NJPW - Power Rankings - Post G1 Climax 30
The New Japan landscape tends to reveal itself during the 91 matches that comprise the G1 Climax tournament.
1. Tetsuya Naito
It must have been such a joy for Tetsuya Naito to go into the G1 as double champion. Especially after such a tumultuous year. At the end of the marathon tournament Naito is still double champion and he has an inkling into his future, at Wrestle Kingdom 15.
Naito was still in with a chance of winning his block on the final night but ultimately fell to KENTA which would be his third loss of the tournament. Losses against SANADA and EVIL make his position in LIJ interesting and keep the unwanted spectre of EVIL nipping at his heels.
The biggest takeaway from Naito's G1 is the confidence and gravitas he brought with him. He finally looked like the top man in New Japan.
2. Kota Ibushi
Three block wins in a row and two G1 Climax wins in a row sets up a potential second IWGP Championship shot at Wrestle Kingdom in a row. Kota Ibushi started hot and maintained that until the end, only slipping up twice.
Those two slip ups do however open the door to White and Takagi challenging him for his opportunity at The Dome. Throughout the tournament Ibushi has spoken about his ambition to become God, it may take an etherial effort to keep hold of that opportunity and climb the final rung in New Japan.
Up 2 Places
Bullet Club's newest member didn't quite manage to win the B Block but did pick up a huge victory over Tetsuya Naito. Historically a win over the champion is almost as good as the G1 win itself. It may not come with a Tokyo Dome main event but it does usually lead to a title shot along the way.
Fan may be tiring of EVIL and Dick Togo's schtick but they don't seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. The man who ruined Naito's historic double championship reign is looking to duplicate that in the same calendar year.
Down 1 Place
4. Jay White
The landscape of the Bullet Club is confusing, whether or not Jay White even fully understands it is not certain. The wheels started to come off with Yujiro Takahashi's refusal to lay down for White causing White to point the finger at EVIL and Dick Togo.
Despite all of this Jay White finds himself near the top of the NJPW pile once again due to a strong G1 Climax campaign with him only losing out on the final night of the A Block. Even better he picked up a win against eventual winner Kota Ibushi along the way. White has already laid down a challenge to Ibushi's Wrestle Kingdom shot.
5. Kazuchika Okada
Probably the most spoken about man in the G1, Kazuchika Okada's back and in-ring performances have been spoken about at length on many a pro wrestling podcast as fans attempted to figure out just what was going on. His questionable defeat to Will Ospreay saw an end to his 5 match winning streak and G1 aspirations.
The mystery of the Rainmaker continues, Okada went out of G1 still without dipping all the way to the bottom of his bag of offence. Fans may question why he would allow himself to lose without utilising his most devastating and successful offensive weapon?
Down 2 Places
This is a lofty position for a man that only finished 4th in B Block, however KENTA picked up a precious win against Tetsuya Naito. Although KENTA has already lost in a title opportunity this year, it is unlikely this will deter KENTA from challenging him again.
How this will go down with EVIL, White, Togo and Gedo in a combustable Bullet Club landscape in anyone's guess.
Up 3 Places
Is this finally the star making moment that SANADA hoped to achieve in 2019 in all those matches against Okada, what is clear is that it would have been had he defeated Ibushi in the final. A win against the IWGP Champion usually holds a huge amount of weight, however SANADA's victory over Naito is a little more complex due to the composition of LIJ.
In the year of EVIL's Bullet Club defection, does Naito really want to deny another faction member what they want? Then again will SANADA really go against the company's most dominant player?
8. Shingo Takagi
A noteworthy campaign for two reasons for The Dragon. First he fought another critically acclaimed campaign, with stand out matches against White, Ospreay and Suzuki. Secondly, he picked up a huge win against Ibushi which historically would entitle him to a shot at Ibsuhi's Wrestle Kingdom main event spot.
Down 1 place
9. Will Ospreay
A potentially landmark campaign from Will Ospreay as he finished second in the A Block. He picked up huge wins against Jay White and Minoru Suzuki but most notably he also defeated Kazuchika Okada.
The his new associates, Will Ospreay is perhaps thee one to watch over the next 12 months.
