WEEKLY OVERVIEW – NJPW (thru 11/15): Latest news including Cody update and Ross off AXS, live event results, schedule of live events, next big show line-ups, noteworthy social media and YouTube posts, closing commentary on grueling New Japan schedule

By Chris Maloney, PWTorch contributor


The following is the latest in a new series of weekly in-depth articles exclusive to PWTorch which will help put in perspective major wrestling promotions with a weekly overview, looking at news and roster developments, results, future line-ups, social media activity, key interviews, plus a timely commentary at the end. We will be featuring similar features on other promotions each week and each will be updated weekly.


•Top Stories of the Week

-Current IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion Cody suffered a large meniscus tear on the third night of the Global Wars Tour that took place in Buffalo, N.Y. causing him to miss the Nov. 11 show in Toronto, Ontario. While the injury will require surgery, Cody tweeted: “GOOD news is my doctor is fairly confident that my mcl/pcl/acl are structurally sound. BAD news is the meniscus is fairly damaged, gonna require a scope. No dates will be adjusted at the moment, and Iíll definitely still compete in the final battle main event and  at WK.”

-NJPW on AXS play-by play commentator and wrestling legend Jim Ross will call his final matches for the company this week. Ross’s contract with AXS officially expires at the end of the year and due to contract obligations with the WWE, Ross is unable to sign a new contract with AXS which means fans of New Japan Pro Wrestling will not get to hear him call Wrestle Kingdom 13 on Jan. 4.

-Speaking of Wrestle Kingdom 13, Tomohiro Ishii is set to defend the RevPro British Heavyweight Championship against former champion Zack Sabre Jr. While NJPW hasn’t officially announced the match as of yet, Ishii was attacked by ZSJ and Suzuki-gun after he successfully defended the title at the RevPro Uprising event on Nov. 9. Sabre Jr. informed Ishii that he would be invoking his rematch clause at WK13.

-Yahoo! Japan is reporting that Taka Michinoku, owner and founder of the Kaientai Dojo, has been suspended without pay for a year after the board voted to suspend him. According to the report, the former WWF Light Heavyweight Champion and current Suzuki-gun member was caught having an extra-marital affair.

-NJPW World Tag League 2018 begins this week with 14 teams competing in the tournament. The round-robin tournament, which begins on Nov. 17 and concludes on Dec. 9 features the following teams:

  • Ayato Yoshida & Shota Umino
  • Best Friends (Beretta & Chuckie T)
  • CHAOS (Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano)
  • Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa)
  • “Hangman” Adam Page & Yujiro Takahashi
  • K.E.S. (Lance Archer & Davey Boy Smith Jr.)
  • Los Ingobernables de Japon (‘King of Darkness’ EVIL & SANADA)
  • Suzuki-gun (Minoru Suzuki & Takashi Iizuka)
  • Suzuki-gun (Zack Sabre Jr. & Taichi)
  • Taguchi Japan (Juice Robinson & David Finlay)
  • Tencozy (Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima)
  • Togi Makabe & Toa Henare
  • “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin & Jeff Cobb
  • Yuji Nagata & Manabu Nakanishi

(Note: This week’s edition of NJPW Lioncast, exclusive to PWTorch VIP members, features a preview of World Tag League 2018 and also takes a look at the announced matches for Wrestle Kingdom 13. You can check it out HERE.)

-Birthdays this week: G1 Climax 28 winner and former IWGP Heavyweight Champion Hiroshi Tanahashi who turned 42 on Nov. 13 and former IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champion and two-time World Tag League winner Tomoaki Honma who turns 42 on Nov. 18.

-Finally, some sad news to report as Marvel legend Stan Lee passed away on Nov. 12 at the age of 95. Lee’s comic book creations have influenced the attires of some huge names in the pro-wrestling world including current IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kenny Omega. On Lee’s passing, Omega tweeted: “One of the greatest humans in all of our existence. The legend will forever live on. RIP.”


