NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 14 Night 1 Championship Winners And Losers
In what was a memorable night 1 for New Japan Pro Wrestling, Jushin Thunder Liger said goodbye to his past rivals in a memorable opener, Suzuki Gun went over Los Ingobernables De Japon, CHAOS taking a victory from The Bullet Club, the matches of the night were still yet to come with championship gold on the line. With that being said, here are the winners and losers of the championship matches.
GoD versus FinJuice - IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship:
While the match seemed to be under Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa's control, the story of this match, as it was throughout World Tag League, was that the team of David Finlay and Juice Robinson came out of nowhere and were able to triumph with a victory and capture the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Titles from the mighty Tongan brothers. GoD will forever go down as one of the greatest tag team titleholders in the history of New Japan Pro Wrestling, however, tonight begins the reign of FinJuice. According to the commentary team, this was the seventh year in a row we would see the IWGP Heavyweight titles change hands at Wrestle Kingdom.
Jon Moxley versus Lance Archer: Texas Death Match - IWGP United States Championship:
This match delivered on all fronts! Hard-hitting, impactful, hardcore, chairs, tables, garbage can lid, plastic bags were even used in this match. Moxley came out first with a swag about him that could have easily have one thinking he was definitely in for a fight. Archer coming in as the reigning and defending U.S. champion came out and was ready for war with a spiked black helmet and wearing the all red signifying that there would be blood. The match started and ended extremely aggressive but the closing moments of the match had Moxley nearly knocking out to the Archers version of the claw, however, Archer used a plastic bag to suffocate Moxley.
After the referee was about to count out Moxley, a second life came about for the Death Rider as he would ultimately find his way to two tables outside the ring and out of nowhere deliver the Death Rider onto Lance Archer onto both tables and taking the win after the referee counted out Archer for not being able to get up from the Moxley's finisher. Jon Moxley is the two-time IWGP United States champion. After the match, Moxley got on the mic and said that his story with Juice Robinson ends tomorrow night at WK 14. The war that began when Moxley made his debut in New Japan finally comes to a close in night number two of Wrestle Kingdom as he defends his newly won United States title versus juice Robinson.
Will Ospreay versus Hiromu Takahashi - IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship:
In arguably the most anticipated title match of the night, we saw the return of Hiromu Takahashi at the Tokyo Dome versus the defending champion Will Ospreay, in what quickly became an instant classic. Hiromu showed no slowness in his game tonight. It was as if Hiromu simply took a long vacation with Daryl and came back with the goal of recapturing his Junior Heavyweight title. The match as you would expect was fast-paced from the get-go with too much to call in so little time as the two Junior Heavyweights were just too quick to follow.
However, the story here was whether Takahashi could overcome the Aerial Assassin as Ospreay usually had the upper hand on Hiromu in their past encounters with each other. Hiromu would not be denied however as the closing moments of the match saw a moonsault that nearly flattened Takahashi, an Os-Cutter that nearly finished him off, several forearm exchanges, and more, but after another attempt to catch Hiromu with an Os-Cutter, Hiromu caught Ospreay and delivered a huge german suplex. Soon, however, Ospreay caught Hiromu with the hidden blade, but Hiromu, though looking as if he was knocked out for the count, came back and delivered a time bomb to Ospreay, but Ospreay kicked out. Takahashi would not have it and would wind up delivering a new finisher which took out Ospreay once and for all. Takahashi comes out the winner and the new IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion.
Jay White versus Tetsuya Naito - IWGP Intercontinental Championship:
The first of two VERY important and historic matches was underway as Switchblade Jay White, leader of The Bullet Club, faced off against the ever "Tranquilo" and leader of Los Ingobernables De Japon, Tetsuya Naito, in a match that would determine a winner versus the winner of the next IWGP Heavyweight title match taking place on night two of Wrestle Kingdom weekend. The concept of a double champion was first conceived by the ungovernable himself earlier in 2019, and while, just a mere idea then, the concept became reality, and Naito was on a quest. The video package leading to the match was one of a Baseball scoreboard with the score of what looked like 1 for Jay White and 0 for Tetsuya Naito until the bottom of the 9th inning, however, where the score would simply read off as "Tranquilo".
Naito would come out with what was easily the pop of the night, while Jay White would come out to what was easily the non-pop of the night, as the crowd would boo the hated gaijin who for the entire year of 2019 has really dominated the main event scene, becoming the IWGP Heavyweight champion at the top of the year, main eventing the historic G1 Supercard of Honor in a sold-out Madison Square Garden, defeating Tetsuya Naito and nearly taking away Naito's plans of becoming double champion. White would come in with a lifetime of confidence.
Naito would be the victim in this match as Gedo would find a way to smash Naitos surgically repaired left knee with a steel chair, helping give White the advantage in this match. Of course, White would naturally attack the knee throughout the entirety of the match. The closing moments of the match saw Naito hit Jay White with TWO Destinos to become the new IWGP Intercontinental champion. Naito would not have it any other way, with a bummed knee, he would still surmount all odds. But who would he be facing in night two of Wrestle Kingdom?
Kazuchika Okada versus Kota Ibushi - IWGP Heavyweight Championship:
The main event would have the G1 Climax 2019 winner, Kota Ibushi versus the most successful champion in the history of New Japan Pro Wrestling, Kazuchika Okada. The Golden Star versus The Rainmaker, arguably a match that has been in the making for years, would see the stakes at the highest they have ever been for the promotion. Quite frankly because the winner of this match would be going on to battle Tetsuya Naito to become the first double champion in the history of the promotion. Ibushi would come out with a new and improved theme song, similar to the first one, just with a bit of a polish to it, and would come out as if coming from the light, while Okada had a once in a lifetime entrance that was just incredible to see whether live in person or via digital platforms.
This match while more slow-paced than others, was a match paced for the champ, who had a good amount of control in this match, however, Ibushi would hold his own quite well through the use of his strikes, using his deadly kicks on Okada, and work the body of Okada throughout the course of the match. it would seem Ibushis game plan at one point was the tire out Okada by any means necessary, even if that meant jumping on top of Okada's chest to get the oxygen out of his lungs.
At one point in the match, we would see an all-out assault by Kota Ibushi after Okada would lay him with some strikes. Ibushi would blackout and hit Okada with some stiff shots to the face and knock Okada down. Okada would take advantage however and work on the neck of Ibushi with a brutal tombstone pile driver to the ring apron, and soon after a german suplex on top of the neck, but Ibushi would still come back even more aggressively than he already was, and would at one point German suplex Okada from the second rope carrying Okada from the outside of the ring to the inside for the move.
At the finishing moments of the match, we'd see Ibushi reverse a rainmaker finisher from Okada which would ultimately start the beginning of the end for Okada. Bomaye knee strikes would follow along with a Koma-Goye right to Okada's face, attempting the pin to finish the match, Okada would kick out at two and would counter a second Koma-Goye with a dropkick. The fighting spirit would come out of both the champion and challenger as forearm exchanges would follow. Okada would get the upper hand here and would deliver the rainmaker to Ibushi, not once, but SEVERAL TIMES to put an end to Kota Ibushi. Okada retains the IWGP Heavyweight Title and goes on to wrestle Naito tomorrow night.