10. Taiji Ishimori
The new IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion will go into the Best of the Super Juniors as the man to beat. However to do that he will have to avoid becoming embroiled in the Bullet Club dysfunction.
Faction Power Rankings
1. Los Ingobernables de Japon
The double champ's faction will be hard to knock off the top spot whilst he is still double champ! No titles in LIJ out with Naito but expect Hiromu Takahashi to go far in the Best of the Super Juniors and see an LIJ presence in the World Tag League.
2. Bullet Club
In contrast to the last rankings update where Bullet Club had fallen to last position after the double championship loss, they have this time jumped from last to second. This is in no part due to having 3 competitors with positive G1 win/loss records and potentially 3 shots at getting a faction member into the main event of Wrestle Kingdom.
Jay White's return really fortified Bullet CLub and is a big part of their reascension in the form of his right to challenge Kota Ibushi for the title shot at Wrestle Kingdom. Add the wins EVIL and KENTA achieved over champion, Naito, meaning they can claim a shot at him before Wrestle Kingdom, things are heading in the correct direction once again, if they can remain on the same page.
Up 3 Positions
3. NJPW Main Unit
The Main Unit of NJPW have been dragged up to third on the impressive shoulders of Kota Ibushi. A second G1 win in a row position him as one of the most noteworthy men in New Japan Pro Wrestling as we head into Wrestle Kingdom season.
Up 1 Position.
4. Suzuki Gun
Zack Sabre Jr was the only member of Suzuki Gun to leave the G1 with a positive record and that was only at +1. Even more interesting was leader Suzuki's -3, putting his already tenuous position as leader into question.
Still holding the IWGP tag team championships, the IWGP Junior tag team championships and the NEVER championship, it is their poor showing in the G1, lack of main event challengers and possible top-end instability that drags them so far down the rankings.
Down 2 Positions.
Coming into the last night of the A Block Chaos has two wrestlers still in contention, but that kind of optimism seems a long time ago. Will Ospreay ripped a huge chunk out of Chaos as he took a shot at the very heart of the faction, betraying Kazuchika Okada to spoil any chance Okada had at winning the block.
Only the NEVER 6-man titles within the faction, nobody anywhere near the main event and pretty middling G1s for Ishii and Goto Chaos are going nowhere fast and will probably have to deal with Will Ospreay in the near future.
Down 2 positions
Power Rankings Within Factions
No changes in the Chaos pecking order. Ospreay would be second if he hadn't ripped away at the end of the G1.
1. Kazuchika Okada
2. Tomohiro Ishii
3. Hirooki Goto
4. Toro Yano (up 2)
5. SHO (Down 1)
6. Yoshi-Hashi (Down 1)
7. Robbie Eagles
8. Rocky Romero
Los Ingobernables de Japon
SANADA's almost successful G1 campaign bolsters his standing in LIJ, as does the fact he picked up a victory over Naito in B Block action.
1. Tetsuya Naito
2. SANADA (Up 2)
3. Hiromu Takahashi (Down 1)
4. Shingo Takagi (Down 1)
NJPW Main Unit
No real changes in NJPW Main Unit, Kota Ibushi establishes himself as the defacto leader with his second G1 win in as many years.
1. Kota Ibushi
2. Hiroshi Tanahashi
3. Juice Robinson
4. Rysuke Taguchi
5. Master Wato
6. David Findlay
7. Satoshi Kojima
8. Hiroyoshi Tenzan
Jay White seems to have the backing of most of Bullet Club and has deep routes in the group with the currently absentee other members. On the day of the final Jay White lined up with Ishimori, Gedo and KENTA in an 8-man tag. Whereas EVIL tagged with Yujiro in 2v2 action. White has already challenged Ibushi however EVIL has recently lost a title match to Naito and has yet to move on his potential challenge.
1. Jay White (Up 1)
2. EVIL (Down 1)
4. Taiji Ishimori
5. Yujiro Takahashi
6. El Phantasmo
7. Tama Tonga
8. Tanga Loa
9. Bad Luck Fale
Suzuki hangs onto top spot due to holding one of the company's singles titles. However he was out-performed in the G1 by both ZSJ and Taichi.
1. Minoru Suzuki
3. Zack Sabre Junior
4. El Desperado
5. Yoshinobu Kanemaru