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Imp: The mud settles because the lights go down on the Tokyo Dome. One other 12 months one other Wrestle Kingdom delivers and knocks it proper out of the park!
22,000 followers throughout two days in attendance to witness NJPW’s grandest spectacle. To observe Tanahashi homicide KENTA, to be there the primary time STARDOM wrestlers had a spot on the primary card and to witness Kazuchika Okada choose up the crown return to his rightful seat on the throne.
Jeremy, what a two nights this 12 months’s exhibits have been!
Jeremy: These two nights have proven among the finest that NJPW has to supply and among the worst….cough…Home of Torture…cough. It was a problem for these exhibits to succeed in peak Wrestle Kingdom standing resulting from COVID restrictions. Night time 2 was a enjoyable evening that got here near the extent.
Wrestle Kingdom 16
Night time 2
January fifth, 2021
IWGP Jr Heavyweight Tag Championship 3 Method
Tiger Masks & Robbie Eagles vs El Phantasmo & Taiji Ishimori vs Rocky Romero & Rysuke Taguchi
Imp: Quick paced Junior tag motion to set the tempo for the evening. Nearly a staple solution to kick off an evening of Wrestle Kingdom with the variety of Dome exhibits these Jr Tag titles have opened this previous decade. This 12 months’s simply as frantic and thrilling as you’d anticipate, the three crew format seemingly the proper circulation of electrical energy.
The El Phantasmo arc reached it’s apex as his devious loaded boot was lastly unveiled. Had been these days Tremendous Kicking timber all a lie?? The Bullet Membership lads disqualified in outcome because the Canadian lastly reaps in spite of everything that sowing.
Permitting our two babyface groups to have a pleasant and respectful wrestling contest.
Jeremy: So many nice Wrestle Kingdoms have kicked off the present with enjoyable high-paced Jr. matches and that’s precisely what we acquired right here. Robbie Eagles was the star of this match in my eyes. The Sniper of the Skies was flipping and flopping all over. He introduced a ton of power to this match.
Like Imp talked about, El Phantasmo’s loaded boot was lastly uncovered. This has been a gimmick that was constructed up for a 12 months and one thing that acquired ELP loads of wins. Part of me is just a little unhappy to see it go. ELP did a fantastic job getting the loaded boot ever and maintaining it hid from his opponents. I suppose going ahead Crimson Sneakers and his crew fill should do some extra detailed searches to ensure ELP is competing clear.
After the loaded boot is uncovered, ELP and Taiji are disqualified. My good good friend Rocky Romero and Taguchi fought are to develop into the 69th IWGP Jr. Tag Champs, however fell quick. Flying Tiger will get the win and stays on prime of the Jr. Tag Division.
Starlight Child & Mayu Iwatani vs Saya Kamitani & Tam Nakano
Jeremy: HIT THE MUSIC! Should you’re a listener of One Nation Radio, that line at all times kicks off their STARDOM assessment segments.
The STARDOM girls got here to the dome and confirmed the NJPW devoted how good they’re. This match featured Star’s Mayu Iwantani, Oedo Tai’s Starlight Child, Cosmic Angels’ Tam Nakano, and Queen Quest’s Saya Kamitani.
These girls had been lighting quick and delivered crisp strikes. The end noticed the Marvel of Stardom Champion, Saya execute a good looking phoenix splash on the Excessive Velocity Champion, Starlight Child. These girls solely acquired about 10 minutes, however it ought to have been a lot extra. Hopefully, we’ll proceed to see STARDOM featured on large NJPW exhibits in 2022.
Imp: Girls’s wrestling historical past lastly made on Wrestle Kingdom. The tag crew showcases have progressively made their manner onto a few NJPW exhibits over the 12 months, however this the primary time for a Tokyo Dome occasion with the earlier two locked to darkish matches.
About rattling time! The standard on show in STARDOM is persistently on such a special stage, with this tag mainly a pleasant pattern of the icing. Belief me, make the soar, eat the cake. You gained’t remorse it. So many followers and wrestlers alike are singing the promotion’s praises proper now for a cause.
One other dose of electrical tag mayhem, fast motion and constant break ups. Each movement simply so crisp and easy, an extremely spectacular show in a fantastic commercial. Now simply go watch STARDOM.
Toru Yano vs Minoru Suzuki vs Chase Owens vs CIMA
Imp: I can’t start to inform you how significantly better this was than final 12 months’s KOPW 4 Method. Suzuki and CIMA bringing some a lot wanted grounding to the silliness of the Yano/Owens again n’ forth. Persevering with to swing the main target again so the motion by no means swayed too distant. An amazing steadiness for some aggressive multi-man enjoyable!
