Archive for the ‘New Japan Pro Wrestling’ Category

New IWGP Tag Team Champions were crowned tonight at AEW X NJPW Forbidden Door.

FTR defeated former IWGP Tag Team Champions The United Empire (Jeff Cobb & Great-O-Khan) and Roppongi Vice (Rocky Romero & Beretta) to retain their ROH World Tag Team Titles and to become the new IWGP Tag Team Champions.

During the match, Dax Harwood was walked back by the medics after being checked on ringside. He later would return to the ring with his shoulder taped up.

This is the first time that Wheeler and Harwood have held the IWGP Tag Team Titles. FTR have been the ROH Tag Team Champions since they defeated The Briscoes on April 1 at Supercard of Honor XV.

Before losing the IWGP Tag Team Titles tonight, Great-O-Khan and Jeff Cobb had held them since June 12.

One of the great dream matches of the modern era just edged a little closer to becoming a reality, as Zack Sabre Jr. called out AEW’s Bryan Danielson during NJPW Dominion.

With the PPV still ongoing at the time of this writing, ZSJ and Suzuki-gun teammates El Desperado and Yoshinobu Kanemaru were unsuccessful in their quest to dethrone Bullet Club’s House of Torture for the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Titles. Still, that didn’t deter Sabre Jr. from taking a shot at Danielson during a post-match promo.

As the British Master put it:

“I know you’re busy playing golf with the Blackpool Country Club guys, but let’s make it clear who the best technical wrestler in the world is? No, I’ll tell you now! I’ve decided!”

Of course, Bryan Danielson hasn’t exactly been shy in expressing his wish to tangle with Zack Sabre Jr. at some point in the future, with the American Dragon outright naming ZSJ – and Kazuchika Okada – as dream Forbidden Door opponents during a recent Sports Illustrated interview.

The two have locked up before, although the pair are clearly both very different performers from their two prior matches back in 2008 and 2009. There, Danielson picked up a win in a Wrestling in Europa event in Coventry, England in ’08, whilst Sabre Jr. toppled Bryan during a wXw event the following year.

While Bryan Danielson is currently out of action due to an undisclosed injury, the belief is that the Blackpool Combat Club man will be ready to go by the time AEW X NJPW Forbidden Door gets here on 26 June. If that is indeed the case, it looks as if a war with Zack Sabre Jr. is on the table for the former Yes! Man.

Jay White is the new IWGP World Heavyweight Champion.

To the surprise of some, Switchblade defeated Kazuchika Okada at NJPW Dominion earlier today to embark on his second run with New Japan Pro Wrestling’s top prize.

With Hiroshi Tanahashi watching on from ringside, White got the better of Okada in a 36-minute affair. Complete with interference from Gedo, the New Zealander eventually put his rival away after countering a Rainmaker into a Blade Runner to secure the 1-2-3.

Of course, Jay White cut the perfect Jay White promo post-match, claiming credit for the entire creation of AEW. He’d also tell Adam Page that he can have his match with Okada, because he’s not getting the IWGP Title… and obviously called Page a “dumb cowboy bitch”.

This throws up all kinds of question for AEW X NJPW Forbidden Door on 26 June. The belief was that ‘Hangman’ Adam Page would challenge Okada for the IWGP Title at that crossover PPV, with there also a chance of Adam Cole being involved in that contest.

Could we now get a slight change of course that gives us Hangman vs. White for NJPW’s top prize, while Cole takes on Okada? Do we get Page vs. White. vs Cole? Maybe it’s Page vs. White vs. Cole vs. Okada? Or maybe it’s Page vs. Okada, and Cole vs. White? Either way, this title change definitely creates plentiful buzz coming out of Dominion and heading into this week’s AEW Dynamite.

On last night’s edition of AEW Dynamite, Trent cut a promo requesting an ROH World Tag Team Title rematch from FTR, who followed him to the ring and agreed. The result of their first clash – which went to a no-contest following interference by Jeff Cobb and the Great O’Khan of the United Empire – “didn’t sit right” with them.

This brought out Will Ospreay, former IWGP World Heavyweight Champion and leader of the stable. He was not given a microphone; instead, as he motioned to enter the ring, FTR and Trent were blindsided by Ospreay’s stablemates Aussie Open and Aaron Henare. Ospreay struck Trent with a wicked Hidden Blade shot to bring the segment to a close. It was revealed later in the broadcast that Ospreay and Aussie Open will clash with Trent and FTR in a Trios match this Friday on Rampage.

This somewhat convoluted booking poses an intriguing question: what is Ospreay set to do at Forbidden Door?

Trent, while a great and underrated talent, doesn’t necessarily feel like a wrestler destined for a singles match on PPV. Might Ospreay have one of his injured friends in mind?

Hiroshi Tanahashi recently spoke to Tokyo Sports about CM Punk’s injury and how it has affected the upcoming “AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door” main event.

Tanahashi was originally set to face the AEW Champion before Punk announced that he had to have surgery to fix a broken foot. Now Tanahashi is proposing that the two face each other, but instead of in Punk’s hometown of Chicago, IL, in NJPW’s home base: the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan.

Tanahashi implied that CM Punk owed him some kind of make-good rematch, and felt the match is worthy of “Wrestle Kingdom 17” on January 4th, 2023. While Tanahashi didn’t necessarily say that the AEW Championship had to be involved, it is very possible that both men could be AEW Champion by the time the sun rises on January 4th.

Hiroshi Tanahashi is set to face Hirooki Goto on June 12th at “NJPW Dominion.” If he wins, he’ll head to the main event of “AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door” on June 26th, where he’ll face either Jon Moxley or the winner of a Battle Royal to determine the interim AEW Champion. While there is no current timetable for CM Punk’s return, it is possible that the unification of the AEW Championship could happen under the lights of the Tokyo Dome.

