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NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 12 Review: Tranquilo Assenayo, Let it Rain!

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NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 12 was a great show. Wrestle Kingdom keeps getting better each and every year and this one was no different. There was no bad match, every match felt special in its own way and it had a lot of memorable moments. So let’s begin:


The New Japan Rumble was a fun match. The New Japan Rumble is basically a combination of the Royal Rumble and the Aztec Warfare match where you can eliminate your opponent by pinfall, submission, or throwing the opponent over the top rope. Anyway, let’s talk about the match.

Katsuya Kitamura Vs. BUSHI started the New Japan Rumble as Katsuya Kitamura was #1 and BUSHI was #2. Both men had a fun exchange for what it was.

Entering at #3 was Delirious. Delirious has made another appearance in NJPW! Mark out moment! Nice to see Delirious on this show as it was a surprise to me. Delirious did well in this match as he got some offense in the early get go.

Entering at #4 was Leo Tonga. Leo Tonga had a nice outing in this match as his exchange with Katsuya Kitamura was fun to watch.

Entering at #5 was Manabu Nakanishi. Manabu Nakanishi did well for himself here as he managed to get some offense in the match.

Entering at #6 was Chase Owens. Chase Owens did well for himself here as he managed to showcase himself well in this match.

The first elimination came when Chase Owens hit a package piledriver on Delirious to eliminate him from the match. It was fun while it lasted for Delirious.

The second elimination came when Manabu Nakanishi threw BUSHI over the top rope to eliminate him from the match. Man, didn’t expect BUSHI to get eliminated from the match this early. That’s unfortunate.

Entering at #7 was Yuji Nagata. Yuji Nagata did well as he showed that he still has it after being in wrestling for more than two decades.

The third elimination came when Manabu Nakanishi threw Yuji Nagata onto Leo Tonga as both men pin Leo Tonga to eliminate him from the match. Not a bad showing from Leo Tonga here.

Entering at #8 was TAKA Michinoku. TAKA Michinoku did well for himself in the match as he still has what it takes inside that ring.

The fourth elimination came when Yuji Nagata did a crucifix pin on Manabu Nakanishi to eliminate him from the match. Well, Manabu Nakanishi did alright for himself here so he had nothing to be ashamed of.

The fifth elimination came when Chase Owens and Katsuya Kitamura were pinning Yuji Nagata at the same time to eliminate him from the match. Okay, I didn’t see that coming. That was interesting.

The sixth elimination came when Chase Owens hit a package piledriver on Katsuya Kitamura to eliminate him from the match. Man, Chase Owens is on a roll as he got the most eliminations so far. Very impressed.

Entering at #9 was Yoshinobu Kanemaru. Yoshinobu Kanemaru did well for himself in this match as he was helping his Suzuki-gun member, TAKA Michinoku.

Entering at #10 was El Desperado. El Desperado did well for himself as he was working with his Suzuki-gun members, TAKA Michinoku and Yoshinobu Kanemaru in this match.

The seventh elimination came when TAKA Michinoku and Yoshinobu Kanemaru threw Chase Owens over the top rope to eliminate him from the match. Chase Owens had an impressive outing in this match so he had nothing to be ashamed of.

Entering at #11 was Jushin “Thunder” Liger. Jushin “Thunder” Liger did well in this match as he was on fire when he was taking on Suzuki-gun on his own.

Entering at #12 was Tiger Mask. Tiger Mask did well in this match as he worked with Jushin “Thunder” Liger to try to take down Suzuki-gun.

Entering at #13 was Gino Gambino. This was Gino Gambino’s first appearance in NJPW and I think he did pretty well for himself in this match.

The eighth and ninth elimination came when TAKA Michinoku pin Jushin “Thunder” Liger and El Desperado to eliminate them both from the match. Okay, that was weird.

The tenth and eleventh elimination came when Gino Gambino pin Yoshinobu Kanemaru and Tiger Mask at the same time to eliminate them both from the match. Wow, already two eliminations for Gino Gambino. Good for him.

The twelfth elimination came when Gino Gambino hit a clothesline on TAKA Michinoku to eliminate him from the match. Man, Gino Gambino is on a roll. Good for him.

Entering at #14 was Henare. Henare was impressive in this match as he had a nice exchange with Gino Gambino in this match. His Samoan drop on Gino Gambino was impressive.

