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  1. #1
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    Wrestle Kingdom 13

    So with the Tag League not exactly stimulating a lot of discussion I thought we might as well get started thinking about Wrestle Kingdom 13. The road to the Tokyo Dome kicks off in about ten days time with a couple of shows at Korakuen, and then the big show itself is on January 4th.

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  2. #2
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    Random question from someone that doesn’t follow New Japan very much, but does randomly read the results and news/rumors... is WrestleKingdom always on January 4th, regardless of the day of the week?

  3. #3
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    Yeah. They've held a 4th January Tokyo Dome show going back even before the WK branding, to the early 1990s.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  4. #4
    The Brain
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    From wikipedia, the current line up is:

    -Suzuki-gun (Yoshinobu Kanemaru and El Desperado) (c) vs. Roppongi 3K (Sho and Yoh) vs. Los Ingobernables de Japon (Bushi and Shingo Takagi)
    -Kushida (c) vs. Taiji Ishimori
    -Tomohiro Ishii (c) vs. Zack Sabre Jr.
    -Kazuchika Okada vs. Jay White
    -Chris Jericho (c) vs. Tetsuya Naito
    -Kenny Omega (c) vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi

    Definitely hope BUSHI and Shingo take home the Jr tag titles. KUSHIDA/Taiji should be fun. I really enjoyed Sabre/Ishii from the G1 last year but their RevPro match 'Mania weekend was a bit underwhelming. I have to admit, I'm not interested in Okada/White, but I know some people are so more power to them. Jericho's return matches have not really been my cup of tea either but I could dig Naito getting his win back. Omega/Tana will no doubt be a classic for those who enjoy Omega's style, which is most people. I'm a bit wary of it but I did love Tana/Ibushi waaaaay more than I thought I would, so my mind is open!

  5. #5
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    i'm not in love with the card. I'll just say that. Wish Pac had come in or they were able to get Ibushi vs. Ospreay. I'm not a big Sabre fan nor do I like White (although he's gotten better) The show hinges on Tana/Omega. Thankfully i enjoy both and its a somewhat fresh match.. Probably Tana's last WK Main event.

  6. #6
    The Brain
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    Is it for sure they won't get Ibushi/Ospreay on the card? I've gone pretty cold on Ospreay in the last couple years but if neither are booked it would create a lot of buzz, feels like they've been holding off on it too.

    Think about giving Sabre another chance, if you've only seen him a couple times. I dismissed him at first but he grew on me and is really one of my current favorites in the world.

  7. #7
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    Well, I thought the plan was for Ospreay to win the Never title and challenge Ibushi but then he got injured.. or it was Ibushi. Weird that neither would be on the card.

    I don't hate Sabre, its just hard a style for me to latch onto at times. I think what he does is really good, just not all the way for me if that makes sense.

  8. #8
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    You're getting Ospreay vs. Ibushi. It was just announced that Ospreay is facing Taichi for a shot at the NEVER title at Wrestle Kingdom and I cannot possibly imagine that Gedo would dangle the Ospreay-Ibushi carrot and then go with Goto-Taichi III: Revenge of the Mic Stand instead. It's gonna happen and it's gonna be WHOA!

    I'm just fine with the Wrestle Kingdom card and honestly seeing people down on it just makes me chuckle. Every year there's people saying "I'm not that excited about WK, it doesn't look as good as last year." They said it about WK11, they said it about WK12 last year and both shows ended up being amazing. Unless everyone tears a muscle in the first five minutes of each match I'm pretty confident this show will be too, unless it's just not your thing.


  9. #9
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    But not at Wrestle Kingdom.. The biggest show of the year.

    Also, I can be down on a card but still enjoy the show which I probably will.

  10. #10
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    I must've worded it wrong. Taichi-Ospreay is happening TOMORROW; the winner goes on to face either Ibushi or Goto at Wrestle Kingdom...the biggest show of the year. It's going to happen.


  11. #11
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    Oh nice. My apologies then. I think that's a good boost to the card. Hopefully it gets good time.

