New Japan Pro Wrestling is on the road to Wrestle Kingdom 13 right now, with everything building up to the company’s biggest show of the year on January 4 in the Tokyo Dome. Before last night, the only match officially announced was the main event for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship between Kenny Omega (c) and G1 Climax winner Hiroshi Tanahashi. In a press conference on November 4, NJPW made official four big Wrestle Kingdom matches whose feuds we’ve been watching for a while.
In the aftermath of the Super Junior Tag League final at Power Struggle between Yoshinobu Kanemaru and El Desperado (c), Bushi and Shingo Takagi, and Roppongi 3K, the Wrestle Kingdom 13 IWGP Junior Tag Championship match is now set as a rematch between these three teams. The reasoning behind this is that Bushi and Shingo Takagi were not pinned in that match and defeated Sho and Yoh, the winners of the final, during the tournament.
Kushida (c) vs. Taiji Ishimori for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship was also officially announced. Ishimori earned his title shot by pinning Kushida in a tag match and started cutting promos on the champion. But because he’s in the Bullet Club, that wasn’t enough, and Ishimori faked an ankle injury that got him removed from a few shows, showed up on crutches at Power Struggle, and then attacked Kushida with a crutch to drive his challenge home.
These two, who have worked for different promotions for most of their careers, have only wrestled one-on-one once before, when Kushida defeated Ishimori in the first round of the 2016 Super J-Cup. At the press conference, Ishimori claimed that because he’s been reborn as the Bone Soldier since then, he’s sure to win this match. Kushida responded that Ishimori only changed his costume, and he’ll be the one truly reborn when he retains his title at the Tokyo Dome.