WrestleKingdom 13 Results

At long last, WrestleKingdom 13 is here. This is of course New Japan’s biggest show of the year, comparable to their Wrestlemania. News did hit recently that the paid crowd was higher than last year, which is always good news for the direction of the company. If you need to get caught up to speed on the goings on in New Japan, check out the preview show we did a few days back.


Pre-Show Match: Team Gauntlet Match for the #1 Contendership to the NEVER Openweight Six-Man Championship: Ryusuke Taguchi & The Most Violent Players (Togi Makabe & Toru Yano) b. Yuji Nagata, Jeff Cobb, & David Finlay, CHAOS (Hirooki Goto, Chuckie T, & Beretta), Suzuki-Gun (Minoru Suzuki, Lance Archer, & Davey Boy Smith Jr.), & The Elite (Hangman Page, Yujiro Takahashi, & Marty Scurll) – It was confirmed that the actual championship match will take place tomorrow on New Year Dash. The former Bullet Clubbers of Page, Scurll, and Takahashi came out first, followed by Nagata, Cobb, and Finlay. No official team name was given for either.

Yuji Nagata, Jeff Cobb, & David Finlay b. Yujiro Takahashi, Marty Scurll, & Hangman Page when Finlay pinned Takahashi with a roll-up. Scurll and Nagata began the match. Chris pointed out that this is the 25th straight January 4th event for Nagata, which is a staggering stistic. That is like a wrestler competing in 25 straight WrestleManias. Cobb tagged in and did well for himself until the numbers caught up with him. Chase Owens tried to interfere, but that backfired and Page collided with him. Yujiro got upset with this, and got in Page’s face. Page shoved Yujiro, who got rolled up from behind by Finlay for the win.

CHAOS made their way to the ring for the next match.

Yuji Nagata, Jeff Cobb, & David Finlay b. CHAOS (Hirooki Goto, Chuckie T, & Beretta) when Finlay pinned Chuckie with a roll-up. The Best Friends of Chuckie T and Beretta hit some cool moonsaults to the outside. Goto scored a two count with an Ushi-Garoushi. CHAOS worked over Nagata until he rallied with Exploder Suplexes and tagged in Cobb. A multi-man brawl soon erupted with several men brawling on the outside. In the ring however, Finlay was able to counter Chuckie T’s offense with a roll-up for a second pinfall win.

Suzuki-Gun came to the ring and instantly went ont he offensive before the bell rang.

Suzuki-Gun (Minoru Suzuki, Davey Boy Smith Jr., & Lance Archer) b. Yuji Nagata, Jeff Cobb, & David Finlay when Smith pinned Finlay with a Killer Bomb. Suzuki singled out Nagata early on, however Nagata escaped and tagged in Cobb. While Cobb and Smith went at it in the ring, Suzuki smashed Nagata with a chair on the outside. Finlay tagged in, but was made quick work of by Killer Elite Squad with a Killer Bomb.

Immigrant Song hit, and Taguchi Japan came to the ring for the final match in the gauntlet.

Taguchi Japan (Rysuke Taguchi, Togi Makabe, & Toru Yano) b. Suzuki-Gun (Minoru Suzuki, Davey Boy Smith Jr., & Lance Archer) when Yano pinned Smith with a Low Blow. Again, the heels kickstarted the match by attacking before the bell and singled out Taguchi. Makabe got the hot tag and went at it with Suzuki. The two gleefully exchanged blows before double tagging out to Smith and Yano. Yano, of course, immediately removed the turnbuckle pad. KES intercepted and hit him with a Hart Attack for a two count. Taguchi saved Yano from aother pinfall attempt, and the obligatory multi-man brawl broke out. Taguchi Hip Attacked Suzuki to the outside whole Yano tried a double Low Blow on KES. KES blocked, but also got Hip Attacked by Taguchi.Yano was then able to hit his beloved Low Blow and rolled up Smith to win the match and the #1 Contendership.

Taguchi Japan will face The Bullet Club trio of Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa, & Taiji Ishimori tomorrow night at New Year Dash.

