Wrestle Kingdom 12 was finally here as New Japan Pro Wrestling rolled into the Tokoyo Dome full of hype with a roster of stars ready to perform at the highest level.
In case you need a refresher of this amazing card, it can be seen below along with our live results from the night.
- New Japan Rumble
- IWGP Junior Tag Team Championship Match: Roppongi 3K vs. The Young Bucks
- NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Gauntlet Championship Match: Tama Tonga, Tonga Loa and Bad Luck Fale vs. Ryusuke Taguchi, Juice Robinson and Togi Makabe vs. Beretta, Toru Yano and Tomohiro Ishii vs. Hanson, Raymond Rowe and Michael Elgin vs. Taichi, Takashi Iizuka and Zack Sabre, Jr.
- Kota Ibushi vs. Cody Rhodes
- IWGP Tag Team Championship Match: Killer Elite Squad (Davey Boy Smith, Jr. and Lance Archer) vs. EVIL and SANADA
- NEVER Openweight Championship Hair vs. Hair Match: Minoru Suzuki vs. Hirooki Goto
- IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship 4-Way Match: Marty Scurll vs. Will Ospreay vs. Hiromu Takahashi vs. KUSHIDA
- IWGP Intercontinental Championship Match: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Jay White
- IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship No Disqualification Match: Kenny Omega vs. Chris Jericho
- IWGP Heavyweight Championship Match: Kazuchika Okada vs. Tetsuya Naito
New Japan Rumble (Pre Show)
This is a typical battle royal match with a set up much like the Royal Rumble except pinfalls are allowed too. Delirious was a nice surprise and it’s always fun to see him.
Leo Tonga had a really good showing as he hammered away on his opponents as the ring filled up with competitors. Chase Owens hit Delirious with a package piledriver as soon as he came into the match though and took him out.
It took two guys to eliminate Leo Tonga as Taka Michinoku entered the ring. Chase Owens had cleared the ring as well giving the two a chance to battle it out for a bit until more members of Suzuki Gun came out to take advantage of the representative from The Bullet Club.
Owens took down booze being spit in his face and he was hurled over the top rope just as Jushin Thunder Liger made his way to the ring and the crowd was pumped to see him. Liger cleaned house for a bit with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and a surfboard, but Liger was soon taken over and choked out in the corner.
As Suzuki Gun tried to pull off Liger’s mask, Tiger Mask’s music hit and he ran down to the ring. They immediately tried to get Tiger Mask’s mask off but he turned it around to reveal part of Desperado’s mask instead. As Austrailia’s first member of The Bullet Club, Juicy Gambino joined the fray, everyone saved face until Tiger Mask and Desperado’s masks were actually ripped off and they were eliminated.
Yoshi Hashi got a great reaction as well as David Finlay but it was certainly considered an upset after Finlay eliminated Hashi. But Yujiro Takahashi came down and quickly eliminated Finlay. While Yujiro chilled at ringside, Cheeseburger made his entrance but was met by an assault before he got in the ring.
It all came down to Cheeseburger and Masahito Kakihara who overcame cancer to make a return to pro wrestling. It was a pretty cool moment when Kakihara won and celebrated in the ring.
Winner: Masahito Kakihara
Roppongi 3K vs. The Young Bucks (IWGP Junior Tag Team Championship Match)
Guess what? The Young Bucks are super over in Japan too. This was a really great match to kick off this show.
Matt Jackson started off the match by trash talking and then Matt and Yoh got their opposing members in sharpshooters at the same time which resulted in a slapping contest between the two early on.
Roppongi 3K hit stereo dives and Yoh sold his back so Nick Jackson suplexed him on the apron. The Young Bucks cornered Rocky Romero and took Superkicks and then a running powerbomb to leave their old foe laying on the ramp.
The Young Bucks double-teamed Yoh while he sold his back and knocked Soh off the apron and hit him with an apron bomb for a two count.
Matt took a dive and landed badly on his back so he was selling a hurt back from that point on as well. Matt took Sho up the ramp and tried to piledrive him, but Sho turned it into a backdrop further damaging Matt’s back. Nick tried to jump on Sho as Matt held him, but Nick accidentally hit his brother instead.
Then Sho started taking it to Nick Jackson. Matt came in but was taken out then Sho hit some stiff kicks on Nick.
Sho started hitting German suplexes on Matt and Nick mad the tag so Sho executed a double German suplex on both of them.