Entering at #15 was YOSHI-HASHI. YOSHI-HASHI did well for himself as he was one of the favorites to win the match.

Entering at #16 was David Finlay. David Finlay did well for himself in this match as he is trying to show that he is his own man.

The thirteenth elimination came when David Finlay and Henare pin Gino Gambino to eliminate him from the match. Man, a lot of people doing double pins on people. Jeez it!

The fourteenth elimination came when YOSHI-HASHI hit a dropkick on Henare to eliminate him from the match. A nice showing from Henare here despite being eliminated.

The fifteenth elimination came when David Finlay rolled up YOSHI-HASHI to eliminate him from the match. Wow, didn’t expect David Finlay to eliminate YOSHI-HASHI the way he did. Good for him.

Entering at #17 was Yujiro Takahashi. Yujiro Takahashi did well for himself in this match as he was representing Bullet Club and his girl was so smoking hot.

The sixteenth elimination came when Yujiro Takahashi hit David Finlay with a clothesline over the top rope to eliminate him from the match. Nice showing from David Finlay despite being eliminated.

Entering at #18 was Cheeseburger. Oh my god, Cheeseburger has made his another appearance in NJPW! Mark out moment! Even though I’m not the biggest fan of Cheeseburger, I can’t deny that he’s talented and he was over huge in Japan so great for him.

Entering at #19 was Satoshi Kojima. Satoshi Kojima did well for himself in this match as his exchange with Yujiro Takahashi was good.

Entering at #20 was Hiroyoshi Tenzan. Hiroyoshi Tenzan did well for himself in this match as his exchange with Yujiro Takahashi was good.

Entering at #21 was Masahito Kakhihara. Oh my god, Masahito Kakihara has made his return to NJPW for one night only! Mark out moment! He is known for his work in NJPW in the past and was dealing with cancer, but now he’s fully recovered and he’s back. What a moment.

The seventeenth elimination came when Satoshi Kojima hit a lariat on Yujiro Takahashi and pin him to eliminate him from the match. Yujiro Takahashi had a nice showcase in this match so good for him.

The eighteenth elimination came when Cheeseburger pulled down the ropes to make Satoshi Kojima to go over the top rope to eliminate him from the match. Nice run from Satoshi Kojima in this match.

The nineteenth elimination came when Masahito Kakhihara and Cheeseburger both worked on Hiroyoshi Tenzan to push him off the ropes to eliminate him from the match. Just like with Satoshi Kojima, nice run from Hiroyoshi Tenzan in this match.

The match between Cheeseburger Vs. Masahito Kakhihara was fun to watch for the time it had. The exchange between the two was fun to watch and I wished there was more.

The ending of the match came when Masahito Kakhihara hit a STO on Cheesburger for the pin and to win the match. Even though this match wasn’t anything special, it was fun and we got to see some appearances from Japanese and gaijin legends so it was all good. Nice to see a return from Masahito Kakhihara here and glad he survived cancer.

Fun match for the pre-show and congratulations to Masahito Kakhihara.

We then get a video package highlighting the matches for Wrestle Kingdom 12. This is good as it helps build up the matches later on the show to make people excited for it. Well produced video package here.

Roppongi 3K Vs. The Young Bucks for the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Championships was a great tag team match. Rocky Romero was accompanying Roppongi 3K to the ring.

Roppongi 3K was impressive in this match as they showed that they can be a great tag team in the junior heavyweight division of NJPW. The way that YOH was selling his back throughout the match was great. The German suplex on Matt Jackson, while Matt Jackson hit a German suplex on Nick Jackson by SHO, was impressive. The Young Bucks were different than their usual selves here as they tend to work more of an in-ring psychology match than a spotfest match. The German suplex from Matt Jackson on YOH on the ring apron looked painful as heck. The powerbomb from Matt Jackson on Rocky Romero looked painful as he took him out of the match. The over the top rope dive from Nick Jackson on his own brother wasn’t intentional as he was trying to hit the move on YOH, but YOH moved out of the way. The middle rope hung DDT/diving senton bomb combination on YOH was well executed. Not only that, have to give props to Matt Jackson for selling his back throughout the match. Great work by both teams here.