My predictions start at 0-1

Will Ospreay p. NEVER Openwieght Champion Kota Ibushi with a Stormbreaker to win the championship. Ospreay came to the ring dressed like somebody out of Assassin’s Creed, while Ibushi did the “Jump Up Through The Stage” entrance a la Rey Mysterio Jr. Ospreay was believed to be a challenger to the title while Goto was the champion. However, he got hurt and the title shot went to Ibushi. The match went 100mph out of the gate with each man dodging and ducking each other’s moves until Ospreay connected with the Space Flying Tiger Drop. Ibushi nailed a hurricanrana, followed by a corkscrew moonsault to the outside. Neither man gained any long term advantage until Ospreay clipped Ibushi from behind on the turnbuckle. This caused Ibushi to get caught in a Tree Of Woe. Ospreay slapped Ibushi, which did raise the ire of the crowd. Ibushi got bloodied by a smack on the ringpost, but he recovered and hit a double stmop that knocked Ospreay to the outside. Ibushi tried to German Suplex Ospreay back into the ring, but Ospreay flipped to his feet. Straitjacket Suplex by Ibushi for a near fall. Ospreay dodged a Kamigoye. Both men reversed and dodged several moves before Ibushi got a two count with a tombstone piledriver. Ospreay kicked out, and came back with a Stormbreaker for a surprise pinfall win. Good match, which some may criticize as underwhelming. But I can’t help but think these two will be meeting a few more times in the future.

After the match, Ibushi was tended to by medical personnel, and carried out on a stretcher. And that raises my prediction score to 1-1.

BUSHI & Shingo Takagi of Los Ingobernables De Japon b. IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions Yoshinobu Kanemaru & El Desperado of Suzuki-Gun & Roppongi 3K (Sho & Yoh w/Rocky Romero) when Takagi pinned Sho with Last Of The Dragon to win the championship. This is a rematch of the Junior Tag League Finals. To the surprise of noone, Suzuki-Gun attacked before the bell. Sho managed to German Suplex both Takagi and Kanemaru at once. As R3K prepared for their 3K finisher, Kanemaru and Desperado broke things up. Takagi hit a pair of Pumping Bomber Lariats for a two count on Sho. After Sho kicked out, Takagi followed up with a Last Of The Dragon for the win.

This raises my prediction score to 2-1

Zack Sabre Jr. (w/Taka Michinoku) s. RPW British Heavyweight Champion Tomohiro Ishii with a Double Arm Octopus Hold to win the title for a record third time. Taka did his usual “Zack Sabre Jr. Time” introduction and polled the audience on who will win this championship. The previous day, Sabre boldly proclaimed he would submit Ishii within 60 seconds. It was also revealed that the winner will be presented with a new championship title belt. A surprisingly fast paced start to the match, with Ishii dodging Sabre’s moves. Ishi used an impressive mix of strikes and holds to stay with Ishii. A surprising Canadian Destroyer variant by Sabre got a near fall. Ishii leveled Sabre with a lariat and tried to follow up with a sliding lariat. Sabre dodged and put Ishii in a hanging guillotine. Ishii tried to escape, only for Sabre to counter with his Double Arm Octopus Hold, which he calls (no joke) “Hurrah! Another Year, Surely This One Will Be Better Than The Last; The Inexorable March of Progress Will Lead Us All to Happiness”. I wasn’t sure if Ishii submitted or if the referee stopped the match, but either way, Sabre is the new champion.

My prediction score is now 3-1

EVIL & SANADA of Los Ingobernables De Japon b. IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions The Guerrillas Of Destiny (Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa) & The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson) when SANADA pinned Matt with a Moonsault. EVIL debuted his new dreadlocked look. GOD debuted their new entrance video and theme music. Plus they wore new Deathstroke-like helmets to the ring, and were accompanied by Jado and Bad Luck Fale. Evil attacked Matt on the outside and slammed him on the rampway. GOD stayed out of teh match early on, and kept each of other teams from winning. A Tower Of Doom spot scattered everybody except Nick, who hit a 450 on SANADA. Jado and Fale tried to interfere but The Bucks fended them off. However, Evil and Sanada rebounded and hit Matt with the Magic Killer and Moonsault to win the championships for a second year in a row.

