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G1 Climax 29 blocks announced, featuring KENTA, Moxley, Shingo, Ospreay, and more

G1 Climax 29 participants Jay White, Jeff Cobb, Taichi, Shingo Takagi, and Jon Moxley New Japan Pro Wrestling

As they promised, New Japan Pro Wrestling announced the full list of entrants and block assignments for G1 Climax 29 at the Kizuna Road show this morning (for results, check here), so without further ado, let’s list ‘em out and break ‘em down!

A Block

  • Bad Luck Fale
  • EVIL
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi
  • Kazuchika Okada
  • Kota Ibushi
  • Lance Archer
  • Will Ospreay
  • Zack Sabre, Jr.

B Block

  • Hirooki Goto
  • “Switchblade” Jay White
  • Jeff Cobb
  • Jon Moxley
  • Juice Robinson
  • Shingo Takagi
  • Taichi
  • Tetsuya Naito
  • Tomohiro Ishii
  • Toru Yano

Okay, so first off, as expected, everyone new and exciting that said “hey, I want in the G1 this year” made it! Will Ospreay and Shingo Takagi tore it up all through Best of the Super Jr., so seeing them get an opportunity to hang with the big boys is exciting, and Jon Moxley has been re-energized in his first few matches since leaving WWE. Only KENTA is something of a question mark due to how much wear and tear is on his body, but the G1 often proves energizing for men who are otherwise running on empty the rest of the year (see also Tenzan, Hiroyoshi), so I think we’ll see some of that old Pro Wrestling NOAH magic this year.

Former NEVER Openweight Champion Jeff Cobb also comes to the G1 Climax for the first time, as does the man who beat him for said title, Taichi. Cobb is rather more exciting than Taichi, who’s still a bit hit-and-miss for me, but the Holy Emperor has found a heavyweight brawling style that’s served him well and I’m interested in seeing how well he hangs.

Of course, to make room for all these newcomers, some regulars had to go above and beyond those that have been lost to AEW and otherwise let go. As such, this is the first G1 Climax since 2016 to not feature Minoru Suzuki, and the first since 2003(!) to not feature Togi Makabe. Makabe was more of a mixed bag and I’m not bothered to see him go, but Suzuki is always a delight and will be missed from this year’s edition of the tournament.

Plus, recent regulars Tama Tonga and YOSHI-HASHI are out of this year’s tournament. For Tonga, it’s become clear that his strengths really lie in tag team wrestling above anything else, but poor Tacos is just too far down the totem pole to stay in the field as long as it stands at 20 men.

All in all, a very exciting lineup for the G1 Climax this year, I think. And the blocks are pretty evenly matched— A Block has a slightly denser core of “guaranteed” excellent matches with Tanahashi, Okada, Sabre, Ibushi, and Ospreay vs. B Block’s Moxley, Shingo, Naito, and Ishii, but also comes with both Bad Luck Fale and Lance Archer, who, while they provide excellent variety just by virtue of being big men in a field that doesn’t have many of them, their matches tend to get a little samey after a while. But hey, Lance had that killer match against his blockmate Ospreay back in New Japan Cup, so I’m excited!

There you have it, folks

Excited to start that butt o’clock wakeup grind for this year’s G1 Climax field, Cagesiders?

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