The ending of the match came when Nick Jackson locked in a Sharpshooter on YOH to make him tap out to win the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Championships for the seventh time! Mark out moment! Man, I really wanted Roppongi 3K to retain here, but they looked great in defeat so they had nothing to be ashamed about. The Young Bucks are now 7x IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Champions and that’s too sweet!

Great tag team match and congratulations to The Young Bucks for being the new IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Champions!

Bullet Club Vs. Taguchi Japan Vs. CHAOS Vs. Michael Elgin & War Machine Vs. Suzuki-gun for the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championships in a five-way gauntlet match was good. I’m going to break this match into four parts by the four matches in this gauntlet match so let’s get started.

Michael Elgin & War Machine Vs. Suzuki-gun starts off the gauntlet match and it was good. TAKA Michinoku, El Desperado, and Yoshinobu Kanemaru were accompanying Suzuki-gun to the ring. Not only that, I like how Suzuki-gun attacked Michael Elgin & War Machine once the bell rang which is a nice touch. Anyway, back to the match itself.

Michael Elgin & War Machine did well in this match as they got to showcase their skills in the ring. The Samoan drop/fallaway slam combination on Zack Sabre Jr. and Taichi from Michael Elgin was impressive. Hanson almost hit a beautiful moonsault on Takashi Iizuka, but Takashi Iizuka rolled out of the way. Suzuki-gun did well in this match as they got the early advantage by attacking Michael Elgin & War Machine earlier in the match. The exchange between Zack Sabre Jr. and Raymond Rowe was fun to watch. Good work by both teams here.

The ending of the first match came when Zack Sabre Jr. locked Raymond Rowe with an arm triangle choke as he passed out to eliminate Michael Elgin & War Machine from the match. Suzuki-gun moves on to the second match of the gauntlet. Good performance by Michael Elgin & War Machine despite losing.

CHAOS Vs. Suzuki-gun was a good match as CHAOS were the third team to enter the gauntlet. Once again, Suzuki-gun attacked their opponents once the bell rang.

Suzuki-gun did well in this match as they continued the momentum they had from their first match. CHAOS did everything they can to move on to the third match in the gauntlet even if they have to do dirty tactics. Good performances by both teams here.

The ending of the second match came when Toru Yano hit a low blow on Taichi and rolled him with a schoolboy to eliminate Suzuki-gun from the match. CHAOS moves on to the third match of the gauntlet. Suzuki-gun did what they could here.

Taguchi Japan Vs. CHAOS was good. The moment the match started, all six men were fighting each other inside the ring so that was cool.

Taguchi Japan did well in this match as they tried to retrieve the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championships. Juice Robinson did some nice jabs on CHAOS in the match, Togi Makabe showed his strength in the ring, and Ryusuke Taguchi hit some impressive hip attacks on CHAOS. CHAOS did well in this match too as they continued their momentum from the third match. The exchange between Tomohiro Ishii and Togi Makabe was cool to see after their rivalry between each other from the past few years. Great work by both teams here.

The ending of the match came when Toru Yano rolled up Ryusuke Taguchi with a schoolboy for the pin and to eliminate Taguchi Japan from the match. CHAOS

CHAOS Vs. Bullet Club was great. Just like with Suzuki-gun, Bullet Club came in and attacked CHAOS as soon as the bell rang.

Bullet Club did great in this match as they tried to retain their championships. The fireman’s carry slam from Tanga Roa on Beretta on the ring apron looked devastating. The counter to Beretta’s moonsault into a cutter by Tama Tonga was extremely impressive. CHAOS did great in this match too as they want to become champions. The exchange between Tomohiro Ishii and Bad Luck Fale was fun to watch and the vertical suplex from Tomohiro Ishii on Bad Luck Fale was impressive. Great work by both teams here.

The ending of the match came when Beretta hit a Dudebuster (Belly-to-back piledriver) on Tama Tonga for the pin and to win the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championships! Mark out moment! This is Beretta’s first singles title as a heavyweight so congratulations to Beretta in that regard.

Good five-way gauntlet match and congratulations to CHAOS for being the new NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Champions!

Kota Ibushi Vs. Cody was an excellent match. Mark out moment! Brandi Rhodes accompanied Cody for this match.