•Live Event Results

NJPW/ROH Global Wars Tour: Lowell
Nov. 8, 2018
Lowell, Massachusetts at Lowell Memorial Auditorium
Aired on ROH HonorClub

(1) Matt Taven defeated BUSHI by pinfall
(2) Juice Robinson & Dalton Castle (w/The Boys) defeated The Bouncers (Beer City Bruiser & “Kingpin” Brian Milonas) by pinfall after Robinson pinned BCB
(3) Flip Gordon defeated Frankie Kazarian by pinfall
(4) Sumie Sakai defeated Jenny Rose by pinfall in a non-title Proving Ground Match
(5) Scorpio Sky defeated Jay Briscoe by pinfall
(6) Los Ingobernables de Japon (“King of Darkness” EVIL & SANADA) defeated Bully Ray & “The Last Real Man” Silas Young by pinfall after SANADA pinned Young
(7) Jeff Cobb defeated Christopher Daniels by pinfall in a non-title match
(8) “The American Nightmare” Cody (w/Brandi Rhodes) defeated Mark Briscoe by pinfall in a non-title match
(9) Tetsuya Naito defeated “Hangman” Adam Page by pinfall
(10) Jay Lethal & “The Octopus” Jonathan Gresham defeated KUSHIDA & “Constellation” Chris Sabin & The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson) & The Kingdom (TK O’Ryan & Vinny Marseglia) by pinfall after Gresham pinned Sabin in a Four Corner Survival Match

NJPW/ROH Global Wars Tour: Buffalo
Nov. 9, 2018
Buffalo, New York at Buffalo Riverworks
Aired on ROH HonorClub

(1) Dalton Castle defeated TK O’Ryan by pinfall
(2) Kenny King defeated Cheeseburger (w/Eli Isom & Ryan Nova) by pinfall
(3) “The Gatekeeper” Kelly Klein defeated Madison Rayne by pinfall
(4) KUSHIDA defeated “The Octopus” Jonathan Gresham & Flip Gordon & BUSHI by pinfall after getting the pin on BUSHI in a non-title Four Corners Survival Match
(5) Jeff Cobb defeated “King of Darkness” EVIL by pinfall in a non-title match
(6) Juice Robinson defeated “The Last Real Man” Silas Young by disqualification
(7) The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson) defeated Los Ingobernables de Japon (SANADA & Tetsuya Naito) by pinfall after Nick pinned SANADA
(8) Jay Lethal & “Constellation” Chris Sabin fought to a 15-minute time limit draw in a non-title Proving Ground Match
(9) Jay Lethal & “Constellation” Chris Sabin fought to no contest after Kenny King interfered in a ROH World Championship Match
(10) Best Friends (Beretta & Chuckie T) defeated the ELITE (“Hangman” Adam Page & “The American Nightmare” Cody w/Brandi Rhodes) & The Briscoes (Jay Briscoe & Mark Briscoe) by pinfall after Beretta pinned Mark Briscoe

NJPW Lion’s Break Project 1 @at CharaExpo USA 2018 – Day 1
Nov. 10, 2018
Anaheim, California at the Anaheim Convention Center

(1) Karl Fredericks & Alex Coughlin fought to a 10-minute time limit draw
(2) Ryusuke Taguchi defeated Rocky Romero by pinfall
(3) David Finlay defeated Jyushin Thunder Liger by pinfall
(4) Hirooki Goto defeated ACH by pinfall

NJPW Lion’s Break Project 1 @ CharaExpo USA 2018 – Day 2
Nov. 11, 2018
Anaheim, California at the Anaheim Convention Center

(1) ACH defeated Karl Fredericks by pinfall
(2) Jyushin Thunder Liger defeated Clark Connors by submission
(3) Ryusuke Taguchi & Jeff Cobb defeated Rocky Romero & Hirooki Goto by pinfall after Cobb pinned Romero
(4) Kenny Omega defeated David Finlay by pinfall in a non-title match

NJPW/ROH Global Wars Tour: Toronto
Nov. 11, 2018
Toronto, Ontario at Mattamy Athletic Centre
Aired on ROH HonorClub

(1) Karen Q defeated Kaitlin Diemond by submission
(2) “Hangman” Adam Page defeated Chuckie T by pinfall
(3) Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI & Tetsuya Naito) defeated The Kingdom (TK O’Ryan & Vinny Marseglia) by pinfall after Naito pinned Marseglia
(4) Matt Taven defeated Christopher Daniels by pinfall
(5) The Briscoes (Jay Briscoe & Mark Briscoe) defeated Los Ingobernables de Japon (SANADA & “King of Darkness” EVIL) by pinfall after Jay pinned SANADA
(6) Flip Gordon defeated “The Octopus” Jonathan Gresham by pinfall
(7) SoCal Uncensored (Frankie Kazarian & Scorpio Sky) defeated Super Smash Bros. (Evil Uno & Stu Grayson) by pinfall after Sky pinned Grayson to retain the ROH World Tag Team Championship
(8) Juice Robinson defeated Beretta by pinfall
(9) The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson) defeated KUSHIDA & “Constellation” Chris Sabin by submission after Matt made Sabin tapout
(10) Jay Lethal defeated Kenny King by pinfall to retain the ROH World Championship


