Inside G128 is an in-depth look at the 20 participants of New Japan Pro Wrestling’s 2018 version of the G1 Climax tournament. The G1 is considered to be the most prestigious tournament in wrestling. Every individual in the field has their own unique story, as they prepare to make their claim as the best endurance wrestler in the world.
“Switchblade” Jay White is entering his first ever G1, right after he lost the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship to Juice Robinson [23:22] at the G1 Special; however, he has had an unbelievable year in singles competition. After returning from an excursion, he challenged Hiroshi Tanahashi for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship at Wrestle Kingdom 12, despite his loss [19:43] he showed that he could compete against the best in New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW).
He would defeat current IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kenny Omega [29:54] for the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship at The New Beginning in Sapporo. He would defend the belt against Hangman Page [25:00], David Finlay [26:49], and Punishment Martinez [11:00] prior to losing the championship to Juice.
Despite this being his first ever G1, Switchblade has a strong chance to win the ‘A Block’ if he can get past Bad Luck Fale and Michael Elgin in block competition. Below is a list of Switchblade’s G1 opponents and the date he wrestles them:
Kazuchika Okada, July 14th
Hiroshi Tanahashi, July 16th
Michael Elgin, July 20th
Minoru Suzuki, July 22nd
Bad Luck Fale, July 27th
Hangman Page, July 30th
Yoshi-Hashi, August 2nd
Togi Makabe, August 5th
Evil, August 10th
Switchblade begins the G1 against CHAOS leader, Kazuchika Okada in what could be an amazing match and lead to internal strife in CHAOS. On July 16th, he looks to avenge his Wrestle Kingdom loss against Tanahashi. His path doesn’t get easier as on July 22nd he must face Minoru Suzuki who will not have time for White’s mind games and follows that with a date with Bad Luck Fale on July 27th. Fale has something to prove with the formation of the Firing Squad branch of the Bullet Club.
The odds were that Switchblade would have retained the IWGP United States Championship against a hurt Juice Robinson, yet he wasn’t able to. Meaning he could be upset by YOSHI-HASHI or Togi Makabe in late bracket action.
The young Jay White has already made a name for himself in 2018 and has the opportunity to become the fifth individual to win the G1 in their first entry. He would join Masahiro Chono (1991), Hirooki Goto (2008), Okada (2012), and Omega (2016).
Where the Switchblade goes chaos seems to follow, will that pattern continue in the G1? Can he hoist the G1 trophy and make all of NJPW breathe with the Switchblade? We’ll all find out extremely soon.