Cody did excellent in this match as he tried to get a victory over a big star like Kota Ibushi. The heel tactics that he has done in this match got him some great heel heat especially when he involved Brandi Rhodes into the match as she even faked out a hit from Kota Ibushi with his plancha to the outside and helped Cody to use a steel chair behind the referee’s back. His springboard Frankensteiner on Kota Ibushi was extremely impressive.

Kota Ibushi did excellent in this match as well as he wanted to get a win at Wrestle Kingdom. His moonsault to the outside on Cody was beautiful and his elevated sitout powerbomb on Cody looked devastating.

There was a spot in the match where I thought it was over as Cody hit a Cross Rhodes (Rolling cutter) on Kota Ibushi from the ring apron to the floor! Mark out moment! That was an awesome spot and it looked like it killed Kota Ibushi. Not only that, Kota Ibushi managed to get back in the ring before the twenty count which is impressive. Excellent work by both men here.

The ending of the match came when Kota Ibushi hit Cody with the corkscrew 450 splash for the pin and win. A great win for Kota Ibushi even though Cody lost, he looked excellent in defeat so he had nothing to be ashamed of. Not only that, I’m interested to see if Kenny Omega will get involved in this feud in some way as Cody mentioned Kenny Omega during the match against Kota Ibushi since Kota Ibushi and Kenny Omega were friends and tag team partners known as Golden Lovers. Maybe we’ll get the tension between Cody and Kenny Omega, but we’ll see.

Excellent match and I’m interested if Kenny Omega will get involved more in this storyline between Cody and Kota Ibushi.

Killer Elite Squad Vs. Los Ingobernables de Japon for the IWGP Tag Team Championships was an excellent tag team match. Mark out moment! Los Ingobernables de Japon won World Tag League last year and earned a shot at the IWGP Tag Team Championships which led to this match and it was excellent.

Killer Elite Squad did excellent in this match as they did everything they could to retain their championships. They were dominant against Los Ingobernables de Japon throughout the entire match as the moment the bell rang, they hit the Killer Bomb (Sitout full nelson slam/sitout powerbomb combination) on EVIL, but SANADA broke it up. Lance Archer‘s chokeslam on EVIL on top of SANADA and the young lions on the outside was cool to see. The overhead side slam on EVIL from Lance Archer from the top rope was extremely impressive from Lance Archer.

Los Ingobernables de Japon did excellent in this match as they want to bring tag team gold to their faction. The STO from EVIL on Lance Archer looked devastating and the aided snap swinging neckbreaker from Los Ingobernables de Japon on Davey Boy Smith Jr. was impressive to see.

There was a spot in the match where it was over when Killer Elite Squad hit the Killer Bomb on SANADA, but SANADA managed to kick out. Wow, that’s a lot of guts from SANADA. Excellent work by both teams here.

The ending of the match came when SANADA hit a moonsault on Davey Boy Smith Jr. for the pin and to win the IWGP Tag Team Championships! Mark out moment! Congratulations to Los Ingobernables de Japon as they deserve to be tag team champions. Everything is evil!

Excellent tag team match and congratulations to Los Ingobernables de Japon for being the new IWGP Tag Team Champions!

Minoru Suzuki Vs. Hirooki Goto for the NEVER Openweight Championship in a No Cornermen match where the loser must shave their head was excellent. Mark out moment! These two have been feuding with each other for the past year where both men were willing to put their hair on the line and no one will get involved in the match.

Minoru Suzuki did excellent in this match as he tried to humiliate Hirooki Goto once again. His sleeper holds on Hirooki Goto looked painful as Hirooki Goto looked out cold every time Minoru Suzuki locked the move in. The running dropkick from Minoru Suzuki on Hirooki Goto was perfectly executed.

Hirooki Goto did excellent in this match as well as he tried to get a win over Minoru Suzuki. His fireman’s carry dropped on to a knee on Minoru Suzuki looked devastating and his headbutt on Minoru Suzuki had to hurt. Despite Suzuki-gun trying to interfere in the match, CHAOS was there to stop them.

There was a spot in the match where I thought it was over when Hirooki Goto hit an avalanche fireman’s carry dropped onto a knee on Minoru Suzuki, but Minoru Suzuki managed to kick out. Wow, that was impressive for Minoru Suzuki kicking out of that. Excellent work by both men here.

