|King of Pro-Wrestling (2018)|
|Promotion||New Japan Pro-Wrestling|
|Date||October 8, 2018|
|King of Pro-Wrestling chronology|
King of Pro-Wrestling (2018) was a professional wrestling event promoted by New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW), which took place on October 8, 2018, in Tokyo at Ryōgoku Kokugikan. It was NJPW's biggest show between August's G1 Climax and January's Wrestle Kingdom 13 in Tokyo Dome. The top two matches featured Kenny Omega defending the IWGP Heavyweight Championship against Cody and Kota Ibushi and also Hiroshi Tanahashi defending his status as the number one contender to the IWGP Heavyweight Championship at Wrestle Kingdom 13 against Jay White. This was the seventh event under the King of Pro-Wrestling name.
King of Pro-Wrestling featured professional wrestling matches that involve different wrestlers from pre-existing scripted feuds and storylines. Wrestlers portray villains, heroes, or less distinguishable characters in the scripted events that build tension and culminate in a wrestling match or series of matches.
King of Pro-Wrestling was main evented by Kenny Omega defending the IWGP Heavyweight Championship in a three-way match against Cody and Kota Ibushi. On September 15 at Destruction in Hiroshima, after Kenny Omega defended his IWGP Heavyweight Championship against Tomohiro Ishii, Omega offered his Golden☆Lovers teammate Ibushi a championship opportunity for his title, considering Ibushi the strongest opponent for him and he was the best because of him. On September 30 at Fighting Spirit Unleashed, Omega decided that Ibushi would be his next opponent for the title due to Ibushi having defeated him in the G1 Climax, but Cody interrupted him and proposed a three-way match for the title at King of Pro-Wrestling, which Omega accepted. Two days later, NJPW officially announced the match between Omega, Ibushi, and Cody for King of Pro-Wrestling. The last three-way match for the IWGP Heavyweight Champion took place in 2014 between AJ Styles, Kazuchika Okada, and Michael Elgin at NJPW and ROH's 2014 War of the Worlds.
From July 14 until August 10, Hiroshi Tanahashi and Jay White took part in the G1 Climax. During the tournament, White defeated Tanahashi in their head-to-head match. Tanahashi managed to advance to the finals with a record of seven wins, one loss, and one draw, while White finished with a record of five wins and three losses failing to advance to the finals. On August 12, Tanahashi defeated Kenny Omega in the finals to win the 2018 G1 Climax. Following the win, Tanahashi gained possession of a contract for an IWGP Heavyweight Championship match at NJPW's biggest event of the year, Wrestle Kingdom 13 in Tokyo Dome on January 4, 2018. Upon receiving the contract, Tanahashi nominated White's CHAOS stablemate Kazuchika Okada as his first challenger for it due to their match ending in a draw. On September 23 at Destruction in Kobe, after Tanahashi defeated Okada to retain his contract, White attacked both Tanahashi and Okada, Yoshi-Hashi tried to save Okada, but White overpowered him. Gedo would come to the ring and turn on Okada, joining White's side of CHAOS. Afterwards, Gedo nominated White to face Tanahashi for his contract due to White previously defeating Tanahashi in the G1 Climax. On September 30 at Fighting Spirit Unleashed, White and Tanahashi faced off in a tag team match, where White teamed with Gedo and Tanahashi teamed with KUSHIDA. White won the match for his team for his team by scoring a direct pinfall over Tanahashi and afterwards White demanded his opportunity for his contract. The match was officially announced for King of Pro-Wrestling on October 2. This marks the final defense of the contract with the winner securing a spot in the main event of Wrestle Kingdom 13.
Added were title matches for both of NJPW's junior heavyweight titles. In the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship tournament final match, KUSHIDA was against Marty Scurll, to determine the new the champion. On August 20, Hiromu Takahashi was forced to relinquish the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship due to a neck injury. NJPW Chairman Naoki Sugabayashi announced a four-man single elimination tournament to crown a new champion which KUSHIDA, Scurll, BUSHI and Will Ospreay were announced as the participants. On September 23 at Destruction in Kobe, KUSHIDA defeated BUSHI to advance to the finals of the tournament. On September 30 at Fighting Spirit Unleashed, Scurll defeated Will Ospreay to advance to the finals of the tournament, making his match against KUSHIDA official at King of Pro-Wrestling. The match was officially announced for King of Pro-Wrestling on October 2.
In the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship match, Suzuki-gun (El Desperado and Yoshinobu Kanemaru) defended the title against Jushin Thunder Liger and Tiger Mask. On September 23 at Destruction in Kobe, Liger and Mask defeated Desperado and Kanemaru in a non-title match. Afterwards, Liger and Mask posed with IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship title belts and Liger on their behalf challenged them to match for their titles. The match was officially announced for King of Pro-Wrestling on October 2.
In the event, EVIL was against Zack Sabre Jr. On September 30 at Fighting Spirit Unleashed, EVIL and Sabre faced off in a six-man tag team match, where Sabre teamed with his Suzuki-gun stablemates Davey Boy Smith Jr. and Lance Archer and EVIL teamed with Los Ingobernables de Japon stablemates SANADA and Tetsuya Naito. Sabre won the match for his team for his team by scoring a direct pinfall over EVIL and afterwards, EVIL was disappointed with himself. Sabre had previously defeated both Naito and SANADA and stated that EVIL was the last one of L.I.J member in the heavyweight division he had to defeat.
The event also included the Bullet Club Civil War, between the Bullet Club Elite against Bullet Club OG side and also the new member of Los Ingobernables de Japon, which was announced on October 2, after Hiromu Takahashi suffered a neck injury.
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship tournament bracketEdit