A triple threat match for the IWGP title headlines this morning’s King of Pro Wrestling event in Sumo Hall.
Kenny Omega will face not one, but two opponents as he faces Cody and Kota Ibushi. The match was set up last week when Cody proposed a solution that would enable Kota Ibushi and Kenny Omega to square off, continuing to keep their promise that their next big match would be at the biggest venue possible. The co-main event will feature Hiroshi Tanahashi defend his Wrestle Kingdom 13 IWGP title contract against Jay White.
Other title matches set for this morning include the finals of a IWGP Jr. title tournament where KUSHIDA and Marty Scurll will battle to determine the new champion. The IWGP Jr. tag team titles will also be on the line, as veterans Tiger Mask and Jushin Liger take on champions Desperado and Yoshinobu Kanemaru in the opener.
One of the more intriguing matches in the undercard will be an eight man tag team match with LIJ members taking on CHAOS members. In a video earlier this week, Tetsuya Naito promised that a new “pareja” will team with them at this morning’s show. Let the speculation begin!
Join us for live coverage starting at 4 a.m. EDT. There will be English commentary.
EL DESPERADO & YOSHINOBU KANEMARU DEFEATED JUSHIN LIGER & TIGER MASK TO RETAIN THE IWGP JR. HEAVYWEIGHT TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP (9:53)
This was weird for an opener, as the heels won, and they did a bunch of shenanigans and a ref bump. The wrestling itself was fine.
Liger and Tiger Mask got jumped during their entrance. Desperado used a chair on Liger, and Kanemaru sent Tiger into the security fence.
Suzuki-gun finally brought the action into the ring. Desperado and Kanemaru worked over Tiger, and teased taking off his mask. Tiger made a comeback, and tagged Liger. Liger hit a top rope rana on Kanemaru, and cradled Kanemaru for a nearfall.
Liger used an armbar on Kanemaru. Desperado jumped in for the save, and ate a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Tiger got a tag and hit a diving headbutt on Kanemaru for a two count. Desperado got a tag and hit a brainbuster and a spear on Tiger.
Liger came in for the save, but Kanemaru took him out. Tiger hit Desperado with a tiger driver for two. Tiger put Desperado on the top rope, and hit a tiger suplex. He covered, but Kanemaru slid a whiskey bottle in, stopping the count.
Kanemaru spit the whiskey mist in Tiger's eyes, and the ref took a bump. Liger hit Kanemaru with a somersault senton from the apron to the floor. Tiger got a visual pinfall on Desperado, but the referee was out. Desperado hit a low blow. Desperado hit the pinche loco on Tiger, and got the pin to retain the titles.
TOGI MAKABE & TOMOAKI HONMA DEFEATED JUICE ROBINSON & TOA HENARE (10:21)
A very simple, basic tag match. Honma did more and looked better than he has since his return.
Honma and Henare started off. They hit each other with shoulder tackles. Honma hit a slam, bt missed a kokeshi. Juice tagged in and hit a vertical suplex, but then tagged out immediately. Honma hit a vertical suplex, and both Honma and Henare tagged out.
Honma hit juice with ten punches in the corner, but Juice came back with corner clotheslines, a cannonball, and his jab series. Makabe ducked a jab, hit a lariat, and tagged Honma. Honma hit a bulldog and a kokeshi. Honma hit a lariat and made a cover, but Henare jumped in to break it up.
Honma went up top, but Juice press slammed him to the mat. Juice tagged Henare, who hit a lariat for a two count. Honma hit a diving kokeshi, and tagged Makabe. Henare hit a tackle for a two count.
Makabe hit a lariat on Henare for a one count. Honma jumped in and they hit double lariats. Honma hit a kokeshi, and Makabe hit a king kong knee drop for the pin.
TAMA TONGA, TANGA LOA, BAD LUCK FALE & TAIJI ISHIMORI DEFEATED THE YOUNG BUCKS, CHASE OWENS & HANGMAN PAGE (12:06)
A great match. Everyone looked spectacular.
Owens and Loa started off. They did virtually nothing, before tagging Nick and Ishimori, who did a lightning quick stalemate sequence. All eight men jumped in, and the Elite team hit stereo dropkicks, sending everyone to the floor. Nick hit a senton off the top to the floor. Matt teased a dive, but got tripped.