Everyone started trading Superkicks and then Nick took a backbreaker, he tried to fight off both members of Roppongi 3k and he was pretty successful in those attempts. Soon Matt and Yoh who both had hurt backs were in the ring fighting it out. Yoh hit a forearm to Matt and stunned him until Matt powerbombed Yoh into Nick’s kick to the back of the head and then the Bucks hit a devastating double-team suspended backbreaker but he kicked out at two.
Yoh made it to the ropes during a sharpshooter to gut it out. Both Young Bucks ended up in single leg crabs and Nick kept Matt from tapping out until he kicked Sho into Yoh to break up the submissions.
The Young Bucks hit kicks on Sho’s back and then Nick hit a nice top rope dive to the floor. Then The Young Bucks hit a Melzter Driver on Yoh followed by a sharpshooter and he tapped out. New champions!
Winners and NEW (7-TIME) IWGP Junior Tag Team Champions: The Young Bucks
Tama Tonga, Tonga Loa and Bad Luck Fale vs. Ryusuke Taguchi, Juice Robinson and Togi Makabe vs. Beretta, Toru Yano and Tomohiro Ishii vs. Hanson, Raymond Rowe and Michael Elgin vs. Taichi, Takashi Iizuka and Zack Sabre, Jr. (NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Gauntlet Championship Match)
This match was a crazy, hard-hitting spot fest and to save on room I won’t cover every spot (or even every six spots). But it is important to note this could be one of the last stops for War Machine before making their leap to WWE.
Michael Elgin is a beast and really had a good chance to show off his strength with a double fallaway slam and a nice suspended vertical suplex. Raymond Rowe hit some shotgun knees to ZSJ and really looked great as he spun Sabre Jr. around in one backbreaker after another. Hanson missed a moonsault but Rowe helped his partner get out of that tough spot. Then ZSJ choked out Rowe with some leg scissors.
Ishii, Baretta, and Yano came down next and joined the fight in a big way as it started on the ramp but Suzuki Gun ended up beating the fresh competitors down. Yano his a low blow very early on and scored a roll-up pinfall.
Juice Robinson, Taguchi, and Makabe made their entrance next in an attempt to continue in this gauntlet match.
The match resulted in the Bullet Club making their way down where Ishii tried to suplex Bad Luck Fale but it didn’t work and he just got splatted in the turnbuckle but he moved.
Ishii finally had a chance to prove how insanely strong he is by pulling off a suplex on Fale. But Fale would soon take care of business and tag Tama Tonga in.
Guerrilla of Destiny hit the Guerrilla Warfare on Baretta followed by double splashes. Baretta was sat on the top turnbuckle but he fought both BC members off and then he went for a moonsault but was caught in a Gun Stun for a two count. Suddenly Baretta hit a Dude Buster on Tama Tonga and picked up the win.
Winners and NEW NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Gauntlet Champions: Beretta, Toru Yano and Tomohiro Ishii
Kota Ibushi vs. Cody Rhodes
Cody worked as a true heel during this match and really told the story of getting over with underhanded tactics well.
Brandi and Cody orchestrated a spot early on where it Brandi took a bump and caused a distraction but it was all part of their plan to get over on Kota Ibushi.
They tried to play mind games with Ibushi throughout the match but he fought on to overcome Cody’s attempts to mess with his strategy.
It seemed like these two kept throwing big moves at each other daring the other to survive and there was no shortage of near falls.
Kota Ibushi ducked under a Devastation Kick and took Cody down. Then it was finally his time to deliver his closing number.
After fighting around the ring and inside these two took each other to the limit and finally, Ibushi climbed to the top rope and hit the Pheonix Splash for the three count.
Winner: Kota Ibushi
Killer Elite Squad (Davey Boy Smith, Jr. and Lance Archer) vs. EVIL and SANADA (IWGP Tag Team Championship Match)
Lance Archer really loved throwing water on people and went out of his way during his entrance to douse the crowd with several bottles of water that he just kept pulling out of every pocket he had.
KES hit their finisher right from the get-go but only scored a two count after SANADA broke up the pinfall. But EVIL was hurt and sold his injuries well as KES continued their assault. KES took everyone out including their opponents and the young boys at ringside. Archer powerbomed EVIL onto the young boys at ringside and left him laying there. It was quite brutal until Davey Boy Smith rolled SANADA back in the ring.
