NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 18
January 4, 2024
Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo Dome
Ranbo: 3:30pm JST, Main Card 4:30pm JST

Watch: NJPWWorld

We’ve reached the boiling point of excitement as Wrestle Kingdom 18 approaches, but I don’t have to tell you that! You’re here, looking for EVEN MORE Wrestle Kingdom content. My friends at Voices of Wrestling did a wonderful, if longwinded, job with their traditional preview of Wrestle Kingdom 18, which means I don’t need to waste any time telling you anything that you can’t find elsewhere. What I do need to tell you are all of the nitty-gritty details, research, stats & info that you can’t find anywhere but right here.

The statistics, information, and research below are the exact notes that I sent to Walker Stewart and Chris Charlton (with a CC: to Kevin Kelly so as to suppress his FOMO), so my hope is that they will help to tell the story when the bell rings on a ten-match main card from the Tokyo Dome on January 4th

Of course, you can follow along with me live on Twitter (@theChrisSamsa) during the show, as I’ll have live match-by-match stats & info threads, and posts rolling throughout the card, and I will highlight any special occurrences throughout the night.

PDF Download: Wrestle Kingdom 18 Stats & Info – Broadcaster Cut


NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 18 Global Start Times

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Main Event
IWGP World Heavyweight Championship
SANADA[C] vs. Tetsuya Naito

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Recent History – 2023 – NJPW Singles

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  • SANADA’s 17 NJPW singles victories were the second-most in NJPW in 2023 (Zack Sabre Jr.: 23)
  • Among wrestlers with nine or more NJPW singles matches in 2023, SANADA and Tetsuya Naito hold the top two winning percentages.

Recent History – Last Six Months – NJPW Singles

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  • Tetsuya Naito’s nine singles wins in the last six months are the second-most in NJPW (Zack Sabre Jr.: 11)

Recent History – Last Two Years – NJPW Singles

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  • In the last two years, SANADA and Tetsuya Naito hold remarkably similar singles records, but Tetsuya Naito’s 23:40 Average Losing match Length is eight and a half minutes higher than SANADA’s 15:13, showing that Naito is incredibly challenging to defeat in NJPW singles matches.

All-Time – NJPW Singles

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  • In the last 20 years, only Hiroshi Tanahashi (402), Hirooki Goto (399), and Toru Yano (350) have wrestled in more NJPW singles matches than Tetsuya Naito (330).

All-Time – NJPW Singles Main Events

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  • Tetsuya Naito’s 50 singles Main Event victories leave him tied with Shinya Hashimoto for the fifth-most in NJPW history (Inoki, Tanahashi, Okada, Fujinami, Hashimoto)
  • SANADA has won 25 NJPW singles main events in the last five years. That is the third most in that time (Kazuchika Okada: 45, Shingo Takagi: 27)

Tokyo Dome Statistics & History – Singles Matches

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  • SANADA enters his Wrestle Kingdom 18 IWGP World Heavyweight Title defense against Tetsuya Naito with a two-match winning streak in singles matches in the Tokyo Dome.
  • Tetsuya Naito also enters the Wrestle Kingdom 18 main event with a two-match singles winning streak in the Tokyo Dome.

Tokyo Dome Statistics & History – All Matches

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  • Six of Tetsuya Naito’s seven Tokyo Dome victories have occurred in singles matches.

Recent History – 2023 Individual Overall (Includes Tag Matches)

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  • Tetsuya Naito’s 110 NJPW matches were the tenth-most in NJPW in 2023.

Head To Head History

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  • SANADA enters his Wrestle Kingdom IWGP World Heavyweight Title defense with a two-match winning streak against Tetsuya Naito dating back to October 2020. Naito last defeated SANADA in August of 2018.

SANADA In Tokyo Dome

Tetsuya Naito In Tokyo Dome

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History in Tokyo Dome Main Events

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  • When the bell rings on January 4, 2024, Tetsuya Naito will become just the eighth wrestler to wrestle in four Tokyo Dome Main Events. (Tanahashi: 11, Okada 10, Muto: 10, Nakamura: 7, Hashimoto: 6, Sasaki: 5, Nagata: 4)

IWGP World Heavyweight Championship History

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History In IWGP World Heavyweight Title Matches

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  • Tetsuya Naito, EVIL, and Zack Sabre Jr. are the only wrestlers to go 0-2 in their first two attempts at winning the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship. Naito is the first wrestler to get a third chance at the top title after losing 2.
  • With a win over Tetsuya Naito, SANADA would become the first wrestler to successfully defend the IWGP World Heavyweight five times in one reign.

