New Japan Pro-Wrestling is kicking off 2020 with their biggest event of the new year, Wrestle Kingdom 14. For the first time ever, Wrestle Kingdom will be a two-day event, with shows in the Tokyo Dome on January 4th and 5th. This event will be available to watch on their live streaming service, NJPW World, as well as Fite TV. Both platforms enable a choice between English or Japanese language commentary.
Day 1 of Wrestle Kingdom 14 took place on January 4th, and it made for a very eventful evening. Full results of the show can be read here and a shorter synopsis with key takeaways can be read here. Three matches from Day 1 pertained to the card of Day 2. An IWGP US Heavyweight Championship match has been scheduled for Day 2 in which Juice Robinson would challenge the winner between the title bout between Jon Moxley and Lance Archer, which ended up with Moxley the victory. Also, the “Double Gold Dash” will come to a head, as Kazuchika Okada and Tetsuya Naito left Wrestle Kingdom 14 as the IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Champions respectively, and will face off in the main event of Day 2. Their respective opponents, Kota Ibushi and Jay White, will also compete in a singles match.
Pre-show start times are the following. The main show starts one hour after the listed time.
- Pacific USA: January 4th, 9PM
- Eastern USA: January 5th, 12AM (Midnight)
- UK: January 5th, 5AM
- Japan: January 5th, 2PM
- East Australia: January 5th, 4PM
Wrestle Kingdom 14 Day 2 Card
(Pre Show) NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship Gauntlet Match: Los Ingobernables de Japon Win
– Champions: Togi Makabe, Toru Yano & Ryusuke Taguchi
– CHAOS: Tomohiro Ishii, YOSHI-HASHI & Robbie Eagles
– Los Ingobernables de Japon: Shingo Takagi, EVIL & BUSHI
– Suzuki-gun: Taichi, El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru
– Bullet Club: Bad Luck Fale, Chase Owens & Yujiro Takahashi
The match began with the Bullet Club and CHAOS teams. CHAOS eliminated Bullet Club when Tomohiro Ishii hit a vertical drop brainbuster on Chase Owens. The Suzuki-gun trio entered second, but also fell to the CHAOS team as Eagles hit a small package hold on Kanemaru. With two teams dispatched, CHAOS finally fell to Los Ingobernables de Japon, the third trio to enter, after EVIL hit Tomohiro Ishii with the Darkness Falls. With LIJ the last of the challenger teams standing, the champions Makabe, Yano, and Taguchi entered to determine the ultimate winner. There was a close call in which Taguchi hit Shingo Takagi with the Dodon, which he used to finish off Jushin Thunder Liger yesterday, but Takagi kicked out. BUSHI sprayed black mist in Taguchi’s face and Shingo hit him with Made in Japan and got the pinfall victory to win the match. Los Ingobernables de Japon won the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championships, putting another piece in place for every member of LIJ leaving Wrestle Kingdom 14 as champions.
Jushin Thunder Liger Retirement Match II: Hiromu Takahashi & Ryu Lee def. Jushin Thunder Liger & Naoki Sano (with Yoshiaki Fujiwara)
Ryu Lee entered using his new, non-CMLL namesake for the first time, donning the ROH Television Championship and a mask with Liger’s horns. He held the rope open for Hiromu Takahashi, who was wearing half-Liger styled tights, as he made his entrance. The crowd was ablaze as Jushin Thunder Liger walked down the ramp for his final match. Hiromu tagged to Lee, but they double-teamed Liger as the crowed booed. Liger rallied with tilt-a-whirl backbreakers and was able to tag in Naoki Sano, who briefly rallied with surprising agility. The match went back to Liger and Hiromu, and Liger showed great fire against his junior heavyweight successor. Crowds came unglued for his comebacks and were thrilled with his kickouts. They did not want the illustrious career of Jushin Thunder Liger to end. But it did end, when Hiromu Takahashi hit the Time Bomb on Liger to pin the junior heavyweight legend in his final match. Liger briefly spoke on the microphone to the Tokyo Dome audience, his music played, and an era of pro-wrestling ended. Jushin Thunder Liger’s retirement ceremony takes place tomorrow at New Year Dash. (12:16)
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship Match: Roppongi 3K (SHO & YOH) def. Bullet Club (Taiji Ishimori & El Phantasmo) (c)
