Ahead of his match with Will Ospreay at this weekend’s 2019 G1 Climax Tournament, I spoke with Lance Archer about what it means to have the event being hosted in his backyard of Dallas, Texas. Archer says this is a great way to introduce New Japan and educate domestic fans about the promotion, and it will serve as a bridge to the company’s global reach in the future.
“Yeah, I think educating the American fan base on what exactly the G1 is, this is going to be a big component of it. It’s the first attempt for New Japan to do the tournament outside of Japan. I think it’ll be a success, but I think ultimately this is a springboard into the next generation of the G1 when it’s really starting to do more whether it’s in the U.S., the U.K., Australia. They just did a couple shows in Australia. They’ve got a big show planned for the U.K. at the end of August. This is one of their next steps towards global expansion, so educating the American fans on what they’re getting. This is not just a random show that’s happening in the U.S., this is the start of the G1 Tournament which is a huge deal and I think that’s kind of been lost a little bit by the American fans.
Archer said this isn’t ‘just another show’ and stressed the importance of the event being in Dallas, adding that it’s not just something to learn from for the American fans, but the promotion itself:
Obviously, the hardcore fans who’ve been following New Japan and know about the G1 and things like that, they understand how big of a deal this is. For the fans who are just coming into New Japan, kind of like when I first got put in the G1 back in 2011, it’s kind of like, ‘Oh, okay cool. Another show and it’s at the American Airlines Center,’ but they don’t understand what it means and how big it is for it to be happening here in the United States of America, something that has never been done before and it’s never been done anywhere else in the world. The treat that Dallas, TX and the United States is getting by having the opening night of the G1, which is probably one of the more viewed G1 shows of the whole tournament as it is. Obviously the opening night and the final three nights usually cause that’s leading into who’s going to be in the main event of the final night at Budokan. It’s a huge deal, I think it’s starting to get a little bit more buzz. New Japan is learning how to promote themselves outside of Japan so that’s a learning curve for them as well.”