New Japan Pro-Wrestling’s King of Pro-Wrestling 2019 event took place at the Ryogoku Sumo Hall in Tokyo, Japan on October 14.
This event can be watched on NJPW World.
Before the event began, NJPW ring announcer Makoto Abe announced that Jon Moxley and Zack Sabre Jr. were unable to attend the event due to flight cancellations caused by Typhoon Hagibis. Additionally, it was announced that the IWGP US Heavyweight Championship was declared vacant due to Moxley’s inability to defend the Championship. The announcement that Juice Robinson would now be competing against Lance Archer for the vacant Championship received a positive reponse.
King of Pro-Wrestling 2019 Card
Suzukigun (El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru) defeated Roppongi 3K (SHO & YOH)
This was El Desperado’s first match back since getting his jaw broken in a deathmatch against Jun Kasai in May, which resulted in his removal from the Best of the Super Juniors tournament. El Desperado entered wearing a blood-stained dress shirt and vest. After blocking SHO’s Shock Arrow, El Desperado pushed SHO into the referee, enabling Yoshinobu Kanemaru to spit whiskey in SHO’s face. El Desperado pinned SHO after the Pinche Loco. (10:44)
Hiroshi Tanahashi & Tomoaki Honma defeated Most Violent Players (Togi Makabe & Toru Yano)
This match was made to celebrate 20 years since Hiroshi Tanahashi’s wrestling debut in October 1999. Wataru Inoue, a retired NJPW wrestler who debuted at the same time as Tanahashi, was at ringside for this match. Toru Yano removed a corner turnbuckle pad and Irish whipped Hiroshi Tanahashi into it, then rolling him up for a near fall. Tanahashi hit a Sling Blade followed by the High Fly Flow to pin Toru Yano. (9:43)
Los Ingobernables de Japon (Tetsuya Naito & Shingo Takagi) defeated Suzukigun (Taichi & DOUKI)
Shingo Takagi hit DOUKI with a Pumping Bomber, and then lifted him for the Last of the Dragon, but Taichi came in and hit Shingo with his microphone stand in full view of the referee. Los Ingobernables defeated Suzukigun by disqualification. (9:00) After the match ended, Taichi downed Shingo with a high kick and Naito with a microphone stand hit, backdrop drivers, and an elevated powerbomb.
Minoru Suzuki defeated Jushin Thunder Liger
Jushin Thunder Liger entered in his Battle Liger attire, wearing only the pants portion of his bodysuit and a modified mask. Contrary to the bloodlust that Liger expressed in the leadup to this match, Liger challenged Suzuki to a technical wrestling battle. They fought for holds on the mat before Liger decided this was not a battle he could win. Suzuki battered Liger with chair shots and repeatedly tore at his mask. Liger targeted Suzuki’s arms, but Suzuki applied the sleeper hold and went for the Gotch-style piledriver, which Liger reversed into a back body drop. Suzuki pummeled Liger with strikes and Liger absorbed them, but his ripostes did not phase Suzuki. Minoru Suzuki pinned Jushin Thunder Liger after the Gotch-style piledriver. (17:38) He continued to hit Liger with chair shots after the match ended, then kneeled and bowed to the fallen Jushin Thunder Liger. Liger eventually got to his feet and said to Suzuki on the microphone, “Thank you.”
