New Japan Pro Wrestling Announced Championship And Retirement Matches For Upcoming Shows


As announced at their February 12 press conference, New Japan Pro Wrestling‘s upcoming shows are set to feature several notable matches, some of them set up at the New Beginning in Osaka, some for the Honor Rising crossover shows with Ring of Honor that could have fallout for the G1 Supercard at Madison Square Garden.

But before we get to those, NJPW’s next televised show on February 21 will include the return of several wrestlers we haven’t seen in a while because they were either on or reportedly supposed to be on the New Beginning in USA tour – Tomohiro Ishii, Yuji Nagata, Hirooki Goto, and Killer Elite Squad – as well as Will Ospreay and Robbie Eagles. The show’s main event will be 33-year NJPW vet Takashi Iizuka’s retirement match, in which he will team up with Taichi and Minoru Suzuki against Toru Yano, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, and Kazuchika Okada.

Then on February 22-23, the ROH/NJPW Honor Rising shows will feature multiple championship matches on both nights. Night One of the event will include:

  • NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship match: Cheeseburger, Delirious, and Colt Cabana vs. Ryusuke Taguchi, Togi Makabe, and Toru Yano (c)
  • NEVER Openweight Championship match: Dalton Castle vs. Will Ospreay (c)
  • ROH World Television Championship match: Hirooki Goto vs. Jeff Cobb (c)

Night Two of Honor Rising includes back-to-back tag title matches as the semi-main and main events, which sure makes it look like we could see some kind of champion vs. champion challenge be made for the G1 Supercard. The February 23 show title matches are:

  • ROH World Championship match: Jay Lethal (c) vs. TK O’Ryan
  • IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship match: Evil and Sanada (c) vs. Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa)
  • ROH World Tag Team Championship match: The Briscoes (Jay Briscoe and Mark Briscoe) (c) vs. Juice Robinson and David Finlay

The following month, NJPW’s anniversary event on March 6 is now set to include the title match payoffs of the junior division drama that went down in Osaka. Taiji Ishimori will defend his IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship against Jushin Thunder Liger just as the legendary Beast God approaches the thirtieth anniversary of when he first donned the mask. The show will also include Roppongi 3K (Sho and Yoh) challenging Shingo Takagi and Bushi for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship.

There’s no word yet on what the new IWGP Heavyweight Champion Jay White will be doing at the anniversary show, but NJPW announced that his first defense of his title will be against the winner of this year’s New Japan Cup at the G1 Supercard. Beyond Kota Ibushi, the NJ Cup wrestlers and brackets have yet to be announced. In the meantime, there are plenty of other matches and feuds to keep an eye on.