Hiroshi Tanahashi’s 20th Anniversary part of three date tour before King of Pro Wrestling
After Fighting Sprit Unleashed wraps up on the US East Coast this weekend, there’s precious little time to rest, as New Japan Road sees a short tour with preview matches heading into King of Pro Wrestling on October 14.
The last night of the New Japan Road tour will take place in Korakuen Hall with some big previews of key King of Pro Wrestling matches. The main event in on October 7 sees Kota Ibushi and Kazuchika Okada take on EVIL and SANADA in a rematch of their New York clash on September 28. Ibushi and Okada are a dream team indeed, but EVIL and SANADA are hungry challengers heading into their contract and championship matches with their opposite numbers in Ryogoku. Add their two time IWGP Tag Team Championship history, and their a tough duo for even Ibushi and Okada to beat.
Elsewhere on the October 7 card, Tiger Mask and Jyushin Thunder Liger team up against Yoshinobu Kanemaru and Minoru Suzuki. In Kobe on September 22, Liger shocked the world by removing his own mask and revealing the deadly Kishin Liger. His partner Tiger Mask has seen Kishin before, when he was teaming with Liger against TAKA Michinoku and Taichi in 2012. This incarnation of Kishin seems even fiercer however, as he aimed straight for Suzuki’s head with a pointed spike in Kobe. What could possibly come from this tag affair?
There’s also a fascinating singles match at the Korakuen event that sees Shingo Takagi take on Toa Henare. At Destruction in Kobe, Takagi had his first singles match as a certified heavyweight against Hirooki Goto. Getting ahead of himself, Takagi had vowed to use the bout to springboard himself to title contendership. He fell short that night and now wants to get back on a winning road against a man who himself wants to take a huge next step in his own career. Henare and Shingo should match up perfectly in a hard-hitting, impactful matchup.
Throughout the New Japan Road tour, up to King of Pro Wrestling in Ryogoku, Hiroshi Tanahashi will be marking 20 years in NJPW. It was against Togi Makabe that Tanahashi made his debut on October 10 1999. Tanahashi will face Makabe in each of his celebratory anniversary matchups, in six man tag team action. In Takaoka on October 4 and Korakuen October 7, he teams with Tomoaki Honma and YOSHI-HASHI against NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Champions Makabe, Toru Yano and Ryusuke Taguchi. On October 5, Toa Henare joins the team of Honma and Tanahashi against their champion opponents.