Battle Autumn night 16 (November 5) full card, preview

Massive card for tour closer in EDION Arena



The card has now been finalised for Battle Autumn’s tour closer in Osaka on November 5. With three championship matches, and major tarmac set on the road to Wrestle Kingdom, it’s an unmissable card!

Watch Battle Autumn LIVE IN ENGLISH on NJPW World!

Main event: IWGP United States Championship: Tetsuya Naito vs Will Ospreay

Singles record: 1-0 Ospreay

The IWGP US Heavyweight Championship is on the line in a rematch from the G1 Climax 32 semifinal between Tetsuya Naito and Will Ospreay. 

Two men who each struck out on their own with drives for success and the desire to be much more than gifted bit part players, Naito and Ospreay might have differing philosophies, but a common drive, and a permanent chip on their shoulders. That drive led them to immense success, but both have white whales of their own to grasp. 

For Ospreay, the world to recognize not just his physical gifts but presence as one of, the greatest of all time means all to him. Yet with the omnipresent last boss of Kazuchika Okada still sticking in his claw, and with the G1 Climax still lingering on his list of achievements, that goal seems so close yet so far away. The G1 this year saw Ospreay get past Naito to reach the finals, but the Rainmaker in the big spot was once again too much for the Commonwealth Kingpin to overcome. By instead elevating the status of the IWGP US Championship to one even greater than the G1 and the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship might be his key to a much desired mega stardom status. 

Naito has had his own longstanding issues with Okada, and knows just what it’s like to taste defeat to the ‘last boss of professional wrestling’ several times this year alone. Yet for Naito, legacy already secure in being the first double IWGP Champion (an act Ospreay has since slammed as destructive to the IWGP history) , acknowledgement in the present means everything, with a keen awareness that ‘the present’ window of time as a top flight competitor is increasingly narrowing. Denied the main event in the Tokyo Dome and a final rousing call of ‘de ja pon’, vindication for KENTA’s assault in 2020 time and again, Naito is once again on the outside of the Tokyo Dome main event space looking in, and is at risk of being on the outside of the card altogether. His plan is to somehow and some way shine brighter than all around him, and the way to that is not to hold the US title, but to beat the man who possesses it. 

8th Match: IWGP Tag Team Championships- FTR (Dax Harwood & Cash Wheeler) vs United Empire (Great-O-Khan & Jeff Cobb) 


FTR make their long awaited Japanese NJPW debuts in Osaka to put the IWGP tag team Championships on the line against Jeff Cobb and Great-O-Khan. What should arguably have been an open and shut case for an FTR title defence ended up with a few more twists in the tale for the United Empire side. The former IWGP Tag champions lost their titles without being pinned as FTR seized gold by defeating Roppongi Vice in a three way match at Forbidden Door. Cobb and O-Khan were justified in demanding a rematch, but were first confronted by more former champions, first in Bad Luck Fale and Chase Owens, and then Hirooki Goto and YOSHI-HASHI. 

In the meantime, FTR defended their titles in London against Aussie Open in what many called the tag team match of the year. Kyle Fletcher and Mark Davis came just short of taking the titles in London, will O-Khan and Cobb finish the job in Osaka?

7th Match: Kazuchika Okada & Tama Tonga vs BULLET CLUB (KENTA & Jay White)


A preview of Wrestle Kingdom 17’s IWGP World Heavyweight Championship match will see champion Jay White team with KENTA to face Kazuchika Okada and Tama Tonga. Tonga came up just short of the Switchblade back at Declaration of Power but more than asserted himself as a top level threat, and a worthy partner to the G1 winner Okada. Yet after facing a pair of losses at the hands of a Jay White side in New York City last weekend, Okada is on the back foot and needing to right the ship as he gets set for the Tokyo Dome. 

