NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 17 event is NJPW’s biggest event of 2023. It was the 17th event in the Wrestle Kingdom series and featured action over two nights. The show was dedicated to NJPW Founder Antonio Inoki who passed away in October 2022.
Night 1 of Wrestle Kingdom 17 was the 32nd January 4 event from NJPW at Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan. Night 2 was an NJPW vs NOAH show taking place on January 21, 2023, at Yokohama Arena in Yokohoma, Japan, and featured inter-promotional matches.
IWGP World Heavyweight Championship bout between Jay White and Kazuchika Okada headlined the event on night 1. Will Ospreay vs Kenny Omega match for IWGP US Heavyweight Championship was the second main event on night 1.
Night 2 of Wrestle Kingdom 17 featured Best of 5 series between Los Inobernables De Japon stable from NJPW and Kongo stable from NOAH. Tetsuya Naito vs Kenoh match, which would be the last match for LIJ vs Kongo series, headlined night 2.
Check below for complete event details for NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 17 with match card, preview, date, start time, location and more information from both night 1 and night 2 event.
DATE, START TIME, LOCATION
Night 1(Wrestle Kingdom 17 in Tokyo Dome)
Night 2(Wrestle Kingdom 17 in Yokohoma Arena)
NIGHT 1 MATCH CARD(Wrestle Kingdom 17 at Tokyo Dome)
12 matches took place at Wrestle Kingdom 17 at Tokyo Dome. The matches are as below:
1. Ryohei Oiwa vs Boltin Oleg – 3 Minutes Exhibition Match(Pre-Show)
A special 3 minutes exhibition match kicked-off the night on the pre-show. Kazakhstan’s Boltin Oleg made his NJPW debut against Ryohie Oiwa in this match.
Winner: Ended in a draw
2. KOPW 2023 Qualifier New Japan Rambo Match(Pre-Show)
A new cycle of KOPW Trophy started with New Japan Rambo match. The final four wrestlers remaining in the match qualified for a fatal 4-way match at New Year Dash on January 5.
Winners: Sho, Toru Yano, Shingo Takagi & Great-O-Khan
The list of participants in the match(with entry order):
SHO (1), Hikuleo(2), Evil(3), Tomohiro Ishii(4), Great-O-Khan(5), Douki(6), Rocky Romero(7), KENTA(8), Yoshinobu Kanemaru(9), Aaron Henare(10), Ryusuke Taguchi(11), Jeff Cobb(12), Shane Haste(13), Mikey Nichols(14), Yujiro Takahashi(15), Toru Yano(16), El Phantasmo(17), Taichi(18), Shingo Takagi(19)
3. Yuji Nagata, Satoshi Kojima & Togi Makabe vs Tatsumi Fujinama, Minoru Suzuki & Tiger Mask – Antonio Inoki Memorial Match(Pre-Show)
A special Antonio Inoki Memorial Match was announced for the kick-off show in memory of NJPW Founder Antonio Inoki who passed away in October 2022. Yuji Nagata, Satoshi Kojima, and Togi Makabe teamed up to face Tatsumi Fujinama, Minoru Suzuki & Tiger Mask in a special tag team match.
Winner: Yuji Nagata, Satoshi Kojima & Togi Makabe
4. Catch 2/2(Francesco Akira & TJP)(c) vs CHAOS(Lio Rush & YOH)- IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship
Francesco Akira and TJP of Catch 2/2 won Junior Heavyweight tag titles during the New Japan Road series in June 2022. CHAOS won the Super Junior Tag League 2022 tournament to earn a shot at Jr. tag team titles at Wrestle Kingdom. Catch 2/2 defeated CHAOS during the league phase of the tournament.
Winner: Catch 2/2
5. KAIRI(c) vs Tam Nakano – IWGP Women’s Championship
KAIRI(Sane) created history when she became the first-ever IWGP Women’s Champion at Historic X-Over event. Just as she was done celebrating her win, Tam Nakano appeared and challenged him for a match at Wrestle Kingdom to set the first women’s title match at the event.
6. FTR(Cash Wheeler & Dax Harwood)(c) vs Bishamon(Yoshi-Hashi & Hirooki Goto)- IWGP World Tag Team Championship
FTR won the IWGP tag team titles at Forbidden Door 2022 PPV. Since then, they defended it twice against Aussie Open and United Empire. Bishamon won the World Tag League 2022 tournament to get a shot to challenge for the titles at Wrestle Kingdom 17 at Tokyo Dome.
7. Zack Sabre Jr. vs Ren Narita – Tournament Final for NJPW World Television Championship
NJPW introduced a new title in NJPW World Television Championship and the first winner was crowned at Wrestle Kingdom. Zack Sabre Jr. secured his place in the final by beating Alex Zayne, David Finlay, and Evil in previous rounds. Ren Narita defeated Great-O-Khan, Toru Yano, and Sanada in previous rounds.
Winner: Zack Sabre Jr.
8. Karl Anderson(c) vs Tama Tonga – Never Openweight Championship
Karl Anderson defeated Tama Tonga at NJPW Dominion to win NEVER Openweight title from him. Anderson’s only defense of the title came against Hikuleo in December before setting up a rematch with Tama Tonga.
Winner: Tama Tonga
9. Los Ingobernables De Japon(Tetsuya Naito, SANADA & Bushi) vs Shota Umino, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Keiji Muto – Keiji Mutoh’s Last NJPW Match
Keiji Muto’s farewell tour continued with his last match in NJPW as he teamed up with Hiroshi Tanahashi and Shota Umino. They faced Los Ingobernables De Japon’s Tetsuya Naito, SANADA & Bushi in a six-man tag team match.
