NJPW WrestleKingdom 12 is in the books, and what a show it was. NJPW World kicked off the night with the traditional NJPW Rumble with everyone from BUSHI to David Finlay to Cheeseburger to Chase Owens to winner Masahito Kikihara. Not the most entertaining Rumble in WrestleKingdom history but it was a feel good moment for Kikihara.
NJPW WrestleKingdom 12 Results
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Title
The Young Bucks defeated Roppongi 3K.
Junior Tag matches are always good, and this was no exception. I love The Bucks, and I have enjoyed Sho and Yo since their Young Lion days. And, of course, seeing Rocky get powerbombed on the ramp was fun as hell, too. This was a good match, but it wasn’t show stealer. The Bucks were more serious than usual, and RPG3K seemed outclassed (could be because they aren’t polished yet). Matt was either selling his back very well, or it was really hurting him. This got vicious towards the end, with Nick and Sho beating the hell out of each other. And, why The Bucks won, I don’t know. Sho and Yo needed a legit reign and didn’t get it. And, when they did get beat, it should have meant something bigger than The Bucks’ 876th reign.
NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Title Gauntlet: Ishii, Yano, and Barreta become new NEVER Openweight Man Champions.
* Tama Tanga, Tanga Loa, & Bad Luck Fale.
* Ryusuke Taguchi, Juice Robinson, & Togi Makabe.
* War Machine & Michael Elgin.
* Toru Yano, Tomohiro Ishii, & Trent Barreta.
* Taichi, Takashi Iizuka, & Zack Sabre Jr.
Clusterfuck time!!! This one started of with the SZKG team facing off with War Machine and Michael Elgin (I just wanted to see if Raymond Rowe could get through his part of the match without killing Elgin). Good first part of the match with ZSJ tapping out Rowe.
The CHAOS team was out next. All hell broke loose before they even hit the ring with the SZKG team attacking on the outside. Yano quickly pinned Taichi (thank goodness), and Makabe, Juice, and Taguchi were out next. Yano got the pin on Taguchi next, then the champions came out.
It was GoD and Bad Luck Fale fighting Trent, Ishii and Yano for the titles, and the Bullet Club team was acting particularly vicious during this match. Trent continued his deathwish, damn near getting knocked out once, but he managed to get the pin on Tama after the Dude Buster, crowning himself, Yano, and Ishii as new champions.
Special Single Match
Kota Ibushi defeated Cody.
This bleach job on Cody has to go; it’s bad. Real bad. And, I swear, if Cody beats Ibushi, I am going over there to blow Cody up with fireworks. I just sat back and enjoyed this, because I am pretty sure it’s leading somewhere with Kenny either later tonight or tomorrow at New Year Dash. Brandi and Cody set Ibushi up, but Kota wasn’t done yet.
This was actually a pretty good match. Cody is adapting well everywhere, and even though he still has a bit of “indie green” on him, he’s getting better with each outing. And, Ibushi is just amazing…even taking a CrossRhodes from the apron to the floor. Ouch. Then, Ibushi turned Cody into a lawn dart and all was right in the world again.
And, yes, I screamed from the couch when he hit the Kamigoi and then the Phoenix Splash for the win.
IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Title
SANADA & EVIL defeated Killer Elite Squad.
This was an…odd match. Maybe the chemistry was off, maybe the crowd wasn’t into it, but it just didn’t click for me. I am a LIJ girl, so I wanted them to win, but something seemed not-quite-there in the beginning of the match with EVIL and SANADA.
EVIL looked out of it a lot of the match; I think he hit his head hard against the guardrail early on in the bout. He recovered a bit, but he still seemed a bit out of it out there. But, SANADA managed to get the pin on Davey Boy Smith Jr. after a standing moonsault and LIJ became new IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions. And, hopefully EVIL is ok after that bump to his noggin.
NEVER Openweight Title Hair vs Hair Death Match
Hirooki Goto defeated Minoru Suzuki.