The Yano period of comedy shenanigans assumedly over with Suzuki being topped. Has the King simply been given the licence to shoot? Actually with the best way this works being established, somebody so wildly completely different working along with his personal fashion genuinely does intrigue me.
Even when after the match Yano nonetheless left his mark in espacing demise’s clutches with cufflinks. Hey, it turns he’s sensible to at all times have cuffs on him, you by no means know.
Jeremy: This 4 manner was loads of enjoyable. It was actually cool to see CIMA and Suzuki mixing it up. CIMA and the Stronghearts could be a really welcome addition to NJPW in 2022. I used to be shocked to see Suzuki ending up getting the win over Yano. The King of Professional Wrestling is now the primary provisional KOPW Champion for 2022.
As Imp talked about, post-match Yano escaped additional beatings by handcuffing Suzuki to the ropes. So I’m guessing the subsequent KOPW match shall be Suzuki defending towards Yano in some form of handcuff stipulation match. I wish to see Suzuki retain which presumably permits there to be extra severe KOPW matches this 12 months.
NEVER 6 Man Tag Championship
YOH, Yoshi-Hashi & Hirooki Goto vs SHO, Yujiro Takahashi & EVIL
Jeremy: For the 2nd evening in a row, Home of Torture is the low level of the cardboard. I don’t have a ton to say about this match. Should you shut your eyes and film a Home of Torture match, that’s precisely what we acquired.
The Home of Torture retains the titles and primarily based on the aftermath of the match it appears to be like like they are going to be concerned in additional title matches within the rapid future.
Imp: We’ve had some good enjoyable thus far on Night time 2… time to convey that to an finish. I gained’t lie, each EVIL and SHO have banger themes. So at the very least there’s that going for them.
The texture good evening for our CHAOS boys on Night time 1 was not sufficient momentum to run them by means of the HOT Boys tonight. SHO scoring one over his mortal enemy within the multi-man of insanity.
If the post-match shoutings say something, this rivalry is much from over.
Particular Single Match
SANADA vs Nice O’Khan
Imp: Don’t sweat the approach.
Your technical class of Wrestle Kingdom 16, two wizards out to impress with their spells. Casting spectacular strings of counters and reversals in lightning succession.
Chameleon O’Khan tailored to SANADA like an absolute boss, however displaying off how nicely he was doing value him through fast reversal by the fashion’s grasp.
Jeremy: Two of probably the most winningest wrestlers in 2021 clashed within the fifth match of the evening. Coming into this match each males criticized one another’s appears to be like and wrestling skill. SANADA was capable of lore O-Khan into wrestling the “fairly boy” fashion match. The Dominator went out of his consolation zone and pulled off a plancha and a moonsault.
Nonetheless, O-Khan left his ft one too many instances and SANADA was capable of capitalize and roll up O-Khan. For the second 12 months in a row O-Khan fails to win on the Dome. Higher luck subsequent 12 months Dominator.
Particular Single Match
Tetsuya Naito vs Jeff Cobb
Jeremy: After a tough 2021, Naito was seeking to kick off 2022 with an enormous win. Standing in his manner was the 265 lbs. Imperial Unit Jeff Cobb. Cobb dominated the primary half of this match. He tossed Naito round like he was just a little boy.
Naito discovered the crack in Cobb’s armor within the type of his knee. Naito unloaded a number of assaults and submissions to the knee to sluggish the massive man down. However even on one leg, Cobb was nonetheless bringing the ache.
In the direction of the tip of the match, Naito busts Cobb’s nostril and prevented the Tour of the Islands. Naito adopted up with Valencia and Destino to get the a lot wanted win. It looks like Naito is planning on having a really eventful 2021.
Imp: Beef Sandwich with an enormous Wrestle Kingdom displaying towards Naito himself! Dancing with the highlight on shiny because the Ungovernable One carved himself a style of Hawaiian slice.
A scorching again n’ forth with Cobb throwing hell for leather-based and his LIJ opponent sticking to a stable tactic of constantly chopping down the sturdy tree. quarter-hour of perception within the recreation within the face of a person referred to as Jeffery clobbering him within the face and Suplexing him throughout the ring.
A bloody stable match with little down time given the size as each lads popping out wanting superior. After a tough 2021 Naito can lastly launch into what’s hopefully a stable run again up the mountain on this new 12 months.
IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship
KENTA vs Hiroshi Tanahashi
Imp: HOLY SHIT!
