Wrestle Kingdom 13 is upon us, and in order to help you, the reader, become acquainted with the various players and stables, while giving you some insight into the matches themselves, Josiah MacDonald and Laura Mauro have teamed up to preview the show. This serves as both a preview and an introduction to NJPW. Part two can be read here!
NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 13 is the biggest show of the year for NJPW and it promises to deliver some of the biggest matches of the year. When the opening match on the main card is Will Ospreay vs. Kota Ibushi, you know you are in for a wild night. However, before the main card, there is a preshow! The preshow begins at 11 PM PT, 2 AM ET, 7 AM GMT and can be viewed on NJPW World and Fite TV.
Most Violent Players (Togi Makabe & Toru Yano (CHAOS)) & Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Yuji Nagata, Jeff Cobb, & David Finlay vs. CHAOS (Hirooki Goto, Trent Beretta, & Chuck Taylor) vs. Suzuki-gun (The Killer Elite Squad (Lance Archer & Davey Boy Smith Jr.) & Minoru Suzuki) vs. The Elite (Hangman Page, Yujiro Takahashi, & Marty Scurll) Gauntlet Match to determine the #1 Contender to the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship
Josiah: While at first glance, this seems to be a throwaway match on the preshow just to get most of the wrestlers on the card, there are still some very interesting stories to be told in this match. The first is that Toru Yano, a member of CHAOS, is competing outside of his stable. Years ago, CHAOS was formed when Yano betrayed Makabe, choosing Shinsuke Nakamura as his leader going forward. During the Tag League, however, Makabe saved Yano from an attack, seemingly repairing their friendship. Adding Taguchi to the mix, (which adds Yano to the comedy “group” Taguchi Japan) actually makes for a very interesting team.
Makabe and Yano were known to be absolutely violent in their matches, as their name indicates, and the others will have to watch out for them in this match. Meanwhile, CHAOS will have to deal with the possibility of facing their stablemate, and deal with the internal conflict of wondering who the mole is that Jay White (the leader of the Bullet Club) keeps talking about. \
Minoru Suzuki, on the other hand, can’t be happy about being relegated to the preshow, so he will probably have an extra edge to him in attacking his opponents. Everyone’s favourite Murder Grandpa will be looking to brutalize everyone in the ring while KES sticks with him, and they look for gold in 2019.
The Elite also have a question mark above them. With them being removed from the Bullet Club, and their status being largely unknown going forward, it can be argued that they need this win more than anyone else. Jeff Cobb, David Finlay, and Yuji Nagata can never be counted out either. There are a lot of options about who could win in this one, but I think I’m putting my money on Makabe, Yano, and Taguchi.
Josiah’s Prediction: Most Violent Players & Ryusuke Taguchi
Laura’s Prediction: KES & Minoru Suzuki
Minoru Suzuki vs. Kazuchika Okada (G1 Climax 2017 – August 8, 2017)
Minoru Suzuki vs. Hirooki Goto (Wrestle Kingdom 12 – January 4, 2018)
Minoru Suzuki vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi (The New Beginning in Sapporo 2018 – Day 2 – January 28th, 2018)