NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 11 Hype Thread

Discussion in 'The Wrestling Archives' started by Bagpipes, Nov 27, 2016.

  1. Bagpipes

    Bagpipes Top Guys Out

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2014
    Messages:
    217
    Likes Received:
    231
    As the end of the year nears, another Wrestle Kingdom quickly approaches. New Japan's 11th installment of their biggest event of the year will take place again on Jan. 4th, 2017 in the Tokyo Dome.

    After 2016's Wrestle Kingdom 10, which was regarded as one of the best shows in the company's history, and across all major promotions this year, there are very high hopes, despite slightly less perceived star power at 2017's event.

    WK10 saw Katsuyori Shibata win his first NEVER Openweight Championship by defeating Tomohiro Ishii; IWGP Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura defeated AJ Styles to retain his title; and Kazuchika Okada defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi in a 5-star classic main event for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship.

    With only World Tag League shows remaining on the schedule for the remainder of 2016, the WK11 headlining matches are just about set in stone. Here's a quick look at what's been announced already and a little back story on each match.

    Main Event: IWGP Heavyweight Championship
    Kazuchika Okada (c) vs. Kenny Omega

    With the departure of half of their main eventers, many wondered if New Japan would survive the exouds of superstars. Enter Kenny Omega. Omega's monster breakout year will culminate with his first opportunity at the IWGP Championship. Earlier this year, Omega became the first gaijin in history to win the annual G1 Climax tournament and defended the honor to main event Wrestle Kingdom successfully on two separate occasions. The brash leader of the Bullet Club now sets his sights on the biggest prize the company has to offer.

    Discounting a short 2 month title reign for Tetsuya Naito in the Spring of 2016, Okada has held the IWGP Heavyweight title for most of the last 2 years. After winning the title back from Naito at Dominion, Okada successfully defended against Pro Wrestling Noah's Naomichi Marufuji at King of Pro Wrestling, thus setting up the first singles match in history between himself and Omega.

    Semi-Main Event: IWGP Intercontinental Championship
    Tetsuya Naito (c) vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi

    This feud has had a nice little build, dating back to Naito's feud with Michael Elgin over the Intercontinental title and the shenanigans of Los Ingobernables de Japon which led to Naito recapturing the title at Destruction in Kobe. Tanahashi won the payoff match in his feud with L.I.J. member SANADA, ultimately challenging Naito to a title match at the Dome.

    This match will mark the first time in the past 7 years that Tanahashi has not main evented Wrestle Kingdom, and Naito has never won a singles match in the Tokyo Dome.

    IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship
    KUSHIDA (c) vs. Hiromu Takahashi

    Takahashi (who many fans outside of Japan may recognize more easily as Kamaitachi) returned to New Japan at Power Struggle earlier this month, where he was revealed to be the "time bomb" promoted for the last several months. After a lengthy excursion in the UK and in CMLL in Mexico, Kamaitachi made several appearances in the US for Ring of Honor, often as the unofficial third member of The Addiction.

    KUSHIDA has become the face of New Japan's Jr. Heavyweight division, and rightfully so. The former Time Splitter traded the title back and forth with Kenny Omega before his ascension to the Heavyweight division, lost to BUSHI, then regained his title at Power Struggle.

    IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championships
    The Young Bucks (c) vs. Roppongi Vice

    Winners of the 2016 Super Jr. Tag Tournament, RPG Vice has had its share of rough times lately, leading most fans to believe they would go their separate ways before the tournament ended, turning on each other and costing them their opportunity at the titles. But, Rocky and Trent persevered and earned a title match.

    5 time Jr. Heavyweight tag champs, the Young Bucks won the belts in a 4way match from Sydal and Ricochet back in June and have successfully defended them twice since. Hey, at least this match isn't another multi-team cluster.

    Feel free to discuss/comment, I'll work up more previews as the rest of the card is finalized.
     
    #1
    ShinChan likes this.
  2. Tsunaru

    Tsunaru Occasional Pre-Show

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2012
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    20
    Tickets, flight and hotel booked. Words cannot begin to describe how stoked I am.

    I was hoping EVIL would hold on to the NEVER title and that the belt could go back to its originally intended purpose of being for getting younger guys over. Would have been interesting to see him face off with SANADA for it, but alas. At this stage it would probably be too late to set up something significant, so we'll likely see Shibata v EVIL again. It'd have been cool to see Shibata v Sabre Jr for the RPW British Heavyweight title like I figured they were going towards once he won it and initially dropped the NEVER title.

    Of course, EVIL and SANADA are currently tied for the lead in the Tag League, so there's always the possibility they end up teaming against GoD for the tag titles instead. Bullet Club v LIJ has been teased for a while now, so that's a good way to get that ball rolling. Not sure where that'd leave the NEVER title match though, outside of the super unlikely Shibata v returning Suzuki. But the Tag League could just as easily be won by Goto/Ishii or Tencozy, or maybe even a team currently trailing in points (Yoshitatsu/Gunn?), which would leave the expected Shibata v EVIL still open.

    I figure with how popular Adam Cole is getting that the ROH title will be defended as well, though I dont follow ROH as much as I should, so I couldn't fathom a guess as to who he'd defend against. Lethal? O'Reilly? Elgin?
     
