New Japan Pro-Wrestling made some headlines on a busy Saturday night, with Jack “Scapegoat” Perry and Mustafa Ali showing up in San Jose, California for Jan. 13’s Battle in the Valley PPV. The show also featured Kazuchika Okada beating long-time rival Will Ospreay in Ospreay’s last U.S. match as a New Japan-contracted talent, a Triple Crown championship match between Eddie Kingston & Gabe Kidd — and post-match beatdown of Eddie by Bullet Club War Dogs that definitely means that feud’s not over, and Jeff Cobb reuniting with Matt Riddle as a surprise partner for their victory over TMDK.
And it set-up a couple big matches for NJPW’s next trip to the States: Fri., April 12’s Windy City Riot in Chicago.
Ali will feature in one of those. His latest “campaign video” from Saturday night included a challenge to junior heavyweight legend Hiromu Takahashi. New Japan made it official soon after:
A junior heavyweight dream match, official for Windy City Riot April 12!— NJPW Global (@njpwglobal) January 15, 2024
Get your tickets NOW for the Wintrust Arena! Ringside A, B, Arena C already almost gone!https://t.co/ambd63St4Z#njpw #njriot pic.twitter.com/WeYS7F07XA
Jon Moxley picked up a win over Shingo Takago at Battle in the Valley, winning their No Disqualification match to avenge a loss in G1 Climax 29. The AEW star then immediately called out someone else he lost to in that 2019 tournament — reigning IWGP World Heavyweight champion Tetsuya Naito.
It’s not clear if Naito’s belt will be on the line, if for no other reason than New Japan doesn’t want to give away the result of his rematch with SANADA at Feb. 24’s New Beginning in Sapporo show. But it’s happening with or without a title involved:
Those are the only two matches official for April 12 at Wintrust Arena. Heck of a way to start promoting the show though, right?