Preview: AJPW NEW YEAR WARS 2022 (1/23/22)

AJPW NEW YEAR WARS 2022 1-23-22
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All Japan Pro Wrestling (AJPW) concludes its NEW YEAR WARS 2022 tour at this weekend’s upcoming event. This show features multiple title matches, a mini-tournament to crown the next Triple Crown Heavyweight Champion, and more. Let’s take a deeper look.

AJPW NEW YEAR WARS 2022 (1/23/22) – Full Card

  • Shuji Ishikawa, Takao Omori, Black Menso-re, Ryo Inoue & Andy Wu vs. Dan Tamura, Shigehiro Irie, Ren Ayabe, Kazumasa Yoshida and Takato Nakano
  • Yoshitatsu vs. Takayuki Ueki, Seigo Tachibana and Baliyan Akki
  • Yuma Aoyagi and Atsuki Aoyagi vs. Koji Doi and Kuma Arashi
  • All Asia Tag Team Championship: Hokuto Omori and Yusuke Kodama (c) vs. Izanagi and Devil Murasaki
  • AJPW World Junior Heavyweight Championship: SUGI (c) vs. Rising HAYATO
  • Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship Semi-Finals: Shotaro Ashino vs. Ryuki Honda
  • Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship Semi-Finals: Kento Miyahara vs. Suwama
  • Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship Finals: The Winner of Ashino/Honda vs. The Winner of Miyahara/Suwama

All Asia Tag Team Championship Match

At the AJPW NEW YEAR WARS 2022 event on January 2, Hokuto Omori and Yusuke Kodama captured the All Asia Tag Team Championship by defeating El Lindaman and T-Hawk. Afterward, they would be challenged by Purple Haze’s Izanagi and Devil Murasaki. Izanagi is ssynonymous with the championship, with his previous reign as All Asia Tag  Team Champion with Zeus lasting over a year. However, Devil Murasaki is one of the newest members of the faction and this marks his first shot at the championship.

This match also marks the first title defense for Hokuto Omori and Yusuke Kodama. If we were to call this match, we see the champions retaining. It seems unlikely that Omori and Kodama would lose their championships in their first title match, especially for someone as new as Devil Murasaki.

AJPW World Junior Heavyweight Championship Match

At AJPW NEW YEAR WARS 2022 on January 3, SUGI defeated Super Crazy to capture the World Junior Heavyweight Championship. After defeating Super Crazy, Rising HAYATO would come out and challenge the new champion to a title match. Rising HAYATO was a top prospect of the junior scene of AJPW since his debut for the company in 2019. A very innovative high flyer, he joined the NEXTREAM faction in 2021, often feeling like an afterthought in the group.

One of the more recent examples is this marks Rising HAYATO’s first-ever shot at the World Junior Heavyweight Championship. While this match also marks SUGI’s first title defense, his previous reign featured a match with another NEXTREAM member: Atsuki Aoyagi. This upcoming title match is hard to call. If we were to make a prediction, SUGI will retain. While it wouldn’t be farfetched for a new champion to be crowned, HAYATO might need more experience to win. However, crazier things have happened with that championship in the past two years.

 Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship Tournament

In the three main matches of the evening, which take place most likely in the opening two matches, viewers will see who the new Triple Crown Heavyweight Champion will be. To provide context, Jake Lee was the former Triple Crown Heavyweight Champion, his reign lasting over 6 months with multiple title defenses. This championship reign was ended by Ryuki Honda in the final event of All Japan Pro Wrestling’s 2021. This match saw a facial injury that resulted in the cancellation of a match with Abdullah Kobayashi in early 2022.

After the AJPW World Tag Team Championship match on January 3, Kento Miyahara, Ryuki Honda, Suwama, and Shotaro Ashino would all show interest in the Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship. Thus, this mini-tournament was created. The first match will faeture Suwama taking on Kento Miyahara. These men are synonymous with each other, with Miyahara and Suwama representing the past and present generation of All Japan Pro Wrestling. They were also considered the aces of AJPW.

Recently, Suwama defeated Miyahara in many matches, most notably the Royal Road 2021 semi-final. Suwama also picked up a victory over Miyahara in tag title action. However, Miyahara has been fighting afor the championship that he lost so long ago, unlike Suwama, who has been busy as a World Tag Team Champion alongside Shotaro Ashino. It’s a hard match to call, but we are calling this match for Kento Miyahara. In the other semi-finals match, we have Shotaro Ashino vs. Ryuki Honda. Honda came into AJPW NEW YEAR WARS 2022 with a completely new attitude and has shown interest in joining Total Eclipse. He battles someone who has been a thorn in the side of the faction with Shotaro Ashino. This match may also test the loyalty of Ryuki Honda.

Shotaro Ashino has been one of the main event-level talents since debuting for the company. He challenged for the Triple Crown Championship multiple times, failing each time; this match could be a make-or-break moment for Ashino. In terms of predictions, we call Ashino to win due to experience. Nonetheless, an upset could result with a Honda victory.

If we were to call this entire tournament as a whole, we see Kento Miyahara regaining the Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship. He hasn’t held the championship since his last long reign in 2020. It would be a pleasant surprise if Miyahara didn’t win or become one of Shotaro Ashino’s crowning moments; such is the beauty of AJPW. The crowning of a new world champion also marks a brand new beginning for AJPW during the promotion’s 50th anniversary. It will be a stacked night of action on the NEW YEAR WARS 2022 conclusion show on January 23 for All 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. Make sure to watch All Japan Pro Wrestling on AJPW.TV.