  12. #12
    Member #25 SirSam's Avatar
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    Don't worry LK at Wrestle Kingdom you can have ALL the flips.

    How are people feeling about the main event?

    I'm pumped, I love Omega and I have gone from not caring an ounce about a Tanahashi match ever and in my very new to NJPW brain thinking he was over the hill to thinking he has had the match of the year and buying completely into his quest to show the world he is still the Ace.

  13. #13
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    Its a safe main event. In that, it won't be bad. It may not be in anyone's MOTY list but its a fresh match with i'm sure two guys pretty motivated for diffrent reasons. They could have gone with a more ambitious main event.. but it tells me the Ibushi/Omega story is far from over

  14. #14
    Member #25 SirSam's Avatar
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    Would Ibushi v Omega have been your preferred, more risky main event?

  15. #15
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    I was pushing for Tana/Omega so its not like i'm unhappy with the Main. I also think Ibushi/Omega was the best option besides that. I think they needed to break from Okada/Omega and Naito/Omega I wasn't really feeling. Those were the choices.. Not like any of them were big risks per se but Ibushi isn't signed and Omega might be leaving (i don't think he is tbh) So i could see why they didn't go there.

  16. #16
    Puerto Rican dude living in Japan Degenerate's Avatar
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    Not sure if this was discussed already but the final card is set for Wrestle Kingdom:

    – Kenny Omega vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship
    – Chris Jericho vs. Tetsuya Naito for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship
    – Kazuchika Okada vs. Jay White
    – KUSHIDA vs. Taiji Ishimori for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship
    – Cody vs. Juice Robinson for the IWGP United States Championship
    – Guerrillas of Destiny vs. The Young Bucks vs. EVIL and SANADA for the IWGP Tag Team Championships
    – Tomohiro Ishii vs. Zack Sabre Jr. for the RevPro British Heavyweight Championship
    – Yoshinobu Kanemaru and El Desperado vs. Roppongi 3K vs. BUSHI and Shingo Takagi for the IWGP Junior Tag Team Championships
    – Kota Ibushi vs. Will Ospreay for the NEVER Openweight Championship
    – Pre-Show: Number One Contenders Gauntlet Match for the NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championship

    That is one stacked card full of championship matches. Outside of the pre-show match, I feel like every single match has the potential to be awesome. Looking forward to the show.

  17. #17
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    I am very stoked for all of the singles matches except one. I have not liked either of the Cody vs. Juice matches, with the second being especially egregious. It felt like a misstep at the time for Cody to win the U.S. Championship and I still feel that way, mostly because I thought Juice deserved a better hand being dealt to him than winning the championship, getting creamed throughout most of G1, and then dropping the title in his first defense. I don't think their styles work well together, there is no chemistry between them, and it's incredibly jarring for Cody to go from babyface everywhere else to heel in NJPW. This will probably be Juice getting a win back, the title back (becoming the 1st 2-time U.S. Champion,) and hopefully a much better run this time around, so I'm okay with it, but I'm certainly not looking forward to it.

    The tag title matches both annoy me. After the last two years having excellent team vs team matches for the Jr titles, we're back to a multi-man affair and, not only that, it's a rematch from under two months prior where the right team won. I mean I wouldn't exactly be thrilled at yet another RP3K vs. Kanemura/Desperado match, either, but it would have been better than a Triple Threat. Still, I wasn't completely down on it until...they also decided to give us a triple threat for the Heavyweight Tag Titles. What was the point of the last two months of Tag Leagues when the winners aren't getting the entitled team vs. team title match? It's all very annoying. I would much rather be seeing three tag team matches--with one being nontitle--than two triple threat tags. Although, honestly, it is nice that the Bucks being in the match saves us from a rematch of the travesty that was Sunday's tag final. Ugh, what a slog to sit through.

