9. IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships — Suzuki-gun (C) Vs. Roppongi 3K
This match has taken place on a number of occasions already, but expect it to open the show proper on 4 January. New Japan does a lot of things very well, but tag team wrestling seems to be one of the company’s weaker points. The junior heavyweight division has been hurt by injuries over the last 12 months, but the ‘promotion’ of teams to heavyweight status has hurt far more.
The state of play will become clearer during the annual Super Jr. Tag Tournament in October, but for now a rematch between former champions Roppongi 3K and current titleholders Suzuki-gun (Yoshinobu Kanemaru and El Desperado) seems most likely. What other options are there? In terms of full time teams, there aren’t any. The Young Bucks are now heavyweights, Hiromu Takahashi’s injury means BUSHI will spend the show in limbo, and that is about that.
There is a chance that a part-time team could win the tag tournament and challenge for the titles at Wrestle Kingdom 13, either in a traditional tag match or a multi-team affair. Even if that came to pass, who would that team be? ACH and Ryusuke Taguchi? Flip Gordon and Chris Sabin? Expect R3K and Suzuki-gun to open Wrestle Kingdom 13 proper.