With a wild day one officially in the books, it’s time to look forward to the second half of New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Wrestle Kingdom 15. We now know that IWGP Junior Heavyweight champion Taiji Ishimori will be defending his title against Himoru Takahashi. More importantly, newly crowned Double IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Champion Kota Ibushi will put his titles on the line against Switchblade Jay White after earning them in a thrilling matchup against Tetsuya Naito on Monday morning. Let’s take a look at those contests, as well the others taking place Tuesday morning.
IWGP Jr Tag Team Championship: Suzuki-Gun(c) vs One or Eight
To be honest, these titles almost seem like an afterthought. They’ve changed hands so many times over the years, that there really hasn’t been that much stability. Personally, I’m more fond of Suzuki-Gun. By default, they get my vote here.
NEVER Openweight Championship: Shingo Takagi(c) vs Jeff Cobb
I have to admit, I’m a Shingo fan. This guy has the “it” factor to me. Something about Jeff Cobb just doesn’t click for me. Shingo is also an NJPW guy through and through. For those reasons, I think he retains the NEVER Openweight Championship.
Prediction: Shingo Takagi
EVIL VS SANADA
I’ve been looking forward to this match ever since EVIL turned on LIJ and joined the Bullet Club. Nothing spells drama like watching two former tag partners go at it on the biggest stage in the promotion. The story is already there and these two will definitely deliver on it. I expect a tough, gritty fight here. My money is on EVIL to pick up the victory, but this is likely far from over.
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: Taiji Ishimori(c) vs Hiromu Takahashi
Takahashi earned this opportunity by defeating El Phantasmo on night one. He is arguably the biggest star in the junior heavyweight division, despite Ishimori being the current titleholder. This will be a fun match between two incredible athletes. I believe that this one ends with a new champion.
Prediction: Hiromu Takahashi
Double IWGP Heavyweight & Intercontinental Championships: Kota Ibushi vs Jay White
Kota finally won the big one! He captured both titles in another instant classic against Tetsuya Naito. In my opinion, this is the just start of bigger and better things to come. I just don’t see him dropping the titles one day after picking them up. Ibushi retains over the Slingbade in another banger to cap off Wrestle Kingdom 15!
Prediction: Kota Ibushi
Night two of NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 15 kicks off Tuesday morning at 3am EST. Will you be watching live? What do you think of my predictions? Let us know in the comments and on Twitter by following @ShartzerJon and @SportsObsessive.