11 Ups & 2 Downs From NJPW King Of Pro-Wrestling 2018

Kenny Omega, Kota Ibushi, and Cody Rhodes collide for the IWGP Heavyweight Title.

Kenny Omega Cody Kota Ibushi

As New Japan Pro Wrestling's last major pay-per-view of 2018 (November's Power Struggle isn't quite on the same level), King Of Pro-Wrestling was always going to deliver major talking points, and it didn't disappoint in that regard.

Could IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kenny Omega fend off two friends in Kota Ibushi and Cody, thus preserving a potentially world-class Wrestle Kingdom 13 main event with Hiroshi Tanahashi? Speaking of the former Ace, would he withstand the Gedo-assisted Jay White's briefcase challenge, having just bested Kazuchika Okada? Who would be unveiled as Los Ingobernables de Japon's Mr. X? Marty Scurll and KUSHIDA met in the Junior Heavyweight Title tournament finals, but which of them had the tools to succeed Hiromu Takahashi as champion? These questions and more were answered over KOPW's four hours.

Though lacking in high-level Match Of The Year candidates, the drama created at this pay-per-view will see NJPW blast towards Wrestle Kingdom season in explosive fashion. WK12 and Dominion 6.9 have it trumped between the ropes, but the buzz generated in Sumo Hall was palpable, and that 4 January card now looks a whole lot clearer.

From big swerves and shock returns to hard-hitting title fights, King Of Pro-Wrestling 2018 had it all...


A caffeine-dependent life-form from the frozen wastes of north east Scotland. He once tried to start a revolution but didn't print enough pamphlets, so hardly anyone turned up. Give him a follow @andyhmurray. You'll have a great time. Maybe.