We knew they were coming after the results of Power Struggle yesterday (Nov. 5), and sure enough, New Japan Pro Wrestling confirmed all the matches made at that show and then some at their press conference for Wrestle Kingdom 12 today.
In addition to Chris Jericho vs. Kenny Omega (now officially for Omega’s IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship), Hiroshi Tanahashi defending the IWGP Intercontinental Championship against “Switchblade” Jay White, Marty Scurll defending the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship against KUSHIDA, Hiromu Takahashi, and Will Ospreay in a fatal four-way, and Roppongi 3K defending the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship against the Young Bucks, NJPW had one more for us, this one based on a backstage confrontation.
棚橋との壮絶マッチ終了直後…、— 新日本プロレスリング株式会社 (@njpw1972) November 5, 2017
11.5大阪大会を新日本プロレスのスマホサイトで独占詳報中！https://t.co/QCYhOWxbvU #njpw #njpst pic.twitter.com/OrFqqECgHp
As you can see from the still image there, after Kota Ibushi lost to Tanahashi in the main event at Power Struggle, he was in a bad place when Cody Rhodes came up to gloat, holding the ROH World Championship high in front of the Golden Star at his lowest ebb. lost to Tanahashi in the main event at Power Struggle, he was in a bad place when Cody Rhodes came up to gloat.
Thus, a match is a logical conclusion, and why not for the title at Wrestle Kingdom? Well, there is the matter of Cody’s defense against Dalton Castle at Final Battle on December 15, for one, but New Japan have already addressed that— Rhodes vs. Ibushi will go on by hook or by crook, and if the title is around Castle’s waist, it’ll simply become a non-title match.
It’s not the most exciting possible matchup for Kota, but with the Omega match off the table for the time being, it’s a high profile match that will just have to do. And in my experience, Cody has matched up best against flyers since his departure from WWE, so I remain hopeful on this one.
Let’s list the card out and get outta here, shall we?
Wrestle Kingdom 12 (January 4, 3AM Eastern, 12AM Pacific)
- Hiromu Takahashi vs. KUSHIDA vs. Marty Scurll (c) vs. Will Ospreay (IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship)
- Roppongi 3K (SHO & YOH) (c) vs. Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson) (IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship)
- Cody Rhodes (c) vs. Kota Ibushi (ROH World Championship)
- Hiroshi Tanahashi (c) vs. “Switchblade” Jay White (IWGP Intercontinental Championship)
- Chris Jericho vs. Kenny Omega (c) (IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship)
- Kazuchika Okada (c) vs. Tetsuya Naito (IWGP Heavyweight Championship)
There you have it, folks
We’ve got about half the card for Wrestle Kingdom officially announced. Excited to get to the biggest show of the year, Cagesiders?