I was so ready to see Goto leave The Dome looking like Mr. Clean. This was just mean and vicious and violent. And amazing. Unfortunately, Goto won, got the NEVER Openweight Title, but MiSu tried to escape with his hair intact. Having MiSu’s glorious hair shaved was blasphemous, but at least he did it himself. I shed a tear or two. Stupid Goto.
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship Fatal Four Way
Will Ospreay defeated Marty Scurll, Hiromu Takahashi, & KUSHIDA.
I am team Hiromu all the way…with maybe a little Marty thrown in. This was the match (other than Omega/Jericho) that I thought would steal the show. All four of these men are extremely talented and got all their big moves in during the bout. Ospreay jumped off a support beam and damn near killed everyone. Idiot.
Marty/Will and Hiromu/KUSHIDA know each other so well that their matches are so smooth and dangerous at the same time. One wrong move, and someone is ending up in traction. This was a beautifully worked match with everyone playing their roles perfectly.
Marty pulled a trick out of Yano’s book and taped Hiromu to the guardrail with athletic tape, then snapped his fingers. I call gimmick infringement. Will and KUSHIDA were still fighting in the ring, and Mary was doing something with power, namely tossing it in KUSHIDA’s face. Hiromu came back, powerbombed everyone outside the ring, and damn near got the pin on Marty.
Craziness reigned at the end, with everyone beating the hell out of everyone else. Will almost got the pin on Hiromu, then Hiromu returned the favor only to have Marty pull the ref out of the ring and beat everyone with umbrellas. Will ended up getting the pin on Marty and becoming the new IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion.
IWGP Intercontinental Championship
Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated Jay White.
I always said Jay would be a huge star back when he was a Young Lion, but Tanahashi as his first opponent since he’s been back? I’m not too sure about that. He will either look really good in the match, or he will look totally outclassed. And if Tana really is as banged up as everyone says, Jay will walk out of The Dome as champion.
But, Tana brought the weave back tonight. I am so happy I can mock the Tana Tail again!!
Jay focused on Tana’s “injured” knee throughout the match, keeping him grounded. In fact, Jay was in control most of the match. Every time Tana would begin to get some offense in, Jay would counter and take control again. But, as expected, Tana hit two HFFs and won. Jay needs a bit more seasoning before facing opponents the caliber of Tana,
IWGP United States Championship (No DQ)
Kenny Omega defeated Chris Jericho.
Alpha vs Omega. The Dream Match. I was just going to sit back and enjoy. I laughed a bit at Kenny’s entrance outfit, but oh well. I laughed at Jericho’s headband, too. Jericho was a monster today: beating up Young Lions, shoving Red Shoes, trying to kill Kenny. Taking off WWE’s choke chain did him some good. Pretty great stuff.
These two said it would be a fight, and it was. Tables, chairs, tying to kill Don Callis, powerbombs on the floor. It as just ugly and a bit scary. It was madness of the best kind.
V-triggers, Lion Tamers, crashes through tables, blood…this had it all. Kenny hit the One Winged Angel, but Jericho grabbed the rope, breaking the pin. But, Kenny came back, hit the OWA on a chair and got the win.
Simply spectacular, brutal match. Kudos to both men.
— LARIATOOOO!! (@MrLARIATO) January 4, 2018
IWGP Heavyweight Chapionship
Kazuchika Okada defeated Tetsuya Naito.
This match threw me off from the beginning because he was wearing pants. That’s must not right. But, it was obvious that The Dome crowd wanted Naito to win desperately. Most of the cheers were for him, and the crowd popped whenever he did something big. And, that happened a lot, because Naito stayed in control for a large part of the bout.
A lot of action in and out of the ring Red Shoes giving them some leeway. Okada’s methodical offense and Naito’s spastic style offset and compliment each other beautifully. They worked this bout damn near perfectly. Even down to the slug fest.
Really good match, but a bit sluggish at time. The cracks we’ve been seeing in Okada over the past 18 months became more apparent tonight, as he had to work a lot harder to keep Naito down. Both of these men were exhausted, but things got crazy at the end with Destinos and Tombstone piledrivers and a Rainmaker that took and kept Naito down for the count.