New Japan Pro Wrestling held their biggest show of the year this morning. Courtesy of PuroresuFan.com, here is a complete report.
NJPW "WRESTLE KINGDOM 8 IN TOKYO DOME", 1/4/14 (WPW/PPV/iPPV)
35,000 Fans – No Vacancy
0. Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Tomoaki Honma, Captain New Japan & BUSHI beat Manabu Nakanishi, Super Strong Machine, Jushin Thunder Liger & Yohei Komatsu (8:11) when Tenzan used a modified crab hold on Komatsu.
1. IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Title – 4WAY Match: Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson (c) beat KUSHIDA & Alex Shelley, TAKA Michinoku Kaientai Dojo & Taichi and Rocky Romero & Alex Koslov (10:35) when Matt pinned Taichi after the More Bang For Your Buck (1st defense).
2. IWGP Tag Team Title: Karl Anderson & Doc Gallows beat Lance Archer & Davey Boy Smith Jr. (c) (10:27) when Anderson pinned Archer after the Magic Killer to become the 64th champions.
3. NWA World Heavyweight Title: Satoshi Kojima beat Rob Conway NWA (c) (8:27) with a lariat to become the 85th champion.
4. Special Tag Match: Yuji Nagata & Kazushi Sakuraba beat Daniel Gracie & Rolles Gracie (9:50) when Daniel was DQ'd.
5. Special Tag Match: Great Muta WRESTLE-1 & Toru Yano beat Minoru Suzuki & Shelton Benjamin (4:12) when Yano used the Uragasumi on Suzuki.
6. King of Destroyer Match: Togi Makabe beat King Fale (5:15) by KO.
7. Special Singles Match – Hirooki Goto Return Match: Hirooki Goto beat Katsuyori Shibata (15:33) with the Shouten Kai.
8. IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title: Kota Ibushi beat Prince Devitt (c) (16:22) with a Phoenix splash to become the 67th champion.
9. Double Main Event I – IWGP Heavyweight Title: Kazuchika Okada (c) beat Tetsuya Naito (30:58) with the Rainmaker (7th defense).
10. Double Main Event II – IWGP Intercontinental Title: Hiroshi Tanahashi beat Shinsuke Nakamura (c) (23:24) with the High Fly Flow to become the 7th champion.
* 35,000 fans (real number) watched Japanese pro wrestling's biggest event of the year today, up 6,000 from this time last year and another big success.
* For the fourth year running, Hiroshi Tanahashi won the 1/4 main event as he and eternal rival Shinsuke Nakamura collided in what fans voted to be the last match of the show. This was their third Tokyo Dome main event with Nakamura winning the previous two, so it was a huge win for Tanahashi (who was played out to the ring by former Megadeth guitarist Marty Friedman). After dropping the High Fly Flow on Shinsuke, Tanahashi added yet another achievement to his prolific career by winning the IWGP Intercontinental Title for the first time. This could free Nakamura up for a long awaited return to the IWGP Heavyweight Title scene…
* The new generation leader of New Japan, Kazuchika Okada, made a successful V7 defense of his IWGP Heavyweight Title in a blockbuster match against G1 Climax 2013 winner Tetsuya Naito. In an exciting battle lasting 30 minutes, Okada came close to losing the title he has held since last April, but prevailed after hitting his Rainmaker. Who will be next to try and take the belt away from the Rainmaker?
* A new era looks to have begun in the junior division after Kota Ibushi, who became a New Japan affiliated wrestler several months ago, ended the lengthy IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title reign of Prince Devitt at the Tokyo Dome. The Bullet Club leader had just about run out of competition in the division, but Ibushi was more than a match and dropped his Phoenix splash to become the 67th champion. A mysterious masked man (El Desperado, who debuts tomorrow) appeared after the match, congratulating and challenging Ibushi.
* Hirooki Goto made a triumphant return from an injury suffered during the G1, ending his win drought against old rival Katsuyori Shibata. Goto hadn't beaten Shibata in their series, but returned with a bang today and boosted his chances of a big 2014 by winning with the Shouten Kai. Goto helped Shibata to the back afterwards, hinting that their series is over and a possible alliance could follow.
* The Gracie invasion turned out to be something of a dud, with their tag match against the veteran team of Nagata & Saku ending in a DQ and failing to impress many fans.
* Satoshi Kojima ended Rob Conway's unbeaten singles run in New Japan and in doing so won the historic NWA World Heavyweight Title! Kojima had previously failed in an attempt to win the belt, but after a long time is a singles champion again now.
* World Tag League winners, Karl Anderson & Doc Gallows, pulled off something of an upset by dethroning the Killer Elite Squad to become the 85th IWGP Tag Team Champions. The recently formed duo have been on a roll and continued that when Anderson pinned Archer following the Magic Killer.
* The Young Bucks retained their IWGP Jr. Tag Team Title in difficult circumstances, facing THREE other teams in a 4WAY Match. Matt Jackson pinned Taichi to ensure the belts remain with the Bullet Club team.
* New Japan announced that the 2014 G1 Climax final show will be held at the 30,000 seat Seibu Dome. This is unprecedented and huge venue to book for the G1 final in a year where New Japan are trying to upscale.