Wrestle Kingdom this year delivered again with some outstanding matches. I watched it live at my friends house and it didn’t disappoint. Here is my review of the action on the show. SPOILERS AHEAD
Also hats of to Marty for making his own wings for his entrance.
Roppongi 3k (Sho and Yoh) (c) vs. The Young Bucks ( Matt and Nick Jackson)
Young Heavyweight Tag team Championship
Both tag teams put on an energetic and fun match as The Young Bucks looked to overthrow Roppongi 3k to kick off Wrestle Kingdom 12. The Young Bucks earning an early advantage as Yoh injures his back early on after taking a fall on the hardest part of the ring, the edge of the ring. The Young Bucks would also take out Rocky Romero with a powerbomb onto the entrance ramp, laying him out for most of the match. Matt Jackson then injures his back evening playing the field, leading to Sho kicking Matts back while, Nick kicks Yoh in a who can hit them harder contest. Further, targeting Yoh’s back, The Young Bucks raised Yoh on the rope leading to Nick to swanton bomb his back. However, Yoh and Sho would come close to winning as they would each of the Young Bucks in a one leaf cloverleaf, begging each other not to tap out. The Young Bucks would then recover hitting their finishing move and using the sharpshooter for a submission victory.
Winner: Young Bucks win with Sharpshooter
7/10 – A good opener to get the crowd warmed up
Killer Elite Squad (Davey Boy Smith Jr. and Lance Archer (c) vs. LosIngobernables de Japon (Evil and Sanada)
IWGP Tag team Championship
Evil and Sanada came out first, EVIL supporting his Grim Reaper outfit wielding a massive scife. While the KES Lance Archer went spraying water over everyone. Straightaway, the KES hit their finisher, the killer bomb on EVIL, EVIL surviving only because of Sanada breaking the pin. EVIL is effectively took out the match for the time being, tagging Sanada who receives punishment of the KES. Lance Archer choke slamming Sanada into the Young Dragons on the outside. After a long beating, Sanada hits the hot tag and EVIL regains control for their team. In a frantic final minutes Sanada is choke slammed by Archer, then a heart attack by KES on Sanada. Theirs a near fall then they use a magic killer on Davey for the win, after a moonsault by Sanada.
Winner: EVIL and Sanada
6.5/10 – A good showing from both tag teams, EVIL looking good in this
Minoru Suzuki (c) vs. Hirooki Goto
Never OpenWeight Championship Hair vs. Hair
Having the leader of the faction of Suzuki gun in the match, you know it was going to be hard hitting, both slugging it out at the beginning of the match. Suzuki would then take complete control as he choked out Goto on the top turnbuckle with a sleepy hold. Suzuki would continue to dominate, Suzuki using the chair, until Goto counters a sleeper hold with a reverse Ushigoroshi (infronted powerslam dropped into a face breaker knee smash). Fellow members of Suzuki-Gun then come out to get involved but are fended of easily. Goto then takes control with a reverse Ushigoroshi of the top rope then finishing him of with GTR. Suzuki gun then leaves with his faction before going back, hitting a chair with another chair, then shaves his own head.
6/10 – Did well with the gimmick match they were given, better than expected
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
Suzuki-Gun attack War machine and Co straightaway to begin the match, Suzuki-Gun using heelish tactics like usual, including a mallet and iron glove being used. Rowe than tried an audacious moonsault, and misses leading to him being choked out by ZackSabre Jr. Chaos then enter the match and also attacked on their way to the ring by Suzuki-Gun. Chaos quickly overcome Suzuki-Gun as Yano pins Taichi with a schoolyboy pin. Taguchi Japan then enters and Juice Robinson clears house before slinging himself outside the ring. Taguchi then gets over excited and does his best Shinsuke Nakurmara impression,and ends up getting rolled up for his attempted Kanchasa. The Bullet Club are last to enter and quickly take control. The bullet club continue to control Chaos, although Chaos show brief moments of fight, like Ishi suplexing Bad Luck. Trent then is caught by Tama Tonga in the Gun Stun after he tries a moonsault. However, Trent comes back and hits his Dudebuster on Tama Tonga.
6/10 – Some good spots but nothing amazing
Cody (with Brandi Rhodes) vs. Kota Ibushi
Rhodes with his bleach blonde hair and Kota show their athleticism to start the match ending with Cody giving him the middle finger. Kota then catches Cody in a Hurricanerana, putting Cody to the outside of the ring. Kota then accidentally hits Brandi, along Cody when jumping outside the ring. Concerned Kota, picks up Brandi only for Cody to catch him with a punch. Brandi then laughing showing it was all rouge. Brandi continues to get involved allowing Cody to hit Kota with chair shots. Cody then nearly kills Kota with a Crossroads of the side of the ring to the arena floor, Kota just beating the 20 count. Kota can barely stand as Cody gets in his offense. Kota finally recovers leading him to snakes eyes Cody into the bottom rope and sit down powerbomb pin. He then uses Kamigoye for the win.
