Today(June 16, 2019) New Japan Pro Wresting announced the names an blocks for the upcoming G1 Climax tournament on the first of the annual Kizuna Road shows.
The G1 Climax tournament is one of the most critically acclaimed tournaments in professional wrestling and runs from July 6, 2019 to August 12, 2019. The first day of the tournament will be outside of Japan for the first time ever and will be held in Dallas, Texas on July 6th and the finals in Budokan Hall, Japan on August 12th.
During the Kizuna Road show, live on njpwworld, NJPW announced the participants and Blocks for the upcoming tournament and I will go through them now.
- Kazuchika Okada (IWGP Heavyweight Champion, 2012 & 2014 G1 Winner)
- Zack Sabre Jr (British Heavyweight Champion & 3rd consecutive appearance)
- Hiroshi Tanahashi (2007, 2015 & 2018 Winner & 18th consecutive appearance)
- Kota Ibushi (3rd appearance in 5 years)
- EVIL (4th Consecutive appearance)
- SANADA (4th Consecutive appearance)
- Bad Luck Fale (6th Consecutive appearance)
- Lance Archer (1st appearance in 5 years)
- Will Ospreay (Debut in the G1, Winner of the Best of the Super Jrs, IWGP Jr Heavyweight champion, first to be in the New Japan Cup, Best of the Super Jrs and G1 in the same year)
- KENTA (New Japan Pro Wrestling Debut and G1 Debut)
- Tetsuya Naito (IWGP Intercontinental Champion, 2013 & 2017 winner)
- Tomohiro Ishii (Never Openweight Champion)
- Juice Robinson (3rd Consecutive appearance)
- Toru Yano (13th appearance in 14 years)
- Hirooki Goto (2008 winner)
- Jay White (2nd consecutive appearance)
- Jeff Cobb (Debut appearance)
- Shingo Takagi (Debut appearance)
- Taichi (Debut appearance)
- Jon Moxley (Debut appearance)
My Take: This lineup is very interesting in a few ways, first of all, the names not in the tournament; Minoru Suzuki, Kenny Omega(no longer in the company), Michael Elgin (Taking a break from New Japan), Hangman Page(No longer in the company), Tama Tonga, YOSHI-HASHI, and Togi Makabe. Most names not in the tournament can be explained or justified, except Minoru Suzuki. Minoru Suzuki still wants into the tournament and he cut a promo on the Kizuna Road show that these names were announced on. Of course names such as Kenny Omega and Hangman Page are now in All Elite Wrestling and will be unable to work the tournament, like Chris Jericho. New names in the tournament this year include Taichi, Jeff Cobb, Shingo Takagi, Jon Moxley, KENTA and Will Ospreay. Not only is WIll Ospreay making history by being into New Japan Cup, Best of the Super Jrs. and G1 Climax in the same calendar year, but Ospreay is the first Jr Heavyweight champion in the prestigious tournament. It won’t be long until all of the matches are revealed and I can do a full preview like last year. This is a tournament that I’m very much looking forward to and the G1 often has some of the best matches of the year. Unfortunately we won’t get our annual Omega vs Ishii match but with six new names there are some extremely intriguing match ups. How will KENTA do in NJPW? How will one of the biggest stars in wrestling today, Jon Moxley, come across? Will the IWGP Jr Heavyweight Champion hold his own with the Heavyweights? Will Jeff Cobb suplex his way to the top? How will Los Ingobernables De Japon get along after EVIL walked out on them? All this and more will be answered live on njpwworld and recapped on AXS TV from July 6th.
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