Loa slammed Matt on the floor, and the OGs turned it into a brawl around ringside. Matt was the legal man, and found himself worked over by Ishimori and Tonga. Matt had his back taped up and was wearing the weight belt. Tonga took the belt off, and Fale ripped the tape off. Fale stood on the back. Tonga hit a stinger splash to the back.
Tonga went for a second splash in the corner, but Matt escaped. He hit a superkick to Loa, and a spear on Tonga, then tagged Page. Page ran wild, hitting a dropkick on Loa into a standing moonsault on Ishimori. Page hit a moonsault from the post to the floor, wiping out the OGs.
Page hit a buckle bomb to Ishimori into double enziguris from the Bucks. Owens hit a backbreaker for a two count. Ishimori slipped going for a handspring kick. Everyone jumped in and hit a big move. Page hit the buckshot lariat. The Bucks double superkicked Fale. Ishimori hit a fantastic twisting plancha to the floor.
Owens escaped a gun stun, and hit a pump kick and a step-up knee on Loa. He went for a package piledriver, but Loa countered, and lifted him into a gun stun from Tonga, and the OGs got the victory.
HIROOKI GOTO, WILL OSPREAY & TOMOHIRO ISHII DEFEATED MINORU SUZUKI, TAICHI & TAKASHI IIZUKA (12:12)
This served to set up Suzuki and Ishii's RPW title match next week, and set up Ospreay as a challenger for Taichi. I suppose someone finally realized that maybe, just maybe, the NEVER Openweight title could mean something if it were truly an openweight title, rather than a tertiary heavyweight belt.
Suzuki-gun tried to jump CHAOS at the bell, but CHAOS was ready. Ospreay and Goto ran wild. Suzuki grabbed Goto's arm and applied an armbar over the ropes, and employed some small joint manipulation on Goto's fingers. This enabled Suzuki-gun to take over, and it devolved into a wild brawl.
They brawled around ringside, with Suzuki-gun using chairs. They teased a countout, but Goto made it back in at 19. Iizuka bit everyone. Goto made a comeback and hit a brainbuster on Suzuki. Ishii got a tag, and Ishii and Suzuki stood in the center of the ring, trading blows. Suzuki ended up with a bloody mouth. Suzuki blasted Ishii with some short forearms.
Ishii fired back. He teased a brainbuster. Suzuki teased a Gotch. Ishii hit a flying tackle, and they did a double down. Ospreay and Taichi got tags. Ospreay hit pip pip cheerio, and a handspring into a kick. Taichi came back with a high kick. Goto and Ishii got sent to the floor, and Suzuki-gun triple-teamed Ospreay. Taichi hit an axe bomber for a nearfall, but Ishii and Goto made the save.
Taichi took his pants off. Maybe his balls was hot?
Ospreay's chest was all welted up. Iizuka tried to use the iron hand, and he took the referee. Taichi tried to use the NEVER belt on Ospreay, but Ospreay hit a standing spanish fly. Goto hit an ushigoroshi on Iizuka, while Ishii took Suzuki to the floor.
Ospreay hit the storm breaker on Taichi, and got the pin. They played this up like it was a big deal, and Ospreay said he was next for Taichi.
They played a video package before the next match, teasing the new LIJ member. LIJ did their entrance. Naito cut a promo. He teased that the new member was Milano Collection AT, but Milano denied it. Naito then introduced The Dragon. The Dragon entered, and unmasked as Shingo Takagi, formerly of Dragon Gate.
TETSUYA NAITO, SANADA, BUSHI & SHINGO TAKAGI DEFEATED KAZUCHIKA OKADA, TORU YANO, SHO & YOH (9:30)
Takagi and YOH started off. All eight men quickly jumped in. SANADA tied Yano up in the paradise lock over the bottom rope. He then tied YOH up, and dropkicked him into Yano, freeing him. BUSHI hit a missile dropkick, then tagged Naito. YOH hit dragon screws on Naito and BUSHI.
Okada got a tag, and DDT'ed Naito. He followed with a flapjack for a two count. Naito hit an inverted atomic drop and the slingshot dropkick in the corner. Naito and BUSHI hit Okada with basement dropkicks, and picked up a nearfall.
