NJPW King of Pro Wrestling 2017 Preview

King of Pro Wrestling 
October 9th, 2017
Ryōgoku Sumo Hall
Tokyo, Japan

1. Bad Luck Fale, Leo Tonga, and Yujiro Takahashi (Bullet Club) vs. Bushi, Hiromu Takahashi and Sanada (LIJ)

  • Takahashi and Bad Luck Fale have a troubled past as Fale previously destroyed Takahashi’s stuffed cat, Darryl.

2. Hirooki Goto and Toru Yano (CHAOS) vs. Minoru Suzuki and Zack Sabre Jr. (Suzuki-Gun)

  • Yano could be in line for a shot at Minoru Suzuki’s NEVER Openweight championship since he defeated him in the G1.
  • Whether or not Suzuki ends up defending the title against Yano most likely depends on what happens in this match.

3. IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships
Ricochet and Ryusuke Taguchi (c) vs. Roppongi 3K (Rocky Romero and ???) (CHAOS)

  • We still don’t know who Rocky Romero’s new tag-team partner, but his history in the division earned him a shot at the titles regardless of who it is.
  • The “Funky Future” won the titles from the Young Bucks in August.
  • They defended them successfully against Taichi and Kanemaru from Suzuki Gun on September 16th.
  • Romero is an 8x champion in this division with 3 different partners. He could win them with a 4th partner on this show.

4. IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships
Killer Elite Squad (Suzuki-Gun) vs. War Machine vs. the Guerillas of Destiny (Bullet Club)

  • War Machine won 2 of the 3 matches these 3 teams had during September’s Destruction tour but KES won the last one which means they walk into this match champions.
  • Killer Elite Squad are 3x champions with a total of 5x title defenses.

5. Cody, Kenny Omega, and Marty Scurll (Bullet Club) vs. Beretta, Jado, and Yoshi-Hashi (CHAOS)

  • Yoshi-Hashi and Kenny Omega will meet for the IWGP United States Championship on October 15th, 2017 ROH Global Wars: Chicago event. This match will certainly preview that championship bout.
  • Another point is that Omega and Cody have teased some dissension recently on the YouTube show “Being the Elite”. It’s not altogether clear whether that will come into play in NJPW however.

6. IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship
Kushida (c) vs. Will Ospreay (CHAOS)

  • Ospreay challenged Kushida after his title defense against El Desperado last month.
  • They have met 4x before with Kushida winning each time (1 match was in WCPW)
  • This will be Ospreay’s 3rd time challenging for this championship. He’s 0-2 obviously.

7. Hiroshi Tanahashi and Togi Makabe vs. Juice Robinson and Kota Ibushi

  • Ibushi will be the next to challenge for Tanahashi’s Intercontinental championship.
  • Tanahashi defeated Ibushi in the G1 in 2015.
  • Ibushi defeated Tanahashi in the G1 this year.
  • Those are the only 2 times they have faced each other in singles action.

8. G1 Title Shot Briefcase On the Line
Tetsuya Naito (holder) (LIJ) vs. Tomohiro Ishii (CHAOS)

  • Ishii defeated Naito in the G1 to earn this opportunity but these 2 have a long past with each other.
  • They have faced each other in single’s competition 7x; Ishii is leading the series 4-3.
  • He’s also won the last 2.
  • Naito won the biggest match they’ve had, however, when he successfully defended the IWGP Heavyweight championship against him at Wrestling Donataku 2016

9. IWGP Heavyweight Championship
Kazuchika Okada (c) (CHAOS) vs. EVIL (LIJ)

  • Evil ended Okada’s undefeated streak in this year’s G1 and injured him so badly he failed to win another match all tournament.
  • After slamming Okada onto a pile of chairs, Okada wrestled the rest of the tournament with an injured shoulder and neck. He was still feeling the impacts of these injuries on the September shows.
  • Okada will be going for his 8th straight title defense.
  • So far during his 4th reign with the belt, Okada has defeated Marufuji, Omega 2x (1x was a time-limit draw), Suzuki, Shibata, Bad Luck Fale, and Cody.
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