New Japan Pro Wrestling’s biggest event of the year, Wrestle Kingdom 17, is set to return to a single night of action.
In 2020, NJPW made the decision to hold their annual Tokyo Dome event, Wrestle Kingdom, over two days for the first time. The 2021 edition was also a two-day affair and in 2022 the promotion went one step further, holding Wrestle Kingdom 16 over three days with the third show being a cross-promotional event with Pro Wrestling NOAH.
On August 18, during the G1 Climax 32 Final, NJPW officially confirmed that 2023’s Wrestle Kingdom 17 would go back to its original format. It will be a one-night show held on its traditional date of January 4th, followed by the returning New Year Dash the next day.
The New Year Dash show had become a tradition, taking place the night after the biggest show of the year and usually featuring the fallout from the previous night. The event was surprisingly omitted from 2022’s schedule, with the company seemingly opting for the three-day format instead.
As of now, no matches have been announced for Wrestle Kingdom 17. However, Kazuchika Okada has already earned an IWGP World Heavyweight championship match after defeating Will Ospreay in the final of the G1 Climax.
The current IWGP World Heavyweight Champion, Jay White, was also part of the tournament but was eliminated on Night 18 after losing to Tama Tonga.
Unless he loses the title over the next four months, White will face Okada at next year’s Wrestle Kingdom in a rematch of their NJPW Dominion encounter in June where White won the championship.