Ring of Honor’s Eddie Kingston was pulled from an April booking for New Japan due to a hernia injury he’d been dealing with. Kingston had surgery to deal with the issue early last month, saying it would take him about six weeks to return.
After hitting that milestone later this month, Eddie will be making it up to NJPW for that date he missed in April.
On Sun., June 4 at Dominion in Osaka, Kingston was unexpectedly named as one of 32 men who will compete in New Japan’s iconic, grueling G1 Climax tournament. This will be his first time in the nearly month-long round robin tourney for a shot at the IWGP World Heavyweight title in the Tokyo Dome next January. The Mad King is part of the largest field in G1 history:
Kazuchika Okada, Tetsuya Naito, SANADA, Will Ospreay, Hiroshi Tanahashi, David Finlay, Shota Umino, Shingo Takagi, Tomohiro Ishii, Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa, Hikuleo, Hirooki Goto, YOSHI-HASHI, Toru Yano, KENTA, Zack Sabre Jr., Taichi, Eddie Kingston, El Phantasmo, Ren Narita, EVIL, Chase Owens, Jeff Cobb, Great-O-Khan, Aaron Henare, Gabriel Kidd, Alex Coughlin, Shane Haste, Mikey Nicholls, Yota Tsuji & Kaito Kiyomiya
G1 33 kicks off on July 15 in Sapporo, and wraps up on Aug. 13 in Tokyo’s legendary Sumo Hall.
Before that, Kingston’s been booked for another New Japan date, during the debut of the company’s typically U.S.-based Strong brand in their home country. While he was recuperating from surgery, Eddie sent in a video challenge for whoever left Resurgence in Long Beach with the Strong Openweight title. That turned out to be KENTA, so on the second night of July 4-5’s Independence Day in Tokyo...
The first matches are official for NJPW STRONG's Independence Day in Korakuen Hall July 4 & 5!— NJPW Global (@njpwglobal) June 5, 2023
Night 1: Catch 2/2 vs Dan Moloney and Clark Connors for the IWGP Jr. Tag Team Championships!
KENTA vs Eddie Kingston for the STRONG gold!https://t.co/PuCaFBTLCH#njpwSTRONG pic.twitter.com/sdtQtqxwhc
Kingston has always been an All Japan man, but we imagine his summer in NJPW is still going to be a special experience for him. Mad King superfans will want to get a subscription to NJPWWorld, and have to get used to getting up in the middle of the night to watch him live. For the rest of you, we’ll keep you posted on how his summer in Japan goes.