    I don't want to feel this way; I wish I wasn't down on some of the card; but what can you do? I know it's the biggest show of the year and they're trying to get everybody in as prominent position as possible (And how do you leave Shingo and the Young Bucks off), so I get it, but then I'm not really a fan of the whole "Gotta get everybody on the card" mentality and if I were, I would say, "Why don't you just add one more match?" Shingo isn't really a Jr anyway, so I think a Young Bucks vs. Shingo & Bushi match would have been great. It's going to be an enjoyable show and I'm really digging on the majority of the matches, so I am excited for it, but it's odd to me to be more excited for Final Battle than Wrestle Kingdom.
    Last edited by XanMan; 12-14-2018 at 11:22 AM.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by XanMan View Post
    It's going to be an enjoyable show and I'm really digging on the majority of the matches, so I am excited for it, but it's odd to me to be more excited for Final Battle than Wrestle Kingdom.
    You're that excited for Final Battle? I'm not down on the show at all (really looking forward to Sabre vs. Gresham) but the only thing that's really exciting for me is whatever hints we get about the Elite and All Elite Wrestling's potential future. Beyond that Wrestle Kingdom is far more exciting, if only because Ibushi vs. Ospreay exists and that's a better match to me than anything on the Final Battle card (not to mention New Japan isn't booked by a fucking idiot in Delirious).

    I honestly don't have any issues with the two tag team matches being triple threats but only because, as you pointed out Xan, the alternatives would've been worse. I like Desperado, Yoshinobu and Roppongi 3K quite a bit; I don't need to see them going at it again for the 9,001st time in the past year. And that LIJ/Guerillas of Destiny match was a whole lot of nothing, quite an accomplishment considering how good EVIL and SANADA are; the Bucks being there (after having good to great matches with both teams this year) will at least add another layer and push the match a little further. Neither match is ideal though. If it were me, I would've gotten creative and brought a fourth Junior team in to make that match a four way (someone like the Lucha Brothers or even The Super Smash Brothers out in Canada) and also would've paid the Bucks to be in the Tag League, where they could've won to face the Guerillas outright. Those would've been problematic too; a four way tag match would have the same complaints as a three way and a regular tag between the Bucks and Guerillas would've relegated EVIL and SANADA to the gauntlet match (and probably would've led to mass complaining from the ever vocal LIJ fan base). That just would've flowed better to me as a whole, not to mention would've made more story sense considering the Bucks and Guerillas are feuding.

    I have no issue with the Cody-Juice match at all. I enjoyed their match in September and it's pretty clear to me the story, even dating back to then, is that Juice was proven to be unready for the title, hence why he lost all those matches in the G1. Now he will be ready, win it back and THEN will do what many thought he should've done after the G1 and avenge all those losses, thus proving himself worthy. It's the same story people wanted before, New Japan just delayed it for a bit. I have no qualms with that.


  19. #19
    Super Moderator Team Farrell's Avatar
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    Yeah, I'm with you. I just assumed that the Heavyweight Tag match is a three way because A) The Bucks would have won the tournament if New Japan had paid to bring them on the tour, and B) Evil and Sanada would have had nothing to do otherwise.

    Maybe in an alternate dimension where The Bucks are on the tour (and likely beat LIJ in the final) Evil and Sanada would have been able to build an angle within the tournament to lead to a match at WK. But at the end of the day, the match that they've been pushing toward since the Cow Palace is Bucks vs GOD.

    I also assumed that was what they were doing with Juice. Making him out to be "not ready" for his position and losing to someone who was.

    The only change I'd have liked to see (and the Tag League kind of prevents them from being able to do that) is for him to pick up a few singles wins over the past few months to start establishing that he learned from his losses and is ready now. He isn't even on the Road to Tokyo Dome shows.

    Something over the past few months on those New Japan World house shows or something where he picked up a few wins over like Yano and Takahashi during Tag League nights where he isn't in a tournament match, maybe ending in a win on one of the Road to shows over Suzuki where he gets his ass kicked but manages to come back in the end. Suzuki could even give him that subtle, uncharacteristic, nod on his way out rather than tearing apart the set, beating up Young Lions and foaming at the mouth.