•Upcoming Major Show Line-ups

NJPW World Tag League 2018 – Night 1
Nov. 17, 2018
Chichibunomiya Memorial Gymnasium at Kanagawa, Japan
Airs at 4:30 a.m. ET on NJPW World

  • “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin & Jeff Cobb vs. Yuya Uemura & Yota Tsuji
  • Ren Narita & Tomoaki Honma vs. Suzuki-gun (Zack Sabre Jr. & Taichi)
  • El Desperado & Suzuki-gun (Minoru Suzuki & Takashi Iizuka) vs. Yoshinobu Kanemaru & K.E.S. (Davey Boy Smith Jr. & Lance Archer)
  • Taguchi Japan (Juice Robinson & David Finlay) vs. Ayato Yoshida & Shota Umino in a World Tag League 2018 Tournament Match
  • Tencozy (Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima) vs. Yuji Nagata & Manabu Nakanishi in a World Tag League 2018 Tournament Match
  • Best Friends (Beretta & Chuckie T) vs. “Hangman” Adam Page & Yujiro Takahashi in a World Tag League 2018 Tournament Match
  • Togi Makabe & Toa Henare vs. Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa) in a World Tag League 2018 Tournament Match
  • CHAOS (SHO & YOH & Toru Yano & Tomohiro Ishii & Kazuchika Okada) vs. Los Ingobernables de Japon (Shingo Takakgi & BUSHI & SANADA & “King of Darkness” EVIL & Tetsuya Naito)

NJPW World Tag League 2018 – Night 2
Nov. 18, 2018
Korakuen Hall at Tokyo, Japan
Airs at 4:30 a.m. ET on NJPW World

  • Taguchi Japan (Juice Robinson & David Finlay) vs. Yuya Uemura & Yota Tsuji
  • Ren Narita & Tomoaki Honma vs. Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa)
  • Tencozy (Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima) & Togi Makabe & Toa Henare vs. Ayato Yoshida & Shota Umino & Yuji Nagata & Manabu Nakanishi
  • Best Friends (Beretta & Chuckie T) & Hirooki Goto vs. “Hangman” Adam Page & Yujiro Takahashi & Kota Ibushi
  • Roppongi 3K & Kazuchika Okada vs. Los Ingobernables de Japon (Shingo Takakgi & BUSHI & Tetsuya Naito)
  • Suzuki-gun (Minoru Suzuki & Takashi Iizuka) vs. K.E.S. (Lance Archer & Davey Boy Smith Jr.) in a World Tag League 2018 Tournament Match
  • CHAOS (Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano) vs. Suzuki-gun (Zack Sabre Jr. & Taichi) in a World Tag League 2018 Tournament Match
  • “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin & Jeff Cobb vs. Los Ingobernables de Japon (“King of Darkness” EVIL & SANADA) in a World Tag League 2018 Tournament Match

NJPW World Tag League 2018 – Night 3
Nov. 20, 2018
Takaoka Techno Dome at Toyama, Japan

  • Yuya Uemura & Ayato Yoshida vs. “Hangman” Adam Page & Yujiro Takahashi
  • Ren Narita & Shota Umino vs. Suzuki-gun (Zack Sabre Jr. & Taichi)
  • Tencozy (Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima) vs. Yota Tsuji & Tomoaki Honma
  • Togi Makabe & Toa Henare vs. Yuji Nagata & Manabu Nakanishi in a World Tag League 2018 Tournament Match
  • “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin & Jeff Cobb vs. K.E.S. (Lance Archer & Davey Boy Smith Jr.) in a World Tag League 2018 Tournament Match
  • CHAOS (Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano) vs. Suzuki-gun (Minoru Suzuki & Takashi Iizuka) in a World Tag League 2018 Tournament Match
  • Taguchi Japan (Juice Robinson & David Finlay) vs. Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa) in a World Tag League 2018 Tournament Match
  • CHAOS (SHO & YOH & Chuckie T & Beretta & Kazuchika Okada) vs. Los Ingobernables de Japon (Shingo Takakgi & BUSHI & SANADA & “King of Darkness” EVIL & Tetsuya Naito)

NJPW World Tag League 2018 – Night 4
Nov. 21, 2018
Shibata-shi Culture Center at Niigata, Japan

