The Importance of Dominion For New Japan

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Photo: NJPW

New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) is currently in the midst of the 25th Best Of The Super Juniors (BOSJ) tournament, yet most of the wrestling world is fixated on June 9th when Dominion will take place from the Osaka Jo Hall. The event quickly sold out of pre-event seating tickets, already making the show a financial success — especially with same day standing room tickets also expected to sell out.

It’s likely that both Chris Jericho and Rey Mysterio Jr. will play a role at the upcoming G1 Special show, however, the extent of those roles will be determined by what goes down at Dominion. It’s not inconceivable for Jericho to defeat Tetsuya Naito for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship on June 9th, which could draw up excitement among North American fans of NJPW.

There are several outcomes which could result in Mysterio holding the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship or challenge for it in San Francisco. Although, it’s more likely that we see him square off against Jushin Thunder Ligerrevisiting the match-up that was scheduled for Strong Style Evolved earlier in the year, yet was canceled due to a Mysterio injury.

The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson) could walk into San Francisco as the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions if they are able to keep EVIL & SANADA from having a successful defense of the championships.

Kenny Omega could be the IWGP Heavyweight Champion if he can put an end to the legendary reign of Kazuchika Okada. The fourth singles match between the two is a 2/3 falls match without a time limit, with the result will play an integral part of the G1 Special show.

There is no doubting that the first United States appearance for Kenny Omega as the IWGP Heavyweight Champion would garner a great deal of attention from NJPW fans, those who have heard of the product, and perhaps some who are critical of what the promotion has to offer.

Photo: NJPW

“For Okada, this is a match for his pride. For me, it’s the opportunity of a lifetime. I’m fortunate enough to be in a position again where I can say this is the biggest match of my career,” Omega stated in a comment to Sports Illustrated. Later in the interview, he would also comment on the Strong Style Evolved card from earlier this year, “New Japan Pro Wrestling is my company, but I’ll be the first to admit we did not come with a powerhouse card [to Strong Style Evolved],” when commenting on the Golden Lovers (Omega & Kota Ibushi) match against the Young Bucks.

NJPW officials are aware of the need to put together a more ‘Tour Headlining Event’ than a ‘Road To’ card to fill the Cow Palace in San Francisco. Fortunately for NJPW, more than half of the tickets have already been sold, despite hefty prices.

Ticket Sales as of May 23rd 2:55 pm EST. (Photo: Cow Palace)

If Dominion is successful in pushing gate drawing storylines, NJPW will not have a problem in selling the rest of the available tickets, especially if they decide to unveil several surprises for the G1 special. If the international expansion continues on this path and exceeds estimates by new NJPW President Harold George MeijDominion will be seen as a key factor which leads to that success.

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