Wrestling tournaments

We look back over some of our favourite and not so favourite tournaments in wrestling discussing their concepts, the actual wrestling and outcomes.

Kota Ibushi g1 tournament

Kota Ibushi celebrates winning the 2019 G1 Climax

Our team look back at some of the best tournaments in the history of the sport and how they can be used better

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What’s not to love about a good old tournament?

It’s a format which works effectively in all sports. Whether it be in football with the Champions League or in Basketball with the NBA Playoffs.

Drama is always guaranteed as a group of competitors are slowly whittled down to the best of the best.

In wrestling, this is no different. In fact, tournaments have been a staple of the sport of over three decades.

They have seen both champions crowned and wrestlers achieve honours that have led to sizable careers shifts – arguably in both directions to some.

In the eyes of many in the mainstream, the most recognisable wrestling tournament is the King of The Ring. Recently brought back in the month prior to recording, winners have received equal fortunes post-win. For every Stone Cold, there is a Billy Gunn.

But to others, WWE is not a promotion synonymous with this style of booking, despite their successes.

Over in the west of the world, New Japan Pro Wrestling have style their entire annual booking around the format. As a result, competitions such as the Best of the Super Juniors and the G1 Climax are always must see events.

Needless to say, we are spoiled worldwide with the level of tournament wrestling we see. But that doesn’t always mean every company does it well.

Here, Steven and his panel look back at the history of wrestling tournaments, giving their favourite and how promotions can make better use of the format.

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