With King Of Pro Wrestling now in the books, and the Power Struggle cards announced, we can start to take a shot at mapping out a Tokyo Dome card for January 4th, and boy does it look like a good one.
A couple of weeks ago when discussing the biggest stories to look for in the last quarter of the calendar year in Japan, I mentioned that it would be interesting to see if New Japan go with the fan voting idea again to decide on whether the IWGP or the Intercontinental title would be the main event.
While it seemed somewhat plausible then, now it seems completely unnecessary.
Kazuchika Okada vs. Kenny Omega feels like a gigantic match worthy of headlining the biggest show of the year.
Omega has made himself a superstar through his incredible work, promos and how he’s carrying himself. With it being a first time matchup, there’s also an added air of intrigue. That match should be our main event.
Tetsuya Naito vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi appears to be a lock for the Intercontinental Title.
There’s a remote possibility that Michael Elgin could wind up involved as he was pulled from his rematch with Naito that was scheduled for Power Struggle. I can’t see New Japan wanting to muddy those waters though, and Elgin will probably have to wait until the spring for his shot.
Katsuyori Shibata vs. Go Shiozaki looks to be the NEVER Openweight Title fight (and I use that term for a reason!) especially now that they’re booked against each other in a non-title match on NOAH’s upcoming Yokohama show.
A Yuji Nagata vs. Katsuhiko Nakajima bout may be the other NJPW vs NOAH action on the card, but I’d look for this to involve other participants. Elgin would fit in nicely with Nagata (he owes Nakajima one from the G1) and Masa Kitamiya has shown enough to be worthy of a slot as Nakajima’s partner.
The tag team titles could well be held by Tomohiro Ishii and YOSHI-HASHI by the time that Wrestle Kingdom rolls around as they have a shot at Guerrillas Of Destiny at Power Struggle.
However, it may actually be a different Ishii team in the slot of challengers if they lose that match and he ends up teaming with Hirooki Goto in the World Tag League. Otherwise, it’s hard to see where Goto might fit on the card. On the junior heavyweight side of the ledger, BUSHI seems set to roll in as the singles champion and if reports are to be believed, he may wind up one on one against Ricochet.
Will Ospreay could make that a three way as he’s unlikely to emerge from the upcoming junior tag tournament as a challenger for those belts with Gedo as his partner. It could be the Young Bucks taking on ACH & Taiji Ishimori who are many people’s picks to win the tournament.
All that plus Kyle O’Reilly, Bobby Fish, and the mysterious Time Bomb which is set to explode at Power Struggle. It will be very exciting to see how it all shakes out.