Naito went for gloria, but Okada countered, and hit a dropkick. Naito went for a destino, but Okada countered. Naito hit a flying forearm, into a double down. SHO and BUSHI got tags. SHO hit a spear, then a backstabber, while YOH delivered a dropkick.
SHO and YOH went for a 3K on BUSHI, but he countered, and tagged Takagi. The match broke down, and all eight jumped in. Takagi hit his finish, the last falconry, on SHO for the pin.
ZACK SABRE JR. VS. EVIL NEVER STARTED, WAS RULED A NO CONTEST
EVIL made an entrance with druids. One of the druids jumped him, and unmasked as Chris Jericho. Jericho hit a codebreaker, then laid EVIL out with a belt shot with the Intercontinental title. Jericho took off.
They ruled that EVIL was unable to compete, but Sabre went after him anyway. He applied an armbar, but Naito ran in for the save. Naito hit a swinging DDT on Sabre, and Sabre bailed.
KUSHIDA DEFEATED MARTY SCURLL TO WIN THE VACANT IWGP JR. HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP (18:34)
This turned into a hell of a match by the end. KUSHIDA's matches always start slower than I anticipate, but his closing sequences are among the best in the world.
They began with some chain wrestling. KUSHIDA hit a flying armbar, but Scurll turned it into a cradle for a two count. They executed a series of cradles and reversals, ending with Scurll getting a nearfall. KUSHIDA rolled to the floor, and Scurll hit him with a superkick down the line, and he took control of the match.
Back inside, Scurll used a romero special. KUSHIDA came back with a cartwheel dropkick. KUSHIDA went after Scurll's left arm, trying to soften him up for the hoverboard lock. KUSHIDA went up top, but Scurll cut him off and hit a superplex. KUSHIDA rolled through the superplex into a pinfall, but Scurll kicked out and hit a thrust kick to the side of the head.
Scurll hit a stiff forearm shot, leading to another series of cradles and reversals. Scurll popped out of a cradle and hit a superkick. They traded knee strikes to the head. KUSHIDA hit a bicycle kick, Scurll hit a rebound lariat, and both hit simultaneous overhand chops, leading to a double down.
KUSHIDA hit a cartwheel kick, and Scurll rolled to the floor. KUSHIDA went to the top, but Scurll cut him off, and joined him on the top rope. KUSHIDA slapped on the diablo armbar, and they crashed to the mat. Scurll hit a short slingshot under the bottom rope. He charged at KUSHIDA, but KUSHIDA used a drop toehold to send Scurll into the corner pad.
KUSHIDA went for a back to the future, but Scurll jumped into the chicken wing, locking it on in the center of the ring. KUSHIDA rolled through, but Scurll locked on a hoverboard lock of his own. KUSHIDA kept his hands locked, then escaped. Scurll hit a suplex, dropping KUSHIDA right on his head.
KUSHIDA countered a graduation with an air raid crash. KUSHIDA went for back to the future, but Scurll slipped out and stomped on KUSHIDA's hand. KUSHIDA tried to lock on the hoverboard, but because of the hand stomp, he couldn't lock it on.
Scurll hit a powerbomb, then a package driver for a two count. Scurll hit a lariat, and attempted to roll into a chicken wing, but KUSHIDA blocked it. KUSHIDA then hit two back to the futures for the pin, winning the title.
HIROSHI TANAHASHI DEFEATED SWITCHBLADE JAY WHITE TO RETAIN THE TOKYO DOME IWGP HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP CHALLENGE RIGHTS CERTIFICATE (20:40)
The match was good for what it was, especially given all the gaga and interference. It featured some incredible work from Tanahashi, but all of that was secondary to the post-match.
White began with some stalling. He rolled to the floor. He came back inside, and they locked up. White broke cleanly on the ropes, but Gedo tripped Tana from the floor. White sent Tana into the fence. Gedo jumped in for a cheap shot, and Tana chased him into the ring. While Gedo took Tana, White hit a chop block, then played air guitar.
White went to work on Tana's left leg, and played air guitar with it. He pulled Tana to the apron, and worked the leg over on the apron. White posted Tana's leg, and Gedo used the briefcase on the leg. White sent Tana over the top. Tana kicked off Gedo and skinned the cat, but the interference allowed White to grab the leg and continue working it over.
