Entrant #14: Former WCW star and former IWGP Champion Scott Norton (Taguchi, Saito eliminated)
Norton and Tenzan eliminated. Down to Elgin and CHEESEBURGER. Burger fights back, but Elgin with a big shot. Burger fights the Buckle Bomb, avoids a clothesline, hits a superkick. Elgin rolls through a Sunset Flip, Buckle Bomb, Elgin Bomb, done.
Winner of the New Japan Rumble: Michael Elgin
Elgin celebrates his win after.
Jason’s Thoughts: As per the usual, fun pre-show Rumble with the inclusion of legends like Norton, Saito and Gunn. Elgin returning and going wire-to-wire to win, finally against the lovable underdog CHEESEBURGER was the right way to go. Good to see #BIGMIKE back in New Japan, hopefully he can pick up right where he left off from injury.
Opening video package runs down all the big matches on the show, then the classic Wrestlekingdom theme plays before we go to the opening match.
Tiger Mask W vs. Tiger the Dark
Tiger the Dark is being portrayed by former ROH star ACH, while Tiger Mask W is being portrayed once again by former IWGP Jr. Champion and WWE CWC competitor Kota Ibushi. Commentary gives history on these characters in the currently successful anime that airs in Japan.
They exchange armdrags early, then both go for dropkicks and we have a stalemate. Dark shows off some agility before sending W outside with a dropkick. Dark wipes out W outside with a Fosbury Flop! Back in, Dark gets 2. Corner discus clothesline by Dark, but W sends him outside with a dropkick. Golden Triangle Moonsault wipes out Dark outside! Back in, W gets 2. Rapid-fire strikes by W, but Dark gets knees up off a standing moonsault. Octopus Stretch applied by Dark, then hits the Tombstone for a close 2. Dark can’t believe it. Dark goes for a Tiger Driver, but W hits a Snap German and a Tiger Suplex for a close 2. W hits a Last Ride Tiger Bomb for the win.
Winner: Tiger Mask W by pinfall (Last Ride Tiger Bomb)
Jason’s Thoughts: For a match that had ACH and Kota Ibushi under masks, it was perfectly fine. Obviously, both could have done more without them, but I enjoyed it for what it was with the anime show crossover tie-in.
IWGP Jr. Tag Team Titles: The Young Bucks (Matt and Nick Jackson) (c’s) vs. RPG Vice (Rocky Romero and Baretta)
Bucks come out wearing all their tag title belts (ROH, NJPW, PWG), as well as custom Superkick Party title belts. Bucks on their entrance, call out the Broken Hardys.
All four men brawl as the bell sounds. RPG Vice take over, Battering Knees to Nick, Matt sent outside. Bucks avoid RPG Vice going for dives and go to leave, but RPG Vice chase them up the ramp, however it was a trap as the Bucks hit them with double superkicks and run back in so the referee can count RPG Vice out. RPG Vice rush back in and just barely make it back in by the count of 20. Romero sent outside, double back body drop by the Bucks to Baretta. Wrecking Ball Dropkick by Nick sends Romero into the barricade. Baretta flips onto the apron, Nick with a superkick, then Matt sweeps out Baretta’s leg on the apron. Backflip headscissors/dropkick combo by the Bucks to Romero, sending him back outside. Matt gets 2 on Baretta. Romero nails Matt, but Matt superkicks him back outside. Baretta knocks Matt off the apron, then hits a Tornado DDT to Nick, sending him outside. Baretta avoids the Bucks, but they stop him from making a tag. Bucks taunt Romero, but Nick accidentally hits Matt with a corner enziguri. Nick then accidentally hits Matt again with an apron PK. Nick goes to superkick Baretta, but Baretta ducks and Nick hits one of the young boys. Romero in, top rope crossbody and a rana to Nick. Matt in, but Romero hits him with a back heel kick. Forever Clotheslines to the Bucks in the corner. Bucks keep avoiding him until Romero hits a double Forever clothesline. Matt blocks Sliced Bread, but Romero counters the Indytaker, sending Matt into Nick. Double Leaping Knees by RPG Vice on Matt, then Romero wipes out Nick outside with a tope suicida. RPG Vice hits an Elevated Top Rope Knee on Matt for a close 2. RPG Vice goes for Strong Zero, but Nick stops it with a springboard bulldog on Romero while Matt hits Baretta with a Destroyer. Running Knee by Nick to Romero in the corner. Romero blocks a double superplex, then Baretta with a Super Release German to Matt, sending him outside. Baretta goes for a flip dive, but the Bucks move and Baretta EATS IT on the floor! Bucks corner Romero while we see replays of Baretta’s bad landing. Romero avoids a double superkick and hits the Bucks with a double rana. Double basement superkick by the Bucks for a close 2. Bucks hit the Buckle Bomb/Enziguri combo on Romero, followed by the Elevated 450 for another close 2. Nick with a superkick to Romero, then one by Matt, but Romero fires up. Another double superkick by the Bucks, but Romero kicks out again! Bucks can’t believe it! Bucks go for More Bang for your Buck, but Baretta stops Nick and Romero with a backslide to Matt to win the titles! WOW!
