Posted January 6th, 2017 by 1Wrestling News Team

Jermaine Royster reporting

When it comes to booking and setting up angles look no further than Shin Nihon(New Japan) Pro Wrestling. Two nights ago we all witnessed the show to end all shows, Wrestle Kingdom 11 airing from the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan. For those not in the know, Wrestle Kingdom is the big show similar to WWE’s WrestleMania, Wrestle Kingdom is the show that ends the business year of New Japan Pro Wrestling, but the next night is the annual “New Years Dash” show that sets up the incoming year of NJPW. Many will remember last years New Years Dash where we saw Hirooki Goto stand up to Kazuchika Okada and challenge him for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship as well as Kenny Omega kicking AJ Styles out of Bullet Club and announcing himself as the new leader then calling out Shinsuke Nakamura and his IWGP Intercontinental Championship. Here’s a quick rundown on Wrestle Kingdom 11 and the fallout from New Years Dash 2017.

Wrestle Kingdom 11
Tokyo Dome
Tokyo, Japan

Tiger Mask W vs Tiger Dark

Opening match of the card and this is taken right from the rebooted anime series “Tiger Mask W”. Very cool match to start with, lots of high spots including Tiger Mask W hitting the Triangle Moonsault and the Last Ride Powerbomb to get the win.

Your Winner: Tiger Mask W

IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Match
The Young Bucks© vs Roppongi Vice

Fun match and a bit different from past Wrestle Kingdom shows where this would be a three or four way match. Matt & Nick Jackson did all their high flying attacks mixed in with SuperKicks. Rocky Romero had a very nice forever clothesline spot as well as Barretta almost injuring himself missing a high cross body over the top rope landing clear on his back on the outside. As the Bucks went for their tag team maneuver “More Bang for your Buck”, Barretta grabs Nick Jackson’s leg and Rocky Romero rolls up Matt Jackson in a crucifix and RPG Vice get the surprising win.

Your Winners: Roppongi Vice win the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship

NEVER OpenWeight Six-Man Championship Gauntlet Match
Ricochet, David Finley & Satoshi Kohima vs Los Ingobernables vs Chaos vs Bullet Club

Los Ingobernables came away with the titles in this one even though Will Ospreay showed all of his talents flying in and out of the ring. Pretty basic match but still fun.

Your Winners: Los Ingobernables de Japon

Ring of Honor World Title Re-Match
Kyle O’Reilly© vs Adam Cole

Another quick match with both men trading very stiff strikes and kicks. There were no chairs and thumbtacks used like in their previous match at ROH’s Final Battle last month. Adam Cole literally broke down KO with his finishing neck breaker the “Last Shot” then continued to blast away with SuperKicks to the face of O’Reily as he gets pinned.

Your Winner: Adam Cole wins back the Ring of Honor World Championship. Cole is now the first ever 3-time ROH World Champion.

Special Singles Match
“American Nightmare” Cody vs Juice Robinson

First off it was amazing to see Cody continue his pro wrestling world tour, this was Cody’s first match in NJPW as part of Bullet Club. These two had a good match and while it was amazing to see Cody perform, it was Juice Robinson who the crowd got behind in this match. Juice would counter most of Cody’s moves but in the end Cody hit the “Crossroads” and pinned Juice for the win.

Your Winner: Cody

After the match the crowd again would cheer Juice Robinson as he needed some assistance to get out of the ring, it seems as if Robinson is becoming a crowd favorite, you will see later on in this article.

IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship
Kushida© vs “Ticking Time Bomb” Hiromu Takahashi

Instead of a typical Junior Heavyweight match with all sorts of highlights, this match consisted of strong style elements and a heavy dose of submission holds. Kushida used the Hover Board lock numerous times but Takahashi dropped Kushida on his head just one too many times. Takahashi would come out victorious in this one with a clean pinfall victory.

Your Winner: Hiromu Takahashi wins the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship in his return to NJPW

Triple Threat Tag Team Match
IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship
Guerrillas of Destiny(Tama Tonga & Tanga Roa) vs Toru Yano & Tommohiro Ishii vs GBH(Makabe & Honma)

In my opinion this was the only match we’re the action didn’t live up to the hype. After winning the World Tag League, GBH were to face the Guerrillas of Destiny but Yano & Ishii were added late to the match. Yano would steal the belts as well as the Tag League trophies before the match. G.O.D. & GBH put on a great show but Yano would hit duel low blows as Yano & Ishii cane away with a stealing victory and the Tag belts.

Your Winners: Toru Yano & Tommohiro Ishii win the IWGP Tag Team Championships.

NEVER OpenWeight Championship Match
Katsuyori Shibata© vs Hirooki Goto

Goto finally wins!! This match was very cool, if you’ve ever watched a Shibata match then you already knew what to expect. Goto & Shibata kicked and chopped the hell out of each other. Whereas it’s usually Shibata who seems invincible, it was Goto who was unstoppable as he served up a super Ushigiroshi followed by the Shouten then the reverse Shouten and Goto wins the title.

Your Winner: Hirooki Goto wins the NEVER OpenWeight Championship.

If your keeping score, there have been six title changes with two matches to go. Chaos now has the Junior & Heavyweight Tag Team Titles as well as the NEVER OpenWeight Championships as well as their leader Kazuchika Okada as the Heavyweight Champion. Los Ingobernables now has the OpenWeight Six Man Titles as well as the Jr. Heavyweight Championship along with the leader Naito as the IWGP Intercontinental Champion.

