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New Japan’s G1 Climax 33 quarterfinals are set

New Japan Pro-Wrestling - G1 CLIMAX 33 Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images

For most of the past month, 32 men have wrestled seven matches during the Block phase of New Japan Pro-Wrestling’s prestigious, grueling G1 Climax tournament.

That’s whittled the field down to eight men who will compete in the G1’s single-elimination portion, with a contract for an IWGP World Heavyweight title shot at their Jan. 4 Tokyo Dome extravaganza, Wrestle Kingdom.

One of the men who’s advanced currently holds the top IWGP prize, so if SANADA can keep his undefeated run going through three more matches he’ll get to pick his challenger for the Dome. SANADA advances out of A Block, along with Hikuleo, who emerged from a crowded field of possible second place finishers with a win over Chase Owens on the final day — and when things didn’t break right for the other four men who were all mathematically eligible for the spot (round robin rounds are scored where winners receive two points, losers none, and each wrestler gets one in the event of a draw).

Two of the company’s biggest names emerged from B Block: Kazuchika Okada and Will Ospreay. The Rainmaker secured his spot in the quarterfinals before the final day, but claimed the top spot by beating Tanga Loa. The reigning IWGP United States champion could have been knocked out of second position, but defeated El Phantasmo to move on.

C Block saw current Bullet Club chief David Finlay dash the dreams of Eddie Kingson and good-hearted wrestling fans everywhere when he defeated the AEW star on the last day. EVIL took the runner-up spot by beating the man Kingston took down in his first ever G1 match, Shingo Takagi.

Finally, Tetsuya Naito and Zack Sabre, Jr. earned quarterfinal berths this morning (Aug. 9) when both won their individual matches while Jeff Cobb’s went to a draw. Cobb’s opponent, our old friend Shane Haste (fka SLAPJACK), forced the double countout to prevent his rival from advancing.

It all gives us these four matches tomorrow in Chiba:

• Quarterfinal 1: SANADA (A Block winner) vs. EVIL (C Block runner-up)
• Quarterfinal 2: Kazuchika Okada (B Block winner) vs. Zack Sabre Jr. (D Block runner-up)
• Quarterfinal 3: David Finlay (C Block winner) vs. Will Ospreay (B Block runner-up)
• Quarterfinals 4: Tetsuya Naito (D Block winner) vs. Hikuleo (A Block runner-up)

Winners of Quarterfinal 1 and 2 will face off in the semis, as will the winners of Quarterfinal 3 & 4. The semis and finals will happen on Saturday and Sunday (Aug. 12 & 13) in Ryogoku Sumo Hall. All shows stream on the NJPWWorld subscription service.

Here’s the final standings for all four Blocks:

A Block

1. SANADA (7-0-0): 14
2. Hikuleo (4-3-0): 8
3. Yota Tsuji (3-3-1): 7
4. Ren Narita (2-3-2): 6
5. Kaito Kiyomiya (2-3-2): 6
6. Shota Umino (2-3-2): 6
7. Gabe Kidd (2-4-1): 5
8. Chase Owens (2-5-0): 4

B Block

1. Kazuchika Okada (6-1-0): 12
2. Will Ospreay (5-2-0): 10
3. Taichi (3-4-0): 6
4. Tanga Loa (3-4-0): 6
5. El Phantasmo (3-4-0): 6
6. KENTA (3-4-0): 6
7. Great-O-Khan (3-4-0): 6
8. YOSHI-HASHI (2-5-0): 4

C Block

1. David Finlay (5-2-0): 10
2. EVIL (5-2-0): 10
3. Tama Tonga (4-2-1): 9
4. Eddie Kingston (4-3-0): 8
5. Shingo Takagi (3-3-1): 7
6. Mikey Nicholls (2-5-0): 4
7. HENARE (2-5-0): 4
8. Tomohiro Ishii (2-5-0): 4

D Block

1. Tetsuya Naito (5-2-0): 10
2. Zack Sabre Jr. (5-2-0): 10
3. Jeff Cobb (4-2-1): 9
4. Hiroshi Tanahashi (3-4-0): 6
5. Hirooki Goto (3-4): 6
6. Alex Coughlin (3-4-0): 6
7. Shane Haste (2-4-1): 5
8. Toru Yano (2-5-0): 4

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