At today’s joint press conference of New Japan Pro Wrestling and Pro Wrestling NOAH the matches for the third day of Wrestle Kingdom 16 in Yokohama were announced. The event will be held on January 8, 2022 in Yokohama Arena and broadcast live on ABEMA Pay-Per-View.
Wrestle Kingdom 16 in Yokohama Matches Announced
LIJ vs KONGOH
This will be a clash of each promotion’s most prolific factions. At the time of this announcement, Shingo Takagi is IWGP World Heavyweight Champion, while the GHC Heavyweight title is in possession of Katsuhiko Nakajima. Only time will tell if both men will enter Yokohama Arena with each respected belt.
Hiroshi Tanahashi & Kazuchika Okada vs Keiji Muto & Kaito Kiyomiya
In this bout, NJPW will be represented by a dream team of Kazuchika Okada and Hiroshi Tanahashi who will face legendary Keiji Muto and NOAH young gun, Kaito Kiyomiya. What’s interesting is the fact that for over a year Kiyomiya was campaigning for the match against the Rainmaker. At the press conference, Tanahashi has stated that it reminds him of himself going after Keiji Muto. Those two last met back in 2009, when at Wrestle Kingdom III young Tanahashi defeated Muto to win IWGP Heavyweight Title.
EVIL & Dick Togo vs Go Shiozaki & Masa Kiyamiya
HOUSE OF TORTURE representatives are the only NJPW wrestlers, who can’t count on the promotion’s fanbase support. However, EVIL and Dick Togo would potentially share the ring with a GHC Heavyweight Champion, that is if Shiozaki can beat Nakajima for the title on New Year’s Day.
Zack Sabre Jr. & Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs Naomichi Marufuji & Yoshinari Ogawa
Both Zack Sabre Jr. and Yoshinobu Kanemaru have histories with NOAH. The Brit was a staple of the promotion’s Junior Heavyweight division and is a two-time GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champion. Kanemaru has spent fourteen years inside NOAH’s green ring and won many accolades, mainly in the aforementioned Junior Heavyweight division. To spice things up Ogawa was the one to share GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Titles with Sabre Jr. back in the day.
Suzuki-Gun vs Sugiura Gun
An intriguing Tag Team clash with echoes of past NJPW – NOAH encounters. Many times in the past Sugiura was representing NOAH in promotional clashes with NJPW. That changed when Suzuki-Gun invaded NOAH in the past decade with Sugiura joining the group resulting in the group’s two years-long domination and Minoru Suzuki capturing the GHC Heavyweight Title. Sugiura would rejoin the NOAH ranks and helped to banish Suzuki-Gun from promotion at the end of the story. Now a leader of his own group he will face his former comrades and there’s a matter of NOAH’s former mainstay turned NJPW superstar and IWGP US Champion, KENTA’s allegiance.
Tomohiro Ishii, Hirooki Goto, YOSHI-HASHI, Master Wato & Rysukue Taguchi vs Daisuke Harada, Hajime Ohara, Daiki Inaba, Yoshiki Inamura & Kinya Okada
NEVER Six-Man Champions team with juniors Taguchi and Wato to take on a collection og NOAH’s fiercest competitors.
El Desperado & DOUKI vs Yo-Hey & Nosawa Rongai
Suzuki-Gun’s members El Desperado and DOUKI will cross paths with YO-HEY and NOSAWA Rongai, who represents the Japanese chapter of the Perros Del Mal faction from Mexico. Masked man El Desperado took part in Suzuki – Gun’s invasion of NOAH and captured GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team titles with TAKA Michinoku. DOUKI is familiar with Perros Del Mal thanks to years spent in Mexico and even gained the nickname of Japones Del Mal. Now he will have a chance to interact with the Japanese version of the group led by experienced veteran, Nosawa.
Taiji Ishimori & Gedo vs HAYATA & Seiki Yoshioka
Former GHC Junior Heavyweight and GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champion Taiji Ishimori will be looking to settle the score with a longtime rival, HAYATA with whom he battled over both titles before jumping to NJPW and BULLET CLUB. Now the roles have switched as HAYATA enters the ring as the current leader of the NOAH Junior Heavyweight division.
Sho vs Atsushi Kotoge
SHO, who made his presence known by interfering in this year’s Best of Super Juniors final match between his former partner Yoh and Hiromu Takashi, will square off against Atsushi Kotoge, who is multi-time GHC Junior Heavyweight and GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champion.
TenKozi & Yuji Nagata vs Funky Express
The second kickoff match will pit the Third Generation veterans against the experienced trio of Funky Express. It’s expected to be a solid showcase of their generation’s prowess.
Kosei Fujita vs Yasutaka Yano
The show will be kicked off by a clash of two young talents showcasing a future potential for both companies and Puroresu in general.
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