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship Match: Will Ospreay (c) defeated El Phantasmo
El Phantasmo came out wearing non-Bullet Club gear with Taiji Ishimori in tow. Will Ospreay entered with his tag team partner, Robbie Eagles. Before the match began, El Phantasmo told Ishimori to leave, saying that he would handle this match by himself. The match began with ELP acting aggressively sportsmanlike, offering handshakes and not taking cheap shots when they were offered to him. After a matter of time, however, he dropped the act and raked Ospreay’s eyes. They fought into the crowd until they ended up on the platform above the entrance way, and ELP hit a monstrous dive on Ospreay. Ospreay hit the Oscutter and went for the pin, but Ishimori had returned to the ring and pulled the referee out of the ring. Ishimori tried to hit Ospreay with the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship, but Robbie Eagles came in and apprehended him. Phantasmo hit a low blow on Ospreay and then hit him with the Championship, then hit a frog splash for a near fall, then a Styles Clash for another near fall. Ospreay turned the tide with a Spanish fly, an Essex destroyer, and the Hidden Blade. Finally, Will Ospreay hit the Stormbreaker and pinned El Phantasmo to retain the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship. (27:58)
CHAOS (Hirooki Goto, Tomohiro Ishii & YOSHI-HASHI) defeated Bullet Club (Jay White, KENTA & Yujiro Takahashi)
The majority of the match revolved around KENTA, with him beating up YOSHI-HASHI and antagonizing Tomohiro Ishii, taunting him in the ring and provoking him when he wasn’t the legal man. Hirooki Goto hit the Ushigoroshi followed by the GTR on YOSHI-HASHI to win the match by pinfall (12:27). Ishii continued to assault KENTA after the match, while Jay White repeatedly yelled that Goto didn’t deserve to challenge him and that he was the best.
7th IWGP US Heavyweight Champion Determination Match (No Disqualification): Lance Archer defeated Juice Robinson
Before the match began, Lance Archer took the microphone and proclaimed that this match should have no disqualifications, since the fans expected to see a no DQ match. Juice agreed to it, and it was made so. Before long, Archer sent Lance crashing through a ringside table, and removed all four turnbuckle pads from the ring. Lance battered Juice every which way, leaving him with a bleeding nose and a bent finger. Both men were sent crashing into tables. After a reverse crucifix powerbomb into a pile of chairs, Lance Archer pinned Juice Robinson with the EBD Claw to win the vacant IWGP US Heavyweight Championship. (14:58)
As Lance Archer celebrated, he was attacked by the returning David Finlay, who has been sidelined with a torn labrum since February.
Wrestle Kingdom 14 IWGP Heavyweight Championship Challenge Match: Kota Ibushi (c) defeated EVIL
EVIL came into this match vexed that the reputation of the G1 winner’s right to challenge for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship had yet to change hands between the G1 and Wrestle Kingdom. EVIL pressed the advantage early, using his superior power to bully Ibushi, while Ibushi managed to keep him from maintaining the edge for too long with his quickness and strikes. Reeling from the Darkness Falls, Ibushi retaliated and hit an elevated powerbomb. Ibushi called for the Boma Ye, but a massive lariat from EVIL took him off his feet, with another lariat for good measure. EVIL went for his self-named hold, but Ibushi countered it. Ibushi attempted the Kamigoye, but EVIL reversed it. Ibushi finally hit the Kamigoye, but EVIL kicked out, so he pulled his knee pad down hit another, and pinned EVIL. (24:05) Kota Ibushi remains the named challenger for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship at Wrestle Kingdom 14 day 1.
IWGP Heavyweight Championship Match: Kazuchika Okada (c) defeated SANADA
This match began with an explosive start, as Okada rushed SANADA with dropkicks right as the bell rang. SANADA was ready for him, though, leading Okada to change tactic and try to grind SANADA down with holds. Okada got him in position for a barricade-hung DDT, but SANADA countered it and hit a barricade-hung cutter. Having fought multiple times this year, both men seemed more prepared for each other’s moves than ever before, countering them in never before seen ways. Okada went for the Tombstone piledriver only for SANADA to counter it into his own, followed by the TKO. SANADA locked in the Skull End, but Okada managed to get out of it and hit a Rainmaker, and pinned him weakly for a near fall. Okada missed the rolling Rainmaker and SANADA caught him in a swinging Skull End. SANADA let go of it to hit two top rope moonsaults, but Okada blocked the second one with his knees. Okada blocked another attempt at the Skull End and hit a spinning Tombstone piledriver, and went for the Rainmaker, but SANADA blocked it with kicks. Finally, Okada hit the Rainmaker to pin SANADA and retain the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. (36:21) Okada shook SANADA’s hand after the match.
Following the match, Kota Ibushi entered with his contract for the Wrestle Kingdom 14 IWGP Heavyweight Championship match. Kazuchika Okada versus Kota Ibushi was confirmed for Wrestle Kingdom 14 Day 1.