  20. #20
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    Yeah, you guys make excellent points and my head knows that they had to do something like this to get everybody on the card, but my heart looks at this and goes, "Could've been better." I'm sure it will still be a great show; I just wish one or the other would have been a regular tag match. Had that been the case, I wouldn't have that frustration with it. Cult, I think Jeff (my show partner) enjoyed the Cody/Juice match, as well, but I thought it was a complete drag of a match with bad timing, bad chemistry, and blown spots that really took me out of even a little bit of enjoyment. It was better than the WTL final, but not by much.

    My understanding is that the Bucks not being on the WTL tour had nothing to do with NJPW not paying them to do so, but rather that Matt already had planned a European tour with his wife to celebrate their 10th anniversary.

    EDIT: And yes, I am very excited for Final Battle tonight. It is a blockbuster of the card, with the only match I'm not thrilled about being the women's 4-way simply because I think it should be Klein getting the shot one on one, but all 4 women deserve to be on the card, so it is what it is. I just hope future PPVs they will move away from multi-woman matches, as the first time they were on PPV at Death Before Dishonor, it was an 8-woman tag.
    Last edited by XanMan; 12-14-2018 at 03:35 PM.

  21. #21
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    I saw they were doing maintenance on NJPW World, doubtless to get in ahead of the surge in people trying to watch Wrestle Kingdom live.

    I don't know if it feels like there's quite the same hype for this as last year, but at the same time it also feels like that classic example of once you got hot and start growing, it's a lot easier to keep that momentum going. As hot or not, feels like there are still going to be more people watching this year than last.

    Maybe that's just an international perspective and it's different in Japan itself?

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  22. #22
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    Like I said told Lazyking earlier in the thread, this "it doesn't feel like they have as much momentum at this time last year" happens every year, at least since I started watching. Going into Wrestle Kingdom 11 people weren't as excited because it was a "good, not great" card with a first time match in Omega vs. Okada headlining. Last year it was just "a two match card" between Okada-Naito and Omega-Jericho and everything else wasn't that exciting. And of course Wrestle Kingdom 10 felt like it had little momentum because it was coming off Wrestle Kingdom 9, which had been on PPV and was such a great success both as a show and as a springboard for getting Western fans to check out a non WWE product for the first time ever (it was certainly that eye opener for me). There's always a bit of "it doesn't feel like last year" or "they don't have the momentum" going into this event and I will grant you that the last few months of the year for New Japan are a bit colder than the first eight. Then it always turns out great and everyone forgets they've ever said anything!

    Frankly I think this card looks even better than the last two years. I say this because KUSHIDA vs. Taiji Ishimori is on this card and people are sleeping on it like it's no big deal an all time great wrestler (still working at a high level) and a dude who had the best Junior match of the year (against Hiromu Takahashi) are facing each other. You put that anywhere else and it's a certified classic that headline any show; here it's lost behind the highly anticipated main event, Naito vs. Jericho (which won't be anywhere near "Match of the Night" but is an interesting match regardless), Okada vs. Jay White, Ishii vs.Sabre (itself underrated) and especially Ibushi vs. Ospreay, which has taken on a whole new level of hype for me after that tag match from the other day featuring them, Omega and Tanahashi. That's six matches there I'm really stoked to see and even if you take away Jericho-Naito and Okada-White, that's still four bouts that are can't miss to most of the audience. This is going to be one hell of a show for everyone but mizfan. And that's just cause he's mizfan!


  23. #23
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    I'm not even basing it on the card really, so much as just how much noise there was about it last year compared with this. It feels... quiet, somehow, in comparison. Probably the Jericho factor is the big difference, and that's never going to have quite the same impact after the first time around.

    Anyway, as I say, I still think this won't be a big deal in the end and it'll turn out more people have watched than last year. They've had a hell of a year and it just feels like they've kept on growing the international base, from where I'm sat at any rate.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  24. #24
    The Brain
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cult Icon View Post
    This is going to be one hell of a show for everyone but mizfan. And that's just cause he's mizfan!
    LOL, I see this shade being thrown right here, but he's not wrong. I likes what I likes.

