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Tenzan in, Kojima out of 2016 NJPW G1 Climax; updated blocks & matches

Tenzan

By Joseph Currier for F4WOnline.com

When the participants in the 26th edition of New Japan Pro Wrestling’s annual G1 Climax were announced last month, it seemed that the tournament might never again feature the man most associated with it.

Hiroyoshi Tenzan was excluded from the field for only the second time since 1995 -- the one constant in the tournament for two decades, only missing it in 2010 because of injury. Holding the record for the most G1 appearances with 20, he has won it three times. Tenzan was still able to reach relative highs against the right opponent or in the right situation, but whether his body could handle the grueling tournament became a question after being forced out of 2013’s edition with a rib injury.

However, Tenzan was added to the G1 for likely the final time at Sunday's Kizuna Road show. Tenzan had been trying to find his way into the tournament since participants were announced. And, he finally got his wish when Satoshi Kojima, his longtime friend and partner, gave his spot to Tenzan for one final run under the condition that he wins it.

Updated tournament blocks:

- A Block: Togi Makabe, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Tomohiro Ishii, Hirooki Goto, Bad Luck Fale, Tama Tonga, Seiya Sanada, Naomichi Marufuji, Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi

- B Block: Katsuyori Shibata, Yuji Nagata, Tomoaki Honma, Michael Elgin, Toru Yano, Tetsuya Naito, Evil, Kenny Omega, Yoshi-Hashi, Katsuhiko Nakajima

Updated tournament matches with Tenzan:

  • 7/18: Tenzan vs. Tomohiro Ishii
  • 7/23: Tenzan vs. Tama Tonga
  • 7/25: Tenzan vs. Naomichi Marufuji
  • 7/28: Tenzan vs. Togi Makabe
  • 7/31: Tenzan vs. Kazuchika Okada
  • 8/3: Tenzan vs. Bad Luck Fale
  • 8/6: Tenzan vs. Hirooki Goto
  • 8/8: Tenzan vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi
  • 8/12: Tenzan vs. Sanada

Updated G1 Climax schedule, courtesy of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter:

  • 7/18 at the Hokkaido Sports Center in Sapporo, 2 a.m. Eastern with A block matches of Makabe vs. Tonga, Goto vs. Fale, Tenzan vs. Ishii, Okada vs. Marufuji and Tanahashi vs. Sanada.
  • 7/22 at Tokyo Korakuen Hall at 5:30 a.m. Eastern has B block matches of Yoshi­Hashi vs. Omega, Yano vs. Nakajima, Elgin vs. Evil, Nagata vs. Naito and Shibata vs. Honma.
  • 7/23 in Tokyo at the Machida Municipal Gym at 5:30 a.m. Eastern has A block matches of Tenzan vs. Tonga, Marufuji vs. Fale, Ishii vs. Goto, Okada vs. Sanada and Tanahashi vs. Makabe.
  • 7/24 at Tokyo Korakuen Hall at 5:30 a.m. Eastern has B block matches with Yano vs. Omega, Elgin vs. Naito, Nagata vs. Evil, Honma vs. Yoshi­Hashi and Shibata vs. Nakajima.
  • 7/25 in Fukushima at the Big Palette at 5:30 a.m. Eastern has an A block show with Ishii vs. Fale, Tenzan vs. Marufuji, Okada vs. Goto, Makabe vs. Sanada and Tanahashi vs. Tonga.
  • 7/26 in Nagano at the Big Hat at 5:30 a.m Eastern has a B block show with Nakajima vs. Evil, Honma vs. Omega, Nagata vs. Yoshi­Hashi, Yano vs. Naito and Shibata vs. Elgin.
  • 7/28 in Tokorozawa at the Citizens Gym at 5:30 a.m. Eastern has an A block show with Makabe vs. Tenzan, Okada vs. Tonga, Goto vs. Sanada, Ishii vs. Marufuji and Tanahashi vs. Fale.
  • 7/30 in Nagoya at the Aiichi Gym at 5 a.m. Eastern has a B block show with Yoshi­Hashi vs. Evil, Honma vs. Yano, Nagata vs. Nakajima, Elgin vs. Omega and Shibata vs. Naito.
  • 7/31 in Gifu at Industrial Hall at 3 a.m. Eastern has an A block show with Sanada vs. Fale, Ishii vs. Tonga, Tenzan vs. Okada, Makabe vs. Marufuji and Tanahashi vs. Goto.
  • 8/1 in Takamatsu at the City General Gym at 6 a.m. Eastern has a B block show with Omega vs. Evil, Yoshi­Hashi vs. Nakajima, Nagata vs. Elgin, Honma vs. Naito and Shibata vs. Yano.
  • 8/3 in Kagoshima at the Arena at 5:30 a.m Eastern has an A block show with Marufuji vs. Sanada, Goto vs. Tonga, Tenzan vs. Fale, Makabe vs. Okada and Tanahashi vs. Ishii.
  • 8/4 in Fukuoka at the Citizens Gym at 5:30 a.m. Eastern has a B block show with Nagata vs. Yano, Elgin vs. Yoshi­Hashi, Honma vs. Evil, Nakajima vs. Naito and Shibata vs. Omega.
  • 8/6 in Osaka at the Edion Arena at 5 a.m. Eastern has an A block show with Sanada vs. Tonga, Tenzan vs. Goto, Makabe vs. Fale, Okada vs. Ishii and Tanahashi vs. Marufuji.
  • 8/7 in Shizuoka at Act City at 3 a.m. Eastern has a B block show with Elgin vs. Yano, Nagata vs. Omega, Naito vs. Evil, Honma vs. Nakajima and Shibata vs Yoshi­Hashi.
  • 8/8 in Yokohama at the Bunka Gym at 5:30 a.m. Eastern has an A block show with Marufuji vs. Tonga, Okada vs. Fale, Makabe vs. Goto, Ishii vs. Sanada and Tanahashi vs. Tenzan.
  • 8/10 in Yamagata a the City Sports Center at 5:30 a.m. Eastern has a B block show with Yano vs. Evil, Yoshi­Hashi vs. Naito, Nakajima vs. Omega, Honma vs. Elgin and Shibata vs. Nagata.
  • 8/12 at Tokyo Sumo Hall at 5:30 a.m. Eastern has the final A block show with Fale vs. Tonga, Tenzan vs. Sanada, Makabe vs. Ishii, Goto vs. Marufuji and Tanahashi vs. Okada.
  • 8/13 at Tokyo Sumo Hall at 5:30 a.m. Eastern has the final B block show with Yano vs. Yoshi­Hashi, Elgin vs. Nakajima, Nagata vs. Honma, Naito vs. Omega and Shibata vs. Evil.