wrestling / Columns

Csonka’s NJPW King of Pro Wrestling 2019 Preview

October 13, 2019 | Posted by Larry Csonka
NJPW Kazuchika Okada SANADA

WELCOME back to column time with Larry! Today, I am going to discuss and preview the NJPW King of Pro Wrestling 2019 event. The show will feature IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada defending against SANADA, Jushin Liger vs. Minoru Suzuki, Kota Ibushi vs. EVIL, and much more. So today I will breakdown and preview the event. Feel free to make your picks in the comment section. Thanks for reading! It’s wrestling, we love it and will disagree. The only rules are “have a take, be respectful, and don’t be a dick.”

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Ryusuke Taguchi, SHO & YOH vs. El Desperado, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & DOUKI: The Suzuki-gun juniors are fully united as Desperado is finally back from his broken jaw. This should be a fun opener, and one that I feel Suzuki-gun should win to get them on right track ahead of the junior tag league. The question will be if it’s Kanemaru & Desperado as usual, or do they mix things up and add DOUKI to the mix, or maybe even add in someone new to have them tag with the Mexican Indie scum legend. WINNERS: El Desperado, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & DOUKI

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Hiroshi Tanahashi & Tomoaki Honma vs. Togi Makabe & Toru Yano: This is the fourth and final match commemorating 20 years of Hiroshi Tanahashi in NJPW. Tanahashi debuted on October 10th, 1999 in a singles match against Togi Makabe, and they come full circle in this tag match. Honma & Makabe obviously have a history of tagging, but has also been an ally of Tanahashi. It feels so odd for Tanahashi to have nothing of note to do right now and be in the second match of the show. He and Honma should win here to keep the people happy… but don’t be surprised if Jericho arrived to ruin the celebration. WINNERS: Hiroshi Tanahashi & Tomoaki Honma

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Tetsuya Naito, Shingo Takagi & BUSHI vs. Zack Sabre Jr., Lance Archer & Taichi: LIJ is coming off of a bad night in Kobe, where both Shingo & Naito lost. On the surface it feels like an LIJ rebound win is in order here and would make the most sense. I’m more curious to see where they go after this, because a Naito vs. ZSJ feud could be fun, as would an Archer vs. Shino feud. I think that Suzuki-gun will win here as they play the downfall/doubting himself Naito angle following his loss to White, WINNERS: Zack Sabre Jr., Lance Archer & Taichi

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Hirooki Goto, Tomohiro Ishii & YOSHI-HASHI vs. Jay White, KENTA & Yujiro Takahashi: This is fallout from Royal Quest & Destruction in Kobe, as we build to the Goto vs. White IC Title match as well as the likely rematch between Ishii and KENTA for the NEVER Title. In that regard it has some potential. I think that Team CHAOS will take this one with Yujiro taking the loss, and a likely post match angle with White & Goto and or KENTA & Ishii. WINNERS: Hirooki Goto, Tomohiro Ishii & YOSHI-HASHI

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Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Minoru Suzuki: I have seen a lot of criticism in regards to my love for this feud and desire to see this match, “If it was WWE you’d hot all over this feud between two 50-year olds.” And there is SOME truth to that, because WWE hasn’t delivered a well crafted story like this, featuring two legends that are still in great shape and can still deliver in the ring like Liger & Suzuki, instead we get stuff like Triple H & Taker embarrassing themselves in Australia and Goldberg & Taker almost braking each other’s necks. There is no comparison between what NJPW is doing here and what WWE has failed in executing. Liger vs. Suzuki has been one of the best built feuds of 2019, a carefully crafted story in the final chapter of the legendary Jushin Liger’s hall of fame career. Suzuki has been an amazing asshole heel throughout this feud, doing anything and everything to hurt, insult, and disrespect Liger as often as possible. He’s beaten on him, attacked his friends, ripped off his mask and even attacked him while doing commentary. He was doing everything in his evil powers to goad Liger into a fight. But Suzuki pushed too far, he angered the legend, and Liger was pushed so far that for only the fourth time in his career, he summoned KISHIN LIGER to even the odds with the king. So I am really looking forward to this match, bit am going in with tempered expectations. Both guys have been great, the feud has been great, they can still go and are in great shape so by all rights this should deliver. I find it a bit odd that after the KISHIN return that this is simply listed as “Jushin” Liger vs. Suzuki. I do feel that if this is “just Jushin Liger,” that it’s likely that Suzuki wins the match. But if we’re all in on KISHIN or some darker form of Liger, I can see the legend crossing the line and brutalizing Suzuki en route to victory. If that’s the case. I think that leads to KISHIN overtaking JUSHIN, and controlling the legend in a crazed frenzy that will lead to one of his friends finally having to step in and tame him, and in the end, and bring him back to he light so that he can retire properly. Perhaps a fellow legend, someone who Liger has treated like a son at times, and was absolutely shocked at KISHIN’s appearance and was even shoved aside after his return, which makes me feel that they could build to Tanahashi being the one to bring him back to the light during night one of WrestleKingdom 14. There are also reports that Suzuki is on the way out of NJPW, so if that’s the case, Liger should certainly win. WINNER: BEAST GOD LIGER