Winners and NEW IWGP Jr. Tag Team Champions: RPG Vice by pinfall (Backslide)
RPG Vice celebrates their title win after while Bucks are in shock over their loss.
Jason’s Thoughts: Good tag match with a good story told in the valiant RPG Vice overcoming many obstacles to squeak by and win the titles.
NEVER 6-Man Tag Titles, Gauntlet Match: Satoshi Kojima, Ricochet & David Finlay Jr. (c’s) vs. Los Ingobernables de Japon (EVIL, BUSHI and SANADA) vs. CHAOS (Jado, YOSHI-HASHI and Will Ospreay) vs. Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale, Yujiro Takahashi and Hangman Page)
First two trios is Bullet Club, who is flanked by many of Yujiro’s Rated R ladies and CHAOS.
Bullet Club attacks early. Yoshi avoids the Grenade by Fale, but Fale blocks Karma. Fale clotheslines Yoshi outside. Page with a big boot to Yoshi outside. Yujiro in, gets 2 on Yoshi. Page in, Bullet Club works over Yoshi. Leaping DDT by Page for 2. Yoshi comes back with a neckbreaker. Ospreay in, makes a comeback on Page. Ospreay sends Page outside, then wipes out Bullet Club with a Sasuke Special, landing on his feet! Back in, Pip-Pip-Cheerio forearm by Ospreay, followed by a series of running Shooting Star Presses and second rope Moonsaults for 2. 720 Kick by Ospreay, but Page blocks the OsCutter. Page hits the Flip-Over Lariat on Ospreay for a close 2. Ospreay blocks the Rite of Passage, but Yujiro stops a springboard and tags in. Back Handspring Double Pele by Ospreay to Yujiro and Page. Jado in, series of chops to Yujiro. Blockbuster by Yoshi to Yujiro for 2. Crossface applied by Jado, but Fale breaks it up. Fale mows down Yoshi and Jado, then hits Jado with an avalanche. Ospreay sent outside, then Page wipes him out with the Shooting Star Shoulder Block off the apron. In the ring, Yujiro hits Pimp Juice on Jado to advance.
CHAOS has been eliminated.
Up next is Los Ingobernables de Japon. Bullet Club sets the trap for LIJ, gaining the advantage early. Bullet Club triple-teams SANADA, but LIJ breaks up the pin. More double-teaming on SANADA, but EVIL knocks Page off the apron. SANADA sends Yujiro into the ref, allowing BUSHI to hit Yujiro with MX, then wipes out Fale with a tope suicida! Assisted Conchairto by LIJ to Yujiro, then SANADA locks in Skull End and submits Yujiro.
Bullet Club has been eliminated.