    #2
    ShinChan likes this.
  3. Bagpipes

    Bagpipes Top Guys Out

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2014
    Messages:
    217
    Likes Received:
    231
    That's awesome you're going to WK, should be a great experience.

    The NEVER title picture is interesting and unpredictable, which I think is somewhat intended by the Openweight qualification of the belt. I wouldn't mind seeing Shibata defend against one of the NOAH guys, maybe Go Shiozaki, there would be virtually no build to the match but I think they'd put on a decent enough match with each other.

    As for Cole, it seems pretty likely to me that he's going to lose the ROH World Title to Kyle O'Reilly at Final Battle this week, so that opens up a little more room for a ROH title match that makes some kind of sense, given O'Reillys longer history in Japan than Cole's. It could be some sort of multi-man match with a few guys from each promotion in it to get more people on the card in a (kinda) big match. Might even get a Cole/O'Reilly rematch which would be awesome.
     
    #3
  4. Tsunaru

    Tsunaru Occasional Pre-Show

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2012
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    20
    Shibata v Shiozaki would be great as well. I think I'd rather Nakajima take the "NOAH guy" slot, but now that he's the GHC Heavyweight Champion, it seems unlikely, so Shiozaki would make a great replacement. It wouldn't even need much build, cause they kind of left the whole thing between them up in the air after the G1.

    I'm not as well versed in ROH as I should be, so I dont know too much about the build to Final Battle, but a multiman match for the ROH title could be good, especially since the typical WK multiman match (Not counting the Rumble) is non-existent this year.

    Not sure what's going to happen with the Six-Man titles. If Tencozy ends up winning the Tag League, its probably a safe bet that the Six-Man titles will be left off the card, but then that kind of leaves Finlay and Ricochet off the card, so I think its even more of a safe bet that Tencozy ends up losing.

    I'm hoping Bullet Club ends up coming away from the show strong. After their weak performance at WK10 (going 1-4) and people figuring they were pretty much done midway through the year, they need to dominate at the big show to reestablish themselves and pick their momentum back up.
     
    #4
    Bagpipes likes this.
  5. Bagpipes

    Bagpipes Top Guys Out

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2014
    Messages:
    217
    Likes Received:
    231
    Do you think Omega has any legitimate chance of beating Okada?

    Everytime I tell myself he doesn't, I think about the mega push he's had since Styles and Nak left, and it's been so huge that it's really hard to totally rule him out.
     
    #5
  6. Tsunaru

    Tsunaru Occasional Pre-Show

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2012
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    20
    It may be bias showing, but I do. The argument could be made that he's had not only the best year of his career by far, but also the best year out of any wrestler period this year. He's beaten guys in singles competition that have beaten Okada (Naito and Tanahashi), as well as picked up a pinfall victory over Okada himself in 8-man tag. And Gedo is pretty high on him lately, going so far as to say he's even surpassed Styles in contention for BITW status, so I think it would be crazy for them to squander the opportunity they gave him when they had him win the G1 and not have him win the title in the process.

    I honestly didn't have him even on my scope to win the G1. It was pretty foolish in hindsight, but I figured Naito was too hot for even Omega to touch. Now that he's gone this far with it though, I want to see him go all the way.
     
    #6
  7. Bagpipes

    Bagpipes Top Guys Out

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2014
    Messages:
    217
    Likes Received:
    231
    I totally agree, I hope he wins the big gold also. It's been an incredible ride watching Omega go from a DDT part-timer/ Junior tag champ, to the face of the light heavyweight division, to The Cleaner gimmick that he adapted to so well, to the face of the hottest faction in wrestling, to potentially the face of New Japan as a whole in such a short period of time.

    Granted, a lot of things went favorably for him as far as the roster and timing on a lot of things, but every time he's been put in a position to shine, he has far exceeded expectations.

    If this match at WK is even half as good as his match with Naito in the G1 semifinals was, it'll be great.
     
    #7
  8. Tsunaru

    Tsunaru Occasional Pre-Show

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2012
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    20
    Okay so, predictions for ROH title AND Tag League are gone. Theoretically we could still get O'Reilly vs Cole for ROH, but I did not expect GoD vs GBH as the finals for the Tag League. Figure Honma and Makabe will win that to set up a rematch at WK11 for the belts.

    Speaking of the Tag League, Omega picking up another win over Okada. He didnt actually pin Okada this time, but they're really pushing him as the more dominant (if slightly goofy) competitor going into the match.

    Tencozy failed to win, so we'll most likely see the NEVER Six-Man titles return to Tokyo Dome. Kojima, Ricochet and Finlay vs Takahashi, Fale and Bone Soldier? Or do you reckon they'd toss Boner in favor of Hangman?
     
    #8
  9. Papa Pillman

    Papa Pillman I've got more Ho's than Jim Duggan

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2010
    Messages:
    1,231
    Likes Received:
    539
    So here it is...

