[Misc. News] Today, February 3, marked the Setsubun Festival, bean-throwing festival, with many wrestlers coming together at the Ikegami Honmo-ji (temple). This being the final resting place for the father of Japanese Pro-Wrestling Rikidozan.
This year saw a wide range of talent from veterans to multiple reigning champions in attendance. Genichiro Tenryu, W-1 Champion Keiji Mutoh, IWGP Heavyweight Champion Hiroshi Tanahashi, NEVER Champion Togi Makabe, GHC Heavyweight Champion Naomichi Marufuji, Kenta Kobashi, Jun Akiyama, Akebono, Katsuhiko Nakajima, as well as Kensuke Sasaki and his wife, Akira Hokuto, and son.
The event is always known for the photo oppurtunities as it brings together many of the promotions that otherwise rarely see mixed together. A notable photograph saw Marufuji, Mutoh, Tanahashi, and Makabe also standing next to each other as they are the reigning single champions in their respected promotion.
[NJPW News] New Japan officially announced 5 new matches that will be taking place at this years WRESTLE KINGDOM at the Tokyo Dome.
First up they announced that Shinsuke Nakamura will be defending the IWGP IC belt against Kota Ibushi. This will mark the first time the two have faced in singles competition since August of 2013.
Ryusuke Taguchi will be defending the IWGP Junior belt against the newest BULLET CLUB member in Kenny Omega. Omega made his debut as a member of NJPW by quickly forming his alliance with the heel faction. Omega took no time to call out Taguchi for the belt and the title match has been set for the big show.
In standard fashion in recent years, the IWGP Jr. Tag belts will once more be contested in a 4WAY match as the new champions “reDragon” O'Reilly & Fish will be taking on 3 former champion teams in KUSHIDA & Shelley, Romero & Koslov, and Matt & Nick Jackson.
The NEVER Openweight belt will also be contended on the big show as Tomohiro Ishii looks to continue his path through the top guys in NJPW. Ishii got the win over Hirooki Goto just this past weekend and now will be faced up against Togi Makabe, whom he chose as his next defense.
Then lastly, Kazushi Sakuraba and Minoru Suzuki look to finally end their grudge once and for all as they do battle on the big stage. A winner can only be decided by knockout. TKO, referee stop, or submission only. There will be no count-out administered or pinfall’s. Only one of these men will be left standings with the conclusion of the match.
Below is the announced card…
New Japan Pro-Wrestling “Buddy Fight presents WRESTLE KINGDOM 9 in Tokyo Dome”, ¼/2015 [Sunday] 16:00 @ Tokyo Dome
(-) Special Single Match ~ Complete Conclusion Rules: Kazushi Sakuraba [FREE] vs. Minoru Suzuki [Pancrase MISSION] ~ No pin fall. Only KO, TKO, submission, or referee can stop the match.
(-) NEVER Openweight Championship Match: [5th Champion] Tomohiro Ishii vs. [Challenger] Togi Makabe ~ 2nd title defense.
(-) IWGP Junior Tag Championship 4WAY Match: [39th Champions] “reDragon” Kyle O'Reilly & Bobby Fish vs. [Challengers] “Time Splitters” KUSHIDA & Alex Shelley vs. [Challengers] “Forever Hooligans” Rocky Romero & Alex Koslov vs. [Challengers] “Young Bucks” Matt & Nick Jackson ~ 1st title defense.
(-) IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship Match: [69th Champion] Ryusuke Taguchi vs. [Challenger] Kenny Omega ~ 3rd title defense.
(-) IWGP Intercontinental Championship Match: [10th Champion] Shinsuke Nakamura vs. [Challenger] Kota Ibushi ~ 2nd title defense.
9~10 matches are expected in total. ————————————– Expected Additions: (-) IWGP Tag Championship Match: [64th Champions] Karl Anderson & Doc Gallows vs. [Challengers] (WTL 2014 Winners) ~ 6th title defense.
New Japan announced that Shinsuke Nakamura will take part in a press conference on January 25 regarding his departure. In addition, his final NJPW show will be January 30 in Korakuen Hall (on the Road To The New Beginning tour) where he will team one last time with CHAOS buddies Tomohiro Ishii & IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada to take on NEVER Openweight Champion Katsuyori Shibata, Hirooki Goto & Hiroshi Tanahashi.
