NJPW have announced the blocks for G1 Climax 32, the 2022 edition of the legendary tournament. It features of all of the top stars of the promotion, including the IWGP World Heavyweight Champion Jay White, the Ace of the Universe Hiroshi Tanahashi and RevPro Heavyweight Champion Will Ospreay.
This year, New Japan have moved away from their two block style to grow the tournament. The field is now split into 4 blocks of 7 wrestlers each, with the final four going into the semi-finals. The winners of the two semi-finals will go into the G1 Climax Final for the chance to battle for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship at Wrestle Kingdom.
(Note: If Jay White win, as the IWGP World Heavyweight Champion, he can chose his own opponent for Wrestle Kingdom).
See below for the NJPW G1 Climax 2022 Blocks
NJPW G1 Climax 2022 Blocks
The A Block of the 2022 G1 Climax includes some interesting additions. Former IWGP World Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada is the biggest star in the group, hoping to avenge his loss to Jay White by winning his third G1 Climax of his career.
He is joined by a host of giants, including Bad Luck Fale, Lance Archer and Jonah. This will provide some great hoss matches and will give Okada some great odds to overcome, something people love to see.
The group also includes the true ace of New Japan and the wildcard in the G1, Toru Yano. He can get a win over anyone with all manner of trickery and would be the man you’d expect to get points off some of the bigger stars in the group.
The most surprising addition to the group is Tom Lawlor. It’s his first shot at wrestling for NJPW in Japan, but has been a constant threat during NJPW Strong tapings. He joins the United Empire’s Jeff Cobb to round off the A Block of the G1 Climax.
The Block with the most obvious winner is the B Block in the G1 Climax 32. IWGP World Heavyweight Champion Jay White is the most obvious winner, being the world champion and the only bonafide main eventer among the group.
Alongside him are some great wrestlers, but none that have the profile of the G1 Climax block winner. Tomohiro Ishii is the second favourite to go through to the last 4, although Sanada or Taichi could also be outside picks.
The block is rounded out by by Tama Tonga, Great-O-Khan and Chase Owens.
The most star studded block in the G1 Climax 32 has to be group C. Featuring three former IWGP Heavyweight Champions, a NOAH legend and one of Britain’s finest wrestlers are just some of the names that fill up the C Block for the 2022 G1 Climax.
Hiroshi Tanahashi, the 2019 winner of the tournament, headlines the group. He will be one of the favourites to win, although he will have a tough time going up against former foe Tetsuya Naito. They are joined by EVIL as the three former world champions in NJPW in the block.
New Japan Cup winner Zack Sabre Jr could also have a chance at winning the group. He has had a fantastic year and went within a whisker of defeating Okada for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship this year. Along with KENTA, who is part of the infamous Bullet Club stable, he is one of the outside chances to win the block but is unlikely to win the whole tournament.
They are joined in B Block of the tournament by Hirooki Goto and Aaron Henrare.
The final block in the 2022 G1 Climax looks to be the most interesting. It features three Bullet Club members in El Phantasmo, Juice Robinson and Yujiro Takahashi, as well as Robinson’s former tag team partner David Finlay.
Yoshi Hashi also makes an appearance in the D Block, but the really exciting match up in the block is Will Ospreay vs Shingo Tagaki.
The two former World Champions have had some incredible matches in NJPW so far. They met in the final of the Best of the Super Juniors, then again when Ospreay defended his IWGP World Heavyweight Championship against Shingo, just prior to his injury which forced him to vacate the belt.
This block looks like the one with some of the funnest match ups and Shingo vs Ospreay will undoubtable be a match of the year candidate from the G1 Climax Block D.
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.