New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) returns to the United States for another live show Saturday night as it will be Battle In The Valley, consisting of wrestlers from both the Japan and Strong rosters. It will be their second live show of the year following a Resurgence show that saw Hiroshi Tanahashi win the IWGP United States Championship in the main event. Saturday’s show will have another title match main event but potentially an even more exciting first-time-ever matchup between “The Rainmaker” and a former WWE superstar. The card as a whole stacks up to be one of the best in all of NJPW this year. Here’s a preview for NJPW Battle in the Valley.
NJPW Battle In The Valley Card (11/13/21)
— Kevin Knight & The DKC vs. Chris Bey & Hikuleo
— Yuya Uemura vs. Josh Alexander
— BATEMAN & Misterioso vs. Brody King & Chris Dickinson
— Fred Rosser, David Finlay, Rocky Romero, Alex Coughlin & Alex Zayne vs. Tom Lawlor, JR Kratos, Danny Limelight, Royce Isaacs & Jorel Nelson
— Clark Connors & Karl Fredericks vs. Jeff Cobb & TJP
— Ren Narita vs. Will Ospreay
— Juice Robinson vs. Moose
— Kazuchika Okada vs. Buddy Matthews
— NEVER Openweight Championship: Jay White (c) vs. Tomohiro Ishii
Kazuchika Okada vs. Buddy Matthews
Kazuchika Okada let it be known following his successful defense of the Wrestle Kingdom Title Match Rights against Tama Tonga at Power Struggle that he was on his way to the United States to compete. Not only would he be doing that, but he laid down a challenge to Buddy Matthews, the former Buddy Murphy in WWE. This will be Matthews’ first match in the promotion and there could not be a bigger opportunity to make a splash than this one. Okada has been on a roll since winning the G1 Climax in October. Matthews will have to bring his best if he wants to compete with “The Rainmaker.”
Not only does this feel like the ultimate special attraction match but one that should leave people talking if Matthews is able to bring out the best version of Okada on Saturday night. And imagine if Matthews were able to pull off the upset? His stock in NJPW would instantly rise. These two should put on a show.
Prediction: Kazuchika Okada
NEVER Openweight Championship: Jay White (c) vs. Tomohiro Ishii
“Switchblade” Jay White is looking to put an end to Tomohiro Ishii once and for all as he will defend his NEVER Openweight Championship against “The Stone Pitbull.” Ishii has much more on the line than just winning the title. If he loses, he will never be able to challenge for the NEVER Openweight Championship again. As you can imagine, that is what pushes White more than ever to win this. It’s been an odd year for “Switchblade,” as he came up short in the main event of Wrestle Kingdom 15 against Kota Ibushi and has been rather inactive despite being a champion. COVID-19 forced him to leave Japan after defeating Hiroshi Tanahashi for the gold and will only defend the belt for a second time Sunday night. His one successful defense was against David Finlay at Resurgence.
There’s no denying that this match can go either way but for the sanity of White, he needs this win. Ishii will be fine if he can’t challenge for this again while the future of “Switchblade” would be in major question. Does he return to Japan? Will he compete at Wrestle Kingdom? New Japan Strong has been his home over the last number of months but that hasn’t seen him challenged too much. In what was supposed to be the year of the “Switchblade,” there are far more “what ifs” than results. This should be a great match but the future of White will be the main story to follow after this one — win or lose.
Prediction: Tomohiro Ishii
More from LWOS Pro Wrestling
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. You can rewatch all 2021 NJPW events and plenty more tremendous wrestling content from New Japan Pro-Wrestling on NJPWWorld.com; The King of Sports Streaming.