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New Japan’s latest tournament finals set for card that also features Karl Anderson’s return

NJPWGlobal’s Twitter

Wednesday (Dec. 14), we’ll see WWE Superstar Karl Anderson wrestle for New Japan Pro-Wrestling in Miyagi.

He’ll defend the NEVER Openweight championship he’s held since before he returned to The ‘E in October. That return set off some kayfabe posturing between Anderson & New Japan about his schedule and the status of the belt. In actuality, it seems that was all arranged in advance, and now he’ll face Hikuleo in Sendai Sunplaza Hall.

The show will also feature the finals of NJPW’s last tournaments of the year — World Tag League and Super Junior Tag League.

In the latter, Bullet Club (and Impact Wrestling) duo Chris Bey & Ace Austin will face Lio Rush & YOH after both teams picked up wins in their final matches over the weekend to finish round robin competition with 14 points. The winner of Wednesday’s match will get a show at IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag champs TJP & Francesco Akira at Wrestle Kingdom 17.

Reigning World Tag League winners Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI will have a chance to make it two in a row when they face Aussie Open (Mark Davis & Kyle Fletcher) in this year’s finals. The pair known as Bishamon secured their spot with a weekend win over TMDK while Tetsuya Naito & SANADA lost to EVIL & Yujiro Takahashi. Davis & Fletcher, meanwhile, are looking to win the tournament in their first time taking part in it.

The Bishamon/Aussie Open winner will challenge FTR for the IWGP Tag titles at the Tokyo Dome on Jan. 4.

Here’s the full line-up for Wednesday’s show, which will stream on the NJPWWorld streaming service at 4:30am ET. In addition to the top three matches, we’ll also get tags that feature guys set to face each other at Wrestle Kingdom, and a “major announcement” from Minoru Suzuki and Suzuki-gun.

• Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI vs. Aussie Open in the finals of World Tag League

• Lio Rush & YOH vs. Ace Austin & Chris Bey in the finals of Super Junior Tag League

• Karl Anderson (c) vs. Hikuleo for the NEVER Openweight championship

• Kazuchika Okada, Tama Tonga & Master Wato vs. Jay White, Taiji Ishimori & Gedo

• Hiroshi Tanahashi, Toru Yano, Ryusuke Taguchi & Clark Connors vs. Tetsuya Naito, SANADA, BUSHI & Titan

• Minoru Suzuki , Lance Archer, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & DOUKI vs. EVIL, Yujiro Takahashi, SHO & Dick Togo

• Tiger Mask, Robbie Eagles, Alex Coughlin & Gabriel Kidd vs. Great-O-Khan, Aaron Henare, TJP & Francesco Akira

• KUSHIDA & Kevin Knight vs. TMDK (Mikey Nicholls & Shane Haste)

• EL LINDAMAN & Alex Zayne vs. Ryohei Oiwa & Kosei Fujita

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