G1 Climax winner Tetsuya Naito took part in a press conference for New Japan recently and he made some ‘proposals’ on the format of the G1 and how he feels that the tournament could be changed for the better. The following comes from New Japan’s English language site NJPW1972.com:
‘I said as much in the ring last night, but I’m honestly grateful for all the fans for the atmosphere they all created in Ryogoku. But that’s not limited to the last match yesterday. This G1 I was able to put on amazing matches in front of amazing audiences every night. I think this was the best G1 Climax of all time.
But I have one… proposal? Or maybe a problem as winner. Something I want to happen if possible, as it relates to next year.
I want there to be a more sound selection criteria for anyone who enters the G1.
On August 11 and 12, the final group matches. There were five group matches on each night, but on the 11th, Tanahashi v Naito was the only match that decided the block. On the 12th, only Kenny and Okada. So out of 10 matches, 8 were meaningless.
That’s an issue with league matches, it can’t be helped to an extent. But it’s on the company to ensure that the fans are excited, kept on the edge of their seats until the very end, is it not? You have to raise questions over whether the choices made were the right ones, or whether 20 wrestlers was really the right number.
Recently the G1 Climax has been made up of 19 cards. Wrestlers in two blocks of ten. Nine group matches each and a final. That’s the framework that’s been laid out. It’s only after that that the company decides who goes in. “Ah, he sucks but we need to fill the blocks up so he gets in.” That’s how I felt it was this year. It should be a case of finding the absolute best of the best and only then deciding how many shows there needs to be.
Anyway, that’s just an idea, as this year’s winner to make the tournament better for all concerned. I know the company never really listens to me. If you just bear in mind that ol’ Naito had that suggestion for ya, I’d appreciate it.
So then.. this contract. This appears every year, doesn’t it? I knew I’d be getting one of these, but I didn’t know until right now that you’d go as far as to lay it out in front of me. A part of me suspected that they’d say “Naito won, so let’s nix it this year.” I gotta say, it’s kinda surprising to have this actually in front of my eyes. If I can have it, I’ll take it. But what I do with it? I think you know the answer. Of course- tranquilo- asssen na yo. That’s about it.”