New Japan has stacked the deck for its next big event in October, titled “KING OF PRO-WRESTLING” to promote parent company Bushiroad’s online trading card game of the same name. The 11,500 seat Ryogoku Kokugikan once again plays host to a big night for the company, which will feature FIVE IWGP championship bouts, in addition to G1 Climax 22 winner, “Rain Maker” Kazuchika Okada risking his guaranteed IWGP Heavyweight title match at Wrestle Kingdom 7 in Tokyo Dome against the man he defeated on that fateful summer night in Ryogoku last August to become G1 champion, Karl “The Machinegun” Anderson
Manabu Nakanishi will also make his much anticipated return to the ring after being sidelined for four months with a severe spinal cord injury. Nakanishi suffered the injury during a routine six-man tag main event in his hometown of Kyoto after receiving a German Suplex from Wataru Inoue. Despite numbness and temporary paralysis, Manabu vowed to make a full return to the New Japan mat. However, he won’t be returning alone. Joined with friend and ally Yuji Nagata, the two will join forces with the returning CMLL import STRONG MAN to battle the villainous CHAOS trio of Toru Yano, Takashi Iizuka, and Tomohiro Ishii.
The event is headlined by a rematch of this year’s WRESTLE KINGDOM main event, as Hiroshi Tanahashi defends his IWGP Heavyweight title for the fourth time against Minoru Suzuki, who had some choice words for the champion in Kobe following Tanahashi’s successful title defense against NOAH’s Naomichi Marufuji, criticizing Tanahashi’s “play fighting.” Reverberating throughout Tanahashi’s psyche, the IWGP Heavyweight Champion has vowed to bring the fight to Suzuki in Ryogoku.
Despite coming up short in their WRESTLE KINGDOM title bout in January, Suzuki holds a more recent singles victory over the champion from past August’s G1 Climax tournament, giving Suzuki ample ammunition to demand a championship match.
Hirooki Goto will also attempt to regain the IWGP Intercontinental title from champion Shinsuke Nakamura. Goto has taken offense to Nakamura’s redesign of the championship belt, and wants to return it to the previous version held by himself and MVP.
Two expected IWGP title bouts were also made. First, Lance Archer and Davey Boy Smith Jr. will challenge TenKoji for their IWGP Tag Team titles in what could be TenKoji’s biggest obstacle yet. The “Forever Hooligans” will also defend the IWGP Jr. Tag Team titles against KUSHIDA and Alex Shelley.
While not for a championship, the opportunity to challenge for the IWGP Heavyweight title on the grandest stage possible is up for grabs, as the “Rain Maker” Kazuchika Okada defends the right he earned by winning this year’s G1 Climax tournament against Karl Anderson, coming off weeks of heated words between the two. After his amazing coming out performance, Karl Anderson is convinced he has what it takes to defeat the “Rain Maker” and win the IWGP Championship in the Tokyo Dome. However, Okada insists that he is above Anderson’s level.
It took Kazushi Sakuraba and Katsuyori Shibata all of 183 seconds to attain victory in their return to the New Japan mat after facing Wataru Inoue and Young Lion Hiromu Takahashi. With unfinished business left between Inoue and the two (namely Shibata, who was a dojo rival of Inoue’s for years,) TOGI MAKABE looks to join the fight, and wants a piece of both Shibata and Sakuraba after weeks of calling the two out in the press (again; namely Shibata, who he mocked for injuring himself on a dropkick during his rookie days.) With Kengo Mashimo out of the way, Makabe now has his sights set on the Laughter7 duo.
Rounding out the event is a special singles match between former NO LIMIT teammates, Tetsuya Naito and Yujiro Takahashi square off once again. The two last faced off in June, where Yujiro bested his former partner. Coming off of a recent direct fall over Hiroshi Tanahashi, the “Complete Playboy” has a lot of momentum behind him; and an IWGP Heavyweight Title match may not be out of the question if he can secure another victory over Naito. Of course, the “Stardust Genius” has other plans than to be Yujiro’s stepping stone, and will attempt a masterful performance, despite currently competing with a knee injury.
New Japan Pro-Wrestling,
“NJPW 40th Anniversary ~ KING OF PRO-WRESTLING”
October 08, 2012
Tokyo - Ryogoku Kokugikan
1. Manabu Nakanishi Return Match: Manabu Nakanishi, Yuji Nagata & Strong Man vs. Toru Yano, Takashi Iizuka & Tomohiro Ishii
2. IWGP Jr Heavyweight Tag Team Titles: Rocky Romero & Alex Koslov (c) vs. KUSHIDA & Alex Shelley
3. IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title: Kota Ibushi (c) vs. Low Ki
4. IWGP Tag Team Titles: Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima (c) vs. Lance Archer & Davey Boy Smith Jr.
5. Tetsuya Naito vs. Yujiro Takahashi
6. Togi Makabe & Wataru Inoue vs. Kazushi Sakuraba & Katsuyori Shibata
7. Right to Tokyo Dome IWGP Title Match: Kazuchika Okada (c) vs. Karl Anderson
8. IWGP Intercontinental Title: Shinsuke Nakamura (c) vs. Hirooki Goto
9. IWGP Heavyweight Title: Hiroshi Tanahashi (c) vs. Minoru Suzuki
Not that it’s huge news, but New Japan has officially given a proper and marketable title to its 1.04 extravaganza, as New Japan and Bushiroad presents, “WRESTLE KINGDOM 7 ~EVOLUTION~ in TOKYO DOME.”