FEEDBACK: G1 Special in San Francisco (2018)

Rewind-A-Wai #84 will feature an extensive review of NJPW’s G1 Special in San Francisco from July 2018.

This show was selected by Espresso Executive Producer @UpsSean.

John Pollock & Wai Ting will review this card and discuss the placement of NJPW in the U.S. market in a pre-AEW era and how significantly the industry has changed since this show.

The card is available in full on New Japan World.

Leave us your feedback and questions related to the event/era below.

The show will be released this Tuesday for all members of the POST Wrestling Café.

NJPW G1 Special in San Francisco
Saturday, July 7, 2018
San Francisco, CA at the Cow Palace
*IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kenny Omega (c) vs. Cody
*IWGP U.S. Championship: Jay White (c) vs. Juice Robinson
*IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: Hiromu Takahashi (c) vs. Dragon Lee
*Kazuchika Okada & Will Ospreay vs. Tetsuya Naito & BUSHI
*IWGP Tag Team Championship: The Young Bucks (c) vs. EVIL & SANADA
*NEVER Openweight Championship: Hirooki Goto (champion) vs. Jeff Cobb
*Hiroshi Tanahashi & KUSHIDA vs. Hangman Page & Marty Scurll
*Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano vs. Minoru Suzuki & Zack Sabre Jr.
*Guerrillas of Destiny, Yujiro, Chase Owens & Haku vs. Roppongi 3K, YOSHI-HASHI, Gedo & Rocky Romero


When I think about the stretch of New Japan-US shows in this time period I remember the big main events: Omega-Ishii for the first IWGP US Title, The Golden Lovers vs. Young Bucks in the Greatest Tag Match Ever…and then this show…

Looking back on this show, it really stands out as a “jump-the-shark” moment in New Japan for Kenny Omega & The Elite. I remember thinking this main event felt like sloppy seconds for New Japan after ROH already capitalized on a way better built feud between Kenny and Cody. It also reminds me how much New Japan leaned into Cody when it came to these G1 Specials as he had previously challenged Okada at the first set of shows held a year earlier. I remember being SO heavily into New Japan AND The Elite at the time and yet still never feeling that this show or booking of Cody and Kenny felt right. Following this would be the three way with Ibushi and so I have always understood the criticism of Kenny’s title run because if this wasn’t clicking with me as a huge fan of both, how was it going to come across the New Japan fans, like WH [insert John’s impersonation].

This also marked the Firing Squad transition of Bullet Club and I really blame undoing of Bullet Club with the lack of following up or having a guy to stand in and take on Kenny after the huge angle they ran. As much as I like some of what Tama Tonga does, this should have been his moment and he was not even close to being game.

One other thing that has to be noted about this show is Hiromu. It can never be stated enough how amazing these talents are to work at the rate they do taking the risk they do and how 99% of the time it comes off flawless.

It’s interesting to see opinions on the continued use of the “WrestleMania” branding beyond just “WrestleMania”…if you haven’t already discussed it, thoughts on how this compares and contrasts to the New Japan use of G1