KES were brutal in everything they did but EVIL and SANADA kept kicking out of everything they could throw at them. Suddenly SANADA had a comeback and tagged in EVIL to hit a running senton and then he took out Smith on the apron. He hit a running bulldog on Archer, but Davey Boy ran in to interrupt his momentum.
Suddenly, EVIL hit a lariat for a two count on Archer then he climbed up top to be held up by Smith. Archer climbed up and hit a Spanish fly off the top rope but it still didn’t get the job done.
The two teams fought on until SANADA found himself in the middle of both KES member and they hit a second Killer Bomb. 1-2- kick out! They went for a third one, but EVIL came in and hit Archer with Everything is EVIL for a two count and then they hit a Legend Killer for a two count and SANADA nailed a moonsault to win.
Winners and NEW IWGP Tag Team Champions: EVIL and SANADA
Minoru Suzuki vs. Hirooki Goto (NEVER Openweight Championship Hair vs. Hair Match)
Goto got choked out pretty early on thanks to hanging up on the top turnbuckle from Suzuki and he sold it very well even bringing in trainers to check him out to give off the appearance he was legitly hurt.
The action spilt outside where Goto continued to take a beating. Suzuki smashed a steel chair across Goto’s back after whipping him into the metal guardrail. The referee finally got the chair away from him and encouraged the action to return to the ring.
Goto caught Suzuki’s foot while taking a kick to the chest and he used that momentum against him and hit a running bulldog. They fought on and traded forearm shots that were extremely still before a Gotch-style piledriver didn’t work on Goto and then Suzuki Gun rushed the ring and all hell broke loose.
Suzuki snuck up behind Goto and tried to take advantage but took a perfect dropkick to the face instead. The fight continued to the top rope where Goto found himself in a front facelock until he fought back and hit a super Ushigoroshi.
Finally, Goto hit the Revolution for the three count.
Winner and NEW NEVER Openweight Championship: Hirooki Goto
Then it was time to shave Suzuki’s head immediately after the match. Suzuki Gun tried to lead him away, but he turned around and went back to the ring on his own. He brought a chair in the ring and whacked the chair out of the way that was in the ring with his chair and then sat his own chair down and shaved his own head. He didn’t get much of it off, but it was enough for a handful.
Marty Scurll vs. Will Ospreay vs. Hiromu Takahashi vs. KUSHIDA (IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship 4-Way Match)
These four guys brought it all to this match and Takahashi even brought Daryl (that stuffed cat) who was wearing a luchador mask to hide his identity after taking such a brutal set of beatings earlier last year.
Marty Scurll took the cake though because he had huge wings attached to his back and with his usual mask and top hat, he looked absolutely fantastic.
This match was rather a spot fest in the early goings of it with many moves being traded around where all four men eventually found themselves down on the mat. They fought each other from their knees and Takahashi took a bump into the middle turnbuckle from KUSHIDA. But Tanahashi would soon return the favor by hitting KUSHIDA with a belly to belly into the turnbuckle.
Ospreay hit a kick to Marty’s face as he was sitting on the top and then Will climbed up to try for some high-risk offence, but Scurll caught him with a stunner. This move was one big move after another until Marty went outside and grabbed some tape from under the ring. Then he taped Takahashi to the guardrails and then he broke his hand.
Marty was pushed from the top after both Will and KUSHIDA broke his hand and then KUSHIDA hit an avalanche armbreaker on Ospreay but he wouldn’t tap out, even after he turned it into a triangle choke hold. Then Will picked up KUSHIDA with his dead weight and heaved him into the turnbuckle.
Marty went to get more tape because, why not? Then he got plenty of powder and tossed it into KUSHIDA’s face who countered with a Back To The Future but the pin was broken up. Takahashi got free from the tape and hit sunset flips on Will and KUSHIDA from the apron to the floor and took the fight to Marty.
Takahashi hit a death valley driver on Marty on the apron and KUSHIDA returned with a sunset flip bomb of his own to the floor. Then Ospreay hit a flip on everyone and climbed up for a 450 Splash but only got another two count.
Takahashi hit the Timebomb on Will but Marty pulled him out of the ring and hit everyone with his umbrella. Will Ospreay ducked out of the way of the umbrella shot and hit the OsCutter on Scurll for the win.
