Wrestle Kingdom 14 Night 1 Predictions
So another year of wrestling has almost come and gone and it's been one hell of a year, but we'll save all this for the Wrestling Year in Review, that I plan to do. Today we're here to talk about Wrestle Kingdom 14, the biggest show of the New Japan Pro Wrestling calendar. The culmination of everything of the year past, as well as the beginning of the year to come. Usually always taking place on January 4th, this year for the first time Wrestle Kingdom has been split into two shows, you know what that means? Multi-man matches, of course, the the card filler of all NJPW shows and guess what? Night 1 has a bunch of those too. Isn't that exciting? Regardless of how I feel about that, let's discuss the card of Night 1 of Wrestle Kingdom 14.
Eight-Man Tag Team Match
Great Bash Heel (Tomoaki Honma and Togi Makabe), Yuya Uemura, and Yota Tsuji vs. Toa Henare, Alex Coughlin, Clark Connners, and Karl Fredericks
So our first match of the entire show, a pointless multi-man match. Just like every NJPW show we get a pre-show match with no meaning, except to showcase young lions, and the eventual loss by one of them. This is a tired formula to me in New Japan, I get it's "tradition" for the young lions to come up this way before they go on excursion, come back and eventually get used the way they were trained to be used, I'm just tired of this at the beginning of every show. The GBH team will probably win here, just because those two are the veterans and the veterans always have to win these for some reason. Also I get it okay, that's how it's been for a long time I just don't like it.
Tag Team Match
Tencozy (Hiroyoshi Tenzan and Satoshi Kojima) vs. Yuji Nagata and Manabu Nakanishi
Another pre-show match and another waste of time, this match doesn't seem like it's needed at all, it's a card filler, when they could've just had a battle royal or a rumble match. Regardless I'm just gonna pick Tencozy cause why not, there's nothing to say about this match all four of these guys are kind of passed their prime and not really in the spotlight anymore so it is what it is.
Eight-Man Tag Team Match
Jyushin Thunder Liger, Tatsumi Fujinami, The Great Sasuke, and Tiger Mask (with El Samurai) vs. Naoki Sano, Shinjiro Otani, Tatsuhito Takaiwa, and Ryuske Taguchi (With Kuniaki Kobayashi)
Hey look, another multi-man match, but this one has some emotional attachment to go with it, this is the second to last match of Jyushin Thunder Liger's career, one of the biggest names in the history of New Japan Pro Wrestling and wrestling in general. They've been building to this show being the end of his storied 35 year career since he announced his retirement last March. This match is full of people from Liger's past, and I'm assuming that this wil be a win for team Liger, as the following night will be probably see him doing the job for the younger opponent's of the future in his final match ever (but we'll talk about that when I discuss night two).
Eight-Man Tag Team Match
Los Ingobernables De Japon (Sanada, Evil, Shingo Takagi, and Bushi) vs. Suzuki-gun (Zack Sabre Jr., Minoru Suzuki, Taichi, and El Desperado)
This is our first setup match of the night, every New Japan pay-per-view whenever there's multiple nights, they always have a setup match in a multi-man match, and boy do we have multi-man matches on this show. Regardless of all that this match is to prepare for night 2's British Heavyweight Championship match between Sanada and the champion Zack Sabre Jr. and that's gonna be a hell of a match. For this I'm going with Suzuki-gun, because this is classic New Japan booking, setup match won by whoever doesn't win the main match. So for me I think it's time for Sanada to be a true singles star and this will lead to that. Suzuki-gun wins this setup match, also if your annoyed by me saying "setup match" strap in it's gonna be said a lot in the next match as well.
Eight-Man Tag Team Match
Chaos (Hirooki Goto, Tomohiro Ishii, Toru Yano, and Yoshi-Hashi) vs. Bullet Club (KENTA, Bad Luck Fale, Yujiro Takahashi, and Chase Owens)
As I said during the last one, this is another setup match for a singles match taking place in night 2, this time its the NEVER Openweight Championship match between Hirooki Goto and the champion KENTA. I'm sure that match will be good and both guys are great. I feel like they been trying to build Goto back up to a level he was at before to an eventual main event spot that he definitely deserves. This is just another Chaos versus Bullet Club nothing match to set up that title match, and as I said in the previous match, usually they have whoever is the person you expect to win, the belt loses the multi-man match so for that reason Bullet Club will win here.
