Happy New Year, and the biggest Wrestling event in Japan comes thick and fast on the 4th January. Here are my predictions and preview.
Killer Elite Squad (Davey Boy Smith Jr. and Lance Archer (c) vs. LosIngobernables de Japon (Evil and Sanada)
IWGP Tag team Championship
Killer Elite Squad look set to lose their titles against a resilient Evil and Sanada. Evil and Sanada still finding their feet in the division and I think the Killer Elite Squad will help them find them by putting them over. Evil and Sanada showing how good they are by themselves.
Winners: LosIngoberanbles de Japon
Minoru Suzuki (c) vs. Hirooki Goto
Never OpenWeight Championship Hair vs. Hair
A gimmick match that can be great if done right. Suzuki making his championship matches more hardcore than anyone before him so look for him to bring that into the mix also. With it being a hair vs. Hair match, Suzuki looks set up to lose and no one wants to the face lose his hair. This match is more of the heel getting his just desserts, after showing over confidence. I can’t see Goto losing his glorious hair either.
Winner: Hirooki Goto
Roppongi 3k (Sho and Yoh) (c) vs. The Young Bucks ( Matt and Nick Jackson)
Young Heavyweight Tag team Championship
The Young Bucks look the most likely winners due to their star power and them being a special attraction. They have nothing more to accomplish and are arguably the joint biggest stars outside WWE along with Kenny Omega. Sho and Yoh have beat everyone else but I think the Young Bucks will be triumphant on the night.
Winners: Young Bucks
Hiroshi Tanahashi (c) vs. Jay White
IWGP Intercontinental Championship
The legendary Tanahashi faces the younger returning Jay white looking to get a major win over Tanahashi. With Jay White coming back from injury and Tanahashi wrestling through injuries, it would be a good time for Tanahashi to take some time off and heal his injuries and allow Jay White to go over. Their is also a rumour about Suzuki-Gun getting involved and becoming Jay White’s mentor and helping him excel.
Winner: Jay White
Cody (with Brandi Rhodes) vs. Kota Ibushi
Both wrestlers missed out on opportunities to come into Wrestle Kingdom 12 as champions, both lose their respected championship matches, Cody Rhodes losing the ring of honour world championship match and Kota Ibushi the IWGP Intercontinental championship match. I think both men will put on a good match, showing how good performers they are. I think Cody will go over and he is beginnings to have complications with fellow bullet club member Kenny Omega and he will need momentum going into that feud.
Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale, Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa) (c) vs. Chaos (Beretta, Tomohiro Ishil and Toru Yano) vs. Micheal Elgin and War Machine (Hanson and Raymond Rowe) vs. Suzuki-Gun (Taichi, Takashi Lizuka and Zack Sabre Jr) vs. Taguchi Japan (Juice Robinson, Ryusuke Taguchi and Togi Makabe)
Never OpenWeight 6-man Championship Gauntlet
Bigger than last year, this match looks to be more chaotic. The team of Suzuki-Gun being the most star studded. Zack Sabre Jr. having the ability to put on a great match with anyone due to his technical prowess. However, I think they are destined for bigger things individually so I see either the bullet club or Taguchi Japan winning, more likely Taguchi Japan, as Juice Robinson is deserving of some recognition for the great year he has had.
Winners: Taguchi Japan
Marty Scurll (c) vs. Hiromu Takahashi vs. Kushida vs. Will Ospreay
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship
Having only won the belt quite recently I cannot see Marty Scurll losing it wit the breakout year he has had since winning the battle of Los Angeles and becoming apart of the bullet club. Will Ospreay looks to shine in his normal ariel offence which will add many highlights but I don’t see him as viable winner. I don’t think LosIngobernables will have a clean sweep but Hiromu would be my second favourite to win in after he held for half a year. Kushida looks good and has really became a fan favourite with his back to the future persona but Marty Scurll will retain.
Winner: Marty Scurll
Kenny Omega (c) vs. Chris Jericho
IWGP U.S Championship
The biggest match of the night due to the eyes Jericho will be bringing to New Japan wrestling along with Kenny Omega becoming one of the most recognisable names in wrestling. Kenny Omega’s trilogy with Okada has cemented him as the best wrestler in the world outside WWE for sure. The cleaner should have a great match with the best at what he does and hopefully they can put on a memorable dream match for the fans. I think Omega will win, due to this being a one of match in Japan for Jericho. The only way I see Jericho winning in if Cody gets involved and turns on his fellow Bullet Club member trying to prove a point that is the biggest star in the Bullet Club. Although, Omega should win and have a feud with Cody down the line.
Kazuchika Okada (c) vs. Tetsuya Naito
IWGP Heavyweight Championship
The phenomenal Okada comes up against the popular star and member of the LosIngoberanbles for the IWGP Heavyweight champion. Naito’s I don’t care attitude getting him over with the Japan fateful and representing the millennials with his persona. Okada has put on some sensational matches in 2017 while holding the main prize of New Japan, obviously the Kenny Omega trilogy being the stand out performance. However, I think Okada will lose because of Naito’s popularity and it’s the perfect time for him to gain the title and continue LosIngoberanbles rise. Okada can recover easily if he loses and he will always be a top guy in the company.