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New Japan announces G1 blocks, gets closer to determining AEW All-Atlantic title challenger

NJPW Global’s Twitter

New Japan’s on one of their themed tours right now, and while those shows aren’t nearly as news-y as the company’s marquee events like Dominion, that doesn’t mean nothing happens on them. That’s especially true of the current New Japan Road shows, as NJPW gets ready for this weekend’s Forbidden Door PPV with AEW in Chicago, and the start of their legendary G1 Climax tournament next month.

We’re one step closer to knowing who will join PAC, Miro, and the winner of Dynamite’s Penta Oscura/Malakai Black match in the 4way that will crown the first AEW All-Atlantic champion. As expected, during June 20’s show at Tokyo’s Korakuen Hall both Tomohiro Ishii & Clark Connors advanced in the mini-tourney NJPW put together to determine their entrant in the Forbidden Door’s title bout.

Ishii defeated Yoshinobu Kanemaru to advance, while Connors beat Tomoaki Honma. Ishii vs. Connors will take place on tomorrow’s show at the same venue. June 21’s card will be headlined by Best of the Super Juniors winner Hiromu Takahashi challenging IWGP Junior Heavyweight champ Taiji Ishimori for the belt.

The other Junior Heavyweight belts changed hands Monday, as United Empire claimed more gold when TJP & Francesco Akira beat Ryusuke Taguchi & Master Wato to win the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag titles.

Will Ospreay’s stable heads to Forbidden Door with three New Japan championships (his IWGP U.S. belt, and Jeff Cobb & Great O-Khan’s Heavyweight Tag titles).

And while we still don’t have a schedule of matches for the G1, we now know what the match-ups will be. NJPW announced the block assignments for the round-robin battle for a Wrestle Kingdom title shot, so everyone in each of these groups will face each other once over the course of the grueling tournament, which runs from July 16-Aug. 18.

A Block: Kazuchika Okada, Toru Yano, Tom Lawlor, Jeff Cobb, JONAH, Bad Luck Fale, Lance Archer

B Block: Jay White, Tomohiro Ishii, SANADA, Tama Tonga, Great O-Khan, Chase Owens, Taichi

C Block: Hiroshi Tanahashi, Hirooki Goto, Tetsuya Naito, Zack Sabre Jr., Aaron Henare, KENTA, EVIL

D Block: Will Ospreay, YOSHI-HASHI, Shingo Takagi, David Finlay, Juice Robinson, El Phantasmo, Yujiro Takahashi

What match-ups are you looking forward to the most? Who do you want to see competing for AEW’s newest belt on Sunday in Chicago?