NJPW Previews

NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 10 Preview & Predictions

With Wrestle Kingdom 10 around the corner, Skillcrane & Izzac will be providing their preview and predictions regarding the spectacle that is Wrestle Kingdom; happening Monday morning. As part of our coverage, Tanner’s Okada article (which is up), these preview and predictions which you’re currently reading, a roundtable review of the event, as well as a reaction show are all bundled together.


Wrestle Kingdom Rumble~!Our Predictions

Izzac: This will be fun and exciting, it is always cool to see old New Japan alumni can still move. There isn’t a set number of people to be in the match but expect to see a lot more men than what were in the 2015 rambo. It really sucks to see the likes of Liger, Tiger, Nagata, Kojima among others miss the biggest show of the year since they are still great workers and you can easily slot them into a match.

Prediction: EVIL

Skillcrane: If this is anything like last year, it will be a super fun, chaotic mess featuring as many people as NJPW has on their speed dial. Unlike Jeff Jarrett, that means actual talent that can boost a show (but also Taguchi and Nakanishi). Hopefully in addition to the announced participants, we get Great Muta or Fujiwara, or even Great Kojika following an awesome performance at the Tenryu retirement show.

Prediction: We All Win (or Nagata if I have to go out on a limb)

(IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship) reDRagon (c) vs. Matt Sydal & Ricochet vs. Roppongi Vice vs. The Young BucksOur Predictions

Izzac: For the third consecutive year New Japan gives the viewing audience a four-way junior tag match. Stuff like this epitomize’s lazy booking. Will be a great opener, two minutes of mat work then everyone hits their insane dives and moves ending with The Bucks scoring the fall. This match should of never taken place, Matt Sydal and Ricochet should be challenging reDRagon one-on-one because that makes sense after they won the junior tag tournament.

Prediction: The Young Bucks

Skillcrane: reDRagon defending against 3 other teams for a championship may spell the end of their title reign, or it could just mean that Gedo is trying to cram every single person on the roster into the show. I’ve never been a big fan of the multi-way challenges, as it prevents a straight-forward title shot from taking place. That said, this will be a super quick spot fest that will likely cause half the people watching to turn up their noses, while others (myself included) will just enjoy the match for what it is, which is a way to try to get people into the show without having to emotionally invest to the degree that they will need to be by the end; and feature the juniors doing their crazy moves in quick succession. In the end, I expect a title change, more because it will get people excited for the possibilities of other title changes down the card.

Prediction: We will get 14 “Suck Its” & RPG Vice as new champs

(NEVER Openweight 6 Man Championship) Toru Yano & The Briscoes vs. Bad Luck Fale, Tama Tonga & Yujiro TakahashiOur Predictions

Izzac: Yay lets add more titles because half of our roster needs belts to be important. Seeing the Briscoes will be nice and the crowd might know them since they worked NOAH a few years back. Will be nothing of importance but when a Briscoe and Tonga are in the ring it could be something good, Fale and Yano have been facing each other in tags the last few months so there is some juice there. I can’t see New Japan bringing in the Briscoes to lose so with that said…

Prediction: Toru Yano & The Briscoes

Skillcrane: While the very thought of a trios championship existing seems like a waste, I have to admit I am very excited about the weird team-up of the Briscoes and Yano being added to the somewhat stale NJPW landscape to freshen things up. Yano is always fun, albeit lazy at times, but it doesn’t really matter as I don’t remember the last time the Briscoes took a night off and phoned it in. As much as I actually enjoy Fale and Tama teaming up, the very thought of Takahashi appearing with a belt makes my stomach churn. To me, I am of two minds about how things will go down. On one hand, I expect the championship to go to those who make NJPW their #1 priority (Bullet Club), but the other hand I would love to see the title being defended on a less frequent basis at the larger shows only, which would be perfect if the Briscoes are going to start making appearances again in the land of the rising sun.

