New Japan’s Historic Double Championship Match For Wrestle Kingdom 14 Is Finally Official

For months now, an ongoing storyline in New Japan Pro Wrestling has been the possibility of someone becoming the first double IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Champion.

Tetsuya Naito first brought it up before the New Japan Cup while he held the IC title, Kota Ibushi declared the same goal after winning the G1 Climax, and later guys like Jay White, Hirooki Goto, Taichi, and Zack Sabre Jr. said they wanted to be double (or triple) champs too. Then Kazuchika Okada said he wouldn’t mind defending the Heavyweight Championship on both nights of the two-show Wrestle Kingdom, January 4 and 5, and all that was left was for the company to make it official.

After Power Struggle ended with a rare multi-person, lengthy NJPW talking segment in which everyone who could possibly be in the double picture at Wrestle Kingdom 14 was in the ring that led to fans being polled about whether they want to see a double title match at all (most do, according to the result), NJPW announced today that a match for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship and Intercontinental Championship will take place on January 5. The competitors will be the winner of Okada vs. Ibushi and the winner of White (the current IC champ) vs. Naito on January 4.

After the most recent match announcements, here’s how the Wrestle Kingdom 14 card is coming together (keeping in mind that Jon Moxley will probably show up and matches for the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship, NEVER Openweight Championship, NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship, IWGP United States Championship, and RevPro British Heavyweight Championship, will almost definitely be added as well):

January 4

  • IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship match: Will Ospreay (c) vs. Hiromu Takahashi
  • Jushin Thunder Liger Retirement Match I: Liger, Tatsumi Fujinami, The Great Sasuke, and Tiger Mask (with El Samurai) vs. Naoki Sano, Shinjiro Otani, Tatsuhito Takaiwa, and Ryusuke Taguchi (with Kuniaki Kobayashi) with Norio Honaga as special guest referee
  • IWGP Intercontinental Championship match: Jay White (c) vs. Tetsuya Naito
  • IWGP Heavyweight Championship match: Kazuchika Okada (c) vs. Kota Ibushi

January 5

  • TBA Liger Retirement Match II
  • Chris Jericho vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi
  • IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship match: El Phantasmo and Taiji Ishimori (c) vs. Roppongi 3K (Sho and Yoh)
  • Match for both the IWGP Heavyweight Championship and Intercontinental Championship, competitors TBD