The most exciting tournament in wrestling officially has its entrants and now we also know the blocks that they’ll compete in!
While we still have a long wait ahead of us before the G1 Climax tournament kicks off in New Japan Pro Wrestling, we now know the blocks that these men will be competing in. The grouping of wrestlers in this tournament can often influence the quality of the action and the ease of the road the winner must take.
Here is a look at the grouping for G1 Climax 33.
The block of debut entries, A Block, sees IWGP World Heavyweight Champion, SANADA, and Bullet Club veteran, Chase Owens, fight it out amongst a group of young, hungry talent. With Ren Narita and Shota Umino already bringing in an oven ready rivalry to the tournament, and Gabe Kidd on the warpath wherever he competes, this block could see some surprising wins and losses as the G1 progresses.
SANADA (8th entry, 8th consecutive. IWGP World Heavyweight Champion)
Chase Owens (3rd entry, 3rd consecutive)
Hikuleo (debut entry)
Ren Narita (debut entry)
Shota Umino (debut entry)
Yota Tsuji (debut entry)
Gabe Kidd (debut entry)
Kaito Kiyomiya (debut entry)
The block of champions. The second block houses the most current title holders with five and the second most former G1 winners – although, all of those winners are Okada. There could be some dark horses in this block that have lots of G1 experience but haven’t been able to put it all together at the end.
Kazuchika Okada (12th entry, 12th consecutive. 2012, 2014, 2021, 2022 G1 winner. NEVER Openweight 6 Man Tag Team Champion)
YOSHI-HASHI (7th entry, 4th consecutive. IWGP/NJPW STRONG Tag Team Champion)
Taichi (5th entry, 5th consecutive. KOPW 2023 title holder)
KENTA (5th entry, 5th consecutive. NJPW STRONG Openweight Champion)
Great-O-Khan (3rd entry, 3rd consecutive. RPW British Heavyweight Champion)
Will Ospreay (4th entry, 2nd consecutive)
Tanga Loa (2nd entry, 1st in two years)
El Phantasmo (2nd entry, 2nd consecutive)
This is a dangerous grouping. Between the hardnosed style of Tomohiro Ishii and Aaron Henare, the all or nothing hardcore style of the debuting Eddie Kingston and the outright brutality of the new Bullet Club, we could see blood shed in this block on a number of occasions. What happens when current and former Bullet Club members meet in this tournament? This will be an intriguing story all of itself.
David Finlay (2nd entry, 2nd consecutive. NEVER Openweight Champion)
Tomohiro Ishii (11th entry, 11th consecutive. NEVER Openweight 6 Man Tag Team Champion)
EVIL (8th entry, 8th consecutive)
Tama Tonga (6th entry, 3rd consecutive)
Shingo Takagi (5th entry, 5th conseuctive)
Aaron Henare (2nd entry, 2nd consecutive)
Eddie Kingston (debut entry)
Mikey Nicholls (debut entry)
Despite the pair of debut entries in Shane Haste and Alex Coughlin, this group houses the most experience of all of the blocks. With six G1 Climax victories and three champions amongst the competitors, this group could be the most competitive.
Hiroshi Tanahashi (22nd entry, 22nd consecutive. 2007, 2015, 2018 G1 winner. NEVER Openweight 6 Man Tag Team Champion)
Tetsuya Naito (14th entry, 14th consecutive. 2013, 2017 G1 winner)
Hirooki Goto (16th entry, 16th consecutive. 2008 G1 winner. IWGP Tag Team Champion)
Zack Sabre Jr. (7th entry, 7th consecutive. NJPW World TV Champion)
Toru Yano (18th entry, 17th consecutive)
Jeff Cobb (5th entry, 5th consecutive)
Shane Haste (debut entry)
Alex Coughlin (debut entry)
G1 Climax tournament coverage begins on JEZ Sports from July 15th. You can watch the first weekend of action for free at NJPWWorld.com with the rest of the tournament behind their paywall for subscribers.
Who will take it all in this year’s G1? Will there be a repeat champion or could it be somebody new? Let us know what you think in the comment section below!