The champs are out last. LIJ attacks them on the rampway. Ricochet with a headscissors and a dropkick, sending SANADA outside. Double flip dives by Finlay and Ricochet, wiping out LIJ outside! Back in, running uppercut by Finlay, standing Shooting Star Press by Ricochet on SANADA for 2. SANADA sweeps out Finlay’s leg on the turnbuckles. BUSHI in, chokes Finlay with his shirt. Ricochet tags in, 619 to SANADA, running boot outside to EVIL, springboard clothesline, Northern Lights/Deadlift Suplex to BUSHI for 2. BUSHI avoids the Benadryller and hits a back heel kick. EVIL and Kojima tag in. Kojima hits the rapid-fire chops in the corner to both EVIL and SANADA. Running corner forearm to EVIL, but SANADA nails Kojima. LIJ triple-team Kojima, ending with an EVIL clothesline for 2. EVIL motions that it is over, but Kojima counters Go to Hell with a DDT. Ricochet with an enziguri to BUSHI, then Finlay with an assisted Fireman’s Carry Backbreaker to EVIL. EVIL avoids a double-team and alley-oops Ricochet right into the Top Rope MX by BUSHI!! SANADA with a springboard missile dropkick to Finlay. Kojima hits the Cozy Cutter on EVIL. Off comes the elbow pad, but EVIL blocks the Lariat, however Kojima hits the Western Lariat. SANADA breaks up the pin, but Kojima counters the Skull End with a Brainbuster. EVIL avoids the Lariat and runs into the ref. BUSHI mists Kojima and EVIL hits Darkness Falls, but Kojima kicks out! Go to Hell by EVIL to win the titles.
Winners and NEW NEVER 6-Man Tag Team Champions: Los Ingobernables de Japon by pinfall (Go to Hell)
Jason’s Thoughts: Real fun Gauntlet with a little to like in each block of the match. LIJ winning the titles was the smart way to go as the group has been on a tear over the last year. Also if you didn’t know by now, Will Ospreay is a superstar in the making.
“The American Nightmare” Cody Rhodes (debut) vs. Juice Robinson
Juice wants a handshake, but Cody makes a gun motion. Basic chain wrestling early until Rhodes hiptosses Juice outside. Rhodes goes for a double jump crossbody outside, but Juice catches him in mid-air and hits an overhead belly-to-belly on the floor, followed by a cannonball against the barricade! Back in, Juice tweaks his knee coming off the top, allowing Rhodes to hit a Whiplash Slam for 2. Rhodes takes control. Springboard dropkick by Rhodes, then he smirks at Juice. Rhodes puts the badmouth on Juice, slapping him, but it fires Juice up. Rhodes then goes to the leg with a dropkick to the knee, but then Juice with a side kick. Juice fights back with a Violence Party, followed by a dropkick. Left-Arm Clotheslines by Juice in the corner, followed by a sit-out version. Double Knee Gutbuster by Juice for 2. Rhodes slips out of a suplex and takes out Juice’s leg with a chopblock. Juice fights back with a big left hand and heads up top, but Rhodes rolls through a crossbody and locks in the American Nightmare, but Juice is able to reach the ropes. Rhodes yells at Corino on commentary, then nails Juice with the Beautiful Disaster on the apron. Draping Double-Arm DDT by Rhodes for a close 2. Rhodes taunts the crowd, but Juice slips out of CrossRhodes and hits another left-arm clothesline for 2. Rhodes slips out of a powerbomb, then counters the Pulp Fiction and this time hits CrossRhodes for the win.
Winner: “The American Nightmare” Cody Rhodes by pinfall (CrossRhodes)
Rhodes continues to yell at Corino afterwards.
Jason’s Thoughts: Very good debut for Rhodes, showcasing this new “American Nightmare” persona, while Juice put on an impressive showing in a losing effort. Good stuff.