IWGP World Heavyweight Championship Defenses in Tokyo Dome


Match Nine
Special Singles Match
Kazuchika Okada vs. Bryan Danielson
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Recent History – 2023 – NJPW Singles [Okada], AEW Singles [Danielson]

  • Bryan Danielson’s 6 hours, 55 minutes, and 55 seconds of singles match length in 2023 was the most in AEW. That total would have landed him second in NJPW, only behind Shingo Takagi (7 hours, 25 minutes).

Recent History – Last Six Months – NJPW Singles[Okada], AEW Singles [Danielson]

Recent History – Last Two Years – NJPW Singles[Okada], AEW Singles [Danielson]

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Recent History – Last Five Years – NJPW Singles[Okada], AEW Singles [Danielson]

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  • Kazuchika Okada’s 79 singles wins in the last five years are the most in NJPW.

All-Time – NJPW Singles

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  • Among the 80 wrestlers with over 200 NJPW singles matches, Kazuchika Okada’s .643 winning percentage is the seventh-best all-time. (Inoki, Nakamura, Sakaguchi, Sasaki, Kobayashi, Fujinami)All-Time – AEW Singles

Tokyo Dome Statistics & History – Singles Matches

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  • With a win over Bryan Danielson at Wrestle Kingdom 18, Kazuchika Okada would tie Yuji Nagata for the third-most all-time Tokyo Dome singles victories with 13.
  • Only Kazuchika Okada and Hiroshi Tanahashi have wrestled in over eight hours of Tokyo Dome singles matches.

Tokyo Dome Statistics & History – All Matches

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Recent History – 2023 Individual Overall – NJPW[Okada], AEW [Danielson]

Head To Head History

Kazuchika Okada In Tokyo Dome

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  • Kazuchika Okada enters Wrestle Kingdom 18 with a six-match winning streak at the Tokyo Dome dating back to January 4, 2021. He has defeated Will Ospreay twice, Jeff Cobb, Jay White, Shingo Takagi, and Kaito Kiyomiya during that span.

Bryan Danielson In Tokyo Dome


Match Eight
IWGP Global Heavyweight Championship
David Finlay vs. Jon Moxley vs. Will Ospreay

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Recent History – 2023 – NJPW Singles[Finlay & Ospreay], AEW Singles[Moxley]

Recent History – Last Six Months – NJPW Singles[Finlay & Ospreay], AEW Singles[Moxley]

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Recent History – Last Two Years – NJPW Singles[Finlay & Ospreay], AEW Singles[Moxley]

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  • In the last two years, Will Ospreay has spent 13 hours, 52 minutes, and 46 seconds wrestling in NJPW singles matches. That is the second-most in that time in NJPW and just 6 minutes behind Kazuchika Okada.

Recent History – Last Five Years – NJPW Singles[Finlay & Ospreay], AEW Singles[Moxley]

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  • Jon Moxley’s 85 AEW singles victories in the last five years are the most in AEW.

All-Time – NJPW Singles

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  • Jon Moxley’s last one-on-one singles loss in NJPW occurred 1606 days ago when Juice Robinson defeated Jon Moxley in the 2019 G1 Climax tournament.
    • Moxley also lost a four-way singles match to Juice Robinson at Capital Collision 2022.

Tokyo Dome Statistics & History – Singles Matches

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  • Will Ospreay last won a singles match in the Tokyo Dome at Wrestle Kingdom 13 in 2019. Since then, he has lost four straight Tokyo Dome singles matches.

Tokyo Dome Statistics & History – All Matches

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Recent History – 2023 Individual Overall (Includes Tag Matches) NJPW [Finlay & Ospreay], AEW [Moxley]

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David Finlay In Tokyo Dome

Jon Moxley In Tokyo Dome

Will Ospreay In Tokyo Dome

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Match Seven
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship
Hiromu Takahashi [C] vs. El Desperado

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Recent History – 2023 – NJPW Singles

Recent History – Last Two Years – NJPW Singles

Recent History – Last Five Years – NJPW Singles

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  • Only four wrestlers have won more NJPW singles matches in the last five years than Hiromu Takahashi (Okada, Takagi, Ospreay, Sabre Jr.)

All-Time – NJPW Singles

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Tokyo Dome Statistics & History – Singles Matches

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Tokyo Dome Statistics & History – All Matches

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Recent History – 2023 Individual Overall (Includes Tag Matches)

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  • Hiromu Takahashi’s 25 hours, 58 minutes, and 2 seconds of total NJPW match length was the most in 2023.
  • Hiromu’s 115 NJPW matches in 2023 were the third-most in NJPW (BUSHI: 122, Ishii: 119).

