New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Wrestle Kingdom 13 show at the Tokyo Dome. This is held annually on January 4th and is arguably the second-biggest event on the wrestling calendar. It is essentially New Japan’s WrestleMania — their biggest show in front of their biggest crowd.
Wrestle Kingdom 13; Date: January 4, 2019
Arena: Tokyo Dome – Location: Tokyo, Japan
Wrestle Kingdom 13; NEVER Openweight Championship:
Kota Ibushi (c) vs. Will Ospreay
Entertaining combat between two agile, technical fighters with good strikes , full of sequences, combinations, reverses and impactful blows.
Kota Ibushi was close to triumph after a Last Ride , but it didn’t go beyond the near fall . Then he tried an airborne solution, but ended up starting a final straight with many sequences and reverses . Ibushi was close to winning again, this time after a Package Piledriver , but was again unsuccessful. In response, Ospreay landed the Storm Breaker (Double Underhook Canadian Backbreaker Rack transitioned into a modified Corkscrew Neckbreaker) which gave him the victory and the title.
Winner : Will Ospreay
Rating : 8/10
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship:
Suzuki-gun (Yoshinobu Kanemaru and El Desperado) (c) vs. Roppongi 3K (Sho and Yoh) vs. Los Ingobernables de Japon (Bushi and Shingo Takagi)
Chaotic combat, always with two good men, but with the other four trying to unbalance their respective teams. Shingo Takagi gave Ingobernables de Japon the victory after applying his finisher on Sho.
Winners : Los Ingobernables de Japon (Bushi and Shingo Takagi) (new champions)
Rating : 7.5/10
Wrestle Kingdom 13; Rev Pro British Heavyweight Championship:
Tomohiro Ishii (c) vs. Zack Saber Jr.
With a strategy outlined, Zack Saber Jr. sought from the beginning to immobilize Tomohiro Ishii’s right arm, punishing him with submissions that perhaps aimed more at inflicting pain than guaranteeing victory. After punishing his opponent a lot, Saber Jr. – who will pass through Portugal on January 19th – achieved the triumph (and the title) through a submission that involved both of Ishii’s arms. Quite technical combat, but with a common thread that made it interesting to follow.
Winner : Zack Saber Jr. (New Champion)
Grade : 7/10
IWGP Tag Team Championship:
Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa) (c) vs. Los Ingobernables de Japon (Sanada and Evil) vs. The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson)
The match quickly developed outside the ring, with Evil performing a Clothesline on Matt Jackson on the ramp. However, the fight returned to the ring and turned into total chaos, with his men very involved despite only two being legal.
In the midst of the confusion, Sanada gave Los Ingobernables de Japon the victory after a Moonsault on one of the Young Bucks elements .
Winners : Los Ingobernables de Japon (Sanada and Evil) (new champions)
Grade : 7/10
Wrestle Kingdom 13; IWGP United States Championship:
Rhodes (c) vs. Juice Robinson
Cody tried to attack his opponent with the belt even before the bell rang, but Juice Robinson was attentive. Cody continued his tricks by playing injured to lower Juice’s defences or using his wife as a shield.
Brandi ended up expelled by the referee, but that didn’t stop Cody from being close to winning, when he saw a Cross Rhodes not go beyond the near fall . Then it was Juice’s turn to apply a Cross Rhodes , but Cody escaped. After several straights and occasions for both sides, Juice Robinson achieved triumph after an Unpreitter .
Winner : Juice Robinson (new champion)
Grade : 7/10
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship:
Kushida (c) vs. Taiji Ishimori
Combat between two agile fighters, technicians and good strikers . Always looking to inflict pain through submissions or kicks, they showed mutual knowledge by the way each one avoided the opponent’s blows. After a final stretch full of reverses, sequences and occasions on both sides to end the match, Taiji Ishimori achieved victory after a Bloody Cross .
Winner : Taiji Ishimori (new champion)
Grade : 7/10
Wrestle Kingdom 13; Kazuchika Okada vs. Jay White
The only match on the card with no title in play. Jay White used the edge of the ring and the protective barrier to legally inflict pain on Okada, thus controlling the first few minutes of the bout.
Meanwhile, the Japanese managed to recover and do some damage to White, moving into an advantageous situation. A balanced final stretch followed, divided and with good opportunities for both sides. White tried to use a chair, but without success. Then there were several projections and reversals from side to side, with White winning after a Blade Runner .
Winner : Jay White
Rating : 7.5/10
IWGP Intercontinental Championship:
Chris Jericho (c) vs. Tetsuya Naito
Naito started the attack even during Jericho’s entrance, who showed up with a painted face and hair reminiscent of the old Y2J. Following this treacherous offensive, Naito applied a Piledriver on the ramp, putting himself in a very advantageous situation.
Naito’s dominance was only interrupted when Jericho used a kendo stick to counterattack the Suicide Dive that the Japanese was preparing to apply. Afterwards, the former WWE star continued to punish his opponent outside the ring, using the protective barrier and the ground, until he returned to the ring.
At one point, Jericho started to insist on the Walls Of Jericho , but Naito managed to find a way out of submission: the first time through leg strength, the second with the help of a kendo stick .
It was precisely after dodging a kendo stick that Jericho performed the Codebreaker , but the effects of the finisher did not pass near fall . Frustrated, Y2J went to get a bunch of chairs outside the ring, but ended up falling head first on them after suffering a DDT , followed by a Codebreaker by Naito that, even so, didn’t give the victory to the Japanese.
After being in a lot of bad situations, Jericho applied a low blow and another Codebreaker , but the ensuing settlement did not come to an end. Naito responded with a Fate , but the effects didn’t go beyond near fall either . Soon after, Naito used the belt to hit Jericho’s head and applied a new Fate to achieve triumph.
Winner : Tetsuya Naito (new champion)
Wrestle Kingdom 13; IWGP Heavyweight Championship:
Kenny Omega (c) vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi
Beginning of combat with a lot of chain wrestling , but which quickly descended into a brawl after an exchange of provocations. Over time, Omega took control of operations, completely dominating, using the edge of the ring, the protective barrier and even the commentator’s table to do damage.
The advantageous situation caused Omega to show some overconfidence and, consequently, to stop controlling the fight at will, opening gaps that Tanahashi tried to exploit. And when it wasn’t overconfidence, it was his right knee that gave Omega trouble. At one point, Tanahashi applied a Styles Clash and tried to finish off the offensive with a Frog Splash , but Omega got his own knees in the Japanese way.
Tanahashi insisted on the Frog Splash , this time outside the ring where Omega was lying on a table, but I only found the table, as the champion deviated at the last moment. On his return to the ring, Omega tried to fix the matter through Powerbombs , but neither the first nor the second nor the third had any effect.
A balanced and exciting phase followed, in which both applied the most impactful blows they knew how. Omega insisted on knee strikes, Tanahashi resorted mainly to throws that affected the head and neck.
After a Full Nelson Suplex , a Diving Cross Body and a Frog Splash , it was thought that victory was assured for Tanahashi, but the ensuing settlement did not go beyond near fall . Omega responded with a Super Dragon Suplex and a knee, and as he prepared to deliver the final blow, Tanahashi responded with a Sling Blade and later the victorious Frog Splash .
Winner : Hiroshi Tanahashi (new champion)
Grade : 9/10