White sent Tana into the corner, but Tana was able to counter with a dragon screw. Tana hit a scoop slam, second rope senton, and an inverted dragon screw. Tana used a cloverleaf, but White reached the ropes immediately. White Saito suplexed Tanahashi over the top rope to the floor, where he then slammed Tana into the fence.
White pulled a chair from under the ring. As he attempted to bring it inside, Red Shoes stopped him, and Tana hit a dragon screw over the rope. White rolled outside, and Tana hit a high fly flow to the floor. Back inside, Tana went for sling blade, but White cut him off twice. White hit an exploder, into a double down.
They traded short forearms. Tana went to using right hands, but White kicked at the leg. White hit some right hands, but Tana hit a palm strike, then another. They did an insane sequence of reversals, ending with White hitting a right hand. Tana then hit two twist and shouts. He went for a third, but White reversed it into a spinning brainbuster. He went for another, but Tana hit another twist and shout.
Tana hit sling blade. Gedo jumped onto the apron. White went for a blade runner, but Tana turned it into a dragon suplex for two. Tana hit a high fly flow to a standing White. He hit another to a fallen White. Red Shoes counted to two, but Gedo pulled him out of the ring before he could count the pinfall.
Gedo jumped in with brass knuckles. Tana ducked them and KO'ed Gedo, but White hit a low blow, then grabbed a chair. He swung the chair, but Tana ducked it and hit a low blow. Tana slammed White on to the chair. He went for a high fly flow, but White rolled out of the way, and Tana landed on the chair.
White hit a chair shot. Red Shoes was revived. Rather than cover immediately, White tried to hit a blade runner first, allowing Tanahashi to counter with a roll-up for the three count.
White and Gedo assaulted Tana after the match. White went for a blade runner, but Okada ran down for the save. Okada laid out White. Gedo tried to sneak attack him, but Okada fired back. Jado ran in to make the save for his brother, while wearing an Okada shirt. He talked Okada into backing off.
The Bullet Club OGs came to ringside. Fale grabbed Gedo. Tonga grabbed Jado. Okada hit the ropes to hit Gedo, but Tonga hit him with a gun stun. Gedo, Jado, Loa, Tonga, Fale, Ishimori, and White, all threw up the too sweet, and White hit a blade runner on Okada.
So, White, Gedo, and Jado have aligned themselves with the Bullet Club.
After the Bullet Club scattered, Tana got back into the ring, and stood over Okada. He didn't help him to his feet, and was then helped to the back by the Young Lions, who then escorted Okada to the back.
KENNY OMEGA DEFEATED CODY & KOTA IBUSHI TO RETAIN THE IWGP HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP (34:14)
This was intricately laid out. There was no absence of ring psychology here, and the underlying story of the match was the complications that Omega and Ibushi's relationship brought to the bout.
That said, it was primarily about all three guys trying to win the championship, and there were approximately six billion moves. Omega was slightly less crisp than his impossible standard, but still incredible. Ibushi and Cody were excellent. The crowd wasn't into it in some stretches, but they were into it at the end.
Cody sent Ibsuhi to the floor, and hit Omega with his dropdown right hand. Omega rolled to the floor, and Ibushi jumped back in. Ibushi hit a dropkick. Omega jumped back in and hit a kotaro krusher. Ibushi covered, but Omega pulled him off. Omega covered, and Ibushi pulled him off.
Cody hit a gutbuster on Omega, who sold his right shoulder. cody rolled to the floor and hit Ibushi with a gutbuster on the floor. He jumped back in and hit Omega with a knee to the gut, before jumping back outside. Ibushi ran at Cody, and Cody sent him over the fence, into the crowd.
While Ibushi sold his knee outside, Cody jumped back in and hit a running knee strike on Omega, picking up a two count. Omega hit a snap rana, sending Cody to the floor. Omega hit the rise of the terminator.
All three men climbed back inside. Omega hit you can't escpae. Ibushi hit a moonsault. Omega went for a one-winged angel on Ibushi, but Ibushi slipped out. Cody hit a powerslam on Omega. Ibushi hit a powerslam on Cody, then a moonsault for a two count.