Roppongi 3K rushed Bullet Club before the bell rang, presumably as payback for stealing their Super Junior Tag League trophies. Soon, the Bullet Club turned the tables with underhanded offense. In one of the most magnificent displays of ostentation, El Phantasmo hit a springboard backflip into a back rake. Theoretically, this match should have struggled to hook the crowd following Liger’s heartfelt retirement, but the crowds were solidly behind Roppongi 3K. Bullet Club attempted to do Roppongi 3K’s self-titled finish, but SHO countered it and the three-time Super Junior Tag League winners were able to take control. Phantasmo tried to get in a belt attack and a groin attack, but they were both foiled. Roppongi 3K hit a combination Shock Arrow and diving double foot stomp, to win the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships. (14:08)
Revolution Pro Wrestling British Heavyweight Championship Match: Zack Sabre Jr. (c) def. SANADA
As is the theme of matches between Zack Sabre Jr. and SANADA, this was a match that was highly ground-based and full of counters, and counters of counters. Zack and SANADA traded control in holds and on the ground, with Zack becoming increasingly frustrated as he realized that SANADA did not succumb to his skill as easily as most others. He had promised to defeat SANADA by submission in the Tokyo Dome. SANADA took the match to stand-up and Zack couldn’t match him in that regard. Nevertheless, Zack deftly caught SANADA with a Japanese leg roll clutch to retain the British Heavyweight Championship. (12:32)
IWGP US Heavyweight Championship Match: Jon Moxley (c) def. Juice Robinson
Despite his rather comedic facial hair and entrance outfit, Juice rushed Moxley as he made his entrance with the IWGP US Heavyweight Championship that he had won less than 24 hours prior. Moxley was arguably at a disadvantage considering the danger of the Texas Deathmatch with Lance Archer that he went through yesterday, but he soon was dominating Juice with strikes. Juice had won a match against Moxley on one of the final days of the G1 Climax, but he looked worse for wear at first. He urged Juice to hit him harder, and then put him out of his misery. Jon Moxley hit the Death Rider to retain the IWGP US Heavyweight Championship. (12:48)
Then, Minoru Suzuki’s music started playing. He entered in his ring gear and gave Jon Moxley a Gotch-style piledriver. He held the IWGP US Heavyweight Championship above a fallen Moxley and left the ring.
NEVER Openweight Championship Match: Hirooki Goto def. KENTA (c)
After an initial burst from Goto, KENTA kept throwing him out of the ring, eliciting heavy boos from the Dome audience. He pompously rubbed his boots in Goto’s face and kicked him while he was down, until Goto lost his patience and floored him with a single forearm. Goto was tired of KENTA’s constant belittling, calling him cute and not taking him seriously. KENTA briefly countered with kicks but Goto continued his momentum with the Ushigoroshi. A corner dropkick and a penalty kick, followed by a shotgun dropkick held Goto down for a near fall. KENTA went for the Go 2 Sleep but Goto caught his leg and headbutted him to the ground. KENTA had a second wind of furious strikes, but Goto powered through them all and delivered the GTR to win the NEVER Openweight Championship. (16:12)
Singles Match: Jay White def. Kota Ibushi
This match involved the two losers of the IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Championship matches from Wrestle Kingdom 14 Day 1. Ibushi looked understandably disappointed as he entered, while Jay White seemed unfazed by his loss. White started the match in the lead, working over Ibushi while proclaiming that his people didn’t care about him anymore. Ibushi was not interested in being slowly worn down, and responded in his usual ferocious manner. He struck Jay down as if he were insignificant, and a wobbly White struggled to land a hit on him. White hit a fast Complete Shot and German suplex to give himself a moment of reprieve. He landed a Kiwi Crusher for a near fall as Gedo barked orders at him. White went for the Blade Runner but Ibushi blocked it with a high kick, and Gedo came in with a chair after the referee had been hit. He hit Ibushi on the back with it, but Ibushi turned around, unfazed, and felled Gedo with a slap to the chest. Ibushi hit an elevated sitout powerbomb on White, but the referee was still down. He left the ring to pull the referee back in, and hit a Kamigoye, but Gedo pulled the referee out of the ring. Gedo came in once again, and Ibushi caught him, but White used the moment to hit Ibushi with a chair, then hit the Blade Runner for the victory. (24:58)