  • Taguchi Japan (Juice Robinson & David Finlay) vs. Yota Tsuji & Tomoaki Honma
  • Togi Makabe & Toa Henare vs. Yuya Uemura & Ren Narita
  • “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin & Jeff Cobb & Yuji Nagata & Manabu Nakanishi vs. K.E.S. (Lance Archer & Davey Boy Smith Jr.) & Suzuki-gun (Minoru Suzuki & Takashi Iizuka)
  • CHAOS (Rocky Romero & Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano) vs. Bullet Club OG (Gedo & Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa)
  • Tencozy (Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima) vs. Ayato Yoshida & Shota Umino in a World Tag League 2018 Tournament Match
  • Best Friends (Beretta & Chuckie T) vs. Suzuki-gun (Zack Sabre Jr. & Taichi) in a World Tag League 2018 Tournament Match
  • Los Ingobernables de Japon (“King of Darkness” EVIL & SANADA) vs. “Hangman” Adam Page & Yujiro Takahashi in a World Tag League 2018 Tournament Match
  • CHAOS (SHO & YOH & Kazuchika Okada) vs. Los Ingobernables de Japon (Shingo Takakgi & BUSHI & Tetsuya Naito)

•Upcoming Events

11/17/2018: NJPW World Tag League 2018 – Night 1 in Kanagawa, Japan
11/18/2018: NJPW World Tag League 2018 – Night 2 in Tokyo, Japan
11/20/2018: NJPW World Tag League 2018 – Night 3 in Toyama, Japan
11/21/2018: NJPW World Tag League 2018 – Night 4 in Niigata, Japan
11/23/2018: NJPW World Tag League 2018 – Night 5 in Kanagawa, Japan
11/24/2018: NJPW World Tag League 2018 – Night 6 in Saitama, Japan
11/25/2018: NJPW World Tag League 2018 – Night 7 in Aichi, Japan
11/26/2018: NJPW World Tag League 2018 – Night 8 in Ishikawa, Japan
11/28/2018: NJPW World Tag League 2018 – Night 9 in Ibaraki, Japan
11/29/2018: NJPW World Tag League 2018 – Night 10 in Tokyo, Japan
11/30/2018: NJPW World Tag League 2018 – Night 11 in Tokyo, Japan
12/02/2018: NJPW World Tag League 2018 – Night 12 in Osaka, Japan
12/03/2018: NJPW World Tag League 2018 – Night 13 in Kochi, Japan
12/04/2018: NJPW World Tag League 2018 – Night 14 in Hyogo, Japan
12/06/2018: NJPW World Tag League 2018 – Night 15 in Yamagata, Japan
12/07/2018: NJPW World Tag League 2018 – Night 16 in Akita, Japan
12/09/2018: NJPW World Tag League 2018 – Night 17 in Iwate, Japan
12/14/2018: NJPW Road to Tokyo Dome – Night 1 in Tokyo, Japan
12/15/2018: NJPW Road to Tokyo Dome – Night 2 in Tokyo, Japan
01/04/2019: NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 13 in Tokyo, Japan
01/05/2019: NJPW New Year Dash in Tokyo, Japan
01/11/2019: NJPW presents CMLL Fantastica Mania 2019 – Night 1 in Osaka, Japan
01/12/2019: NJPW presents CMLL Fantastica Mania 2019 – Night 2 in Ehime, Japan
01/13/2019: NJPW presents CMLL Fantastica Mania 2019 – Night 3 in Kyoto, Japan
01/14/2019: NJPW presents CMLL Fantastica Mania 2019 – Night 4 in Gifu, Japan
01/16/2019: NJPW presents CMLL Fantastica Mania 2019 – Night 5 in Chiba, Japan
01/18/2019: NJPW presents CMLL Fantastica Mania 2019 – Night 6 in Tokyo, Japan
01/20/2019: NJPW presents CMLL Fantastica Mania 2019 – Night 7 in Tokyo, Japan
01/21/2019: NJPW presents CMLL Fantastica Mania 2019 – Night 8 in Tokyo, Japan
01/26/2019: NJPW Road to The New Beginning – Night 1 in Saitama, Japan
01/28/2019: NJPW Road to The New Beginning – Night 2 in Tokyo, Japan
01/29/2019: NJPW Road to The New Beginning – Night 3 in Tokyo, Japan
01/30/2019: NJPW Road to The New Beginning – Night 4 in Miyagi, Japan
02/02/2019: NJPW The New Beginning in Sapporo – Night 1 in Hokkaido, Japan
02/03/2019: NJPW The New Beginning in Sapporo – Night 2 in Hokkaido, Japan
02/06/2019: NJPW Road to The New Beginning – Night 5 in Nagano, Japan
02/07/2019: NJPW Road to The New Beginning – Night 6 in Aichi, Japan
02/08/2019: NJPW Road to The New Beginning – Night 7 in Mie, Japan
02/09/2019: NJPW Road to The New Beginning – Night 8 in Osaka, Japan
02/11/2019: NJPW Road to The New Beginning – Night 9 in Osaka, Japan
04/06/2019: NJPW/ROH G1 Supercard in New York, New York


