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Csonka’s NJPW WrestleKingdom 13 Review

January 4, 2019 | Posted by Larry Csonka
NJPW WrestleKingdom 13
9
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Csonka’s NJPW WrestleKingdom 13 Review  

Csonka’s NJPW WrestleKingdom 13 Review

OFFICIAL RESULTS
Pre-Show gauntlet match to determine #1 contenders for NEVER six man titles: Ryusuke Taguchi, Toru Yano, & Togi Makabe won @ 27:45 via pin [***]
IWGP NEVER Openweight Title Match: Will Ospreay defeated Champion Kota Ibushi @ 18:20 via pin [****½]
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Title Match: LIJ defeated Champions Yoshinobu Kanemaru and El Desperado & Roppongi 3K @ 7:05 via pin [***]
RevPro British Heavyweight Title Match: Zack Sabre Jr. defeated Champion Tomohiro Ishii @ 11:55 via submission [****¼]
IWGP Tag Team Title Match: LIJ defeated Champions Guerrillas of Destiny & The Young Bucks @ 10:30 via pin [***¼]
IWGP US Title Match: Juice Robinson defeated Champion Cody @ 8:50 via pin [*]
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title Match: Taiji Ishimori defeated Champion KUSHIDA @ 11:20 via pin [***¾]
– Jay White defeated Kazuchika Okada @ 14:30 via pin [****]
IWGP IC Title No DQ Match: Tetsuya Naito defeated Champion Chris Jericho @ 23:15 via pin [****½]
IWGP Title Match: Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated Champion Kenny Omega @ 39:12 via pin [****¾]


– Follow all of my reviews at this link.

– You can check out my top 20 matches of DECEMBER list at this link.

– You can check out my full preview at this link.

– Kevin Kelly, Don Callis, and the good brother Chris Charlton are on commentary.

Pre-Show gauntlet match to determine #1 contenders for NEVER six man titles: Ryusuke Taguchi, Toru Yano, & Togi Makabe vs. David Finlay, Jeff Cobb, & Yuji Nagata vs. Best Friends & Hirooki Goto vs. Killer Elite Squad & Minoru Suzuki vs. Marty Scurll, Adam Page, & Yujiro Takahashi: Marty Scurll, Adam Page, & Yujiro Takahashi will battle David Finlay, Jeff Cobb, & Yuji Nagata to begin. Marty and Nagata kick us off. Marty lays in strikes, but Nagata answers back with kicks and locks on an inverted figure four. Cobb and Page tag in, they triple team Cobb Page hits the shooting star to the floor. Back in and the buckshot lariat gets 2. Cobb cuts off page and hits a suplex. Finlay and Yujiro tag in and trade strikes until Yujiro hits the fisherman’s buster for 2. Nagata makes the save, Owens trips up Finlay but Page accidentally takes him out. Finlay gets a roll up for the elimination @ 4:55. Best Friends & Hirooki Goto are out next. They all brawl right away, Chuckie hits a tope and Trent follows with a moonsault. Nagata lays in kicks on Goto, but Goto cuts him off with ushigoroshi for 2. CHAOS works over Nagata, isolating him and Trent lays in chops. Nagata gets the arm bar, Chuckie breaks it up but Nagata hits an XPLODER. Cobb tags in as does Goto. Cobb follows with the swinging Saito and standing moonsault for 2. Goto pulls a cradle for 2 and follows with a lariat. Chuckie in now, but Cobb runs he and Trent together and suplexes both. Finlay in and Chuckie cuts him off with a knee strike and piledriver for 2. Chuckie up top and misses the moonsault and Finlay cradles him for 3 @ 13:50. Killer Elite Squad & Minoru Suzuki are in next and attack right away. Nagata and Suzuki pair off, slapping the shit out of each other. Suzuki works a cobra twist; Nagata escapes and hits an XPLODER for 2. Smith tags in and so does Cobb. Smith lays in kicks, but Cobb hits the Angle slam. He misses the standing moonsault, allowing Smith to hit a Saito for 2. KES hit the killer bomb and Finlay is done @ 18:35. Ryusuke Taguchi, Toru Yano, & Togi Makabe are in next. They brawl in the entranceway, with Suzuki-gun running wild. Suzuki rolls Taguchi in and they work quick tags, isolating him and just beating Taguchi down. Archer hits old school, Taguchi tries to fire back on Suzuki, which was a bad idea as Suzuki continues to pummel him. Taguchi hits the desperation ass attack, Makabe tags in and brawls with Suzuki. Suzuki hits the PK, covering for 2. They trade strikes, just fucking each other’s day up. Lariat by Makabe, and Yano tags in. Eye rake, takes off the buckle pad and KES cuts him off. The Hart Attack follows for 2. More double teams follow, but Yano keeps kicking out. It breaks down, sleeper by Suzuki, but Taguchi cuts off the Gotch with an ass attack, sending Suzuki to the floor. KES stop the Yano low blows, finally gets them and rolls up Smith for the win @ 27:45. Ryusuke Taguchi, Toru Yano, & Togi Makabe won @ 27:45 via pin [***] Good match overall, with some Elite dissention, Finlay getting to shine, and our contenders locked in for tomorrow.

