New Japan confirms double championship match for Jan. 5

Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/11/05/new-japan-confirms-double-championship-match-for-jan-5/

Following a fan vote, New Japan Pro Wrestling has confirmed that a dual champion will be crowned at the Tokyo Dome in January.

The promotion has released the results that will feature two championship matches at Wrestle Kingdom 14 on January 4th, 2020, with the two winners facing off the following night at the Tokyo Dome.

On January 4th, Kazuchika Okada will defend the IWGP heavyweight championship against G1 Climax winner Kota Ibushi while Intercontinental champion Jay White defends the championship against Tetsuya Naito. The two winners will face off the next night and leave as the dual champion.

NJPW has also confirmed Will Ospreay will defend the IWGP junior heavyweight title against the returning Hiromu Takahashi on January 4th.

The company will run a third consecutive show on January 6th with the annual New Year’s Dash event at Ota Ward Gymnasium. The event will be highlighted by Jushin Thunder Liger’s retirement ceremony along with a mystery card, which is a tradition for the show.

Here are the updated cards for the two Tokyo Dome events next year:

Wrestle Kingdom 14 on January 4th:
*Kazuchika Okada vs. Kota Ibushi for the IWGP heavyweight championship
*Jay White vs. Tetsuya Naito for the Intercontinental title
*Will Ospreay vs. Hiromu Takahashi for the IWGP junior heavyweight title
*Jushin Thunder Liger, Tatsumi Fujinami, Great Sasuke, Tiger Mask vs. Naoki Sano, Shinjiro Otani, Tatsuhito Takaiwa & Ryusuke Taguchi

January 5th at the Tokyo Dome
*Okada/Ibushi winner vs. White/Naito winner
*Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Chris Jericho
*El Phantasmo & Taiji Ishimori vs. Roppongi 3K for the IWGP junior heavyweight tag titles

Somebody help me out here:
Okada - IWGP Champion, doesn’t want IC Title, but is going to be challenged by IC Champ and he is a fighting champion
Ibushi - Won the G1 and has earned a right to the IWGP Championship match; will accept the challenge by the IC Champ
Jay White - IC Champion, has the intention to challenge IWGP Champion on Jan 5th.
Naito - NOT A CHAMPION, only included because he had the idea to be a double champion before he lost the IC belt AND lost in the G1

Why the heck is Naito getting included? I love Naito. I own an LIJ Shirt (official mark of a fan, I know!)…There is really little reason Naito is being included here. Jay beat Naito, not once, but twice this summer. When people complained about Jericho getting a IWGP Heavyweight title shot this summer, wasn’t it because the booking didn’t make sense? Well it made more sense than this!

Questionable…but then again…in Gedo we Trust

1 Like

I hate this, because I think it means Naito is winning both titles. I was hoping we’d get away from that, with him not winning the G1.

I guess we can consider the Naito vs Taichi match as an IC #1 contender match of sorts.

I wonder if this means we’re going to see the IC title merged with the Heavyweight championship & retired? Especially if Naito becomes double champion as he’s never shown much respect for the title.

I’d be fine with that. One less championship wouldn’t hurt though I’d prefer they got rid of the Two Never titles or the U.S championship but with Njpw expanding into the U.S I can see them elevating that championship. :slight_smile: