New Japan Pro Wrestling held a live press conference on their streaming service New Japan World this weekend to promote the upcoming G1 Climax. All 20 of this year’s competitors issued brief statements on their participation in the G1 and addressed their opponents. Below are transcripts from all of the English-speaking participants in this year’s blocks.
Zack Sabre Jr.
“My motivations for the G1 Climax? Apart from the inevitable decline of Neo-Liberalism, I’m generally motivated by making sure that my suit is more ironed by Michael Elgin. Apart from that – this is very exciting isn’t it? If you have any qualms about me being in a heavyweight tournament, by the end of this you’ll be proved wrong. In Sapporo I will submit Tanahashi. I will beat everyone else in my block. Hopefully I will face my boss [Minoru] Suzuki in the finals, and you’ll see why I’m not only the best technical wrestler in the world, I’m the best wrestler in the world. Cheers.”
“Zack thank you so much for being so concerned with my suit. I’m hoping that when you wash my clothes later, you can iron this out as well. Most importantly, you look up here and you see 20 of the greatest wrestlers on the planet today. You look at B BLOCK and there’s 10 of us, three of them being champions. Okada, Kenny, Suzuki. The goal isn’t just to be the G1 Climax champion. The goal isn’t just to go on to Wrestle Kingdom. The goal is to beat Okada, to beat Kenny, and to beat Suzuki.”
Tetsuya Naito [Paraphrased]
Per @reasonjp: “Naito says there is no greater springboard than the G1. He’s jumped from it before but didn’t clear the bar. Now he’ll do so by miles. He’ll also make a certain part timer regret taking part in a tournament he has no place in.”
“I really wish that I could stand up here and tell you confidently, with 100% certainty that I was gonna walk out with this trophy at the G1 Final. I wish I could tell you that I was going to win the B BLOCK and go on to face the winner of the A BLOCK and mop the floor with the man. That’s highly unlikely and I know that. I know that I’ve got my work cut out for me. I know I might be a little in over my head. There’s champions, there’s legends, there’s former G1 Champions. And then there’s Juice Robinson. What thing I can do is give it everything I have every single night. I will prove that I deserve to be up there with the best wrestlers in the world, and I will prove that I deserve to be in this tournament for the years to come.”
“Now I could be wrong but you guys probably remember me. I’m the guy making this company millions and millions of dollars. I’m the guy that has single-handedly put New Japan on the worldwide map. I’m also the guy that won last year’s G1. And I can say with a certainty that I’m looking forward to this year’s G1 as well. Yes we have champions, we have legends and we have up-and-coming stars. But the difference is in the G1, the matches are made. You can’t hide behind promotion. You can’t hide behind the office, or the angles, or the fans, or your championship belt, or the booker. In the G1 it is man versus man, and as much as I respect each and everyone one of you, I will respectfully expose each and every one of you. None of you are on my level, and no matter how you dress yourself up, no matter how cool your ring gear is, or your entrance music, the masks will come off. And at the end of the tournament will legend will be furthered. Kenny Omega, the first gaijin champion to win two G1 in a row.”
“I don’t give a s— about winning the G1. To be honest with you, it’s not even a real tournament. I see the same guys since I got here, sitting at the same table with a couple new faces. This is my second year. I’m seeing on social media that I’ve got to prove something? F— you. I don’t have to prove s— to none of you. I’ve been proving myself since the day I set foot on this god d— island. You want to make this a real tournament? Why don’t you have the G1 in America? In Europe? It’s boring now here in Japan against the same guys, who are aging, mind you. You’ve got young bucks like us coming up. Kenny Omega, the best in the world, the ‘Bout Machine’ leading the way. For who? Bullet Club. Bullet Club has been leading this company for years. Admit it. [Okada] didn’t put you on the map. [Tanahashi] didn’t, not in the world. Bullet Club put New Japan Pro Wrestling on the world stage. Prime example, G1 Special in Los Angeles. Packed house, sold out. 85% of the fans were wearing Bullet Club. Not Suzuki-Gun. Not Los Ingobernables, and definitely not New Japan t-shirts. It was Bullet Club. We are on a world stage, and we’re still having a tournament here? Everybody wants to fight each other here, but nobody wants to go abroad, thinking of the future and the bigger picture. But you know who is? Bullet Club. This G1 is nothing to me. I come into work every day whether it’s a PPV show or a house show, and I work my ass off. This tournament will be no different. When you go against me you better bring your A-Game. I’m a competitor, that’s it. I don’t give a f— about winning, I compete. Bullet Club is led by Omega, and rightfully so. And if you want to take over the wrestling world, you would follow Bullet Club.”