Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Wrestle Kingdom 10 and New Year Dash

Wrestle Kingdom 10.jpg

It took a me a couple weeks but I finally was able to finish watch New Japan Pro Wrestling's Wrestle Kingdom 10 and New Year's Dash events.  Wrestle Kingdom 10 is New Japans annual January 4th Tokyo Dome show which is their biggest show of the year.  New Year's Dash takes place the day after Wrestle Kingdom in Korakuen Hall and typically launches the new year of New Japan.

The commentary team for both days consisted of Kevin Kelly, Matt Striker, and Yoshi Tatsu.  Tatsu was on the team to help with the Japanese translation and to explain things from a Japanese perspective that we as American's might not understand.  Tatsu failed in almost every way imaginable.  Even when Striker and Kelly lobed him softballs he hit fouls balls if he didn't just whiff altogether.  Striker seemed to have a better understanding of what was going on.  Most will not agree with me but I feel that Kelly and Striker were a better duo than last years Jim Ross and Striker.

Wrestle Kingdom 10 featured 10 matches total including the pre-show New Japan Rumble.  The card was loaded with so many great matches.  From top to bottom it was one of the strongest match line ups I have seen in a long time.  I'm not going to break down each match just my favorites.

IWGP Champion: Kazuchika Okada vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi
This match was rated 5 Stars by Dave Meltzer of The Wrestling Observer and rightfully so.  Although not my favorite match on the card these two put on a hell of a match that was indeed the passing of the torch from Tanahashi to Okada who is the future of NJPW.  Okada retained his title

IWGP Intercontinental Champion: Shinsuke Nakamura vs. AJ Styles
This match was amazing, and honestly I thought it was better than Okada vs. Tanahashi.  Knowing now that AJ was finishing up with New Japan after the Dash and Nakamura at the end of the month this match takes on a whole new meaning.  Knowing how Wrestle Kingdom 10 is the most watched show worldwide for New Japan these two tore the house down for all to see just how good they are.  After the finish when Nakamura retained two fist bumped which to me represents that they were saying, we just killed it.

NEVER Openweight Champion: Tomohiro Ishii vs. Katsuyori Shibata
Never in my life I have seen two men beat the tar out of each other like these two did.  It gives new meaning to strong style wrestling.  I cringed multiple times and legit think they both got knocked out, or at the least very, very loopy at different times.  When they started headbutting each other I let out a groan.  I wish I could personally thank both of these men for what they gave in this match.  Shibata defeated Ishii to win the championship with his finisher the PK - penalty kick.

New Year's Dash was a great show I really, really enjoyed the tag team match of Matt Sydal & Ricochet vs. David Finlay & Jay White.  Both Finlay and White are really good and I look forward to seeing more of their matches.  I know Finlay is a 3rd generation star, his father being Dave "Fit" Finlay one my all time favorite, I don't know anything about White.

Karl Anderson at BCW East meets West.jpg
"Machine Gun" Karl Anderson
Also Karl Anderson is really friggin awesome!  He appears to be in peak condition at this point in his career and with rumors of him soon departing NJPW for the WWE it'll be interesting to see if he is used in similar fashion in the WWE.  He's been in Japan for the last 8 years, has been in the IWGP Tag Team Championship picture for the last 5 1/2 years and competed at the last 8 Wrestle Kingdom cards.  I think it's going to be hard for him to give up that spot that he's in.

Another great match saw Kenny Omega & AJ Styles defeated Shinsuke Nakamura & Yoshi-Hashi wehn Omega pinned Nakamura after Katayoku no Tenshi aka One Winged Angel.  After the match Omega hit Styles with the One Winged Angel, the rest of the Bullet Club came to the ring with all members eventually beating down Styles ousting him from the group.  Omega then took the mic declared his intention of moving to the heavyweight division and challenging Nakamura for the Intercontinental Championship.

A few days later Nakamura was stripped of the title after he confirmed his intention of leaving for the WWE Performance Center in February.

If you get a chance you should definitely check out Wrestle Kingdom 10, what an event!

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Later Readers!

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