NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 15 – Night 1

Date: January 4th, 2021

Venue: Tokyo Dome

Time: 5:00pm JST

Watch with live English Commentary on njpwworld.com

New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Wrestle Kingdom 15 is finally upon us and here are the statistics and research that I sent to the the broadcast team for night one of the two night event!

Each match includes detailed NJPW 2020 statistics, detailed Tokyo Dome statistics, Head To Head History, every wrestler’s history in the Tokyo Dome, every title’s history in the Tokyo Dome, and miscellaneous notes and facts on each competitor’s head-to-head match up.

For more in-depth statistics on NJPW and Wrestle Kingdom 15, follow me on twitter, @TheChrisSamsa, visit my complete NJPW 2020 statistics on SportofProWrestling.com, visit my Tokyo Dome statistics on SportofProWrestling.com, buy the Voices of Wrestling NJPW 2020 Year In Review eBook, and check out the Voices of Wrestling Predictions and Preview Columns (Night 1, Night 2)

Best of The Super Jr 27 Winner vs. Super J-Cup Winner

Hiromu Takahashi vs. El Phantasmo

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2020 Statistics

  • Hiromu Takahashi was put to the test in 2020, his 21:06 average singles match length was the second longest in NJPW in 2020. On average, only Tetsuya Naito had longer singles matches in NJPW in 2020 than Hiromu Takahashi.
  • Hiromu’s 6 hours, 19 minutes, and 47 seconds of Singles Match Length was the 4th highest in NJPW this year, behind only Kazuchika Okada, Tetsuya Naito, and EVIL
  • Hiromu Takahashi’s 13 singles victories in 2020 were the third highest in NJPW, behind only Yota Tsuji (16) and Kazuchika Okada (15).
  • El Phantasmo’s one and only losing fall of 2020 was in The Tokyo Dome during Wrestle Kingdom 14. SHO pinned him to win the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Title Match on 1/5/20.

Head To Head History

  • Hiromu Takahashi and El Phantasmo have faced off twice in multi-person matches. On last year’s New Year Dash card, Hiromu and BUSHI teamed to battle El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru, SHO & YOH, and El Phantasmo & Taiji Ishimori. Neither wrestler factored into the finish of that match. They also squared off in a 10 man elimination match at Korakuen Hall on February 5th. Takahashi eliminated El Phantasmo from that match before getting eliminated himself by KENTA.

Tokyo Dome Statistics

  • This will be Hiromu Takahashi’s first Tokyo Dome singles match without the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title on the line. He is 2-0 in his previous two singles matches in The Dome.

Hiromu Takahashi and El Phantasmo Matches In The Tokyo Dome

    • Hiromu Takahashi hasn’t taken a losing fall in the Tokyo Dome since his Young Lion Days in 2013. He picked up two winning falls last year, first pinning Will Ospreay on January 4th, then pinning Jushin Thunder Liger in his last match ever on January 5th.
    • El Phantasmo was the losing fall recipient during last year’s IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Title Match against SHO and YOH.

IWGP Tag Team Championship Match
Taichi & Zack Sabre Jr [c] vs. Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa

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2020 Statistics

      • Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa’s 11 victories in 2020 were third highest in NJPW in 2020.
      • Taichi and Zack Sabre Jr’s 3 hours, 49 minutes and 25 seconds of Total Match Length was the highest for any tag team in NJPW in 2020, 8 ½ minutes higher than the second hardest working team in the division, Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa.

Head To Head History

      • Guerrillas of Destiny have faced Dangerous Tekkers in each of the last three World Tag League tournaments. Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa have been victorious in all three matches.

Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa Matches at The Tokyo Dome

      • Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa have never won a match together at the Tokyo Dome, in fact, they have lost three straight IWGP Tag Team Title Matches at Wrestle Kingdom, dating back to 2017.

Individual Statistics In The Tokyo Dome

IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship Matches at The Tokyo Dome

      • The IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships have been on the line at the Tokyo Dome 28 times. They Have changed hands 15 times (53.5%), including the last seven Wrestle Kingdom defenses. Three of which included Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa losing their championships. For context, the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships have changed hands in just 35% of their defenses.

