In the last couple years, I’ve become a big fan of New Japan Wrestling. Right now all New Japan fans are getting excited about the annual G1 Climax tournament. As information started being released for this year’s tournament I asked myself could a G1 Climax tournament format work in WWE?

I posed the question to fellow Social Suplexer, Rich Latta, and he gave me the great idea to do a WWE Fantasy G1 column series. So welcome to the first column of the series!

For those of you not familiar with the G1 Climax, it’s a round-robin tournament consisting of two blocks with 10 wrestlers in each block. All matches have a 30-minute time limit. On the final night of the tournament, the winner of Block A faces the winner of Block B and the winner gets a world title shot at Wrestle Kingdom (New Japan’s Wrestlemania).The winner of each block is determined by a points system; two points for a victory, one point for a draw, and zero points for a loss.

For my tournament, I’ve split my participants into a RAW block and a Smackdown block. The RAW block winner and the Smackdown block winner will face off at Summerslam with the winner getting a WWE or Universal title shot at Survivor Series. Here are my participants:

Raw Block: Braun Strowman, Bray Wyatt, Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, Neville, Finn Balor, Cesaro, The Miz, Roman Reigns and Samoa Joe.

Smackdown Block: AJ Styles, Baron Corbin, Dolph Ziggler, Rusev, Luke Harper, John Cena, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Randy Orton, and Shinsuke Nakamura.

G1 Climax Night 1: Monday Night Raw July 24th

Samoa Joe vs. Cesaro

Match Highlights: As soon as the bell rings, Cesaro nails Joe with a running European Uppercut and knocks Joe into a corner. Cesaro follows up with running European Uppercuts. Joe nails Cesaro with an ST-JOE on the steel steps. In Cesaro’s comeback, he hits Joe with a series of power moves and follows up with the Cesaro Swing. Joe reverses the Neutralizer with a backdrop, but Cesaro lands on his feet and goes for a clothesline. Joe ducks the clothesline and applies the Coquina Clutch. Joe chokes Cesaro out for the win.

Winner: Samoa Joe

The Miz w/ Maryse vs. Neville

Match Highlights: Neville uses his speed to hit Miz with a series of strikes. Miz attacks Neville’s left knee and works the left leg the whole match. Miz puts Neville in the Figure Four, but Neville muscles his way to the ropes. Despite the injured left leg, Neville is able to hit a deadlift German Suplex. Neville hobbles on one leg to the top rope. Maryse distracts Neville and Miz takes advantage and gives Neville a superplex for a near fall. Miz hits the Skull Crushing Finale and Neville gets his foot on the ropes. Miz and Maryse argue with the referee. The referee ejects Maryse. Neville hits Miz with a Super Kick and applies the Rings of Saturn for the win.

Winner: Neville

Roman Reigns vs. Finn Balor

Match Highlights: Roman uses his strength to his advantage early in the match. Balor hits a hit series of Topes. Balor hits Bloody Sunday for a near fall. Roman comes back with a Superman Punch for a near fall. Reigns hits “The Undertaker Dive”. Roman goes to Spear Balor through the barricade, but Finn moves and Reigns crashes through the barricade. Roman makes it back in the ring at 9. Balor hits a Sling Blade for a near fall. Balor goes for the Coup De Grace, Reigns moves and goes for a Spear. Balor jumps over Reigns and double foot stomps his back. Balor dropkicks Roman into the corner and hits the Coup De Grace. Roman kicks out. Balor goes for Bloody Sunday again, but Reigns reverses and hits a big Spear for the win.

Winner: Roman Reigns

Bray Wyatt vs. Braun Strowman

Match Highlights: Bray tries to convince Braun to lay down for him. Braun lays down and Bray goes for the cover. Braun grabs Bray by the throat and charges him into the corner. Braun outpowers Bray throughout the match. Bray attempts to take Braun off his feet with a series of running cross body blocks. Braun catches Bray and hits the running power slam for the win.

Winner: Braun Strowman

Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose

Match Highlights: Match begins with a series of chain wrestling. Ambrose takes the advantage early. Ambrose goes for a suicide dive, Rollins moves and Ambrose crashes to the floor. Rollins hits a suicide dive. Rollins bounces off the ropes with a Springboard Knee for a near fall. Ambrose hits a running swinging neck breaker. Ambrose works Rollins’ neck throughout the match. Ambrose lands a rebound lariat for a near fall. Ambrose follows up with the Regal Running Knee for a near fall. Ambrose goes for Dirty Deeds, but Rollins reverses and hits a jumping knee strike for a near fall. Rollins follows up with a Frog Splash for another near fall. Rollins goes for the Buckle Bomb, Ambrose wiggles out and hits Dirty Deeds. Rollins rolls out the ring. Ambrose gets Rollins back in the ring and goes for Dirty Deeds again. Rollins reverses and hits the Buckle Bomb followed up with the Avada Kedavra for a near fall. Rollins goes for the Phoenix Splash but Ambrose moves. Ambrose hits the Lunatic Elbow for a near fall. Rollins nails Ambrose with God’s Last Gift for a near fall. Ambrose hits another Rebound Lariat. Ambrose goes for Dirty Deeds again, Rollins reverses into the Rainmaker Knee for the win.

Winner: Seth Rollins

RAW Block Rankings After Night 1:
Seth Rollins – 2
Roman Reigns – 2
Braun Strowman – 2
Samoa Joe – 2
Neville – 2
Dean Ambrose – 0
Finn Balor – 0
Bray Wyatt – 0
Cesaro – 0
The Miz – 0

Stay tuned for the second column in the series which will feature Night 2 and Night 3 matches!

Jeremy Donovan is the Editor-in-Chief for Social Suplex. Follow him on Twitter @JeremyLDonovan

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