IWGP Junior Heavyweight, Intercontinental title matches official with direct consequences for January 5.
At a press conference in Tokyo today, more matches for both nights of wrestle Kingdom 14 on January 4 & 5 were revealed, with the weekend seeing a historic dash for double gold.
Already confirmed for the main event of the evening is the IWGP Heavyweight Championship match between Kazuchika Okada and Kota Ibushi. After Tetsuya Naito’s victory over Taichi at Power Struggle however, and the confrontation that ensued after Jay White’s main event retention of the IWGP Intercontinental Championship, an IWGP Intercontinental Championship match has been made official.
Tetsuya Naito will challenge Jay White for the Intercontinental title on January 4, but that’s not all; after the first night in the Tokyo Dome, the Intercontinental and IWGP Heavyweight Champions will wrestle in the main event on January 5 to determine the first ever double champion in the history of both titles.
Early in the year, Naito was the first to mention a desire to hold both championship belts, but his journey to this weekend has been a difficult one. After losing the IWGP Intercontinental Championship to Jay White in Kobe this past September, his claim to the double gold was the weakest of the four men involved in the conversation. Yet after a decisive victory over Taichi in Osaka, he issued a challenge to White, and despite the current champions’ protestations, El Ingobernable has earned the right to challenge on January 4. Can he earn revenge from both the G1 Climax and Destruction, and go on to make history 24 hours later?
Also set for January 4 is a match for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship between Will Ospreay and the returning Hiromu Takahashi. After Ospreay won a thriller at Power Struggle to retain his gold against BUSHI, the Aerial Assassin stated that he’d run out of competition in the junior heavyweight division. He was interrupted by Takahashi however, who made his appearance to a thunderous reaction. After nearly 18 months of inaction after sustaining a severe neck injury in summer 2018, Hiromu instantly declared his intent to take back the championship he was forced to vacate a year and a half ago.
Also on January 4 is the already announced first of two Jyushin Thunder Liger retirement matches as Liger teams with Tatsumi Fujinami, The Great Sasuke and Tiger Mask against Naoki Sano, Shinjiro Otani, Tatsuhito Takaiwa and Ryusuke Taguchi. With the bouts already lined up, and much more to come, it’s more than possible the first night of action in 2020 for NJPW might see the match of the year decided!