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Thread: Wrestle Kingdom 18 in Tokyo Dome 1/4/24

  1. #1
    Champ is Gone
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    Wrestle Kingdom 18 in Tokyo Dome 1/4/24

    By virtue of winning the 33rd G1 Climax Tetsuya Naito is the #1 contender for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship and will face the champion whomever that may be at Wrestle Kingdom.

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    Pissed Off MTR's Avatar
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    Nothing against Okada but nice to see Naito win and get to main event Wrestle Kingdom

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    Champ is Gone
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    The question now is does Naito challenge SANADA or EVIL which will be the one title match between now and January. Either match makes sense in its own way.

    Is there a blowoff match between the now IWGP UK Champion Will Ospreay and Kenny Omega?

    What is Okada doing?

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    I don't EVIL wins the title. I bet they got SANADA and Naito.

    Yeah I do wonder what Okada does. Is he still part of the six man champs? If so I bet they drop those before WK or those titles don't get defended.

    If we are not getting Ospreay vs Omega at Wembley then they need to go again at WK.

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    Champ is Gone
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    Yuya Uemura got the fired briefcase from Feast or Fired in Impact. Kazuchika Okada who has spent all year living the Michael Jordan "fuck them kids" meme is now feuding with guys from Impact. I'm sure that's just a coincidence.

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    The main event is now official

    SANADA will defend the Worlds Heavyweight Championship against Tetsuya Naito.

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    usa
    Nice. That should be good

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    too big to fail Tainted Eclipse's Avatar
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    are there many probable match-ups for this show yet? since it's one night again and fans can make noise, i might try to watch this live for the first time since 2019.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tainted Eclipse View Post
    are there many probable match-ups for this show yet? since it's one night again and fans can make noise, i might try to watch this live for the first time since 2019.
    Based on tonight's Dynamite and Power Struggle in Osaka next week it looks like the top 3 matches for this show are

    Naito vs SANADA
    Okada vs Danielson
    Ospreay vs Moxley

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    Looks like a tease of Moxley facing Umino at WK if he can beat Ospreay. Student vs teacher. But not sure what that would leave for Ospreay.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MTR View Post
    Looks like a tease of Moxley facing Umino at WK if he can beat Ospreay. Student vs teacher. But not sure what that would leave for Ospreay.
    Yeah Ospreay was all but begging to put Shota over at the press conference too. If Umino loses he will look like a geek so it feels like he really needs to win just not sure he will.

    The Jr Tag League is interesting because if SHO and Kanemaru win then it's a Bullet Club vs House of Torture match at the Dome.

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    Okada vs Danielson 2 is official for Wrestle Kingdom

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    So where we are

    IWGP World Title: SANADA vs Tetsuya Naito
    For some yet to be determined Championship since the US/UK belts were destroyed and seem to be deactivated: Will Ospreay vs Jon Moxley vs David Finlay
    IWGP Jr Title: Hiromu Takahashi vs El Desperado
    IWGP Jr Tag Titles: War Dogs vs Catch 2/2
    World TV Title: ZSJ vs Hiroshi Tanahashi
    Kazuchika Okada vs Bryan Danielson

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    Not even remotely interested in ZSJ vs Tanahashi.

    All other matches I am down for.

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    Shingo Takagi defends the NEVER Title against Tama Tonga

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    So Tama and his brother not in World Tag League, I am guessing since Tama keeps trading that NEVER title around with people.

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    The 3 way match with Moxley, Ospreay, and Finley for inaugural Global Championship

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    Tag Title match rematch from tag league final title for title

    Bishamon vs El Phantasmo and Hikuelo

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    Very surprised a Shota Umino vs Ren Narita match hasn't been announced yet.

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    Great subtitled video on the history of Naito and SANADA


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    We have a match order

    Rambo
    Maloney/Connors vs TJP/Akira
    President Tana vs ZSJ
    Tsuji vs Uemura
    EVIL/Ren vs Kaito/Shota
    Shingo vs Tama
    Goto/Yoshi-Hashi vs ELP/Hikuleo
    Hiromu vs Despy
    Ospreay vs Mox vs Finlay
    Okada vs Danielson
    Naito vs SANADA

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    usa
    So who is watching this live?

    I plan on staying up and watching it.

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    OBJECTION Psycho666Soldier's Avatar
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    I gotta work the next day so probably not me, but I'm tempted to pull an all-nighter

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    I always take the next day off to sleep. Not sure how much sleep I will get though because our new fridge is being delivered tomorrow between 8 and 8 lol. Well supposed to get a call tonight with a more narrow window.

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    Dolph Ziggler and color changing ring attire for the win.

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    -Rambo was fine. It was a lot of people I didn't really know/care about and a few I did but didn't really get spotlighted too much. Was cool to see Iizuka, always love Ishii, and Fujita seemed cool. Don't really care for the winners other than Yoh tbh.

    -Opening Tag was better than I expected. I remember liking Clark Connors when he first showed up, and as dorky as I thought it was at first, I actually think TJP's Aswang gimmick makes him more enjoyable. The War Dogs look like money tbh, but had no real investment here so congrats to the winners. C/76

    -I think ZSJ and Tana have had better matches, but this was a strong follow-up. Was personally hoping for ZSJ to get the victory in the Dome, but I liked the way the finish shook out. Also the counter to the Dragon Screw was pretty awesome. C+/79

    -Tsuji and Uemura were both young lions when I was last following New Japan. Didn't think much of either at the time, but Tsuji definitely has a star aura now. Pretty athletic match with some fun bumps and solid back and forth flow. Again, no real investment for me here, but it's nice to see both have grown into their selves post-excursion. C+/77

    -HoT vs. Umino and Kiyomiya was disappointing. Not nearly enough time and most of the focus on shenanigans. I thought the little bit that Umino and Narita interacted was super hot, and then it ended. A shame because this was one of the few matches I had some investment in. That little suplex counter chain was cool, and the DDT onto the apron was sick, but just not enough here. C-/70

    -Shingo/Tama definitely picked things back up. The pacing and timing was great. They managed to keep it high energy while still also making the bigger spots have the proper space and build to feel impactful. They did a great job of making Tama look like a beast while also sort of fighting from underneath. The last few minutes were crazy hot, and I loved how much they had to struggle early on to get either of them down for more than a couple seconds. First real banger on the show, and I'm happy for Tama. Also that Rana counter from the Tiger Driver was sick. B+/88

    -Nice Nick Nemeth sighting.

