NJPW G1 Climax 33 C Block | Preview

It is the most wonderful time of the year as we preview NJPW G1 Climax 33 C Block. The G1 Climax is arguably the most prestigious pro wrestling tournament in the world.  The 33rd edition of the G1 remains in its traditional summer schedule.

This particular tournament continues the unique format from last year, with four blocks of wrestlers. This G1 also has the largest field, 32 competitors, in the G1’s long and amazing history. We even have competitors from Pro Wrestling Noah and All Elite Wrestling in this year’s tournament. We have the makes of a truly memorable G1 Climax tournament.

The G1 Climax tournament will have four eight-wrestler blocks competing in a very grueling round-robin tournament. The winners and runner-ups of the four Blocks will compete in the quarterfinals on August 10th, the semifinals on August 12th, and the finals on August 13th. Let us take a closer look at the hard-hitting C Block field, which starts on July 16th. 

NJPW G1 Climax 33 C Block
C Block:

[Photo: NJPW1972]

Tama Tonga

Tama Tonga shocked the world in last year’s G1 Climax. He defeated Jay White on the final night of the B Block to win the block and advance to the semifinals. He lost to eventual champion Kazuchika Okada, but it was an impressive G1 for the known tag team specialist. 

He might have extra motivation in this C Block. David Finlay defeated him in the semifinals of this year’s New Japan Cup. He even defended his NEVER Openweight Championship at Wrestling Dontaku in May losing to Finlay yet again. This will be his first action since that title loss. Can Tama Tonga get some revenge against the leader of Bullet Club in the tough C Block? 

[Photo: NJPW1972]

NJPW G1 Climax 33 C Block
Tomohiro Ishii

“The Stone Pitbull” is at a bit of a crossroads in his 11th G1 Climax. He has had a lot of success in tag team action. He is one-third of the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Champions. He was part of the winning ten-man tag team match at Forbidden Door. But he hasn’t had a lot of success in singles action recently.

He lost in the first round of the New Japan Cup. He lost in the first round of the NJPW World Television Title tournament. And he finished 2-5 in last year’s G1 tournament. Can the 47-year-old veteran find singles success again? Or is his time in the G1 coming to an end soon?

[Photo: NJPW1972]

Shingo Takagi

Shingo Takagi is entering his fifth G1 Climax tournament. He has focused on the KOPW title in recent months but finally lost it at NJPW Satsuma No Kuni in late April. Where does Shingo go from here? 

He might be looking at Aaron Henare in this block. Henare knocked off Shingo in the first round of the New Japan Cup this year. They even fought in an epic KOPW title match at a Road to Sakura Genesis show. Will this help motivate Takagi to the heights he had in 2021 and 2022?

[Photo: NJPW1972]

NJPW G1 Climax 33 C Block
Mikey Nicholls

Mikey Nicholls of TMDK is entering his first G1 tournament. The hard-hitting twenty-two-year veteran is certainly known for his tag team skills. How will he fair in significant tag team action?

Nicholls is known for his physical in-ring style. He is in a C Block with the likes of Tomohiro Ishii, Eddie Kingston, and Shingo Takagi. Can he pull off a few unexpected upsets?

[Photo: NJPW1972]

Aaron Henare

Aaron Henare of United Empire is more known for tag team action. But he holds two very famous victories in singles action in New Japan. In G1 Climax 32, he defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi in his G1 tournament debut. At this year’s New Japan Cup, he defeated Shingo Takagi in his hometown. Henare knows how to spring an upset.

The victory of Tanahashi was his only one in last year’s G1 Climax. Can he rack up more victories in 2023? If his impressive upsets are any indication, he could be a sleeper pick in C Block.

[Photo: NJPW1972]

NJPW G1 Climax 33 C Block
Eddie Kingston

The Mad King is in the G1!  In what is a lifelong dream for the popular AEW star, Kingston will be in the hard-hitting C Block. It seems perfect for Kingston’s physical style.

Kingston will also be riding a lot of momentum. He just won the NJPW Strong Openweight Championship from KENTA on July 5. It is the breakthrough title victory that Kingston has been looking for. And being in the C Block with the likes of Tomohiro Ishii, Shingo Takagi, and EVIL? It is going to be a great time for the motivated Kingston. 

[Photo: NJPW1972]

David Finlay

It was certainly a shocking moment when David Finlay was announced as the seventh leader of the Bullet Club at this year’s New Japan Cup. And Finlay has been ruthless in his leadership, kicking out members he has felt are unworthy of the Bullet Club. He has also won the NEVER Openweight Championship in early May.

Can Finlay ride that momentum in the G1? This will be his second appearance in the tournament after his 3-3 record in 2022. With some allies and rivals in the C Block, it seems Finlay could be ready for a quarterfinal run in C Block.

[Photo: NJPW1972]

NJPW G1 Climax 33 C Block

EVIL is entering his 8th G1 tournament in a difficult position. House of Torture hasn’t had a lot of success in 2023. They lost the 6 Man tag team titles in February. They lost a rematch for it in April. EVIL was even part of the losing team for the two tag team titles at NJPW Dominion.

Can EVIL turn it around in the G1? He has had some success in previous G1 tournaments. And with Bullet Club leader David Finlay in the group, it could lead to some interesting moments in the dangerous C Block.


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Please visit New Japan Pro Wrestling’s site here for news and information on the promotion and upcoming events pertaining to the NJPW G1 Climax.