(Title Changes in Bold)

IWGP United States Heavyweight Right To Challenge Briefcase
KENTA [H] vs. Satoshi Kojima

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2020 Results

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      • Satoshi Kojima’s +26 Fall Differential was the second best in NJPW in 2020. Only SANADA (+30) had a better ratio of winning falls to losing falls.
      • KENTA enters his match with Satoshi Kojima on a six match winning streak in singles matches dating back to his October 11th victory over Toru Yano in the G1.

Head To Head History

      • KENTA and Satoshi Kojima have matched up three times in tag matches. Once in 2013 in NOAH, once in the 2019 World Tag League, and just recently on the December 23rd Road To Tokyo Dome card. On November 28th of last year, KENTA submitted Satoshi Kojima with the Game Over in the only time either wrestler has factored into the fall against each other.

Tokyo Dome Statistics

      • This will be Satoshi Kojima’s first singles match in the Tokyo Dome in 7 years. On 1/4/14, he defeated Rob Conway in 8:27 in an NWA World Heavyweight Title Match.
      • KENTA’s last singles victory in the Tokyo Dome was over 15 years ago when he defeated Yoshinobu Kanemaru to win the GHC Junior Heavyweight Title at NOAH Destiny. Of course, KENTA was unable to retain his NEVER Openweight championship against Hirooki Goto during last year’s Wrestle Kingdom.
      • Only 8 of the 500+ wrestlers who have wrestled in the Tokyo Dome have spent more time in the ring than Satoshi Kojima’s 7 hours, 27 minutes, and 19 seconds.

KENTA Matches In The Tokyo Dome

Satoshi Kojima Matches In The Tokyo Dome

Special Singles Match
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Great-O-Khan

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2020 Statistics

      • Hiroshi Tanahashi has not won a match with The High Fly Flow since October 1st in the G1 against YOSHI-HASHI.
      • Great-O-Khan has been very impressive since returning from excursion, coming into tonight with a 24-5 overall record and a nice +5 Fall Differential, but it is important to note that he’s still looking for his first big pin. The only wrestlers he successfully pinned are Gabriel Kidd, Yuya Uemura, and Yota Tsuji.
      • 2020 was the first year since 2002 that Hiroshi Tanahashi lost more than half of his singles matches. At 5-8 and a .385 winning percentage, Tanahashi will look to use his experience in the Tokyo Dome to start 2021 headed in the right direction.

Head To Head History

      • Hiroshi Tanahashi competed against Tomoyuki Oka in tag matches five times in 2017 before Oka left on excursion to RevPro. Tanahashi’s teams were victorious in all five of those matches but Tanahashi was never the winning fall participant.
      • Since Great-O-Khan’s return, he has faced off with Tanahashi 8 times in tag matches. His team has gone 8-0 in those matches, but neither Tanahashi or O-Khan has factored into any of the falls.

Tokyo Dome Statistics

      • Nobody has spent more time in singles matches in The Tokyo Dome than Hiroshi Tanahashi. His 7 hours, 37 minutes, and 24 seconds are over two hours longer than Keiji Mutoh’s second longest time of 5 hours, 36 minutes, and 23 seconds.
      • This will be Tanahashi’s 21st singles match in the Tokyo Dome. Only Yuji Nagata (23) and Jushin Thunder Liger (22) have participated in more singles matches in The Tokyo Dome than The Ace.

Hiroshi Tanahashi In The Tokyo Dome

      • Hiroshi Tanahashi has had a singles match on every single Wrestle Kingdom card dating back to Wrestle Kingdom 1 in 2007. His match against Great-O-Khan will mark the first time Hiroshi Tanahashi has competed in consecutive non-title matches at Wrestle Kingdom.

Special Singles Match
Kazuchika Okada vs. Will Ospreay

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2020 Statistics

      • Kazuchika Okada has not won a match with The Rainmaker since February 9th at The New Beginning In Osaka against Taichi. Since then, he has won more matches via Submission or Referee Stoppage than anyone in NJPW by utilizing The Money Clip to control and submit his opponents.
      • In 2019, Will Ospreay spent 11 hours, 21 minutes, and 35 seconds competing in singles matches. In 2020, he only logged 3 hours, 14 minutes, and 33 seconds.
      • Kazuchika Okada’s 7 hours, 12 minutes, and 2 seconds of Total Singles Match Length was the longest in NJPW in 2020. His 21 singles matches were the most aside from the Young Lions.

