Thursday, July 24, 2014

How do IWGP Tag Champions fare in the G1 tournament?

Esteemed wrestling pontificator Joe Gagne asked me, "How do IWGP Tag Champions fare in the G1 Tournament?".  Seeing as the 2014 tournament is going on (see my wrestlenomics preview here), it seemed lot a topical subject to investigate.

First thing about G1 tournament is that it has evolved. Some years it was round-robin (as today). Some years it was single elimination. Sometimes there were 8 men. This year there will be 22 participants. Many years there were two blocks, whereas in 2000 they did four blocks.

First up, who were the tag champions during the G1 tournament each year?

A quick cross-reference of Wikipedia IWGP Tag Champions and G1 Tournament Dates lends itself to this:

G1 yearstartedendedIWGP Tag Champions
19918/7/19918/11/1991Rick Steiner and Scott Steiner
19928/6/19928/12/1992Rick Steiner and Scott Steiner
19938/3/19938/7/1993Hawk Warrior and Power Warrior
19948/3/19948/7/1994Hawk Warrior and Power Warrior
19958/11/19958/15/1995Junji Hirata and Shinya Hashimoto
19968/2/19968/6/1996Hiroyoshi Tenzan and Masahiro Chono
19978/1/19978/3/1997Manabu Nakanishi and Satoshi Kojima
19987/31/19988/2/1998Genichiro Tenryu and Shiro Koshinaka
19998/10/19998/15/1999Michiyoshi Ohara and Tatsutoshi Goto
20008/7/20008/13/2000Hiroyoshi Tenzan and Satoshi Kojima
20018/4/20018/12/2001Hiroyoshi Tenzan and Satoshi Kojima
20028/8/20028/11/2002Hiroyoshi Tenzan and Masahiro Chono
20038/10/20038/17/2003Hiroshi Tanahashi and Yutaka Yoshie
20048/7/20048/15/2004Minoru Suzuki and Yoshihiro Takayama
20058/4/20058/14/2005Hiroshi Tanahashi and Shinsuke Nakamura
20068/6/20068/13/2006Hiroyoshi Tenzan and Masahiro Chono
20078/5/20078/12/2007Giant Bernard and Travis Tomko
20088/9/20088/17/2008Togi Makabe and Toru Yano
20098/7/20098/16/2009Brutus Magnus and Doug Williams
20108/6/20108/15/2010Giant Bernard and Karl Anderson
20118/1/20118/14/2011Giant Bernard and Karl Anderson
20128/1/20128/12/2012Hiroyoshi Tenzan and Satoshi Kojima
20138/1/20138/11/2013Hiroyoshi Tenzan and Satoshi Kojima
20147/21/20148/10/2014Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson

First of all, the tag champions didn't participate in the G1 tournament in 1991/1992 (Steiners), 1993 (Hawk Warrior  & Power Warrior), 1999 (Ohara & Goto) or 2009 (TNA's Brutus Magnus & Doug Williams).

Looking at other years:

1994 (Finals Lost)
Power Warrior Won B Block And Lost In Finals To Chono

1995 (Finals Lost) 
Hashimoto Tied In B Block (With Norton) And Beat Chono To Advance To Finals Where He Lost To Mutoh

1996 (Finals Lost)
Tenzan Finished Middleof A-Block (4 Pts) While Chono Won B-Block But Lost To Riki Choshu In Finals

1997 (Unremarkable Performance)
Kojima Beat Regal In The 1st Round But Lost To Tenzan In Second Round; Nakanishi Was Eliminated In First Round To Muta

1998 (Unremarkable Performance) 
Tenryu Beat Mutoh In 1St Round But Lost To Hashimoto In Second Round; Koshinaka Beat Nishimura In First Round But Lost To Chono In Second Round

2000 (Unremarkable Performance)
Kojima Finished Second (To Sasaki) And Tenzan Tied Nakanishi In His Bracket But Nakanishi Advanced To Semi-Finals

2001 (Unremarkable Performance) 
Both Tenzan & Kojima Were In The Same Block; Mutoh Won But Tenzan (6 Pts) Did Better Than Kojima (4 Pts); Tenzan Won Their Match (20:53)

2002 (Unremarkable Performance) 
Tenzan Finished Second Of A-Block (To Takayama) And Chono Won B-Block; Chono Beat Tenzan Via Submission (22:03) In The Semi-Finals; Chono Won The Tournament Beating Takayama

2003 (Unremarkable Performance) 
Tanahashi Was Tied With 4 Points For Bottom Of A-Block (Won By Akiyama) And Yoshie Was Tied For Bottom Of B-Block With 4 Points (Won By Takayama)

2004 (Unremarkable Performance) 
Suzi Tied For Top Of A-Block With Shibata, Tenryu, Nakamura, Chono And Nagata) While Takayama Was Bottom Of B-Block

2005 (Unremarkable Performance) 
Nakamura Was Second Place In B-Block (With Fujita Winning) And Lost In The Semi-Finals To Chono

2006 (Won The Tournament) 
Tenzan Won B-Block And Eventually Won The Tournament

2007 (Unremarkable Performance) 
Giant Bernard Was Tied For Third In A-Block (Which Had Makabe & Nagata Tied On Top)

2008 (Finals-Lost) 
Makabe Won A-Block And Yano Was Second-To-Last In B-Block; Togi Makabe Lost In The Finals To Hirooki Goto

2010 (Unremarkable Performance) 
Giant Bernard Was 6th Place For B-Block And Karl Anderson Was Tied For Last (With Strong Man) In A-Block

2011 (Unremarkable Performance) 
Giant Bernard Was Tied At 10 Points (With Makabe, Nagata, Yano, Takyama) In A-Block Behind Naito & Tanahashi; Karl Anderson Was Behind In B-Block With 8 Points

2012 (Unremarkable Performance) 
Kojima Was Tied At 8 Points With Nagata, Suzuki, Benjamin, Marufuji In A-Block (Behind Anderson & Tanahashi) And Tenzan Was Tied At 8 Points With Rest Of B-Block (Except Rush At 6 Points And Okada Winning At 10 Points)

2013 (Unremarkable Performance) 
Tenzan Was Last Place In B-Block And Kojima Was Second-To-Last Place In A-Block (Tied With Goto & Archer But Ahead Of Ishii)

So, the only standout years were 1994-1996 and 2008 where an IWGP Tag Champion made it the finals and 2006 where Tenzan actually won the whole thing. However, I think that was Tenzan's twelve G1 tournament and actually the third time he'd won the whole contest.  In other words, it doesn't look like either Doc Gallows or Karl Anderson are going to be getting any kind of points bump from the G1 tournament. However, I don't know if there has been a year where both Tag Champions ended the tournament in dead last for their respective brackets.

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