We were sent the following press release from the folks at AXS TV in advance of their coverage of the New Japan G1 Climax Tournament. For those not familiar, the G1 Climax Tournament is a round robin tournament of 20 wrestlers that takes place over 19 events. The winner of the tournament earns the opportunity to challenge for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship at Wrestle Kingdom in Tokyo, Japan on January 4.
The twelve hour-long episodes will begin airing this Friday night, August 18, and run through the fall. WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross and New Japan veteran Josh Barnett will call the action. Each hour long episode will showcase matches from this year’s event. The preliminary schedule of matches to be shown is subject to change. Shows through October 6 are listed in the release, which you can read in full below.
AXS TV PRESENTS MORE G1 CLIMAX COVERAGE THAN EVER BEFORE WITH 12 NEW EPISODES OF ‘NEW JAPAN PRO WRESTLING’ SHOWCASING THE TOURNAMENT FRIDAYS AT 8pE BEGINNING AUG. 18
LOS ANGELES – Aug. 16, 2017 – NEW JAPAN PRO WRESTLING’s biggest tournament—the G1 CLIMAX—takes over AXS TV’s Friday nights for the next three months as the network presents 12 all-new, hour-long episodes showcasing top matches from the tournament on the award-winning series NEW JAPAN PRO WRESTLING beginning this Friday, Aug. 18 at 8pE. The 12 hours of tournament action are the most coverage of the annual G1 CLIMAX in AXS TV’s history and will be presented by legendary wrestling broadcaster Jim Ross and former UFC Heavyweight Champion and NJPW veteran Josh Barnett.
Now in its 27th year, the G1 CLIMAX tournament is like no other televised event in wrestling, pitting 20 of NJPW’s top competitors against each other in a grueling, month-long series of matches spread across 19 separate events. For the round-robin tournament, the wrestlers are separated into two blocks (A & B), where they compete for the highest score (2 points for a win, 1 point for a draw). The winners of each block then face off in the finals for the tournament championship and a right to challenge for the IWGP Heavyweight Title on NJPW’s biggest stage, Wrestle Kingdom in the Tokyo Dome Jan. 4.
Each of AXS TV’s first eight episodes will feature two of the best matches from an A or B Block event, along with highlights from other matches at the event, kicking off Aug. 18 with Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Zack Sabre Jr. and Kota Ibushi vs. Tetsuya Naito.
The line-ups for the first eight episodes of AXS TV’s G1 Climax 27 coverage are as follows (subject to change):
Aug. 18 – A Block – Kota Ibushi vs. Tetsuya Naito, Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Zack Sabre Jr.
Aug. 25 – B Block – Minoru Suzuki vs. Kenny Omega, SANADA vs. EVIL
Sept. 1 – A Block – YOSHI-HASHI vs. Tetsuya Naito, Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Bad Luck Fale
Sept. 8 – B Block – Michael Elgin vs. Kazuchika Okada, Kenny Omega vs. Tama Tonga
Sept. 15 – A Block – Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kota Ibushi, Hirooki Goto vs. Tetsuya Naito
Sept. 22 – B Block – Kazuchika Okada vs. EVIL, Juice Robinson vs. Kenny Omega
Sept. 29 – A Block – Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Tomohiro Ishii, Togi Makabe vs. Tetsuya Naito
Oct. 6 – B Block – Kazuchika Okada vs. Minoru Suzuki, Michael Elgin vs. EVIL
The line-ups for the final four episodes of AXS TV’s coverage will be announced at a later date.