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NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 17 Live Results Open Thread

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The biggest show of the year in New Japan arrives today (January 4th) from the Tokyo Dome.

Kingdom of Struggle 17 will feature eight title matches, headlined by Jay White defending the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship against G1 Climax winner Kazuchika Okada. The lineup also includes a tribute to Antonio Inoki, the long-awaited match between Will Ospreay and Kenny Omega, WWE’s Karl Anderson defending the NEVER Openweight belt against his former Bullet Club teammate Tama Tonga, AEW’s FTR putting their IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team titles on the line against World Tag League winners Bishamon, KAIRI’s first defense of the promotion’s new women’s belt (which may be where we have a certain boss debut), and much, much more.

Kingdom of Struggle 17 is available for viewing through NJPWWorld and comes with either Japanese or English commentary. The PPV starts at 3am ET with a Kickoff show starting approximately an hour and 40 minutes before then.

Follow the updates here and have fun chatting in the open thread.

PRE-SHOW

• Boltin Oleg vs Ryohei Oiwa ended in a time limit draw

• SHO Great-O-Khan, Toru Yano and Shingo Takagi advance to New Year Dash!!Fight for the 2023 King of Pro Wrestling Trophy

• Yuji Nagata, Satoshi Kojima and Togi Makabe def. Tatsumi Fujinami, Tiger Mask and Minoru Suzuki at the Antonio Inoki Memorial fight.

• It has been announced that a movie about Inoki is in production.

MAIN CARD

• Catch 2/2 (TJP & Francesco Akira) def. CHAOS (Lio Rush & YOH) to retain the IWGP Junior Tag Team Titles via pinfall.

TJP reversed the Direct Drive and fixed the YOH with an internal bracket. Fast opening you would expect from the super juniors. Rush was opened after landing with a tandem cutter on the steel ramp.

KAIRI def. Tam Nakano for the IWGP Women’s Championship

Nakano landed the Violent Screwdriver for two, but KAIRI kicked it out for two. She landed a pair of Cutlasses and the InSane Elbow to win a quick (five minutes) hard-hitting match.

Mercedes Mone (Sasha Banks) debuted afterwards.

She was featured on “The CEO” and announced as a seven-time individual champion. Her entrance music was also money-themed. She was wearing a Statue of Liberty-like crown and a white Japanese flag-themed tunic, which she removed to reveal it was in her outfit (with heels). KAIR lifted the belt and Moné released her. She asked for a microphone and cut a promo introducing herself and setting up a match on battle in the valley in San Jose on February 18. Video and more on here.

Bishamon (Hirooki Goto and YOSHI-HASHI) def. FTR (Dax Harwood & Cash Wheeler) to win the IWGP Tag Team Titles.

A very good and forceful fight that marks the end of the FTR belt collector phase, and maybe internationally as well. FTR managed to hit Big Rig on Goto, but couldn’t get three before YH broke the pin. Harwood went down after Bishamon hit his GYR tandem finisher. Most on here.

Zack Saber Jr. def. Ren Narita via submission to become the first IWGP World Television Champion

All TV title matches will have a time limit of 15 minutes. This one didn’t make it that far, but they fought like it was on the clock. ZSJ took advantage of technical exchanges, from which Narita recovered with emotion. At the end of one of these rallies, he got caught in an armbar that he couldn’t extricate himself from.

Subsequently, Shane Haste and Mikey Nicholls appeared and offered the Suzuki-gun alumnus on their team. Saber joined them wearing a TMDK shirt.

Tama Tonga def. Karl Anderson to win the NEVER Openweight title

Machine Gun was not accompanied by any of his fellow WWE Superstars. He gave Tama a low blow with the belt before the bell and worked the heat against his former Bullet Club teammate in and out of the ring, but was unable to fend off Tonga. Both men were desperate to hit Gun Stun, and Tama finally landed one on the middle rope. He followed up with another one (which didn’t land clean) to beat him. Most on here.

Keiji Muto, Hiroshi Tanahashi and Shota Umino def. Tetsuya Naito, Sanada & Bushi

This is Muto’s last NJPW match. A fun trios match designed to (a) give the commentary team a chance to talk about Muto’s connections to the other men in the ring and (b) replace Umino. The latter was accomplished when Muto let him pin Bushi after he hit him with Shining Wizard. Shooter and Naito had a tense moment when the winners came out.