The ending of the match came when Hirooki Goto hit GTR (Spinning headlock lariat into a backbreaker) on Minoru Suzuki for the pin and to win the NEVER Openweight Championship! Mark out moment! A great win for Hirooki Goto as he finally got the gold back and keeps his hair.

After the match, Suzuki-gun tried to take Minoru Suzuki to the back, but Minoru Suzuki went back into the ring with a chair as he hit the chair inside the ring and placed his chair down. He then took the head shaver from Hirooki Goto and began to shaved his own head as he put his hair on the chair and left.

Man, a lot of respect from Minoru Suzuki there. He didn’t have to follow the rules, but he did it anyway so props to him. Let’s see how Hirooki Goto will do as NEVER Openweight Champion once again.

Excellent No Cornermen match and congratulations to Hirooki Goto for being the new NEVER Openweight Champion!

We then get an announcement from NJPW that The New Beginning in Sapporo will happen on January 27 and 28, The New Beginning in Osaka on February 10, The 46th Anniversary Show on March 6, the New Japan Cup 2018 on March 21, the Strong Style Evolved show on March 25, Sakura Genesis on April 1, Wrestling Toyonokuni on April 29, Wrestling Dontaku on May 3 and 4, Best of the Super Jr. 25 on May 18, Dominion on June 9, Kizuna Road on June 15, G1 Climax 28 on July 14, 15, 16, August 10, 11, and 12. Nice announcements from NJPW as I’m looking forward to those events this year.

Marty Scurll Vs. KUSHIDA Vs. Will Ospreay Vs. Hiromu Takahashi for the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship in a four-way match was excellent. Mark out moment! The entrance that Marty Scurll did was cool to see as he appeared as a crow. All four of these men went out there and delivered an excellent match where either man could have won and it would have been believable.

KUSHIDA did excellent in this match as he tried to become the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship once again. His high-angle senton from the top rope to the outside on everyone was executed perfectly. His diving cross armbreaker on Will Ospreay has to be painful for Will Ospreay. His sunset flip powerbomb on Hiromu Takahashi from the ring apron to the floor looked like it killed Hiromu Takahashi.

Hiromu Takahashi did excellent in this match as he tried to bring gold back to Los Ingobernables de Japon. His sunset flip powerbomb on Will Ospreay and Marty Scurll from the ring apron to the outside looked painful as heck. His overhead belly-to-belly suplex on Will Ospreay to the corner looked like it killed Will Ospreay.

Marty Scurll did excellent in this match to tried to retain his championship. His springboard cutter on Will Ospreay was perfectly executed as he used Will Ospreay’s move to humiliate him. As always from Marty Scurll, he broke almost everyone’s fingers in this match and he did. Not only that, he used his umbrella and other dirty heel tactics in this match including wrapping tape on Hiromu Takahashi to the barricade and throwing powder on KUSHIDA’s face.

Will Ospreay did excellent in this match as well as he wants to get back the championship he once held. His moonsault from near the top of the steel barricade onto everyone was freaking amazing! Mark out moment! This is why Will Ospreay is considered to be one of the best high fliers in the world and this was one of the reasons. His springboard shooting star press on Marty Scurll and KUSHIDA was beautifully executed.

There were several spots in this match where either man could have won. There was a spot where Hiromu Takahashi hit a Time Bomb (Fireman’s carry swung into a high-angle sitout side powerslam) on Marty Scurll, but Marty Scurll managed to kick out of it. Wow, props to Marty Scurll kicking out of that. There was another spot where KUSHIDA hit a fisherman buster into a small package on Marty Scurll, but Will Ospreay broke up the pin with the jumping corkscrew roundhouse kick on KUSHIDA. That was an innovative way of breaking up the win. Finally, I thought Hiromu Takahashi was going to become the new IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion when Hiromu Takahashi hit the Time Bomb on Will Ospreay, but Marty Scurll pulled the referee out to saved the match. Smart thinking from Marty Scurll there. Excellent work by all four men here.

The ending of the match came when Will Ospreay hit Marty Scurll with the OsCutter (Springboard cutter) for the pin and to win the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship. A great win for Will Ospreay as he gained back the gold. However, this was yet another quick title change for the championship and I didn’t appreciate that. But it is what it is.