ROH Title, Final Battle Rematch: Kyle O’Reilly (c) vs. Adam Cole
Code of Honor adhered to before the bell, then Cole spits at O’Reilly. O’Reilly works over Cole early and goes quickly for ARMageddon, but Cole reaches the ropes. Cole fights back, but O’Reilly keeps going after him before he can say “Adam Cole BAYBAY!” O’Reilly sent outside and Cole is finally able to yell it out. Cole grabs a chair and nails O’Reilly’s arm with the chair while it was against the ringpost. Back in, Cole begins wearing down O’Reilly’s injured arm. Cole puts the badmouth on O’Reilly, who fights back with his good arm. O’Reilly hits his series of strikes, knocking down Cole. O’Reilly now goes after Cole’s arm, then hits a back suplex into a kneebar, but Cole reaches the ropes. O’Reilly drills Cole with leg kicks, then one to the arm. Cole blocks a Regalplex, but O’Reilly blocks a superplex and hits a basement knee strike. O’Reilly can’t lift up Cole for a suplex and they trade strikes. They hit boots at the same time and both go down. Kawada Kicks by O’Reilly, followed by Axe & Smash and a Brainbuster, but O’Reilly can’t capitalize. O’Reilly finally rolls over and gets 2, then goes for ARMageddon, but Cole blocks it with stomps. Cole stomps away at the injured arm, then goes for the Last Shot, but O’Reilly counters out with a choke, followed by a release German. Cole comes back with a Shining Wizard for 2. Basement Shining Wizard by Cole, then this time hits the Last Shot, but O’Reilly kicks out! Cole can’t believe it! O’Reilly catches a basement superkick and locks Cole in an Ankle Lock, but Cole kicks him in the injured arm. Cole with two superkicks and a basement superkick, followed by one to the back of the head. Another Last Shot by Cole to regain the title.
Winner and NEW ROH Champion: Adam Cole by pinfall (The Last Shot)
Jason’s Thoughts: Truncated version of their usually good match. Cole regaining the ROH belt back this quickly, plus word of O’Reilly’s ROH contract expiring, tells me O’Reilly is moving on to greener pastures.
Upcoming 2017 New Japan dates:
* 2/5 The New Beginning iPPV in Sapporo
* 2/11 The New Beginning iPPV in Osaka
* 3/6 New Japan Cup 2017 kicks off
* 3/20 New Japan Cup Finals
* 4/9 Sakura Genesis iPPV
* 5/3 Wrestling Dontaku iPPV
* 6/3 Best of the Super Juniors XXIV tournament finals
* 6/11 Dominion iPPV at Osaka Jo-Hall
* 7/17 G-1 Climax 27 kicks off
* 8/11-8/13 G-1 Climax 27 Finals at Sumo Hall
* 2 G-1 special events in the United States
IWGP Tag Team Titles: The Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa) (c’s) vs. Great Bash Heel (Togi Makabe and Tomoaki Honma) vs. CHAOS (Tomohiro Ishii and Toru Yano)
Yano comes out with the IWGP Tag Team title belts and the World Tag League trophies that he stole from both of the other teams in the lead-in to this match.
Guerillas go right after Yano outside, then they and GBH go after Yano before fighting with one another. Double shoulder tackle by the Guerrillas on Yano. GBH works over the Guerrillas. Honma with a slam on Loa, but Loa avoids the falling Kokeshi. Loa works over Honma. Powerslam by Loa, but Yano tags himself in and removes the turnbuckle padding. Yano sends Honma into the exposed corner. Ishii in, Violence Party to Honma. Suplex by Ishii to Honma. Tonga comes in and Guerrillas continue to work over Honma. Honma avoids a shot, then hits the Muscle-Plex on Tonga. Yano and Ishii prevent a tag, but Honma sends Yano into the exposed corner. Makabe in, cleans house on all four men. Corner clotheslines to all four men in each corner. Western Lariat by Makabe to Loa. GBH work over the Guerrillas, stereo corner 10 punches, then stereo Northern Lights for 2. Tonga fights back on Makabe, then keeps evading him until he hits Vereno. Honma and Loa in, Honma knocks him down and finally hits the falling Kokeshi. Loa comes back with a powerbomb. Lariats by Ishii to Honma and Loa, but Yano pulls down Tonga by the hair. Guerrillas work over CHAOS and hit a Powerbomb/Neckbreaker on Honma for a close 2. Double throat thrust by the Guerillas on Makabe, but he comes back with a double clothesline. Sandwich clotheslines by GBH on Loa, followed by a basement Kokeshi by Honma for 2. King Kong Bomb by Makabe, then Honma heads up and hits the diving Kokeshi on Loa, but Ishii breaks it up! Rapid-fire forearms by Ishii, but Honma hits a flying Kokeshi! Honma blocks the Gun Stun, but Tonga finally hits it! Guerrillas hit the Guerilla Warfare on Makabe, then signal for the end. Honma blocks the assisted Vereno, but Yano blind tags in. Double Lariat by Ishii to the Guerillas, but Yano with a double low-blow to the Guerrillas! Yano with a roll-up to Loa to win the titles.
Winners and NEW IWGP Tag Team Champions: CHAOS by pinfall (Roll-up)
Yano and Ishii celebrate their title win after.
Jason’s Thoughts: Frenetic three-way with a ridiculous amount of cursing, to the point that Kelly and Corino were LOSING it on commentary. Like Ishii and Yano swooping in and stealing the belts.
IWGP Jr. Title: KUSHIDA (c) vs. Hiromu Takahashi (Kamaitachi)
Takahashi gets pyro for his entrance. Takahashi nails KUSHIDA off the turnbuckles early, but KUSHIDA knocks Takahashi off with a double Koppo Kick, then wipes him out with a somersault senton off the top! Back in, KUSHIDA with a hammerlock slam, beginning to work over the arm. Takahashi plays cat and mouse with KUSHIDA, then hits a Sunset Bomb, sending him crashing outside, where KUSHIDA’s head hit the barricade on the way down! KUSHIDA somehow gets back in where Takahashi takes control. Superkick by Takahashi for 2. KUSHIDA comes back with a Buckle Flatliner. KUSHIDA makes a comeback, hitting the hiptoss, cartwheel, front dropkick combo. KUSHIDA with arm kicks, followed by a back handspring elbow. Takahashi blocks the tilt-a-whirl into the Hoverboard Lock, then hits a combo of release Germans. Takahashi heads up top and goes for a rana, but KUSHIDA holds onto the ropes. KUSHIDA goes outside and Takahashi heads back up top, wiping out KUSHIDA with a back senton attack! Back in, Takahashi hits Meteora for 2. KUSHIDA comes back with a Pele Kick. KUSHIDA blocks another Sunset Bomb by backflipping out. Takahashi runs off the apron, but KUSHIDA catches him in mid-air with a cross armbreaker! KUSHIDA keeps the hold applied while the ref continues his 20 count. Back in, more arm kicks by KUSHIDA while putting the badmouth on Takahashi. KUSHIDA locks in the Hoverboard Lock, but Takahashi refuses to submit. Takahashi is close to the ropes, but KUSHIDA rolls him back, however Takahashi lifts him up, but KUSHIDA with a victory roll for 2. Rolling elbow by KUSHIDA, but Takahashi blocks another Hoverboard Lock attempt. Takahashi with big right hands, but KUSHIDA drops him with a big right of his own. KUSHIDA charges, but Takahashi catches him with an overhead Belly-to-Belly, sending KUSHIDA into the turnbuckles! They head up top, KUSHIDA tries for the Hoverboard Lock up top, but Takahashi with an inverted Super Code Red for a close 2. Blu-Ray into the corner by Takahashi, followed by the Time Bomb to win the title.
Winner and NEW IWGP Jr. Champion: Hiromu Takahashi by pinfall (The Time Bomb)
Jason’s Thoughts: Incredible match. These two brought a level of that hard-nosed Strong Style intensity normally seen in the big Heavyweight matches to this and got the crowd firmly into it by the end. Takahashi as per the norm, took some INSANE bumps in this and really delivered on the big stage with KUSHIDA, one of the best going. Loved it.