Head To Head History

      • Kazuchika Okada leads the all-time series with Will Ospreay 4-1, but that 1 is sure to leave a foul taste in the mouth of The Rainmaker. Ospreay’s recent change in attitude is sure to change motivations and tactics on both sides of the ring.

Tokyo Dome Statistics

      • Kazuchika Okada’s 30:45 Average Singles Match Length in The Tokyo Dome is the longest among all nearly 300 competitors who have participated in a singles match in The Tokyo Dome.

Kazuchika Okada In The Tokyo Dome

      • Kazuchika Okada is 1-1 in non-title singles matches in the Tokyo Dome. He defeated YOSHI-HASHI in 2012 and he lost to Jay White in just 15 minutes and 18 seconds in 2019.

Will Ospreay In The Tokyo Dome

      • Will Ospreay has never competed in The Tokyo Dome without a title on the line.

IWGP Heavyweight & Intercontinental Double Championship Match
Tetsuya Naito [c] vs. Kota Ibushi

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2020 Statistics

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      • Kota Ibushi’s was tough to put away in singles matches last year. His 23:55 average losing match length was second highest amongst heavyweights. Only Tetsuya Naito logged longer average losses at 27:33.
      • Tetsuya Naito was taken to the limit in every singles match he participated in during NJPW’s 2020 calendar. His 27 minute and 22 second average singles match length was the longest in NJPW by over 6 minutes

Head To Head History

      • It has been 575 days since Kota Ibushi and Tetsuya Naito have wrestled in a singles match, the second longest stretch between their singles matches in their careers.
      • Kota Ibushi leads the all-time series between himself and Tetsuya Naito 5-3. Every match between these two has either had a title on the line or it has been a part of a tournament. No stage is bigger than The Tokyo Dome, no stakes are higher than The Double Gold. This is the biggest match of their career series which dates back to 2013.

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Tokyo Dome Statistics

      • The only singles matches Tetsuya Naito has won in the Tokyo Dome have had the Intercontinental Title on The line. Tetsuya Naito is 4-0 in The Tokyo Dome when the Intercontinental Championship is on the line. He is just 1-2 in IWGP Heavyweight Title matches in The Dome.
      • Kota Ibushi is 0-1 in Intercontinental Championship Matches (Wrestle Kingdom 9) and 0-1 in IWGP Heavyweight Title matches (Wrestle Kingdom 14) in The Tokyo Dome.
      • Ibushi has also lost a NEVER Openweight Championship Match in the dome (Wrestle Kingdom 13) and an IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship Match (Wrestle Kingdom 7).
      • Ibushi has just one championship victory in The Tokyo Dome, that was at Wrestle Kingdom 8 when he defeated Prince Devitt for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title.
      • Naito is 1-1 in Tokyo Dome main events, his first victory in such a match was last year’s triumph over Kazuchika Okada to win the Double Gold.
      • Ibushi is 0-1 in Tokyo Dome main events. His loss to Kazuchika Okada last year was his first opportunity at the spotlighted match.

Tetsuya Naito Matches In The Tokyo Dome

      • Tetsuya Naito enters tonight’s match on a three match winning streak in the Tokyo Dome dating back to him defeating Chris Jericho for the Intercontinental Championship in 2019.

Kota Ibushi Matches In The Tokyo Dome

      • Kota Ibushi Enters tonight’s match on a three match losing streak in the Tokyo Dome dating back to his loss at Wrestle Kingdom 13 to Will Ospreay.

IWGP Heavyweight Championship Matches In The Tokyo Dome

      • The IWGP Heavyweight Championship has been decided 42 times at The Tokyo Dome and it has changed hands 17 times (40.4% of matches)

(Title Changes in Bold)

IWGP Intercontinental Championship Matches In The Tokyo Dome

      • The IWGP Intercontinental Championship has been decided 9 times at The Tokyo Dome and it has changed hands three times. (33.3% of matches).

(Title Changes in Bold)