NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 10 In Tokyo Dome Predictions Jan 2, 2016 18:15:22 GMT
Post by Brent Delivine on Jan 2, 2016 18:15:22 GMT
by Brent Delivine
[Dark] (might not be on English version like last year): NJPW Rumble Match
vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Manabu Nakanishi vs. Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Satoshi Kojima vs. Tiger Mask vs. Yuji Nagata
I could be mistaken, but last years winner, Yuji Nagata, received an intercontinental Championship match the following event New Beginnings. If that's the case this year, i really don't see him winning again. My pick was solely based on who i WANT to challenge for the title next and quite honestly Satoshi Kojima can still go at his age and a match with him against Nakamura or Styles would be quite the match. Also, fuck Tenzan and Taguchi.
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship Match:
reDRagon (Bobby Fish & Kyle O'Reilly) (c) vs. Matt Sydal & Ricochet vs. Roppongi Vice (Beretta & Rocky Romero) vs. Young Bucks (Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson)
Won't lie, the booking of this match makes little sense and is just trying to get all the Jr teams on the card. Sydal and Ricochet won a tournament for the shot and both are semi-regulars of japan like the Bucks and reDRagon instead touring with Dragon Gate earlier in the year. Bucks and RPG added because... it still doesn't really make sense. The teams in the match have traded the Jr Tag Titles back and forth in hot potato fashion with one another, Vice with one reign, reDRagon with 2 reigns and a Super Jr Tag League victory in 2014, The Young Bucks with three reigns and a 2013 Super Jr Tag League win, and Sydal & Ricochet winning this years Super Jr Tag League.
Booking wise, my money is on Sydal and Ricochet.
NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championship Match (vacant):
Briscoe Brothers (Jay Briscoe & Mark Briscoe) & Toru Yano vs. BULLET CLUB (Bad Luck Fale, Tama Tonga & Yujiro Takahashi)
I've said it before and i'll say it again, this is going to be a piss break for me. Trying to add significance to their usual six man tag matches on the under card. Though i don't care for the concept, i can only see Bullet Club winning this as Briscoe Brothers aren't regulars to Japan. That may not make a difference but really, i also don't care for the Briscoes despite my enjoyment for Yano. Not too big on anyone on the Bullet Club team either, but sadly Takahashi's valet MAO isn't eligible to win the belts on her own.
Bullet Club wins or whatever i guess.
ROH World Championship Match:
Jay Lethal (c) vs. Michael Elgin
Michael Elgin has done extremely well and has gotten really over with the Japanese crowd during both the G1 Climax tournament and the World Tag League (teaming with Hiroshi Tanahashi). His run in NJPW has been a feel good moment and converted some original haters of Elgin into fans since he was living his dream of wrestling in Japan. Despite that, i don't see Ring of Honor handing off their World Championship to someone on another promotions event. Not against him losing honestly, as Jay Lethal has been quite the wrestler this year for Ring of Honor and been putting on great performances. I expect a lot out of this match regardless of who wins, but my money has to be on Lethal.
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship Match:
Kenny Omega (c) vs. KUSHIDA
Since Kenny Omega has won the title at last years WK he has lost it to KUSHIDA and then recently won it back. Kushida has been on a meteoric rise in the Jr Division, winning the Jr Tag Titles with Alex Shelly as the Time Splitters on two occasions aswell as the Jr Title on two occasions (one in 2014 the other in 2015).
Kenny Omega had joined NJPW through the Bullet Club and has further established himself as NJPW's new Ace of the Junior division (since Kota Ibushi signed as a heavyweight wrestler, further teasing a match between the former partners).
I'm predicting a victory for Omega, both because i don't want to see the title switched over again between the two, but i am also a big mark for Kenny.
IWGP Tag Team Championship Match:
BULLET CLUB (Doc Gallows & Karl Anderson) (c) vs. Great Bash Heel (Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma)
This one took a lot of thought actually. There is pros and cons to my pick of GBH winning this match. The pros are that Honma has been one of the most lovable wrestlers in the company as the sympathetic babyface who can hardly hit his own finisher (a running/diving headbutt; Kokeshi) and it would finally end the what feels like forever reign of Anderson and Gallows (who lost the titles last year to Shibata and Goto but won them back the very next show).
The cons are recently Honma has had allegations of domestic abuse that could of changed the outcome to this match going to the GBH as NJPW don't like to glorify wrestlers with a negative out-of-wrestling record (example being the suspension of Taichi for cheating on his wife). The other con? I don't like Togi Makabe. Period. Sure, he won the heavyweight belt in 2010, the Heavyweight Tag belt in 2008 (with Toru Yano), The NEVER Openweight Belt twice (both from Ishii and both in 2015) and won the G1 Climax in 2009. Impressive accolades yes, but if you thought Triple H buried people, he is rivaled with Makabe in the field of burying people.
Hopefully the GBH still win as it would be great to see Honma succeed, especially after crying with joy after winning this years World Tag League with Makabe.
Hirooki Goto vs. Tetsuya Naito
To think, this time last year i hated Naito with a passion for the same reasons i hate Taguchi now; a stale gimmick with no charisma or signs of talent. The change of Naito since joining the CMLL heel stable Los Ingobernables has been quite the change in peoples reception of him. Now with the persona of an obnoxious heel and with fellow stable mates EVIL and Bushi, for the first time in a long time, Naito has been a focus in NJPW that didn't need to be shoved down our throats (like his unconvincing G1 Climax victory a few years back).
