Five championship bouts, Liger’s last match, major singles contests highlight second night in Tokyo Dome.
The main event of Wrestle Kingdom 14 night two will see the culmination of the Double Gold Dash that has been a theme all the way through NJPW in 2019. Only one of Jay White, Tetsuya Naito, Kazuchika Okada and Kota Ibushi will emerge as the first IWGP Intercontinental and Heavyweight Champion, with the winners of January 4’s Intercontinental and Heavyweight Championship matches facing off in the biggest main event in Tokyo Dome history.
Already announced, the semi-main event sees the Ace meet the Painmaker as Hiroshi Tanahashi takes on Chris Jericho. Two global legends that truly deserve the title of ‘best in the world’ meet with the lights on bright, but in the birthplace of legend, it may be that only one man’s legacy will survive.
The two non-champions after January 4’s title matches will meet in a special singles match on January 5. With a new journey into 2020 beginning, opportunity could still knock, and the winner of this singles bout could still leave the Tokyo Dome with valuable momentum.
In the fifth match of the night, the NEVER Openweight Championship is at stake as KENTA faces Hirooki Goto. Ever since KENTA attacked Hirooki Goto’s best friend Katsuyori Shibata and joined BULLET CLUB, Goto has been trying to get to the NEVER Openweight Champion, and when KENTA interfered in Goto’s Intercontinental Championship challenge and again assaulted Shibata in Osaka on November 3, Goto started a path to vengeance. During the World Tag League, Goto pinned KENTA, but that wasn’t enough for the Fierce Warrior. Meanwhile KENTA has time and again pushed his luck with bitter comments and brutal post match attacks to Goto. Now he has reached the point of no return!
The fourth match of the evening sees the second IWGP US Heavyweight Championship bout in two days. In October at King of Pro Wrestling, Juice Robinson was scheduled to challenge Jon Moxley for his US title, but typhoons and travel delays resulted in Lance Archer replacing Moxley. The Murderhawk Monster would defeat Robinson that night to lift US Gold, a loss that hit the Flamboyant One hard. Now he has a chance not only for redemption, but one day after challenging for the IWGP tag Team Championships with David Finlay, the chance to win both singles and tag championships in one weekend. On January 4 Moxley and Archer meet in a Texas Deathmatch for the title, and whomever the champion may be, they won’t be walking into January 5 healthy. Robinson will have his own hard fight to deal with on January 4, but the his own drive to double gold may give him the momentum he needs.
In the third match of the evening, the RevPro British Heavyweight Championship is at stake with SANADA challenging Zack Sabre Junior. On November 3 at Power Struggle, and then again during the World Tag League, SANADA scored pinfall victories on Zack Sabre Junior, something that does not sit well with the British Submission Master at all. After the WTL finals in Hiroshima on December 8, Sabre attacked SANADA with a brutal armbar backstage, setting the scene for a title match that has gotten very personal indeed.
The IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships are on the line in the second match of Wrestle Kingdom when SHO and YOH take on El Phantasmo and Taiji Ishimori. SHO & YOH won their third straight Super Junior Tag League in November by defeating the current champions en route to the final. After Roppongi 3K defeated El Desperado and Yoshinobu Kanemaru to lift the gold, however, ELP and Ishimori attacked SHO & YOH, making off with their tag league trophies. Can SHO & YOH take what’s theirs come January 5?
The action starts on January 5 with Jyushin Thunder Liger’s last ever wrestling match. After Liger’s first retirement match makes reference to his past, his second will have eyes to the future. Ryu Lee, formally known as Dragon Lee will form a dream team with long time rival Hiromu Takahashi: two men who are redefining junior heavyweight wrestling in the new Reiwa era. They face in Liger and Naoki Sano, two former rivals who defined junior heavyweight wrestling in the old Heisei era; the era of Liger. Whether in victory or defeat, this is sure to be a matchup befitting of Liger’s last time competing in-ring.