The quarterfinals of New Japan Pro-Wrestling’s G1 Climax 33 went down today (Aug. 10) in Chiba. You can find a quick summary of how we got to them along with full standings from the month-long tournament’s round robin portion here.
In the first of the four matches, Tetsuya Naito pinned Hikuleo following Destino. LIJ’s leader worked the bigger man’s leg, which made it difficult for him to hit his own chokeslam finisher. Naito hit his after one of several escapes from Hikuleo’s goozle.
Next up was Will Ospreay vs. David Finlay, which featured quite a bit of United Empire vs. Bullet Club action. Finlay & the BC’s heel work really helped Ospreay & UE shine as faces, which is how it’s supposed to work.
O’khan shielded my body with his— Will Ospreay • ウィル・オスプレイ (@WillOspreay) August 10, 2023
This crUE is my family bruv https://t.co/O9kCcFFnGk
After the sequence in Great O-Khan’s tweet, Finlay nailed Ospreay with his shillelagh before a second referee made it to the ring. That gave the IWGP United States champion time to recover and after he countered the current Biz Cliz leader’s Oblivion finisher with a cutter, Ospreay completed his final comeback with Hidden Blade & Storm Breaker to advance and face Naito in the semis.
IWGP World Heavyweight champion SANADA’s undefeated run through the G1 ended in the next match, as he didn’t have enough answers for EVIL and his House of Torture mentor Dick Togo’s extracurriculars. SANADA took out Togo and had EVIL set for his finisher, Deadfall. But EVIL raked his eyes, and before long hit Everything is EVIL to win. Whether or not EVIL wins the G1 this weekend, beating the champ almost certainly will earn him a title shot somewhere on the road to Wrestle Kingdom.
Last up was Kazuchika Okada vs. Zack Sabre, Jr. This was a great main event as the always excellent ZSJ brought out big match Okada with an early assault, and nicely set-up a move-for-move and strike-for-strike match.
Eventually Okada fought his way free from being stretched by the Brit to nail a Rainmaker and pick up a victory.
It sets up a showdown with EVIL in the semis, taking place on Saturday (Aug. 12) in Ryogoku Sumo Hall:
The finals will happen on Sunday (Aug. 13) in the same venue. All shows stream on the NJPWWorld subscription service.