■ An Intercontinental fight for the ages! Naito vs Elgin fight to finally settle the score in Osaka!
In the main event, Michael Elgin, the former champion, challenges Tetsuya Naito for the IWGP intercontinental belt. Naito took the title from Elgin on 9/25 in Kobe last year. After that, a rematch was scheduled to be held on 11/5 Osaka, but Elgin was injured by Naito’s dropkick on 10/10 in Ryogoku. As a result, he missed the rematch.
In order to overcome that frustration, Elgin told Naito who defended the belt against Hiroshi Tanahashi at the Tokyo Dome on 1/4, “All I could think about was revenge during my break from the ring. It’ll be a pleasure shutting you up once and for all!” After feeling the wrath of Elgin’s Burning Hammer in a tag match at Korakuen Hall on January 5th, will Naito be able to recoup and defend the title in Osaka?
■ “New Junior Champion” Hiromu Takahashi in his first defending title match against his “nemesis” Dragon Lee!
In the 8th match, Hiromu Takahashi will face Dragon Lee, defending the IWGP Junior Heavy title for the first time. Both of them have fought hard on CMLL in the past. On 1/23 in Korakuen of last year’s CMLL FANTASTICA MANIA, Kamaitachi (Hiromu’s former ring name) who was not among the CMLL members coming to Japan, suddenly appeared and attacked Lee. The next day at Korakuen, the two clashed for the CMLL World Lightweight Championship, but Lee eventually succumbed to Kamaitachi’s Canadian Destroyer and lost the belt.
Still holding a grudge, Lee crossed paths with Hiromu once again during a tag match this year on January 5th at Korakuen Hall. It was there he made his intentions clear stating “I will be Numero Uno!” Now Hiromu must defend his IWGP Junior Heavyweight title against his old foe in Osaka, where 2 masters of Lucha Libre will clash once again.
■ Shibata vs Ospreay, one on one! L.I.J will challenge Tanahashi/Nakanishi/Taguchi for the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship!!
The sixth match is a remarkable confrontation between Katsuyori Shibata and Will Ospreay. At the 1/5 Korakuen Hall tag match, the British-born Ospreay challenged Shibata for the RPW British Heavyweight Championship. Shibata will go to England from 19th to 22nd January, and if he defends his belt,this Ospreay fight will be a title defending match.
It’s an unconventional pairing to say the least, with Shibata’s precise submission holds and powerful blows set to go against Ospreay’s world renowned aerial assaults. This will be a standout match for sure.
In the 5th match, NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Champions Hiroshi Tanahashi, Manabu Nakanishi & Ryusuke Taguchi face former champions SANADA , EVIL & BUSHI in a rematch. The L.I.J trio won the title by dominating the GAUNTLET MATCH at Wrestle Kingdom on January 4th at the Tokyo Dome. However, they lost the title the next day at Korakuen Hall against Tanahashi and co.
EVIL, after the game, commented on Tanahashi (who had lost to Tetsuya Naito the night before) saying, “Yesterday his pro wrestling life came to an end. Even though he’s past his expiration date, he’s still Hiroshi Tanahashi. Doesn’t matter, he’s mine.” Can L.I.J recapture the belt with the help of EVIL? Or will the trio suffer another defeat?
■ Minoru Suzuki’s back in Osaka again! This time it’s a group face-off with Okada and CHAOS!
Tencozy & KUSHIDA fight with Iizuka, Kanemaru & Desperado !!
In the 4th match, Kazuchika Okada and Minoru Suzuki will clash again after their scheduled IWGP Heavyweight title match in Sapporo. Okada will pair with fellow CHAOS members Rocky Romero and Baretta, while Suzuki will have fellow Suzuki-gun mates Taka Michinoku and Taichi for support. Sapporo’s title match might prove to be a game-changer, but the rematch in Osaka is sure to be scintillating given the history between these two wrestling behemoths.
Finally, in the second match, KUSHIDA joins the great tag team “Tencozy” (Hiroyoshi Tenzan &Satoshi Kojima) to face off with Takashi Iizuka, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & El Desperado. How will they handle the heinous Suzuki-gun trio? Only the strongest team of 3 will prevail.