Below are the results, my match ratings and review from NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 12.
IWGP HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
Kazuchika Okada (c) defeated Tetsuya Naito
IWGP UNITED STATES HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP (NO DQ)
Kenny Omega (c) defeated Chris Jericho
IWGP INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP
Hiroshi Tanahashi (c) defeated Jay White
IWGP JR. HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
Will Ospreay defeated Marty Scurll (c), Hiromu Takahashi and, KUSHIDA
NEVER OPENWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP (HAIR VS. HAIR/NOBODY AT RINGSIDE DEATHMATCH)
Hirooki Goto defeated Minoru Suzuki (c)
IWGP TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
EVIL and SANADA defeated Killler Elite Squad (Lance Archer and Davey Boy Smith Jr.) (c)
Kota Ibushi defeated Cody
NEVER OPENWEIGHT 6-MAN TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP (GAUNTLET MATCH)
Beretta, Toru Yano, and Tomohiro Ishii defeated Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa, and Bad Luck Fale (c) , Ryusuke Taguchi, Juice Robinson, and Togi Makabe , Hanson, Raymond Rowe and Michael Elgin and Taichi, Takashi Iizuka and Zack Sabre Jr.
IWGP JR. HEAVYWEIGHT TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
The Young Bucks defeated Roppongi 3K (c)
New Japan Rumble
Winner: Masahito Kakihara
Overall Show Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Evil and Sanada
Kenny Omega vs Chris Jericho
Best Holy S*#T Moment
Cody hitting Cross Rhodes off the apron driving Ibushi head first on to the floor
Now that one of the most anticipated shows in recent wrestling history took place today it is safe to already say that not only are there numerous contenders for match of the year but also it will take a perfect show from start to finish to top this unbelievable event. The only thing left now is for me to tell you what I thought were some of my personal favourite moments and what I didn’t enjoy as much.
The pre show rumble was entertaining for a pre show match and the finish was good with Masahito Kakihara defeating Cheeseburger with an STO winning via pin fall.
The first match on the main card saw arguably the best tag team of this generation winning the IWGP Jr Tag Team titles yet again. This was a great way to kick off the show as both teams put together a very fast paced entertaining match with multiple jaw dropping spots.
I found the Six Man gauntlet match very entertaining. Every team bought something different to the match. First there was the viciousness of Suzuki Gun then came the crafty and resourceful trio from Chaos who were able to somehow survive Suzuki Gun but also Taguchi, Makabe and Juice thanks to the skills of Yano. Then came the Bullet Club and it did seem that they would retain their titles but then there was Beretta, he proved in this match that he is more than ready to be a top contender in the heavyweight division as he was able to get the win for his team as they became the new Six Man Tag Team Champions.
The duo of Cody and Brandi were on fire tonight. This was arguably his best performance in NJPW and even though he was on the losing side to a very impressive Kota Ibushi who showed tremendous heart after withstanding a brutal beating including a sickening Cross Rhodes off the apron on to the floor. It was the cockiness of Cody that cost him, Ibushi was able to capitalise and after a stiff head kick he was able to connect with a Phoenix Splash to pick up a huge win. Surely after this amazing performance Ibushi will be in line for a future IWGP Heavyweight Championship match.
After winning the Tag Team Tournament at the end of last year this year started even better for the formidable team of Evil and Sanada. But this match was the toughest challenge this team has had after taking a tremendous beating from the monstrous duo of Smith and Archer it seemed only a matter of time before the champs would retain . The Killer Elite Squad dominated the majority of this match using their size and power to their advantage. The never say die attitude of Evil and Sanada proved to be the deciding factor as did their talent and this duo already are showing signs of being one of the best teams to wear those belts.
The hair vs hair match was arguably the most viscous match of the whole show. With blood pouring from the mouth of Goto after receiving multiple stiff shots to the head he was able to put away Suzuki. There were numerous times that it seemed Suzuki had finished Goto after choking him out, Suzuki went for the Gotch Style Piledriver but Goto was able to reverse every time. After Goto defeated Suzuki the hair cut commenced and Suzuki was the one to shave his own head.
I was blown away by the outstanding performance by all four men involved in the IWGP Jr Heavyweight Championship match. Every moment of this match was exciting and the only disappointment was this match had to end. While it sucks that Marty’s reign was cut short I’m also happy that Ospreay was able to win back the belt and it seems that their rivalry that has helped bring British Wrestling to where it is today they now get to show the whole world what they are both capable of as I’m sure Marty will want a rematch in the very near future.
Up to this point the show had been one of the best PPVs I have ever watched but then came Tanahashi and White. Now while this was a good match it was nowhere near the standard that had already taken place and after seeing what took place after it was not up to par with those matches either. It may just be me but I can’t remember a match from Jay White that I have seen live or on TV that has ever stood out to me. This was disappointing as I was intrigued by the character development of White and I thought they may go with him as the new champ it was disappointing that it could not live up to other matches on this show as usually any Tanahashi match is a contender for match of the show.
For me the best match of the whole show and the reason this show drew even more wrestling fans than usual was the real main event of this show as Alpha and Omega clashed. I thought Jericho played the role of heel masterfully proving that he is indeed the best in the world. Kenny was at his best and with the help of Jericho this was arguably the best performance from Omega of entire career so far. I loved every moment of this feud and the match delivered more than I ever thought it would. Sometimes when something is hyped up as much as this had been it is never that good but this was even better than all the hype and expectations. Okay Jericho was not in the best shape of his career but his mind and knowledge of this business is still better than most and it showed here. This was a defining moment on many levels for not only Jericho and Omega but for NJPW and all of wrestling outside of the Global dominance that is WWE.
While the main event was equally as good as the prior match it did take a while to get going but when it did my goodness what a match. Part of me is very disappointed that Naito lost but then you have to understand that he lost to one of the best wrestlers in the history of this business. On this night Okada proved to everyone that he had earned the right to be up there with the greats of this business but while many will argue with my opinion I’m sure that everyone that has witnessed his record breaking title reign and this match will agree with me.
This was as close to a perfect show as you are going to ever see and for me it is not only going to take something remarkable to be better than it I would say it is up there with the best Wrestling shows of all time.