New Japan Pro Wrestling announced the card for their 45th Anniversary Show and had one hell of a surprise for us amidst all the festivities, in that Zack Sabre, Jr. will be making his debut in a match against Katsuyori Shibata. The match will be the third in their (excellent) series for the RPW British Heavyweight championship. They've each won one so far, and thus this will be the decider.
This is really interesting when you take into account that New Japan's Michael Elgin has been announced for Evolve's WrestleMania weekend shows. Could this be the beginning of more interplay between New Japan and Evolve? Bushiroad president Takaaki Kidani has stated that technical, grappling-oriented wrestling is his favorite kind in the past, and nobody does it better than Evolve, so it only makes sense.
As long as Ring of Honor and New Japan are working together as closely as they are I don't see this becoming much more than friendly talent sharing, but the idea of a realignment is certainly intriguing.
But of course, that's not all we're excited about here, because Kazuchika Okada will face off against Tiger Mask W in a non-title match in the main event. Kota Ibushi's under the hood, and while he's had some issues acclimatizing to wrestling in a mask, the hope is always there that he'll have the awesome match we know he can have opposite the IWGP Heavyweight Champion.
The complete card for the March 6 event follows—
- Chaos (Gedo, Hirooki Goto, Jado, & YOSHI-HASHI) vs. Suzuki-gun (Davey Boy Smith, Jr., El Desperado, Minoru Suzuki, & TAKA Michinoku)
- Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale, Kenny Omega, Tama Tonga, Tanga Roa, & Yujiro Takahashi) vs. David Finlay, Manabu Nakanishi, TenCozy (Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima), & Yuji Nagata
- Roppongi Vice (c) (Beretta & Rocky Romero) vs. Suzuki-gun (Taichi & Yoshinobu Kanemaru) (IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship
- Katsuyori Shibata (c) vs. Zack Sabre, Jr. (RPW British Heavyweight Championship
- Chaos (Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano) (c) vs. Great Bash Heel (Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma) (IWGP Tag Team Championship)
- Hiroshi Tanahashi, Juice Robinson, KUSHIDA, & Michael Elgin vs. Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI, EVIL, SANADA, & Tetsuya Naito)
- Hiromu Takahashi (c) vs. Ryusuke Taguchi (IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship)
- Kazuchika Okada vs. Tiger Mask W
There you have it, folks
Excited to see the Technical Wizard in New Japan, Cagesiders? And what about that card, eh?