7.5/10 – A solid bout between the two
Hiroshi Tanahashi (c) vs. Jay White
IWGP Intercontinental Championship
The most underwhelming match of the night, starting slow until The Ace misses a suicide dive to the outside, leading Switchblade to work on his leg from their onwards. Jay White controlling Tanahashi for a large part of the match. Jay White nearly wins with his Kiwi Crusher causing a close 3 count, after Tanahashi comes back with a frog splash to Jays back then wins with a frog splash to Jay White.Winner: Tanahashi
5/10 – Wasn’t into this match at all
Marty Scurll (c) vs. Hiromu Takahashi vs. Kushida vs. Will Ospreay
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship
Highly entertaining, the best of the super juniors put on a superb match along shinning throughout with Darryl watching on. Marty’s entrance deserving a mention as he popped from the floor and he had wings. Marty retreating outside the ring while letting Ospreay battle Kushida to start of with, only getting involved to break up pins. Ospreay pulls of an insane double springboard kick on both Marty and Hiromu before they all end up outside where Ospreay lands a moonsault of a lightning rip on all off them. Kushida stops Ospreays control as he catches his moonsault into an armbar from no where. All men are left down on the mat after impressive sequence all of them hitting various menovers and kicks to eachother. Again Ospreay ends up in a submission hold as Marty stops the Oscutter with a chicken wing. Their is then a cheeky sequenceas Will delievers a Nandos kick to Hiromu then Scurll does it to will, then will to Marty.Cheeky. Marty takes over tapeing Hiromu to the barricade, breaking his finger. He then attempts it on Ospreay and Kushida but they end up breaking his fingers on the top rope. Kushida then hits a armbar of the top rope which turns into triangle chokehold, looking might fine. Marty then throws powder in his face to save the match before Hiromu goes mental and sunset powerbombs Ospreay first to the outside of the ring then Marty. Both looking worse for wear after. WIll and Marty then briefly join forces to superkick Hiromu together, before the villain shows why he is called the villain and betrays him. It then get chaotic as Hiromu uses his finisher on Ospreay only to be thwarted by Marty pulling the ref out the ring. he then goes crazy with his umbrella before getting hit with Oscutter after he has used it before on Ospreay.
Winner: Will Ospreay
9/10 – Most entertaining and energetic match of the night. A joy to watch. Imagine if Ricochet was in it
Kenny Omega (c) vs. Chris Jericho
IWGP U.S Championship
The match of night in my opinion. Jericho gets Omega early on with the Walls of Jericho to set the pace of the match. The match then ends up on the outside Omega baseball sliding Jericho over the barricade. Omega than misses a suicide dive going through the announce table, knocking commentary of momentarily. A Jericho onslaught ensues throwing chairs and TV monitors at Omega. He then turns his intention to the referee red shoes, slapping him down and putting his son in the Walls of Jericho till Omega makes the save. A table is introduced and Omega hits a double stomp on Jericho with it. They slowly make their way back to the ring as Jericho lands a snap suplex over the barricade. Omega tries to gain control but is struck with a springboard dropkick while he is on the top ropes. Looks nasty as he lands awkwardly. He executes his lionsault then proceeds with a cockey pin. Omega then gains some momentum with a snap hurricanerana, then hits the rise of the terminator to the outside. Once back in the ring, Omega is back in the walls of Jericho, Omega recovering by spraying cold spray in Jericho’s eyes. Not seeing what he is doing, Jericho flings Omega headfirst into the chair in the turnbuckle set up earlier, he then regains his sight and does it on purpose this time. Jericho then shows tribute to Eddie with a top rope lie down pose. Again, Omega uses a snapshot move, to regain control this time, a dragon suplex, until brutally hits Omega with a chair shot to the head. Omega somehow recovers and puts Jericho through a table set up on the outside, the tide swinging in Omega’s favour. Next Omega uses a double hook piledriver, causing a near fall before Omega uses his One-Winged Angel. Jericho getting his foot to the bottom rope just as Okada had. Jericho comes back with later flurry with just about a codebreaker only for Omega to hit the one-winged Angel on a steal chair to win.
9.5/10 – Jericho is like a fine wine and this match exceeded the already high expectations
Kazuchika Okada (c) vs. Tetsuya Naito
IWGP Heavyweight Championship
Naito starts with soaking up the atmosphere and leaving the ring, indicating he is going to battle at his own pace. They have a nice little wrestling sequence ending with Naito laying down taunting Okada. For the next 5-10 minutes their is a slow build until it picks up, with Okada drop kicking Naito to the outside while he is sitting on the top rope. They battle on the outside, leading to Naito executing a neckbreaker to Okada on the barricade. Naito then continues to focus on Okada’s neck, using various neckbreakers to break him down. Okada then pulls out a rainmaker, Naito surprisingly kicks out. No one kicks out the rainmaker. Naito then uses his last bit of energy to hit his finisher the Destino, but he cannot capitalize. It then gets insane. Okada hits another rainmaker but doesn’t let go, they just lay there until Okada brings him back up to do it again, but Naito counters with a Destino after he misses his rainmaker. Okada goes for a tombstone but Naito reverses it, hitting the Destino again, he then helps Okada to hit again but Okada counters and hits a spinning tombstone instead, retaining his championship.
8.5/10 – Great performance from the two and a great finish