Tag Team Match
IWGP Tag Team Championship
(C) Guerrilla's of Destiny vs. FinJuice
This is the a big match for FinJuice, Juice Robinson and David Finlay. However, I don't think they are going to win here. The reason being, G.O.D., Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa, need to get wins on this stage. They lost last year, they lost the year before, they need a big win more. FinJuice will have time to to get big wins, they won tag league so that is really big for them anyway, for me G.O.D. needs to win here, and this will probably be a good match cause all four guys are really good.
Texas Death Match
IWGP United States Champion
(C) Lance Archer vs. Jon Moxley
This is going to be an interesting match, I honestly feel like it came out of nowhere, Moxley never lost the US Title, and was unable to defend it at a scheduled defense due to travel issues, and Archer won the title. So I can totally see Moxley winning it back and basically getting to have an actual reign out of this one. I love that it's a death match, Moxley's forte, he's gonna be in his element here. I'm picking Moxley and I expect him to have a better reign out of this one. Also let's not forget the winner of this match is going on to Night 2 to defend against Juice Robinson.
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship
(C) Will Ospreay vs. Hiromu Takahashi
So, this is bound to be the match of the night. Of course we've seen it before, it's always good but, Hiromu who is back after neck surgery is back and better then ever. Now for me, I feel Will Ospreay moved on from Junior Heavyweight last year with his match with Ibushi, then he won BOSJ (Best of the Super Juniors) again had a hell of a match with Shingo Takagi in he final. It's safe to say Ospreay is ready for more, his ready to win the Intercontinental title or the United States Title. For that reason I'm picking Hiromu. Also let me just add when Dragon Lee (now known as Ryu Lee) won this title earlier this year, that he would be the one to face Hiromu down the line. It turned into not knowing when Hiromu would be ready so I guess they didn't want Dragon Lee to hold it forever. That's fine, for me though, for the sake of the story of Hiromu's injury. He needs to get his revenge on Lee who did cause his neck injury. I saw that more as Hiromu re-emerging and finally getting the belt back from the man that hurt him. Regardless of all that Hiromu will win here, Ospreay will move on to other things (I hope) and the Hiromu/Ryu Lee.
IWGP Intercontinental Championship
(C) Jay White vs. Tetsuya Naito
When it was announced that the winners of both Intercontinental and Heavyweight Championship matches would end up facing each other, I was very intrigued by this. It's a new layer to these four men, Kazuchika Okada, Kota Ibushi, Jay White, and Tetsuya Naito's work together. As for this match, this whole thing has been done in my opinion to get Naito back to the main event scene. I think Naito is going to win here. It's the right move because Naito is in my opinion the most popular person in New Japan. It would be the right move and Jay White won't be hurt by losing here because he's a top heel in New Japan regardless.
IWGP Heavyweight Championship
(C) Kazuchika Okada vs. Kota Ibushi
This match, is going to make or break night one for me. For one reason, Ibushi needs to win. I'm tired of building to Okada title matches only for Okada win again. Ibushi is the guy whose gonna carry New Japan for the next few years. Ibushi needs to win here, which would lead to him facing Naito for both the Intercontinental and Heavyweight Championships in night 2. This is the match that needs to happen on night 2, I don't care if Okada and White (who would face each other if they both lose) have faced already at a Wrestle Kingdom, I don't care if Okada is the face of New Japan. It's time for Ibushi to take his place at the top, simple as that despite how good Okada is and he is, I'm growing tired of him always winning. So just to reiterate Ibushi must win here, and that will give us Ibushi versus Naito in the main event of night 2 for both championships.
So that's it for Wrestle Kingdom Night 1, this should be a hell of a show and I'm hoping I don't get disappointed by an Okada win (haha). Despite the fact that there's a bunch of multi-man matches and all that. The last five matches of this show are sure to be good enough to give us a good show, go into Night 2. That's gonna do it for me, I'll be back soon to discuss Wrestle Kingdom 14 Night 2.