We’re a month away from the biggest event in Japanese pro wrestling, New Japan’s annual January 4 Tokyo Dome show.
Wrestle Kingdom 12 will be the culmination of a year’s worth of stories AND feature a big guest appearance from a WWE star. So it’s only fitting the event get a WrestleMania-esque debate about what match will main event.
It started when G1 winner Tetsuya Naito was asked about his shot at IWGP Heavyweight champ Kazuchika Okada being labeled a “co-main” with Kenny Omega vs. Chris Jericho for the U.S. title (something Omega offered up last month, while admitting the main belt should go on last).
Naito responds to @KennyOmegamanX calling #njwk12 a double main event. 'One, I've been through this. I've been called 'double main event one'. It doesn't mean anything. It's the semi main event.' https://t.co/wamY2P3bjG— chris charlton (@reasonjp) December 2, 2017
And he’s right. The “double/multiple main” thing might be useful marketing and help some performers and fans feel a little better about not being the final match of the night, but going on next-to-last, or first, isn’t what anyone thinks about when they think about the main event. There’s also no chance NJPW is going to put their Ace, Okada, defending the longest IWGP heavyweight title reign in history, beneath a pair of gaijin.
Y2J has a counterpoint, however:
Naito, not sure who u are but make no mistake-on a worldwide basis, theres only ONE MAIN EVENT for #WrestleKingdom12 pic.twitter.com/Fmax6ALP8u— Chris Jericho (@IAmJericho) December 3, 2017
It’s more than a bit of heelish promotion, but it’s not entirely inaccurate. A lot of people who’ve never sought out a New Japan show will be paying attention to this one because of Chris Jericho’s presence. So even though it won’t be the match that ends the night, it is the main attraction for more than a few fans.
Let the debate continue. New Japan is certainly winning the argument.