FEEDBACK: NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 15 (Night 1)

What did you think of Wrestle Kingdom 15 (Night 1)?

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0 voters

(We’re recording the show early so we may not be able to read your feedback on the POST Show, but please your thoughts for everyone to read.)

Simon from Ottawa

I don’t often set my alarm clock for 2am on a Monday, but Wrestle Kingdom is usually worth it.

Definitely wasn’t heading into this year’s show with the same level of excitement, but after Night One, I found the show had a good pace and an interesting mix of matches and characters. I wouldn’t be opposed to these shorter cards in the future, if they wanted to continue down this road. Two standout matches at the top of the card with a good supporting card isn’t a bad way to go at all. And those two matches at the top of the card definitely delivered today.

I’m looking forward to seeing what’s next for the top mix of talent in NJPW, but I can’t help but think the main event scene is starting to get a little crowded, especially with Ospreay’s recent elevation. Any chance they could split up the double gold moving forward?

Looking forward to day 2 of Sleep Deprivation Kingdom tomorrow!

Mj

Shout out Chris Charlton’s friend Damian Abraham
Shout out My twin And Davie Portman’s tweets with Gino Gambino
And
Shout out Wrestling Twitter at 4am est

Was really not too excited for WK this year which was a bummer as it’s become an annual tradition and feels like a the perfect way to start the year with the wrestling community. What I want to say is that regardless of excitement level, waking up to watch WK and being online during it live is still and probably always will be a fun annual tradition as long as I’m a wrestling fan.

Some random thoughts:

  • Would much prefer better undercard matches than a big multi performer kickoff. Goto - Suzuki a few years back is the perfect level match and the importance doesn’t have to come from a title it could come from having a match at WK.
  • Tanahashi was an Aces Ace carrying OKahn to a decent match. I understand pushing OKahn into high profile matches like they did with Jay White but he’s now lost both and feels like a really corny gimmick.
  • Very well structured match between Okada and Osprey that played into their current relationship and characters. We knew it would delivery but with past great matches it stood out as something different and worthy as a top Dome match
  • Main Event went a fine length and was engaging throughout which hasn’t been the case for me with Naito this year. Naito ran into awful luck in 2020 because with the right opponent he has matches that do feel grand
  • Naito hits more finishers that go for 2 counts than anyone I can remember and not just in these epic main events. Have you ever noticed? Not a criticism as I kinda like the idea that you always wanna go to the best move to finish a guy
  • Curious your thought on the acoustics. It felt like the main event had some great echos if the guys grunting and also the crowd using clap sticks. What did you think from a production sense?

I do not advocate for 2 nights of WK and maybe that decreases my overall excitement but I will say I’m looking forward to another night of quality matches and continued story with Ibushi.

Happy WrestleKingdom15 week

1 Like

Brian from New York

I was at the G1 Supercard at MSG when Ibushi and Naito whipped out that apron hurricanrana and I’m just glad to see they’ve found about 8 other ways to try and kill themselves since. Of course, they always bring it for these matches and tonight lived up to their usual standard in the long-awaited crowning moment for Kota Ibushi. It does feel like they’ve peaked a bit early with that moment happening on Day 1, so there will be a lot of pressure on Jay White to pull out the best match of his career tomorrow.

Being that Ibushi is likely to come out retaining tomorrow, do you guys see a big angle being shot with White and the Bullet Club, or will that be put on ice for longer? It feels like White is coming into his character now, so it does seem like that needs to be held off for longer, but the top of BC is now pretty heavy with EVIL and Kenta there as well.

In the other big match of the night that also lived up to ultra-high expectations, Okada and Ospreay delivered in performances that both needed for different reasons. Okada desperately needed to change directions after last year and seeing the Rainmaker after all this time was fulfilling as a finish. The Commonwealth Kingpin - I can’t get over that amazingly ridiculous moniker - probably needed the win more, but maybe they are waiting for a bigger show like Dominion to position Ospreay for a title shot I can see why they are biding their time. He absolutely looks like he belongs at the top of the New Japan card regardless of the results.

The rest of the show more or less lived up to expectations. I’ll say there’s something about Great O’Khan I really like and I think that’ll grow more as he sheds the more outlandish parts of his gimmick over time, but I’ll always pop when Tanahashi gets a big win at the dome. Also can’t be more excited for the inevitable Kenta-Moxley match, but if it’s only going to be in an empty New Japan Dojo, it might be a bit of a let down.

Back again with an hour more sleep tomorrow!

Kishan

Solid show overall, my first time watching Wrestle Kingdom live and the stream was solid no issues at all. My match of the night was Okada/Ospreay. The main event and the Hiromu/ELP match also stood out, could do without Hiromu taking that powerbomb on the floor. I was pleasantly surprised by Tana and Great O-Khan.

Interested to see where they go with Ospreay and this new heel character, I thought he was going to go over tonight and if you told me the two titles would still be together a year later I wouldn’t have believed you. Either split them up by mid year or just get rid of the IC title.

What the hell was that Asian Don King. I hope he isn’t back tomorrow. I also feel bad for Ricki Choshu’s grandson, poor kid.

Looking forward to night 2, time to go to sleep. You guys are the real MVPs

9/10 show

Jalen from Pickering,

Simplest way to put it is the matches that you would think on paper would be WK quality were just that, and the others were fine.
As someone who would’ve been okay with Ibushi never winning the world title and wanting Naito to have a proper moment in the sun, the main event was bitter sweet. But big picture it was the right decision. It should be interesting to see how they handle Naito and Ospreay’s losses.

Andrew from Saint John

I was over the moon to see Kota Ibushi, who I’d say is my favourite wrestler in New Japan, finally come through and win the big one. The finish was great and I think it was a match that built steadily throughout. Continued #speakingout issues with Ospreay and Chase Owens made me feel checked out of their matches (and since it involved Will’s stable, that affected O-khan/Tana too) but I liked what I saw from Okada. The first three matches were solid. 8/10

1 Like

I was a lapsed fan until getting into wrestling again about 3 years ago. I’m now back to being a super fan.

I’ve watched bits and pieces of new japan in the last couple of years, so I’m familiar with the big names and have seen some of their matches before. Now I have NJPW world, this was the first time I’ve watched a New Japan show without knowing the results.

I’m normally not able to resist listening to rewind-a-dynamite before having seen the show (UK fan so there’s a time difference) but this time I waited to listen to John and Wai’s review until after seeing the show for WK.

I was very happy for Kota Ibushi, who from what I’ve seen and read absolutely deserved and earned this victory!

I really enjoyed the junior heavyweight match. Okada v Ospreay was brilliant, as was the main event. I haven’t watched NJPW for quite a while. I was stunned by how good it is (I am every time I return to it). As much as I like AEW, I really do like the sports based presentation of NJPW. It really comes across as a legit sporting contest. The wrestlers are all such incredible workers, I really do buy into it, and it really did highlight some of the criticisms that get thrown at AEW regarding matches being ‘spot heavy’.

I love the smoothness of matches when wrestlers have great chemistry (i.e Punk V Cena) and seem to have worked out great sequences, but some of the inexperienced wrestlers in AEW can end up looking a bit choreographed at times. NJPW has smooth transitions and reversals but still looks like a legit contest. Awesome Stuff.

I also love the way Japanese crowd applaud the great actions.
Although there were quite a lot of fans there, it was clever the way they lit the building so that the empty areas did not show up. It felt like a big show still.

This was an 8 or 9 out of 10 for me. Stoked for night 2 and for John and Wai’s review :slight_smile: