NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 13 Review: Kenny Omega vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi
- Show: NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 13
- Location: Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan
- Date: Friday January 4, 2019
- Review by: Amin Ajani
NEVER Openweight Championship Match: Kota Ibushi vs. Will Ospreay
- Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1/4
Ibushi and Ospreay worked at a crazy pace to start the match. Ibushi delivered a dropkick went for the Golden Triangle but Ospreay countered with a kick to the midsection and followed up with a Tiger Drop. Ospreay delivered chops and followed up with a backbreaker for a near fall. Ibushi delivered a hurricanrana and followed up with a reverse corkscrew moonsault to the floor. Ibushi delivered a springboard dropkick and followed up with a German suplex for a near fall. Ospreay made a comeback by delivering rolling kick. Ibushi delivered a powerslam but Ospreay delivered a Cheeky Nandos kick for a near fall. Ibushi delivered a head kick but Ospreay countered with a Spanish Fly. Ibushi countered the Storm Breaker into a reverse hurricanrana for a near fall. Ospreay delivered a German suplex but Ibushi bounced up and delivered a Bomb Ye knee strike. Ibushi delivered a Last Ride for a near fall. They battled on the top turnbuckle as Ibushi delivered a double stomp to the back of Ospreay. Ibushi went for a German suplex from the ring apron but Ospreay landed on his feet and delivered the Robinson Special. Ibushi countered the OzCutter and delivered a Straight Jacket German suplex for a near fall. There was a nice back-and-forth exchange reversals as Ibushi delivered a Crunchy for a near fall. Ospreay delivered a running back elbow to the back of Ibushi who looked out. Ospreay then delivered the Storm Breaker to Ibushi and won the NEVER Openweight Championship.
- Winner: Will Ospreay won the NEVER Openweight Title
(Amin’s Analysis: This was a great match as both Ibushi and Ospreay worked really hard. There were some great spots and transitions as both Ibushi and Ospreay are great wrestlers.)
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship Match: El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs. SHO & YOH vs. BUSHI & Shingo Takagi
- Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
SHO and YOH delivered stereo flip dives to BUSHI and Takagi. Desperado and Kanemaru delivered a double team backdrop/running dropkick to YOH for a near fall. YOH delivered a dragon screw to Desperado and a superkick to Kanemaru. SHO delivered a double German suplex to Kanemaru and Shingo. BUSHI delivered a spear to YOH. Desperado delivered a spine buster to SHO. SHO and YOH delivered a double team backbreaker/jumping knee to Shingo for a near fall. Shingo delivered Noshigomi and then followed up with a Bombe Bomber to YOH for a near fall. BUSHI delivered a tope to SHO. Finish came when Shingo delivered Last of the Dragon to YOH for the win.
- Winners: Shingo Takagi & BUSHI won the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Titles
(Amin’s Analysis: This was fun fast paced match as everyone worked really hard. Shingo was the star of the match as he showed some great intensity.)
RPW British Heavyweight Championship Match: Tomohiro Ishii vs. Zack Sabre Jr.
- Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 2/4
Sabre applied a cross armbreaker but Ishii grabbed the ropes to break the hold. Sabre applied a head scissors into a cross armbar but Ishii grabbed the ropes to break the hold. Sabre delivered a Norther Lights suplex and then applied an ankle lock. Ishii countered by applying an ankle lock but Sabre broke free. Ishii delivered chops, a running clothesline and followed up with an overhead suplex. Ishii delivered a superplex but Sabre held on and stomped on Ishii’s wrist. Sabre applied an octopus and then transitioned into a Code Red for a close near fall. Sabre delivered a PK. Sabre delivered kicks but Ishii delivered a big chop and followed up with a powerbomb for a near fall. Ishii delivered a headbutt and followed up with a lariat for a near fall. Sabre delivered an overhead kick. Sabre countered a sliding lariat into a pinning combination for near fall. Finish came when Sabre applied a double arm octopus as Ishii submitted.
- Winner: Zack Sabre Jr. won the RPW British Heavyweight Title
(Amin’s Analysis: This was another good match as both Ishii and Sabre worked hard. Ishii showed some great intensity but Sabre was the star of the match is just a master at his craft of submission holds.)
IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship Match: Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa vs. EVIL & SANADA vs. The Young Bucks
- Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 3/4
EVIL delivered a scoop slam and followed up with a running clothesline on the ramp to Matt. Loa delivered a powerslam to EVIL for a near fall. The Young Bucks delivered a backbreaker/rolling twist to EVIL. Matt applied a sharpshooter on EVIL. The Young Bucks delivered a tope to Tonga. SANADA with a sliding dropkick to Matt and applied the Paradise Lock on Nick. SANADA delivered a plancha to Tonga, a plancha to Matt and a plancha to The Young Bucks. Tonga delivered Togan Twist to Matt. EVIL and Loa delivered a Magic Killer to Tonga. Loa delivered a German suplex to EVIL. Matt delivered a spear to Loa. There was a Tower of Doom superplex spot as Nick followed up with a 450 Splash to EVIL. The Bucks welcomed Jado to the Super Kick Party. Bad Luck Fale delivered a double shoulder tackle to The Bucks. Nick delivered a top rope hurricanrana to Tonga and then welcomed EVIL to the Super Kick Party. The Bucks went for the Meltzer Driver but Tonga countered by delivering the Gun Stun to Nick. EVIL delivered Everything is EVIL to Tonga. SANADA applied the Skull End on Matt. EVIL and SANADA delivered the Magic Killer to Matt. SANADA followed up with a top rope reverse moonsault to Matt for the win.
- Winners: EVIL & SANADA won the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Titles
(Amin’s Analysis: It felt really rushed but this much delivered enough Bang for your Buck and was really fun to watch as everyone worked really hard.)
IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship Match: Cody (w/Brandi Rhodes) vs. Juice Robinson
- Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Juice delivered jabs to Cody and followed up with a spine buster. Juice delivered a flying crossbody and followed up with Juice Box. Juice climbed the turnbuckle but Brandi covered Cody. Cody countered Pulp Fiction and rammed Juice into the ring post. Cody distracted the referee as Brandi speared Juice and followed up with ground and pound. Cody countered Pulp Fiction and delivered Cross Rhodes for a near fall. Juice delivered Cross Rhodes for a near fall. Cody delivered a Disaster Kick and followed up Pulp Fiction to Juice for a near fall. Cody whipped Juice with his belt. Juice delivered jabs but Cody with a superkick. Cody went for a disaster kick but Juice countered with a jab. Juice delivered back-to-back Pulp Fictions for the win.
- Winner: Juice Robinson won the IWGP United States Heavyweight Title
(Amin’s Analysis: This was a good match as the story was Cody and Juice using each other’s moves against each other. A nice win for Juice as he looked strong in the win. Looks like Cody is done with NJPW as he looks to start All Elite Wrestling.)
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship Match: KUSHIDA vs. Taiji Ishimori
- Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1/4
KUSHIDA has a special Back to the Future entrance as a mini KUSHIDA came out. KUSHIDA delivered a hip toss into a cartwheel dropkick. Ishimori applied the LeBell Lock but KUSHIDA placed his foot on the rope to break the hold. Ishimori delivered a springboard senton and followed up with a sliding German suplex. KUSHIDA avoided a 450 and applied a cross arm breaker. KUSHIDA applied a triangle and then applied a Kimura but Ishimori broke free. KUSHIDA blocked a jumping lung blower and followed up with a PK. Ishimori delivered a jumping lung blower and then went for the Bloody Cross but KUSHIDA countered into the Hover Board. Ishimori countered by deadlifting KUSHIDA and following up with a jackhammer. Ishimori delivered a running double knees in the corner, went for the Bloody Cross but KUSHIDA countered with Back-to-the-Future. KUSHIDA delivered a big jab but Ishimori came back and delivered a jumping double knees. Finish came when Ishimori delivered the Bloody Cross for the win.
- Winner: Taiji Ishimori won the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title
(Amin’s Analysis: This was a good professional wrestling match as both Ishimori and KUSHIDA worked hard. Ishimori is great as the power house and looked strong in the win. KUSHIDA has been the one of the highlights of the Junior Heavyweight division in NJPW. The question is what’s NeXT for KUSHIDA?)
Jay White vs. Kazuchika Okada
- Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1/4
Okada got a huge mega superstar reaction when he came out. Okada delivered a sliding dropkick to White. White delivered a Saito suplex as he dropped Okada to the floor. White rammed Okada into the barricade and the ring apron. White delivered a running back elbow and followed up with a Saito suplex for a near fall. Okada delivered a running back elbow and followed up with a DDT for a near fall. Okada placed White on the top turnbuckle and followed with a standing dropkick. Okada delivered running boot sending White over the barricade. Gedo tried to interfere but Okada no sold it. Okada delivered a great looking running crossbody over the barricade to Gedo and White. Okada delivered a scoop slam, a flying elbow drop and did the ‘Rainmaker’ pose for a big reaction. White countered with a German suplex and followed up with a Uranage for a near fall. Gedo brought a chair into the ring. White went to use the chair but Okada sent him into Gedo who went into the barricade. Okada delivered back-to-back dropkicks to White. White countered the Rainmaker with a Snap Dragon suplex and followed up with the Kiwi Crusher for near fall. Okada countered the Blade Runner and delivered a Tombstone Piledriver. There was a great and exchange of counters with Okada delivering a spinning Rainmaker to White. Okada went for a second Rainmaker but White countered by delivering the Blade Runner for the win.
- Winner: Jay White
(Amin’s Analysis: This was terrific as both Okada and White worked really hard. There was so many great counters and the finishing sequence of the match was awesome. Okada is a fantastic wrestler, just so fun to watch and was nice to see him play babyface and get a huge super reaction that he deserves. I like White winning the match as this will elevate him as the top heel and put him in contention for the IWGP Heavyweight Title.)
IWGP Intercontinental Championship Match: Chris Jericho vs. Tetsuya Naito
- Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1/4
Naito attacked Jericho before the match. Naito delivered a piledriver on the entrance ramp and then attacked Jericho with the turnbuckle. Naito delivered a hurricanrana. Naito charged but Jericho attacked him with a Kendo stick. Jericho delivered a springboard dropkick to Naito and followed up with snap suplex on the floor. Jericho delivered a Spike DDT to Naito on top of the announcers table. Jericho delivered a flying crossbody for a near fall. Jericho delivered a Lionsault for another near fall. Naito delivered sliding dropkick to the back of Jericho and followed up with back-to-back neck breakers for a near fall. Jericho countered a slingshot dropkick into the Walls of Jericho. Jericho delivered a step-up ensuigiri but Naito delivered a tornado DDT. Naito delivered Gloria for a near fall. Naito went for the Destino but Jericho countered into the Walls of Jericho. Naito broke free of the hold by whacking Jericho with a Kendo stick. Naito swung the Kendo stick but Jericho moved and delivered a Code Breaker for a great near fall. Jericho brought and attacked Naito with chairs. Jericho went for a powerbomb but Naito countered with DDT onto the stack of chairs and followed up with a Code Breaker for another close near fall. Jericho threw a chair at Naito. Naito countered a suplex and delivered a German suplex for near fall. Jericho delivered a low blow and followed up with a Code Breaker for another close near fall. Jericho grabbed the IWGP Intercontinental Title. Jericho charged but Naito sent him into the exposed turnbuckle and followed up with a Destino for another close near fall. Naito attacked Jericho with the IWGP Intercontinental Title and followed up with the third Destino for the win.
- Winner: Tetsuya Naito won the IWGP Intercontinental Title
(Amin’s Analysis: This was an awesome street fight as both Jericho and Naito worked really hard and the finishing sequence was superb.)
IWGP Heavyweight Championship Match: Kenny Omega vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi
- Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 3/4
The match started with some chain wrestling. Tanahashi slapped Omega who responded with strikes. Tanahashi worked over the knee of Omega. Omega and Tanahashi exchanged slaps. Omega delivered a running backbreaker to Tanahashi for a near fall. Omega delivered strikes to the back, slaps, a back suplex and a back suplex on the ring apron. Omega charged but Tanahashi countered with a dropkick. Omega scoop slammed Tanahashi over the barricade on the announcers table. Omega delivered reverse moonsault over the barricade and then sat up a table. Omega charged but Tanahashi countered with a dragon screw and followed up with a running dropkick. Tanahashi delivered a middle rope somersault senton for a near fall. Omega delivered a Guitaro Crusher but Tanahashi with a dropkick. Omega delivered a hurricanrana and followed up with a nice looking Terminator Dive. Omega delivered a missile dropkick, delivered back-to-back Snap Dragon suplex and followed up with a V-Trigger. Omega delivered a rolling senton but tweaked his knee as Tanahashi delivered a dragon screw. Tanahashi delivered a Twist-&-Shout, applied a Cloverleaf and then transitioned into the Styles Clash for an awesome sequence. Tanahashi went for the High Fly Flow but Omega got his knees up. Omega went for the V-Trigger but ran right into the turnbuckle as Tanahashi moved and followed up with a dragon screw in-between the ropes. Tanahashi delivered a Sling Blade on the ring apron and then placed Omega on the table. Tanahashi went for High Fly Flow but Omega moved as Tanahashi went crashing through the table. Tanahashi was placed in-between the ropes as Omega delivered a double stomp and followed up with a powerbomb for a near fall. Omega delivered a back-to-back powerbomb for another near fall. Omega went for the V-Trigger but Tanahashi countered with a Sling Blade. There was a nice back-and-forth strike exchange. Omega delivered a German suplex but Tanahashi no sold it. Omega delivered a Sling Blade of his own and followed up with a High Fly Flow but Tanahashi kicked out at one for a huge pop. Omega delivered a V-Trigger. Tanahashi countered a knee strike and delivered a dropkick to the other knee of Omega. Omega made a comeback by delivering a reverse hurricanrana. Omega delivered a running V-Trigger went for the One Winged Angel but Tanahashi countered with a reverse hurricanrana for a huge reaction. Tanahashi delivered a Dragon Suplex for a near fall. Tanahashi delivered a standing High Fly Flow to Omega. Tanahashi delivered a second High Fly Flow but Omega kicked out for an AWESOME near fall. Tanahashi climbed the turnbuckle but Omega caught him with a V-Trigger. Omega delivered a top rope reverse Dragon Suplex which looked crazy. Omega delivered a running V-Trigger went for the One Winged Angel but Tanahashi countered by delivering back-to-back Sling Blades. Tanahashi climbed the top turnbuckle and delivered a High Fly Flow to win his 8th IWGP Heavyweight Title.
- Winner: Hiroshi Tanahashi won the IWGP Heavyweight Title
(Amin’s Analysis: This match was just sensational and the storytelling was awesome. There were so many great sequences and the finishing moments of the match was just awesome. Was really nice to see Tanahashi win the IWGP Heavyweight Title because he’s a legend and is an amazing wrestler. Kenny Omega was just awesome in this match as he’s just a smooth wrestler and everything he does looks great. The question is now what’s next for Kenny Omega?)