Final stop on road to Wrestle Kingdom
Christmas Eve sees a celebration of the year that was in NJPW, but also the final stop on the road to Wrestle Kingdom 16 on January 4. One man will be crowned the King of Professional Wrestling for 2021, and the last previews of our huge championship matches and personal grudges will take place.
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Main event: Los Ingobernables De Japon (Shingo Takagi & BUSHI) vs CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada & Robbie Eagles)
Takagi: 73-39-2 (64%) of which singles 21-5-1 (77.8%), championship matches 5-2 (71.4%)
BUSHI: 65-61 (51.6%) of which singles 7-8 (46.7%), championship matches 0-4 (0%)
Okada: 54-44-1 (54.5%) of which singles 17-4 (81%) championship matches 0-1 (0%)
Eagles: 24-23 (51.1%) of which singles 9-7 (56.3%), championship matches 3-1 (75%)
The final NJPW match of 2021 will see Kazuchika Okada and Shingo Takagi do battle ahead of the January 4 main event. It’s the last chance for the IWGP World Heavyweight Champion and the G1 Climax winner to square off before a tense end of year break, and then the collision in the Tokyo Dome; a situation to which Okada is well familiar, but Takagi, in only his second Dome main event, and first at a Wrestle Kingdom, is not. Who has the edge in the last bout of the year?
6th Match: Los Ingobernables De Japon (Hiromu Takahashi, Tetsuya Naito & SANADA) vs Suzuki-Gun (El Desperado, Taichi & Zack Sabre Jr.)
Takahashi: 39-15-3 (68.4%) of which singles 14-5-1 (70%), championship matches 2-1 (66.7%)
Naito: 66-42 (61.1%) of which singles 3-5 (37.5%), championship matches 1-6 (14.3%)
SANADA: 81-49-2 (61.4%) of which singles 12-7 (63.2%), championship matches 1-5 (16.7%)
El Desperado: 64-31-1 (66.7%) of which singles 13-6-1 (65%), championship matches 7-6 (53.8%)
Taichi: 41-50 (45.1%), of which singles 7-8 (46.7%) championship matches 3-4 (42.9%)
Sabre: 53-52-1 (50%) of which singles 10-7-1 (55.6%) championship matches 3-5 (37.5%)
The last meeting of Hiromu Takahashi and El Desperado before Wrestle Kingdom highlights our semi main event. During Best of the Super Jr. their thirty minute draw led to a promise to meet again, and as Hiromu held up his end of the bargain, they will meet January 4 with a 60 minute limit. Meanwhile Dangerous Tekkers and Naito and SANADA flirted with the time limit themselves during the World Tag League; while their Tokyo Dome fates have led them to separate paths, there is still unfinished business between both teams.
5th Match: CHAOS (Tomohiro Ishii, Hirooki Goto, YOSHI-HASHI & YOH) vs HOUSE OF TORTURE (EVIL, Yujiro Takahashi, Dick Togo & SHO)
Ishii: 58-46-1 (55.2%) of which singles 13-6 (68.4%) championship matches 8-1 (88.9%)
Goto: 61-55-1 (52.1%) of which singles 5-11 (31.3%) championship matches 7-3 (70%)
YOSHI-HASHI: 63-51-1 (54.8%) of which singles 6-9 (40%) championship matches 7-3 (70%)
YOH: 21-44 (32.3%) of which singles 7-7 (50%) championship matches 2-2 (50%)
EVIL: 60-65 (48%) of which singles 10-8 (55.6%) championship matches 1-3 (25%)
Yujiro: 48-70-1 (40.3%) of which singles 4-10-1 (26.7%), championship matches 1-2 (33.3%)
Togo: 23-36 (39%) of which championship matches 0-1 (0%)
SHO: 52-60-1 (46%) of which singles 12-6 (66.7%), championship matches 3-2 (60%)
A full complement of CHAOS members face the entirety of HOUSE OF TORTURE tonight as previews for January 4’s singles clashes and January 5’s NEVER Openweight 6-Man title match hit the ring. Without the benefit of the numbers game, HOUSE OF TORTURE see themselves without a valuable upper hand, but still will have plenty of tricks up their sleeves, and much for CHAOS to be wary of.
