Instead, the IWGP Heavyweight Championship match pitting current-champion Okada against G1 Climax winner and rising star Tetsuya Naito will go on second to last. This decision was made via a NJPW-endorsed fan vote, a reaction to the lukewarm sections Naito has received during NJPW live events.
In addition to the double main event, four additional championships will be defended including the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship as Bullet Club leader Prince Devitt battles the high-flying Kota Ibushi. Former WWE superstar and current NWA World Heavyweight Champion Rob Conway defends his championship against Satoshi Kojima while IWGP Tag Team Champions Lance Archer and Davey Boy Smith Jr (Killer Elite Squad) take on Karl Anderson & Doc Gallows. Lastly, the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title is up for grabs in a 4-Way Match as the current champs The Young Bucks battle Kushida & Alex Shelley (The Timesplitters), Taka Michinoku & Taichi and Rocky Romero & Alex Koslov.
Hirooki Goto makes his return to NJPW to take on Katsuyori Shibata while Minoru Suzuki teams up with fellow CHAOS member Shelton Benjamin to take on Toru Yano and his special guest partner WRESTLE-1’s Great Muta. A rare King of Destroyer match pits Togi Makabe against Bullet Club’s hired muscle King Fale while Yuji Nagata teams with Kazushi Sakuraba to take on two members of the legendary Gracie family in Daniel and Rolles Gracie.
The pre-show features a smorgasbord of characters as Hiroyoshi Tenzan teams with Tomoaki Honma, Captain New Japan & BUSHI to take on Manabu Nakanishi, Super Strong Machine, Jushin Thunder Liger & Tiger Mask.
For more detailed previews and our predictions for each match, listen to our Wrestle Kingdom 8 preview podcast at http://www.voicesofwrestling.com/2013/12/26/njpw-wrestle-kingdom-8-preview/
New Japan Pro Wrestling
Wrestle Kingdom 8
January 4, 2014
Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan
0. Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Tomoaki Honma, Captain New Japan & BUSHI vs. Manabu Nakanishi, Super Strong Machine, Jushin Thunder Liger & Tiger Mask
1. IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Title – 4WAY Match: Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson (c) vs. KUSHIDA & Alex Shelley vs. TAKA Michinoku (Kaientai Dojo) & Taichi vs. Rocky Romero & Alex Koslov
2. IWGP Tag Team Title: Lance Archer & Davey Boy Smith Jr. (c) vs. Karl Anderson & Doc Gallows
3. NWA World Heavyweight Title: Rob Conway (NWA) (c) vs. Satoshi Kojima
4. Special Tag Match: Yuji Nagata & Kazushi Sakuraba vs. Daniel Gracie & Rolles Gracie
5. Special Tag Match: Minoru Suzuki & Shelton Benjamin vs. Great Muta (WRESTLE-1) & Toru Yano
6. King of Destroyer Match: Togi Makabe vs. King Fale
7. Special Singles Match – Hirooki Goto Return Match: Hirooki Goto vs. Katsuyori Shibata
8. IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title: Prince Devitt (c) vs. Kota Ibushi
9. Double Main Event I – IWGP Heavyweight Title: Kazuchika Okada (c) vs. Tetsuya Naito
10. Double Main Event II – IWGP Intercontinental Title: Shinsuke Nakamura (c) vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi
There are a number of ways to order Wrestle Kingdom 8. Please make sure you’re ordering the correct feed! NJPW recently re-branded their ustream pages so the /njpw page we often linked to will no longer provide Japanese commentary, that has been transitioned to Spanish commentary. A new link /njpwjp has been created to house the Japanese commentary and there will be no English commentary for this particular event.
- For Spanish commentary, order through www.ustream.com/njpw
- Order here for Japanese commentary: www.ustream.com/njpwjp
We, of course, will be covering the event live on our Twitter account @VoicesWrestling, you can also follow our coverage using the Twitter widget below.
Immediately following the event, our very own Joe Lanza will have a detailed review and recap of the event including star ratings for each and every match.