– We get a best of 2018 video package, and a run down of the early 2019 big events, including US & UK dates, including kicking of the G1 in the US in Dallas. In 2020, they are running January 4th AND 5th in the Dome.

IWGP NEVER Openweight Title Match: Champion Kota Ibushi vs. Will Ospreay: Here we go. They come out quick, working into counters and Ospreay teasing a dive, they tease Kamigoyes and Oscutters, but end in a stand off. Ibushi hits a dropkick, taking Ospreay to the floor. Ospreay cuts off the golden triangle with a kick in mid-air, and follows with the Sasuke special. Back in and Ospreay covers for 2. Ospreay follows with uppercuts, chops, and then a back breaker for 2. Ospreay lays in strikes, but Ibushi fires up and they trade strikes. RANA by Ibushi, and Ospreay rolls to the floor. He follows with a moonsault to the floor. Back in and Ibushi hits the missile dropkick and rolls into a German for 2. Ospreay counters last ride, but Ibushi follows with kicks. Ospreay counters with the back handspring kick, but runs into a powerslam. Ospreay cuts off Ibushi with Cheeky Nandos and cradles Ibushi for 2. Ospreay follows with strikes, they trade and Ibushi takes control but Ospreay counters the last ride and they work into some wild counters and Ospreay hits the Spanish fly for the double down. Ospreay follows with a head kick; storm breaker is countered into a cradle by Ibushi for 2. German by Ospreay, Ibushi pops up and hits the running knee strike. Ibushi hits last ride, but Ospreay kicks out at 2. Ibushi heads up top, but Ospreay crotches him into the tree of WHOA. Ospreay slaps him around, follows with kicks, and pulls Ibushi all the way up top. Ospreay follows and Ibushi fights him off, and hits a double stomp. Ospreay looks for his dead lift German, but Ospreay counters out and they do a great call back camera shot to their last tag match. Robinson special by Ospreay, Ibushi counters the Oscutter into a German for 2. Ospreay counters Kamigoye, they trade strike and kicks until Ospreay kills Ibushi with a lariat. Storm breaker is countered and Ibushi hits a cradled tombstone for a great near fall. Ospreay fires back with kicks, a spinning back elbow, and Ospreay looks for storm breaker again and hits it and we have a new champion. Will Ospreay defeated Champion Kota Ibushi @ 18:20 via pin [****½] This was an excellent match to kick off the main card, as they gave you what you wanted in parts, but also took you in a different direction. There were great callbacks, and the change in pace that led to a way more physical match than anyone expected. I loved that it didn’t overstay its welcome and we got a decisive winner, which was a theme on this card.

– Ibushi is stretchered out post match.

IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Title Match: Champions Yoshinobu Kanemaru and El Desperado vs. Roppongi 3K vs. BUSHI and Shingo Takagi: Suzuki-gun attacks before the bell, I know, you’re shocked. 3K clear the ring and follow with stereo dives. The champions cut them off and start double teaming Yoh. Despy grounds things, Kanemaru back in and Yoh starts fighting off the champions and hits a desperation superkick. Sho tags in and runs wild until BUSHI cuts him off. Shingo tags himself in and he and Sho face off and trade strikes and chops. Shingo takes control, Kanemaru in and Sho Germans them both. Spear by Despy, BUSHI back in and Despy hits a spinebuster on Sho. 3K cut him off, and follow with double teams on Shingo for 2. It breaks down, Mists were cut off, and Shingo hits the pumping bomber. Pumping bomber to Sho and then another and Sho kicks out. BUSHI hits a suicide dive, Shingo hits last of the dragon and we have new champions. LIJ defeated Champions Yoshinobu Kanemaru and El Desperado & Roppongi 3K @ 7:05 via pin [***] This was a complete showcase for Shingo, as he was clearly positioned as the star of the match. The work was smart, the layout good, they made the most of their time and again, a decisive winner.

