NJPW confirms back-to-back nights at the Tokyo Dome in January

Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/10/18/njpw-confirms-back-to-back-nights-at-the-tokyo-dome-in-january/

During the final night of the G1 Climax, New Japan Pro Wrestling confirmed it will run back-to-back cards at the Tokyo Dome in January.

The announcement was made mid-way through the show with the company running Wrestle Kingdom 15 over two nights on January 4th and January 5th, 2021.

This would be the second straight year where the company ran back-to-back nights at the Tokyo Dome. At Wrestle Kingdom 14, they drew 40,008 for the first night headlined by Kazuchika Okada vs. Kota Ibushi for the IWGP heavyweight title, and night two drew 30,063 with Okada vs. Tetsuya Naito for the Double Championship.

It continues New Japan’s tradition of running the Tokyo Dome on January 4th that goes back to 1992.

It’s unknown what restrictions New Japan will have regarding the percentage of the building that will be open for fans amidst the global pandemic.

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To me it sounds like Naito defends the world title on jan 4 and the ic title on jan. 5. If not, they need a big showcase to sell night two. (Of course “sell” isnt the same as last year).

Really need to separate the 2 titles now

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They’ll be lucky to get 40,000 total between the two nights, but of course I’m hoping for things to get better overall, both over here and over there.

Agreed that the Heavyweight and Intercontinental Title may end up on two different people. Maybe the G1 winner (no spoilers) beats Naito for the Heavyweight Title on the 4th, then turn around and defends it on the 5th while Naito defends the Intercontinental Title.

Will Jon Moxley defend his IWGP US Title in Wrestle Kingdom by any chance?

The US Title scene is pretty much quiet around here.

I doubt it. Japan has a travel ban from the US. I guess that could change by then.

But if is lifted he would still have to quarantine after traveling to Japan, do WK, and then quarantine again back in America. That would take him off AEW for a month. I doubt he would want to do that.

With Tana going after the IWGP US contract, and his appearance for the Jericho episode of Dynamite, I could 100% see Tana getting the contract and facing Moxley at WK. Would AEW let Kenta beat Mox? No; would they let Tana beat Mox after Jericho went over him last year? I say yes.

I don’t think AEW has any say over NJ booking. They could have Mox lose to anyone they want. Now both NJ and AEW have a joint long-term interest in keeping Mox looking strong and being a draw. But the priority for NJ is probably getting the US title of Mox and onto someone living in Japan.

My thinking on this is they cannot get it off of Mox unless AEW allows them to beat Mox and NJPW probably does not want to sour it’s relationship with Mox by stripping it from him. So the way to make it agreeable to all parties is to have somebody beat Mox that all sides are cool with (Tanahashi).

Neither side probably has booking say over the other but I’d be shocked if neither cares about how to protect guys they both care about keeping strong and happy for future working deals (at least on the part of NJPW and Mox)