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Wrestle Kingdom 13 in Tokyo Dome was a professional wrestling event promoted by New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW). The event took place on January 4, 2019, at the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan. It was the 28th January 4 Tokyo Dome Show, which is NJPW's biggest annual event and has been called "the largest wrestling show in the world outside of the United States" and the "Japanese equivalent to the Super Bowl".[6][7] The event aired live on Fite TV and NJPW World streaming services and later aired on tape delay on the AXS TV network.

The show was headlined by Kenny Omega defending the IWGP Heavyweight Championship against the winner of the 2018 G1 Climax, Hiroshi Tanahashi, in a rematch from The New Beginning in Niigata in 2016. The second match of the show's "double main event" would see Chris Jericho defending the IWGP Intercontinental Championship against Tetsuya Naito in a no disqualification match, on a rematch from Dominion 6.9 in Osaka-jo Hall. Another high-profile match scheduled for the show was Kazuchika Okada facing Jay White. As part of a partnership between NJPW and the British Revolution Pro Wrestling (RPW) promotion, the Undisputed British Heavyweight Championship was also defended at the event with Tomohiro Ishii facing Zack Sabre Jr.

Six other title matches also took place on the show with KUSHIDA defending the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship against Taiji Ishimori, Suzuki-gun (El Desperado and Yoshinobu Kanemaru) defending the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship in a three-way match against Roppongi 3K (Sho and Yoh) and Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI and Shingo Takagi), Kota Ibushi defending the NEVER Openweight Championship against Will Ospreay, Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa defending the IWGP Tag Team Championship in a three-way match against The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson) and Los Ingobernables de Japon (EVIL and SANADA) and Cody defending the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship against Juice Robinson. All in all, the event featured ten matches (including one on the pre-show).

All eight championship title defenses at the event were unsuccessful, marking the first time in history that every contested title changed hands in Wrestle Kingdom. The event event was also notable for Hiroshi Tanahashi being the first wrestler to successfully cash-in his Tokyo Dome IWGP Heavyweight Championship challenge rights certificate at Wrestle Kingdom.

ProductionEdit

BackgroundEdit

Wrestle Kingdom 13 was officially announced on August 12, 2018, during the finals of the 2018 G1 Climax.[8] On October 9, NJPW held a press conference to announce further details for the shows.[1] This included the official theme song for the event was "Lions Den" by SiM[2], the tagline for the event and a fan festival being held from January 3 until January 5 at New Year Dash!!.[1][9][10] During this day, Global Force Entertainment and Wrestling Travel announced they were putting together travel packages for the event.[11][12][13]

NJPW had previously partnered with Global Force Wrestling (currently known as Global Force Entertainment), to air Wrestle Kingdom 9 live on American pay-per-view television market on January 4, 2015, [14][15][16] featuring English language commentary from Jim Ross and Matt Striker.[17][18][19]

Pre-sale tickets for the show were put on sale on September 18 for "Team NJPW" fan club and October 7 from October 24, while general sale tickets for were put on sale on October 25 and travel packages for the event were sold; with individual tickets costing from ¥3,000 to ¥50,000.[20][21][22][23] On October 17, 2018, NJPW announced that part of the tickets for the event was sold out.[24] On October 25, NJPW confirmed that Don Callis would be on commentary for the event.[25] AXS TV network will cover part of the event on the same day, with commentary provided by NJPW World commentators Don Callis and Kevin Kelly.[26][27] The rest of the event will air on tape delay between January 11 and January 18.[26][27] Part of the event will be available for on-demand viewing on AXS TV network, shortly after airing, with rest of the event airing on January 25, 2019.[26][27]

On November 28, it was announced that Wrestle Kingdom 13 would be broadcasted worldwide on Fite TV, a mobile app that allows streaming through Wi-Fi to a smart TV or a set-top box such as Roku or Chromecast and also has a channel directly on digital media players.[28][29] On December 10, it was announced the full card of the event containing nine title matches and the event would also be sponsored by BanG Dream! Girls Band Party!.[3][4] On December 17, NJPW announced the match pre-show including a Lion's Gate Special at the night before the event.[30][31] On December 21, it was announced that Yuji Nagata would replace Michael Elgin in the gauntlet match due to Elgin having a knee injury.[32][33][34] On January 1, NJPW announced that event has surpassed the paid attendance of last year's Wrestle Kingdom.[35][36]

StorylinesEdit

Wrestle Kingdom 13 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 built tension and culminated in a wrestling match or series of matches.[37]

Hiroshi Tanahashibrief2018

Hiroshi Tanahashi, the winner of the 2018 G1 Climax and the number one contender to the IWGP Heavyweight Championship

Wrestle Kingdom 13 was main evented by Kenny Omega defending the IWGP Heavyweight Championship against Hiroshi Tanahashi. The storyline behind the match dates back to 2016 after the IWGP Intercontinental Championship was vacated by Shinsuke Nakamura after he departed NJPW,[38][39] leading to a match on February 14, 2016, at The New Beginning in Niigata, where Omega defeated Tanahashi to become the new champion.[40][41] Before the title match, Tanahashi had dislocated his shoulder,[42][43] which led to an angle at The New Beginning in Osaka on February 11, where Omega led a Bullet Club assault on Tanahashi's shoulder.[44] Over the next months, Omega and Tanahashi faced off in many matches, began exchanging the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship,[40] resulting in three title matches between March 20 and May 3[45][46], where Omega and his Bullet Club stablemates The Young Bucks (Matt and Nick Jackson) became two-time champions after regaining the titles from Tanahashi, Michael Elgin and Yoshitatsu.[47] Tanahashi had originally challenged Omega to an IWGP Intercontinental Championship rematch on April 27 but was turned down by the champion.[48] After the match at Wrestling Dontaku 2016, Tanahashi repeated his challenge. Initially, Omega again turned down the challenge, but then added that if Tanahashi agreed to a ladder match, he would grant him the title shot.[47][49] On May 21, Omega and Bullet Club attacked Tanahashi with a ladder and chairs, after which Tanahashi was pulled from the rest of the tour with a left shoulder avulsion fracture and a biceps tear.[50] The angle was set up to cover for a legitimate injury Tanahashi had suffered earlier in the month and give him time to recover before Dominion 6.19 in Osaka-jo Hall.[51] However, on June 3, Tanahashi announced he would be forced to miss Dominion 6.19 due to his injury.[52][53] Tanahashi would be replaced by Michael Elgin, who had been working opposite Omega in Tanahashi's absence, and went on defeating Omega in NJPW's first ever ladder match to become the new IWGP Intercontinental Champion.[54]

KennyOmega2

Kenny Omega, who defended the IWGP Heavyweight Championship in the main event

On August 12, 2018, Tanahashi defeated Kota Ibushi in the finals to win the 2018 G1 Climax.[55][56] Following the win, Tanahashi gained possession of the Tokyo Dome IWGP Heavyweight Championship challenge rights certificate, which granted him a shot at the IWGP Heavyweight Championship at Wrestle Kingdom 13.[57] Hiroshi Tanahashi defended his status as the number one contender against Kazuchika Okada and Jay White,[58][59][60][61] Meanwhile, Kenny Omega successfully defended the IWGP Heavyweight Championship against Tomohiro Ishii, Cody and Kota Ibushi,[62][63][60] leading to the match between Omega and Tanahashi being made official for the Tokyo Dome in a press conference on October 9.[61][1] Both wrestlers criticized their wrestling philosophies, with Omega defending a modern, more western, newer style of wrestling, while Tanahashi represents a more conservative, more classic and a traditional wrestling style, which NJPW was based on. Their match would be billed as "Battle of Philosophies".[1][64] Tanahashi claimed that Omega's style was inelegant and only satisfied himself, leaving fans behind and he didn't like it.[64][65] On December 10, Tanahashi received the NJPW's MVP Award and three days later Tokyo Sports magazine awarded Tanahashi the 2018 MVP Award for the fourth time in four years, citing his comeback and winning the 2018 G1 Climax as the factor for receiving the award.[66][67][65] In their final confrontation before Wrestle Kingdom 13 on December 15, Golden☆Lovers (Omega and Kota Ibushi) defeated Tanahashi and Will Ospreay, before their respective matches at Wrestle Kingdom 13.[68]

Jerichoicnjpw

Chris Jericho, who defended the IWGP Intercontinental Championship at the event

In the IWGP Intercontinental Championship match, Chris Jericho would make his second title defense against Tetsuya Naito. On December 12, NJPW announced that Wrestle Kingdom 12 would feature a double main event with the IWGP Heavyweight and United States Heavyweight Championship matches, which Jericho faced Kenny Omega in the United States Heavyweight Championship match and Naito faced Kazuchika Okada in the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. Tetsuya Naito stated that he was disappointed with the decision, adding that NJPW would never become the number one promotion in the world as long as they were humoring WWE.[69] In an out-of-character interview, Jericho would criticize his comments about the Wrestle Kingdom 12 double main event and that tickets were selling well because of his match against Omega. Following Wrestle Kingdom 12 on January 5 at "New Years Dash!", Jericho made a surprise attack on Naito.[70][71] Afterwards, it was rumored that was his last appearance in NJPW, which Jericho later confirmed on Twitter on March 5.[72] However the rumors were false, and at Wrestling Dontaku on May 4, Jericho disguised as a fan in the crowd, made another surprise attack on Naito,[73] leading Jericho receiving a title match on to a match between them on June 9 at Dominion 6.9 in Osaka-jo Hall, in which Jericho defeated Naito to win the IWGP Intercontinental Championship.[74][75] On November 3, at Power Struggle, Jericho successfully defended the IWGP Intercontinental Championship against Naito's Los Ingobernables de Japon stablemate EVIL.

TetsuyaNaito

Tetsuya Naito, who challenged Chris Jericho for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship at the event

Following the match, Jericho attacked EVIL, until Naito made the save.[76] Afterwards, Naito announced himself as Jericho's next challenger of the IWGP Intercontinental Championship and Jericho refused to give Naito a rematch,[77] but two days later, NJPW made the title match official.[61][78][79] On November 6, Naito revealed in an interview at the Tokyo Sports newspaper that he had been contacted by WWE following his match with Jericho at Dominion 6.9 about is NJPW status and offered him a deal, when is NJPW contract expired, which Naito refused the offer.[80] As part of the build-up to the title match, Naito would mock Jericho's face paint and his nickname "international superstar", while sarcastically asking if he wouldn't rip-off someone's t-shirt and no one was interested in facing him.[81] At a press conference days later, Naito would spit water on Jericho's face to provoking him intentionally. Jericho tried to attack his Wrestle Kingdom 13 opponent but was separated by Young Lions and after Naito left, Jericho promised that their match at Wrestle Kingdom would be Naito's last match.[82] Jericho would later get his revenge at the December 15 show, attacking Naito following his match.[83] On December 17, NJPW officially announced that Wrestle Kingdom 13 would feature a double main event with the IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Championship matches.[30][31] At a press conference on January 2, 2019, Jericho requested their match to be turned into a no disqualification match. Naito would sarcastically accept the match and afterwards, Jericho attacked his Wrestle Kingdom 13 opponent.[84][85]

KazuchikaOkadared

Kazuchika Okada, who faced Jay White at the event.

Wrestle Kingdom 13 featured a singles match between Kazuchika Okada and Jay White. On January 5, 2018, Okada announced during a press conference that White would be joining CHAOS.[86] During the press conference, White warned Okada to "not get too comfortable" and that at some point he would face him and he wasn't to fall behind like the other members of CHAOS.[86] In response, Okada didn't take White seriously and he "wasn't on his level".[86] Shortly after, White would try to manipulate members of CHAOS to pursue singles goals, instead of thinking about the stable itself.[87] From July 14 until August 10, Okada and White took part in the 2018 G1 Climax.[88] During the tournament, White and Okada faced each other in their head-to-head match, with White coming out victorious after cheating to defeat Okada with tactics such as attacking him with a chair, ref bumps or low blows.[89] White followed up the win, defeating Okada's rival Hiroshi Tanahashi using the same tactics, two days later.[90] In the undercard matches of the tournament, White would try to convince his CHAOS stablemates to use is tactics especially Yoh, who White almost convinced, but Rocky Romero was against White's tactics throughout the tournament.[87] Okada and White were unable to make into the finals of the tournament, after Okada's match against Tanahashi ended in a time limit draw, while White's loss against, respectively cost one them a spot in the finals.[91] On August 12, Okada ended his association with his manager Gedo, who managed him since 2012.[87][92] Following the tournament, Okada was nominated by Tanahashi as his first challenger for the Tokyo Dome IWGP Heavyweight Championship match contract.[93] White would also criticize Okada's leadership of CHAOS, after Okada accidentally attacked their CHAOS stablemate Yoshi-Hashi during a match on September 15 at Destruction in Hiroshima.[94][62] On September 23 at Destruction in Kobe, Okada unsuccessfully challenged Tanahashi for his contract.[87][59]

JayWhite2

Jay White, who faced Kazuchika Okada at the event.

After the match, White would lay out Tanahashi with a Blade Runner and immediately Okada attacked Okada.[59][95] Yoshi-Hashi tried to make the save, but White overpowered him, Gedo came into the ring and turned on Okada, before laying him out with a Blade Runner.[59] Afterwards, Gedo nominated White to face Tanahashi for his contract due to White previously defeating Tanahashi in the G1 Climax.[59] On October 8 at King of Pro-Wrestling, unsuccessfully challenged Tanahashi for his contract.[60] Following his match, White attacked Tanahashi, but Okada made the save and tried to attack Gedo, but Bullet Club OG appeared in the ring and Jado also turned on Okada, and Gedo, Jado and White joined the Bullet Club OG, before laying him out with another Blade Runner.[60][95] On October 17, during the Road to Power Struggle, White led a Bullet Club OG assault on Okada, but Okada's rival Tanahashi made the save and Okada left the ring.[96] On October 27, White led another assault on Okada, promoting another save by Tanahashi.[97][98] Afterwards, the two worked together to counter White's attack, but he managed to leave the ring and Okada and Tanahashi shook hands.[97][98] On November 3, at Power Struggle, Okada and White faced off in a tag team match, where Okada and his CHAOS stablemate Beretta defeated White and his Bullet Club OG stablemate Bad Luck Fale.[76] After a brawl between the two following their match, White challenged Okada to a match with no seconds at ringside, anytime and anywhere.[76][99] Two days later, NJPW made the match official.[61][78][79] On November 5, during the Wrestle Kingdom 13 press conference, Okada said the match wasn't worth being put on Wrestle Kingdom and he preferred the match to happen at Road to Tokyo Dome tour.[100] During the 2018 World Tag League, Okada and Tanahashi faced White in multiple eight-man tag team matches, were Okada and Tanahashi failed to defeat White.[101] On January 14, at Road to Tokyo Dome tour, Okada faced Gedo. Initially, Gedo tried to deceive everyone telling he had a car accident, to escape the match, but Okada managed to prove Gedo was lying and the match continued. White would try to help Gedo win the match, but was unsuccessful and Okada managed to win the match, despite White's interference.[102] On December 15, in their final confrontation before Wrestle Kingdom 13, Okada tried to attack White, but White laid him out with the Blade Runner.[103]

Kushida2

KUSHIDA, who defended the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship at the event

On October 27, Taiji Ishimori pinned KUSHIDA in their match in the Super Jr. Tag League.[97] On November 1, Ishimori was scheduled to compete on the November 1 show of the Road to Power Struggle, but he suffered a kayfabe ankle injury.[104] Ishimori made his return on November 3, at Power Struggle, during a match a between his Bullet Club OG stablemates Robbie Eagles, Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa) against KUSHIDA, Togi Makabe and Tomoaki Honma, where he attacked KUSHIDA with his cruth, costing him the match against his Bullet Club OG stablemates.[76] Afterwards, Ishimori posed with the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship on top of KUSHIDA.[76] Ishimori revealed that he was never hurt and challenged KUSHIDA to a match.[105] Two days later, NJPW made the title match official.[61][78][79] Ishimori and KUSHIDA had previously faced each other in the 2016 Super J-Cup, where Ishimori lost to KUSHIDA in the first round of the tournament, who eventually won the tournament.[106][107]

KanemaruDesperadoIWGP2

Suzuki-gun (El Desperado and Yoshinobu Kanemaru), who defended the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship in a three-way tag team match at the event

Wrestle Kingdom 13 will feature the first-ever three-way tag team match for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship where Suzuki-gun (El Desperado and Yoshinobu Kanemaru) will defend their titles against Roppongi 3K (Sho and Yoh) and Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI and Shingo Takagi). Following multiple matches of cheating by Suzuki-gun, including winning the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship between March and October 2018,[108][109][110][111][112][113] Suzuki-gun, Roppongi 3K and L.I.J, took part in the Super Jr. Tag League.[114] The three teams finished the tournament with a record of five wins and two losses, making a three-way match between the three teams at the finals.[115][97][116][117] During the tournament, BUSHI and Takagi defeated Sho and Yoh, while Sho and Yoh defeated Desperado and Kanemaru, and Desperado and Kanemaru defeated BUSHI and Takagi in their head-to-head match.[118][96] On November 3, at Power Struggle, Roppongi 3K defeated Desperado and Kanemaru, and BUSHI and Takagi to win the Super Jr. Tag League for the second time.[76] After the match, Sho and Yoh challenged Kanemaru and Desperado to a match for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship, this time "fair and clean".[105] BUSHI and Takagi made their intentions of wanting a rematch due to defeating Sho and Yoh during the Super Jr. Tag League, while Desperado and Kanemaru also wanted a rematch for the loss.[105] Two days later, NJPW made the title match official.[61][78][79] The IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship has previously been defended in a three-way match, with reDRagon (Bobby Fish and Kyle O'Reilly) defending the titles against The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson), Matt Sydal and Ricochet and Roppongi Vice (Beretta and Rocky Romero) at Wrestle Kingdom 10, but this will mark the first three-way for the title.[61][78][79]

SabreJr

Zack Sabre Jr., who would receive an opportunity for the Undisputed British Heavyweight Championship at the event.

The Undisputed British Heavyweight Championship would also be defended at Wrestle Kingdom with Tomohiro Ishii defending the title against Zack Sabre Jr. On April 6 at Revolution Pro Wrestling's WrestleCon Sabre lost the British Heavyweight Championship to Ishii.[119][120] Over the next months, Ishii feuded with Sabre Suzuki-gun stablemate Minoru Suzuki, trading the British Heavyweight Championship, between July and October, with their ending on November 3 at Power Struggle, after Ishii defeated Suzuki to retain his title.[120] On November 9 at Revolution Pro Wrestling's Uprising, after Ishii successfully defended the British Heavyweight Championship against David Starr, Sabre led a Suzuki-gun assault on Ishii and challenged him for a rematch at Wrestle Kingdom.[120][121] On November 18, after Sabre along with Taichi attacked Ishii, Sabre would pose with Ishii's British Heavyweight Championship belt, whilst mocking him.[122] The match was officially announced on December 10.[3][4][123] On January 3, 2019, RPW Owner Andy Quildan unveiled the brand-new design of the title, which would be presented to the winner of the Wrestle Kingdom 13 match.[124]

Ibushinever

Kota Ibushi, who defended the NEVER Openweight Championship at the event

In the NEVER Openweight Championship match, Kota Ibushi would make his first title defense against Will Ospreay.[125] On December 9, Will Ospreay made his in-ring return to NJPW, after suffering a rib injury, defeating Taichi in a 1º contenders match to the NEVER Openweight Championship.[125][126] Later that night, Ibushi defeated Hirooki Goto to win the NEVER Openweight Championship. After the match, Ospreay came out and challenged Ibushi to a match, billed as a "dream match" at Wrestle Kingdom.[125][126] The two shook hands and confirmed the title match.[125][126][127] Ospreay had previously shown interest facing Ibushi during the Road to Destruction tour.[128] He was scheduled to challenge Taichi for the NEVER Openweight Championship on November 3 at Power Struggle, but was replaced by his CHAOS stablemate Hirooki Goto due to a rib injury.[125] The match was officially announced on December 10.[3][4][123] In their final confrontation before Wrestle Kingdom 13 on December 15, Golden☆Lovers (Ibushi and Kenny Omega) defeated Will Ospreay and Hiroshi Tanahashi, before their respective matches at Wrestle Kingdom 13.[68]

LIJWT2

Los Ingobernables de Japon (EVIL and SANADA), posing with the 2018 World Tag League trophies and took part in a three-way for the IWGP Tag Team Championship at the event

On December 9, Los Ingobernables de Japon members EVIL and SANADA defeated reigning IWGP Tag Team Champions Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa) to win the 2018 World Tag League. Traditionally, the winners of the tournament have earned a shot at the IWGP Tag Team Championship at the January 4 Tokyo Dome Show. However, following the win, The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson) confronted EVIL and SANADA claiming them to be "the best team in the tournament", but they are "the best team in the world" and challenged the Guerrillas of Destiny to a rematch for their titles, due to not receiving a rematch after losing the titles to them.[129] Afterwards proposed a three-way match between the three teams.[126][129] The match was officially announced on December 10.[3][4][123] NJPW also announced on December 10, a five-team gauntlet match to determine the 1º contenders to the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship, since the Guerrillas of Destiny and Taiji Ishimori had already title matches scheduled at Wrestle Kingdom 13.[3][4][123] On December 20, it was announced that Michael Elgin, who was scheduled to take part of the match, would be forced to pull out of the match due to a knee injury and was replaced by Yuji Nagata.[32][33][34]

CodyIWGPUS

Cody, who defended the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship at the event

On August 12, the final day of the 2018 G1 Climax, Cody returned to NJPW, teaming with his Bullet Club Elite stablemate Hangman Page and Robinson with his Taguchi Japan stablemate David Finlay.[130] Following the match, Cody put the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship belt on his shoulder and challenged Robinson to a title match.[130][131] Cody had previously defeated Robinson in his debut match at Wrestle Kingdom 11 in Tokyo Dome.[132] On September 30 at Fighting Spirit Unleashed, Cody defeated Robinson to win the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship.[133] On November 11 during the Global Wars tour, Robinson defeated Beretta, who had previously scheduled to face Cody for his title, but pulled out due to an injury.[134] After the match, Robinson announced his intentions of pursuing the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship.[134] During the 2018 World Tag League, Robinson again challenged Cody to a match for the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship.[135] The match was officially announced on December 10.[3][4][123]

