New Japan Pro Wrestling's biggest tournament, the G1 Climax, has unveiled the two 10-man blocks for the summer tournament.
NJPW revealed the blocks for this summer's G1 Climax during their Kizuna Road show at Korakuen Hall. Below are the blocks for the tournament.
- Hiroshi Tanahashi (IWGP Intercontinental Champion)
- Togi Makabe
- Tomohiro Ishii
- Hirooki Goto
- Bad Luck Fale
- Yuji Nagata
- Zack Sabre Jr.
- Kota Ibushi
- Tetsuya Naito
- Kazuchika Okada
- Toru Yano
- Satoshi Kojima
- Michael Elgin
- Juice Robinson
- Tama Tonga (IWGP Tag Team Champion)
- SANADA (NEVER Openweight 6-man Tag Team Champion)
- EVIL (NEVER Openweight 6-man Tag Team Champion)
- Minoru Suzuki (NEVER Openweight Champion)
- Kenny Omega (2016 G1 Climax Winner)
The pairings have created some interesting matchups, most of which are rematches from major matches all throughout 2017. In the A Block, IWGP intercontinental champion Hiroshi Tanashi will face at some point in the first stage of the tournament Tetsuya Naito. That match is a rematch from their Dominion show earlier in June where Tanahashi won the Intercontinental title off of Naito.
The B Block will have arguably the most-talked about match in the whole tournament: the third match in the Kazuchika Okada vs. Kenny Omega rivalry. Their first two matches, the first of which was at Wrestle Kingdom 11 at the Tokyo Dome and the second taking place at the Dominion show, were for Okada's IWGP Heavyweight Championship. Okada won the first match, retaining his title. The second match also had Okada retain the title, but that match ended in a rare 60-minute draw. The B Block will also have the Okada-Minoru Suzuki rematch from The New Beginning in Sapporo show back in February where Okada also defeated Suzuki.
The G1 Climax will run from July 17-August 13. Each wrestler will have a match against everyone else in their block in a round-robin format, with the A Block winner meeting the B Block winner in the finals. If the IWGP Heavyweight Champion doesn't win the tournament, whoever does will receive a briefcase to challenge for the title at the Tokyo Dome next January at the Wrestle Kingdom 12 show.
Before the G1 Climax begins, NJPW will hold two G1 Climax Special shows in Long Beach, California on July 1-2. Those shows will have a tournament to crown the first ever IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion. The event will also have Okada defend his title against Cody Rhodes.