wrestling / Columns

Csonka’s NJPW King of Pro Wrestling Preview

October 8, 2017 | Posted by Larry Csonka
NJPW King of Pro Wrestling

Welcome back to column time with Larry. Today’s column is all about fun; today I want to talk about the latest big New Japan Pro Wrestling show, NJPW King of Pro Wrestling. King of Pro Wrestling is the show where traditionally the WrestleKingdom main event is set as the briefcase holder defends his title shot along with the IWGP champion defending his title. Lets have fun today talking about something we love. Remember, your comments are always welcomed. I hope that you enjoy, and feel free to share your thoughts. It’s wrestling, we love it and will disagree. The only rules are “have a take, be respectful of other’s opinions and don’t be a dick.”

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Bad Luck Fale, Yujiro Takahashi and Leo Tonga vs. SANADA, Hiromu Takahashi and BUSHI: The September NJPW cards were an extremely mixed bag, but for the most part, disappointing. A lot of that was because the usually fun and strong under cards were mostly non-existent. Add in top of the card matches falling short and that’s why the shows were disappointing. While Leo Tonga will be the obvious weak link, due to his inexperience, this has the potential to be at the very least fun. LIJ (SANADA, Hiromu Takahashi and BUSHI) are pretty much money in multi-man tags, they work hard, they work well with everyone and with Bullet Club & LIJ involved, the crowd should be into the match. I could see Bullet Club winning to set up a possible match for the six-man titles, but I feel a LIJ win is a better way to kick things off. WINNERS: SANADA, Hiromu Takahashi and BUSHI. Plus we also have the return of young Daryl Takahashi to look forward to, as he’s finished up his excursion in the UK. That fucker Fale better stay away from him!

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Toru Yano and Hirooki Goto vs. Minoru Suzuki and Zack Sabre Jr.: I have a feeling that this will be a setup for Suzuki’s next title defense, but not against Goto because I think they want to set up a stopgap so to speak, and I think that they may use this match to give Yano the win over Suzuki to set up a title defense. They really seem to like playing Suzuki’s “I want to kill you vibe” against Yano’s scared shitless act, plus I think that they are saving Suzuki dropping the title to Goto or maybe even Elgin at WrestleKingdom. So this match likely goes like this: Suzuki jumps his opponents before the bell, we get some floor brawling, Goto and Sabre work some fun stuff in the ring, it breaks down (likely with Desperado or TAKA getting involved), Yano distracts the ref and low blows Suzuki for a roll up. Yano acts surprised and celebrates, while Suzuki kicks the shit out of some young boys at ringside. WINNERS: Toru Yano and Hirooki Goto via sublime thievery.

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IWGP Jr. Tag Team Title Match: IWGP Jr. Tag Team Champions Ryusuke Taguchi and Ricochet vs. Roppongi 3K: At the NJPW Destruction in Hiroshima event, junior tag champions Ricochet & Ryusuke Taguchi defeated Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Taichi to retain their titles. It was after that match that Rocky Romero appeared and announced that he’s bringing in “Roppongi 3k” to challenge for the titles. It seems that with Roppongi Vice done as a team, CHAOS will be rebuilding their ranks with a new junior tag team, and at this time, I think it’s the Tempura Boys (Sho Tanka & Yohei Komatsu), who were two impressive young lions that have been on excursion, working in CMLL & ROH. Taguchi and Ricochet always felt like a temporary team, and while they have been a ton of fun, if they are pulling the big return here to shake things up, I see the titles changing hands in what could be a really fun and even potentially great match. WINNERS: Roppongi 3K

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IWGP Tag Team Title Match: IWGP Tag Team Champions Killer Elite Squad vs. War Machine vs. Guerillas of Destiny: This will be the fourth time in 30-days that they are running this match. When discussing the faults of NJPW, the booking of the tag divisions is always on the top of the list. It’s like they take all of this time and care crafting 90% of the other things and then realize they have nothing for the tag divisions and just throw some shit against the wall and hope it doesn’t suck. I honestly feel bad for these guys, they are being asked to work the same match for the fourth time in 30-days on another major show. The first two-matches were fine, and the third was easily the best of the three thanks to changing it to tornado rules. I am sure that at the very least this will be fine, but I find it extremely difficult to care about it. Suzuki-gun feels like they need the titles more right now, and going back to War Machine or the Guerrillas would make the most recent title change feel useless. This has been made a tornado rules/elimination tag match to try and make it feel different. We desperately need a new team in the mix, let Ishii & Goto team for a while. WINNERS: Champions Killer Elite Squad

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YOSHI-HASHI, Baretta and Jado vs. Kenny Omega, Cody and Marty Scurll: We get some CHAOS vs. Bullet Club action as they build to Omega vs. YOSHI-HASHI in ROH for the IWGP US Title. Cody’s last official NJPW shows were in August, when he and Hangman Page failed to win the tag team titles. They will add to the Omega vs. HASHI build, and possibly look to give Cody some momentum back with a win, likely/hopefully over Jado. WINNERS: Kenny Omega, Cody and Marty Scurll

