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Wrestling Hinokuni 2018 was a professional wrestling event promoted by New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW). The event took place on April 29, 2018 at the Grand Messe Kumamoto in Mashiki, Kumamoto between the larger Sakura Genesis and Wrestling Dontaku events. The event was to be headlined by Minoru Suzuki making his second defense of the IWGP Intercontinental Championship against Tetsuya Naito. This was the second event under the Wrestling Hinokuni name.

ProductionEdit

StorylinesEdit

Wrestling Hinokuni featured professional wrestling matches that involved different wrestlers from pre-existing scripted feuds and storylines. Wrestlers portrayed villains, heroes, or less distinguishable characters in the scripted events that built tension and culminated in a wrestling match or series of matches.

In the main event, Minoru Suzuki was set to make his second title defense of the IWGP Intercontinental Championship against Tetsuya Naito. The match was set up after Sakura Genesis 2018, where Naito provoked and challenged Suzuki for his IWGP Intercontinental Championship, which in the past Naito began systematically destroying the belt, forcing NJPW to have it repaired in June 2017. During the confrontation, between the two, Naito stated that the title was "a bigger deal when he used to throw it around". The two in March during the matches, Naito went to provoke Suzuki and the two would even brawl to the back. The match between the two was made official on April 2.

The Suzuki-gun and Los Ingobernables de Japon angle resulted in Wrestling Hinokuni 2018 also featuring other prominent matches featuring the stable BUSHI facing El Desperado and Hiromu Takahashi facing Yoshinobu Kanemaru. After Suzuki-gun (Desperado and Kanemaru), won and retained the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship against Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI and Takahashi) and also Roppongi 3K (Sho and Yoh) in a three-way tag team match, where L.I.J almost winning both title matches, but Suzuki-gun cheated to win both matches and at the second match Kanemaru and Desperado were not legal in the match and still managed to retain the titles. Later on a backstage interview, Takahashi and BUSHI challenged Kanemaru and Desperado. The singles matches between the two were announced in the following day. In the past BUSHI and Desperado previously faced off in May 2017 during the Best of the Super Juniors tournament, where Desperado defeated BUSHI.

The Suzuki-gun and Los Ingobernables de Japon is angle resulted in also being scheduled a rematch from IWGP Tag Team Champions EVIL and SANADA make their defense of the title against previous champions, K.E.S. (Lance Archer and Davey Boy Smith Jr.). On January 4, 2018 at Wrestle Kingdom 12 EVIL and SANADA defeated Archer and Smith to win the IWGP Tag Team Championship. After winning the titles EVIL was sidelined with an injury after fracturing his left orbital bone in February. Shortly after, K.E.S made their intentions on receiving a rematch for the titles. On March 30, EVIL made his return teaming with his Los Ingobernables de Japon stablemates Hiromu Takahashi, BUSHI, SANADA and Tetsuya Naito in a winning effort against Archer and Smith's Suzuki-gun stablemates Yoshinobu Kanemaru, El Desperado and Minoru Suzuki. Two days later at Sakura Genesis, Archer and Smith teamed up with Suzuki in a winning effort against EVIL, SANADA and Naito with Archer pinning EVIL. The rematch between the two teams was made official on the following day.

ResultsEdit

# Matches Stipulations Times
1 Yuji Nagata and Tetsuhiro Yagi defeated Tomoyuki Oka and Shota Umino Tag Team match 9:41
2 David Finlay, Jushin Thunder Liger, Tiger Mask IV and Ryusuke Taguchi defeated CHAOS (Jay White, Sho, Yoh and Rocky Romero) Eight-man tag team match 7:18
3 CHAOS (Tomohiro Ishii and Toru Yano) defeated Togi Makabe and Toa Henare Tag team match 7:56
4 Suzuki-gun (Zack Sabre Jr., Takashi Iizuka, Taichi and Taka Michinoku) defeated Kenny Omega, Kota Ibushi, Yujiro Takahashi and Chase Owens Eight-man tag team match 8:51
5 Taguchi Japan (Hiroshi Tanahashi, Juice Robinson, Michael Elgin and KUSHIDA defeated CHAOS (Hirooki Goto, Kazuchika Okada, Yoshi-Hashi and Will Ospreay) Eight-man tag team match 10:13
6 BUSHI defeated El Desperado Singles match 9:58
7 Hiromu Takahashi defeated Yoshinobu Kanemaru Singles match 11:28
8 Los Ingobernables de Japon (EVIL and SANADA) (c) defeated K.E.S. (Lance Archer and Davey Boy Smith Jr.) Tag team match for the IWGP Tag Team Championship 17:58
9 Tetsuya Naito defeated Minoru Suzuki (c) Singles match for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship 30:22
  • (c) – refers to the champion(s) heading into the match
  • Videoicon – refers to the video of that match

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