    -IWGP Tag Match was another one harmed by a lack of investment. Bishamon are a good tag team, but never been one of my favs. And I kinda like Hikuleo, but don't really have much interest in those two. The match itself was solid with a couple neat spots, but it went by pretty quick and didn't leave much of an impression. I didn't really get the finishing move as I thought El P would toss Hikuleo or something, but good for them regardless. C/74

    -Hiromu/Despy brought it back up. I liked how they had a more impactful, heavy damage based match as opposed to the more chaotic and death defying stuff I'm used to from them. The big bumps felt huge and were sold greatly. I do feel there could have been a bit of a higher gear somewhere in the middle, but everything from the turnbuckle spot to the end was really good. Loved the bitter struggle at the end where they traded repeated blows and kept trying to hit their finish. I think it was still a little less than I was kinda hoping for, but it was still a banger. Great win for Despy, and the fact it took 3 Pinche Locos to finish showed how hard you gotta work to beat the Ace of the juniors. B+/88

    -Despite some small grievances, the Global Championship Triple Threat was pretty great. It was first time seeing Finlay as the BC leader, and while I don't quite see him as the "Gaijin Megastar" replacement that Styles, Omega, White, and Ospreay all felt at the time they stepped into the spotlight, he can definitely go. Doesn't really seem like the crowd is taking to him though. They seemed pretty deflated after the finish, and the interference definitely killed the crowd a bit. The latter bothered me too at first, but it was quick and worth it for dude being stuck in the table lol. Loved the chaos here, and without Mox and Ospreay, I don't think this reaches the highs that it did. I'm fine with the finish, though, as Mox has no business holding that title "again", and Ospreay is clearly gonna be absent from New Japan for a while with AEW. And it was mostly well constructed if not a little lame that Finlay got up from two Death Riders so soon. B+/89


    -The sheer look of joy on Danielson's face when he got on the turnbuckle for his entrance and could see the crowd reaction and you can tell it's hitting him that he's about to co-main event the Tokyo Dome. This match fucking ruled. From beginning to end it was exciting. And like the GOATs they are, they manage to do it without spamming a bunch of moves, just great movement and context. These two are so smooth together. The way they transition between moves is incredible. The bit where Bryan went from the Busaiku Knee to the pin to the LeBell Lock and that whole submission period was just wrestling perfection. The crowd was completely eating out of their hands. Me included. Some of the hits here were insane, and the flow of the match was just too fucking great. Easy Match of the Year so far. A+/98

    -SANADA/Naito wasn't quite as good as the last match for me, but it was still awesome. I felt it was sloppy at moments, and a little before the botched Destino it looked like there was some sort of miscommunication between them. But it was hard-hitting and felt like they were really struggling to get their finishers off. SANADA definitely gets the big match structure, and that final Destino felt like the one, and that Pinfall was so satisfying. Happy to see Naito finally win in the main event of the Tokyo Dome. It might not have been against Okada or with the original LIJ, but up against one of his former teammates is a solid replacement. Seeing SANADA save Naito post-match and let Naito actually get to enjoy this moment and do the rolecall was such a nice touch. A/94

    As a whole, this felt like one of the weaker Wrestle Kingdoms, but the main events were great, and the rest was solid to really good in the case of the singles title matches. And Bryan/Okada was one of my favorite matches in the last few years.

  27. #27
    Pissed Off MTR's Avatar
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    I fell asleep for the two matches I really cared about the main events. So need to go back and watch.

    Rambo was what is always is. A bit of fun and chance to get people on the show. Does Chase Owens like always go in first or almost first? YOH was a trip and that spot of just hanging on the top rope for like forever was fun.

    First match was fun. I like Catch 22 and I think a bit more now with the Aswang. Haven't see much of the War dogs beyond Connors but they looked good. Good match

    Tv title match was better than I expected. I guess I should know Tanahashi is going to step up but he has still lost a bit more than just a step at times and probably should be more on his way out of wrestling full time. Felt like ZSJ should have gotten the win here though.

    Next match was fine. Nice to see post excursion folks get a match here.

    Nice to see Narita not be a Shibata mini-me. Enjoying what I see with Umino but yeah this match could have been better.

    I really enjoyed the NEVER open weight match. Fan of both of these guys and they put on a good show and now Tama is on his way out. Kind of hope that maybe his brother joins him because I love the tag team and would like to see them in AEW or WWE.

    Bishamon is growing on me and Hikuleo has improved. Not a bad match but I would have preferred a different team for Bishamon here.

    Hiromu and Despy delivered. Loved it. Fan of both of these guys and they always put on a good match against each other.

    Global match was solid and enjoyable. Haven't see Finley much and not see he took over BC. He has stepped up his game for sure and character wise seems better as well. But hell I don't even know what is going on with BC anymore. Is like HoT like still considered part of the group. Like so lost. Anyway hell of match and not surprised by the outcome and of course Nemeth at the end was lovely.

    Need to go back and watch matches and not just highlights for co main events. I figured the winners would be who won. Pretty good show.

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