It’s 2021, you know what that means…
Happy New Year Graps fans and welcome to a new year of Wrestling’s finest bollix. Will we see fans back soon? Will the Wednesday Night Wars be won and lost? Will the company’s book their shit better? All remains to be seen in another exciting year of Wrestling & bollix.
It’s the start of the year which means we have NJPW’s Wrestle Kingdom 15 (4th & 5th) and Royal Rumble (31st) this month, with AEWs first PPV of 2021 coming on Feb 27th with Revolution (the best show AEW did last year) and NXT currently not scheduled to have another TakeOver until Mania weekend on March 27th.
With the Rumble’s build still, early doors (only D Bry & Bobby Lashley have announced so far) let’s take a look at NJPW’s biggest show of the year coming this Monday & Tuesday:
This year’s two-day event centres around three men, World & IC Champ Tetsuya Naito, G1 Winner Kota Ibushi and the ultimate opportunity, “Switchblade” Jay White. In the main event of Day 1, Naito will go head to head with Ibushi, while White will face the winner on Day 2. While the event could ultimately do with any of these three, there seems to be a lot of momentum with White after he snuck his way into the main event picture despite Ibushi’s second G1 tournament win in a row - despite still having never held the big gold IGWP belt. If it’s not Ibushi’s time just yet, despite being 38(!!) already he doesn’t look like slowing down any time soon, so when he does finally do it, it’s going to be a rather seismic moment.
Elsewhere on the card, a similar set-up follows in the Junior Heavyweight division as Hiromu Takahashi & Super J-Cup winner El Phantasmo will face off to determine the challenger for champion Taiji Ishimori (prediction: Takahashi). In the tag division, Dangerous Tekkers vs G.o.D should be fun, while on night two, the juniors go at it on Day 2 with El Desperado & Kanemaru vs Taguchi & Grandmaster Jobberr… I mean Wato. Sadly due to the situation, Kenta won’t get his U.S Title shot vs Moxley this week but will face veteran Satoshi Kojima for his briefcase, a placeholder for whenever Kenta & Moxley do knock seven shades of shit out of each other. Rounding out Day 1 is Hiroshi Tanahashi taking on Great-O-Khan for some reason, while Okada vs Ospreay could be a passing of the torch classic, despite the fairly shite build.
On Night 2 Stardom get two pre-show matches this year, while the KOPW trophy resets for 2021 with a four-way dance, determined by the battle royal from Night 1’s pre-show. Shingo Takagi vs Jeff Cobb for the NEVER Openweight could quietly be a banger while completing the card is a grudge match between EVIL vs SANADA, which I really hope goes beyond expectations as both have seen their momentum’s fall off a cliff lately. Suzuki isn’t booked yet, so I guess he might destroy everyone for the KOPW trophy?
All in all perhaps not the most exciting card in recent memory on paper, though that is obviously hamstrung by the current pandemic, however, it still has the potential to be a classic with Wrestle Kingdom almost always guaranteeing at least 2 or 3 MOTY contenders.
Either way, let’s all continue to have a laugh, it’s great fun doing this bollix with you lot!