New Japan Pro Wrestling is heading for its biggest show of the year and more than ever, the whole world is paying attention.
NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 17 is set to be an historic event for the company with talent from WWE and AEW appearing on the show and all signs pointing to a huge appearance from Sasha Banks.
The star, whose real name is Mercedes Varnado, could make her debut at the Tokyo Dome eight months after she and her tag team partner Naomi walked out on WWE due to creative differences while Raw was on the air.
Her wrestling future has been under much speculation ever since, and it’s reported she will appear at the event.
Elsewhere, there are some huge matches lined up with IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion Will Ospreay taking on AEW’s Kenny Omega, WWE star Karl Anderson defending his NEVER Openweight Title against Tama Tonga, and a huge IWGP World Heavyweight Title bout between Jay White and his challenger Kazuchika Okada.
We’ve put together our regular guide with all the matches, streaming details and more, and here’s everything you need to know about the show…
New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) presents Wrestle Kingdom 17 on January 4, with the preliminary matches getting underway at 6.20am for fans in the UK, following by the main card at 8am.
Fans wanting to tune into NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 17 will need to subscribe to NJPW World for 999Yen (£6.34) per month, which will run until the end of January and include the pay-per-view.
Just don’t forget to deactivate your subscription at the end of the month if you’re only wanting to see the big show.
- IWGP World Heavyweight Title: Jay White (c) vs. Kazuchika Okada
- IWGP US Title: Will Ospreay (c) vs. Kenny Omega
- IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title: Taiji Ishimori (c) vs. El Desperado vs. Hiromu Takahashi vs. Master Wato
- NEVER Openweight Title: Karl Anderson (c) vs. Tama Tonga
- Keiji Muto, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Shota Umino vs Los Ingobernables De Japon
- NJPW World Television Title tournament final: Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Ren Narita
- IWGP Tag Team Title: FTR (c) vs. Bishamon
- IWGP Women’s Title: KAIRI (c) vs. Tam Nakano
- IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Title: Catch 2/2 (c) vs. Chaos
- Antonio Inoki Memorial: Yuji Nagata, Satoshi Kojima and Togi Makabe vs Tatsumi Fujinami, Tiger Mask and Minoru Suzuki
NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 17 predictions: Sasha Banks debut and more
There is a lot at stake at Wrestle Kingdom 17, with some top prizes on the line and some big names to bring in new fans who might not be familiar with the company.
Of course, a lot of people will be checking out the show in the hope of Sasha Banks making her first appearance, and it certainly seems like it has a high chance of going down on Wednesday morning.
It’s unclear what it’ll mean for her wrestling future – including potential bouts in STARDOM or AEW – but it’ll be fascinating to see, especially if she makes her appearance after KAIRI retains the IWGP Women’s Title.
Speaking of AEW, duo FTR will be in action defending the IWGP Tag Team Titles, and they could drop the gold here to Bishamon to continue their storyline fall from grace after losing the AAA belts last month.
Similarly, there should be a title change in Karl Anderson’s match, as the O.C. star will likely pass on the gold to Tama Tonga to allow him to focus fully on his WWE commitments.
Will Ospreay should retain in a banger against Kenny Omega, but don’t rule out the Elite star as he chases gold against his rival.
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