    Wrestle Kingdom 11 Card:

    IWGP Heavyweight Championship
    Kazuchika Okada vs Kenny Omega

    IWGP Intercontinental Championship
    Tetsuya Naito vs Hiroshi Tanahashi

    NEVER Openweight Championship
    Katsuyori Shibata vs Hirooki Goto

    IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship
    KUSHIDA vs Hiromu Takahashi

    ROH Heavyweight Championship
    Kyle O’Reilly vs Adam Cole

    IWGP Tag Team Championship
    Guerrillas of Destiny vs Great Bash Heel (Tomoaki Honma and Togi Makabe)

    IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship
    The Young Bucks vs Roppongi Vice (Trent! and Rocky Romero)

    NEVER Six-Man Tag Team Championship Gauntlet Match
    Satoshi Kojima, Ricochet, and David Finlay vs Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI, EVIL, and SANADA) vs CHAOS (Tomohiro Ishii, YOSHI-HASHI, and Will Ospreay) vs Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale, Yujiro Takahashi, and Hangman Page)

    Cody Rhodes vs Juice Robinson

    Tiger Mask W(who was portrayed by Kota Ibushi in the dark match a couple PPVs back) vs Tiger Mask Dark

    New Japan Rumble
     
    #9
  10. Papa Pillman

    Papa Pillman I've got more Ho's than Jim Duggan

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2010
    Messages:
    1,231
    Likes Received:
    539
    This card looks out-fucking-standing with no less than eight championship matches, all of which should be counted on to deliver.

    My hopes are high for the heavyweight tag title match(which is potentially the weakest title match on paper) after reports from the Tag League finals, and the fact that the 6-man tag titles will feature all of the faction warfare that has been teased during the year, but in a way that won't cause a massive clusterfuck with everyone competing at the same time, is great booking. And if that gauntlet gives us an extended matchup between the LIdJ and CHAOS teams(and not much time from the BC representatives), it has a chance to be plain awesome.

    All of the singles' title matches, considering the talent, chemistry, and stage, are a great bet to be at the minimum very good, and possibly early MotY contenders. Its also a great change to see the Junior Tag straps defended in a straight up match, not a multi-team mess.



    aside: I'm catching up on the rest of the Tag League on New Japan World right now- I'll post in this thread a general review of the tourney and a list of the top matches to catch once I've finished the whole thing, for anyone interested in the best viewing to prepare for 1/4.
     
    #10
  11. Bagpipes

    Bagpipes Top Guys Out

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2014
    Messages:
    217
    Likes Received:
    231
    Thanks for doing the Tag League thing, I watched very little of it this year, just haven't had the time for it and it's usually not that great anyway.

    Totally agree with you on the Junior tag belts finally being defended in a standard tag match, that's nice to see.

    Im kind of intrigued by Cody's American Nightmare gimmick, seems like he's going for a gangster type vibe. Should be interesting to see how that meshes with the more grungy, trashy Bullet Club members. Either way, it seems Juice is in for a glorified squash match.
     
    #11
  12. Tsunaru

    Tsunaru Occasional Pre-Show

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2012
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    20
    I'm curious if by gauntlet match they mean like a tag team turmoil style gauntlet, or if its like the jr tag belts in previous years only elimination style instead of first fall wins.

    Assuming Ibushi maintains the role of Tiger Mask W, I feel this adds further credibility to my prediction of him challenging Omega for the belt after WK, since we know he'll be around. The card on the Wikipedia page has actually been changed outright to "Ibushi vs Owens", but I cant find anything concrete on that so the assumption that its still Tiger vs Tiger is being made.
     
    #12
  13. Papa Pillman

    Papa Pillman I've got more Ho's than Jim Duggan

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2010
    Messages:
    1,231
    Likes Received:
    539
    Okay, so here's my promised summary of the World Tag League tour:

    Disclaimer: I only watched tourney matches on these cards, so I can't speak for the undercards.


    This tournament was another case of Gedo stacking one of the brackets with far more watchable matches than the other. Also, as has been presumably coincidentally the case, the stronger Block was the B block and the even numbered shows on the tour consistently produced the better wrestling. Truth be told, the grind on these tournies is tough as a fan and I skipped several A Block matches from later shows.

    The highlight team from the A block was actually War Machine. They only had one great match on the tour, but were consistently solid and entertaining and clicked with the crowds. Rush was an interesting choice to come over from CMLL as Naito's partner, but they mostly cruised in their matches, or at least Naito did, and they ended up as not even the most interesting LIdJ team in the tournament from a wrestling standpoint. The Guerillas predictably dominated this Block, and Loa has finally found some footing in a NJPW ring and appears to look less out of place. From the department of coming into their own was Juice Robinson, and that really stood out as well.

    The B Block on the other hand seemed to give a really good match or two on every featured show. With the obvious exceptions of Gunn/Tatsu and Bone Soldier, the rest of the B Block had flashes of greatness. The two CHAOS teams were especially entertaining. Also the Block felt like it had more in play building to WK11 with both Omega/Okada, Shibata needing to have a last minute opponent built due to the NOAH situation, and the likelihood that the block winner would be the predictable challenger for the IWGP tag straps on 1/4. The Block was also structured well to really keep you guessing where they'd go, as it really felt like the Ingobernables duo was headed toward the victory, only for their loss to GBH to haunt them as they got edged on the tiebreaker. As an unexpected bonus- Remember what I just said about Juice in the last section? In this Block that role was played more than admirably by Chase Owens.