Event Edit

Pre-show Edit

Other on-screen personnel
Role: Name:
English Commentators Don Callis
Kevin Kelly
Chris Charlton
Japanese Commentators Yuichi Tabata
Katsuhiko Kanazawa
Milano Collection A.T.
Jushin Thunder Liger
Kazuo Yamazaki
Shinji Yoshino
Shinpei Nogami
Hiroki Mikami
Soichi Shibata
Togi Makabe
Masahiro Chono
Yasutoro Matsuki
Ring announcers Makoto Abe
Referees Kenta Sato
Marty Asami
Red Shoes Unno
Tiger Hattori
Tmy

Togi Makabe, Toru Yano and Ryusuke Taguchi, who won a Gauntlet Match to become #1 contender for the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship.

The pre-show featured a five-count bell ring and one match, the Gauntlet match, for the #1 contenders for the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship. Teams worked to eliminate each other, and the last remaining team won. In this match, eliminations could occur via pinfall, submission, disqualification. Yujiro Takahashi would hit a Fisherman Buster on David Finlay but Yuji Nagata would break up the pin. Finlay would hit the Prima Nocta but Yujiro would push him but Chase Owens would hold Finlay's foot, Finlay would punch him, Hangman Page would hit a Running Big Boot but he would hit Owens instead, Page would push Yujiro, Finlay took advantage and would Roll him up to eliminate The Elite. After that, CHAOS would enter in the ring, Nagata and Hirooki Goto would exchange blows, Hirooki Goto would hit the Ushigoroshi but Nagata would kick out in two, Finlay would hit a Running Forearm on Beretta and Chuckie T. and Diving Uppecrutt on Chuckie, In the end, Chuckie would go to a Moonsault attempt but Finlay would Roll him up to eliminate CHAOS. After that Suzuki-gun would enter, in the end, Smith would hit a Big Boot on Finlay followed by a Killer Bomb to eliminate Finlay, Nagata and Jeff Cobb. Togi Makabe, Toru Yano and Ryusuke Taguchi would enter. In the end, Makabe would hit a Lariat followed by a low blow on Smith and Archer followed by a Roll up to win the match. Following the match, it was showed a highlight of the year of 2018 in NJPW, the schedule of the year of 2019 including two nights for the next year's Wrestle Kingdom, an introduction of the title matches and the opening for the event.

UndercardEdit

The first match of the PPV show saw Kota Ibushi defending the NEVER Openweight Champion against Will Ospreay. Before the match, it was shown a promo about the title match. In the end, Ibushi went for the Kamigoye but Ospreay hit a Superkick followed by a Running Chop, Ospreay would hold Ibushi and would hit the Storm Breaker on Ibushi to win the match. Following the match, Ospreay left the arena with the title while Ibushi was carried out of the arena with an injury.

BUSHIShingoIWGP

BUSHI and Shingo Takagi, who won the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions.

In the second match saw Suzuki-gun (Yoshinobu Kanemaru and El Desperado) defending the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship against Roppongi 3K (Yoh and Sho) and Los Ingobernables de Japón (BUSHI and Shingo Takagi). The match would start with three teams brawling, Yoh and Sho would hit a Topé con Hilo on BUSHI and Takagi, Kanemaru and Desperado would hit a Guitarra del Angel followed by a Dropkick on Yoh but we would kick out in two. Later, Sho hit a chop but Takagi would hit a Mongolian Chop, Sho would hit a triple German Suplex on Takagi and Kanemaru. Yoh and Sho would attempt to hit a 3K on Takagi but Kanemaru and BUSHI would attack them, Yoh and Sho would hit a 3K on Desperado. In the end, Takagi would hit a Pumping Boomer on Sho but he would kick out in two, followed by BUSHI, who hit a Suicide Dive on Yoh, Takagi would hit The Last of The Dragon on Sho to win the match.

Next, Tomohiro Ishii defended the British Heavyweight Champion against Zack Sabre Jr. Before the match started, it was shown a new British Heavyweight Championship belt. Submissions (Cross-Armbreaker, Triangle Choke, Ankle Lock, Sleeper Hold), holds and blows were exchanged. In the end, Sabre won the match (and the title) with the Hurrah! Another Year, Surely This One Will Be Better Than the Last; The Inexorable March of Progress Will Lead Us All to Happiness at 11 minutes and 35 seconds. Following that Taka Michinoku would hand Sabre the new British Heavyweight Championship belt.

In the fourth match saw Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa) defending the IWGP Tag Team Championship against Los Ingobernables de Japón (EVIL and SANADA) and The Young Bucks (Nick Jackson and Matt Jackson). Before the match, Guerrillas of Destiny debuted a new theme song. In the end, Jado and Bad Luck Fale would interfere but The Young Bucks would hit a Double Superkick on Jado, followed by a Lariat from EVIL on Fale, The Young Bucks would hit a Meltzer Driver but it would be countered, EVIL and SANADA would hit the Magic Killer on Matt Jackson followed by a moonsault to win the match.

In the fifth match saw Cody defending the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship against Juice Robinson. Before the match, it was shown a promo about the title match. Near the end, Juice went for a Pulp Friction but Cody would counter it, Cody went for a Cross Rhodes but Juice would revert and instead hitting him with his own finishing move but Cody would kick out in two, Cody went for a Disaster Kick and hit Juice with his own finishing move but he would kick out in two. In the end, after an exchange of blows, Juice hit Cody with the Pulp Friction two times to win the match.

