G1 Climax 33 Analysis & Predictions (2023)

Hamish Woodward

Updated on:

In this article, we’ll take you through out predictions and analysis for the G1 Climax 33 in 2023.

With this year’s G1 Climax set into four blocks of 8 wrestlers, the competition for the tournament is fierce.

32 NJPW stars are battling it out in a grueling series of matches to decide who will take on SANADA in the main event of Wrestle Kingdom 18.

Of course, SANADA is also in the tournament, so the IWGP World Heavyweight Champion could win and choose who he wants to face on January 4th.

G1 Climax 33 Block A

The eight competitors taking part in the A Block of the 2023 G1 Climax are as follows:

SANADA – The IWGP World Heavyweight Champion is the favorite to win the G1 Climax A Block, and for good reason.

He has the most star power in the group, and has looked fantastic in title defenses against Jungle Boy and Yota Tsuji so far.

SANADA could face a loss to Hikuelo, to set up a title match on the road to Wrestle Kingdom, but I can’t see him losing until he makes it to the quarter-finals against Tetsuya Naito.

Hikuelo – The gigantic Samoan has the chance to be a thorn in the side of many, and could pick up some big wins in this tournament.

However, don’t expect much from Hikuelo, who is here more to round up the numbers than anything else.

Chase Owens – There isn’t much to be said about Chase Owens. He likely won’t win a match, and is very much here to eat pins.

Gabe Kidd – Formerly known as “Gabriel Kidd”, the new attack dog of the Bullet Club has a new name to go with his new attitude.

His character work has improved as part of Bullet Club, and this G1 Climax could be a breakout tournament for one of the hottest gaijin prospected in NJPW.

Shota Umino – The youngster has suffered criticism for his lack of originality in recent weeks, but this G1 Climax 33 is the perfect chance to silence all the doubters.

It is clear he possessed mountains of talent, and will be a top star in the company for years to come.

While this comes far too early for Shota Umino to win, expect some fantastic matches against his fellow future Reiwa Three Muskateers in Ren Narita and Yota Tsuji.

Ren Narita – Heralded as the “new Shibata”, Ren Narita has some huge shoes to fill in NJPW.

He has not overly impressed so far, with fans taking their time to warm to the young Japanese star.

He won’t pick up many wins this year, and the tournament is more of a learning experience than anything for Katsuyori Shibata’s Wrestle Kingdom 16 opponent.

Kaito Kiyomiya – Expect a huge year for the star from NOAH. Kaito Kiyomiya is poised for a huge push in NJPW, which we see ending with a match at Will Ospreay at Wrestle Kingdom 18.

He will come second in the group, and beat Ospreay before losing to Okada in the semi-finals.

Yota Tsuji – The LIJ member has suffered tension with Naito in recent weeks, but I do not see them coming to blows in this tournament.

With only two men going through from this block, the result has to go to SANADA and Kaito. I expect him to come close, and maybe even see Yota Tsuji win 5 matches in this tournament, but without enough points to finish in the top two places.

Block A Predictions – SANADA and Kaito Kiyomiya advance to the next round. Kaito makes it all the way to the final, while SANADA crashes out to Tetsuya Naito in the quarter-finals.

G1 Climax 33 Block B

The eight competitors taking part in the B Block of the 2023 G1 Climax are as follows:

Kazuchika Okada – Despite his Forbidden Door loss to Bryan Danielson, expect a big showing from Kazuchika Okada in the G1 Climax 33.

The former winner of the tournament has a chip on his shoulder, and will want to prove all his doubters wrong by winning his group as fast as possible.

He may suffer the odd loss, but don’t expect many surprises from The Rainmaker, who we have pegged for a match in the final against Tetsuya Naito.

YOSHI-HASHI – Finding his niche as the lovable underdog, YOSHI-HASHI will continue his difficult run in the G1 Climax.

Despite the fan support, do not expect him to do much in this years’ tournament (or any other for that matter).

Taichi – Despite his wish to do battle with SANADA for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship, this is not the year for Taichi.

With much bigger stars who seem destined for a push in his block, 2023 is simply not his year. I expect him to continue his record of never finishing a G1 with a positive record.

Maybe next year.

KENTA – In his current state, with his body broken down from years of wrestling hard, KENTA won’t be putting on any five-star classics.

However, the G1 Climax gives him the chance to put on backstage interviews every night, which is exactly where the former Hideo Itami truly shines.

While the block is hard to predict, I can see him getting some big wins in the C Block, but not coming close to the likes of Ospreay and Okada.

Great-O-Khan – While a clash with United Empire teammate Will Ospreay is intriguing, it doesn’t seem like NJPW want to push Great-O-Khan much higher than he already is.

He won’t be seen as one of the front-runners in the block, and is likely there to just eat pins from the higher-card wrestlers.

Will Ospreay – The English star will easily finish second in this block, behind Kazuchika Okada.

I doubt he will beat Okada in their match, as that has to be saved for a Wrestle Kingdon title match down the line.

A semi-final loss to Kaito Kiyomiya seems the destiny for Will Ospreay, setting up their clash at Wrestle Kingdom 18.

Tanga Loa –

El Phantasmo – He seems set for a push in NJPW soon, with the newly single El Phantasmo becoming one of the most entertaining characters on the roster.

If a huge upset happens and one of Okada/Ospreay doesn’t make it through, you can expect the Canadian to be the one to sneak in and steal that spot.

Block B Predictions – Kazuchika Okada tops the group, as former CHAOS teammate Will Ospreay joins him in the next round.

We predict Ospreay will lose to Kaito in the semi-finals, setting up a United States Championship match at Wrestle Kingdom 18.

