A spring tradition continues on Monday April 29, as NJPW returns to Kumamoto for Wrestling Hi No Kuni!
WRESTLING HI NO KUNI 2019
Monday April 29, 2019
Kumamoto, Grand Messe Kumamoto
The main event of Hi no Kuni will see Hirooki Goto take on Jay White in singles action for the first time ever. On March 24 in Nagaoka, White struck Goto with a Bladerunner to pin him in their six man tag match. Goto was not going to take the loss lightly, remarking afterward ‘this isn’t the end. This is just the beginning with him’.
Goto has been on the outside looking in to the title scene in 2019, and a win over White would catapult him to the top of the contender list for Kazuchika Okada’s IWGP Heavyweight Championship. White, for his part, has a chip on his shoulder where that title belt used to sit; at G1 Supercard in Madison Square Garden, Okada ended White’s championship reign with no successful defences, and the Switchblade will be thirsting for revenge.
In the semi main event, the IWGP Tag Team Championships will be at stake, with Toru Yano and Togi Makabe challenging the Geurillas of Destruction, Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa. At G1 Supercard, GoD proved that their entrance theme boast of ‘ain’t nobody realer than Geurilla’ wasn’t an empty one. In an all out tag team war, they came out on top of three other teams to not just retain the IWGP Tag Team Championships, but gain ROH Tag Team gold in the process. In the moments after the match though, Yano managed to sneak his way to ringside and swipe the IWGP title belts before they could be given to the champions.
That set up this tag team encounter, and the first tag team championship match for Makabe and Yano in over a decade. The Most Violent Players were broken up when Yano turned on Makabe in 2009 to form CHAOS with Shinsuke Nakamura. After Jay White’s betrayal of CHAOS and ascent to the foreground in 2018 though, shockwaves were sent through all of NJPW that brought CHAOS and NJPW Hontai together. Makabe and Yano, together with Ryusuke Taguchi, have already seized the NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championships together. Could they beat GoD and make Yano’s possession of the tag gold legally recognised?
It’s CHAOS versus LIJ in ten man tag action in the sixth match of the evening. Kazuchika Okada, SHO, YOH, Tomohiro Ishii and Rocky Romero will face Tetsuya Naito, EVIL, SANADA, Shingo Takagi and BUSHI. Tensions will be high in this match, coming just five days before Okada defends the IWGP Heavyweight Championship against SANADA, and EVIL faces Ishii in singles competition. It’s a mere three days after SHO and YOH defend their IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships against Takagi and BUSHI, too. What will happen as these ten jockey for position?
In the fifth match of the evening, Juice Robinson will face Chase Owens. This will be the third match the two have had in the span of just a few weeks. In the opening round of the New Japan Cup, Owens scored a shocking upset to eliminate Robinson. That led to a March 24 IWGP United States Championship match, which Robinson won to retain. Even if Robinson retains the US gold after his April 20 title match against Bad Luck Fale, this match will be non-title. Yet an immense amount of pride is at stake; it’s one win apiece as we see a rubber match here.
Bad Luck Fale will face Mikey Nichols at Hi no Kuni. After challenging Juice Robinson at Sengoku Lord April 20, there’s a good chance that Fale may be the United States Champion by this point, but title or not, the Rogue General of the Bullet Club will look to make an example of Nicholls. When Fale and the Bullet Club beat down on Robinson following his March 24 title defence against Chase Owens, Nicholls intervened. Fale is intent on making the ‘mad’ Australian regret his actions.
The new IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion Dragon Lee will be in action in the third match of the night. He will team with Will Ospreay to make a junior heavyweight dream team against Taiji Ishimori and Hikuleo. Lee and Ishimori will come to blows ahead of their championship match May 3 at Dontaku.
There’ll be another preview of championship action when new NEVER Openweight Champion Jeff Cobb collides with Taichi. Each will lead a team of five to the ring, with Cobb partnering with YOSHI-HASHI, Jyushin Thunder Liger, Tiger Mask and Ryusuke Taguchi against Taichi, Minoru Suzuki, TAKA Michinoku, Yoshinobu Kanemaru and El Desperado.
Tomoaki Honma, Shota Umino and Ren Narita against Toa Henare, Yota Tsuji and Yuuya Uemura rounds out the card.