In the sixth match, saw KUSHIDA defending the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship against Taiji Ishimori of the Bullet Club. Ishimori went to the Surfboard on KUSHIDA but he would kick out in two, Ishimori went on to do the Bloody Cross but KUSHIDA would revert into the Hoverboard Lock but Ishimori would revert it into a Revolución. In the end, KUSHIDA would try to hit two Back to the Futures but Ishimori would revert and hit a Double Footstomp followed by a Bloody Cross to win the match.

In the seventh match was between Kazuchika Okada and Jay White. During the match, Gedo would interfere but hit Gedo instead of Okada, Okada would hit a Dropkick followed by the Rainmaker but White would revert into a Sleeper Suplex, White would hit the Kiwi Crusher but Okada would kick out in two, White would try to hit the Blade Runner but he would reverse into a Tombstone Piledriver. White would go for a Tombstone Piledriver, but White would try to hit a Blade Runner but Okada reverted it into a Discus Lariat. Okada would go for the Rainmaker but White would hit the Blade Runner to win the match.

Double Main EventEdit

Double Main Event 1Edit

Naitodome

Tetsuya Naito, who won the IWGP Intercontinental Championship after defeating Chris Jericho.

Wrestle Kingdom 13 featured two main event matches. In the first, Chris Jericho defended the IWGP Intercontinental Championship against Tetsuya Naito. Before the match, it was shown a promo of their match. Naito would attack Jericho before he entered the ring. Jericho and Naito would brawl into the middle of the arena in an exchange of blows, Naito would hit him a Piledriver. Jericho would hit a DDT on the announcer's table, Jericho would push Naito and celebrate the win, despite the referee not calling for the win. Jericho would hit a Diving Crossbody, Jericho and Naito had an exchange of blows, Naito would hit Jericho with a Kendo Stick, Naito would do it again but Jericho hit a Codebreaker but Naito would kick out, Jericho would hit Naito with a chair, Jericho would go for a Powerbomb but Naito reversed it, he would steal his finishing move but he kicked out. Naito would go for the Destino but he pushed the referee and hit a low blow, he would go again for the Codebreaker but he would kick out. Jericho would go outside and took the title and tried to hit Naito with it but Naito would reverse and hit a running Destino but Jericho would kick out, Naito would grab the title, hit with it and throw it away, Naito would hit Jericho with the Destino to win the match.

Double Main Event 2Edit

Tanahashitd

Hiroshi Tanahashi, who defeated Kenny Omega to win the IWGP Heavyweight Championship.

In the second main event, Kenny Omega defended the IWGP Heavyweight Championship against Hiroshi Tanahashi. Before the match, it was shown a promo of their match. Omega and Tanahashi would exchange blows with each other. Tanahashi would go for a hold whilst an exchange of blows, Omega would go for a hold but Tanahashi kicked out, after that, there would be an exchange of kicks and blows, Omega would hit a Backbreaker on the apron on Tanahashi. After that Omega would hit a Topé con Hilo on Tanahashi, Omega would go for a Diving Dropkick followed by a Dragon Suplex, followed by a V-Trigger, Omega would go for a Moonsault but Tanahashi reversed it, Tanahashi would go for the Texas Cleaverhold but Tanahashi would revert into a Styles Clash followed by an attempt of the High Fly Flow, Omega would go for a V-Trigger but failed. Tanahashi would try to hit Omega with a High Fly Flow on a table but failed. Omega would push Tanahashi into the ring and hit a Diving Foot Stomp on Tanahashi, Omega hit three consecutive Powerbombs but Tanahashi kicked out, Omega would go for the V-Trigger, but Tanahashi hit a Sling Blade. After an exchange of blows, Tanahashi would hit a standing High Fly Flow followed by a High Fly Flow on Omega but he kicked out. Tanahashi would go for the High Fly Flow but Omega hit a V-Trigger, followed by a Dragon Suplex, Omega would go for the V-Trigger, followed by a Katayoku no Tenshi attempt but Tanahashi reversed, he would hit a Sling Blade followed by the High Fly Flow to win the match and the title at 39 minutes and 14 seconds. Tanahashi closed the show, thanking the fans and performing his air guitar routine. 

ReceptionEdit

The event drew 38,162 fans to the Tokyo Dome,[136] down from the previous year's announced attendance of 34,995[137]

WKeventstadium

The stadium of Wrestle Kingdom event at the beginning of the show.

Ethan Renner of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter called the main event "best match on the show", Overall, Renner would particularly praise the event.[138] Tom Leeming of Pro Wrestling Torch, stated that Kenny Omega's reign a luckbuster and said that "we didn’t get to see him really be a fighting champion. Post-Okada, the title has, in Japan at least, taken a back seat to more storyline-heavy feuds.", he referred the crowd was booing Jericho, "Jericho was heavily booed and his over-the-top heel moves had the crowd shouting profanity at times. The person two seats behind me shouting close to “FU Jericho” when he rang the bell by himself. ", while he would call Jay White, a new version of Prince Devitt, AJ Styles and Kenny Omega, "At this point becoming the new Prince Devitt, A.J. Styles, or Kenny Omega seems like a way off, but this was a step in the right direction.", whilst he felt the match between Kota Ibushi and Will Ospreay was cut short."The match was short but the murmurings around me, including myself, felt like the match was cut short because of the possible injury to Ibushi."[139] TJ Hawke of 411Mania gave the event a rating of 7, calling it "good", stating that the main event was "groan-inducing". He, however, also criticized the first part of the show for being "great", including the match between Okada vs White match, calling it a great win for White.[140] Joe Lanza of Voices of Wrestling gave the event an A+ grade, calling the main event a great match with great insanity giving it 4¾ stars to the match, he also stated that event quality grabs the headlines, saying that the match layouts should be the real story. "On an event where the match quality usually grabs the headlines, the match layouts here should be the real story." He would call the event a great show praising the five matches, with some matches to be contenders of the year."This was a great show with five excellent matches, a couple of which may prove to be match of the year contenders.", he would claim that NJPW will shape 2019 and beyond. "More importantly this time around, they nailed several elevations that will shape New Japan’s 2019 and beyond."[141]

AftermathEdit

BC19

Bullet Club, who reunited after The Elite left NJPW.

