Ahoy Captain Cats here and today I’m going to give you my review on one of the biggest wrestling events of the year and that is Wrestle Kingdom 14.
Wrestle Kingdom 14 (WK for short) took place at the world-famous Tokyo Dome in Tokyo Japan from January 4 and 5, this is the first time the event was split into a 2 day event and to me, it works out just fine.
The first day of WK was outstanding from start to finish. The dark match with the female wrestlers from Stardom was a great way to start the show. The next two matches were great in their own right, well-paced and had the right enough time for each match. From here on out the matches were non-stop, hard-hitting, fast pace, jaw-dropping and storytelling at it’s finest hour. We saw the like of Jushin Thunder Liger wrestling one of his two final matches as a wrestler before calling it a career, Suzuki-gun and Los ingobernables de Japon going out like crazy, Chaos beating Bullet Club in an 8 man tag match and FinJuice winning the IWGP tag team championship from the Guerrillas of Destiny.
Just when you think it couldn’t get better, they did with Jon Moxley and Lance Archer and that brutal Texas Deathmatch for the IWGP US championship. After that match was the first of two Match of the Year contenders with Takahashi defeating Osprey for the IWGP Jr Heavyweight Championship, this match was fast as it was hard to watch with how they were going at it and at one point look like one of them broke the other’s neck. Naito and White were after that and that was like the last match but crank up even more on the pace and sheer brutality on how they were taking bumps. The main event was the second Match of the Year contender with Okada beating Ibushi, this was a textbook blueprint on how the main event should be, both wrestlers going pound for pound on each other, the crowd getting so involved and the payoff at the end was marvelous.
The second day of WK picks up where it left off from day one. More of the same hard-hitting, fast pace, close count to each match with some more title changing hands, but the last two matches and Liger’s final match were the main talking and focus points of the night. We saw Jushin Thunder Liger pass the torch to Takahashi and Ryu Lee and to be honest I almost wanted to cry due to the fact I grew up watching almost all of Liger’s matches when he was in the US, Mexico, and Japan. Jushin Thunder Liger will go down as one of the greatest junior heavyweight wrestlers of all time. Next was the Jericho Tanahashi match and this was also a great textbook match, the stakes were high due to that Jericho is the AEW World Champion and if he lost would have given Tanahashi a shot at the title. Lastly, NJPW pulls the trigger and finally gave Tetsuya Naito his due as he became the first-ever “Dual Champion” in NJPW history.
WK once again set the bar for the wrestling year with WK 14, with two matches of the year contenders already, title changes like crazy, a first-ever dual champion and seeing a living wrestling legend saying goodbye after 35 years, what is not to love about this.