New Japan’s Massive 9-Show Tournament Making iPPV Debut This Week; Several American Stars to Compete

Mike Killam

One of the biggest events of the wrestling year throughout the world – New Japan Pro Wrestling's G1 Climax tournament – begins this week. The event will take place over the course of nine shows, from August 1st-11th. For the first time ever, New Japan will be streaming the entire event on iPPV through UStream, although it comes at a hefty price tag of $150 for all nine shows. 

The tournament divides 20 wrestlers into two groups, who will then compete in a round robin tournament, with the winners of each group facing off in the finals on August 11th. 

"Machine Gun" Karl Anderson will be pulling double duty, competing in the tournament while simultaneously fighting his way through the ongoing Ring of Honor world title tournament in the United States. Assuming he advances through to the second round, there should be no scheduling conflicts. Former WWE Superstars Shelton Benjamin, Lance Archer and Davey Boy Smith, Jr. will also be competing in the tournament. 

The last time an American won this prestigious New Japan tournament was in 1989, when Big Van Vader won the IWGP Heavyweight Championship in the World Cup Tournament finals, with the iconic Lou Thesz acting as the special guest referee. 

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