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NJPW News: Many G1 competitors working injured

All of New Japan's top stars are carrying injuries going into the last weekend of G1 Climax action.


A brutal half hour match with Minoru Suzuki did little for Okada's health
A brutal half hour match with Minoru Suzuki did little for Okada's health

What's the story?

In this week's Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer has written in depth about the many injuries that various G1 Climax competitors are working through.

Many of the New Japan's top stars are currently working at less than 100%, including Kazuchika Okada, Kenny Omega, Hiroshi Tanahashi and Tetsuya Naito.

In case you didn't know...

The 2017 G1 Climax is making a strong case for being the greatest professional wrestling tournament of the modern era. Almost every night of action has seen a great match, with a number of bouts sure to end up on many end of year lists.

The competitive nature of the tournament is not without its risks, however, and many of the competitors have picked up injuries as the best wrestlers on the planet try to outdo each other night after night after night.

The heart of the matter

Meltzer wrote about the physical toll that the 27th G1 Climax in this week's Wrestling Observer Newsletter, pointing out specific individuals along the way. Hiroshi Tanahashi came into the tournament with an injured bicep, which has only gotten worse as the tournament has gone on.

It isn't just the former Ace who is struggling with a injury however, as Tana's next opponent Tetsuya Naito is struggling with a shoulder injury. Elsewhere in A Block, Yuji Nagata and Tomohiro Ishii are working with back and knee issues respectively.

Kazuchika Okada and Kenny Omega do battle for the third time in 2017 on Saturday, and both men will do so carrying niggling injuries. Okada is likely dealing with a neck issue, an injury that is mirrored by The Cleaner. EVIL has also suffered a number of head injuries over the past couple of weeks.

What's next?

The group stage of the G1 Climax comes to an end this week. Just four men are left with a chance of making it to the final, making the two main events in A and B Block semi finals in all but name.

Tetsuya Naito and Hiroshi Tanahashi do battle on Friday, before Okada and Omega continue their rivalry on Saturday.

The winners of those two matches will do battle on Sunday, with a Tokyo Dome main event waiting for the overall winner.

Author's take

Elsewhere in the newsletter, Meltzer puts forward an idea for next year's G1. He says that it might be a good idea to do a four block tournament as opposed to two, affording the wrestlers more time off to rest and heal up injuries.

As wonderful as the tournament has been, it is difficult to argue with this idea.

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