6th Match: Incredible Tag Match- Taiji Ishimori, Master Wato, El Desperado & Hiromu Takahashi

There’s a first time for everything, including the rivals at the top of the junior heavyweight division to team with one another. When Master Wato defeated Taiji Ishimori in Ryogoku last month, his position as top contender to Ishimori’s IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship was extremely clear. Yet when Desperado and Hiromu interjected themselves into the fray, a four way match was set up for Wrestle Kingdom. Ishimori managed to extend his championship reign for another two months minimum as a result, having not defended his title since June, but he is not being allowed to rest on his laurels. Instead this unique tag team contest will see straws drawn to determine who teams with whom for what should be a pair of uneasy alliances. 

5th Match: NJPW World TV Championship Tournament semifinal: Zack Sabre Jr. vs EVIL

Singles record: 3-2 Sabre

As Osaka sees the semifinals in the tournament to crown the first NJPW World Television Champion, EVIL and Zack Sabre Jr. tie up for the sixth official time one on one. Both men have traded wins over the last few years, but ZSJ had, if not the last, then the loudest laugh in their rivalry to date during the G1 Climax, where cleaver use of Young Lion Kosei Fujita brought him to the fastest win in G1 Climax 32. 

EVIL has not forgotten his sub one minute shame, and certainly has no designs on flirting with the 15 minute time limit in Osaka. Attacking ZSJ backstage in Makuhari this past weekend, the King of Darkness vowed revenge this Saturday. Will he get it, and a spot on the Wrestle Kingdom 17 card to boot?

4th Match: NJPW World TV Championship Tournament semifinal- Ren Narita vs SANADA

The other semifinal in the World TV tournament will see Ren Narita face SANADA. Advancing past first Tomohiro Ishii and then Toru Yano in aggressive, physical style, Narita declared that he was changing NJPW, and ushering in a ‘changing of the guard’. Yet after the smashmouth Ishii and the trickster Yano, SANADA presents a much more classical challenge, and responded to Narita’s provocation by inviting the young man to ‘just try me’. SANADA got past both Taichi and KENTA using his technical wiles and the O’Connor Bridge. Will he be able to pin down Narita, or for the Son of Strong Style, will the call of Wrestle Kingdom 17, where we honour the father of Strong Style and pay respects to Antonio Inoki, be too strong?

3rd Match: Hikuleo vs Yujiro Takahashi 


Originally scheduled to be Hikuleo’s challenge to NEVER Openweight Champion Karl Anderson, the Young Gun instead does battle with Yujiro Takahashi. Anderson reneged on his planned title match to instead take bookings with WWE, an action that has led NJPW to demand Anderson vacate and return the NEVER Openweight Championship. Yet Hikuleo has abjectly refused to compete over a vacant title, and as Yujiro Takahashi stepped up to challenge the big man, accepted the fight on the condition that this is a non title match. Yet with all of Hikuleo’s focus on the absentee Anderson, might the Tokyo Pimp take advantage?

2nd Match: Alex Zayne, David Finlay, Toru Yano & Hiroshi Tanahashi vs United Empire (Mark Davis, Kyle Fletcher, Aaron Henare & Gideon Grey)


Eight man tag team action will see the Japanese debuts of Aussie Open alongside United Empire brethren Aaron Henare and Gideon grey to face a four man Hontai side. Much to Fletcher and Davis’ chagrin, the duo will not be taking the STRONG Openweight Tag Team Championships with them to Osaka, the Motor City Machine Guns surprising the world with a Dirty Bomb that saw them take the titles in New York. The loss will likely make them doubly hungry to make a significant impact tonight in Osaka against top flight opposition.

1st Match: IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships- Los Ingobernables De Japon (Titan & BUSHI) vs Catch 2/2 (Francesco Akira & TJP)

Fans are guaranteed an explosive start to the action in Osaka when the IWGP Junior heavyweight Tag Team Championships are on the line in the opening bout. Since Titan stunned the world in Ryogoku by helping BUSHI to success and aligning himself with Los Ingobernables De Japon, the duo have been on a tear through the Battle Autumn series, racking up win after win. Now is where the rubber truly meets the road however, and these two teams will be tearing the roof off EDION Arena in a bid to carry the Junior Tag gold into Super Junior Tag League before opening night on November 21.