  25. #25
    This was my first full year of following NJPW, so I am looking forward to a nice 3 AM wake up on my birthday for WK.

  26. #26
    Givin this a try, got signed up for Wrestle Kingdom. Will see how we get on

  27. #27
    Member #25 SirSam's Avatar
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    I'm really excited for it. The card is absolutely stacked and you only need to look at some of the names that were preshowed to see how strong it is: Goto, Adam Page, Marty Scurll and Minoru freakin' Suzuki. That is an absolute NJPW vet, two of the most popular guys on the indy scene and guys who have had prominent NJPW roles this year and a certified Japanese Wrestling Legend but when you look at the card you can't see how you could really fit them in.

    Going through it with Imp for his show really cemented it for me too, there are too many guys on there that can steal the show, the only real danger I see is if they don't keep strict time limits and the show runs out of steam when it goes too long.

    Also did anyone else catch the Kenny Omega video they posted on the BTE youtube channel? From the intro I get the feeling he wanted it to go on NJPW world or even in the Wrestle Kingdom broadcast and while it sets the scene and tells a cool story there are probably a few too many 'inside baseball' bits and not so subtle shots at Tanahashi and the company for them to seriously air it. Still I enjoyed it.


  28. #28
    Getting a feeling that Tanahashi is going over, but I could just be getting worked. Kind of interested in where GoD go after their amusing conciliatory remarks in the pre-WK presser.

  29. #29
    WK 2020: Two day event in Tokyo Dome...well shit, I might actually have to consider flying over for that one.
    G1 Climax starting in Dallas
    Last edited by ZeroTolerance; 01-04-2019 at 04:02 AM.

  30. #30
    Puerto Rican dude living in Japan Degenerate's Avatar
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    It's a smart move to split the event to two days in many ways. Business-wise, I'm sure they'll make bank on those shows. From a match perspective, it'll give more talent opportunity to shine. The amount of talent that got shoved into the pre-show, the different multi-man tag matches and some of the shorter early bouts would have been better off with some extra time. And while I love watching wrestling, spending 5+ hours in a single event is exhausting. The WWE should use this same concept for Wrestlemania, for sure. I wonder if the fact that they're splitting the event in two mean that they'll have a working relationship with the new AEW. They're going to need to have that talent on tap.

    I loved yesterday's main event and was happy with the result. Looking forward to today to see where the future takes New Japan.

  31. #31
    Beautiful Fandom Mystic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SirSam View Post
    I'm really excited for it. The card is absolutely stacked and you only need to look at some of the names that were preshowed to see how strong it is: Goto, Adam Page, Marty Scurll and Minoru freakin' Suzuki. That is an absolute NJPW vet, two of the most popular guys on the indy scene and guys who have had prominent NJPW roles this year and a certified Japanese Wrestling Legend but when you look at the card you can't see how you could really fit them in.

    Going through it with Imp for his show really cemented it for me too, there are too many guys on there that can steal the show, the only real danger I see is if they don't keep strict time limits and the show runs out of steam when it goes too long.

    Also did anyone else catch the Kenny Omega video they posted on the BTE youtube channel? From the intro I get the feeling he wanted it to go on NJPW world or even in the Wrestle Kingdom broadcast and while it sets the scene and tells a cool story there are probably a few too many 'inside baseball' bits and not so subtle shots at Tanahashi and the company for them to seriously air it. Still I enjoyed it.

    Superkick party wakes the dead.

    Awesome video. Reminds me that Omega should choose AEW and AEW should find a way to keep working with NJPW, at minimum.

    Also like that we live in a moment where you don't really need the company to air your video, especially if you are Elite.

  32. #32
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    I’d have loved the main had Kenny actually used his left knee to do the v-trigger. Things like that really bug me.

  33. #33
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    Why is nobody talking about Ospreay and Ibushi tearing the fucking house down in that opener last week? That's one of the best matches I've ever witnessed. The combination of athleticism and storytelling was off the charts.

    Ibushi showed how you put a motherfucker over on the way out. He left on a stretcher! There is no way he possibly could have made Ospreay look better at the end of that match.

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