Excellent four-way match and congratulations to Will Ospreay for being the new IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion.

We then get a video package of the Hiroshi Tanahashi and Jay White feud which was good. Hiroshi Tanahashi said that he is the ace of NJPW and he’s happy to be holding the IWGP Intercontinental Championship and Jay White said that he wants to make a name for himself and the way to do that is to face and beat the ace of NJPW, Hiroshi Tanahashi. Well produced video package here.

Hiroshi Tanahashi Vs. Jay White for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship was a great match. Jay White has made his in-ring return to NJPW! Mark out moment! It’s been a while since we last saw Jay White in NJPW due to his excursion, but now he’s back as “Switchblade” Jay White. This was Jay White’s biggest match in NJPW to date and this was probably a test for him to see if he can hang with the best in NJPW and for this night, he did great, but could have done better.

Jay White was trying to show Hiroshi Tanahashi if he’s still the ace, but doing everything he could to him. The way he was working on Hiroshi Tanahashi’s leg was great in-ring psychology. His brainbuster on Hiroshi Tanahashi on the ring apron looked devastating. His Kiwi Krusher (Outside leghook fisherman driver) on Hiroshi Tanahashi was well executed. Hiroshi Tanahashi tried to prove to Jay White that he is still the ace of NJPW. His diving crossbody on Jay White to the outside was beautifully executed and his dragon leg screws on Jay White looked painful as heck. Great work by both men here.

The ending of the match came when Hiroshi Tanahashi hit the High Fly Flow (Frog splash) on Jay White for the pin and to retain the IWGP Intercontinental Championship. A good win for Hiroshi Tanahashi and despite Jay White losing here, he looked great in defeat. However, I felt like Jay White could have done better than what he had, but it was still a good effort.

Great match and congratulations for Hiroshi Tanahashi for retaining the IWGP Intercontinental Championship!

We then get a video package of the Kenny Omega and Chris Jericho feud which was good. Chris Jericho talked about how he is the alpha of professional wrestling and he looks to prove it against Kenny Omega while Kenny Omega said that he wants to NJPW to be known worldwide and if he has to do it in any way he has to, he will do it which includes facing Chris Jericho in a No Disqualification match. Well produced video package here.

Kenny Omega Vs. Chris Jericho for the IWGP US Heavyweight Championship in a No Disqualification match was excellent. Mark out moment! Chris Jericho has made his in-ring return to NJPW! Mark out moment! It’s been twenty years since the last time Chris Jericho stepped foot in NJPW and he’s back for one night against Kenny Omega and it’s a dream match in the making where it delivered.

Chris Jericho did excellent in this match as he tried to show Kenny Omega that he is the alpha of professional wrestling. His Lionsault (middle rope springboard moonsault) on Kenny Omega was well executed. His powerbomb on Kenny Omega to the outside looked like it broke Kenny Omega’s back. His back springboard dropkick on Kenny Omega’s knee made Kenny Omega fell on the ropes hard on his stomach which looked painful. His chair shots to Kenny Omega looked painful to the point where Kenny Omega began to bleed because of it.

Kenny Omega did excellent in this match too as he tried to prove to Chris Jericho that he is the best in the world. His somersault dive on Chris Jericho to the outside was beautifully executed. His Knee Triggers (Running knee strikes) on Chris Jericho looked lethal as heck as it looked he broke Chris Jericho’s mouth and teeth as they were bleeding from his mouth and he made him fell through a table to the outside with one of those Knee Triggers. His snap dragon suplexes on Chris Jericho looked it broke Chris Jericho’s neck every time he hits the move.

There was a spot in the match that was completely insane as Kenny Omega tried to hit a springboard crossbody on Chris Jericho to the outside over the barricade, but Chris Jericho moved out of the way and Kenny Omega landed through the table! Mark out moment! Wow, that was insane from Kenny Omega there taking a huge risk like that. There were certain spots in the match where I thought it was over when Kenny Omega hit the One-Winged Angel on Chris Jericho, but Chris Jericho grabbed the bottom rope to broke up the pin. Very smart from Chris Jericho as he managed to save the match. There was also a point where Chris Jericho had Kenny Omega in the Walls of Jericho (Elevated Boston Crab) and Liontamer (Elevated Boston Crab with a knee to the opponent’s neck), but Kenny Omega found a way out of it and never tapped out. Wow, incredible. Finally, Chris Jericho hit the Codebreaker (Double knee facebreaker) on Kenny Omega, but Kenny Omega managed to kick out. Man, these two were giving their all and I love every single minute of it. Excellent work from both men here.