Head To Head History

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Head To Head History

**Records since 2018**

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Hiromu Takahashi In Tokyo Dome

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El Desperado In Tokyo Dome

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IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship History

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  • Only two wrestlers have won more IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title matches than Hiromu Takahashi’s 20. (Jyushin Thunder Liger: 37, Minoru Tanaka/Heat: 21)

IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship Defenses in Tokyo Dome

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  • Dating back to 2014, The IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship has changed hands in ten of the last eleven defenses at the Tokyo Dome—the only successful defense: El Desperado over Hiromu Takahashi at Wrestle Kingdom 15 in 2022.

History in IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Title Matches in The Tokyo Dome

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  • Hiromu Takahashi’s four IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title Match victories in the Tokyo Dome are the second-most all-time behind Jushin Thunder Liger’s seven Tokyo Dome title match victories.

Match Six
IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team & NJPW Strong Openweight Tag Team Championships
Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI [IWGP] vs. El Phantasmo & Hikuleo [Strong]

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Recent History – 2023 – NJPW 2 v. 2 Tag Team

All Time – NJPW 2 v. 2 Tag Team

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Tokyo Dome Statistics & History – All Matches

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  • Only Jyushin Thunder Liger, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Yuji Nagata, Keiji Muto, Satoshi Kojima, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Masahiro Chono, and Riki Choshu have more overall Tokyo Dome wins than Hirooki Goto’s 14.

Tokyo Dome Statistics & History – 2 v. 2 Tag Team Matches

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  • Only Satoshi Kojima, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, and Keiji Muto have won more 2 v. 2 Tag Team matches in the Tokyo Dome than Hirooki Goto.

IWGP Tag Team Championship History

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  • The IWGP Tag Team Titles have been defended in 268 matches, and 35.45% of those matches resulted in a new champion being crowned.
    • The IWGP Tag Team Titles have been defended 30 times in the Tokyo Dome, and 60% of those matches have resulted in a new champion being crowned.

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  • Hirooki Goto and YOSHI-HASHI are 8-6 in career IWGP Tag Team Title matches.
    • YOSHI-HASHI is 0-3 when challenging for the IWGP Tag Team Titles without Goto.
    • Goto is 1-7 when challenging for the IWGP Tag Team Titles without YOSHI-HASHI.

IWGP Tag Team Championship In Tokyo Dome

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  • The IWGP Tag Team Titles have changed hands in 11 consecutive defenses in the Tokyo Dome. The last successful defense occurred with Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson’s victory over Davey Boy Smith Jr. and Lance Archer at Wrestle Kingdom 7 in 2014.

Individual History in IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Title Matches at Tokyo Dome

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  • With a win at Wrestle Kingdom 18, Hirooki Goto would become the second wrestler to win four IWGP Tag Team Title Matches at the Tokyo Dome, matching Hiroyoshi Tenzan.




Match Five
NEVER Openweight Championship
Shingo Takagi [C] vs. Tama Tonga

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Recent History – 2023 – NJPW Singles

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  • Shingo Takagi’s 7 hours, 25 minutes, and 55 seconds of NJPW Singles match length was the highest in NJPW in 2023.

Recent History – Last Six Months – NJPW Singles

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Recent History – Last Two Years – NJPW Singles

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Recent History – Last Five Years – NJPW Singles

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  • In the last five years, only Kazuchika Okada has spent more time than Shingo Takagi in NJPW singles matches (35 hours, 15 minutes, and 49 seconds).
  • Only Kazuchika Okada has more singles victories in the last five years than Shingo Takagi’s 73.

All-Time – NJPW Singles

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Tokyo Dome Statistics & History – Singles Matches

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  • Tama Tonga’s only singles victory in the Tokyo Dome occurred last year against Karl Anderson.

Tokyo Dome Statistics & History – All Matches

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Recent History – 2023 Individual Overall (Includes Tag Matches)

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Head To Head History

Shingo Takagi In Tokyo Dome

Tama Tonga In Tokyo Dome

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  • A title has changed hands in Tama Tonga’s last seven Tokyo Dome matches, dating back to Wrestle Kingdom 11 in 2017.

NEVER Openweight Championship History

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  • The NEVER Openweight Title has been decided in 85 matches and has changed hands in 45.88% of those matches. That is the highest Title Change Rate among NJPW singles titles.

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  • Only Tomohiro Ishii (12), Hirooki Goto (11), and Katsuyori Shibata (9) have won more matches with the NEVER Openweight Title on the line than Shingo Takagi’s 8.

NEVER Openweight Championship Defenses in Tokyo Dome

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  • The NEVER Openweight Title has changed hands in 7 of 9 defenses in the Tokyo Dome.
    • Shingo Takagi was the last wrestler to retain the NEVER Openweight Title in the Tokyo Dome (1/5/21 v. Jeff Cobb).

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  • Shingo Takagi and Tama Tonga both enter their Wrestle Kingdom 18 match with a 1-0 record in Tokyo Dome NEVER Openweight Title matches.