Winner and NEW IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion: Will Ospreay
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Jay White (IWGP Intercontinental Championship Match)
Jay backed Tanahashi into the turnbuckle early on but let him go, this match had some slow starting as they felt each other out.
Tanahashi knocked White to the floor with a forearm but missed a dive after Switchblade moved out of the way and it looked like he tweaked his knee which he started selling.
White worked on Hiroshi’s leg, wrapping it around the guardrail and kicking it. Once they returned to the ring, White kept working on Tanahashi’s leg and stayed on top of him.
White slapped on a modified Indian Death Lock to continue the abuse to his opponent’s legs but Tanahashi kept fighting back and he finally got to the ropes to break up the hold. Finally, after taking a lot of abuse to his leg, Tanahashi countered with a dragon screw and a side Russain leg sweep to White.
But Jay White kept fighting and focusing on Tanahashi’s leg whenever he could while his opponent did the same which drove Switchblade to the floor. Tanahashi climbed to the top rope and hit a beautiful crossbody on Jay White to the floor.
Jay hit a gutwrench German suplex once they returned to the ring which sent his opponent out of the ring where he hit a sit vertical suplex on the apron before climbing to the high rent district. White leapt from the top rope before getting down without taking the leap.
White drove his knees into his opponent while Red Shoes (the referee) tried to pry him off. White dared him to show him what he’s got so that got him a slap across the face. Then White hit a suplex into the turnbuckle followed by a death valley driver.
Tanahashi avoided a missile dropkick from the top and turned it into a dragonscrew and then he hit a neckbreaker. Tanahashi climbed to the top rope but was chopped right back down before White climbed up to join him.
Tanahashi hit a Twist And Shout from the top rope but White didn’t back down. Tanahashi hit two slingblades and got a two count. Then he climbed back up and hit a cross body on White but missed a second time. White wrapped Tanahashi up and drove elbows into his face.
Then White hit the Kiwi Crusher but Tanahashi kicked out at two. He tried for a Blade Runner but it was reversed into a bridged German suplex for another two count. Tanahashi climbed up to the top rope and waited for White to get on his feet, he slapped Jay and hit him with a cross body across the back and then climbed up to hit another one.
Winner and STILL IWGP Intercontinental Champion: Hiroshi Tanahashi
Kenny Omega vs Chris Jericho (IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship Match)
Jericho had his light-up $50,000 jacket on and it looked ready for a war as Fozzy’s “Judas” played and he literally sang himself to the ring. Omega came to the ring in an Egyptian looking god headdress on with the Young Bucks by his side.
Jericho jumped Omega as he was hugging The Young Bucks and the young boys around the ring had to jump in to break them up. Omega said he was okay and the bell sounded while this match took off like a hockey fight.
The fight spilt outside and Jericho took out a cameraman and Omega sent Jericho crashing into the guardrail after Jericho caught him. Then Omega hit another baseball slide that sent Jericho over the guardrail and onto the announce table. Omega jumped over the top rope in a springboard move and went through the announce table while Jericho moved out of the way and then Chris slapped on the Walls Of Jericho on Omega on top of the busted announce table.
Red Shoes tried to stop the Walls Of Jericho, but Y2J shoved him down and slapped the Walls Of Jericho on Red Shoes’ son.
Kenny Omega came to rescue him though and smashed Jericho onto the table and hit him with a chair and a monitor that is probably not as user-friendly as the ones Y2J is used to in WWE. Y2J even sat down for a little rest on a chair for a split second which got an audible chuckle from the crowd.
When Jericho walked back over to Omega he was met with Omega hitting him with a table and then Omega climbed up the set and hit a dive onto the table and Jericho at the same time.
Jericho was tossed over the guardrail and Omega tried to suplex him but Jericho reversed it. The referee just started counting and they had to make it back in the ring before they were counted out. Apparently, No DQ doesn’t mean no count out. They got in okay though and traded some shots on the apron.
Omega tried to hit a springboard move, but Y2J went for a springboard dropkick at the same time and knocked Omega down. Jericho set a table up at ringside that he found under the ring and started to powerbomb Omega through it. Omega blocked it so Jericho just spun around and powerbombed him onto the floor. That was brutal.
Jericho took a camera from a photographer at ringside and started snapping pictures of Kenny and then he turned around and started giving the camera the finger while he kept snapping pictures. That cameraman got some good pictures, maaaaan. When they returned to the ring, the two continued to fight on.