Prediction: Toru Yano & The Briscoes

(ROH World Championship) Jay Lethal (c) vs. Michael ElginOur Predictions

Izzac: This is probably my most intriguing match on the card: Will the crowd care? Will Big Mike be super over? Depending on how much time the bout is given it could be really good, this is Lethal’s first NJPW outing and only his second visit to Japan (he wrestled for Zero-1 in 2005). I cant see the title changing hands, there has been not a good build and the ROH in Japan shows are already sold out so the speculation that Elgin needs to win so he can sell tickets is thrown out the door.

Prediction: Jay Lethal

Skillcrane: Much like the last match, this pairing screams “fresh”, as Lethal is making his NJPW debut on the biggest possible show of the year. While Big Mike isn’t catching fire in the US as much as I would have hoped after the G1s, in Japan he still has the crowd in the palm of his hands. I expect a hell of a fight here, one that will have people talking the next day. I think they will book the show to make Elgin look like the star that he has earned the right to be portrayed as and Lethal will end up looking like the champ he is, even if he narrowly escapes defeat.

Prediction: Jay Lethal

(IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship) Kenny Omega (c) vs. KUSHIDAOur Predictions

Izzac: Very excited for this match even though it feels like I have seen this match a lot already. Once again there is no real reason justifying KUSHIDA getting a title shot other than saying he wants a title shot. KUSHIDA much like Goto makes me believe he is a top star and as soon as I think that he loses a big match and I lose a lot of interest in them. I personally want Omega to win but there is zero chance KUSHIDA isn’t walking out of The Dome as a champion. I seee this as Omega moving up to the heavyweight division once he does the honors.

Prediction: KUSHIDA

Skillcrane: With the history between Omega and KUSHIDA, I expect this to be a really solid match, although it may be time to kill this feud as it has been going on in some form for months now. Also, there are rumors that Omega is about to step up into the Heavyweight division, which would mean he has to drop the title before he does this. That being said, I expect Omega to fight hard to retain, which will make both men look good in the end.

Prediction: KUSHIDA

(IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship) Karl Anderson & Doc Gallows (c) vs. Togi Makabe & Tomoaki HonmaOur Predictions

Izzac: I am more excited than most for this, it may not be an all time classic but when Honma hits the Kokeshi on Gallows and wins the straps, it will be a great moment in NJPW. So yeah, it’s a given that Team GBH will walk out as new champs and I really hope they don’t drop the belts a month later like Meiyu-Tag did last year. It has to be short and please god no BC interference, these four men can deliver so just let them have a nice little match.

Prediction: Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma

Skillcrane: With the recent success of Makabe and Honma, they seem to be on a run at the moment and slowing them down doesn’t make a lot of sense. Also, the big wigs at NJPW seems to be sweeping the recent bad press with Honma under the rug, so I also expect this to not derail the streak of GBH. I really love the team of Anderson and Gallows and feel they may be one of the best teams on the roster right now, but I’m not sure they need the belts to keep them strong and it feels like Anderson may make a quick singles run again shortly since he seems to excel so well in that format. In the end, the crowd (which is what this show is really a payoff of a year’s angles for) will be energized if Honma gets to have a giant moment in the Tokyo Dome.

Prediction: Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma

Hirooki Goto vs. Tetsuya NaitoOur Predictions

Izzac: I don’t know why I should care for this match in any way, they just threw it together at the last minute. I’m guessing this is for a #1 contendership in that case there can only be one winner in Naito. He’s the hottest he has ever been and a big defeat would do a lot of damage to him. It will be a good match if Naito brings his working boots, I love the Ingobernable gimmick but it is really hurting match quality which is the main thing I care for in wrestling.

Prediction: Tetsuya Naito

Skillcrane: With all of the momentum Naito had during the G1s starting to slow down after the semi-dud that is Los Ingobernables de Japón, it is slightly depressing to see that Naito is not in a bigger match at this show. That said, Naito is still infinitely hotter at this time than he was going into Wrestle Kingdom last year. He was on fire only a few short months ago, but pitting him against Goto is a surefire way to ensure that many people could care less, myself included. Goto is capable of delivering in big matches and I hope that he steps up for this. Naito has proven time and time again that he is also quite capable, so I expect this to deliver much better than it does on paper.