The IWGP Intercontinental Championship will be vacated as of January 30. At The New Beginning in Niigata (February 14), Kenny Omega will compete against an opponent to be determined for the vacant title in the main event (source).
[NJPW News] New Japan announced the competitors and matches for this years NEW JAPAN CUP 2015. This years single elimination tournament begins on March 5th and takes place itself over a couple of days with the final matches to be held on March 15th.
16 wrestlers will be competing in this years tournament to earn the right to compete for the belt of their choosing, be it the IWGP Heavyweight, IWGP Intercontinental, and or the NEVER Openweight belt. With that said the champions of those belts will not be competing in this years tournament. A prize of 5,000,000 yen ($42,100) will be awarded to the winner with their title match of their choosing being set for the April 5th show at Ryogoku.
This years NJC trophy will also seen a new design with only the early sketch being released at this time. The trophy depicts 4 lions supporting the crown of victory. It is supposed to be a symbol that represents New Japan Pro Wrestling.
The first round matches have been announced and they are as follows…
New Japan Pro Wrestling “NEW JAPAN CUP 2015 - 1st ROUND”, 3/5/2015 [Thu] 19:00 @ Ota Ward General Gymnasium in Tokyo
(1) Jushin Thunder Liger, KUSHIDA, Yohei Komatsu & Jay White vs. Tiger Mask IV, Ryusuke Taguchi, Mascara Dorada & Sho Tanaka (2) NJC 2015 - 1st Round Match: YOSHI-HASHI vs. Yujiro Takahashi (3) NJC 2015 - 1st Round Match: Togi Makabe vs. Tomoaki Honma (4) NJC 2015 - 1st Round Match: Satoshi Kojima vs. Katsuyori Shibata (5) NJC 2015 - 1st Round Match: Yuji Nagata vs. Hirooki Goto
(6) Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Manabu Nakanishi & Captain New Japan vs. Shinsuke Nakamura, Tomohiro Ishii & Kazushi Sakuraba [FREE]
(7) NJC 2015 - 1st Round Match: Kota Ibushi vs. Doc Gallows (8) NJC 2015 - 1st Round Match: Tetsuya Naito vs. Karl Anderson (9) NJC 2015 - 1st Round Match: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Toru Yano (10) NJC 2015 - 1st Round Match: Kazuchika Okada vs. Bad Luck Fale
The winners will then move on the second round matches on March 8th and then onto the final day on March 15th.
New Japan Pro Wrestling “NEW JAPAN CUP - 2nd ROUND”, 3/8/2015 [Sun] 18:30 @ Korakuen Hall in Tokyo
(-) NJC 2015 - 2nd Round Match: (Winner of Tanahashi/Yano) vs. (Winner of Ibushi/Gallows) (-) NJC 2015 - 2nd Round Match: (Winner of Naito/Anderson) vs. (Winner of Okada/Fale) (-) NJC 2015 - 2nd Round Match: (Winner of Makabe/Honma) vs. (Winner of HASHI/Yujiro) (-) NJC 2015 - 2nd Round Match: (Winner of Nagata/Goto) vs. (Winner of Kojima/Shibata)
New Japan Pro Wrestling “NEW JAPAN CUP - FINAL ROUND”, 3/15/2015 [Sun] 17:00 @ Hiroshima Sun Plaza Hall
(-) NJC 2015 - Semi-Final Match: (Winner of Tanahashi/Yano ~ Winner of Ibushi/Gallows) vs. (Winner of Naito/Anderson ~ Winner of Okada/Fale) (-) NJC 2015 - Semi-Final Match: (Winner of Makabe/Honma ~ Winner of HASHI/Yujiro) vs. (Winner of Nagata/Goto ~ Winner of Kojima/Shibata)
Tokyo Dome, Tokyo, Japan (4:00pm JST) Global Force Wrestling (w/ English commentary featuring Jim Ross & Matt Striker) will air WK9 live on PPV at 2:00am EST/11:00pm PST with a replay at 7:00pm EST/4:00pm PST.