10 Things You Need To Know Before Wrestle Kingdom 14

Hiroshi Tanahashi and Another Promotion’s Champion

Chris Jericho has been one of only two men to compete for New Japan and All Elite Wrestling at the same time. This time, however, he will be competing in New Japan as AEW World Champion. Jericho is scheduled to face Hiroshi Tanahashi for the first time ever on Night Two. For the most part New Japan and AEW have not acknowledged each other while Jericho has competed for them. When he is in a New Japan ring he is New Japan, and vice versa with AEW.

This may be changing. Tanahashi made headlines by saying that if he defeats Jericho at Wrestle Kingdom 14 he wants an AEW World Championship match. This may have been a throwaway comment by Tanahashi but it brings into question what does happen if he wins. AEW and New Japan have seemed unwilling to work together recently but Tanahashi challenging for the AEW World Title would be a big step towards that happening.

Of course the quick fix in that scenario could just be that Jericho beats Tanahashi but it is worth keeping in mind.

The Grudge Match of Wrestle Kingdom 14

Who knows if this match even happens if Typhoon Hagibis doesn’t keep Jon Moxley out of Japan in October. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, Moxley has a big two nights ahead of him.

Jon Moxley was the IWGP United States Champion through the Summer and was scheduled to defend the title against Juice Robinson at King of Pro Wrestling in October. Mother Nature wasn’t having it and Typhoon Hagibis kept Moxley from being able to make his scheduled appearance. As a result he was stripped of the title and Lance Archer defeated Juice to win the vacant belt. Now, Moxley has the chance to settle the score.

Moxley is scheduled to face Archer for the title in a Texas Deathmatch on Night One. The winner of that match will face Juice on Night Two. If we are being realistic, Moxley is probably winning the title back. New Japan likes to stick to their plans as much as possible and Moxley and Juice have yet to have their rubber match.

Moxley defeated Juice at the Best of the Super Juniors Final in June. It was their first meeting in a singles match in over seven years. The two have a history dating back to their time in FCW and it has led to a very bitter rivalry in 2019.

Juice managed to even the score against Moxley by beating him on G1 Climax Day 18 but that was the last meeting to date. As mentioned above, they were meant to have their grudge match in October but why not just have their biggest match at the biggest show possible?

Wrestle Kingdom 14 Main Event Combinations

Wrestle Kingdom 14’s main event is unprecedented. Try to follow along here. On Night One, Jay White will defend the IWGP Intercontinental Championship against Tetsuya Naito and Kazuchika Okada is set to defend the IWGP Heavyweight Championship against Kota Ibushi. The winner of each match will then face each other in the main event of Night Two to crown the Double Champion. The loser of each match will also face each other on Night Two.

Everybody got that? What is most interesting is that any combination of these men could make up a realistic main event match.

Okada and Naito have a history that dates back to 2013 when Naito won his first G1 Climax. They battled over the IWGP Heavyweight Championship at Wrestle Kingdom 8 and Wrestle Kingdom 12 and it just does not feel like their story is over. More on this later.

Okada and White could also easily main event Wrestle Kingdom 14 given their history. White and Gedo betrayed Okada and joined Bullet Club, leading to a blowoff match between the two at Wrestle Kingdom 13. Jay White won that match and many people were calling for them to main event this year’s show after their performances. White won the IWGP Heavyweight Championship and lost it to Okada at G1 Supercard and the two haven’t wrestled since. That could all change on January 5.

Ibushi and Naito had a hellacious rivalry over the IWGP Intercontinental Championship in 2019. Frankly their feud may have gone over the line by the end. Ibushi hit his head on the apron during their match at Dominion in June and it had many critics throwing their hands up at the unnecessary risks taken. It is possible that they clash one more time but I see this as one of the less likely options.

Finally, we have Ibushi and White. The two men who competed in the G1 Climax Final could face one another again. They had the best heel vs. babyface match in all of 2019 and there may not be a better way to close out Wrestle Kingdom 14 than with a rematch. Ibushi is one of the best babyfaces in the world and White is easily one of the best heels in the world. If you put them together in the Tokyo Dome you might have the best formula for a big crowd reaction possible.

Kazuchika Okada’s Ultimate Coronation

The final four entries on this list will focus on the four main event participants. The first of which will be Kazuchika Okada.

Okada has been the undisputed Ace of New Japan Pro Wrestling since 2016. Since dethroning Hiroshi Tanahashi as the face of the promotion, Okada has cemented his place as one of the greatest wrestlers of all time. He is New Japan’s golden boy and for good reason.

This is why it makes all the sense in the world for him to be the one to hold both championships and stand tall at the end of Wrestle Kingdom 14. It does not take much to understand that New Japan trusts Okada to carry their company. If someone is going to carry the two most important belts in the promotion, a strong argument could be made that it should be Okada.

If he is chosen, this will his biggest victory since defeating Hiroshi Tanahashi at Wrestle Kingdom 10.

4 years ago by Tempest


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