Singles Match: Chris Jericho def. Hiroshi Tanahashi
The video package for this match showed Tanahashi making a comedic parody of the video package that played when Chris Jericho challenged him in November, wearing Juggalo face paint and pretending to sing. Chris Jericho entered wearing the AEW World Championship, after claiming that Tanahashi would be granted an opportunity to challenge for it if he defeated him at Wrestle Kingdom, which was also shown in the video package. The most interesting part of the early stages of this match was Jericho attempting to flex his muscles at Tanahashi, which seemed to amuse him. Jericho used all sorts of unconventional tactics in this match, such as DDTing Tanahashi through an announce table and flogging him with his belt. Not the championship, the belt of his pants. Jericho went for a Lionsault but Tanahashi pushed him off the ropes, and then did a High Fly Flow onto him on the outside. Jericho tried to retaliate with the Codebreaker, but Tanahashi caught him and punished him with repeated dragon screws. Tanahashi went for a High Fly Flow in the ring, but Jericho blocked it with his knees, and then hit a Lionsault for a near fall. Tanahashi blocked the Judas Effect, but Jericho got him in the Walls of Jericho. He was in it for what seemed like forever, but broke the hold and hit a Sling Blade. Tanahashi went for the High Fly Flow yet again, but Jericho stood up in time and hit the Codebreaker in mid-air. Tanahashi blocked the Judas Effect again and hit a Codebreaker of his own for a near fall. Jericho rolled through another High Fly Flow attempt and reapplied the Walls as the crowd went into a frenzy. Jericho arched into the Liontamer and Tanahashi had nowhere to go. Chris Jericho defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi by submission. (22:24)
IWGP Heavyweight Championship & IWGP Intercontinental Double Championship Match: Tetsuya Naito def. Kazuchika Okada
Before the two men even touched, the crowd was absolutely ballistic for this match once the bell rang. This was the match to decide the first ever Heavyweight and Intercontinental double champion, and a one-on-one encounter that had not been seen in two years. As the match began, Okada took advantage early, controlling the pacing and working over Naito’s neck. Naito briefly took control with his own neck attacks, but Okada’s big boot put him flat on his back. Okada hit the reverse neckbreaker, diving elbow drop, and then called for the Rainmaker with unexpected urgency. This Okada was not the same Okada who was toying with Kota Ibushi yesterday. Naito dodged the Rainmaker easily, but Okada compensated with attacking Naito’s damaged knees, including dropping him knee-first on a commentator’s table. Naito barely made it back to the ring before the 20-count and Okada leveled him with a missile dropkick as he made it back. Naito desperately turned the tables with his rope-assisted tornado DDT, followed by the Gloria. Okada blocked the Destino attempt, only for Naito to avoid the Rainmaker. Naito hit a running Destino for a near fall as the crowd erupted. He attempted another, but Okada blocked it and hit his signature dropkick. Naito blocked the Rainmaker with a slap to the face, only for Okada to follow up with a discus lariat. Okada hit a Tombstone piledriver and the Rainmaker, but Naito kicked out. Okada rallied the crowd as he picked Naito up for another tombstone, but Naito struggled out. Okada smashed Naito’s knee against the mat and was roundly booed for it. Okada hit a Rainmaker and held onto Naito’s wrist, then hit another. Naito countered a third rainmaker and hit a Destino for a near fall. Naito body slammed Okada in the corner and hit the Stardust Press for yet another near fall as the ring announcer called that 35 minutes had passed. Naito hit the Valentia and Destino to become the first ever simultaneous IWGP Intercontinental and Heavyweight Champion. (35:37)
As Naito was about to complete the roll call of Los Ingobernables de Japon at Wrestle Kingdom, KENTA came out of nowhere and attacked him. He sat on Naito’s chest holding the IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Championships, then left. BUSHI came out to help Naito up, and carried him to the dugout with the roll call left incomplete.