- Wrestle Kingdom 14 goes Saturday, January 4th at 3am EST and Sunday, January 5th at 1am EST
- Who will hold IWGP gold when the dust settles from multiple title matches?
- Will the invading stars of AEW leave WK14 victorious – read our preview below for the top match predictions
Wrestle Kingdom 14 provides a platform for the elite of New Japan Pro Wrestling to cement their legacies forever. The annual pro wrestling extravaganza emanates from the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan.
The show now covers two days and features the final match of the legendary Jushin “Thunder” Liger, a history-making Stardom match- up, and that’s not even close to the top billing. Though some are not promoting the show, the vast majority of the wrestling world is buzzing about this event. The odds for several matches and my analysis can be found below.
Wrestle Kingdom 14 Odds – Naito vs White
*Odds taken on Dec 27.
Naito and White have high stakes attached to this beyond it being for the IWGP intercontinental championship. The winner will face the Okada vs Ibushi victor for the IWGP heavyweight championship on day two. White’s reign as IWGP heavyweight champion lasted less than two months with zero title defenses. A victory here would propel him to that heavyweight title shot and a chance at redemption on day two of WK14.
The first IWGP Intercontinental and Heavyweight Champion.
Does destino sit in the hands of Jay White? Or Tetsuya Naito?
— NJPW Global (@njpwglobal) December 22, 2019
Conversely, Naito had an inauspicious reign with the heavyweight belt too (just over two months) and has similar redemptive motivations. Naito’s fourth reign with the intercontinental title ended when Jay White bested him at Destruction in Kobe September of this year. I see Naito securing the W here and evening the score with White.
Pick: Tetsuya Naito (-400)
Kota Ibushi vs Kazuchika Okada Odds
Ibushi won the G1 Climax tournament defeating the aforementioned Jay White in the finals of the round-robin. That means he gets the main event ticket to contend for the IWGP heavyweight championship at the biggest show of the year. He has a tough task in front of him as he is facing arguably the most prolific, well regarded NJPW talent of this generation.
The strongest. The best.
Should there be one gold standard in NJPW, or two?
Kota Ibushi faces Kazuchika Okada in the #DoubleGoldDash !
— NJPW Global (@njpwglobal) December 23, 2019
Okada has been a well-protected talent over the years but I think it’s Ibushi’s time now. Ibushi has had a slow burn build as is typical with New Japan storytelling but now is where everything likely reaches a crescendo.
Pick: Kota Ibushi (-130)
Hiromu Takahashi vs Will Ospreay Odds
Both men have put on barnburner matches for the IWGP junior heavyweight championship. Takahashi held the gold proudly but was forced to vacate it after suffering a broken neck while defending his crown. Hiromu was sidelined for over a year and returned at NJPW’s November 2019 show Power Struggle to challenge the reigning titlist Ospreay. In Takahashi’s time on the sidelines, Ospreay has been putting together a body of work that has many seeing him as the best in-ring performer in the world today.
Hiromu Takahashi takes Will Ospreay off his feet with a dropkick on the way to the Tokyo Dome. pic.twitter.com/Vdx16vkt2Y
— Mith Gifs Wrestling (@MithGifs) December 24, 2019
The heroic comeback, return to glory, and the redemption narrative is way too strong here. I have Hiromu getting the victory and regaining his IWGP junior heavyweight championship at Wrestle Kingdom 14.
Pick: Hiromu Takahashi (-300)
Lane Archer vs Jon Moxley Odds
Moxley has been on a roll these last few months and also held the IWGP US heavyweight championship earlier this year. A belt Moxley never lost in the ring but had to vacate due to visa issues. Archer would go on to win the strap from multi-time US Champion Juice Robinson (who will face the winner of Archer/ Moxley on day two of Wrestle Kingdom 14) and promptly called out Moxley not long after.
The fact that this is a Texas Deathmatch is right in Moxley’s wheelhouse. The visceral history in CZW and recent return to ultraviolence with AEW is well documented for Moxley. He has been booked so strong in his runs with NJPW and AEW as of late that it’s hard for me to see him take a loss here. I’ve got Moxley regaining the US title at Wrestle Kingdom 14.
Pick: Jon Moxley (-140)
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Chris Jericho Odds
Tanahashi vs Jericho is a true legend vs legend clash. It’s finally coming to fruition after months of speculation when Tanahashi saved Okada from a Jericho beatdown and sent Y2J packing. The Ace vs The Goat is a matchup that has implications for the futures of two promotions.
On January 5, Chris Jericho will face Hiroshi Tanahashi in a dream clash between two of the greatest of all time.
— NJPW Global (@njpwglobal) December 26, 2019
With Jericho being the reigning AEW heavyweight champion, Tanahashi is in quite an intriguing position. Reports have indicated that Tanahashi will likely go over to AEW and challenge for Jericho’s belt should he defeat Le Champion in the Tokyo Dome. I see Tanahashi going over at Wrestle Kingdom 14 and invariably challenging Jericho for the AEW title at a future show in 2020.
Pick: Hiroshi Tanahashi (-130)
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