Hiromu Takahaski def. Taiji Ishimori, El Desperado and Master Wato at the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship

Ishimori carried the belt to this 4way, which was as crazy as you would imagine a super junior 4way fight would be on this stage. Dives and other highspots cleaned things up so mini-singles could happen in the ring. Hiromu and Desperado traded finishers for near-takedowns. Wato tried to get the win after this exchange and got two with his own Recently, but Takahashi hit him with Time Bomb 2 to win the title.

• During the Juniors match, we were informed that the Kongo faction of Pro Wrestling NOAH faced Los Ingobernables de Japon backstage while LIJ was speaking to the press about the Mutoh match.

Kenny Omega def. Will Ospreay to win the IWGP US Heavyweight Title

Big entries for both men for the first of our two main events. United Empire enters with the champion. Don Callis is here with his guy and he does commentary in English. Omega being only 80% healthy is as big a talking point as the passing of the torch story. Callis is confident that Kenny will win anyway because Ospreay is dumb. Both men occupy big places at the table in the opening third.

Ospreay is slammed to the ground, and EU and Callis gape as the officers check on Will. Kenny slams his opponent’s bloodied head into one of the broken tables and waves at Red Shoes as he lights him up with open hand strikes. V-Trigger connects, but Will puts one foot on the ropes as Don changes his tunes on Ospreay’s mental strength. The champion creates an opening when he trips the ropes and crotch Omega, but The Cleaner sends him jaw first hitting a turnbuckle. Several V Triggers and a superplex follow, but Will doesn’t stay down. Kenny is yelling at him to stay down as he goes for another knee, but Ospreay catches it and mounts another comeback around the 30th minute.

Chelsea Kiss, two Hidden Blades and a Super Os-cutter, but Omega isn’t going to stay down. Both go for their finishers but fail to connect, and Will lands the Styles Clash! Nearfall, elbow pad out, Hidden Blade! That only makes two. Ospreay drags him to the middle of the ring to attempt the Stormbreaker, but Kenny escapes for yet another V Trigger that takes both men down. Omega has wrist control as they get up for a forearm exchange. German straitjacket suplex bridge wins two. Another knee (this one a kamagoye), Ospreay defiantly spits blood at his rival, then picks up One Winged Angel.

Kazuchika Okada def. Jay White to win the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship

Video package before entries. Gedo is here with Switchblade. Rocky Romero joins the commentary and compares White to Triple H. Tanahashi is now on the Japanese announce table with legends like Masahiro Chono, Jushin Liger and others, and Jay also teases him before the bell.

Mainly Switchblade early on, with body shots leaving the G1 winner breathless. He lands a dropkick to take White off the top. Gedo tries to get involved and both jumps take DDT on the ramp. They trade blows in the ring, then Okada hits a tombstone and clothesline to set up the Money Clip. White escapes and Gedo prevents a dive, so both men are sent out.

The challenger was in control for a stretch, fighting off a comeback that included a sleeper suplex when countering a Sling Blade on a German. The two men traded submissions for a while, with neither man getting three. Okada ended up hitting White with his own Blade Runner to set up the Rainmaker that won the night.

More on the two main events on here.

• After the bell, White initially refuses to give the belt to the Red Shoes. He eventually does, as Okada is tied up while Jay gets to his feet. He gets up and they share a look before Switchblade rolls over and Gedo helps him back up. Kevin Kelly talks about Okada and Inoki’s legacies as Shingo Takagi enters the ring with a microphone. He congratulates the champion and talks about the main event at Wrestle Kingdom 16, then raves about his accolades since lobbying for a shot at the belt. Chris Carlton is confused about the date Shingo said, but we’ll find out soon enough.

Okada tells him to get lost. He talks about his achievement, NJPW’s 50th anniversary, thanks the fans and breaks down in tears asking Inoki what he thought of tonight’s matches. He knows that Inoki will be watching the next 50 years of New Japan from the sky. He will continue to be champion, and making it rain.

Since they can cheer again, Okada leads the Tokyo Dome in a cheer for Inoki from the stage to end the show.

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