11, 1991 at Tokyo's Sumo Hall. The 1992 edition, which took place from August 6 to 12, was held to crown a new NWA World Heavyweight Champion.

The G1 Climax tournament has often been used as a platform for New Japan to push their rising stars. Wins by young up-and-comers over Japanese legends would usually take their respective careers to new heights. Past winners include Masahiro Chono, Keiji Mutoh, Shinya Hashimoto, Yuji Nagata and others who have gone on to become wrestling superstars.

G1 Climax Winners

Tournament Year Winner Total won Reference
World League 1974 Antonio Inoki 1
World League 1975 Antonio Inoki 2
World League 1976 Seiji Sakaguchi 1
World League 1977 Seiji Sakaguchi 2
MSG League 1978 Antonio Inoki 3
MSG League 1979 Antonio Inoki 4
MSG League 1980 Antonio Inoki 5
MSG League 1981 Antonio Inoki 6
MSG League 1982 Andre the Giant 1
International Wrestling Grand Prix 1983 Hulk Hogan 1
International Wrestling Grand Prix 1984 Antonio Inoki 7
International Wrestling Grand Prix 1985 Andre the Giant 2
International Wrestling Grand Prix 1986 Antonio Inoki 8
International Wrestling Grand Prix 1987 Antonio Inoki 9
World Cup Tournament 1989 Riki Choshu 1
G1 Climax 1991 Masahiro Chono 1
G1 Climax 1992 Masahiro Chono 2
G1 Climax 1993 Tatsumi Fujinami 1
G1 Climax 1994 Masahiro Chono 3
G1 Climax 1995 Keiji Mutoh 1
G1 Climax 1996 Riki Choshu 1
G1 Climax 1997 Kensuke Sasaki 1
G1 Climax 1998 Shinya Hashimoto 1
G1 Climax 1999 Manabu Nakanishi 1
G1 Climax 2000 Kensuke Sasaki 2
G1 Climax 2001 Yuji Nagata 1
G1 Climax 2002 Masahiro Chono 4
G1 Climax 2003 Hiroyoshi Tenzan 1
G1 Climax 2004 Hiroyoshi Tenzan 2
G1 Climax 2005 Masahiro Chono 5
G1 Climax 2006 Hiroyoshi Tenzan 3
G1 Climax 2007 Hiroshi Tanahashi 1
G1 Climax 2008 Hirooki Goto 1
G1 Climax 2009 Togi Makabe 1
G1 Climax 2010 Satoshi Kojima 1
G1 Climax 2011 Shinsuke Nakamura 1

Statistics

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External links

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