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Hiroshi Tanahashi and Togi Makabe vs. Kota Ibushi and Juice Robinson: This match is all about helping build to Tanahashi defending the IC Title against Ibushi, who beat him during the G1. The best thing about the build is that neither man has to lose her to continue that build. Ibushi already has the win, Tanahashi made the challenge so that he can prove himself, so this is more about gamesmanship and who has momentum heading into the rematch. Makabe is here to be a name, to bump as little as possible (the over/under is 3.5 bumps for Makabe), and to likely take the fall. I think the easy call is Ibushi pinning Makabe, but I could also see Juice pinning Makabe to get him some momentum back after his loss to Omega. WINNERS: Kota Ibushi and Juice Robinson

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IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title Match: IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion KUSHIDA vs. Will Ospreay: These two gentlemen faced off in the finals of this year’s Best of the Super Juniors tournament, with KUSHIDA coming out on top in a ***** match as he continued his seemingly never-ending quest to make young William his bitch. While I think KUSHIDA is great and that his redemption story was well done, I also found it to be rushed and felt they left too much on the plate with the Takahashi title run. But they went back to KUSHIDA because he’s the junior ace, which is leading to what I feel is a cold rematch with Ospreay, with not much of an actual build other that young William decided he was sick of being KUSHIDA’s bitch. And while that is a good story, with him seeking redemption, the build lacked in my opinion. I can see Ospreay picking up the big win here, and feel that this could be leading to a rare triple threat at WrestleKingdom 12 with KUSHIDA, Ospreay and Takahashi (who was involved in the set up for this match). While I felt the booking of this rematch has lacked, I think they will have another great match together. WINNER: Will Ospreay

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WrestleKingdom 12 Briefcase Match: Tetsuya Naito vs. Tomohiro Ishii: Tetsuya Naito defeated Kenny Omega in the finals of the G1 27 via pin to not only get revenge over Omega from last year, but did so in a ***** match to earn briefcase and possible shot at the IWGP Title at WrestleKingdon 12. But on night 9 of the G1, Tomohiro Ishii defeated Tetsuya Naito via pin in a great match, earning him the right to challenge Naito for his title shot. The one negative to this match is that there is almost no chance that Naito loses here, which when you have that going into a match, can hurt it and cause the crowd to not be invested in the match. The good news is this, these two guys have great chemistry and always deliver. Add on top of that the fact that Naito lays out great matches and Ishii remains one of the more underrated in ring perfumers and babyfaces in all of wrestling; his selling, his facial expressions, his fire and overall ability are amazing and he has an incredible ability to bring people into his matches. Add into the fact that Naito is a fucking rock star and together they should thrive and deliver the goods here. WINNER: Tetsuya Naito

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IWGP Heavyweight Title Match: IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada vs. EVIL: We got here as EVIL defeated Kazuchika Okada on night 14 of the G1 27 via pin, in what I felt was a ****½ match. Much like the previous match, the trick here is going to be making the crowd invested, despite the fact that I can’t see Okada losing the title. The good news is that Okada is having an all-time great year in the ring, and EVIL has been killing it, moving ahead of SANADA, who most felt would be in this kind of spot before him. Okada is at the top of his game, EVIL has been great and with the fact that he has a win over Okada, they should (in theory) be able to create some great near falls to get the crowd invested. Some complain that Okada’s matches can be too predictable, but he lays out extremely strong, big time matches, that always get the crowds invested into them. While they have some obstacles to overcome, and may have to work extra hard down the stretch to really create that big match drama, I have faith in both men that they can do it. This is another important match for EVIL, because if he delivers big again here, he’s in store for a huge 2018 in my opinion. WINNER: Kazuchika Okada

Join 411 at 4AM ET on October 9th for my LIVE NJPW King of Pro Wrestling coverage!
* Bad Luck Fale, Yujiro Takahashi and Leo Tonga vs. SANADA, Hiromu Takahashi and BUSHI
* Toru Yano and Hirooki Goto vs. Minoru Suzuki and Zack Sabre Jr.
* IWGP Jr. Tag Team Title Match: IWGP Jr. Tag Team Champions Ryusuke Taguchi and Ricochet vs. Roppongi 3K
* IWGP Tag Team Title Match: IWGP Tag Team Champions Killer Elite Squad vs. War Machine vs. Guerillas of Destiny
* YOSHI-HASHI, Baretta and Jado vs. Kenny Omega, Cody and Marty Scurll
* Hiroshi Tanahashi and Togi Makabe vs. Kota Ibushi and Juice Robinson
* IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title Match: IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion KUSHIDA vs. Will Ospreay
* WrestleKingdom 12 Briefcase Match: Tetsuya Naito vs. Tomohiro Ishii
* IWGP Heavyweight Title Match: IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada vs. EVIL

– End scene.

– Thanks for reading.

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“Byyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyye Felicia!”

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