Jericho hit a dropkick from the second rope and Omega kicked out at two. Jericho hit the Lionsault but waited before going for the pin so he could listen to the response. Jericho posed over Omega but soon caught a hurricanrana from Omega and a clothesline sent Jericho to the floor. Then Omega hit his Rise Of The Terminator dive on Jericho and it landed on the money.
The two returned to the ring and Omega maintained control. Omega tried for a V Trigger but it was countered into a Walls Of Jericho which was also reversed into a V Trigger and then eventually he got on the Walls Of Jericho anyway until Omega got to the ropes and just kept climbing under them and started to pull at the ring until he pulled out some “cold spray” and got Jericho in the eyes with it causing Jericho to let go.
Omega took a bump into the chair that he had wedged in the corner previously in the match and Jericho asked for a towel to wipe his eyes because he couldn’t see. Jericho smashed Omega against the turnbuckle a couple times and taunted the crowd and they all hated him.
Kenny Omega got his head put through the chair once again and Y2J posed as he lounged in the corner. Omega was busted open once again.
Jericho sent Omega down with a back elbow off the ropes and he hammered on Omega’s bloody forehead. Omega retaliated with a comeback by dropping Jericho on the back of his head over and over again until Jericho reversed but ended up in a One Winged Angel. Y2J hammered down on Omega in an attempt to block the move which worked and then he nailed Omega with a chair shot to the head that was very unprotected.
Jericho grabbed another chair because he destroyed the first one and he whacked Omega over and over again across the back and side with the chair. Then he jumped off the top middle rope with a chair and drove it into Kenny Omega’s back. Jericho was climbing to the top rope with a chair but caught a dropkick through the chair that whacked him in the face but he didn’t fall. Then Omega hit him with another running knee and Jericho went crashing through the table below.
They returned to the ring and Omega hit a brutal kick to the back of Jericho’s head and another under his chin. Then he hit a knee to the face that about took his head off. Jericho kicked out after a very close near-fall and then Omega hit the V Trigger. He picked Jericho up for the One Winged Angel, but Y2J turned it into a Walls Of Jericho then he turned it into a Lion Tamer and Omega fought to hang in there. But then Omega got to the ropes and Jericho broke the hold even though it’s a No DQ match.
Jericho went for the Codebreaker but Omega reversed and hit two V Triggers and a One Winged Angel. Red Shoes got down to make the count when Omega made the cover. 1-2- annnnd Jericho grabbed the bottom rope.
Kenny climbed to the top rope but Jericho crotched him on the turnbuckle. But Omega sent him down into the turnbuckle. Omega got up to fight on. Jericho reversed out of Omega’s attempt at a splash and hit a Codebreaker for another two count. Jericho placed a chair on Omega and went for a Lionsault but Kenny threw the chair and hit Jericho, then he caught Y2J with the One Winged Angel on the chair. That was all it took.
Winner and STILL IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion: Kenny Omega
Kazuchika Okada vs. Tetsuya Naito IWGP Heavyweight Championship Match
Okada and Naito had a lot to follow after the Alpha vs Omega match and they certainly delivered. Even though the match was roughly the same length, let’s try to keep this recap a little shorter, shall we?
The two were pretty evenly matched throughout the match and they softened each other up well for their finishing moves. Things started to come together for Okada near the end as he mounted a return and a bunch of back elbows to cause Naito to roll to the floor.
Okada took off in a dead sprint and took out Naito and then he hit Tetsuya with an elevated DDT using the guardrail to the floor which is just a brutal move.
They eventually ended up on the top rope where Okada fought off his opponent where he perched himself on the top rope but he crashed and burned to the mat with a senton. Okada tried for a gutwrench suplex but Naito held on. Then he hit a Rainmaker for a two count.
After another mounting comeback to a crescendo, Okada maintained wrist control and he nailed Naito with another Rain Maker but when he went for another one, he was countered into a Destino for another near fall. Okada started hitting uppercuts and Naito countered but Okada eventually hit a beautiful dropkick and a tombstone.
Instead of going for the pin he went for another Rain Maker but it was countered into a Destino and he tried for another one. Then Okada countered out of that one and hit a spinning tombstone followed by a Rain Maker for the win. It looks like Okada is still pretty much invincible.
Winne and STILL IWGP Heavyweight Champion: Kazuchika Okada