    As for the finals, it was easily the best show on the tour, and delivered some really good wrestling the whole night, and is worth a watch for not only that reason, but for the amount of Wrestle Kingdom build that was crammed in. Notable occurrences... Finlay pinned Liger in a fun opener further separating himself from the "young boy" stink; War Machine(who should surely be asked back) looked good carrying the Breaker/Race team that managed not to embarrass themselves during this tour(but who will hopefully never be asked back); LIdJ versus the old timers was tons of fun and EVIL pinning Kojima seemed to hint toward LIdJ being the favorite for six man gold at WK11; the Cody video package was well designed; Shibata and Juice versus Goto and YOSHI-HASHI was really good despite Juice carrying most of his team's work, but the important occurrence was a strong revival of the Goto/Shibata rivalry stretching back to their tag team split/friction and Shibata's disdain for Goto's "can't beat'em, join'em" CHAOS alliance, these guys have enough history and there is enough to play off this to be seen as logical and not rushed or thrown together build to a NEVER title match despite it being a last minute change of direction; Naito/Rush versus Tana/KUSHIDA was solid, but the interaction that lead to the finish plus the post-match with Hiromu Takahashi joining the LIdJ was played out perfectly- Hiromu is an obvious fit, and he looked like a star here. Okada/Ishii against Omega/Page was awesome, and the post match beatdown looked great and manages to add even more heat on the main event for 1/4; and the Finals for the tournament delivered in spades, producing the best GoD match yet in the company, probably the best match on this tour, and a strong reason to care about watching these teams again. The heat segment on Makabe is the best prolonged heat segment I've seen from the Guerillas and the end stretch was cool, GBH was a right choice to win this whole thing and there is a ton of reason to be optimistic about seeing this pairing again on the big stage.

    Best Matches from the tour

    Night 2: Shibata/Nagata vs. Los Ingobernables
    Night 2: GBH vs. Okada/YOSHI-HASHI

    Night 3: WarMachine vs. Tanahashi/Juice

    Night 4: Goto/Ishii vs. Omega/Owens
    Night 4: Shibata/Nagata vs. Okada/YOSHI-HASHI

    Night 6: The battle of CHAOS stablemates (this was the best tournament block match on the tour)
    Night 6: Shibata/Nagata vs. GBH

    Night 8: Goto/Ishii vs. Los Ingobernables

    Night 10: Okada/YOSHI-HASHI vs. Omega/Owens

    Finals: Los Ingobernables vs. Nagata/Tenzan/Kojima
    Finals: Goto/YOSHI-HASHI vs. Shibata/Juice
    Finals: Okada/Ishii vs. Omega/Page
    Finals: GBH vs. Guerillas of Destiny(about as good as you'll get from a tag league final, and likely the best overall match from the tour)
     
    #13
  14. Tsunaru

    Tsunaru Occasional Pre-Show

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2012
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    20
    Want to get hyped for Wrestle Kingdom but not sure what to expect from New Japan's biggest show of the year?

    Wishing you could watch a WK event before paying for your sub to NJPW World?

    You're in luck. NJPW World is currently offering the last 25 Jan 4th Tokyo Dome shows (10 Wrestle Kingdom's, as well as the 15 shows before it was called that) for free over at http://njpwworld.com/c/t_0000_2016_41
     
    #14
  15. Papa Pillman

    Papa Pillman I've got more Ho's than Jim Duggan

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2010
    Messages:
    1,231
    Likes Received:
    539
    A storyline that played out at the "Road to the Tokyo Dome" events has caused a change in the Wrestle Kingdom 11 card(which will likely negatively effect two of the matches).

    Yano came out on night one and interfered in the finish of a six man match which included GBH and the GoDs. First he caused confusion by appearing out of no where as the guy who rang an early bell in the match, then he went on to interfere and low blow everyone in the match. Standing in the rubble, he then furthered his "partner X" gimmick, teasing a mystery partner with which he would challenge for the IWGP tag straps as part of the title match on 1/4.

    The next night, this angle was furthered with CHAOS stablemate Tomohiro Ishii being revealed as this incarnation of partner X and further muddying the waters.


    NJPW in response has(for some illogical reason) rewarded Yano with the scenario that he proposed.

    As a result, the IWGP Heavyweight tag title match has been changed to a 3-way dance, featuring Great Bash Heel vs. Yano/Ishii vs. defending champs The Geurillas of Destiny.

    Also to shore up the chaos(no pun intended), Jado has been tabbed to replace Ishii in the NEVER 6-man tag title gauntlet.


    My thoughts on this...
    What the fuck is Gedo thinking? I get that we have just seen GBH/GoD at the tag league finals, but it was a great match and there was no reason why a rematch at the dome looked to be an issue. This also counteracts my praise for Gedo being disciplined enough to not have the Jr. tag straps defended in a multi-team clusterfuck, by him instead dumping on the IWGP tag title match instead- and by adding fucking Yano of all people to boot.

