Destined to fight forever? Credit: NJPW
“All of which leads us to January 4th and Okada vs Naito. The golden boy vs the rebel. There’s only one way this should go and it’s with the rebel getting the win.”
The words of, well, me. In the build-up to Wrestle Kingdom, I was so sure that Naito would beat Okada that I’d have bet your life on it. It seemed like a foregone conclusion. The pretty pink bow on Naito’s long story. Honestly, I still think it should have been, but the evils have popped out of Pandora’s box, and they ain’t going back in. So, we’re left with Okada and time to ponder whether this was the right story to tell.
He looks quite pleased with himself. Credit: NJPW
It’s the night after Wrestle Kingdom and all through Korakeun Hall, new stories are stirring and I’ve got nothing more.
That will be my last Christmas themed intro I promise.
If you’re getting into New Japan for the first time, look at New Year Dash as being their Raw after WrestleMania. It’s when NJPW hit the reset button and set up the storylines that are going to take them into the New Year. Which makes it pretty damn exciting. Let’s dish out some stars.
Who saw that coming? Credit: NJPW
It’s time. I’m not going to bother with a preamble. It’s January 4th and New Japan are in the Tokyo Dome. We all know what that means. Let’s dish out some stars.
It’s time for the big one. Credit: NJPW
Forget Christmas and New Year, it’s Wrestle Kingdom season, and that is the most wonderful time of the year. New Japan is all set for their biggest show of the year, and it looks likely to be their biggest version of their biggest show in quite a while.
Which means that a lot of people will be watching for the first time. A year ago, I did the same thing at Wrestle Kingdom 11. That decision kickstarted my love of New Japan. However, there’s no denying that a lack of context took a bit of sparkle off that show. Going back to it with what I know/have seen now, it is even better.
So, with that in mind, this is a beginner’s preview to Wrestle Kingdom. I’m not only going to focus on who I believe should win each match and why, but also how we got here. I hope it proves useful.
The Champ. Credit: NJPW
It couldn’t really be anyone else, could it?
Spoiler. Credit: NJPW
Twenty albums, ten films and three matches. Why? Nobody knows, and it is certainly not from a lack of options. This has been a hell of a year for wrestling. Sure, the big boy has been a bit shit, but the rest of the world is stepping up, and even WWE had a few crackers. Wrestling is on top form right now, and it’s a joy to watch.
Alongside all my usual disclaimers I would like to point out that I am one person and I can only watch so many promotions. This list is slanted in a certain direction because of that. I hope to get into even more promotions in the future, but there are only so many hours in the day. Anyway, let’s get on with it.
Henare does not look happy. Credit: NJPW
This is our last two match show. For all my whining, I’m sad about that. Every wrestling show should be two matches long. It makes them so easy to watch. Let’s dish out some stars.