RevPro British Heavyweight Title Match: Champion Tomohiro Ishii vs. Zack Sabre Jr.: They work into some fast paced back and forth to begin, Sabre starts looking for an arm bar, Ishii fights, and makes the ropes. Sabre keep things grounded, attacking the arm and torturing Ishii early on. Sabre follows with kicks, Ishii tries to fore back, but Sabre drags him to the mat and ties up the arm again; Ishii makes the ropes. Sabre follows with more kicks, Ishii is getting pissed and starts walking through Sabre’s strikes, but Sabre counters into an ankle lock. Ishii counters and gets an ankle lock of his own. Sabre connects with an enziguri, but Ishii mows him down. Ishii follows with chops, clotheslines and an overhead suplex. Ishii takes him up top, and the delayed superplex follows, but Sabre counters and immediately attacks the arm to take control back. Sabre looks to try and rip off Ishii’s arm, and then locks on the cobra twist and turns it into a code red for a good near fall. Sabre follows with a PK, looks for the Zack driver, but Ishii fights him off. Sabre fires away with kicks, but Ishii cuts him off with a powerbomb for 2. They trade, head butt by Ishii and the lariat follows for 2. Sabre counters out of the brainbuster, lock s on a choke, Ishii slides out and Sabre gets the European clutch for a great near fall. Sliding D by Ishii, but Sabre locks on the guillotine, and then the cobra twist. He drags Ishii to the mat, Ishii fights, but both arms are trapped and Ishii has to give up. Zack Sabre Jr. defeated Champion Tomohiro Ishii @ 11:55 via submission [****¼] This was a shorter version of their New Orleans match from 2018, but with some new and really fun twists added in. These two can rally do no wrong against each other, and while I am sad Big Tom Ishii didn’t win, I have no complaints about an absolutely great match.

IWGP Tag Team Title Match: Champions Guerrillas of Destiny vs. The Young Bucks vs. EVIL and SANADA: Jado & Fale are at ringside; joy. Nick and Tonga start us off. Matt tags in and EVI tags in and dumps Tonga. This leads to brawling on the floor, with EVIL attacking Matt’s back. Back in and Loa tags himself in and slams EVIL for 2. GOD follow with double teams, Loa hits the top rope head butt, but the Bucks clear the ring. They work over EVIL with double teams, and Matt follows with a sharpshooter as Nick wipes out SANADA with a dive. EVIL makes the ropes. The Bucks follow with suicide dives, but EVIL cuts off Matt with a lariat. SANADA tags in and gets the paradise lock on Nick. Dropkick to Tonga and then planchas onto everyone. Skull end by SANADA, Nick makes the save, and it breaks down. Magic killer by LIJ, spear by Matt, and we get a tower of doom; 450 by Nick follows. The Bucks fight off Jado, Fale hits clotheslines, but is dumped. GOD look for the superbomb, but Nick hits a super RANA and superkicks. Tonga cuts of the indie taker with gun stun. Magic killer and moonsault by LIJ and we have new champions. LIJ defeated Champions Guerrillas of Destiny & The Young Bucks @ 10:30 via pin [***¼] This was good, they made the best of the time given, kept the action moving and the right team won as LIJ’s big night continued.

IWGP US Title Match: Champion Cody vs. Juice Robinson: Brandi is out with Cody, Cody tries top attack before the bell, fakes a knee injury and Juice cuts him off. Juice hits the juice box, Brandi in and covers up Cody. This distracts Juice, they fight to the apron and Cody posts Juice. Cody takes control, working the arm and they tease a ref bump, spear by Brandi on Juice. Cody follows with cross Rhodes for 2. Juice counters Din’s fire, and he hits cross Rhodes for 2. Coy hits a disaster kick, and he hits pulp friction for 2. He now whips Juice with the weight belt, slaps him around, and they trade strikes and chops. Jabs by Juice follow, Cody hits a superkick, but Juice hits the KO shot and again. Pulp friction follows, but Juice doesn’t cover. He hits another and wins the title. Juice Robinson defeated Champion Cody @ 8:50 via pin [*] This disappointed, they just worked the wrong match with too much circus. While Juice overcame, the word is that this was supposed to be a big moment for him and while he delivered and worked hard, he couldn’t overcome the circus; this sucked, thanks for coming Cody.

IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title Match: Champion KUSHIDA vs. Taiji Ishimori: Slow start as they both look for position, they pick up the pace and KUSHIDA attacks the arm with a PK. The cartwheel dropkick follows, and he continues to attack the arm. Ishimori cuts off the hover board lock and gets a crossface. KUSHIDA fights and finally makes the ropes. They trade chops; Ishimori picks up the pace, and follows with a seated senton. Kicks and the sliding German follow for Ishimori, but he misses the 450 and KUSHIDA locks on an arm bar. He transitions to a triangle, and Ishimori powers out and they work into counters. Ishimori counters the RANA but counters out and attacks the arm. Enziguri by KUSHIDA, but Ishimori cuts him off and the double knees score for 2. KUSHIDA counters bloody cross, looks for the hover board lock, rolls and he has it now. Ishimori slowly powers out, and follow with a DVD. Ishimori follows with charging knees, but KUSHIDA counters bloody cross into back to the future. Ishimori fights off the second, big right by KUSHIDA but Ishimori follows with a running double stomp. Bloody cross follows and KUSHIDA is done. Taiji Ishimori defeated Champion KUSHIDA @ 11:20 via pin [***¾] There wasn’t a ton of flash to this, and I think this one could have used more time, but it was very good and we got another title change and one that felt right as well. The back and forth was great, the transitions smooth, but with a few more minutes it could have been great.

Kazuchika Okada vs. Jay White: Gedo is at ringside. No balloons, original music, and back to the short boys for Okada. Okada takes early control until Gedo trips up Okada, and White slams him to the buckles and dumps Okada to the floor. White then repeatedly slams Okada to the barricade and apron. Back in and White follows with uppercuts and a Saito suplex for 2. They trade strikes, and then start slapping each other. Okada picks up the pace, and follows with elbows and a DDT for 2. White tries to beg off, but Okada dropkicks him to the floor. Okada follows, Gedo attacks, so Okada works him over and then hits the running high cross over the barricade for 2. Back in and Okada hits the top rope elbow. White fights of the rainmaker, hits a German, and uranage for 2. Okada counters blade runner, but White follows with a lariat. Gedo slides a chair onto the apron and Okada sends White into Gedo and follows with a dropkick, but the rainmaker is countered into a sleeper suplex. The kiwi crusher connects and White covers for 2. Blade runner countered into a tombstone by Okada. They trade strikes and kicks, White counters the dropkick once but Okada gets it the second time. White counters rainmaker, blade runner countered, but Okada hits the spinning rainmaker. White counters the second with blade runner and PINS OKADA! Jay White defeated Kazuchika Okada @ 14:30 via pin [****] I loved the layout of this, they totally messed with the crowd making them think White would win via shenanigans. White came off so much better here than last year, they hated him and loved Okada; White’s year of character work really paid off. The match was designed to make White a star, he won clean as a sheet and over “the real” Okada at that. Great stuff.

IWGP IC Title No DQ Match: Champion Chris Jericho vs. Tetsuya Naito: Naito attacks before the bell and they brawl to the floor. Naito follows with a piledriver on the ramp, and then back to the ring they go. Naito removes the buckle pad and beats on Jericho with it. He follows with a RANA, but Jericho gets a kendo stick and cuts off Naito. Jericho continues to lay in kendo shots, and then chokes him out. Jericho dropkicks Naito to the floor, and follows with a suplex. He follows with knee strikes, FUCKING SPIKES Naito on the announce table with a DDT. Jericho rings the bell and says he won. Back in and Jericho hits a high cross for 2. The lionsault follows for 2. Jericho continues to maintain control, and celebrates. Naito fires up with strikes, the flying forearm, and basement dropkick. He spits at Jericho, follows with a neck breaker, and another for 2. Naito steps on Jericho’s face, but Jericho cuts off the corner dropkick combo and locks on the walls. Naito fights his way out, counters the code breaker and hits the tornado DDT. Gloria follows for 2. Jericho counters back and gets the walls again. Jericho pulls him center ring, Naito fights and uses the kendo to escape. Naito continues to lay in kendo shots, misses and Jericho hits code breaker for a great near fall. Jericho now tosses chairs in, 8 of them. Jericho follows with chair shots, but Naito counters into a DDT onto the chairs. Code breaker from Naito gets a great near fall. Jericho throws a chair at Naito, but Naito Germans him onto a pile of chairs. Jericho shoves the ref, low blow, code breaker and that gets 2. Jericho grabs the IC Title, but Naito cuts him off and hits destino but it only gets 2. Naito grabs the belt, lays out Jericho and hits destino and Jericho is done. Tetsuya Naito defeated Champion Chris Jericho @ 23:15 via pin [****½] This was an excellent match with a tremendous layout and game plan by Jericho. In many ways this felt tighter than the Omega match, more direct and to the point, with a more ruthless Jericho and Naito absolutely selling and bumping his ass off. I also loved that Naito learned from past mistakes against Jericho and was more aggressive and way less tranquillo. This delivered huge.