IWGP Intercontinental Championship Match
Tetsuya Naito© vs Hiroshi Tanahashi

For the first time we didn’t hear “High Enegry” as Tanahashi now has new entrance music(Go ACE!). Before the match we saw a video about the long history between these two dating back to 2008. The story in this match was Tanahashi attacking both Naito’s legs so he wouldn’t be able to hit his finisher Destino. Naito was his usual self hitting his Lucha-Esque style of kicks and holds. At certain points in this match we saw Tanahashi almost working as a heel and hearing some boo’s as Tanahashi was relentless in his moves. Naito would still come out victorious as he would finally get his big win over Hiroshi at the dome.

Your Winner: Tetsuya Naito retains the IWGP Intercontinental Championship.

****Wrestle Kingdom 11 Main Event****

Singles Match
IWGP Heavyweight Championship Match
“RainMaker” Kazuchika Okada© vs “The Cleaner” Kenny Omega.

Simply put this may have been one of the greatest matches ever. Most people thought this was going to be Omega’s night. This was definitely a big match as these two met for the very first time ever. I lost count of how many V-Triggers(Running Knee) Kenny served to Okada. This was a great back and forth style match were you couldn’t tell what was going to happen next. Okada would hit every special move in the book from the Too Awesome Dropkick(twice from the top rope) including two Tombstone Piledriver’s(one of which saw Okada jump in a spinning motion coming down on the neck of Omega). The spot of the match saw Omega set up a table on the outside but it was Okada who would reverse the action and send Omega flying off his back over the top rope and come crashing down onto the table. Both men would then tease their finishers as Okada would hit three Rainmakers but it was the Fourth and final Rainmaker that sealed the deal and Okada would retain his IWGP Heavyweight Championship.

Your Winner: Kazuchika Okada retains the title.

This show was no doubt a monster if a show but just like last year, New Years Dash would set the year off with a bang!

New Years Dash
January 5, 2017
Korakuen Hall
Tokyo, Japan

As noted earlier, this is the first show of the year and this is were things get out in motion before New Japan’s New Beginning’s show on February 5 & February 11, 2017. Here’s a rundown on what may take place next month.

1.) Adam Cole & The Young Bucks took on RPG Vice with Yoshi Hashi. Yoshi Hashi would get the victory for his team by pinning ROH World Champion Adam Cole. Afterwards Steve Corino says that this could lead to a match in the future as NJPW likes to give automatic title shots to the person who gets the pin, this would be a reoccurring scenario tonight.

2.) Tetsuya Naito & Hiromu Takahashi battled Michael Elgin & Kushida. The story in this match was Naito focusing on the injured orbital bone in Elgin’s face. As Naito sends Elgin out of the ring, we see someone in a mask come from the crowd(also something else that would occur again). The man in the mask is none other than CMLL’s Dragon Lee, Lee & Takahashi(then named Kamataichi in ROH) had a huge rivalry in Mexico a stellar match at last years Fantastica Mania show in Japan(CMLL & NJPW). Elgin would get the win in this match by pinning Tetsuya Naito, afterwards Dragon Lee would get back in the ring and attack Takahashi and take the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight belt. Elgin would do the same with Naito’s Intercontinental Title, Elgin then puts the belt on top of Naito but Kushida would come in the ring and have a stare down with Lee. Kushida tells Lee to give the belt back to Takahashi then he walks away. This most likely means that Elgin will face Naito for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship. Takahashi will most likely have his hands full as Dragon Lee wants his title but then where do that leave Kushida and his rematch?

3.) Chaos(Kazuchika Okada, Will Osprey, Hirooki Goto, Yano & Tommohiro Ishii) faced Katsuyori Shibata, Juice Robinson, Yuji Nagata, Tomoaki Honma & Togi Makabe. Before the bell even rings we see a standoff between Shibata who is still the British Heavyweight Championship and Will Osprey. Osprey points to the title that Shibata is holding and he tells him he wants the title. Right after both men start the match against each other and Ospreay gets the better of Shibata with a hug he kick to the face. Look for these two to cross paths in the near future. Fast forward to the end where we see Juice Robinson letting loose on Hirooki Goto and Juice hits his finisher then pins Goto. Juice celebrates with the NEVER OpenWeight Championship signaling another future match but the best was saved for last. As the winners are celebrating, we again see something happening outside the ring but this time the crowd seemed in awe. The notorious group “Suzuki-Gun” have arrived after being in Pro Wrestling Noah since 2015 and the action starts. Killer Elite Squad(Lance Archer & Davey Boy Smith Jr.) hop in the ring and take out everyone, Chaos then tries to take them out. Taka Mitchinoku & Taichi Ishikara took out Roppongi Vice and then Killer Elite Squad see’s Toru Yano and completely takes them out. Okada then comes in for the save but Minoru Suzuki comes in and takes out Okada with the Gotch-style Piledriver. Suzuki grabs the mic and tells the New Japan crowd that Suzuki-Gun will take over NJPW and have all the belts in their stable, Suzuki then challenges Okada for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship.

4.) Los Ingobernables de Japon would won the NEVER Openweight six-man titles lost them to Nakanishi, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Ryusuke Taguchi so look out for a match between these six men.

All the fallout from both Wrestle Kingdom 11 & New Years Dash 2017 will no doubt take place at NJPW’s New Beginning shows on February 5 & 11, 2017.

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