Preview: NJPW King of Pro Wrestling (10/09/2017)

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Photo: NJPW

Photo: NJPW

IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kazuchika Okada (c) vs. EVL

Okada is on his way to the longest IWGP Heavyweight Championship reign in history. He has held the title now since DOMINION 2016. If you combine every title run he had he is just days away from being number 1 in the ranks subsequently dethroning Hiroshi Tanahashi as number 1.

EVIL has been the next contender for the title since he defeated Okada in the G1 Climax tournament this year. That win over the champion ensured the participation of Kenny Omega in the finals against Tetsuya Naito. During the last few weeks (when they were running the Destruction shows) he mostly had the upper hand at the end of some Tag matches although Okada was not portrayed badly but weaker than usual in my opinion.

This match will be quite good but Okada is still going to be champion after the show.

Photo: NJPW

WrestleKingdom 12 Briefcase: Tetsuya Naito (holder) vs Tomohiro Ishii

The chemistry between these two is great. They already had two excellent matches this year: Ishii beat Naito at the NJPW Climax USA Special and at the regular G1 Climax 27. So he is the next contender for the briefcase which is a guaranteed shot at the IWGP Heavyweight title at Wrestle Kingdom. Every year the winner of the G1 tournament defends his briefcase against some contenders on the way to the Tokyo Dome show. Last year Kenny Omega had matches against the likes of Hirooki Goto and YOSHI-HASHI. This year Ishii and Bad Luck Fale are the most likely to go against Naito as those two are the ones who won against Naito during the G1.

This match will most likely be great, but i´m pretty sure Naito will keep his briefcase until the January 4th show and go against Okada.

Additional Info: Ishii and Naito have been confirmed to appear at this years REV PRO Global Wars 2017 show and I’m looking forward to seeing them live in action.

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IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: KUSHIDA (c) vs. Will Ospreay

Kushida has been working quiet heavily in the US for ROH during the last few months were he captured the ROH television title and lost it to Kenny King at last months Death before Dishonor show. Will Ospreay had some differences with Hiromu Takahashi during the last few weeks, where Ospreay painted his face like a cat to mock Takahashis stuffed cat „Daryll“. During the build up to the match Takahashi tried to challenge Kushida as well, but got knocked out by Ospreay, so i think they are bulding towards a three-way-match at some point in the future.

Osprey is giving 110 % every time he works for NJPW, it seems like a next gear he kicks in. So this could be the showstealer in terms of high flying and fast paced action.

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Hiroshi Tanahashi & Togi Makabe vs. Kota Ibushi & Juice Robinson

This match is built around the upcoming match between Tanahashi and Ibushi. Tanahashi defeated Zack Sabre Jr. at the Destruction in Hiroshima show. Sabre was the top contender because he beat Tanahashi in the G1 this year. Ibushi was one of the three man who beat Tanahashi this year: Sabre already had his title shot for Tanahashi´s IWGP Intercontinental Championship at the Destruction show, Naito is busy defending hs Wrestle Kingdom 12 briefcase, so there is only Kota Ibushi left as challenger. I think they´ll probably meet at the Power Struggle show on November 5th.

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YOSHI-HASHI, Baretta & Jado vs. Bullet Club (Kenny Omega, Cody & Marty Scurll)

Kenny Omega had knee surgery just 4 weeks ago ! In a recent Interview with Kevin Kelly on NJPWorld prior to his Match against Juice Robinson at the Destruction in Kobe show last month he said he had problems with his knee locking up during day to day activities for several months now. But he pushed the needed surgery back because it did not affected his performances in a major way yet. Dave Meltzer recently reported that the normal recovery time for this is around 4 – 6 weeks.

The match Juice Robinson and Kenny Omega put on at Destructon was fantastic although some spots were crazy when you had in mind Omega´s surgery was just 3 weeks prior to this ( e.g. the sommersault over the top rope a.ka. The Terminator spot).

His next singles opponent will be YOSHI-HASHI. He challenged Omega during the post-show press conference after his defense against Robinson. NJPW booked them against each other in this Tag match for the build up. His title defense against YOSHI-HASHI will be part of the ROH Global Wars Tour were Kenny Omega will work all 4 dates including his title defense in Chicago on October 15th.

Photo: NJPW

IWGP Tag Team Championship: Killer Elite Squad (c) vs War Machine vs Guerrillas of Destiny

KES won the titles at last months „Destruction in Kobe“ show. This three way had been part of the Destruction tour for several weeks now. The match quality left some space for improvement in my opinion, although War Machine always try their best.

KES, the team of Lance Archer and Davey Boy Smith returned to NJPW on August 13th  . After Archer had been sidelined with an Injury since February. They have been members of the Suzuki-Gun stable since their debut in 2012. During their time in NJPW they captured the IWGP Tag Titles 3-times including their current title reign.

Photo: NJPW

IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship: Ryusuke Taguchi & Ricochet vs Roppongi 3K

Taguchi & Ricochet won the titles at the final day of this years G1 Climax. During the Destruction in Hiroshima show Rocky Romero challenged the team to a match where he will present a new Tag Team: Roppongi 3K. On the same night he had his last match with Trent Beretta ( Roppongi Vice) as Trent will move up to the heavyweight division. At this moment there no information on who this new team will be.

 

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Toru Yano & Hirooki Goto vs. Minoru Suzuki & Zack Sabre Jr.

Opening match. There is no Background story here, as Suzuki just defeated Michael Elgin at the Destruction in Fukushima show and Sabre lost to Tanahashi at the Destruction in Hiroshima show.

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Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale, Yujiro Takahashi & Leo Tonga) vs. Los Ingobernables de Japon (SANADA, Hiromu Takahashi & BUSHI)

Bullet Club against Los Ingobernables de Japon for the opening Match at Kings of Pro Wrestling 2017. Leo Tonga replaced the injured Kenny Omega during the last tour and fought alongside his trainer Bad Luck Fale. ( if you want more information on that topic, feel free to check out an article called: „There Is Another…” – The Meng Dynasty Grows By One“ written by Jamie Greer.It can be found in the NJPW section on our site or use this link: 

There is no singles feud connected to this Tag match, so the story of the match will most likely not build to a match in the near future.

The show can be watched on http://njpwworld.com for less than 10 Euro

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