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.
The Suzuki-Gun member and Taka Michinoku‘s newest protege, Zack Sabre Jr. (ZSJ) has had an incredible 2018 thus far in singles competition. ZSJ has already won the PROGRESS Super Strong Style tournament in May where he defeated Chuck Mambo, David Starr, Keith Lee, and Kassius Ohno. Earlier in March, ZSJ won the New Japan Cup by defeating a list of top-notch professional wrestlers: Tetsuya Naito, Kota Ibushi, Sanada, and Hiroshi Tanahashi each submitted to ZSJ on his path to hoisting the New Japan Cup trophy.
In June, ZSJ was able to defeat Australian standout Slex during the WSW International Assault Best Of The Best 2K18 tour. While ZSJ was unable to defeat Kazuchika Okada for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship after winning the New Japan Cup [34:58], he scored an upset pinfall against Okada earlier in July at Strong Style Evolved UK. All of this while winning and defending the RevPro British Tag Team Championship with Minoru Suzuki throughout the year.
While ZSJ is an entry in the tough ‘B Block’ his chances of winning the G1 should not be underestimated. Below is a list of his G1 opponents, the date he wrestles them, and his G1 record against them:
Kota Ibushi, July 15th, 0-1
Toru Yano, July 19th, 0-0
Sanada, July 21st, 0-0
Tomohiro Ishii, July 26th, 1-0
Tama Tonga, July 28th, 0-0
Kenny Omega, August 1st, 0-0
Juice Robinson, August 4th, 0-0
Hirooki Goto, August 8th, 0-1
Tetsuya Naito, August 11th, 0-1
His opening match against Kota Ibushi on July 15th has serious implications and is the third match in their tournament series. ZSJ will have to avoid an upset against Toru Yano on July 19th.
His final stretch of six matches is a similar row of talent he defeated during this year’s New Japan Cup. It will take a monumental effort for ZSJ to win enough of those matches to win the ‘B Block’ and advance to his first G1 final.
Last year was ZSJ’s first G1 entry where he earned the following result:
5 Total Wins
4 Total Losses
55.6% Winning Percentage
There isn’t a professional wrestler on the planet that ZSJ cannot submit. After his recent victory against Okada, he enters the G1 with momentum behind him. If his frame can hold up during the lengthy tournament, there is no doubt that he could shock the world once again.
Those who have doubted him in the past have been met with a similar sentiment and now will hear these very words, “Come on over here” as they prepare to wrestle the undisputed best submission wrestler at the professional level.
With his unyielding hatred for the British Conservative Party, Taka Michinoku at his side, and an endless supply of holds — is there anyone who can outlast ZSJ in the G1?