From the NJPW Rumor Mill: Tetsuya Naito and EVIL possibly injured at G1 Climax
What's the story?
According to the Wrestling Observer Radio, both members of Los Ingobernables De Japon EVIL and leader Tetsuya Naito have suffered injuries at the G1 Climax tournament.
In case you didn't know...
The G1 Climax tournament is underway, with there being only 3 days remaining for the tournament. August 11th is the A-Block final show, and August 12th is the B-Block final show. The winners of each block are set to take each other on August 13th in the finals of the tournament.
The winner of the G1 Climax tournament wins a briefcase that has a guaranteed IWGP Heavyweight Title Shot at Wrestle Kingdom, NJPW's biggest show of the year. However, the winner must constantly defend the briefcase until December.
A huge problem that NJPW is facing, according to Dave Meltzer of The Wrestling Observer Newsletter is that several superstars are injured. Former NJPW Ace Hiroshi Tanahashi is currently dealing with a torn bicep that requires surgery, but he's working through it.
In fact, he is the current IWGP Intercontinental Champion, winning it from Naito in June. It's well known that he worked through that match injured. It's not known or expected that he will go have surgery anytime soon.
The heart of the matter
According to Meltzer, former IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Champion Tetsuya Naito suffered a shoulder injury during his match against Zack Sabre Jr. on August 4th.
EVIL was said to have suffered an injury in his matches against Kenny Omega and Tama Tonga but was reportedly cleared to compete after that match.
It's understandable that NJPW has to get through the G1 Climax tournaments, but it's crazy that so many superstars are working through injuries. If Tanahashi continues to work the way he does with the injured bicep, then it could spell an end to his career sooner rather than later.
Naito is considered to be one of the favourites to win the entire G1 Climax tournament. He's currently tied with Tanahashi in Block A with 12 points. The two are set to face each other on August 11th, with the winner of the match going on to the finals.
The G1 Climax is set to come to an epic conclusion and you can definitely expect Naito and Tanahashi to steal the show regardless of their injuries.
I think it's a real shame that so many talents have to work injured. Hopefully, after the tournament concludes, they will rest more and heal up for upcoming shows.
The culture in Japan of working through injuries is not good, especially when talents require surgery. NJPW needs to ease down and let talent take the time off that they need to. Otherwise, there will be several cases of Shibata-type injuries.
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