7/6 New Japan G1 Climax Night 1 On-Site Report: Crowd enthusiasm compared to AEW’s shows, reaction to various stars, crowd size, merchandise notes, mood in building


JULY 6, 2019

Commentators: Kevin Kelly, Rocky Romero

The follow are my firsthand observations from tonight’s G1 Climax show in Dallas, Texas at the American Airlines Arena.

-The presentation of the arena, use of the big screen TVs in house and general experience at American Airlines Arena was great. Well, except they did not bring nearly enough merchandise for fans to buy. They sold out of everything very quickly, especially the Texas themed G1 attire.

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-Generally speaking, I can say without question this was the most fun that I have had at any wrestling event at least since I was 14 years old and convinced my father to take me to my first wrestling match, featuring the stars of the Universal Wrestling Federation in Springfield, Missouri.

-I was at both AEW shows (if you consider the first Chicago show an AEW show), and every positive thing those shows had, this show had more of it except in terms of the number of fans in attendance.

-I would estimate the attendance at about 5,000. I feel as though if the WWE camera crews shot this, the show would’ve appeared to have been in front of a full house. From what I can gather from talking to people, this was not a major concern for the AXS television crew.

-The crowd that was present absolutely loved New Japan pro wrestling and helped add to a very special show.

-Interestingly, there were noticeable boos when they showed Kenny Omega as a former G1 Champion- Maybe by a five-to-one margin cheers, but he was the only one that got booed at all.

-The opening tag match certainly benefited from a very excited crowd. Jeff Cobb and Tomohiro Ishii are probably between tenth and twentieth on the NJPW depth chart. The way this crowd reacted to them squaring off was the equivalent of a very top main event. The reaction to Jushin Liger on his retirement tour was overwhelmingly positive and really cool to experience. He received a sustained standing ovation which is well-deserved.

-Lance Archer had some support from his hometown crowd, but Will Ospreay was the superstar to this crowd and they were disappointed to see him lose.

-Both Sanada and Zach Sabre Jr. were super over and I had this match rated considerably higher than Sean did. I was watching that match thinking it was going to go 30 minutes, so the finish caught me off guard which live was pretty cool.

-This crowd felt Kenta was a returning superstar and you could see him gain comfort and confidence as that match progressed.

-As for the main event, I don’t know what you can say. It was so incredible seeing two of the all-time greats in front of a crowd that can be best described as apoplectic. I was at ALL IN and folks talked about the awesome moment when Kota Ibushi and Rey squared off. Take that crowd response and multiply it by about 2.5 and you have the moment when Tanahashi and Okada were getting ready to square off. It’s really difficult to describe the folks who were not there live how amazing that was.

-Everyone I spoke with after the card was just in a celebratory mood because they knew they had seen something pretty remarkable. If NJPW runs another G1 show in the USA I can’t recommend attending strongly enough.

I would suggest anyone who wants to read detailed match results, please check out Sean Radican’s excellent report: RADICAN’S 7/6 NJPW G1 Climax 29: Night 1 report: coverage of A Block action headlined by Ibushi vs. KENTA, Okada vs. Tanahashi

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