Wrestle Kingdom 16 is correct across the nook. As soon as once more, New Japan Professional-Wrestling followers can be handled to 2 nights of motion on the Tokyo Dome. Earlier than you learn this preview, try my preview for Evening 1. Now that you simply’re caught up let’s leap into the Evening 2 preview!
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Principal Occasion: IWGP World Heavyweight Championship
Shingo Takagi or Kazuchika Okada vs. Will Ospreay
The principle occasion of January fifth will see the conclusion of this 12 months’s “Double Gold Sprint” situation. The January 4th fundamental occasion winner can be defending the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship in opposition to the self-proclaimed “Actual World Champion” Will Ospreay. This can be Opsreay’s first singles match in Japan since Might sixth, the place he efficiently defended the IWGP World Heavyweight Title in opposition to Shingo Takagi. Ospreay has points with Shingo and Kazuchika Okada, so we’ll have an intriguing fundamental occasion irrespective of who makes it to January fifth.
As I discussed, Ospreay defeated Shingo on Might sixth at Wrestling Dontaku Evening 2 to retain the IWGP World Title. Earlier than that match, Ospreay additionally defeated Shingo within the 2021 New Japan Cup finals. Ospreay’s New Japan Cup win allowed him to problem then-champion Kota Ibushi. After the epic Dontaku bout, Ospeay left Japan resulting from accidents and was stripped of the World Title. Shingo would then lastly seize the World Title by defeating Okada in the principle occasion of Dominion. Since then, Shingo has been the principle man of NJPW. The Rampage Dragon efficiently defended the title 3 instances in 3 MOTY caliber matches. If Shingo makes it via to Evening 2, he’ll be combating to lastly defeat Ospreay on a giant stage and show to the world that he’s the one true champion of NJPW.
Since becoming a member of NJPW, Ospreay has been on a mission to be the perfect. To be the perfect in NJPW, it’s a must to beat Okada. It began as a pleasant rivalry as each males had been in the identical faction. After years of a number of failed makes an attempt, Ospreay lastly defeated Okada in G1 Climax 30. Nonetheless, Ospreay couldn’t get the job accomplished on his personal. The Nice-O-Khan made his return from tour and helped Ospreay get the win. Quick ahead to Wrestle Kingdom 15. Ospreay needed to show he may beat Okada with out assistance on the most important stage. Ospreay threw the whole lot he had at Okada that evening, however the Rainmaker got here out victorious once more. After defending the IWGP World Title at Dontaku, Ospreay was scheduled to defend in opposition to Okada at Wrestle Grand Slam within the Tokyo Dome. Nonetheless, the Wrestle Grand Slam present was postponed as a result of rise of COVID-19 circumstances in Japan, after which Ospreay left the nation due to damage. If Okada makes it via to Evening 2, Ospreay will get one other shot at beating the Rainmaker within the Tokyo Dome.
I believe it might have been higher to have Shingo defend in opposition to Ospreay on January 4th then have the winner of that face Okada on January fifth. With the best way it’s occurring, I imagine Okada will stroll into Evening 2 as champion to defend in opposition to Ospreay. With out figuring out Ospreay’s future in Japan, it’s exhausting to beat on him to win this match. Particularly since he’s not featured on the NJPW vs. NOAH present on January eighth. So I believe the Rainmaker can be leaving the Tokyo Dome because the Undisputed IWGP World Heavyweight Champion.
seventh Match: IWGP U.S. Heavyweight Championship
KENTA vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi
In considerably of an upset, KENTA defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi at Energy Wrestle to grow to be the eleventh IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion. Tanahashi had intentions of going backwards and forwards between the U.S. and Japan to defend the title. KENTA halted these plans with a swift Go2Sleep. KENTA had been chasing the Purple Belt for over a 12 months and at last bought his palms on it.
Through the World Tag League, Tanahashi issued a problem to KENTA for a title rematch with a stipulation of KENTA’s selecting. KENTA accepted the problem and selected a No Disqualification Match. Through the Highway to Tokyo Dome tour, KENTA left the Ace laying a number of nights with varied weapons. If Tanahashi goes to regain the Purple Belt, he might want to abandon his clear technical wrestling fashion. As we’ve seen over time, KENTA will use something and the whole lot to win a match. The Ace can have no selection however to get down and soiled to defeat the champ.
Many NJPW reviewers are usually very crucial about Tanahashi/KENTA matches. Nonetheless, I believe all of the matches they’ve had had been superb to nice. I count on this match to ship massive because it’s within the semi-main occasion place, and so they’ll be capable to use plunder. I might put my cash on the Ace if I had been a betting man.
sixth Match: Tetsuya Naito vs. Jeff Cobb
2021 has not been the perfect 12 months for Tetsuya Naito. Naito suffered a knee damage in his first match within the G1, which might pressure him to overlook the remainder of the event. In the meantime, 2021 noticed the rise of Jeff Cobb. Cobb grew to become the primary to win eight consecutive block matches within the G1.
