G1 Climax For The WWE?

One of my favorite things about wrestling has always been tournaments. The death of the yearly King Of The Ring PPV still irks me. So it should be no surprise that once I started getting into Japanese wrestling two years ago I immediately latched onto their various tournaments, in particular the New Japan G1 Climax. The G1 has existed in various guises over the years, but recently has settled into two blocks of 10 men each in a round robin tournament, with the winner of the two blocks facing each other in the final and the winner of *that* match getting a IWGP Heavyweight title shot at their biggest event of the year, Wrestle Kingdom.

The G1 runs from late July into early August, which means we are creeping up on G1 season as I write this. New Japan just recently announced the block participants as well as the various matches for each date of the tour. I will no doubt be spending a great deal of my summer catching up on the day’s matches

Imagine if you will that the WWE, in another effort to throw some first-run content up on the network, decided to rip off the G1 Climax tournament idea and booked two 10-man round robin blocks (one from Raw, one from SmackDown) for house shows, throwing the relevant matches on the network like New Japan does. Who makes the cut? Or if you’re really ambitious, who beats who along the way? Also, what kind of WWE-ized name would they give it?

Eligible rosters as of today are:

RAW
Apollo Crews
Big Cass
Big Show
Bo Dallas
Braun Strowman
Bray Wyatt
Brock Lesnar
Cesaro
Curt Hawkins
Curtis Axel
Dash Wilder
Dean Ambrose
Elias Samson
Enzo Amore
Finn Balor
Goldust
Heath Slater
Jeff Hardy
Kalisto
Karl Anderson
Luke Gallows
Matt Hardy
The Miz
R-Truth
Rhyno
Roman Reigns
Samoa Joe
Scott Dawson
Seth Rollins
Sheamus
Titus O’Neil

SMACKDOWN
Aiden English
AJ Styles
Baron Corbin
Big E
Chad Gable
Chris Jericho
Dolph Ziggler
Epico Colon
Erick Rowan
Fandango
James Ellsworth
Jason Jordan
Jey Uso
Jimmy Uso
Jinder Mahal
John Cena
Kane
Kevin Owens
Kofi Kingston
Konnor
Luke Harper
Mike Kanellis
Mojo Rawley
Primo Colon
Randy Orton
Rusev
Sami Zayn
Samir Singh
Shinsuke Nakamura
Sin Car
Sunii Singh
Tye Dillinger
Viktor
Xavier Woods
Zack Ryder

* * * * *

My picks, based on how I think the WWE would book it given the current state of things, not on who I think is necessarily worthy and/or would provide interesting matches…

RAW

Braun Strowman (15 pts)
Wins: Wyatt, Cesaro, Ambrose, Balor, Miz, Rollins, Sheamus
Losses: Joe
Draws: Reigns

Roman Reigns (13 pts)
Wins: Wyatt, Cesaro, Miz, Joe, Rollins, Sheamus
Losses: Ambrose, Balor
Draws: Strowman

Bray Wyatt (10 pts)
Wins: Cesaro, Ambrose, Miz, Joe, Sheamus
Losses: Braun, Balor, Reigns

Finn Balor (10 pts)
Wins: Wyatt, Ambrose, Miz, Reigns, Sheamus
Losses: Strowman, Cesaro, Joe, Rollins

Samoa Joe (10 pts)
Wins: Strowman, Cesaro, Balor, Miz, Rollins
Losses: Wyatt, Ambrose, Reigns, Sheamus

Seth Rollins (10 pts)
Wins: Wyatt, Cesaro, Balor, Miz, Sheamus
Losses: Strowman, Ambrose, Reigns, Joe

Dean Ambrose (8 pts)
Wins: Cesaro, Reigns, Joe, Rollins
Losses: Strowman, Wyatt, Balor, Miz, Sheamus

Sheamus (8 pts)
Wins: Cesaro, Ambrose, Miz, Joe
Losses: Strowman, Wyatt, Balor, Reigns, Rollins

The Miz (4 pts)
Wins: Cesaro, Ambrose
Losses: Strowman, Wyatt, Balor, Reigns, Joe, Rollins, Sheamus

Cesaro (2 pts)
Wins: Balor
Losses: Strowman, Wyatt, Ambrose, Miz, Reigns, Joe, Rollins, Sheamus

SMACKDOWN

Randy Orton (16 pts)
Wins: Styles, Corbin, Ziggler, Mahal, Owens, Harper, Zayn, Dillinger
Losses: Nakamura

AJ Styles (14 pts)
Wins: Corbin, Ziggler, Mahal, Owens, Harper, Zayn, Dillinger
Losses: Orton, Nakamura

Shinsuke Nakamura (14 pts)
Wins: Styles, Ziggler, Owens, Harper, Orton, Zayn, Dillinger
Losses: Corbin, Mahal

Jinder Mahal (12 pts)
Wins: Corbin, Ziggler, Harper, Zayn, Nakamura, Dillinger
Losses: Styles, Owens, Orton

Baron Corbin (10 pts)
Wins: Ziggler, Harper, Zayn, Nakamura, Dillinger
Losses: Styles, Mahal, Owens, Orton

Kevin Owens (8 pts)
Wins: Corbin, Mahal, Harper, Dillinger
Losses: Styles, Ziggler, Orton, Zayn, Nakamura

Dolph Ziggler (6 pts)
Wins: Owens, Harper, Dillinger
Losses: Styles, Corbin, Mahal, Orton, Zayn, Nakamura

Sami Zayn (6 pts)
Wins: Ziggler, Owens, Dillinger
Losses: Styles, Corbin, Mahal, Harper, Orton, Nakamura

Luke Harper (2 pts)
Wins: Zayn
Losses: Styles, Corbin, Ziggler, Mahal, Owens, Orton, Nakamura, Dillinger

Tye Dillinger (2 pts)
Wins: Harper

Losses: Styles, Corbin, Ziggler, Mahal, Owens, Orton, Zayn, Nakamura

Strowman then defeats Orton in the Raw vs SmackDown final, with the winner getting a title shot at SummerSlam. And I’d resurrect the Great American Bash name for the tournament as a whole, kicking off on the fourth of July and ending on Sunday the 30th with the final on whatever PPV du jour they come up with.

* * * * *

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