Since winning a contract guaranteeing him a shot at the IWGP United States championship in the New Japan Cup USA tournament over the summer, KENTA’s been insisting he needs to face titleholder Jon Moxley at Wrestle Kingdom 15. But with no signs Mox will be making a trip across the Pacific, or even working an NJPW show any time in the near future, he’s accepted a back-up plan for the company’s biggest event of the year.
Former U.S. champ Juice Robinson challenged KENTA to put the briefcase on the line in the Tokyo Dome. Despite initially resisting the idea, the Bullet Club member’s accepted the challenge, telling the fans he views it as a way to beat all of them.
A clash between KENTA and Juice (which will probably be a little better than when they faced off in NXT back in 2015) is a good compromise, seeing as we don’t know when or even if Moxley will be back. He won the IWGP U.S. belt at Wrestle Kingdom 14 this past January, but hasn’t defended it since beating Minoru Suzuki at The New Beginning in February.
New Japan hasn’t revealed which night of Wrestle Kingdom 15 the Juice/KENTA bout will take place, but they did recently reveal that a Stardom dark match will happen on night two. This will be the second year in a row the women from NJPW’s fellow Bushiroad-owned promotion will get a match at the Dome.
Here’s an updated look at the cards for the shows, now only two weeks away!
- Tetsuya Naito (c) vs. Kota Ibushi for the IWGP Heavyweight & Intercontinental championships
- Kazuchika Okada vs. Will Ospreay
- Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Great O-Khan
- Guerillas of Destiny vs. Dangerous Tekkers (c) for the IWGP Tag Team titles
- Hiromu Takahashi vs. El Phantasmo
- Jay White vs. the winner of night one’s Naito-Ibushi matc (c) for the IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental championships
- SANADA vs. EVIL
- Shingo Takagi (c) vs. Jeff Cobb for the NEVER Openweight title
- Winner of night one’s Hiromu/ELP match vs. Taiji Ishimori (c) for the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight championship
- Stardom exhibition match
KENTA vs. Juice Robinson for the former’s IWGP U.S. Championship right to challenge contract