New Japan Pro Wrestling has released the field for the 2017 G1 Climax, its signature round-robin tournament.
The 20-man field includes Zack Sabre, Jr., who is participating in the G1 for the first time, and Kota Ibushi. At this time a year ago, both Sabre and Ibushi were competing in the WWE Cruiserweight Classic, with both individuals advancing to the semifinals.
Ibushi has been working sporadically for New Japan under a mask as Tiger Mask W, but has not appeared in an NJPW ring as himself since the fall of 2015.
The G1 Climax divides the field into a pair of 10-man blocks, with round-robin action in each block. The winner of each block advances to the finals and the tournament winner earns a shot at the IWGP Heavyweight Title at New Japan's annual Tokyo Dome show, Wrestle Kingdom, on January 4 of each year.
Kenny Omega made history last year by becoming the first gaijin (foreign-born) wrestler to win the G1. Omega is one of eight former G1 winners in the 2017 field, joined by current IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada, IWGP Intercontinental Champion Hiroshi Tanahashi, Hirooki Goto, Togi Makabe, Yuji Nagata, Satoshi Kojima and Tetsuya Naito. Nagata previously has said this will be his final year in the G1 Climax.
NJPW is expected to announce the blocks at the June 26 Kizuna Road event from Korakuen Hall. Specific matchups will be revealed the next night.
Here is the full 2017 G1 Climax field:
The tournament begins on July 17 and ends on August 13. All G1 Climax events will be streamed on NJPW World.
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