Wrestle Kingdom is regarded as one of the biggest nights on the professional wrestling calendar. Traditionally, the event is held on January 4th inside the iconic Tokyo Dome, however in 2020, for the first time in Wrestle Kingdom history the show will be taking place over two nights, the 4th and 5th. The two night extravaganza is not the only historic first that will be occurring over the weekend, as New Japan’s first ever ‘double’ Champion will be crowned. NJPW are billing the mini 3 bout ‘tournament’ as the ‘Double Gold Dash,’ that will see Kazuchika Okada, Kota Ibushi, Jay White and Tetsuya Naito attempt to become the first ever IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Champion concurrently.
AEW Champion Chris Jericho will also be facing NJPW Ace Hiroshi Tanahashi with some with big implications on Night 2. This match reaches far beyond the realms of New Japan, with Tanahashi stating that he wanted a bout for the AEW Championship if he were to defeat the ‘Painmaker’ at Wrestle Kingdom. It has long been reported that the relationship between NJPW and AEW is splintered, and that the companies would not work together. However this challenge set down by Tanahashi, which was officially recognised by NJPW, may mean that there’s opportunities down the road for the two companies to work together.
You can order NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 14 Nights 1, 2 and New Year Dash right now over at FITE.TV.
- Preshow Match 1 – Toa Henare, Karl Fredericks, Clark Connors and Alex Coughlin b. Yuya Uemura, Yota Tsuji, Tomoaki Honma and Togi Makabe
- Satoshi Kojima and Hiroyoshi Tenzan b. Manabu Nakanishi and Yuji Nagata
- Naoki Sano, Shinjiro Otani, Tatsuhito Takaiwa & Ryusuke Taguchi b. Jyushin Thunder Liger, Tatsumi Fujinami, The Great Sasuke & Tiger Mask
- Suzuki-gun (Zack Sabre Jr., Minoru Suzuki, Taichi & El Desperado) b. Los Ingobernables de Japon (Sanada, Evil, Shingo Takagi & Bushi)
- Chaos (Hirooki Goto, Tomohiro Ishii, Toru Yano & Yoshi-Hashi) b. Bullet Club (Kenta, Bad Luck Fale, Yujiro Takahashi & Chase Owens)
- IWGP Tag Team Championship Match – FinJuice (David Finlay & Juice Robinson) b. Guerrillas of Destiny (NEW CHAMPIONS)
- IWGP United States Championship Match – Jon Moxley b. Lance Archer [Texas DeathMatch Rules] (NEW CHAMPION)
- IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship Match – Hiromu Takahashi b. Will Ospreay (NEW CHAMPION)
- IWGP Intercontinental Championship Match – Tetsuya Naito b. Jay White (NEW CHAMPION)
- IWGP Heavyweight Championship Match – Kazuchika Okada b. Kota Ibushi
Here are our 5 Takeaways from NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 14 Night 1:
1Jyushin ‘Thunder’ Liger Receives Thunderous Reception for 1st Retirement Bout
The iconic career of one of Japan’s biggest stars will be coming to an end this weekend. Jyushin ‘Thunder’ Liger joined fellow legends Tatsumi Fujinami, The Great Sasuke and Tiger Mask to open Wrestle Kingdom this year. The reaction for Liger entering the Dome for the second to last time was thunderous and the crowd remained solidly behind the Juniors division pioneer throughout. The build-up to Liger’s final moments through 2019 saw bouts against the likes of Minoru Suzuki; with even the classic ‘Kishin’ Liger making an appearance.
Liger would eventually take the loss in the bout, with Ryusuke Taguchi getting the pinfall over the masked performer. Following the match the lineup of Japanese wrestling legends would stand hand in hand with Liger to soak up the applause from the Tokyo Dome faithful.
Jyushin Liger will be heading into his final ever match in a New Japan ring tomorrow night when he teams up with Naoki Sano to take on Ryu Lee and Hiromu Takahashi.