Kingdom Come: The Wrestle Kingdom 10 Preview Series: The Champion vs. The Ace (Wrestling Observer Exclusive)

This match! This rivalry! Where do I even begin? How about with a fun fact, and we’ll see what happens from there? Wrestle Kingdom 10 marks the 7th time Okada and Tanahashi will have faced each other for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. They are currently tied with three wins a piece. Tanahashi got the last, tear inducing win over Okada earlier this year at Wrestle Kingdom 9. In a way, you can think of their next match as the final in a very long “Best of Seven Series” which started in 2012 and ends, assumedly, in 2016. Another fun fact is that Wrestle Kingdom 10 will be Tanahashi’s 6th straight Tokyo Dome main event (3rd against Okada). What’s even more impressive is that he’s 5 for 5! If this were NBA Jam, he’d be “on fire.”


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Kingdom Come: The Wrestle Kingdom 10 Preview Series: The Swag vs. The Phenomenal One (Wrestling Observer Exclusive)

At Wrestle Kingdom 9, Shinsuke Nakamura fended off Kota Ibushi’s challenge for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship in what was one of the best matches of 2015, despite taking place only four days into the new year and being followed by nearly twelve months worth of fantastic wrestling. This year, it’s A.J. Styles’ turn for a shot at the IC title, a belt that’s become synonymous with its current holder, Shinsuke Nakamura.


Read the full article here.

 

Kingdom Come: The Wrestle Kingdom 10 Preview Series: The Pitbull vs. The Wrestler (Wrestling Observer Exclusive)

At Wrestle Kingdom 10, Katsuyori Shibata takes on Tomohiro Ishii for the NEVER (ALL CAPS) Openweight Championship. Why? Because shut up! That’s why! There is no backstory here. No storied rivalry. It’s just happening. And you know what? I’m not even mad. Not even a little. Usually I would be. But in this case, nope. Totally not mad. I’m unmad. And I’ll tell you why in just a minute. But first, let’s get to know these two bruisers who will no doubt beat each other senseless at the Tokyo Dome.


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Kingdom Come: The Wrestle Kingdom 10 Preview Series: The IWGP Tag Team Championship Match

Did you watch Wrestle Kingdom 9? Did you see the IWGP Tag Team Championship match between The Bullet Club and Meiyu Tag? That is, for all intents and purposes, the same match we’re getting at Wrestle Kingdom 10, except Hirooki Goto and Katsuyori Shibata (Meiyu Tag) are being replaced by two balding, ageing men with blonde dye jobs, also known as Togi Makabe and Tomoaki Honma (G.B.H.), near identical backstory and all.


 

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Kingdom Come: The Wrestle Kingdom 10 Preview Series: The Ingobernable, The Samurai, The Rambo, and The Rest (Wrestling Observer Exclusive)

What’s that famous quote about how insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results? Pauses writing to google famous quote Oh, it’s pretty much exactly what I just wrote. It’s funny because in New Japan’s case, they’ve been doing the same thing again and again and expect the same result. New Japan’s 2015 has felt very samey. Don’t get me wrong, New Japan has provided some of the best matches of the year, but it has also been a year of familiar faces in familiar places. Little has changed in the hierarchy of talent, or in the major title pictures. What has changed are the crowd numbers compared with 2014. And not for the better. But then there’s Tetsuya Naito and Hirooki Goto, who, as far as good years go, had a pretty impressive one in 2015.


 

Read the full article here, including previews of Naito vs. Goto, Yano & The Briscoes vs.  The Bullet Club (B-Squad), Jay Lethal vs. Michael Elgin, and The New Japan Rumble.