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10/14 “KING OF PRO-WRESTLING” Sumo Hall card including Okada vs. Tanahashi!
Kazuchika Okada makes his V5 defense of the IWGP Heavyweight Title against his greatest rival Hiroshi Tanahashi in the main event of this year’s “KING OF PRO-WRESTLING” at Sumo Hall in October. It will be the latest headline match between the top two stars in New Japan and will determine who headlines the 1/4/14 Tokyo Dome show. Okada won the title in April from Tanahashi, but has yet to face him in a title defense which Tanahashi did successfully after winning back the belt from Okada last year.
Shinsuke Nakamura makes his V2 defense of the IWGP Intercontinental Title against NOAH’s Naomichi Marufuji in something of a dream match for many. Marufuji, the vice-president of NOAH, is no stranger to appearing in New Japan having held the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title for four months in 2010 and having competed in the 2012 G1 Climax. He looks to win his first heavyweight title in New Japan by beating the man he recently teamed with in NOAH, Nakamura. Tetsuya Naito makes his V1 defense of the NEVER Openweight Title, won yesterday from Masato Tanaka, while also against risking his shot at the IWGP Heavyweight Title on 1/4, against former NO LIMIT tag partner turned bitter rival Yujiro Takahashi. Naito defeated Yujiro in his return match in June, but more recently Yujiro beat Naito on the opening day of the G1 Climax so poses a threat to the Stardust Genius.
Laughter7 are back in singles action with two mouth-watering matches as rivals Yuji Nagata and Kazushi Sakuraba lock horns against, while Tomohiro Ishii and Katsuyori Shibata look to repeat their G1 classic from Osaka in which Ishii scored a big upset win over Shibata. Makabe and Honma will welcome a mystery partner to Sumo Hall as they meet the Bullet Club (minus Tama Tonga who is off to CMLL again) in a six man tag match. It will be “hello” and “goodbye” in one match as Hiroyoshi Tenzan returns from his G1 injury to team with young lion Takaaki Watanabe against “Killer Elite Squad” Lance Archer & Davey Boy Smith Jr. Watanabe will exit Japanese shores after this match for his traditional learning excursion where he looks to find a character and fighting style before returning to make an impact. As Tenzan returns, Kojima is absent having suffered a dislocated shoulder, and could miss up to two months. This puts TenKoji’s IWGP Tag Team Title reign in jeopardy as they haven’t defended the belts for over two months and the time must be nearing where New Japan considers vacating them.
Finally, the long-running rivalry between the TIME SPLITTERS and Forever Hooligans continues as KUSHIDA & Shelley look to use their great recent form to win back the IWGP Jr. Tag Team Title from Romero & Koslov. This is being advertised as the Hooligans’ V4 defense of the belt, meaning New Japan has probably recognised their recent defense in ROH against The American Wolves (Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards). But nothing has been printed on New Japan’s website about it, not even in the title history database.
NJPW “KING OF PRO-WRESTLING”, 10/14/13 (WPW/PPV/iPPV)
Tokyo Ryogoku Kokugikan
0. Manabu Nakanishi, Super Strong Machine, Jushin Thunder Liger & Tiger Mask vs. Takashi Iizuka, YOSHI-HASHI, Jado & Gedo
1. IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Title: Rocky Romero & Alex Koslov (c) vs. KUSHIDA & Alex Shelley
2. Toru Yano vs. Minoru Suzuki
3. Hiroyoshi Tenzan Return & Takaaki Watanabe Farewell Match: Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Takaaki Watanabe vs. Lance Archer & Davey Boy Smith Jr.
4. Special 6 Man Tag Match: Togi Makabe, Tomoaki Honma & X vs. Prince Devitt, Karl Anderson & Bad Luck Fale
5. Special Singles Match: Tomohiro Ishii vs. Katsuyori Shibata
6. Special Singles Match: Yuji Nagata vs. Kazushi Sakuraba
7. NEVER Openweight Title (& IWGP Heavyweight Title shot): Tetsuya Naito (c) vs. Yujiro Takahashi
8. IWGP Intercontinental Title: Shinsuke Nakamura (c) vs. Naomichi Marufuji
9. IWGP Heavyweight Title: Kazuchika Okada (c) vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi
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