This year's G1 Climax will run from July 6th until August 12th, kicking off in Dallas, Texas. Let's start by looking at the blocks and diving in a tad.
No offense to Block B, but this is stacked with dream matches and is the biggest part of the reason why I think this might be the best G1 tournament ever. Just look at the matches we are guaranteed to get here. The weakest link is Fale and Archer, and even they tend to show up nicely during this time of the year. Hell, Lance versus Ospreay should be great again, at the very least.
My pick to win here is Okada, simply because he's the go-to guy for a big match, is the current IWGP Heavyweight Champ, and is a safe bet.
My dark horse is Kota Ibushi, whom they might be wanting to reward to sticking around and for proving his dedication to the brand lately.
Make no mistake, despite how stacked the other block is, there is still a lot of potential here. The real weak link here is Toru Yano, who will get a random win or two (likely one over Mox). Taichi is borderline, but can be great when he's matched up correctly. I wonder how Minoru being left out might effect things and I also hope we have minimal BC interference. If all goes well, we have a lot of MOTYC level matches lined up, especially ones involving SHINGO, Naito, and Ishii.
My pick for this block is Naito, whom I also have as my prediction to win the G1 in general. I see him facing Okada in a title versus title match at the big show next year, though I wouldn't bet on that. The main reservation I have right now is knowing that WK 2020 will be a two night show and they might want to use the IC and Heavyweight belts as main event fodder. We'll see. I wouldn't hate seeing Okada versus Naito two nights in a row, for what it's worth...
My dark horse here is White, especially if they are planning on another major push soon. The fact that he took out Tana again when he returned and has looked even better lately is more than enough reason to expect it as a possibility.
The G1 is the wet dream of all diehard wrestling fans, and with KENTA and Mox involved this year there is even more reason to be pumped up. We know to expect multiple MOTYC level clashes, drama, heartbreak, and more over the next month. We will be mentally exhausted and the talent will nearly kill themselves several times during the span. I encourage you strongly to subscribe now to NJPW World (ask me if you need help doing so) and make sure to follow this blog as I tell you which matches you need to go out of your way to see if you don't plan on catching the whole thing.
For a full schedule, go here.