Well, nobody saw that coming! Overnight during the special joint press conference between New Japan Pro Wrestling and Pro Wrestling NOAH, a huge cross-promotional show was announced for day 3 of Wrestle Kingdom on January 8 2022 at the Yokohama Arena.
NJPW and NOAH Will Clash on January 8, 2022
The third night of Wrestle Kingdom is now the most exciting of the three. With the endless possibilities of NOAH vs NJPW dream matches filling the air, the boost New Japan needed to get out of its current deep trough has arrived. It’s the first time NOAH and NJPW have united since the collapse of their previous alliance in 2016. Those soured relations seem to have resolved, with the alliance now revived on November 20, 2021.
ROUNDUP— NJPW Global (@njpwglobal) November 20, 2021
January 8, 2022
Wrestle Kingdom 16 in Yokohama Arena: NJPW vs NOAH
A live English Pay-per-view presentation on @ABEMA
VOD on @njpwworld after 7 days
Portion of proceeds donated to Japanese @RedCross#prowrestlingpower #njpw #noah_ghc pic.twitter.com/LapubV2VjA
That revival has come at a fantastic time too, with NOAH on a major rise and NJPW desperate for this sort of energetic kick. The company’s rosters are immense, hosting masses of the world’s best talents. So, the fantasy booking prospects are near endless.
Let’s indulge, shall we: Shingo vs Nakajima, Okada vs Kiyomiya, Tanahashi vs Muto, Naito vs Kenoh, Ishii vs Kitamiya, multi-man Suzuki-gun vs Sugiura-gun tag, Hiromu vs Harada. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. As long as the anti-dream match of Toru Yano vs Kendo Kashin doesn’t happen I’m happy.
The GHC Champion and wild king of the Reiwa era has sights set on Yokohama.— NJPW Global (@njpwglobal) November 20, 2021
Who should Katsuhiko Nakajima face live and in English on @abema Jan.8?🤔
PAY PER VIEW ON SALE IN 1⃣3⃣ HOURS:https://t.co/msS4jsldmC#proWrestlingPower #njpw #noah_ghc pic.twitter.com/9VJRcmVCtV
Now more than ever, an alliance between NOAH and NJPW excites. While forbidden doors are the topic of the time in pro wrestling, it’s the least thought about door that has revealed the most sparkling of treasures behind it. The revival of the NOAH-NJPW partnership, which saw Suzuki-gun invade NOAH and Naomichi Marufuji shine in the G1 Climax, is plentiful reason to renew your interest in both promotions.
We believe that this alliance is what NJPW especially needs right now (perhaps it actually needed it a year ago). With the company on the downswing since the start of 2020, it’s certainly about time they thought out of the box in regards to their product. They’ve had opportunities to do this on their own – look no further than the G1, and the chance to have Zack Sabre Jr. reach the final. However, maybe this is the re-defining moment that will spark inspiration into New Japan’s stagnant booking patterns.
It’s a perfect opportunity for NOAH too, as they continue to grow both domestically and internationally. The undoubtedly larger promotion, NJPW, will aid them in becoming an even greater entirety in the Japanese wrestling industry. Perhaps allowing him to expand globally, in much the same vein as New Japan’s much-remarked Western Expansion.
NOAH has the roster to impress in the cross-promotion showcase on January 8th, as even though Go Shiozaki is out injured, the likes of Naomichi Marufuji, Takashi Sugiura, Kenoh, and current GHC Heavyweight Champion, Katsuhiko Nakajima have collectively steered the Ark through the troubled waters of the pandemic.
As we slowly ease out of the pandemic, Japan more conservatively than most, the renewed partnership of NOAH and NJPW will allow both promotions to rise quicker and higher out of the past two years’ restrictions. The pandemic has hit New Japan hard, with the remission of foreign talent from shows having a massive impact. Though, NJPW isn’t dissolved of responsibility for the problems that have festered through their puzzling booking (I’m talking about you EVIL as Double Champion).
NOAH has been one of the world’s better promotions during the pandemic, with their on-going and impressive rise being well-documented. They offer something noticeably different from all other wrestling companies, even those in Japan, with a keen focus on the realistic, heavy-hitting style of puroresu.
A cross-promotional supershow has seemed nigh-on-impossible over the past few decades, but with this staggering announcement, the pipe dream is assuredly a reality. If we have more of this in store for NJPW’s 50th Anniversary, then Happy Birthday New Japan 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. You can watch Pro Wrestling NOAH as well as DDT, TJPW, and more on Wrestle Universe.