I did predict GOD to retain, so my score falls to 3-2, and this has been quite a showing for LIJ so far.

Juice Robinson p. IWGP United States Champion Cody with two straight Pulp Frictions to win the title. Cody tried to cheapshot Juice with the belt right off the bat. Juice dodged and tried to take the match early with a Juice Box. Cody tried the Crossroads, but Juice reversed into a Pulp Friction attempt on the apron. Cody managed to throw Juice into the ringpost. While referee Tiger Hatori was distracted by Cody, Brandi Rhodes speared Juice and pummeled him with punches. Tiger ejected Brandi from ringside. While Brandi left, Cody hit Crossroads on Juice. However, Juice kicked out and hit a Crossroads of his own. Cody, not to be outdone, hit Juice with a Pulp Friction. After Juice kicked out, Cody began taunting Juice and whipping him with his belt. Juice battled back with punches, finally decking Cody with a Left Hand. Cody followed up with not one, but two Pulp Frictions and became the first two-time US Champion.

A little heelish to hit a finisher twice in a row, but I also can’t help but think this is a rite off of sorts for Cody in New Japan. This raises my predictions to 4-2.

After Kushida made his entrance, a child came out wearing a life-size Kushida mask. it actually looked a little creepy at first. Then Taguchi came out dressed as Doc Brown, and lowered the kid down through the stage. When the stage rose back up, it was the real Kushida.

Taiji Ishimori p. IWGP Junitor Heavyweight Champion KUSHIDA with a Bloody Cross to win the championship. As expected, this match was high speed right from the start. The story of the match was that Ishimori was very strong for a Junior Heavyweight, and used his strength and power to counteract Kushida’s speed. He was able to ground Kushida with a Death Valley Driver. Kushida tried to rally with a Back To The Future, only for Ishimori to turn it into a Bloody Cross (a variant of a Codebreaker) for the pin. This makes six title matches so far, with every one resulting in a new champion.

Predictions are now at 5-2

We got our first video recap of the main show, believe it or not. It recapped the Okada/White feud, which had its initial seeds planted almost exactly a year ago when White joined CHAOS. Billed as a Special Challenge Match, it’s the second of only two non-title matches on the show.

It’s worth mentioning that Okada’s entrance was set to his original, non-remixed them music. He also wore his trunks rather than the long pants he’d been wearing for the last year or so.

Jay White p. Kazuchika Okada with a Blade Runner. White got the advantage early and went of the offense. Okada made a comeback and dropkicked White to the outside. He then whipped White into the ring, something we used to see in almost every match. Okada followed that by hitting both White and Gedo with a cross body on the floor. White battled out of a Rainmaker and regained control with a German Suplex. Gedo tried to interfere with brass knuckles, but was fended off. White escaped a Rainmaker and scored a near fall with a Kiwi Crusher. Okada countered a Blade Runner into a Tombstone Piledriver. The two exchanged several reversals, until White was able to hit a Blade Runner for a very surprising win.

This means Jay White has beaten Okada cleanly not once, but twice. It also means my predictions fall to 5-3.

Another video package recapped the Jericho/Naito feud, including the match being made into a No DQ Match.

Tetsuya Naito p. IWGP Intercontinental Champion Chris Jericho with a Destino to win the title. Jericho came to the ring in a jacket covered in spikes. In an uncharacteristic move, Naito took his entrance garb of and got down to his ring gear before Jericho made it to the ring. He then attacked Jericho from behind before the bell, and piledrove him on the entrance ramp. He dominated the opening minutes of the match, until Jericho took control with a kendo stick shot. Jericho worked over Naito, and DDT’d him on a table. Naito made a comeback, and got a few near falls. Jericho reversed a dropkick into a Walls Of Jericho. Naito got to the ropes, and came back with another near fall with Gloria. An attempt at Destino got refersed into another Walls Of Jericho. This time, Naito was able to escape by using the stick. Jericho ducked a stick shot and hit a Codebreaker for a very close near fall. Jericho continued his assault by throwing several chairs into the ring and nailing several chairshots. Naito escaped with a DDT, and hit his own Codebreaker for a two count. I wonder if this means Jericho will hit a Destino. A frightening German Suplex onto a chair by Naito. Jericho hit another Codebreaker our of desperation, but again Naito kicked out. Jericho brought the belt into the ring and tried to use it as a weapon. Naito ducked that and got another two count with a Destino. A belt shot and a second Destino later, and it was all over. This makes Naito one of only two men to hold the IWGP Intercontinental Title more than twice. The other is of course Shinsuke Nakamura.

