New Japan Pro-Wrestling recently announced two additions to the card for the biggest event on their calendar — Jan. 4’s Wrestle Kingdom at the Tokyo Dome.
One is a tag match pitting Shota Umino and Kaito Kiyomiya of Pro Wrestling NOAH against EVIL and Ren Narita. Umino and Narita are two of NJPW’s “Reiwa Three Musketeers”, and had been tagging together until Narita turned on Jon Moxley’s protege and joined EVIL’s House of Torture stable.
The other is the annual New Japan Rambo, a Royal Rumble-style match where the final four move on to wrestle at Jan. 5’s New Year Dash!! to determine who starts 2024 with the King of Pro-Wrestling championship.
Here’s a look at the entire card for Wrestle Kingdom 18, which is headlined by the World champion defending against the winner of the G1 Climax and two bouts featuring AEW talent. One year after Mercedes Moné made her New Japan debut after the IWGP Women’s title match, there are no women’s matches set for the show. Instead, that belt will headline a separate Stardom event the afternoon before NJPW kicks things off in the Tokyo Dome:
• SANADA (c) vs. Tetsuya Naito for the IWGP World Heavyweight championship
• Kazuchika Okada vs. Bryan Danielson
• Will Ospreay vs. Jon Moxley vs. David Finlay for the new IWGP Global Heavyweight title
• Hiromu Takahashi (c) vs. El Desperado for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight championship
• Zack Sabre Jr. (c) vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi for the NJPW World Television title
• Shingo Takagi (c) vs. Tama Tonga for the NEVER Openweight championship
• Clark Connors & Drilla Moloney (c) vs. TJP & Francesco Akira for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team titles
• IWGP Tag Team Champions Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI vs. NJPW Strong Openweight Tag Team Champions Hikuleo & El Phantasmo in a Winner-takes-all Tag Team title match:
• Yuya Uemura vs. Yota Tsuji
• Kaito Kiyomiya & Shota Umino vs. Ren Narita & EVIL
• New Japan Rambo - final four advance to New Year’s Dash!! for KOPW 2024 belt