•Latest TV Highlights: NJPW on AXS TV (11/9/2018)

King of Pro-Wrestling 2018
Oct. 8, 2018
Tokyo, Japan at Ryogoku Sumo Hall
Originally aired on NJPW World

(1) “King of Darkness” EVIL & Zack Sabre Jr. fought to a no contest after Chris Jericho interfered
(2) Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated “Switchblade” Jay White (w/Gedo) by pinfall to retain the G1 CLIMAX 28 briefcase

•NJPW in the Media

•DeMONT: Cape Breton broadcaster tackles wrestling, Japanese style: LINK

•he Art of Wrestling with Colt Cabana: New Stars New Cigars featuring “The American Nightmare” Cody: LINK

•The Jim Ross Report: Marty Scurll and Busted Openís David LaGreca aboard the Jericho Cruise: LINK

The Countdown: Tama Tonga’s Gun Stuns: LINK

WWE Could Soon Experience An Influx Of New Japan Pro-Wrestling Superstars: LINK

In Conversation With NJPW President And CEO Harold Meij: LINK

Juice Robinson, Sami Callihan vs EVIL, SANADA – WORLD TAG LEAGUE (Nov 18, 2017) – Monday Free Match: LINK

Katsuyori Shibata – California Dreamin’: Documentary of the LA Dojo #3: LINK

ìPossessedî – Being The Elite Ep. 125: LINK


Grappling Central Podcast – Episode 337 – Harry Smith: LINK

THE RECOUNT: The story of Okada vs Omega: LINK


•Social Media Scene

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bp8T-6fnNHl

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Learning.

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my best coffee ever @timhortons

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Diamond cutter #villain ☔️

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Tag League starts this weekend. #GuerrillasOfDestiny

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•Closing Commentary

162 Regular Season MLB games. 82 Regular Season NBA games. 82 Regular Season NHL games. 16 Regular Season NFL games.

I just watched episode 125 of Being the ELITE on YouTube and, if the schedule of a pro wrestler can be summed up in clip, check out Kenny Omega at about 10:08 in the episode.

A lot of us have been fans of pro sports since we were kids. Monster homeruns, ridiculous slam dunks, unbelievable goals, and wow, did that touchdown just happen?!? While we “mark out” for the amazing moves of our favorite pro-wrestling stars, we seldomly give praise to the schedule they endure. A lot of times, we simply expect it to always remain the same and if for whatever reason it changes, the first thing we do is complain.

Kenny Omega, The Young Bucks, “The American Nightmare” Cody, “Hangman” Adam Page, “The Villain” Marty Scurll… Six guys who will travel anywhere and everywhere. From major shows to dream matches on the independents to autograph signings to cruise tours, they’re willing to do what it takes to excel their brand, sellout their merchandise and keep their fanbase happy while sacrificing sleep, their bodies, and time with their families.

While I love pro sports and have since a very young age, the schedule of a pro wrester and the toll it takes on their bodies puts all four major North American sports to shame. Football would be the only close comparison but are guys in the NFL playing back to back games? Two games in three days? Two games in one night?

From a simple bodyslam to a One-Winged Angel, as wrestling fans we simply do not appreciate our performers enough. From the toll it takes on their bodies in the ring to their continuous brainstorming on their own charachter development to their unforgiving, grueling schedule, we should appreciate every show they perform at, every autograph signing they make, and every interview we’re honoured with.

NJPW is set to perform another 17 shows in 23 days beginning on the 17th of this month. From Tomohiro Ishii to Minoru Suzuki to the Guerrillas of Destiny, do yourself a favor as a wrestling fan and enjoy every performer, every move, and every moment that takes place at NJPW World Tag League 2018.

#Unparalleled


NOW CHECK OUT OTHER WEEKLY OVERVIEWS HERE.

OR JUMP TO LAST WEEK’S WWE OVERVIEW: WEEKLY OVERVIEW – NJPW (thru 11/7): Latest news including WrestleKingdom 13 line-up, live event results, schedule of live events, next big show line-ups, noteworthy social media and YouTube posts, closing commentary on The Elite

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