Preview: NJPW – Wrestle Kingdom 14 Show One (1/4/20)

Wrestle Kingdom 14

Wrestle Kingdom. The Biggest Show on the calendar for NJPW takes place at the very beginning of the year. An extravaganza that consists of two nights of action, this is a preview of the first show of Wrestle Kingdom 14. Which will feature many highly anticipated matches, for all sorts of championships and hype towards Day 2. Are you ready? I know I am. Let’s look into the first night of NJPW’s Wrestle Kingdom 14.

Team GBH (Tomoaki Honma, Togi Makabe, Yuya Uemura & Yota Tsuji) vs. Team Young Lion (Alex Coughlin, Clark Conners, Toa Henare & Karl Fredericks)

Wrestle Kingdom 14

A match that could be considered on the preshow, the Young Lion Team of Alex Coughlin, Clark Conners and Karl Fredericks and Toa Henare face off against Tomoaki Honma and Togi Makabe and Uemura and Tsuji from the NJ Dojo. This will definitely be a special match for the young lions who be the future of New Japan. Toa Henare representing the faction is actually quite cool and it’s such a cool moment for Toa.

Tencozy (Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan) vs. Justice (Yuji Nagata & Manabu Nakanishi)

Satoshi Kojima, who unfortunately couldn’t make Wrestle Kingdom 13 last year due to injury, will be teaming with his best buddy Hiroyoshi Tenzan – facing off against the longtime tag team of Manabu Nakanishi and Yuji Nagata. Two veteran tag teams with accolades upon accolades and even previously being part of the same faction. These two face off in the preshow as a time capsule of Wrestle Kingdom for the past 14 Years. It should be a fun match.

Jyushin Thunder Liger Retirement Match 1: Team Liger (Jyushin Liger, Tiger Mask, Great Sasuke & Tatsumi Fujinami) W/El Samurai vs. Team Sano (Naoki Sano, Ryusuke Taguchi, Tatsuhito Takaiwa & Shinjiro Otani) W/Kuniaki Kobayashi

Wrestle Kingdom 14

The first match is one of two retirement matches for the legend known as Jyushin Thunder Liger. This is the opener for WK14 which is no longer the annual battle royal and it is indeed special. Tatsumi Fujinami comes back to NJPW for the first time since 2008, The Great Sasuke comes back to NJPW for the first time since 2012. Naoki Sano who will be teaming with Liger in Liger’s final match comes back to the NJPW for the first time since 2011. Shinjiro Otani also coming back for the first time since 2013 and Tatsuhito Takaiwa is also coming back for the first time since 2009. And two managers representing the teams with El Samurai representing Liger and Kuniaki Kobayashi representing Team Sano. Legends all around with Liger who’s already in those ranks has two final matches to go and it will be not only historic, it will be special.

Los Ingobernables De Japon (BUSHI, EVIL, SANADA & Shingo Takagi) vs. Suzuki Gun (Minoru Suzuki, Zack Sabre Jr, Taichi & El Desperado)

One of the three tag matches to hype up the action of Night 2 of Wrestle Kingdom. We get a major eight-man tag match to hype up the bout for Zack Sabre Jr facing off against Sanada. Minoru Suzuki’s theme will be played. Shingo will lariat everyone, Bushi will do his spinaroonie and Sabre/Suzuki will showcase technical prowess. That’s all I can say here.

Bullet Club (KENTA, Bad Luck Fale, Chase Owens & Yujiro Takahashi) vs. CHAOS (Hirooki Goto, Tomohiro Ishii, Toru Yano & YOSHI-HASHI)

Wrestle Kingdom 14

The Never Openweight Championship is going to be defended on the second night of Wrestle Kingdom 14 with KENTA going against Hirooki Goto. This will also be a WK debut for KENTA. There’s no doubt that the evil Bullet Club will be looking for wins ever since last year’s debacle.

IWGP Tag Team Championship: G.O.D (Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa) (c) vs. FinJuice (David Finlay & Juice Robinson)

The Story of this match goes back to earlier in 2019 when David Finlay finally made his return to New Japan and went after the NEW US Champion, Lance Archer. After receiving a brutal loss on the United States Tour. David Finlay set his eyes on the World Tag League Tournament with his partner Juice Robinson. In the tournament, David Finlay and Juice Robinson would go the distance and win the tournament during the final night. Juice Robinson, however, has his eyes set on the winner of the next match, (Jon Moxley vs. Lance Archer) as Juice will be facing the winner of that match. This is not only the first time Juice is going for IWGP Tag Gold, but is also Finlay’s first time as well. The w/l record with these tag titles with Guerillas of Destiny has always been spotty. Being the top tag team of Bullet Club since the departure of The Bucks & Doc/Karl. GOD looks to continue the reign that’s making history as they are attempting to break a year-long reign at the beginning of the year and to solidify themselves as the top tag of NJPW in 2020.

IWGP US Championship – Texas Death Match: Lance Archer (c) vs. Jon Moxley

Wrestle Kingdom 14

If there was one moment that really showcased NJPW surprise factor, the debut of Jon Moxley would definitely be up there. After leaving WWE, Jon Moxley would set his eyes on Juice Robinson, then IWGP US Heavyweight Champion, on the final night of Best of The Super Juniors. He would make a major impact, defeating Robinson to become the brand NEW IWGP US Champion. Moxley would go into the G1 Climax tournament and have an unsuccessful run, even losing to Juice Robinson in the tournament. At King of Pro Wrestling, a rematch was signed between these two. Which led the title to become vacant due to a typhoon preventing Moxley from defending.