Match Four
Special Tag Team Match
Kaito Kiyomiya & Shota Umino vs. EVIL & Ren Narita

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Recent History – 2023 Individual Overall (Includes Tag Matches)

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Tokyo Dome Statistics & History – All Matches

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Notes

  • No wrestler has more career NJPW wins over Ren Narita than Shota Umino. Including tag and singles matches, Umino has defeated Ren Narita 32 times.
  • Including tag matches, only El Desperado has defeated Shota Umino more times than Ren Narita. Narita has defeated Umino 26 times.
    • Narita and Umino have been on separate sides of the ring 63 times in their careers.

Match Three
Special Singles Match
Yota Tsuji vs. Yuya Uemura

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Recent History – 2023 – NJPW Singles

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  • Yuya Uemura’s only NJPW singles match of 2023 occurred in March at the NJPW-IMPACT Multiverse United event when Uemura defeated Gabe Kidd in 7 minutes and 52 seconds.

All-Time – NJPW Singles

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Tokyo Dome Statistics & History – All Matches

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Recent History – 2023 Individual Overall (Includes Tag Matches)

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Head To Head History

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  • In their NJPW career, Yota Tsuji and Yuya Uemura have been on separate sides of matches 78 times, including 37 singles matches.
    • Yota Tsuji’s next-most common opponent in his career is Shota Umino. They have been on opposite sides of 36 matches.
    • Yuya Uemura’s next-most common opponent in his career is Ren Narita. They have been on opposite sides of 30 matches.

Yota Tsuji & Yuya Uemura In Tokyo Dome

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Match Two
IWGP NJPWWorld Television Championship
Zack Sabre Jr. [C] vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi

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Recent History – 2023 – NJPW Singles

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  • Zack Sabre Jr.’s 23 singles wins in 2023 were the most in NJPW.
    • We have to go all the way back to Satoshi Kojima’s 2010 to find another wrestler with 23+ wins in one calendar year. Kojima won 26 singles matches that year.

Recent History – Last Two Years – NJPW Singles

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  • Zack Sabre Jr.’s 36 singles wins in the last two years are the most in NJPW over that period.

Recent History – Last Five Years – NJPW Singles

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  • Only Kazuchika Okada (80), Shingo Takagi (73), and Will Ospreay (68) have won more singles matches in NJPW in the last five years.
  • Zack Sabre Jr. is one of just three wrestlers who have competed in 100+ NJPW singles matches in the last five years.

All-Time – NJPW Singles

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  • At over 143 hours, Hiroshi Tanahashi has spent the fifth-most time in NJPW singles matches all-time (Fujinami, El Samurai, Liger, Inoki)

Tokyo Dome Statistics & History – Singles Matches

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  • Only Jyushin Thunder Liger has more singles wins in the Tokyo Dome than Hiroshi Tanahashi’s 14. (Liger: 16)
  • Zack Sabre Jr. has an undefeated record of 3-0 in singles matches at the Tokyo Dome. Hulk Hogan is the only wrestler with a 4-0 record in singles matches at the Tokyo Dome.

Tokyo Dome Statistics & History – All Matches

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  • No wrestler has spent more time wrestling in the Tokyo Dome than Hiroshi Tanahashi’s 10 hours, 50 minutes, and 49 seconds.

Recent History – 2023 Individual Overall (Includes Tag Matches)

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  • 2023 was the first full year since 2009 that Hiroshi Tanahashi wrestled in less than 100 NJPW matches (pandemic-shortened 2020 discarded from data).

Head To Head History

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Zack Sabre Jr. In Tokyo Dome

Hiroshi Tanahashi In Tokyo Dome

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IWGP NJPWWorld Television Championship History

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IWGP NJPWWorld Television Championship Defenses in Tokyo Dome





Match One
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship
Clark Connors & Drilla Moloney [C] vs. Francesco Akira & TJP

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Recent History – 2023 – NJPW 2 v. 2 Tag Team

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All Time – NJPW 2 v. 2 Tag Team

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Tokyo Dome Statistics & History – All Matches

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Tokyo Dome Statistics & History – 2 v. 2 Tag Team Matches

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IWGP Tag Team Championship History

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  • The IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Titles have been defended in 179 matches, and 40.78% of those matches resulted in a new champion being crowned.
    • The IWGP Tag Team Titles have been defended 24 times in the Tokyo Dome, and 45.8% of those matches have resulted in a new champion being crowned.

Individual History in IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Title Matches

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IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship In Tokyo Dome

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  • The IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Titles have been successfully defended at the Tokyo Dome four straight times. That is the longest successful defense streak of all NJPW titles at the Tokyo Dome.