NJPW Releases Blocks For G1 Climax 2018, Kenny Omega Will Face Kota Ibushi

This morning in Tokyo, Japan, NJPW released the block groupings for the G1 Climax 2018 tournament. The announcement was made at the Kizuna Road show held in Tokyo’s famed Korakuen Hall.

The promotion unveiled the participants on Sunday’s show and will release the schedule in the coming days.

Block A

  • Togi Makabe (GBH)
  • Michael Elgin
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi
  • Kazuchika Okada (CHAOS)
  • Jay White (CHAOS)
  • Yoshi-Hashi (CHAOS)
  • Bad Luck Fale (Bullet Club)
  • Hangman Page (Bullet Club)
  • EVIL (LIJ)
  • Minoru Suzuki (Suzuki-Gun)

Notable matches which will occur during the round-robin portion of Block A include Hiroshi Tanahashi facing his longtime rival, Kazuchika Okada. Also of note, is that recent CHAOS newcomer, Jay White, will get to face Okada as well, something he said he wanted to do not long after joining the stable. White is also the only Champion in the block so far. Any matches he loses during the tournament could lead to a future title defense. He will have to defend his title against Juice Robinson on July 7th, 2018 before the G1, however.

B Block

  • Juice Robinson
  • Hirooki Goto (CHAOS)
  • Tomohiro Ishii (CHAOS)
  • Toru Yano (CHAOS)
  • Tama Tonga (Bullet Club)
  • SANADA (LIJ)
  • Tetsuya Naito (LIJ)
  • Zack Sabre Junior (Suzuki-Gun)
  • Kenny Omega (Bullet Club)
  • Kota Ibushi

These groupings mean Kenny Omega and Kota Ibushi will face each other at some point during the round-robin portion of the tournament. The two Golden Lovers teammates have met twice in single’s action before. Both matches took place in DDT. Ibushi won both matches, the first in 2008 and the second in 2012.

As of this writing, Omega and Goto are the only champions in the block. Any losses they incur during the tournament could lead to future title defenses. Juice Robinson will have the chance to win the IWGP United States title before the G1 stars as well, however.

Omega and Tama Tonga will also meet in the G1 this year. Omega previously beat Tonga in the tournament in 2017. Leading up to the match, Tonga complained that Omega was too focussed on the Elite and not on Bullet Club as a whole. Tonga has also been complaining through social media about the recently unveiled “Golden Elite” faction. He will get to wrestle Kota Ibushi at this year’s G1 as well.