Goto on the other hand has been a fierce wrestler and the 'gatekeeper' of sorts to both the Intercontinental and Heavyweight Championships. However, he is a choke artist. Although holding great successes such as winning the Intercontinental Championship twice (first in 2012 from Masato Tanaka and the second from Shinsuke Nakamura this year), winning the New Japan Cup in 2009, 2010 and 2012, the G1 Climax in 2008, the World Tag League twice with Shibata in 2014 and with Karl Anderson in 2012, and the Tag Titles with Shibata at last years WK, along with afew other minor accolades. How is he a choke artist you ask? Well Goto in his career has had 7 shots at the Heavyweight title and lost all of them.
So i originally had Naito as my pick to win, however i changed my mind to Goto. Due to the placement of this match on the card, i can only imagine Heavyweight Championship implications will go to the victor, and although Naito has gotten better, he hasn't gotten great. My pick is overall Goto as this is common for him to be so close, yet so far.
NEVER Openweight Championship Match:
Tomohiro Ishii (c) vs. Katsuyori Shibata
OH BOY, a rematch of one of Dave Meltzers 5 Star matches and if you're new to NJPW, you're in for a treat here.
Tomohiro Ishii, holder of the NEVER Openweight in four separate reigns, is one of the hardest hitting wrestlers in the world and probably the most stiff worker NJPW has (perhaps rivaled with Makabe). In Dave Meltzers words, ""Ishii is the ultimate example of a guy who was destined to just be a decent worker on the undercard, who garnered a cult following in Tokyo, which spread to the rest of the country and resulted in him getting a push." Dubbed underrated, NJPW made this guy the poster of the NEVER Openweight to hopefully get him ready for a higher status.
His opponent is perhaps the OTHER hardest hitting wrestler in the world. Despite a poor stint in DREAM MMA, Katsuyori Shibata . Another man who has been labelled underrated for his hard hitting style, Shibata had failed to win 'the big one' on multiple occasions, losing matches for the Intercontinental Championship, New Japan Cup and the G1 Climax. The only championship he won in his NJPW career has been the Tag Team Championship, all be it a short reign with long time friend and rival, Hirooki Goto.
My pick goes to Shibata, as i feel Ishii has accomplished all he can with the NEVER Openweight and feel its Shibata's time to take the ball.
IWGP Intercontinental Championship Match:
Shinsuke Nakamura (c) vs. AJ Styles
Why this is not the main event i will never know.
Shinsuke Nakamura, Wrestling Observer Newsletters Most Charismatic and Best Wrestler of 2014 AND inducted into their Hall of Fame class of 2015. 3 Time IWGP Heavyweight Champion (2003, 2008 & 2009), 5 Time Intercontinental Champion (2012, 2013, 2014 twice and 2015), 1 time IWGP Tag Team Champion (with Hiroshi Tanahashi in 2014), World Tag League winner of 2006 with Masahiro Chono, G1 Climax winner of 2011, New Japan Cup winner of 2014, the accolades of this man goes on and on. I really don't need to tell you much else about the man formerly known as the Super Rookie, now the King of Strong Style. Simply put, he is one of NJPW's Aces along with Tanahashi and Okada, and one of the best wrestlers in the world.
Speaking of best wrestlers in the world, the same could be said about his opponent and a man who's accolades are so plentiful that it would take me hours to list them all, AJ Styles. I will tell you's this much, the Bullet Clubs Ace who came into NJPW and in his very first match for the promotion, beat Kazuchika Okada for the IWGP Heavyweight Title in 2014, a feet he'd manage to do again in 2015, this time beating Hiroshi Tanahashi, who originally dethroned him as champion. One of the rare few gaijin (foreigners) to beat the NJPW Aces, he now hopes to defeat the final one for gold in Shinsuke Nakamura.
Now this one was tough, originally i was pulling for Nakamura, because rumors were circling around AJ Styles departure of New Japan soon, although its not confirmed to be true, rumors start somewhere. Then i changed my mind to AJ Styles, as i wish for Nakamura to finally move on to the Heavyweight Title as he has accomplished everything he can with the Intercontinental. With that, my final choice was for AJ Styles.
IWGP Heavyweight Championship Match:
Kazuchika Okada (c) vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi
Hopefully, this is the final chapter between Ace of the Universe and Once in a Century Talent Hiroshi Tanahashi, and the Ace of The New Era and The Rainmaker Kazuchika Okada.
Hiroshi Tanahashi, record breaking 7 time IWGP Heavyweight Champion (2006, 2007, 2009 twice, 2010, 2012, 2013), Intercontinental Champion (2014), Tag Team Champion (twice), New Japan Cup winner of 2005 and 2008, G1 Climax winner of both 2007 and 2015 (the reason he is getting this match), Wrestling Observer Newsletters winner of Most Charismatic (2013), Most Outstanding (2012 and 2013), Wrestler of the Year (2011, 2012, and 2013) and inducted into their Hall of Fame class of 2013.
Kazuchika Okada, 3 time IWGP Heavyweight Champion (2012, 2013 and 2015), New Japan Cup winner of 2013, G1 Climax winner of 2012 and 2014 and Wrestling Observer Newletters Most Improved of 2012.
Although the accolades are in the favor of Tanahashi, Okada defeated Tanahashi for his first reign as champion in 2012, followed by Tanahashi winning it back a few month later only for Okada to win it back from him almost a year later. They've had other clashes for the belt however i cant recall them all. The biggest stand out fact for this match is this, the two have faced eachother in the main event of both WK 7 and WK 9, both for the title and both won by Tanahashi, the last of which left Okada crying. Okada hope to this year finally establish himself as the one true ace of NJPW and finally defeat Tanahashi in the main event of WK.
Will he do it though? I am hoping so. Both are incredible wrestlers at the peak of their young careers but i'm hoping and praying for Okada's biggest win yet over his arch rival Tanahashi.