After the match, the announcers speculated on what could be the future for Chris Jericho. This means the seventh title change of the night. 6-3 in predictions so far.

And now, it’s time for the Main Event, with well over an hour left on the show. A video package recapped the buildup. Kenny 100% came across as the heel, which is not surprising. Nobody will get solidly cheered when facing Tanahashi.

Hiroshi Tanahashi p. IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kenny Omega with a High Fly Flow to win the title. Omega (w/ The Young Bucks) was introduced with a video that parodied the old 8-bit Final Fantasy games. He then came to the ring with new theme music that sounded much more babyface like, and wore a costume that paid tribute to Sephiroth. The bell sounded, and the two locked up. When they backed to the ropes, Kenny made the clean break. Tanahashi uncharacteristically slapped Omega in the face. The next few minutes saw Kenny stalk Tanahashi and used strikes and stomps. He used a back suplex on the ring apron, to which the announcers thankfully didn’t remind us was the hardest part of the ring. Tanahashi started firing up after Omega started chopping him. A Dragon Screw finally put Tanahashi on the offensive. The Bucks tried to motivate Omega by doing their signature pounding of the Terminator theme on the mat. A missile dropkick put the momentum back in Omega’s hands. When Omega went for the You Can’t Escape combo, it looked like he tweaked his knee. This gave Tanahashi the opportunity to ground Omega with a Dragon Screw. Wisely, Tanahashi put Omega in a Cloverleaf. Omega tried to escape, but before he could, Tanahashi used a Styles Clash. A High Fly Flow got countered with knees. Tanahashi dodged a V-Trigger, causing Omega to hit the turnbuckle. Slingblade by Tanahashi on the apron. After that, Tanahashi laid Omega on a table and tried the High Fly Flow. Omega escaped and Tanahashi crashed through the table, which looked terrifying. Omega went for the kill with a powerbomb, but Tanahashi kicked out. Two more powerbombs got two more near falls. Omega furiously started choking Tanahashi, something he said he might do in him promo yesterday. Tanahashi hit another Slingblade, which lead to the standing dueling exchange of strikes. At the 30 minute mark, Kenny downed Tanahashi and struck him in the ribs several times. Omega then used a Slingblade and High Fly Flow of his own. Tanahashi amazingly kicked out at one and started firing up. A reverse hurricanrana put Tanahashi back down, and Omega then landed another V-Trigger. Again, Tanahshi fired up. This time he countered the One Winged Angel with his own reverse hurricanrana. Dragon Suplex got a two count. Tanahashi went for the win by hitting two straight High Fly Flows, but Omega still kicked out at the 35 minute mark. Tanahashi again climbed the ropes, presumably for another High Fly Flow, but Omega cut him off and flipped him off the ropes. It looked similar to a Dragon Suplex, only Tanahashi thankfully flipped over and landed on his chest. A V-Trigger by Omega, followed by another One Winged Angel attempt which got countered. Another High Fly Flow by Tanahashi, which finally scored the pin and gave Tanahashi his record eighth IWGP Heavyweight Championship reign. Amazing match which will likely be on most fans’ Match Of The Year Candidate List.

This marks the first G1 Climax winner to capture the title at WrestleKingdom since the stipulation of a Title Shot began. It also means a title change in every single title match on the show. My prediction total ends up at 7-3.

After the match, Tanahashi thanked the fans and did his signature air guitar celebration, which he sold like it nearly made him pass out of exhaustion. It will be interesting to see who Tanahashi’s first challenger will be in his new reign. Since Jay White beat Okada tonight, it would seem like he would be in line for a title shot soon.

As usual, WrestleKingdom did not disappoint, even with all the title changes. We’ll see what New Year Dash holds tomorrow. Thanks for reading, and let us know what you thought of the show.

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