Tanahashi isn’t putting the cart before the horse, however. He understands that the Punk match in Tokyo Dome doesn’t happen if he loses to Goto at “Dominion,” and seems as motivated as ever to not just represent NJPW in the “Forbidden Door” main event, but also win the other company’s interim title in the process. Tanahashi said something to the effect of, “the road to The Best In The World starts in Osaka Castle.”

New Japan Pro Wrestling star Will Ospreay believes that what WWE performers do for a living is more akin to acting than professional wrestling.

The outspoken former IWGP World Heavyweight Champion made these comments during a recent appearance on Wresthings, stressing that while he wasn’t trying to take shots at WWE talent, there’s a big difference between their jobs and his own (h/t SEScoops):

“You guys aren’t wrestlers, you’re actors and you just do wrestling and I don’t think that’s a dig. You guys make way more money than me like, good on you, but I just feel like when I say proudly, ‘That’s a wrestler. I am a wrestler, I am not an actor.'”

Continuing, Ospreay stated that he knows WWE’s stars are capable of getting it done between the ropes – it’s the company that prevents them from showing this:

“But I know you guys can wrestle, you’re just not really allowed to show it, I guess. But other than you want to make a lot of money and retire, that’s what WWE is kind of for these days.”

Ospreay, 29, is currently signed to NJPW, his home of six years. The past couple of those have seen him rise to prominence as one of the company’s top heels, peaking with the formation of his United Empire stable and his IWGP World Heavyweight Championship triumph last year.

A new IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion was crowned tonight at NJPW’s Capital Collision.

Juice Robinson became the IWGP United States Champion after he pinned Will Ospreay in a four-way match that also included former champion Hiroshi Tanahashi and Jon Moxley.

This is Juice Robinson’s third IWGP US title reign. His first title reign was from July 7, 2018, to September 30, 2018, and his second reign was from January 4, 2019, to June 5, 2019.

Before losing tonight, Hiroshi Tanahashi had been champion since May 1 after he defeated Tomohiro Ishii at Wrestling Dontaku.

Adam Cole has qualified for The Owen Hart Foundation Men’s Tournament.

Tonight’s AEW Rampage opener saw Cole defeat NJPW star Tomohiro Ishii in a tournament qualifier.

Rocky Romero and Orange Cassidy were at ringside with Ishii. There was a moment towards the end of the match where Jay White ran down and shoved Romero into the steel ring steps, which provided a distraction so that Cole could hit a low blow and The Boom for the pin.

Cole now joins Kyle O’Reilly and ROH World Television Champion Samoa Joe as confirmed entrants in The Owen Hart Foundation Men’s Tournament. Wednesday’s AEW Dynamite will feature a battle of AAA & ROH World Tag Team Champions as Cash Wheeler and Dax Harwood face off in a qualifying match.

The six confirmed entrants for The Owen Hart Foundation Women’s Tournament as of this writing are Toni Storm, Jamie Hayter, Hikaru Shida, Red Velvet, Ruby Soho, and Britt Baker.

The 8-man and 8-woman tournaments are scheduled to kick off on May 11 at the AEW Dynamite from the UBS Arena in Long Island, NY. The finals will then be held at AEW Double Or Nothing on May 29, and Dr. Martha Hart will be there live to present the Owen Cup trophy to the winners.

New Japan Pro Wrestling star Great-O-Khan has received a letter of appreciation from local police after preventing a potentially disturbing assault on 29 March.

Occurring outside a bathroom at JR Musashi Kosugi Station in Kawasaki City, a 10-year-old girl had been grabbed by an intoxicated 61-year-old man, who almost took her away. O-Khan (real name Tomoyuki Oka) single-handedly restrained the man after the child had called for help, doing so while her mother was using the restroom (and was therefore powerless in the situation).

Per Tokyo Sport’s account, Oka was able to calm the girl down by talking about pancakes, as well as telling her he worked for NJPW.

New Japan rewarded Oka for his actions on 1 April. Three days later, the United Empire member was given a letter of appreciation from Nakahara Police Station in Kawasaki City.

Interviewed by the media after being presented with the letter, Oka thanked the police office, stating that while he had only attempted to keep the peace on this one occasion, they are doing it every day. The 30-year-old added that he was proud to have hopefully played a role in crime prevention.

The New Japan Pro Wrestling calendar has just been hit with a major blow, as the promotion has been forced to cancel all remaining shows scheduled for January.

The following three Golden Series live events have been scrapped outright:-

– Tuesday, January 25 Fukushima – Toyota Crown Arena

– Saturday, January 29 – Korakuen Hall

– Sunday, January 30 Ibaraki – Kamisu Bousai Arena

The following, meanwhile, has been rescheduled for Friday, April 18:-

– Friday, January 28 – Aichi – Nagoya Congress Center Event Hall

New Japan’s official statement on the matter reads as follows:

Thank you for your support of New Japan Pro-Wrestling. With a number of wrestlers presenting elevated temperatures or being in close contact with same, and in accordance with event protocols, New Japan Pro-Wrestling has arrived at the difficult decision to cancel or postpone remaining live events on the schedule for January. We deeply apologise to fans for the inconvenience, disappointment and concern caused by this decision, and appreciate your understanding.

The market-leading puroresu promotion will resume live touring on Sunday, February 6.

This round of cancellations comes following a wave of wrestlers pulling out of three shows on the Golden Series tour, including Minoru Suzuki and Toru Yano.