Following Wrestle Kingdom, The Elite would leave NJPW, leaving Kenny Omega's status unknown, Omega would later confirm in an interview with Tokyo Sports that he would be leaving NJPW, saying “There is no real place for me to fit, so it’s best for me not to be in (NJPW)“. Although, he would tease a possible future match with Hiroshi Tanahashi, "I can’t be there working under Tanahashi. I don’t think he’s surpassed me, don’t think he’s better. If we can, I want to face him again. But I need time away, and not just from New Japan.”[142] while also, Kota Ibushi would suffer a concussion during his match with Will Ospreay[143], NJPW would issue a short statement on the situation[144], At The New Beginning in Osaka, Ibushi would decide to remain in NJPW and announced to be part of the New Japan Cup[145]. Kenny Omega would later wish him luck and wrote that he would bee see him someday.[146] This would leave Chase Owens and Yujiro Takahashi's situation unknown. At New Year Dash, at the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship match, Yujiro and Owens would interfere costing Togi Makabe, Toru Yano and Ryusuke Taguchi the match, following that Yujiro and Owens would join and Tama Tonga praise their joining.[147] Marty Scurll would maintain with NJPW[148], leaving The Elite and continuing with a new stable called Villain Enterprises, which was formed in ROH.[149] On January 30, Taguchi, Makabe and Yano would defeat Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa and Taiji Ishimori to win the titles.[150] At The New Beginning in Osaka, Ishimori defeated Taguchi to retain the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion, after the match Ishimori challenged Jushin Thunder Liger to a title match[151], while Tonga and Loa challenged EVIL and SANADA to a rematch for the IWGP Tag Team Champions.[151] Following this it was announced that Ishimori and Liger would face each other at the 47th Anniversary[152], while Tonga and Loa would face EVIL and SANADA at Honor Rising: Japan.[153] At Honor Rising: Japan, Tonga and Loa defeated EVIL and SANADA to win the IWGP Tag Team Champions,[154], while Ishimori defeated Liger to retain the title.[155] At G1 Supercard, Tonga and Loa would retain the IWGP Tag Team Champions and win the ROH World Tag Team Champions in a "Winner Takes All" match, also involving Villain Enterprises (PCO and Brody King), The Briscoe Brothers (Mark and Jay Briscoe) and EVIL and SANADA, while Ishimori lost the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion to Dragon Lee in a three-way match, also involving Bandido.[156]

JayWhiteIWGP

Jay White, defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi at The New Beginning in Osaka event to become the IWGP Heavyweight Champion

Meanwhile, Yoshi-Hashi made his return to the ring in a losing effort, teaming with Hiroshi Tanahashi and Kazuchika Okada against Jay White, Bad Luck Fale and Gedo of the Bullet Club. Following the match, White would challenge Tanahashi, claiming to be "better than him", Fale and Gedo would attack him, Okada would try to save him but would get attacked by Fale, White would hold Tanahashi's title and tell him to "Breathe with the Switchblade" and that was his era.[147][157] The match would later be official on the New Beginning in Osaka event.[158] On January 29, following Tanahashi's match, White would attack him and target his leg, while Fale and Okada would brawl, and were separated by the officials.[159] The following week's White would steal Tanahashi's IWGP Heavyweight Championship belt. At the New Beginning in Sapporo, White and Fale would defeat Tanahashi and Okada in their prelude match with White debuting a new finishing move name TTO (Tanahashi Tap Out).[160] On January 11, White would Tanahashi to become the new IWGP Heavyweight Champion while Bad Luck Fale would lose to Okada.[161] On March 6 at the Anniversary Event, White would defeat Will Ospreay in a champion vs champion match.[155] At G1 Supercard, White lost the IWGP Heavyweight Championship to Kazuchika Okada.[156]

At New Year Dash, Beretta and Chuckie T. would have a match against Juice Robinson and David Finlay at the conclusion of the match, Chuckie would go on a rampage attacking Robinson and Finlay, teasing a match with Juice.[147] Chuckie had this behavior before during the World Tag League. Following the event, it was reported by Wrestling Observer Newsletter journalist Dave Meltzer in an episode of his podcast that Robinson and Rocky Romero resigned with NJPW.[162] Following this, it was announced that Roppongi Vice would return while Beretta would challenge Robinson for the IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion, while Chuckie T. would face Finlay in a singles match.[148] Finlay would defeat Chuckie T. in the match[163], while Robinson would defeat Beretta to retain the title[164], in what it would be Beretta and Chuckie's last singles match in NJPW, however; at the third day of the event, both Beretta and Chuckie's last match was with his CHAOS stablemate Rocky Romero against Robinson, Finlay and Tracy Williams.[165] On February 7, 2019, Beretta and Chuckie's profile was removed from NJPW website signaling their departure for the promotion.