Naito and SANADA teamed as much as face Cobb and Nice-O-Khan on the ultimate evening of the World Tag League and Better of the Tremendous Jr. Tour. Cobb was manhandling Naito in the course of the match, and it appeared just like the United Empire was on the quick monitor to victory. Nonetheless, Naito caught Cobb off guard with a fast hurricanrana and gained the match for his workforce. Cobb was livid and tried to assault Naito after the match. Naito as soon as once more used his velocity to outwit Cobb and escape the assault. Cobb would then subject a Wrestle Kingdom problem that Naito would rapidly settle for.
These two clashed a number of instances on the Highway to Tokyo Dome tour in multi-man preview matches. Naito made Cobb’s knee the goal of his offense all through the tour. If Cobb goes to get his first Tokyo Dome win, he’s going to should keep away from any extra injury to his knee and use his power to rapidly out Naito away. A win right here may catapult both man to the quantity contender spot for the IWGP World Heavyweight Title.
fifth Match: SANADA vs. Nice-O-Khan
SANADA and Nice-O-Khan can be going through off for the primary time in singles motion on Evening 2. Points between SANADA and O-Khan started within the aforementioned tag match on the ultimate evening of the World Tag League and BOSJ tour. SANADA embarrassed O-Khan by out grappling him and tying him up within the Paradise Lock in the course of the match. Come January fifth, O-Khan can be on the lookout for his first Tokyo Dome win and to show he’s the higher grappler.
4th Match: NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Workforce Championships
HOUSE OF TORTURE (EVIL, Yujiro Takahashi & SHO) vs. CHAOS (Hirooki Goto, YOSHI-HASHI & YOH)
The CHAOS vs. HOUSE OF TORTURE rivalry from Evening 1 will spill over to Evening 2 with this NEVER Openweight 6-Man Championship match. For Evening 1, I predicted Goto and YOSHI-HASHI will grow to be the IWGP Tag Champions, and EVIL will grow to be NEVER Openweight Champion. I believe there’s a greater probability of EVIL strolling out as double champion than Goto and YOSHI-HASHI. With this match being 4th on the cardboard, hopefully, we gained’t should endure with HOUSE OF TORTURE shenanigans for too lengthy.
third Match: KOPW 2022 4 Means
The ultimate 4 of the Ranbo from Evening 1 will compete in a 4-Means Match to find out the primary 2022 Provisional KOPW trophy holder. Will probably be attention-grabbing to see if somebody apart from the 2-time KOPW Champion Toru Yano will begin the 12 months with the trophy.
2nd Match: STARDOM Particular Match
Mayu Iwatani & Starlight Child vs. Tam Nakano & Saya Kamitani
For the primary time ever, New Japan’s sister promotion, STARDOM, can be featured on the principle card of Wrestle Kingdom. A random drawing has put rivals collectively to face off within the Dome.
On one aspect, you could have the Ace of STARDOM, Mayu Iwatani, teaming together with her former stablemate Starlight Child. On June twelfth, 2021, on the Stardom Tokyo Dream Cinderella Particular Version, Child was pressured to go away Mayu’s STARS faction after she, Koguma, Hanan, Iwatani & Rin Kadokura misplaced to Oedo Tai (Natsuko Tora, Konami, Fukigen Demise, Ruaka & Saki Kashima) in Ten-Girl Elimination Tag Workforce Match the place the winner needed to decide a member from the other unit with Oedo Tai selecting Child.
On the opposite aspect, The chief of Cosmic Angels, Tam Nakano, can be teaming with Queen’s Quest’s Saya Kamitani. On December twenty ninth at STARDOM Dream Queendom, Saya defeated Tam for the Marvel of STARDOM championship. After that intense title match, these two can have a tough time coexisting.
This needs to be a enjoyable, fast-paced match that highlights 4 of the perfect girls from STARDOM. I’m anticipating Mayu and Child to get the victory right here.
1st Match: IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championships Flying Tiger (Robbie Eagles & Tiger Masks) vs. Mega Coaches (Ryusuke Taguchi & Rocky Romero) vs. BULLET CLUB’s Cutest Tag Workforce (El Phantasmo & Taiji Ishimori)
Evening 2 of Wrestle Kingdom will open up with the IWGP Jr. Tag Titles on the road in a 3-way match. On December fifteenth, BULLET CLUB’s Cutest Tag Workforce challenged the present champs, Flying Tiger. ELP left Tiger Masks laid out after hitting him with the Sudden Demise Tremendous Kick. Robbie tried to make the save however was overwhelmed by ELP and Ishimori. Then the Funky Weapon got here out to combat off BULLET CLUB. However in a stunning flip of occasions, Taguchi then attacked Flying Tiger and issued a problem as properly on behalf of him and Rocky Romero. Taguchi is useless set on changing into one-half of the 69th Jr. IWGP Tag Champions. However that gained’t be a straightforward activity as BULLET CLUB’s Cutest Tag Workforce look to regain the titles. With ELP’s Sudden Demise in play, will probably be troublesome for Flying Tiger or the Mega Coaches to stroll away with the titles.
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