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gordi

Wrestle Kingdom 14

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Assuming there is still enough interest to have a separate thread for this, here is the full card for both nights, in order (per With Spandex): 

January 4:

Jushin Thunder Liger Retirement Match I: Tiger Mask, The Great Sasuke, Tatsumi Fujinami, and Jushin Thunder Liger (with El Samurai) vs. Ryusuke Taguchi, Tatsuhito Takaiwa, Shinjiro Otani, and Naoki Sano (with Kuniaki Kobayashi)
Los Ingobernables de Japon (Bushi, Shingo Takagi, Evil, and Sanada) vs. Suzukigun (El Desperado, Taichi, Minoru Suzuki, and Zack Saber Jr.)
Chaos (Yoshi-Hashi, Toru Yano, Tomohiro Ishii, and Hirooki Goto) vs. Bullet Club (Chase Owens, Yujiro Takahashi, Bad Luck Fale, and Kenta)
IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship match: The Guerillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa) (c) vs. FinJuice (Juice Robinson and David Finlay)
Texas Deathmatch for the IWGP United States Championship: Lance Archer (c) vs. Jon Moxley
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship match: Will Ospreay (c) vs. Hiromu Takahashi
IWGP Intercontinental Championship match: Jay White (c) vs. Tetsuya Naito
IWGP Heavyweight Championship match: Kazuchika Okada (c) vs. Kota Ibushi


January 5:

Jushin Thunder Liger Retirement Match II: Jushin Thunder Liger and Naoki Sano vs. Hiromu Takahashi and Ryu Lee
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship match: El Phantasmo and Taiji Ishimori (c) vs. Roppongi 3K (Sho and Yoh)
RPW British Heavyweight Championship match: Zack Sabre Jr. (c) vs. Sanada
IWGP United States Championship match: Juice Robinson vs. winner of Jan. 4 U.S. title match
NEVER Openweight Championship match: Kenta (c) vs. Hirooki Goto
Match between the losers of the Intercontinental and Heavyweight Championship matches on Jan. 4
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Chris Jericho
IWGP Heavyweight and IWGP Intercontinental Double Championship match: competitors TBD on Jan. 4

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I guess I'll have to avoid spoilers for a few days, as I won't be able to watch these as it happens nor even with one day delay. No idea how this thing can turn out. Like the most impressive event ever or a complete burn out. I'm on the fence with this. Phantasmo & Ishimori vs R3K, Archer vs Mox, Ospreay vs Hiromu, White vs Naito, Okada vs Ibushi, Tanahashi vs Jericho and hopefully Okada vs Naito still looks like an insane line-up. All the Liger stuff should be great.

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I was really pleased to see that Liger will be teaming with Naoki Sano in his last match. There is something kind of poetic about that, for me. 

I'm really looking forward to Archer vs Mox. 

I wish Ishii was being used better here.

I am curious, out of:

  White vs Ibushi

  White vs Okada

  Naito vs Okada 

  Naito vs Ibushi

Which pairing do people most (and least?) want to see fighting for the Double Championship. 

If I'm being honest, I'd most like to see Naito go over Okada in the main event on the 5th.

 

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I don't see how this can't be a better balanced version of those weekends you have a really good NXT Takeover on a Saturday and a good WWE PPV on Sunday. At least you know New Japan shows won't be poorly paced slog fests. 

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1 hour ago, gordi said:

I am curious, out of:

  White vs Ibushi

  White vs Okada

  Naito vs Okada 

  Naito vs Ibushi

Which pairing do people most (and least?) want to see fighting for the Double Championship. 

 

I think the best option is Okada-Naito. They've successfully kept them from each other for two years, making it by far the most fresh matchup of the four. Least favorite would be Okada-White, just because it's been done a bunch and I really have no desire to see White in the main event slot.

Have the NEVER six man tag titles been abandoned? Feels like they could have done a gauntlet thing night 1 instead of those 8 man tags. But otherwise this looks like a great lineup, looking forward to it.

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With the tickets already sold, I think they'd be tempted to do Naito vs Ibushi on the 5th and save the Okada and Naito for when it's needed to draw. I think holding it off possibly sets up more stories going forward too.

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To me Naito already has been Kawada-ed. It's already passed the point he should have gotten the big one from Okada. So, it needs to be done now, because anytime later will feel like really the biggest missed opportunity. Not to mention the guy is breaking down already.

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I've said this before, Gedo took so long with Naito that in the biggest show he's ever booked he's either gonna fuck Naito forever or gets Ibushi "WK 12 Naito'd". He basically booked himself into a corner with this one. But still,  this winner takes all format is by far the most fun idea he could've done after the G-1. Timing is a motherfucker.

I do have to question the decision to do the Loser vs Loser match on Night 2 though. I guess White can live with two straight Ls (and give Okada his W back) but any other result could be damaging to whoever comes up short twice.