KUSHIDA2

KUSHIDA, who left NJPW at the end of the month

Following the Tokyo Dome, there would be speculation regarding KUSHIDA that he would leave NJPW, Although at New Year Dash, KUSHIDA and the newly crowned NEVER Openweight Champion, Will Ospreay would having a confrontation teasing a title match, a day later KUSHIDA would confirm the rumor, and he would leave NJPW, saying "I have been here in NJPW for 8 years. I was surprised at the scale of the business when I first came in and proud of being able to work here. The warm reception and words from the fans made me who I am and I am so grateful to them.", claiming to be a tough decision "This was an extremely tough [decision] made with Meij, Sugabayashi and Kidani [NJPW management]. It was a very big decision in my life and I’m thankful they understood. I will head overseas to see the world of pro wrestling.", he would get emotional, crying with happy tears, claiming to give all his best on his last month, "But I’ll put my all in this last month. There’s been a lot of people who have influenced me over these 8 years. Liger, Tana. Shibata, Makabe, Tiger Hattori. They all enjoy wrestling."[147][166] NJPW would announce on January 8, that KUSHIDA's last match will be against Hiroshi Tanahashi on January 29.[167][168] On January 29, Tanahashi would defeat KUSHIDA.[159]

LIJNBG

Los Ingobernables de Japón, who feuded with Suzuki-gun.

Following the Tokyo Dome, Suzuki-gun would have a match against Los Ingobernables de Japón, Taichi would pin Tetsuya Naito after Taka Michinoku took the belt and Taichi hitting with it, following that Yoshinobu Kanemaru and El Desperado challenged the newly crowned IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions, Shingo Takagi and BUSHI, after claiming Takagi and BUSHI's win at Wrestle Kingdom a fluke win,[169] during a backstage interview. Following this, Minoru Suzuki and Zack Sabre Jr. would challenge the newly crowned IWGP Tag Team Champions EVIL and SANADA to a title match.[147] The match would later be official on the second night of the New Beginning in Sapporo event.[158] Following this, it was announced that Takashi Iizuka would retire on February 21.[170]  On the last day of the Fantastica Mania tour, Taichi and Suzuki-gun would attack Los Ingobernables de Japón causing the match to be a no contest.[171] On January 30, BUSHI and Desperado would steal both's masks, while Taichi, Suzuki and Sabre would steal their titles.[150] At the New Beginning in Sapporo, Suzuki-gun would fail on capturing the titles with Suzuki and Sabre losing to EVIL and SANADA, Kanemaru and Desperado to Takagi and BUSHI, (who after the match took Desperado's mask) and Taichi losing to Naito.[160] At  New Beginning in Osaka, Roppongi 3K (Yoh and Sho) challenged Takagi and BUSHI to a title match.[172] Following this it was announced that Iizuka's last match would be with Suzuki and Taichi against former partner and longterm rival Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Toru Yano and Kazuchika Okada[173], while it was announced that Takagi and BUSHI would face Yoh and Sho at the company's 47th Anniversary.[152] At the event Okada, Yano and Tenzan would defeat Suzuki, Iizuka and Taichi. After the match, Tenzan once again begged Iizuka to return to his former self, and Iizuka finally gave in and shook hands with Tenzan, reuniting Friendship Tag albeit for mere seconds as Iizuka and the rest of Suzuki-gun attacked Tenzan, Okada and Yano. Afterwards, his signature iron glove was left in the ring as the fans applauded and chanted his name. [174] On the Anniversary Event, Roppongi 3K would defeat Takagi and BUSHI to win the titles.[155] At G1 Supercard, Tetsuya Naito lost the IWGP Intercontinental Championship to Kota Ibushi.[156]

ResultsEdit

# Results[175][5][176] Stipulations Times[177]
1P Togi Makabe and Toru Yano and Ryusuke Taguchi defeated Yuji Nagata, Jeff Cobb and David Finlay, CHAOS (Hirooki Goto, Beretta and Chuckie T.), Suzuki-gun (Minoru Suzuki, Lance Archer and Davey Boy Smith Jr.) and The Elite (Hangman Page, Yujiro Takahashi and Marty Scurll) (with Chase Owens and Pieter) Gauntlet match to determine the #1 contenders to the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship 22:02
2 Will Ospreay defeated Kota Ibushi (c) Singles match for the NEVER Openweight Championship 18:13
3 Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI and Shingo Takagi) defeated Suzuki-gun (Yoshinobu Kanemaru and El Desperado) (c) and Roppongi 3K (Sho and Yoh) (with Rocky Romero) Three-way tag team match for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship 6:51
4 Zack Sabre Jr. (with Taka Michinoku) defeated Tomohiro Ishii (c) Singles match for the British Heavyweight Championship 11:37
5 Los Ingobernables de Japon (EVIL and SANADA) defeated Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa) (c) (with Bad Luck Fale and Jado) and The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson) Three-way tag team match for the IWGP Tag Team Championship 10:16
6 Juice Robinson defeated Cody (c) (with Brandi Rhodes) Singles match for the IWGP United States Championship 9:03
7 Taiji Ishimori defeated KUSHIDA (c) Singles match for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship 11:17
8 Jay White (with Gedo) defeated Kazuchika Okada Singles match 14:20
9 Tetsuya Naito defeated Chris Jericho (c) No Disqualification match for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship 22:35
10 Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated Kenny Omega (c) (with Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson) Singles match for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship 39:14
  • (c) – refers to the champion(s) heading into the match
  • Videoicon – refers to the video of that match
  • P – indicates the match took place on the pre-show

Gauntlet matchEdit

Elimination Wrestler Team Eliminated by Elimination move Time Ref.
1 Yujiro Takahashi The Elite David Finlay Pinned with a roll-up 4:39 [5]
2 Chuckie T. CHAOS 12:09 [5]
3 David Finlay Jeff Cobb, Yuji Nagata and David Finlay Lance Archer Pinned after a Killer Bomb 14:53 [5]
4 Davey Boy Smith Jr. Suzuki-gun Toru Yano Pinned with a roll-up 22:02 [5]
Winners: Togi Makabe and Toru Yano and Ryusuke Taguchi

ReferencesEdit

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