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.


Read the full article here.

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.

The Gaijin History of the IWGP Heavyweight Championship – The “G” is for Gaijin

The IWGP Heavyweight Championship is the top belt in New Japan Pro Wrestling. Though New Japan was founded in 1972, the current title only dates back to 1987. From 1983 to 1987, the IWGP champion was the winner of the yearly New Japan tournament (The International Wrestling Grand Prix). From 1972 to 1983, New Japan was using the NWA titles, as New Japan was a part of the NWA during that time.

26 wrestlers have held the current IWGP Heavyweight Championship which dates from 1987. New Japan founder, Antonio “Never lost his first name (Cesaro)” Inoki, was the first ever champion. Coincidence?
Of those 26, only 6 of those wrestlers are non-Japanese natives. Pre-1987, there were only two other non-Japanese IWGP champions.

Join me as I take a look at the eclectic list of non-Japanese wrestlers who’ve had the honour of holding, after WWE’s World Heavyweight Championship, the biggest title in pro wrestling.

Let’s start from the start with the pre-1987 champions.

Prince Devitt: Questions Nobody Asked Answered! & Top Devitt Matches!

WWE recently  announced  that they’ve signed International Superstar Fergal Devitt to NXT. “Who?” you ask. Fergal Devitt, aka Prince Devitt. I’ve got the answers to all the questions you didn’t ask about Fergal Devitt. And to get you hyped up for his NXT debut, I’ve put together a collection of some of his most popular matches. But first things first.

Just who is this Fergal fella?

In short, Devitt truly is an international star, having worked in the UK, Mexico and Japan among other places. He really rose to prominence in New Japan Pro Wrestling, where he won the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight championship three times, and was a two-time winner of New Japan’s Best of the Super Juniors tournament. What’s more, he was the former leader of the hottest stable in all of professional wrestling (and will hopefully continue to be hot despite its newest member, Jeff Jarrett), The Bullet Club. Just before leaving New Japan to WWE, he was ousted from the Bullet Club and replaced by the Phenomenal A.J. Styles.

What kind of name is Fergal, anyway?

“Fergal” is an Irish name meaning “Man of Valour,” which makes sense because Fergal Devitt himself is Irish. And he’s full of the valour.

Why is he also known as Prince Devitt?

He was given the “Prince” name likely because the “er” sound in “Fergal” is difficult for Japanese people to pronounce. The sound literally does not exist in the Japanese language. Also he’s from Ireland which is close to the UK where everyone’s a prince, I assume.

Where is he the prince of?

My heart. And wrestling.

Is he even a real prince?

Are you?

Does Devitt do cosplay?

Yeah pretty much. Devitt is a bit of comic book fan and has wrestled in face/body paint styled after characters from comics and movies such as Carnage, Spider-Man, Venom The Joker, The Punisher just to name a few.

Does he give a f%$k?


Most importantly, is he any good at wrestling?

Is he any good? Well, take a look at some of Prince Devitt’s most popular matches (in no particular order) and decide for yourself.

SPOILERS: He’s pretty great.


Prince Devitt vs. PAC (NXT Champion Adrian Neville)

Apollo 55 (Prince Devitt & Ryosuke Taguchi) vs. The Motor City Machine Guns (Alex Shelley & Chris Sabin)

Prince Devitt vs. Kota Ibushi vs. Low Ki

Apollo 55 vs. Golden Lovers (Kenny Omega & Kota Ibushi)

Prince Devitt vs. Gedo

Prince Devitt vs. Naomichi Marufuji

Prince Devitt vs. Kazuchika Okada


Thanks to these folks on twitter for helping compile these matches. Go follow them!



New Japan Dominion Quick Predictions

Welcome to Koala Mask’s quick-ish predictions for tonight’s New Japan Dominion from Osaka. All predictions are completely based on heresay, conjecture, and what the other Koala Masked wrestlers told me in the tree. You’ve been warned!

Tonights show has a total of five title matches – three of them involving members of The Bullet Club, with two of those matches against members of rival group, CHAOS. The other Bullet Club vs. CHAOS match is Ishii and Okada up against Styles and Takahashi.
The Bullet Club has been having there way with CHAOS (and New Japan in general) over the past few months. Styles took the title from Okada with help from the CHAOS traitor Takahashi at the Back to Yokohama Arena show, and CHAOS lost the big 8-man tag match against The Bullet Club at the last Best of Super Juniors show.
Will CHAOS get some retribution? Probably not. Will The Bullet Club continue to dominate? Probably yes. Will YOSHI-HASHI take the pin even though he’s not on the card? Undoubtedly. That we can always count on.

Continue reading “New Japan Dominion Quick Predictions”