As always, Wrestle Kingdom will kick off with the New Japan Rumble. This is one of two big ‘get everyone on the card’ types of matches, and the 2019 edition will likely feature the same mix of legends, young lions and novelty acts that we’ve come to expect. The 2018 Rumble was won by Masahito Kakihara, so who will come out on top in ’19?
It is an entirely throwaway match, but we can still expect a bevy of stars to be involved. New Japan legends like Yuji Nagata, Satoshi Kojima, Hiroyoshi Tenzan and Manabu Nakanish are likely to find themselves jerking the curtain, and it won’t be surprising to see G1 competitors like Togi Makabe involved too.
I’m going to go with a little bit of an unorthodox choice for next year’s winner, in the shape of the mighty Cheeseburger. The diminutive ROH star turns up in New Japan every January, and is far more popular than one might expect him to be. He has been close to victory in the Rumble on a number of occasions — 2019 will be his year.
Born in the middle of Wales in the middle of the 1980's, John can't quite remember when he started watching wrestling but he has a terrible feeling that Dino Bravo was involved. Now living in Prague, John spends most of his time trying to work out how Tomohiro Ishii still stands upright. His favourite wrestler of all time is Dean Malenko, but really it is Repo Man. He is the author of 'An Illustrated History of Slavic Misery', the best book about the Slavic people that you haven't yet read. You can buy it at the link below...