IWGP Title Match: Champion Kenny Omega vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi: The Bucks are cornering Omega since Ibushi was stretchered out earlier tonight. Slow start as they look for position, and Tanahashi slaps Omega. They lock up, Omega pulls the hair, and Tanahashi slaps him again. Omega fires up, slaps him back, and teases a one winged angel, countered and Tanahashi locks on a cobra twist. Omega escapes, but Tanahashi cradles him for 2 and then starts attacking the knee. They slap the shit out of each other, and Omega makes the ropes. They trade strikes until Omega hits a running knee strike. Omega follows with kicks, and then chokes him out. The back breaker follows for 2. Omega starts focusing on the back, just breaking Tanahashi down. Omega sends him to the floor, he follows, and then suplexes him onto the apron. Tanahashi fires back with a desperation dropkick, but Omega slams him onto the announce table in front of Chono. Omega follows with a moonsault from the barricade, and gets a table. He sets it up and Tanahashi rolls Omega back in. They trade strikes, Omega lays in chops, but Tanahashi fired up and hits the flying forearm. He follows with rights and a dragon screw. The dropkick follows, and then the slam and senton connects for 2. Omega cuts him off, hits the kotaru crusher as Tanahashi spills to the floor. Back in and Tanahashi cuts off the big dive. RANA by Omega, and Tanahashi is back on the floor. Omega follows with the tope, landing hard on the ramp. Omega drags Tanahashi back in, heads up top, and the missile dropkick follows. The snapdragon follows, and another. V trigger by Omega. They work into counters, Omega tweaks the knee and can’t hit you can’t escape; dragon screw by Tanahashi follows. Twist and shout connects and Tanahashi locks on the cloverleaf. Omega fights but Tanahashi sits back on the hold. Omega slips out and Tanahashi hits the clash. Tanahashi up top and the high fly flow eats knees. Omega misses a V trigger and crashes in the corner. Omega to the apron, dragon screw by Tanahashi follows. Tanahashi follows him to the apron; hits sling blade, and lays Omega in the table. Tanahashi up top and Omega moves and Tanahashi eats all table on the high fly flow! Omega rolls him back in, lays the boots to him, and follows with a draping double stomp. The powerbomb follows for 2. He hits another for 2. The third connects, but Tanahashi kicks out again. Omega chokes him out, but Tanahashi hits sling blade to counter V trigger. They trade strikes, slaps, and Omega is lighting up Tanahashi here. Tanahashi fires back, but Omega lays in knees strikes. The German follows, but Tanahashi powers up but Omega hits sling blade. Omega up top, high fly flow connects and that gets 1! V trigger follows, but Tanahashi still fires back. More knee strikes by Omega, and the reverse RANA follows. V trigger connects, one winged angel is fought off and Tanahashi hits a reverse RANA! Snapdragon from Tanahashi gets 2. Tanahashi up top, high fly high cross. Back up top and the high fly flow connects! 1…2…NOOOOOOOOOOOO! Tanahashi back up top, V trigger by Omega, he follows him up and hits a super dragon suplex! V trigger by Omega follows. The one winged angel is countered and Tanahashi hits sling blade. He heads up top, high fly flow connects and we have a new champion! Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated Champion Kenny Omega @ 39:12 via pin [****¾] This was an overall excellent piece of business, with the ruthless youngster trying to viciously take out the veteran that he feels is taking his spot. When Omega was locked into a more heel mode the match really thrived, but it felt a bit wishy-washy at times, not fully committed. But they rallied, the story was beautiful overall, and one more time, the ace rides again.

– End scene.

– Thanks for reading.

 photo fe36ffd0-0da4-4e3b-a2d3-b026b341dd87_zps41ef5d61.jpg
“Byyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyye Felicia!”

9
The final score: review Amazing
The 411
I absolutely loved NJPW WrestleKingdom 13. It was a focused show, with five must-see matches, decisive title changes, and an overall well-paced show that didn’t feel long. There was only one thing I’d consider bad on the show, but otherwise, this was an amazing, homerun of a show.
legend

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