Wrestling Hinokuni 2019 was professional wrestling event promoted by New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW). The event took place on April 29, 2019 at the Grand Messe Kumamoto in Mashiki, Kumamoto between the larger G1 Supercard and Wrestling Dontaku events. The event was main evented by Hirooki Goto facing Jay White. The event was available at NJPW's streaming website NJPW World. The event was notable for being the first time in ten years that The Most Violent Players made their return.
Production[edit | edit source]
Background[edit | edit source]
The event was established in 2015 and took place in late April between the larger Invasion Attack, Sakura Genesis, later G1 Supercard and Wrestling Dontaku events. The event would be held in Mashiki, Kumamoto and its name refers to the nickname of Kumamoto Prefecture, "Land of Fire" (火の国 Hinokuni). The event would be canceled in 2016 due to the Kumamoto earthquake and subsequently replaced by Wrestling Toyonokuni, before returning in 2018 under its current name.
Storylines[edit | edit source]
Wrestling Hinokuni 2019 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, Hirooki Goto faced Jay White. On March 24, White and Goto faced each other in a six-man tag team match, where Goto teamed with his CHAOS stablemates Mikey Nicholls and Yoshi-Hashi and White with his Bullet Club stablemates Bad Luck Fale and Hikuleo. White would score the victory for his team by pinning Goto. Afterwards, in a post-match interview, Goto who didn't take the loss lightly stated that wasn't the end, leading NJPW to announce the match on April 8.
The Bullet Club and CHAOS/NJPW Home Unit also featured other prominent matches featuring the stables with two singles matches, Bad Luck Fale facing Mikey Nicholls and Chase Owens facing Juice Robinson. During the 2019 New Japan Cup, Robinson feuded with Chase Owens, after Robinson was knocked out of the tournament by Owens in the first round, being attacked by Owens after their matches. Owens would also steal the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship title belt, before ordering a young lion to return it to Robinson. On March 24, after Robinson successfully defended the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship against Owens. After the match, Owens' Bullet Club Bad Luck Fale and Owens attacked Robinson until Mikey Nicholls made the save. In a post-match interview, Fale and Owens accused Robinson of cheating and Owens stated he wanted a rematch, while Nicholls challenged Fale in a match. The matches were officially announced on April 8.
On April 6 at G1 Supercard, after Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa) retained the IWGP and won the ROH World Tag Team Championship, Toru Yano stole the IWGP Tag Team Championship title belts and afterwards the Guerrillas of Destiny shown their indignation for Yano's action. The title match was announced on April 8. Yano, Togi Makabe and Ryusuke Taguchi had previously defeated the Guerrillas of Destiny and their Bullet Club stablemate Taiji Ishimori on January 30 to win the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship. The Guerrillas of Destiny would later regain possession of the IWGP Tag Team Championship title belts, while also stealing the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship title belts from Makabe and Yano. The match is also notable for being the first time in ten years that The Most Violent Players will make their return. On April 22, during the Road to Wrestling Dontaku tour, The Most Violent Players and Ryusuke Taguchi defeated the Guerrillas of Destiny and their brother Hikuleo to retain the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship. Afterwards, Makabe attacked the Guerrillas of Destiny, while Yano stole back their titles.