Every year, New Japan Pro Wrestling’s largest show — their analogue to WrestleMania — is Wrestle Kingdom. The event always goes down on January 4, and before New Japan’s rise in stature over the past couple of years, the event was also notable because it tends to be when most wrestlers’ contracts with the companies are due. So for a lot of reasons, eyes will likely be on the January 4, 2018 Wrestle Kingdom 12.
Last year’s Wrestle Kingdom was headlined by the first match in the 2017 trilogy between Kenny Omega and IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada. The match fairly blew up the internet, not least of which because it earned the first-ever six-star rating from Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
Omega is not involved in this year’s main event, but his current contract with New Japan is expected to expire after the show, so get ready for more months of speculation on whether he’ll jump to WWE. That, of course, seems less likely this year than last, especially after the whole cease-and-desist business with his Elite counterparts the Young Bucks.