New Japan Pro Wrestling hit the Tokyo Dome on January 4th for its biggest show of the year, Wrestle Kingdom 17.
This year, the event had even more importance as it marks the end of NJPW’s 50th Anniversary year and featured a tribute match in honour of the founder of the promotion, Antonio Inoki, who passed away in 2022.
Almost every title NJPW has to offer was on the line including KAIRI’s first defence of the IWGP Women’s Championship against one of STARDOM’s top stars, Tam Nakano. KAIRI won the bout in short order before being confronted by the debuting Sasha Banks – now going by Mercedes Mone.
AEW stars FTR put their IWGP Tag Team Championship against the CHAOS team of YOSHI-HASHI and Hirooki Goto and it was the Bishamon duo who came out on top, taking the last of the gold from AEW’s tag team veterans.
WWE was also represented at this year’s Wrestle Kingdom 17 with Karl Anderson defending his NEVER Openweight Championship against the man he won it from back in June, Tama Tonga. In the end, it was Tama who emerged victorious to capture the title for the second time.
Coming off a loss to Shinsuke Nakamura in his final singles match as The Great Muta, Keiji Muto wrestled in a New Japan ring for the final time in his four-decade career as he teamed with The Ace Hiroshi Tanahashi and one of the company’s newest stars, Shota Umino. The trio defeated Los Ingobernables de Japon’s Tetsuya Naito, SANADA, and BUSHI.
Taiji Ishimori put the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title on the line in a rare Fatal Fourway Match against Master Wato and former champions Hiromu Takahashi and El Desperado. The bout saw high-flying action from all four men, but it was the ever-popular Hiromu who recaptured the title he hasn’t held for two long years.
Every day sees two more promo packages for Wrestle Kingdom 17 with full English subtitles!
— NJPW Global (@njpwglobal) January 3, 2023
Wrestle Kingdom 17 ended with a huge double main event as Kenny Omega made his return to the company after four years and defeated Will Ospreay in a brutal bout for the IWGP United States Championship, while the winner of the 2022 G1 Climax Tournament, Kazuchika Okada successfully challenged Jay White to recapture the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship to close the show.
NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 17 In Tokyo Dome Results
- Ryohei Oiwa drew with Boltin Oleg in a 3-Minute Exhibition Match
- KOPW Right to Challenge/New Japan Rambo – Shingo Takagi, Great O-Khan, SHO, and Toru Yano move on to 4-Way Match at New Year’s Dash
- Antonio Inoki Memorial 6-Man Tag Match: Yuji Nagata, Satoshi Kojima & Togi Makabe defeat Tiger Mask, Minoru Suzuki & Tatsumi Fujinami
- IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Championship: United Empire (Francesco Akira & TJP)(c) defeats CHAOS (Lio Rush & YOH)
- IWGP Women’s Championship: KAIRI (c) defeats Tam Nakano
- IWGP Tag Team Championship: Bishamon (Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI) defeats FTR (Dax Harwood & Cash Wheeler)(c) – TITLE CHANGE!
- NJPW World TV Championship Tournament Final: Zack Sabre Jr. defeats Ren Narita
- NEVER Openweight Championship: Tama Tonga defeats Karl Anderson(c) – TITLE CHANGE!
- Keiji Muto’s Last match in NJPW: Keiji Muto, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Shota Umino defeat Los Ingobernables de Japon (Tetsuya Naito, SANADA & BUSHI)
- IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship: Hiromu Takahashi defeats Taiji Ishimori(c), El Desperado, and Master Wato – TITLE CHANGE!
- IWGP United States Championship: Kenny Omega defeats Will Ospreay(c) – TITLE CHANGE!
- IWGP World Heavyweight Championship: Kazuchika Okada defeats Jay White(c) – TITLE Change!