This week’s Rewind-A-Wai is covering New Japan’s Wrestle Kingdom 9 card from the Tokyo Dome from Jan. 2015.

This show is presented by Espresso Executive Producer: Bruce Lord

Please leave your feedback and any questions and tune in Friday on the POST Wrestling Cafe.

Sunday, January 4th, 2015
Tokyo Dome
*Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kazuchika Okada for the IWGP heavyweight title
*Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Kota Ibushi
*Tetsuya Naito vs. AJ Styles
*Karl Anderson & Doc Gallows vs. Katsuyori Shibata & Hirooki Goto for the IWGP tag titles
*Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Kenny Omega for the IWGP junior heavyweight title
*Tomohiro Ishii vs. Togi Makabe for the NEVER Openweight title
*Minoru Suzuki vs. Kazushi Sakuraba in a UWF Rules Match
*Davey Boy Smith Jr., Lance Archer, Shelton Benjamin & Takashi Iizuka vs. Naomichi Marufuji, TMDK & Toru Yano
*Bad Luck Fale, Jeff Jarrett & Yujiro vs. Satoshi Kojima, Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Tomoaki Honma
*Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish vs. The Young Bucks vs. Rocky Romero & Alex Koslov vs. KUSHIDA & Alex Shelley for the IWGP junior heavyweight tag titles
*New Japan Rumble

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This show was great 10/10 for me. The last 3 matches delivered as only njpw can and kota and nakamura is still my favorite match. This ppv made me want to go to wrestle kingdom and I have been lucky enough to go to the last 3.

Mark from Vaughan

This was the first New Japan show I had ever seen after hearing discussions about the company on The LAW. Aside from the 6- and 8-man tags, I enjoyed every match. Having never seen Nakamura before this, his entire presentation was just magnetic from the music to the in-ring style. The match with Ibushi was my favourite of that year and I’m hoping a sign of things to come with his recent heel turn. It’s also cool to look back and see how Kenny Omega has evolved from The Cleaner to the Best Bout Machine he is now. From overacting to subtle storytelling.

Question: Do you remember any specific performers you saw for the first time and had a similar reaction to? That positive “holy shit what am I watching” kind of reaction? Also had it with Rey Mysterio the first time I rented a WCW tape from Blockbuster in the mid-90’s.

James in Japan

I’d been living in Japan for about 7 years at this point and had just gotten back into watching wrestling after quite a few years off so decided to watch this show.

Holy shit wow.

The intensity, skill, and passion shown blew me away.

Nakamura Ibushi was amazing. They beat the crap out of each other.

When Ibushi German suplexed Nakamura from the outside over the ropes i jumped out of my seat.

I had known of Okada and Tanahashi from various TV appearances but this was the first time id seen them wrestle.

This match made me a huge Okada fan.

A must watch show.

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Rob from London

I watched this show live over breakfast in the UK and was blown away - 10/10. It was my first New Japan experience and led me to attend my first Rev Pro show in London when they brought NJPW talent over later in the year. The combination of nostalgia and the quality of the wrestling stands up to mupltple viewings and I think I can now say it’s my favourite PPV of all time. Great pick by the espresso executive producer.

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Absolutely amazing show. I remember having a party to watch jones /Cormier and then two buddies crashed at my place and we watched this whole show live into the early morning with jim ross and Matt striker on commentary.

At the time, this was the best final three matches to any show I’d ever seen. I thought the aj/Naito match was a consolation prize for both men. AJ had the title for half of 2014 and Naito had a good performance in G1. Amazing how vanilla Naito was as a baby face compared to his oozing charisma with LIJ. Very reminiscent of Nakamura s change in character.

Nakamura vs Ibushi remained my favorite match of all of 2015. So much drama. I was sure Ibushi would be IC champ or G1 winner in 2015 but that’s not how the year panned out.

Tanahashi vs Okada was a classic as all their matches were but I wasn’t as high on it as others. I felt and still feel Gedo’s booking is great but he’s too conservative and unwilling to change long term plans. At the time there was so much publicity around wk 9 with Jeff Jarrett’s involvement and jim ross on commentary. Even if the plan was to keep the ace strong at WK as in 2013, I think they should have pulled the trigger then on Okada. When they rematched in 2016 I felt it was so predictable Okada would win and even though he won the Gedo “ace” award in storyline okada went into that wrestle kingdom as champion. If he won here,he would have won the title, become the ace and fulfilled the G1 contract. I was left wanting a bit but the show was near perfect besides that. And what about that suzuki? Wow!

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This is the first New Japan show I ever saw, and I watched the Global Force PPV of it, with JR doing the commentary, and no Battle Royal. This time I watched on NJPW World, so got the Japanese commentary which I really enjoyed, as even at the time, I had trouble with JR spending the entire show trying to equate New Japan wrestlers to Attitude era WWE guys. It’s fun watching in 2018 after fully embracing the product for over a year, seeing guys like Sho in the royal.

The Tag match was the first time I’d ever watched the Bucks at that point, though I had heard about them. Fantastic 4way, I’ve shown this match multiple times to friends. The next 2 multiperson matches, which outside of a Wrestle Kingdom would now be an instant skip for me, were the two matches I was most excited for, as they were the only ones that had people I really knew, and I was always a World’s Greatest Tag Team mark.

Really fun seeing both Gallows and Anderson and TM61, thought both teams looked really great. All in all, an event every wrestling fan should watch, and still surprisingly relevant. This made me even more excited for Tanahashi vs Okada.

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The look for Minoru Suzuki in his match was his King of Pancreas look (as I understand it) because of his opponent and the type of match it was it made sense for him to come out as babyface King of Pancreas Suzuki as opposed to the usual yakuza grandpa look.

When they read the Expresso names listen in double speed. Very funny @wai0937