NEVER Title: Katsuyori Shibata (c) vs. Hirooki Goto
Chain wrestling early. Goto avoids an early FK, stalemate. Shibata goes for the choke in the ropes, but has to break before the 5 count. Running kick by Shibata sends Goto outside. Back in, Shibata works over Goto’s arm. Victim Kick by Shibata, then kicks at Goto disrespectfully. Goto comes back with a clothesline. Goto fights back, but Shibata rains in elbows in the corner. Goto with a running boot, but Shibata comes right back with a leaping stomp, then Goto with a Backdrop Driver. Goto with a corner clothesline, followed by a Top Rope Elbow Drop for 2. FK by Goto, but Shibata sits right up. Another FK by Goto, but it doesn’t faze Shibata. Shibata dares Goto for more and Goto with more chest kicks, then Shibata drops him with a forearm. Shibata with corner stomps, followed by a running hesitation dropkick. Neck Lock Suplex by Shibata for 2. Backdrop Driver by Shibata, but Goto pops right up! Goto with a clothesline, Shibata with a boot, but neither go down. They trade more heavy shots, then exchange Backdrop Drivers, followed by Goto hitting a variation of the GTR. Goto hits a Gourdbuster across the knee, but Shibata catches a kick and hits a release German, but Goto pops right up and hits a clothesline, but then Shibata comes back with a STO! They trade shots from their knees, then Shibata locks in the choke, followed by a chest kick. Back to the choke and Goto begins to fade. Shibata takes Goto down with a body scissors added on to the choke, but Goto somehow gets his foot on the rope to force a break. Shibata yells out in frustration. Shibata shoves down the referee, but Goto then with a series of headbutts to the chin, but then Shibata hits the PK, both men down. Goto hits the Ushigoroshi, but Shibata blocks the GTR. Goto then hits Shouten Kai, but Shibata kicks out! Goto fires up and hits a chest kick, but Shibata gets right in his face and they UNLOAD with shots and headbutts until Goto gets the advantage. Inverted GTR by Goto, followed by another GTR to win the title.
Winner and NEW NEVER Champion: Hirooki Goto by pinfall (GTR)
Goto celebrates his title win after, while Shibata leaves angry.
Jason’s Thoughts: Another great match in the storied history of these two longtime friends in New Japan. Goto and Shibata, two of the hardest hitters you’ll see, traded bombs back and forth until Goto hit the bigger bomb to put his friend away. Loved every second of it.
Japanese actor Ken Yasuda is introduced as the special ring announcer for the next match.
We see video on the history between Naito and Tanahashi heading into the next match.
IWGP Intercontinental Title: Tetsuya Naito (c) vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi
Tanahashi comes out to a new version of his classic song, although with pretty much the same look as he had promised new music and a new look for this match.
Naito stalls early. Tanahashi goes downstairs off a clean break. Naito sends Tanahashi outside, but feigns a dive and does his pose. Back in, both men pull at each other’s hair, then Tanahashi with a dropkick and does some air guitar. Naito then stops the 2nd Rope Crossbody by taking out Tanahashi’s legs with a dropkick. Naito begins working over Tanahashi’s leg. Naito with the float-over dropkick, sweep-out, slingshot dropkick combo, with the dropkick being to the injured leg. Naito shoves down the ref, then continues to work over Tanahashi’s leg. Tanahashi fights back, but Naito rakes the eyes and hits another dropkick to the knees. Kneebreaker and another dropkick to the knees by Naito. Indian Deathlock applied, but Tanahashi gets to the ropes. Naito kicks at Tanahashi, but Tanahashi fights back. Naito goes back to the injured leg, then spits at Tanahashi. Tanahashi fights back, but again Naito goes back to the leg. Series of strikes by Tanahashi, followed by a flying forearm. 2nd Rope Senton by Tanahashi for 2. Naito avoids a dropkick to the knees and hits another kneebreaker, but Tanahashi comes back with a dropkick to the knees. Tanahashi goes for the Cloverleaf, but Naito quickly gets to the ropes. Naito again spits at Tanahashi, but Tanahashi blocks a Tornado DDT and hits a Dragon Screw to Naito while Naito was in the ropes. Tanahashi then hits Naito with a Slingblade on the apron! Tanahashi heads up top, HIGH FLY FLOW CROSSBODY WIPES OUT NAITO OUTSIDE!! Tanahashi mocks Naito’s pose on the apron and brings him back in. Naito avoids the Slingblade, but Tanahashi with a corner crossbody. Tanahashi heads up top, but Naito falls into the ropes, crotching Tanahashi. Naito with more shots to the leg, then heads up top and hits a Super Rana, followed by a German for 2. Tanahashi blocks Gloria, but Naito with an enziguri, a flying forearm, then this time hits Gloria for a close 2. Tanahashi stops Destino, avoids a Tornado DDT, but Naito with a dropkick to the knee. Tanahashi responds with one of his own, but Naito with a wheelbarrow takedown into a kneebar. Tanahashi thinks about submitting, but then is somehow able to counter out into the Cloverleaf. Naito now thinks about submitting, but is able to reach the ropes. Grounded Dragon Screw by Tanahashi, followed by two Slingblades for a close 2. Tanahashi heads up top, HIGH FLY FLOW CROSSBODY!! Tanahashi heads back up top, but Naito avoids the High Fly Flow! Naito charges and hits Destino, but Tanahashi counters another one with the Twist and Shout! They trade shots until Naito goes back to the leg, then Tanahashi responds in kind. They both now trade shots to each other’s injured legs. Dropkick to the knee by Naito, but then Tanahashi with a big slap and a Dragon Suplex for a close 2. Tanahashi heads up top, HIGH FLY FLOW to the back of Naito! Tanahashi heads back up top, but Naito gets knees up off another High Fly Flow! Naito with an enziguri, then hits a Destino from out of the corner for a REAL CLOSE 2! Another Destino by Naito to retain the title! WOW!!
Winner and STILL IWGP Intercontinental Champion: Tetsuya Naito by pinfall (Destino)
Naito celebrates his title win, posing over the fallen Tanahashi.
Jason’s Thoughts: Fantastic match from two of the best in the world. Genuinely surprised, but happy to see that Naito retained the title. Great stuff from bell-to-bell.
Video package shows how we got to the main event.
Main Event for the IWGP Title: Kazuchika Okada (c) vs. Kenny Omega
Omega comes out with a Terminator-style entrance, wearing the half-Terminator mask and brandishing a gun. Okada then comes out with a space-like entrance with the Okada Dollars raining down all over the Tokyo Dome.
Chain wrestling early. Exchange of pin attempts by both for nearfalls. Exchange of armdrags, Okada gets the advantage. Omega stops the Corner Too Awesome Dropkick, Okada slips out of the One Winged Angel, Omega avoids the Rainmaker, spits at Okada and rolls outside. Okada gives chase and nails Omega with a big boot. Sliding dropkick by Okada sends Omega outside. Omega sent into the barricade, but he stops a big boot. Okada blocks a suplex and hits a draping DDT on the floor! Okada pulls out a table from under the ring, but the ref stops him. Omega nails Okada, but Okada sends him over the barricade. Okada with a head of steam and leaps over the barricade, wiping out Omega with a running crossbody! Back in, senton atomico by Okada for 2. Neckbreaker by Okada for 2. Omega with a dropkick to the leg, followed by the Kotaro Krusher for 2. Omega takes control. Both avoid each other, then Omega with a forearm to the back for 2. Okada fights back, but Omega goes downstairs. Okada stops the Aoi Shoudou, followed by a big boot, but Omega with a rana that sends Okada outside. Young Bucks, who are at ringside, help Omega do the Rise of the Terminator call, then he wipes out Okada with a flip dive! Omega slams Okada on the apron, then hits a missile dropkick to the back of Okada’s head, but Okada gets his foot on the ropes. Omega with a series of strikes, but Okada comes back and hits Heavy Rain. Okada makes a comeback, running elbow, corner flying back elbow, spike DDT and a kip-up. Running sliding uppercut by Okada for 2. Omega fights back, but Okada with the one-man flapjack, then goes for Red Ink, but Omega blocks it. Okada finally locks in Red Ink, Omega begins to fade, but has one last gasp and is able to reach the ropes. Okada heads up top, but Omega avoids him. Omega blocks the Tombstone, but Okada switches to the Air Raid Crash across the knee. Okada heads back up top for the Top Rope Elbow Drop, but Omega gets knees up. Pumphandle Backbreaker by Omega sends Okada outside, then Omega with a running baseball slide that sends Okada over the barricade and into the nearby announce tables. The referee tries to stop Omega, but he shoves him off, then gets a running start, GOLDEN TRIANGLE MOONSAULT OVER THE BARRICADE WIPES OUT OKADA IN THE CROWD!! Referee begins his 20 count and Okada gets over the barricade, where Omega greets him by slamming the table onto him! Omega then gets a running start off the apron and DOUBLE STOMPS THE TABLE ONTO OKADA!!! Back in, powerbomb by Omega for 2. Omega then hits the Dr. Wily Bomb for a close 2. Young Bucks set up another table outside as both men roll out onto the apron. Omega goes for the One Winged Angel, but the ref stops him. Omega rains down more shots on Okada. Okada sent bouncing off the turnbuckles. Okada fights back, but Omega with a Finlay Roll, followed by a 2nd Rope Moonsault for 2. We see that there is a cut around the back of Okada. Okada blocks a Dragon, then this time hits the Corner Too Awesome Dropkick, sending Omega crashing down outside. They go on the apron and Okada goes for Heavy Rain, but Omega slips out and goes for the One Winged Angel, but Okada slips out. Back in, they trade shots. Omega charges, but Okada BACK BODY DROPS HIM OVER THE ROPES AND THROUGH THE TABLE!!! Doctor checks on Omega as the referee starts his count, but Okada breaks the count and brings Omega back in. Okads heads up top and hits a hesitation missile dropkick for a close 2. Okada heads back up top, hits the Top Rope Elbow Drop, then does the Rainmaker Pose to signal for the Rainmaker. Okada goes for the Rainmaker, but Omega blocks it in the ropes. Omega avoids the Rainmaker and drives Okada into the corner. Omega tries to place Okada up top, but his back gives out. Omega slaps Okada, then is able to head up top with him. Okada knocks Omega off, but Omega heads back up, SUPER DRAGON SUPLEX FOLDS OKADA UP!!!! Omega gets the arm over, but OKADA KICKS OUT!!!
Omega this time hits the Aoi Shoudou, turning it into a neckbreaker across the knee. Omega calls his shot, but Okada avoids the V-Trigger and hits a High-Angle German. Okada holds on, but Omega avoids the Rainmaker and this time hits the V-Trigger. Okada then answers back with the Too Awesome Dropkick, both men are down!! Omega blocks another Rainmaker and hits a big knee strike, followed by a reverse rana. Omega calls his shot and hits another V-Trigger, but Okada flips out of the One Winged Angel and hits the Tombstone! Okada fires up, RAINMAKERRRRRR!!!! 1-2…………..OMEGA KICKS OUT!!!! OKADA IS IN SHOCK!!! Okada tries to lift up Omega, but Omega is dead weight. Omega tries to fight back, but to no avail as Okada looks at him in disgust. Shotgun Dropkick by Okada sends Omega bouncing off the turnbuckles. Okada goes for another Tombstone, but Omega counters it and hits a PACKAGE TOMBSTONE!! 1-2……OKADA NOW KICKS OUT!!!
Both men trade shots from their knees, then on their feet. Omega avoids a shot, Snap Dragon, followed by another V-Trigger for another close 2. Another V-Trigger by Omega, but Okada gets out of the One Winged Angel and grabs the wrist, ANOTHER RAINMAKER!!! BOTH MEN DOWN AGAIN!! Okada holds onto the wrist, but Omega tries to kick him off. Series of knees, but Okada still won’t let go, THIRD RAINMAKER!!! Okada lifts Omega back up, but Omega avoids it and hits Okada with his own Too Awesome Dropkick, then does Okada’s Rainmaker Pose, followed by hitting a Rainmaker version of the V-Trigger!! Omega goes again for the One Winged Angel, but Okada slips out, JUMPING TOMBSTONE!!! Okada fires up again!!
FOURTH RAINMAKER!!! 1-2-3!!! UNBELIEVABLE!!!
Winner and STILL IWGP Champion: Kazuchika Okada by pinfall (Rainmaker)
Jason’s Thoughts: Well 2017, you got your work cut out for you, because its gonna be real hard to top that match for the Match of the Year. Kenny Omega had the match of his life, while Okada continues to show why he is the new “Ace” of New Japan. Hate the result, because I for sure thought Omega was gonna win, but am interested in where they go with both men coming out of Wrestlekingdom 11.
Overall, Wrestlekingdom 11 was an incredible show from top-to-bottom, with two to three out-of-this-world matches, especially the main event. I implore you to check this out.