Wrestle Kingdom 14 Night Two (January 5, 12AM Eastern / 9PM Pacific)
Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale, Chase Owens, & Yujiro Takahashi) vs. Chaos (Robbie Eagles, Tomohiro Ishii, & YOSHI-HASHI) vs. Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI, EVIL, & Shingo Takagi) vs. Most Violent Players (Togi Makabe & Toru Yano) & Ryusuke Taguchi (c) vs. Suzuki-gun (El Desperado, Taichi, & Yoshinobu Kanemaru) (NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship Gauntlet Match)
StoryLine: Well, the New Japan Rumble is (sadly) gone forever, and we need something to soak up excess talent, so the NEVER gauntlet is here to stay!
What’s on the line: The NEVER trios belts aren’t the most prestigious title, but they’re here, and also just having this much talent in a match means some low-key card sorting and momentum boosts can be had.
Marcos’ Pick: Big weekend for Los Ingobernables de Japon so we’ll go with them.
Hiromu Takahashi & Ryu “Dragon” Lee vs. Jushin Liger & Naoki Sano (Jushin Liger Retirement Match)
Storyline: Just as Liger and Sano were the generation-defining junior heavyweight rivalry of their era, so too is Hiromu vs. Dragon Lee for this era. So it only makes sense that Liger would end his career teaming with his old rival against these two young men.
What’s on the line: This is it, the end of Jushin Liger’s storied 30+ year pro wrestling career. Whether he goes out on his shield or sails to the west triumphant, he’s had a career to be proud of and he’ll be sorely missed as an active competitor.
Marcos’ Pick: Liger’s old-school, and old-school means you go out on your shield. Takahashi and Lee are the only choice.
Bullet Club (El Phantasmo & Taiji Ishimori) (c) vs. Roppongi 3K (SHO & YOH) (IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship)
Storyline: Roppongi 3K won the Super Jr. Tag League, and that earns them a shot at the champs.
What’s on the line: Not just the titles, but ELP and Ishimori also made off with RPG3K’s tag league trophies, so vengeance is on the line.
Marcos’ Pick: Vengeance for SHO & YOH!
SANADA vs. Zack Sabre, Jr. (c) (RPW British Heavyweight Championship)
Storyline: SANADA has scored multiple pins on Sabre this year, and it’s translated into a RevPro title match on the big stage.
What’s on the line: Not just the title, but a regular berth in RevPro following in the footsteps of Katsuyori Shibata, Tomohiro Ishii, Minoru Suzuki, and Hiroshi Tanahashi before him, this is SANADA’s chance to finally break free of the pack and establish himself as a potent force in singles action.
Marcos’ Pick: ZSJ is probably still my favorite Euro guy on the roster and I think someone who’s been way underutilized while SANADA has gotten stale of late, but I just don’t think you book this match unless you’re doing the change, so SANADA needs to take gold home. If not the WWE rumors are only gonna get louder.
Juice Robinson vs. Mox (c) (IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship)
Storyline: Juice lost his opportunity to regain the title from the man that beat him for it when the weather intervened, and now he has a prepared opportunity to make good for that loss.
What’s on the line: The title, and the satisfaction of regaining it from the man that beat him the last time.
Marcos’ Pick: I just don’t think there’s much of a reason to bring Mox back for Wrestle Kingdom if he’s just losing the title and leaving, so Jon Moxley wins here.
Hirooki Goto vs. KENTA (c) (NEVER Openweight Championship)
Storyline: Shibata’s Honor is defended by Goto
What’s on the line: The title and a chance to bloody KENTA up after he screwed with Goto’s pal.
Marcos’ Pick: He just got it back in November. It just seems too soon to have KENTA without this title.
Jay White vs. Kota Ibushi
Storyline: losers of the two big title matches on night one will square off here.
What’s on the line: Pure bragging rights, but also you gotta think the winner will have a strong position to move on to some other title match soon, whether a NEVER shot or the US title or what have you.
Marcos’ Pick: I have a hard time going against Switchblade? Gedo’s drive to make him a huge gaijin heel wins out, and The Golden Star starts a year long quest for redemption after going 0 – 2 in the Tokyo Dome.
Chris Jericho vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi
Storyline: New Japan just can’t quite seem to be rid of the Painmaker! Le Champion has appeared via video to challenge the 1/100 Ace several times through the fall, and now the match is set.
What’s on the line: Two titans of the industry and legends in their own time fighting is enough for a co-main event spot anywhere in the world, but if Tanahashi wins, he’ll get a shot at the AEW World Heavyweight Championship at a later date.
Marcos’Pick: Hiroshi Tanahashi wins here and now and we get a sweet title match down the line. Sold!
Okada (IWGP Heavyweight) vs. Naito (IWGP Intercontinental) (IWGP Heavyweight Championship / IWGP Intercontinental Championship Double Gold Dash Match)
How we got here: As intimated earlier, this is the product of Naito’s dream of holding both belts at once and Wrestle Kingdom going to two nights.
What’s on the line: An unprecedented chance to hold both of New Japan Pro Wrestling’s major singles titles at once.
Marcos’ Pick: This is it. Naito vs. Okada in the Tokyo Dome, one more time. None of the four men that could be in this match winning would surprise me (although real talk, Switchblade winning would be a bit of a bummer), and Okada least of them all, but this is, finally, the coronation of Tetsuya Naito.