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A Rumble-style match and an injury change finalize Wrestle Kingdom 15

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njpw1972.com

New Japan held their final “Road to Tokyo Dome” show and their Wrestle Kingdom 15 press conferences over the past couple days. That means we now how what should be the final cards for Wrestle Kingdom 15, coming out way on Jan. 4 & 5.

Two matches were added to the card, and will determine who starts 2021 as the King of Pro Wrestling champion. Toru Yano officially claimed the 2020 trophy when he body slammed Bad Luck Fale at today’s “Road to” show.

The KOPW title is provisional and must be defended throughout the year in stipulation matches fans vote on; the trophy is awarded to whoever wins the last contest of the year. Anyway...

A “New Japan Ranbo” will open the first night in the Tokyo Dome. 22 participants will enter the match at timed intervals, a la the Royal Rumble. Unlike the Rumble, however, eliminations can come via pinfall, submission, or by throwing someone over the top rope. The last four men in the match will advance to a 4way match on the second night. The winner of that is the provisional King of Pro Wrestling.

The bout between KENTA & Juice Robinson that was set-up earlier this week was also added to the Jan. 4 card, but then it was revealed that Robinson is injured and can’t compete. Satoshi Kojima offered to step in and challenge for KENTA’s IWGP United States title shot after losing a tag match to the Bullet Club member at the last “Road to”. Presumably that will take the place of Juice’s challenge.

So these should be the final cards for Wrestle Kingdom 15, now less than two weeks away!

January 4:

- Tetsuya Naito (c) vs. Kota Ibushi for the IWGP Heavyweight & Intercontinental championships

- Kazuchika Okada vs. Will Ospreay

- Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Great O-Khan

- KENTA vs. Satoshi Kojima for the former’s IWGP U.S. Championship right to challenge contract

- Guerillas of Destiny vs. Dangerous Tekkers (c) for the IWGP Tag Team titles

- Hiromu Takahashi vs. El Phantasmo

- New Japan Ranbo

January 5:

- 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

- 4way match for the provisional KOPW 2021 championship

- Stardom exhibition match