Prediction: Tetsuya Naito

(NEVER Openweight Championship) Tomohiro Ishii (c) vs. Katsuyori ShibataOur Predictions

Izzac: This is the match personally I am looking forward to the most, it is going to deliver on all levels and make the viewer believe the match was a shoot. There is no build for this match either other then Shibata saying he wants a shot at Ishii’s title. For this match I can forget about the minuscule amount of build and just enjoy it for what it is going to be.

Prediction: Tomohiro Ishii

Skillcrane: This one excites me greatly, mostly because Shibata is having one of his best years in memory. Shibata is one of the few guys on the roster who I actively believe is a murderer based on his intensity he displays on the regular. I found myself spending much of 2015 screaming at the television set every time he was in the ring, which doesn’t happen with most wrestlers. Ishii is one of the guys who I judge on a match-by-match basis; sometimes I would rather fast forward, while other times I want to savor every moment when he is turning things up and playing the hoss. I actually don’t think that Shibata needs a belt to make him, while Ishii does. For that reason alone, I really can’t see any reason why the title would get dropped at this point in time.

Prediction: Tomohiro Ishii

(IWGP Intercontinental Championship) Shinsuke Nakamura (c) vs. AJ StylesOur Predictions

Izzac: Another match I guarantee that will deliver tremendously, AJ will never not deliver and Nakamura in big time matches will certainly deliver. A lot of people are worried about Styles back and deservingly so but AJ knows that this is the biggest match of his career and will put his body on the line to put on an all time classic. I never thought AJ would win but with this back injury I can’t see him winning in any circumstance. I don’t know where AJ goes from here but he just needs to rest up.

Prediction: Shinsuke Nakamura

Skillcrane: This is the match I expect the most out of on the entire card. The big sell for this match is that it is something we have never seen before. Considering the recent backlash in stale booking in New Japan, this is a breath of fresh air. With current issues regarding AJ’s back being injured, there is always the possibility that it won’t meet my lofty expectations, but I suspect that AJ will go out and push himself to the limit and not let anything hold him back (no pun intended). Shinsuke delivers like no other on the roster in big matches and AJ is a major player when it comes to guys who are in the Wrestler of the Year talk, possibly getting the nod over even a Roddy Strong or Jimmy Rave. Like last year, I wouldn’t be surprised if the semi-main of WK10 gets my vote for Match of the Year in 2016.

Prediction: Shinsuke Nakamura

(IWGP Heavyweight Championship) Kazuchika Okada (c) vs. Hiroshi TanahashiOur Predictions

Izzac: I give this match ***** in advance barring that Okada wins and that’s all I need to say. This will be epic.

Prediction: Kazuchika Okada

Skillcrane: As I mentioned in the last match predictions, the top of the WK9 card ran away with my MOTY talk and last year’s main event was possibly my #2 Match of the Year. Considering this is a rematch of said match (and the third time we are getting the match at a Wrestle Kingdom), the big discussion here is whether or not Okada can finally get that big win over Tanahashi. With Okada being so dramatically defeated last year and being reduced to tears (which is still making its way across the internet a year later in the form of screenshots), there really should be a huge payoff in the form of Okada retaining his championship on the biggest stage. I expect not only an Okada win, but a hero’s celebration following, with the Dome getting covered in Okada bucks falling from the sky while Tana tucks his air guitar between his legs and cries himself all the way home.

Prediction: Kazuchika Okada


We’d like to thank @punkrockbgmouth for her artwork that ties into our Wrestle Kingdom 10 coverage. Give her a follow and check out the rest of her beautiful artwork!

About the author

Wrestling With Words Staff

  • Chris

    NJ Rumble: Yuji Nagata
    4 way Jr Tag Titles: RPG Vice
    6 Man Tag Titles: Bullet Club
    ROH Title: Elgin
    Jr Title: KUSHIDA (Im going with my heart on this one)
    Tag Titles: Gallows/Anderson (just because of the stuff about Honma)
    Naito over Goto
    NEVER Title: Shibata
    IC Title: Nakamura
    IWGP Title: Okada finally beats Tanahashi on the big stage!

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