Honest to say KENTA’s promise of “a lifetime of rule breaking in a single match” performed out in a barely violent fashion. Fairly presumably the craziest Excessive Fly Flo of Tanahashi’s profession as he flew off the highest of a 10-15ft ladder, crashing by means of and scaring a desk with KETNA’s blood. JESUS CHRIST!
The tone instantly set with KENTA sliding a kendo stick over his opponent as he informed him to take goal. Each males bloody battered one another with no matter they may get their fingers on. Chairs, trash cans, ladders, tables; you title it. The largest pop of all simply being Tana arming himself with an precise acoustic guitar. All these years of air guitar had been constructing to this one second!
Tana threw warning to the wind as he took goal at ensuring KENTA paid the worth for his actions. An superior wanting Slingblade onto a pile of chairs, however crashing with a brutal wanting Hello Fly Move touchdown. The match swung again n’ forth as the 2 lads tried to keep away from catastrophe by the hands of the opposite. Tanahashi almost damaged beneath the crashing wave of KENTA violence, however The Ace’s combating spirit is the essence of by no means dying.
KENTA educating us all find out how to correctly arrange a ladder earlier than BREAKING HIS FACE touchdown head first on a trash can earlier than that loopy Excessive Fly Flo ending.
An distinctive match.
Jeremy: This can be a very divisive match. Technically this match was not superb. It was a really sluggish paced match. A lot time was wasted with KENTA and Tanahashi searching for weapons to hit one another with. This was a plunder demise match stroll brawl that will get elevated by some loopy spots.
However rattling, these loopy spots had been actually loopy! KENTA and Tanahashi put their our bodies in danger to ship some memorable Wrestle Kingdom moments. I can’t unsee KENTA falling off the ladder face first onto a trash can. Or Tanahashi’s Tremendous Excessive Fly to KENTA by means of the desk.
This was not your regular Tanahshi Tokyo Dome basic. These males had a bloody warfare.
IWGP Heavyweight Championship
Kazuchika Okada vs Will Ospreay
Jeremy: We’re just a few days into 2022, however this match is well the most effective match of the 12 months to date. It’s going to take some nice effort to knock this match off the highest of the record. This was additionally the most effective match-up between Okada and Ospreay.
These guys did so many unbelievable issues on this match. Ospreay’s lighting rig moonsault. Okada catching Ospreay out of a Sasuke Particular right into a Tombstone piledriver. Okada hitting a Stormbreaker. Ospreay catching Okada out of a dropkick right into a powerbomb. I might go on and on with the superb spots and strikes carried out on this match.
Ospreay was so determined to win this match that he pulled out strikes of a few of Okada’s best rivals. He used a Shibata headbutt and a Kenny Omega V-Set off. Nonetheless, these wouldn’t assist Opsreay get the job down. Okada places away the “Actual World Champion’ with a Landslide Tombstone and a Rainmaker.
Completely unbelievable match! Should you haven’t seen this but. You have to exit of your solution to watch it. 5 freaking stars.
Imp: Who’s the true champion? Effectively it certain as hell isn’t Billy Bellend.
In what’s presumably no shock, this match was completely superb. Lighting out the gate, like they’d captured it in a bottle and had been utilizing at will. So many unbelievable, completely timed counters and reversals. Sequences at lightspeed with each lads so acquainted as to what’s arising, subsequent stage readings of their opponent.
Sasuke Particular caught right into a Tombstone, standing dropkick easy as hell into Powerbomb, Will went to Rainmake the champion so Okada countered with Ospreay’s Stormbreaker. That was all earlier than the superior remaining third stretch of residing in a relentless counter tradition, all within the constructing nevermind the storm of a crescendo.
Each lads knackered and exhausted as they traded photographs on drained legs however refusing to remain down. Each shot would set their opponent down, however neither was unable to observe up with a counter and battle again persistently not far away.
And that brings us to the tip of the Wrestle Kingdom Evaluate for 2022! Have we simply witnessed a restart for New Japan to hopefully launch right into a extra secure 12 months? Time will inform, however certainly their luck can’t run as unlucky as final 12 months. Proper not far away is the NJPW vs NOAH Wrestle Kingdom cross promotional charity present, obtainable solely on PPV or later down the road on NJPW World in the event you’re keen to attend.
However what did you make of Wrestle Kingdom 16? Did you benefit from the two exhibits? Are you as hyped as us following these stellar match-ups? Tell us within the feedback or hit us up on Twitter @TheDamnImplicat and @JeremyLDonovan.