    Couldn't we just have had Yano's antics as a part of the throwaway Battle Royal? If it was so necessary to have a CHAOS representative here, couldn't they have figured out a way for it to at least be Ishii/HASHI(a team I've been begging to see work together more), or something?

    As for the 6-man title gauntlet, the CHAOS team, which included three of the most entertaining guys on the roster and looked to be mountains of fun to watch, now loses Ishii for fucking Jado, one of the five least watchable guys on the roster, and that team becomes a uninteresting mess with no credibility instantly in light of the swap.

    Really confused for the motivation behind these booking changes? And eternally confused by how committed Gedo is to using Yano in a way that can damage what could otherwise be perfectly good wrestling shows.
     
    #15
  16. Tsunaru

    Tsunaru Occasional Pre-Show

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2012
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    20
    I don't see as much of an issue with it as you do, but if there was any of one, it would be Yano and Ishii in the tag title match.

    Replacing Ishii with Jado in the 6-man title match is actually a good thing. While he's a poor replacement for Ishii in the ring, it gives the CHAOS team a more suitable fall guy. YOSHI-HASHI finally gets a break from that role, who has really come into his own this past year and has people wanting to see finally get a good push. Ishii is too much of a beast to be taking a fall in a 6-man tag. And Ospreay doesn't really take the fall in these matches either. In that way of thinking, Jado actually does make a measure of sense (even though Gedo would have made for a better choice. But then he wouldn't have been 100% to be in Okada's corner later in the night).

    However, I will agree with you that if anything, it should have been Ishii and HASHI in the IWGP tag title match instead of Ishii/Yano. The only real benefit we as viewers get here are that Yano and Tama typically have entertaining interactions with each other whenever they find themselves in the ring together. But Yano is definitely a guy that seems like he would have been better suited in the 6-man tag title match.
     
    #16
  17. ヒュー G. レックション

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Messages:
    757
    Likes Received:
    251
    I will be attending Wrestle Kingdom! I've been living in Japan for a while but I haven't been able to watch anything, I don't have a TV and none of my devices are compatible with New Japan World. This looks like a great card! Especially those last two matches, since I think they really could go either way with them!
     
    #17
  18. ShinChan

    ShinChan Gone. For. Good.

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2015
    Messages:
    2,384
    Likes Received:
    487
    Do post a review after the event...

    Okay, I have been unaware of anything that has happened in NJPW. But I was suggested some NJPW matches in that thread so luckily I got to watch Omega Vs. Naito as well as Omega Vs. Elgin. And I'm a fan of Omega now. Also I did saw Omega and his Club turning on AJ Styles. So, I ain't going to leave any chance to watch Kenny Omega.

    Most interesting matchups for me are Omega-Okada, Naito-Tanahashi and Cole-O'Reilly. I don't know anything about other matches but I'm hyped for these three matches. I think that Omega should win the big title now. There couldn't be a better time to do it.
     
    #18
  19. ヒュー G. レックション

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Messages:
    757
    Likes Received:
    251
    I absolutely will write up my thoughts! And I also plan on getting a new tablet and then subscribing to New Japan World. My Japanese has a long way to go but I'm getting there, eventually I'd like to be able to translate promos and feuds for you guys!

    I've picked up wrestling magazines here from time to time. From what I've read, they absolutely love Naito (LIJ merchandise is the most reoccurring I see on the street). They also occasionally write pieces on WWE, one article thought James Ellsworth was absolutely hilarious.

    I really don't know if Omega will win or not... He seems to be getting a monster push, and deservedly so, but are they going to trust Omega to be with them long term? They put so much into Styles, only for him to leave. Could Omega do the same? I really hope not but I'm sure New Japan think about it.

    Something that crossed my mind, could Gedo turn on Okada and cost him the win? I highly dou they'd do a screwy finish to close a WK though.

    Therefore my prediction is, Okada wins at WK, but will drop the belt to Kenny at a show soon after, screwy finish or otherwise.
     
    #19
    Papa Pillman likes this.
  20. ヒュー G. レックション

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Messages:
    757
    Likes Received:
    251
    Well, I just got back home as I type this. But it might be a while later by the time I finish! expect typos. I don't think this will be a review as such, just my thoughts; I know I will ramble and this post will be long as hell, you have been warned! I have seen no other reviews/news/feedback on this show whatsoever, purely my own thoughts as a fan. I'll spoiler tag winners but other stuff I say may be spoilery.

    Being from the UK I've attended a couple of indies in my lifetime, one Smackdown (back when Swagger had the belt) and one Raw (when R-Truth smoked and Michael Cole was "knighted"). So it shouldn't be too hard to top my prior live event experiences.

    I arrived at the Dome at about 4:40pm. I had some deceptively strong beers an hour prior so was slightly drunk. Start time was at 5pm on my ticket but I guess there was a preshow. As I walked in the Dome looking for my seat.
    Michael Elgin's
    music was playing and he was leaving the arena. So I guess I had missed the rumble match. Shame as I really like what little I've seen of him.

    First match of the night, Tiger Mask W (Kota Ibushi?) vs Tiger the Dark. Honestly, while the entrances had kickass music I did not really enjoy this match. I don't think it was a good idea to open with it. A first time New Japan viewer wouldn't be impressed with it I imagine.