The ending of the match came when Kenny Omega hit One-Winged Angel (One-handed electric chair driver) on Chris Jericho for the pin and to retain his IWGP US Heavyweight Championship. Wow, what a match. No words can describe how awesome this match was, incredible. Congratulations to Kenny Omega for a hard-fought match here and despite Chris Jericho losing here, he showed the world that he still has it and I would love to see Chris Jericho in NJPW one day.

Excellent No Disqualification match and congratulations to Kenny Omega for retaining his IWGP US Heavyweight Championship!

We then get a video package of the Kazuchika Okada and Tetsuya Naito feud which was good. They showed the history between Kazuchika Okada and Tetsuya Naito dating back into Wrestle Kingdom 8 which is nice to see. Well produced video package here.

Kazuchika Okada Vs. Tetsuya Naito for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship was an excellent match. Mark out moment! These two have a history with each other dating back at Wrestle Kingdom 8 so we know these two can put on amazing matches and this one was no different.

Tetsuya Naito did excellent in this match as he tried to prove that he can beat Kazuchika Okada. His neckbreakers on Kazuchika Okada on the barricade and on the ring apron looked devastating. His super reverse hurricanrana on Kazuchika Okada was executed perfectly and his spinning front-flip piledriver on Kazuchika Okada looked like it took off Kazuchika Okada’s head.

Kazuchika Okada did excellent in this match too as he tried to prove that he should be the new ace of NJPW. His dropkicks on Tetsuya Naito when he’s on the top rope and in the middle of the ring were executed perfectly. His snap DDT in the ring and outside of the ring on top of the barricade on Tetsuya Naito looked like it cracked Tetsuya Naito’s neck.

There were certain spots in the match that was insane where I thought the match could be over and I thought either man could have won. There was a spot where Kazuchika Okada hit a Rainmaker (Wrist-lock transitioned into a short-arm lariat) on Tetsuya Naito that made him flipped, but he managed to kick out. Wow, props for Tetsuya Naito kicking out of that as it looked like the move took his head off. There was another spot where Tetsuya Naito hit the Destino (Modified standing shiranui) on Kazuchika Okada out of nowhere, but Kazuchika Okada managed to kick out. Man, that was impressive by Kazuchika Okada as he did it by peer instinct. Excellent work by both men here.

The ending of the match came when Kazuchika Okada hit Tetsuya Naito with a Jumping Spinning Tombstone Piledriver followed by a Rainmaker for the pin and win. Wow, just wow. What an incredible match where both men put their bodies on the line here. Incredible. Even though Tetsuya Naito lost here, he proved that he could be the man in NJPW and can become world champion again down the line. Incredible.

After the match, Gedo cut a promo on Tetsuya Naito saying that Kenny Omega had an amazing performance against Kazuchika Okada, but the top guy in NJPW is still Kazuchika Okada. Kazuchika Okada then cut a promo by re-saying what Gedo said about Tetsuya Naito as he thanks the fans for attending Wrestle Kingdom 12 and that he will continue to be the ace of NJPW.

It was nice to see Gedo and Kazuchika Okada putting over Tetsuya Naito as they didn’t have to so it was very cool for them to put Tetsuya Naito over as he performed excellently on this show. However, still the IWGP Heavyweight Champion, “The Rainmaker” Kazuchika Okada! Let it rain!

Excellent match and good post-match as I’m interested to see who will face Kazuchika Okada next for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship as well as what’s next for Tetsuya Naito in NJPW.

Overall, Wrestle Kingdom 12 was a great show. A lot of good to great to excellent matches and very well memorable moments. Wrestle Kingdom keeps getting better each and every year and this was no different as I’m interested to see how NJPW will do this year. New Japan! New Japan! New Japan!


Mark Out Moments: 16


That is my review of NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 12 on January 4, 2018.

Do you agree or disagree with my thoughts on this show?

What do you like and dislike about the show?

Put them in the comment section below.

Thank you for reading.

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