Lance Archer would go on his best singles run, which would lead into a match with Juice Robinson. After a brutal match, Lance Archer would become IWGP US Championship. After defeating David Finlay in the United States Tour, he would go into WTL and in his tag match against Suzuki Gun in the finals show, Jon Moxley would make his official return to the company – challenging Lance Archer for the belt under the stipulation of Texas Death Match. The winner of this match will be facing Juice Robinson in Night 2. It will be bloody, it will be brutal, it’s not based in Texas but will Jon Moxley regain the championship he’s yearned for since losing it the way he did or will the reign with everyone dying continue in NJPW 2020?

IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: Will Ospreay (c) vs. Hiromu Takahashi

There are moments that define a year in terms of pure excitement, moments that make you lose your mind in how good the match you’re watching is. But then there are certain moments that make you cry. This happened at the finals of Power Struggle when Hiromu Takahashi would make his official return to New Japan. Hiromu Takahashi would receive an injury in 2018 in his match against Dragon Lee. Destroying his neck, months would pass and the hype towards Hiromu Takahashi return was at an all-time high. At MSG? No. At Best of Super Juniors? No. At the end of the G1 like Shibata? No. It would be at Power Struggle that he would challenge long-time foe Will Ospreay for his IWGP Junior Championship at Wrestle Kingdom. The story between these two could go back to WK12. Being on opposite sides of the preview of Okada/Naito in the WTL. These two would gain respect for each other and even an eventual friendship. Leading into the first match at New Beginning 2018.

After losing to Ospreay, Hiromu would go on a major redemption tour. After realizing that he’s not made for the junior tag champion. Hiromu would set his eyes on BOSJ. He went on to win the tournament and eventually would go on to defeat Will Ospreay at Dominion 2019. The reign began, he got injured soon after leading to the eventual return of Hiromu. Hiromu Takahashi is looking to regain the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship for the third time in his career but he has not had the best of luck on the Road To Tokyo Dome Shows, But the only thing certain is the hype factor for this match. Will The Ticking Timebomb bring the IWGP Junior Championship into the final match with Jushin Thunder Liger or will The Aerial Assassin continue the legacy of being one of the top gaijin to ever hold the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship?

IWGP Intercontinental Championship: Jay White (c) vs. Tetsuya Naito

Wrestle Kingdom 14

The term “Double Champion” is holding two prestigious titles at the same time. This was the goal of Tetsuya Naito in May of 2019 and he said it in a promo. Tetsuya Naito’s entire run in 2019 could be defined as unlucky. After defeating Chris Jericho for the IWGP IC title at WK13, he would have a short reign, losing to Kota Ibushi in MSG and regaining it from Ibushi at Dominion, Naito would then enter the G1. Going for his destiny, only to be eventually eliminated by Jay White. Jay White would go into the G1 Final and lose to Kota Ibushi. But Jay set his eyes on the IWGP Heavyweight Championship and stealing Naito’s goal as he would take Naito’s championship at King of Pro Wrestling and attempt to go for his stolen dream at WK. Challenging Okada, until Naito came out and ruined his fun. Naito looks to regain his championship and finally challenge Kazuchika Okada for the third time at WK14’s Finale.

Jay White looks to become THE TOP GAIJIN of Japan and to become the first gaijin to hold both the IWGP IC Championship and IWGP Heavyweight Championships at the same time. Jay White had a very successful year in 2019, becoming a triple crown champion and holding both the heavyweight and Intercontinental titles.  Will Jay White accomplish the stolen destiny or will Tetsuya Naito finally go for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship one more time against the winner of the next match? Also, the losers of this match and the next match will face each other the next night.

IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kazuchika Okada (c) vs. Kota Ibushi

It’s the match everyone is talking about for night one of Wrestle Kingdom. The story of this match goes back to the G1 Climax Tournament. Kota Ibushi would go on the run of his career, defeating Hiroshi Tanahashi, SANADA, Will Ospreay and even the reigning champion Okada in the tournament. Kota would defeat Jay White and set his sights on the IWGP Heavyweight Championship at Wrestle Kingdom. He would defend the briefcase the obligatory two times and would set his sights once again for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. Ibushi is a former IWGP IC Champion and held the title for a short time last year. Okada, on the other hand, is celebrating his eighth-month in his recent title reign, defining his Year of Dominance, defeating SANADA 3 Times, Chris Jericho and Minoru Suzuki in his fifth reign. Ibushi already has a victory over Okada. The question is if the Golden Star will reign supreme.

The cockiness from Ibushi, attacking Okada at WTL showcases that Ibushi is not meant to be trifled with. But Okada is looking to redeem his loss at last year’s WK. Okada officially looks for his redemption in these next two matches. Each man he suffered a humiliating defeat from at some point. Jay White caused the major upset that started the year of White. Tetsuya Naito would become the thorn in Okada’s side for a year and is set for his own story of Redemption himself and Ibushi wants to prove that he doesn’t need Kenny Omega to succeed within NJPW and to add another title on his road to become Grand Slam Champion in New Japan. The loser of this match also has to look out for the loser of the previous match. Emotions will run high, we will get up in amazement, we will most likely cry and that is the emotion that we will be feeling for the biggest PPV of NJPW’s Year… WRESTLE KINGDOM 14.

Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world and make sure to watch the biggest show on NJPW calendar on NJPW World LIVE.

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