    Junior tag titles, RPG Vice vs the Young Bucks. Decent stuff but I was expecting more I won't lie. Highlight was
    that ridiculous bump Beretta took to the outside. Finish kind of vame out of nowhere, I guess to set up rematches, but absolutely the right call for EPH Vice to win.

    [​IMG]
    Yeah I know, my camera sucks ass as does my photography. My view of the ring was semi decent but I would often find myself looking at the tron. I felt like a fool when I did, since me being there live was all about actually watching it right?

    NEVER trios gauntlet title match. Kojima, Ricochet, Finlay vs LIJ vs Chaos vs Bullet Club. Liked this match a lot. Everyone got good reactions and their spots in. First time seeing Ospreay and man he's awesome. Kojima has always been a big favourite of mine and it was an absolute honour to shout alongside him. LIJ got by far the biggest reaction. They all really feel like a unit, but at the same time have their own unique characters which is great.
    Absolutely right call for them to win. Never thought I'd get into a trios title but I quite like it actually.

    Cody vs Juice Robinson. Juice (CJ Parker) got a lot more offense than I expected. Pretty decent match. Crowd was lukewarm to Cody but his facial theatrics turned them around.
    I'm not sure if this was shown on camera but after the match Cody stood on one of the stands and seemed to be arguing with some fans, was getting a lot of heat.
    I will say that Cody was the closest thing to a heel on this show tonight in terms of actually being booed.

    I see Wrestle Kingdom as like a "celebration" of wrestling itself, every match having a different style to it, everyone got such positive receptions!

    ROH World Title Match: O'Reilly vs Cole. I was sat with many other non-Japanese, I guess because I had used an English service to get my ticket. Both guys were very over with where I sat, especially Cole. I had only seen the pair of them at previous WK's. Loved O'Reilly in the past, was indifferent on Cole. My thoughts on them remain the same for the most part. But this match was really cool, MMA style. Told a great story and did some very nasty looking moves.
    Shocked at the result, I don't follow ROH but I'm surprised they'd have their world title change hands here. I liked the match but Cole is just a bit too bland. Other than shouting "BAY BAY!" nothing about him stands out to me.

    Three way Heavyweight Tag Titles Match: GOD vs Chaos vs GBH. Mixed feelings on this one. I enjoyed Ishii and Yano but I think the match would've been better with only two teams. Huge reactions for Honma. And I absolutely love the GBH theme.
    Ishii and Yano winning was a shock to me, an enjoyable finish. Isn't see them holding the belts for long though.

    So up until this point the show has been okay, but I have been disappointed with some matches. However from this point on the show kicks it into high gear and is pure GOLD!

    Junior Heavyweight title: Kushida vs Hiromu Takahashi. Time Bomb vs Time Splitter! For some reason huge inflatable balls were being thrown around the crowd during Hiromu's entrance. It was cool. First time seeing Hiromu and he was great! Was expecting the match to be very different, high flying spots etc. but a very technical affair which I enjoyed! The stuff they did revolving around the hoverboard lock had me enthralled.
    Hiromu winning also really peaks my interest!

    NEVER Title: Shibata vs Goto. HUGE reaction for Shibata. Again, match played out very differently, was expecting something like when these two fought at Dominion or like the legendary Ishii-Shibata match from the 2013 G1. Instead it was far more "traditional" to start but turned into that "ultra strong style" later on. Very entertaining match!
    Just a shame Shibata didn't get to hit a PK as it would've been a great pop.By dropping the belt I hope he gets pushed to the main event. He really deserves to be.

    IC Title Match: Naito vs Tanahashi. My God. This match was so good. Tanahashi has new music, at least the first time I've heard it. But him referring to himself as the Ace... C'mon! Perhaps the biggest reaction of the night for Naito. One thing I never liked was that he kept his underdog face music. But the tempo appears to have been slowed down. Maybe it always had been? But I liked it this time haha

    Naito was absolutely captivating. He literally had the crowd in the palm of his hand. His entrance and removing his suit took ages, but the crowd absolutely did not care, and neither did I. The beginning of the match, Naito stalls and stalls and stalls but the crowd ate it up, me along with them and I couldn't believe what I was experiencing. The atmosphere was so surreal, I don't know how well this translated to internet viewers. Maybe you were annoyed or bored. But the live crowd absolutely was not. This for me was an absolute masterclass in storytelling. Perhaps it didn't innovate but it told the fundamentals to perfection!
    Destino is such a wonderful move. Tanahashi's dragon screw to Naito's head and his sling blades were wonderful. Very happy for Naito's win.

    And now for our main event. As I mentioned before, I was sitting with many foreigners. Every single one of them was behind Kenny. But interestingly enough not one of them voiced anything negative about Okada. No boos, pure respect.

    Heavyweight Title: Okada vs Omega. Absolutely amazing build up package (with English subtitles! Fit the "going global" theme excellently). Entrance videos before the match were great as were the entrances themselves.