4th Match: KOPW 2021, End of Year Party Rules: Toru Yano vs Yoshinobu Kanermaru
Toru Yano: 62-51 (54.9%) of which singles 12-4 (75%) championship matches 5-1 (83.3%)
Yoshinobu Kanemaru: 60-35 (63.2%) of which singles 7-7 (50%), championship matches 3-4 (42.9%)
The last KOPW 2021 match before the title resets for 2022 will see Toru Yano defend against Yoshinobu Kanemaru in an End of year Party Rules match. The bout will continue as normal except both competitors must drink every two minutes, and answer the referee’s count to determine themselves fit for progression; currently Kanemaru is leading Yano in the official vote for which beverage shall be consumed; the Heel Master likely having an edge with whiskey over Yano’s Japanese sake. Indeed, Kanemaru has enjoyed a victory toast after 63.2% of his matches this year compared to Yano’s 54.9, but Yano is also a surprise front runner in singles success in 2021, winning three quarters of his matches. Can he win the all important final defence to be crowned King of Pro-Wrestling for the second year running?
3rd Match: Hiroshi Tanahashi, Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma vs BULLET CLUB (KENTA, Bad Luck Fale & Chase owens)
Tanahashi: 64-54-1 (53.8%) of which singles 12-9 (57.1%), championship matches 4-3 (57.1%)
Makabe: 13-37 (26%)
Honma: 16-75 (17.6%) of which singles 0-3 (0%)
KENTA: 29-32 (47.5%) of which singles 11-6 (64.7%), championship matches 1-2 (33.3%)
Fale: 18-13 (58.1%) of which singles 0-1 (0%)
Owens: 31-40 (43.7%) of which singles 3-10 (23.1%), championship matches 1-3 (25%)
Hiroshi Tanahashi wrestles his last match of 2021 looking to send one last message to KENTA before their IWGP United States No-DQ match. Teaming with Great Bash Heel tonight, are these the two perfect partners to bring the hardcore side of the Ace into play?
2nd Match: Satoshi Kojima, Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Yuji Nagata vs United Empire (Jeff Cobb, Great-O-Khan & Aaron Henare)
Tenzan: 33-44-2 (41.8%) of which singles 0-3 (0%), championship matches 0-1 (0%)
Kojima: 26-57-2 (30.6%) of which singles 4-8 (33.3%), championship matches 0-3 (0%)
Nagata: 24-46 (34.3%) of which singles 2-6 (25%) championship matches 0-2 (0%)
Cobb: 73-15 (83%) of which singles 11-5 (68.8%), championship matches 0-1 (0%)
O-Khan: 86-23-2 (77.5%) of which singles 9-9 (50%), championship matches 0-2 (0%)
Henare: 36-17 (68%) of which singles 0-2 (0%)
United Empire end the year as they start it, battling with the Third Generation. At the start of 2021, Great-O-Khan and Will Ospreay in particular singles out Hiroyoshi Tenzan and Satoshi Kojima for brutal attacks and violent battles. The veterans will never back down from a fight though, and the trio will seek to make a dent into the group tonight as its leader prepares for the main event in the Tokyo Dome January 5.
1st Match: Three Way Match- Tiger Mask vs El Phantasmo vs Ryusuke Taguchi
Taguchi: 37-41 (47.4%) of which 7-6 (53.8%), championship matches 0-2 (0%)
Tiger Mask: 25-40 (38.5%) of which championship matches 1-0 (100%)
Phantasmo: 51-43-1 (53.7%) of which singles 12-9-1 (54.5%), championship matches 3-5 (37.5%)
The night starts with a singles preview of a tag team three way to kick off night two of Wrestle Kingdom 16. The IWGP` Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships will be on the line when Tiger Mask and Robbie Eagles, Flying Tiger, defend against both the Mega Coaches team of Rocky Romero and Ryusuke Taguchi, and BULLET CLUB’s Cutest Tag Team (El Phantasmo and Taiji Ishimori). Will one of these team representatives set the pace for what’s to come in under two week’s time in the Tokyo Dome?