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KENTA IWGP US title shot defense set for NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 15

juice kenta kick

KENTA will defend his right to challenge contract for the IWGP United States Championship against Juice Robinson at Wrestle Kingdom 15. 

KENTA said during today's Road to Tokyo Dome show that he accepted Robinson's challenge for the match. Robinson proposed the bout in backstage comments after yesterday's Road to Tokyo Dome show. 

KENTA had originally stated in post-match comments both yesterday and today that he does not want the match with Robinson, and is only interested in facing the United States Champion, Jon Moxley. 

KENTA clarified in his backstage promo today that he sees the match with Robinson as an opportunity to face the fans in a match, according to NJPW commentator Chris Charlton's translation.

Moxley won the U.S. title for a second time on the first night of Wrestle Kingdom 14 on January 4th of this year, beating Lance Archer. Archer had won the title after Moxley had been stripped for not being able to defend the title in 2019 due to travel issues related to a typhoon. 

Moxley has managed two successful defenses during his current reign with the title. He defeated Robinson on night two of Wrestle Kingdom 14 on January 5th, then beat Minoru Suzuki at The New Beginning in Osaka on February 9th. 

Moxley has not been able to defend the title since due to pandemic-related travel restrictions. Still, it is noteworthy that NJPW made the decision not to strip Moxley this time, when they stripped him under similar circumstances just last year. 

Robinson is a two-time IWGP U.S. Champion himself and will now face KENTA for the right to challenge Moxley, the man who ended Robinson's second reign with the title at the Best of the Super Jrs. 26 final in June 2019.

KENTA, Jay White and Gedo defeated Robinson, Kota Ibushi and SHO in the main event of today's show at Korakuen Hall. 

Wrestle Kingdom 15 will be held over two nights on January 4th and January 5th, 2021. Both shows will air live on NJPW World at 3 a.m. Eastern time.

Here are the lineups so far: 

Unspecified night --

IWGP U.S. Championship right to challenge contract match: KENTA vs. Juice Robinson

Wrestle Kingdom 15 night one, January 4th --

  • IWGP Heavyweight & Intercontinental double title match: Tetsuya Naito (c) vs. Kota Ibushi
  • IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship match: Taichi & Zack Sabre Jr. (c) vs. Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa
  • Kazuchika Okada vs. Will Ospreay
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Great-O-Khan
  • IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship number one contender's match: Hiromu Takahashi vs. El Phantasmo

Wrestle Kingdom night two, January 5th --

  • IWGP Heavyweight & Intercontinental double title match: Tetsuya Naito or Kota Ibushi vs. Jay White
  • NEVER Openweight Championship match: Shingo Takagi (c) vs. Jeff Cobb
  • IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship match: Taiji Ishimori (c) vs. Hiromu Takahashi or El Phantasmo
  • Stardom exhibition match