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IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion Will Ospreay defending against El Phantasmo: Phantasmo gets a really mixed reaction, mainly because a lot of his stuff breaks down into junior heavyweight Jay White, which becomes frustrating and takes away from a lot of his matches. But when he’s just working matches without the bullshit, I quite like Phantasmo Ospreay is having an all time great year, despite the fact that some refuse to recognize it and find any way they can to dismiss his awesome portfolio of work in 2019. I think that this not only has potential to be great but if the Phantasmo shenanigans are kept to a minimum, it could be the best match on the card. The question now is who wins, because a Phantasmo win isn’t out of the question if they have bigger plans for Ospreay at WrestleKingdom, but at this time I have no idea what that could be. So I wouldn’t be surprised by a Phantasmo win here, but really feel that Ospreay should and will retain here. WINNER: Will Ospreay

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IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion Jon Moxley defending against Juice Robinson in a no DQ match: And things keep getting intense, as we finally get our rematch between Moxley & Juice. Moxley won the tile back at the BOSJ finals in an excellent match, which sent Juice on a quest for revenge and he got a small bit of that in the G1, beating Moxley to earn this title match. I love the no DQ stipulation, as it plays into the style Moxley has brought to NJPW and excelled at, plus the feud is personal with Juice looking to not only get his title back but to get full revenge while punishing Moxley. This match also has top tier potential if they can recapture the magic of their first match. Moxley wants to work WrestleKingdom, and with that being the case, there is a chance that he can retain here and carry the title until then and finally lose to Juice, but that feels like too much of rerun of the Cody feud. So with that bring the case, I think that Juice picks up the win, gets his revenge, and takes back the championship. WINNER: Juice Robinson

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Kota Ibushi vs. EVIL for Ibushi’s IWGP Heavyweight title shot at Wrestle Kingdom 14: EVIL earned this opportunity at Ibushi’s championship shot by defeating him during the G1, in a match that was pretty good, but never clicked into high gear partly due Ibushi’s ankle injury. I thought back then that they had a much better match n them and with Ibushi healthy and EVIL’s ability to step up in big matches, I have faith that they can deliver here, Of course, the likelihood of EVIL winning here is less than 1%, because it’s not his time and makes absolutely no sense to derail Ibushi’s journey. So with that being said, the most important thing here, even mores so than having a great wrestling match, is to work a match hat makes the crowd buy into EVIL actually winning. Great work is always welcomed, but they have to really nail the drama here, it’s essential to the match really succeeding, and I’m not talking about that bullshit they tried in that shit KENTA match. I am sure the work will be very good and maybe even great, but I do have concerns in regards to the drama and the fans actually buying into EVIL, but if that happens, this could end up easily one of the best things on the show. WINNER: Kota Ibushi

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IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada defending against SANADA: And here we come to our main event of the evening, so strap in because it’s going to be long one. SANADA was 0-6against Okada prior to the G1 win, which earned him this championship match. Outside of the G1 match, due to the time constraints, the matches have progressively gone longer, with the story being that SANADA has come closer, taking Okada into deeper waters, but ultimately failing. The two have worked really well together and put together a great collection of matches, but there is a section of fans who have become frustrated with the style of match, feeling that the early portions of these matches are long and uneventful, and add nothing to the match but time. Much like the previous match, the possibility of SANADA winning is almost zero, so they absolutely have to nail the drama aspect and make us believe that SANADA can win. If I am being completely honest here, there is NOTHING I’d love more than for this match to buck the typical NJPW maim event formula. SANADA should realize that going long and playing into Okada’s game has constantly failed him, and with that being the case, he should go shock and fucking awe from the bell and not allow Okada to settle in. He should run wild, DOMINATE, hit all of his shit and just wreck Okada with everything he has until Okada finally overcomes. I’d love for this to go that way, and end in a shocking 15-minute sprint when Okada ends him and just completely flip the script, because it would be different, it would be fresh, no one would expect, and I think that it would still be great. I’m probably just the old man yelling at the cloud here, and we’re going to get the traditional Okada match that goes well over 30-minutes, will likely still be great, but will leave me wanting for something different. WINNER: Kazuchika Okada

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The 411 on Wrestling Podcast returns to the 411 Podcasting Network for episode 58. On the show, the good brother, Jeremy Lambert, joins 411’s Larry Csonka as the guys will review week two of the AEW vs. NXT Wednesday night war and then preview ROH Glory by Honor & NJPW King of Pro Wrestling. The show is approximately 122-minutes long.

* Intro
* AEW Dynamite Review (10.09.19): 8:15
* NXT TV Review (10.09.19): 47:00
* The Comparisons/Winner: 1:14:25
* ROH Glory by Honor 2019 Preview: 1:25:05
* NJPW King of Pro Wrestling 2019 Preview: 1:34:10

You can subscribe and listen to the 411 on Wrestling Podcast via the above player on Transistor, or on the following platforms:

* iTunes
* Spotify
* Stitcher
* Google Play

– End scene.

– Thanks for reading.