New Japan Pro Wrestling has announced the twenty competitors for their annual G-1 Climax contest.
Starting on September 19th, the G-1 is coming later in the year than usual due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The tournament is one of the highlights of New Japan’s calendar with the winner gaining the right to challenge for the title of their choice in the main event of Wrestle Kingdom in January.
Two blocks of ten wrestlers face off in round-robin format, with 2 points awarded for a win, 1 point for a no-contest and 0 points for a loss. The block winners then meet in the finale. Traditionally, a win over a reigning champion in the G-1 entitles you to a future title match for that belt as well.
The biggest surprise is the inclusion of Will Ospreay who has been absent from NJPW’s recent events due to being stuck in the UK during the pandemic. Ospreay must have travelled to Japan in time to quarantine for the required 14 days prior to the start of the tournament.
The field is full of tantalising matchups and if you’re minded to you can follow all the action on New Japan’s streaming service NJPWWorld.
The full lineup is as follows:
Kota Ibushi (2019 G-1 winner)
Kazuchika Okada (2012, 2014 G-1 winner)
Minoru Suzuki (current IWGP NEVER Openweight Champion)
Hiroshi Tanahashi (2007, 2015, 2018 G-1 winner)
Hirooki Goto (2008 G-1 winner)
Tetsuya Naito – (current IWGP Heavyweight & Intercontinental champion, 2013, 2017 G-1 winner)
Zack Sabre Jr.