Meanwhile, Okada will also make it all the way to the semi-final, where he’ll battle against Tetsuya Naito in a rematch of the Wrestle Kingdom 8 main event.

G1 Climax 33 Block C

The eight competitors taking part in the C Block of the 2023 G1 Climax are as follows:

David Finlay – The Bullet Club leader drew the easiest group for this competition, and will be hoping to make it through to the next round.

He is our favorite to win the group, with very few wrestlers expected to beat him in his block. David Finlay will likely win the group, but fall to Will Ospreay in the next round,

Tomohiro Ishii – The legendary Stone Pitbull is past his prime and out of contention to win the G1 Climax, but expect some fantastic matches from Tomohiro Ishii

EVIL – His failed world title run will not endear the NJPW faithful to EVIL, who looks to have a quiet G1 Climax.

He may pick up some big wins, but the tournament will end quickly for the House of Torture member.

Tama Tonga – Despite rumours of him going to WWE earlier this year, Tama Tonga is entering this year’s G1 Climax.

He is always good for an upset, to expect him to take points from the front-runners early on, to make this years block C an interesting one for the fans.

Shingo Takagi – the former IWGP World Heavyweight Champion is the biggest name in this block, although we have him finishing slightly below David Finlay in the proceedings.

He is not going to be near the main titles for Wrestle Kingdom, so Shingo Tagaki will lose in the knockout round to Kaito Kiyomiya, but put on a great showing for the fans.

Aaron Henare

Eddie Kingston – The new NEVER Openweight Champion realizes a dream by competing in the G1 Climax, but the dream will end in the C Block.

I predict that Eddie Kingston’s G1 Climax will be similar to Jon Moxley’s in 2019, where he comes close but falls at the final hurdle to escape from his block.

Mikey Nicholls

G1 Climax C Block Predictions –

G1 Climax 33 Block D

The eight competitors taking part in the D Block of the 2023 G1 Climax are as follows:

Hiroshi Tanahashi – While many don’t have Tanahashi pegged to make it through, I can see The Ace creeping in at number two behind Naito.

He will compete with Jeff Cobb for the second place, but Tanahashi’s experience and star power will see him through.

Hirooki Goto – Despite being a big star in his day, Goto is like Tanahashi and passed his prime.

They can’t both go through, and with Goto seemed primed for a tag team run in the future, this could be his last good showing in the G1 Climax.

Tetsuya Naito – This man is our pick to win the G1 Climax 33. We predict Tetsuya Naito will bulldoze the field on his way to winning the G1 Climax and booking his spot in the main event of Wrestle Kingdom.

The Los Ingobernables de Japon leader battling against his former lackey in SANADA would make for a fantastic story at Wrestle Kingdom 18, and give Naito fans another big Wrestle Kingdom moment to savor.

His group is also one of the most simply, so it’s almost guaranteed he will win the D Block in the G1 Climax 2023.

Shane Haste – This guy might win a match. He’s wrestling Alex Coughlin after all. He might not through. Yawn. Just here to fill up the numbers, sadly.

Alex Coughlin – Expect little this year from Alex Coughlin. He is a young star in his debut tournament, which never bodes well.

His best shot at victory is against Shane Haste, which will be a true wooden spoon battle.

Jeff Cobb – Jeff Cobb broke the record for most G1 points in 2021, but since then has been booked inconsistently in New Japan.

While he seems to be the favorite to go through alongside Naito, I expect him to just miss out to The Ace, continuing his mixed push.

Zack Sabre Jr – While he’d usually be one of the favorites to go through, his status as TV Champion makes Zack Sabre Jr likely to just miss out.

He will pick up some losses (to Jeff Cobb and Goto, perhaps) to set up title matches en route to Wrestle Kingdom 18.

ZSJ will also likely be wrestling at All In, so NJPW won’t want their G1 Climax champion losing in another company at Wembley Stadium.

Toru Yano – It’s the G1, so of course Toru Yano is here to cheat his way to some unexpected wins, to keep the playing field interesting.

He’s the ultimate wildcard in this tournament and somebody who is always fun to watch. Expect him to pick up a surprise win over Tanahashi or Naito, but not do much else.

G1 Climax D Block Predictions – Tanahashi and Naito progress to the next round, with Naito going all the way and winning the tournament.

This will set up a Wrestle Kingdom 18 main event against SANADA, putting the two former LIJ teammates against one another.

G1 Climax 33 Predictions

Our prediction for the final four of the 2023 G1 Climax is Kazuchika Okada, Tetsuya Naito, Will Ospreay and Kaito Kiyomiya.

This would help set up some big matches at Wrestle Kingdom 18, including Kaito Kiyomiya vs Will Ospreay, and Tetsuya Naito vs SANADA.

Kaito pinning Ospreay would earn him a chance at Ospreay’s IWGP United States Championship (providing Ospreay doesn’t lose the belt back to Kenny Omega at All In).

Who Will Win The G1 Climax?

Tetsuya Naito is the favorite to win the G1 Climax 33 and headline Wrestle Kingdom 18.

The leader of Los Ingobernables de Jopon the front-runner for a clash with former teammate SANADA in the biggest match of the year, clashing for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship.

Having not main evented Wrestle Kingdom for x years, its Naito’s time again in the spotlight. This LIJ clash is sure to be one of the biggest matches of the year for NJPW.

With Okada likely to face off with Bryan Danielson at the event, Naito is really the only star who could face SANADA for the belt.

Will Ospreay’s story is not leading him toward SANADA, and a match against Kaito would be the ideal bout for me at Wrestle Kingdom 18.

Leave a comment

Privacy Policy