As a wrestling fan for 23 years I’ve had a lot of periods of “new discovery” which I always find massively exciting and reinvigorating for my fandom. Continue reading
New Japan’s biggest show of the year goes down tomorrow and it’s set to be a HELL of a show. You’ve got a main event that is sure to pull out all the stops as the company’s biggest young star Hiroshi Tanahashi takes on one of his mentors, All Japan president and IWGP Heavyweight Champion, Keiji Mutoh. There will also be two HUGE New Japan vs. NOAH matches and a rematch of the 10/13 Sumo Hall thriller between Yugi Nagata and Zero 1’s Masato Tanaka.
NJPW â€œWRESTLE KINGDOM III IN TOKYO DOMEâ€, 1/4/09 (WPW/PPV)
0. Mitsuhide Hirasawa, Kazuchika Okada & Nobuo Yoshihashi vs. Milano Collection AT, Minoru & Taichi Ishikari
1. Wrestle Kingdom Grand Opening VIENTO DORADO: Mistico, Ryusuke Taguchi & Prince Devitt vs. Averno, Jado & Gedo
2. Jushin Thunder Liger 20th Anniversary Match: Jushin Thunder Liger & Takuma Sano Pro Wrestling NOAH vs. Wataru Inoue & Koji Kanemoto
3. IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Title ~Tread on!!~: Yujiro & Tetsuya Naito (c) vs. Alex Shelley TNA Wrestling & Chris Sabin TNA Wrestling
4. IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title ~Ballistic interception~: Low Ki (c) vs. Tiger Mask
5. Fighting Holdings Competition: Riki Choshu, Masahiro Chono, Kurt Angle TNA Wrestling & Kevin Nash TNA Wrestling vs. Giant Bernard, Takashi Iizuka, Tomohiro Ishii & Karl Anderson
6. World Heavyweight Title ~Crusade for Justice~: Yuji Nagata (c) vs. Masato Tanaka ZERO1-MAX
7. New Japan vs. NOAH Battle Tendencies ~the invasion~: Manabu Nakanishi vs. Jun Akiyama Pro Wrestling NOAH
8. IWGP Tag Team Title – Hardcore Rules: Togi Makabe & Toru Yano (c) vs. â€œTeam 3Dâ€ Brother Ray TNA Wrestling & Brother Devon TNA Wrestling
9. New Japan vs. NOAH Battle Tendencies ~the encounter~: Shinsuke Nakamura & Hirooki Goto vs. Mitsuharu Misawa Pro Wrestling NOAH & Takashi Sugiura Pro Wrestling NOAH
10. IWGP Heavyweight Title: Keiji Muto All Japan (c) vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi
Apologies for the unexpected hiatus from this, but we’re back rolling with the final 2 names announced…. oh wait what’s that…. they announced 3 names??? What? But that means there’s 17 guys in the tournament. How do you have a tourney with 17 guys? PWG have come up with a nice little way it seems.
The former “Puma” is known in SoCal wrestling for being the youngest veteran in the business. Still in his early 20’s, TJ has been working the best part of 10 years (he started in his early to mid teens). After being somewhat out of the limelight in 2006 and 2007, this year has been a big comeback year for Perkins. He turned heel and formed an extremely entertaining team with Hook Bomberry (their team name is TJ Hooker in a stroke of greatness). A motivated and focused TJ Perkins is a scary prospect because the dude has so much talent. It’ll be interesting to see how he fares in BOLA.
Bryan Danielson/Low Ki
Yes, the final entrant is TWO MEN. PWG Commissioner Of Wrestling, Dino Windwood and PWG Commissioner Of Food & Beverage, Excalibur couldn’t agree on who should have the last spot so both men are in. In the next column I’ll look at how this plays into the bracketing which was also announced in the last few days, but for now let’s talk a little about each guy. Low Ki is the current IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion and former PWG Heavyweight Champion. He spent most of the year on the sidelines with an injury which forced him to vacate the PWG belt, but now he’s back and based on recent New Japan shows, is looking as good as ever. Ki is without question a favourite to win the whole thing.
Danielson, of course, also fits the bill of favourite. I’d be here all day listing the credentials of “The Best In The World”, so I won’t bother. I’ll just say that looking at this lineup, there are a ton of great potential matchups for Dragon that we don’t usually get to see (cough Yoshino cough). Hopefully he goes deep in the tournament and we get to see him used to his fullest.