On Monday, 8 October, New Japan Pro Wrestling held their seventh annual King of Pro-Wrestling event at Ryōgoku Sumo Hall in Tokyo. The show featured high profile matches for many of the promotion's championships and also saw some surprises -- notably, the return of Chris Jericho who again disguised himself in order to perpetrate a heinous attack.
The IWGP Junior Heavyweight tournament saw a new champion crowned while legendary stars Tiger Mask and Jushin Liger vied for the Junior Tag Team titles. Meanwhile, Hiroshi Tanahashi defended his G1 Climax briefcase which guarantees the holder a spot in Wrestle Kingdom 13's main event for the company's top belt. That top title itself was also defended by Kenny Omega. Unusually, however, it was in a triple threat match -- the last of which took place on 4 January 2013 -- against Kenny's own friends Cody and Kota Ibushi.
With shocking upsets, brutal beatdowns, and more, King of Pro-Wrestling set the stage for the remainder of NJPW's 2018 as new championship challengers rose and the Wrestle Kingdom main event was solidified. Join us for all that and more as we look at what happened on 8 October and where it all goes from here.
Douglas Scarpa is a freelance writer, independent filmmaker, art school graduate, and pro wrestling aficionado -- all of which mean he is in financial ruin. He has no backup plan to speak of, yet maintains his abnormally high spirits. If he had only listened to the scorn of his childhood teachers, he wouldn't be in this situation.