 

42 minutes ago, FMKK said:

With the tickets already sold, I think they'd be tempted to do Naito vs Ibushi on the 5th and save the Okada and Naito for when it's needed to draw. I think holding it off possibly sets up more stories going forward too.

Wait, they finally got 40-45k paid for one of the nights???

2 hours ago, gordi said:

I was really pleased to see that Liger will be teaming with Naoki Sano in his last match. There is something kind of poetic about that, for me. 

 

It does feel poetic, I hope Sano still has something in him to do make that tag match on night 2 something special. I can't help but feel Ohtani would've been perfect in that spot for the quality of the match, but Sano being his final partner makes too much sense not to do it.

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45 minutes ago, Jmare007 said:

Wait, they finally got 40-45k paid for one of the nights???

Quote

Tokyo Dome ticket sales on 12/3 were on both nights ahead of the pace of last year’s show, which sold out. The difference is over the last month there was one show to buy tickets to rather than two, but the pace may not reflect double sellouts. Last year’s show did just under 39,000 paid with 6,000 coming from overseas, up from 2,500 the year before and a couple of hundred the year before that.

They might not have double sell outs but this passage from the Observer suggests its selling well, unless I'm misinterpreting Dave language 

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I know it was wishful thinking that Shibata would get cleared, but Goto getting the KENTA match after seeing how physical Shibata got is the most hilarious (and saddest) bait-and-switch. I don't hate Goto, but seeing him in this spot instead of Ishii or Shingo is incredibly disappointing.

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I'm really curious about the result for Tanahashi-Jericho. Jericho will still be champion and I really don't imagine AEW would allow him to lose, but Tanahashi losing on this stage to a heel part-timer seems rather bold.

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34 minutes ago, Tenese Sarwieh said:

If Gedo pulls the trigger and have Naito win it all after the years of failing, dealing with the fan voting saga, and etc would be a master class of long term storytelling.

That's such revisionist history to be honest. You can't give a "masterclass in storytelling" when of the 2 years worth of story, 70% (at the very least) of it were either pure filler or nonsensical stuff.

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Perhaps its a case of letting my expectations get out of hand, but on paper this looks more like a New Beginning double shot or maybe even a Dominion doubleheader.  The bottom half of both shows look like filler that you could find on any PPV.  I'm sure I'll be into it when it happens but the Sano tag also feels like a wild letdown after anticipating Liger's retirement match for so long.

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4 hours ago, Jmare007 said:

It does feel poetic, I hope Sano still has something in him to do make that tag match on night 2 something special. I can't help but feel Ohtani would've been perfect in that spot for the quality of the match, but Sano being his final partner makes too much sense not to do it.

Ohtani would have been pretty great, too. 

2 hours ago, Boss Rock said:

I'm really curious about the result for Tanahashi-Jericho. Jericho will still be champion and I really don't imagine AEW would allow him to lose, but Tanahashi losing on this stage to a heel part-timer seems rather bold.

I don't think that this is what will happen, but my dream scenario would be for Tanahashi to go over Jericho at WK, then come over to challenge for the AEW title at AEW's next PPV.

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If the night 2 champ vs champ matchup is Ibushi vs Naito, who do y'all think the japanese audience will root for? I mean, it would be a split crowd no doubt but the japanese always end up siding with one over the other in those type of situations. I'm legit curious because I can see both of them getting the nod from the fans.

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Intriguing hypothetical, there.

It seems to me that Naito's character has been getting darker. I think he'd still get the cheers in Osaka... but in Tokyo I could see the crowd going Ibushi's way.

I think Naito gets cheered over Okada regardless of location. I defer to El-P's apt Kawada analogy by way of explanation there.

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2 hours ago, gordi said:

Intriguing hypothetical, there.

It seems to me that Naito's character has been getting darker. I think he'd still get the cheers in Osaka... but in Tokyo I could see the crowd going Ibushi's way.

I think Naito gets cheered over Okada regardless of location. I defer to El-P's apt Kawada analogy by way of explanation there.

It also seems like they've been pushing Okada in a heelish direction with his interactions with Liger. Maybe not to turn him, but because he's going to be the de facto heel in two matches at WK?

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The Liger 01/04 match would have been perfect if they could have gotten Koji Kanemoto in Ryusuke's place...still those two matches are awesome from a nostalgia standpoint. I'm kinda emotional just thinking about it :)

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They added pre-show matches to both shows; notable on 1/5 is a NEVER 6 man gauntlet, proving they haven't completely forgotten those belts exist.

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I feel like Shingo, MiSu and Ishii are all being a little short-changed here. Frankly, I'd be more excited to see any of those three in Jay White's place.

Still very much looking forward to WK this year, though. A lot of potentially very good stuff on those cards. 

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