Winner: Shota Umino, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Keiji Muto
10. Taiji Ishimori(c) vs Hiromu Takahashi vs El Desperado vs Master Wato – Four-way match for IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship
Taiji Ishimori had a monumental task in front of him as he defended the Junior Heavyweight title against two other former champions in Hiromu Takahashi and El Desperado, and a former Junior Tag champion in Master Wato.
Winner: Hiromu Takahashi
11. Will Ospreay(c) vs Kenny Omega – IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship
Will Ospreay defeated Shota Umino at NJPW Historic X-Over. Kenny Omega then appeared on the screen to announce his return at Wrestle Kingdom 17 and challenge Ospreay. Omega enticed Ospreay into accepting the challenge by calling Ospreay his cheap knockoff. Omega was the first US Heavyweight Champion before he left and helped in founding AEW.
Winner: Kenny Omega
12. Jay White(c) vs Kazuchika Okada – IWGP World Heavyweight Championship
Jay White, the Bullet Club leader, was at the top of NJPW with the help of his large faction. He captured IWGP World Heavyweight Championship at NJPW Dominion 6.12 by beating Kazuchika Okada for it. Kazuchika Okada had to win G1 Climax 31 to secure a title rematch and the main event of Wrestle Kingdom 17. This was the 11th time that Okada headlined a night of Wrestle Kingdom.
Winner: Kazuchika Okada
NIGHT 2 MATCH CARD(Wrestle Kingdom 17 at Yokohoma Arena)
11 matches took place at NJPW vs NOAH card on Wrestle Kingdom Night 2 at Yokohoma Arena. The matches are as below.
1. Ryohei Oiwa & Kosei Fujita vs Taishi Ozawa & Yasutaka Yano (Pre-Show)
Two young teams from both promotions collided in the opening match of the night. Kosei Fujita faced Yasutaka Yano at NJPW vs NOAH event last year which ended in a draw. Who came out with a win this time around?
Winner: Ryohei Oiwa & Kosei Fujita
2. Tomohiro Ishii & Oskar Leube vs Masa Kitamiya & Daiki Inaba (Pre-Show)
Young NJPW Wrestler Oskar Leube got to team up with Tomohiro Ishii in the second kick-off match on the card. They faced NOAH’s Daiki Inaba and Masa Kitamiya.
Winner: Masa Kitamiya & Daiki Inaba
3. Takashi Sugiura, Satoshi Kojima, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Toru Yano vs KENTA, Gedo, El Phantasmo & Naomichi Marufuji – 8- Person Tag Team Match
Satoshi Kojima got to team up with GHC Tag Team Champion Takashi Sugiura and NJPW’s Hiroshi Tanahashi and Toru Yano. Their opposite team was BULLET CLUB’s KENTA, Gedo and El Phantasmo teaming with NOAH’s Naomichi Marufuji.
Winner: Takashi Sugiura, Satoshi Kojima, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Toru Yan
4. El Desperado vs YO-HEY – Singles Match
El Desperado & DOUKI defeated Yo-Hey and NOSAWA Rongai in the same event in 2022. This year, El Desperado and Yo-Hey, the former Junior Heavyweight Champions at their respective promotions, clashed in a singles match which was also the first singles match of this card.
Winner: El Desperado
5. Ryusuke Taguchi, Master Wato & Tiger Mask vs Alejandro, Junta Miyawaki & AMAKUSA – 6-Person Tag Team Match
Two teams of junior heavyweights battled in a tag team match. NJPW was represented by Master Wato, Ryusuke Taguchi and Tiger Mask while NOAH had Alejandro, Junta Miyawaki & AMAKUSA from their side.
Winner: Alejandro, Junta Miyawaki & AMAKUSA
6. Kazuchika Okada & Togi Makabe vs Kaito Kiyomiya & Yoshiki Inamura – Tag Team Match
Kazuchika Okada and Kaito Kiyomiya clashed in a tag team match last year when Okada teamed up with Hiroshi Tanahashi. This year, Okada teamed up with Tobi Makabe while Kiyomiya now had Yoshiki Inamura on his side. Was Kiyomiya able to get the win this time around?
7. Tadasuke vs BUSHI – Kongo vs LIJ Best of five series
Ingobernables’ BUSHI Took on Kongo’s Tadasuke who was pinned last year in the match between LIJ and Kongo. Was Tadasuke able to get revenge for the last year’s loss?
8. Hiromu Takahashi vs Hajime Ohara – Kongo vs LIJ Best of five series
Hiromu Takahashi and Hajime Ohara clashed in a junior heavyweight dream match. Both men have held Junior Heavyweight and Junior Heavyweight Tag Team titles in respective promotions. Who proved to be the greater wrestler among them?
Winner: Hiromu Takahashi
9. SANADA vs Manabu Soya – Kongo vs LIJ Best of five series
Two former rivals from AJPW clashed in the third match of LIJ vs Kongo match. SANADA and Manabu Soya had several matches against each other from 2007 to 2012 in AJPW where SANADA holds 4-3 lead. Was Soya able to tie their head-to-head record?
Winner: Manabu Soya
10. Shingo Takagi vs Katsuhiko Nakajima – Kongo vs LIJ Best of five series
Shingo Takagi got his wish to take on Katsuhiko Nakajima in a singles match for the first since 2012. Takagi has lost twice to Nakajima previously. Was he able to break the deadlock here?
Winner: Shingo Takagi
11. Tetsuya Naito vs Kenoh – Kongo vs LIJ Best of five series
Tetsuya Naito and Kenoh headlined the event which was also the final match of LIJ vs Kongo series. The match was set up due to Kenoh’s desire to take on Naito after his comments coming out of tag team match last year. Who triumphed in the battle of two superstars?
Winner: Tetsuya Naito