    When the match started I was very worried. Because while the two of them were doing nothing fundamentally wrong in the opening minutes, it was not as gripping as the previous match. The crowd were not reacting as strongly to what was going on. But oh boy, my fears were quashed. All it was, was a slow slow burn to an absolute masterpiece of a match.

    Again, no idea how the internet viewers took this match. But after the point
    they did the spot with the table on the floor
    the match was unlike anything I had experienced in my life before. The crowd, the excitement, the near falls. It was crazy. When I said before that WK felt like a celebration of wrestling, this match absolutely summed it up.

    The match had it all: traditional spots, technical work, high flying, brawling, psychology, masterful near falls, all of it told by two expert wrestlers at the top of their game. I actually CRIED watching this, and I was not the only one! Yes I do mark out, but I never thought I would ever say that about a wrestling match. I always found the "fight forever" chant tacky but it wouldve applied here. Every time there was a kickout there was the shock but also joy that the match will go on just a little longer. This match felt like an ultimate love letter to wrestling and I will never forget it!

    As I mentioned, huge Kenny support but the crowd was 100% unified when Okada won. Everyone was overjoyed, men, women, kids. He is an excellent standard bearer for the company. The two of them are made men. That's the true beauty of a match, when you're put over even in defeat. Kenny's star has risen and he will absolutely get the belt!

    [​IMG]

    Walking out of the building, I was on such a high. There's a bookstore just next to the Dome and in preparation was filled with wrestling books and magazines. I immediately go in and grab something, as a souvenir and as an enthused fan. As I thank the cashier I realise my voice is ansolutely destroyed from all of my shouting and screaming. What a night it has been. New Japan you have earned yourself a subscription many times over tonight, and I absolutely will attend more of your shows.

    [​IMG]

    Thanks for reading people.
     
    #20
    Bagpipes and rbv13 like this.
  21. Papa Pillman

    Papa Pillman I've got more Ho's than Jim Duggan

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2010
    Messages:
    1,231
    Likes Received:
    539
    Here's a little review(including first watch snowflakes like anyone reading cares)...

    First the crowd was HUGE. Much larger than last couple years, and maybe legitimately in the 35,000+ range. And they were loud and into the whole show for nearly six hours. Bravo. The atmosphere felt like a Wrestle Kingdom should on the broadcast.

    New Japan Rumble:
    This was what it was, a little fun to give some legends and the comedy acts a chance to connect with the crowd. Standard battle royal, with a couple funny spots, and the right guy won.

    **

    Tiger Mask anime special match:
    They are able to have Ibushi on the show and this is the best the do with him. Somewhat shameful.

    **1/4

    Bucks v. Roppongi Vice:
    This felt like the true opener to the card and both teams did their thing, and actually got a chance to build a match, not a spectacle with too many participants like these belts have offered at recent dome shows. The dive spot Trent took was brutal. Sudden ending but it worked and didn't overstay its welcome early in what was sure to be a long night. Great redemption storytelling for Rocky's recent character arch, with having to damn near win the match solo down the stretch, earns this an extra quarter star.

    ***1/2

    NEVER 6-man Gauntlet:
    The Bullet Club squad dragged down the first two segments of this match(aside from some work Ospreay got in against them before being eliminated). Sucks YOSHI-HASHI didn't get more chance to shine. The final segment with Los Ingobernables taking on the champs was really good stuff though. Ricochet's work was dripping with wow. The right team won though.

    ***

    Cody v. Juice:
    Juice got some offense, and Cody did some fine character work interacting with the crowd; beyond that there wasn't much to see.

    **1/2

    Cole vs. O'Reilly:
    This felt as heatless as a Cole/O'Reilly match could possibly be, and was way too short. This felt like nothing but filler for Kyle to drop the belt. Pretty sad really. This sucked compared to last month's title change. Time to see where Kyle is headed for his next stop in the wrestling business.

    ***1/4

    IWGP Heavyweight tag 3-way:
    Way too little Ishii; a little too much of Yano; some good storytelling; and a whole lot of Clusterfuckery. Every guy did get a little room to shine for a moment though. Could've been better, but more importantly could've been much worse.

    ***1/4

    KUSHIDA v. Hiromu
    This was carwreck junior wrestling at its finest and delivered on high expectations. KUSHIDA was already a made star who didn't disappoint, but wow do I dig Hiromu's recklessly dangerous style, and the new dimension it brings to junior wrestling. He, and his chief former CMLL rival Dragon Lee, just bring something different and at times scary to watch because of the potential consequences, and its awesome. I'm gonna love watching this kid until he ends his own, or someone else's, career. This just worked all over the place.

    ****1/4

    Shibata v. Goto
    Considering that they were gonna get 15+ minutes to work this match, I'm glad they didn't go balls out from the jump. The feeling where each other was process also made since considering how well they know each other. That approach made the last third of the match something outright stupendous, and Goto having to basically murder Shibata to get it done seemed right.

    ****1/2

    Naito v. Tanahashi
    This was Tana at Wrestle Kingdom, so take any criticism with a grain of salt because the match was outstanding, BUT- I will say it dragged a little in the mid portion- perhaps the first match on this show that dragged(granted it was also much longer than the early matches). My only critique of Naito's current character is he seems at times to be a little too deliberate throughout a match, especially ones that go 25+ minutes. This also could've ended after the earlier Destino that followed the missed High Fly Flow from Tana. But it was a worthy Wrestle Kingdom co-main event none-the-less, even if it wasn't as good as the last two co-main events in the dome(that was a nearly impossible bar though). Great to see Los Ingobernables walk out with all five men holding gold.

    ****1/2

    Okada v. Omega:
    First off the entrances rocked, and Omega's Terminator entrance was vastly superior to Triple H's at Mania. As for the match- I have no clue where to start. It may have been a little slow early, and they could've probably shaved the first 15 or 20 minutes in half(unless they wanted to tease people with the possibility of a 60 minute draw, something I myself started to ponder and fear was on the table about 35 minutes in) but even then they whipped up some big spots at that stage, like the sick missile dropkick, and Kenny's unreal Ibushi-inspired Asai moonsault over the railing that was peak-level dangerous. Also the table spots were perfect too, both the double stomp and Kenny's apparent death crash through it later. And once this match hit the last 15 minutes it was just something that can't be topped in wrestling. The finisher steals, reversals, and resulting nearfalls; the crowd; just drama that felt masterfully spiced and never contrived. Kenny worked the lower back beautifully and smartly switched up to the neck too towards the end and really gave the impression that a one-winged angel(that he could just never hit) would bring him the belt. Was this the greatest match ever? Nah. Was it the greatest Tokyo Dome main event?? Still probably, Nah. Was it Okada's best match??? Still, still probably, Nah. Was it a worthy 1/4 main event match which becomes the match of the year measuring stick by which all great matches over the next 51 weeks will be compared???? Hell Yes. As it should've been. Omega is surely a made man now, even more than ever before(should be interesting to see if the BC leaving the Dome with no NJPW gold will lead to dissension or power struggle in the BC ranks, and possibly even an eventual quasi-faceturn for The Elite- or at least Omega).

    ****3/4

    Stop me if you've heard it before, but a brilliant Wrestle Kingdom has set the bar for the new year in wrestling, and the world waits to see how all other promotions respond.
     
    #21
  22. ヒュー G. レックション

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Messages:
    757
    Likes Received:
    251
    Thank you Papa for that great review. I want to give rep but it will not allow me to right now. You can always be trusted to give solid opinions and you're clearly a very well versed fan.

    What I really find interesting about your star ratings is that other than the Cody match, every match was either equal or better than the previous. It built and built and built which is really great.

    As far as Okada vs Omega goes, the idea of a draw also crossed my mind. You make a great point about the One Winged Angel, it was never actually used in the match, so it was protected rather well. As for Okada it took I think 2 "half" rainmakers and 2 "full power" ones if I recall.

    I looked on reddit and some people have said this was the greatest match of all time. Although it's the only match to bring me to tears lol, objectively I can say it's not the greatest of all time. Best Dome match I've seen though without a doubt.

    But now I have myself a new device with New Japan World, I can see many other Dome events I'm sure! Will be watching New Years Dash also, but I have to go to work so it will be a while.
     
    #22
  23. Papa Pillman

    Papa Pillman I've got more Ho's than Jim Duggan

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2010
    Messages:
    1,231
    Likes Received:
    539
    Dude I'm so jealous you were there live. You guys were an awesome crowd too.
     
    #23
  24. Bagpipes

    Bagpipes Top Guys Out

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2014
    Messages:
    217
    Likes Received:
    231
    The crowd was surprisingly good throughout, usually the undercard has very few noticeable pops but this show seemed different.

    I really enjoyed the Junior Title match, despite a few miscues here and there, I love Kamaitachi and KUSHIDA really is The Ace of that division,he always delivers.

    Naito/Tanahashi was fine though not quite as outstanding as alot of people had hoped. Regardless, Naito getting the win here pretty much solidifies his already blossoming ascension through the wrestling world ranks.

    The main event was just wow. I literally can't wait to get home and rewatch it again tonight. Easily one of the best matches I've ever seen, I put it up there with Omega/Naito from the G1 semifinals as my favorite NJPW match of all time.

    Thanks for everyone's participation in this thread.
     
    #24
    Papa Pillman likes this.
  25. agentmichaelscarn

    agentmichaelscarn Old School

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2008
    Messages:
    433
    Likes Received:
    89
    Bret vs. Austin WM13 has been my favorite match of all time for almost 20 years now but Omega/Okada overtook it. That was as close to a flawless match as you can get. In fact the only flaw I have in it was I thought the selling towards the end wasn't the best. I thought they could've taken a little more time between all the high spots the last few minutes to sell the moves better but it was a minor quibble, they atleast sold them somewhat.

    But other than that the match was perfect. In fact I dare say that Omega put forth the greatest performance in the history of modern day wrestling. The reason I say that is because Okada is one of the 3 or 4 best performers in the entire world, and if you only watched that one match you would think Omega was head and shoulders better than him. So to totally outshine somebody of that magnitude shows that you put forth an unbelievable performance. That match is what makes wrestling so good!
     
    #25

Share This Page

monitoring_string = "afb8e5d7348ab9e99f73cba908f10802"