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PostSubject: NJPW G1 Climax winner is ....   NJPW G1 Climax winner is .... EmptySun Aug 14, 2016 9:35 am

For four weeks, twenty of the best pro wrestlers in the world competed at nineteen grueling events, spread across fourteen cities in Japan, featuring 176 matches, all leading up to one epic finale. When the dust settled on an incredible 27-minute main event at the iconic, sold out Ryogoku Sumo Hall, it was 32-year-old Canadian-born Kenny Omega standing tall as the first foreigner in history to win the prestigious New Japan Pro Wrestling G1 Climax tournament.

After defeating Tetsuya Naito on Saturday in a potential Match of the Year candidate, Omega become only the third Westerner ever to advance to the G1 Finals, following fellow Bullet Club member Karl Anderson in 2012, and the late Rick Rude in 1992. Not even a full 24 hours later he stepped back into the ring, nursing a knee injury suffered at the hands of Naito the night before, to defeat the veteran Hirooki Goto, cementing himself in the record books of pro wrestling’s greatest tournament.

This has been an incredible year for the man dubbed “The Cleaner”. He started 2016 as the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion, wrestling in front of 25,000 fans inside the historic Tokyo Dome, then went on to defeat the biggest star in Japan, Hiroshi Tanahashi, just one month later to capture the IWGP Intercontinental Championship. He would also win the promotion’s NEVER Openweight 6-man tag team titles alongside the Young Bucks, and wrestle in the first ladder match in the history of New Japan, and one of the best matches of the entire year against Michael Elgin.

Omega can now add “G1 Climax Winner” to his list of impressive accolades, putting him in a rarefied class that includes such names as Masahiro Chono, Keiji Mutoh, Riki Choshu, Shinsuke Nakamura, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Tatsumi Fujinami, Kazuchika Okada, Tetsuya Naito and Hiroshi Tanahashi. If you include the G1’s predecessors, that list extends to Antonio Inoki, Hulk Hogan, and Andre the Giant.

Perhaps it is even more impressive when compared to the list of legends that have tried their hand at the G1 and fallen short. Names like Big Van Vader, Bam Bam Bigelow, Steve Austin, Arn Anderson, Jim Neidhart, the Great Kabuki, Ric Flair, William Regal, Akebono, Matt Bloom, Yoshihiro Tajiri, Finn Balor, and AJ Styles.

Omega will now have the opportunity to headline New Japan’s biggest annual show, Wrestle Kingdom 11 from the Tokyo Dome on January 4th. He will be the holder of a briefcase that grants him a championship match, traditionally to the top prize of the wrestling industry, the IWGP Heavyweight Championship currently held by Kazuchika Okada. He will have a hard road to get there however, as customarily the winner of the G1 Climax must defend his prize against any man who defeated him throughout the tournament. For Kenny, that list includes the favorite favorite Yoshi-Hashi, the NEVER Openweight Champion Katsuyori Shibata, and the man who recently took away his Intercontinental Championship, Michael Elgin.

Congratulations to the gaijin ace, leader of the Bullet Club, and your 2016 NJPW G1 Climax winner, Kenny Omega.
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