Wrestling Dontaku 2016 is in the books, and as far as New Japan Pro Wrestling’s major events go, this was quite an eventful one. Three championships changed hands (we won’t say which ones, in case you’re waiting to catch up on NJPW World and still want to be surprised), but each of those title changes in Fukuoka might have been overshadowed by the possibility of a New Japan rarity. After the conclusion of the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team championship match, IWGP Intercontinental Champion Kenny Omega responded to a challenge from Hiroshi Tanahashi in explosive fashion.
“You want a match, Tanahashi? You want a rematch? The answer is no. But Tanahashi, if you want a ladder match, the answer… is yes!
…New Japan Pro Wrestling, welcome to American style.”
Tanahashi missed a perfect chance to reply with “Aren’t you Canadian?” but we’ll let that pass. Assuming this match becomes official, this will be the first New Japan ladder match in a very long time. Like a lot of people, I assumed it might be the first in NJPW history. But, after a little bit of digging, I found some Redditors pointing to a three-way ladder match held in 2007. Eventually won by Manabu Nakanishi, the match also contained TARU and… you guessed it, Hiroshi Tanahashi. He had recently lost the IWGP Heavyweight Championship at that point, so I have no idea what they were all fighting for. Regardless, that’s some great New Japan canon to inject into an already heated feud for the Intercontinental title. Should the match get signed (probably for NJPW Dominion coming up in June), look for Omega to get an assist from his lieutenants, the Young Bucks. In case you haven’t been paying attention, they’ve been nothing short of destructive lately.