Cody talked Omega into trying a double brainbuster on Ibushi, but as they lifted him, Cody rolled up Omega for two. Omega and Cody traded strikes, and Cody applied a figure four. While they sat in the figure four, Ibushi hit both with kicks, then hit a standing moonsault on Omega for a nearfall.
Ibushi went for a moonsault on Cody, but Cody got the knees up. Omega hit a snap dragon on Cody, side-stepped a disaster kick, then gave Cody a snap dragon. Omega went for a v-trigger, but Ibushi hit him with a dropkick. Cody hit Ibushi with a springboard dropkick, then hit a hammerlock DDT for a nearfall.
Omega rolled to the floor. Cody hit a suicide dive to Omega. Ibushi teased a golden triangle on both, but Cody cut him off. He teased a cross Rhodes on the apron, but Omega grabbed him and powerbombed him through the announce table. Ibushi then hit a twisting springboard moonsault to the floor on Omega.
Ibushi had a chance to try a springboard maneuver on Omega, but stepped inside and dared Omega to lock up instead. They locked up, then traded strikes. They exchanged front kicks, then Ibushi hit a combination. Omega countered with a snap dragon. They did a series of reversals, and Omega hit a v-trigger. Omega went for a rana, but Ibushi flipped out, landed on his feet, and hit a thunderous lariat.
Ibushi teased a phoenix splash, but Cody shoved him from the top to the floor. Cody hit a canadian destroyer for a two count on the champion. Cody teased din's fire, but ate a wheel kick to the back of the head. Omega hit a v-trigger, sending Cody into the corner pad.
Omega teased a top rope dragon suplex. Ibushi cut him off. Omega recovered. Ibushi hit a kick to the back. Ibushi teased lawn darting Omega, but Omega buckle bombed Ibushi into Cody. Omega hit a package driver for two on Ibushi. WIth Cody tied to the tree of woe, Ibushi lawn darted Omega into Cody.
They did a take on the stacked up superplex spot, with Omega hitting a springboard sunset flip. He didn't quite execute it perfectly. Omega hit both with v-triggers. Cody lifted Omega into a german from Ibushi, but then broke up the ensuing pinfall. With Omega on the apron, Cody hit him with a disaster kick. He went for a table, but it was on the other side of the ring, so he went to the other side of the ring and set up a table.
Omega went for a springboard attack, but Cody pushed him off, and he went through the table. Ibushi hit a superplex, but Cody rolled through into a cradle for a two count. Cody went for a disaster kick, but Ibushi hit him with a kick. Ibushi hit a sit-out powerbomb for a two count.
Ibushi hit a straightjacket suplex, but didn't have Cody's shoulders down. He slid to a lateral press for a two count, but Omega grabbed Red Shoes' hand, holding up the count. The crowd had not really been into the match for some time, but that spot got them back into it.
Omega tried to apologize to Ibushi, but Ibushi hit him with a palm strike. Omega hit a desperation single-leg, but Ibushi ended up on top. Ibushi slipped to mount, and hit Omega with a series of closed fists. Ibushi hit a bomaye for a two count.
Ibushi teased a kamigoye, but Cody pulled him to the floor. Cody hit a cross Rhodes and made a cover on Omega, but Ibushi hit a double foot stomp, breaking it up. Cody hit a second cross Rhodes, and the crowd bought it as a finish, but Omega kicked out at two.
Cody hit din's fire on Ibushi, but Omega broke up the pin. Cody went outside and grabbed a chair, but settled on using his US title belt as a weapon. He tossed the belt to Nick Jackson, then grabbed the chair again. Omega laid over Ibushi, begging Cody not to hit him.
He kicked off Cody, who rolled to the floor, then hit a v-trigger on Ibushi. He followed with a jay driller for two, then hit the one-winged angel for the pin.
After the match, Omega said that he wouldn't address the crowd until Ibushi could get to his feet. Ibushi got up.
Omega told him that he loved him. He told Cody that he loved him and his dog, too. He told the Bucks that he loved them.
Just as he was about to goodbye and goodnight, Tanahashi appeared. Omega offered him the microphone. Tana said he was angry, but that they shouldn't settle their differences today, but rather at the Tokyo Dome.
Omega then signed off.