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Wrestle Kingdom 16: Night One Predictions

Wrestle Kingdom 16: Night One is almost upon us, and as is the norm around these here parts, we at SPOBS have gathered together three of our greatest wrestling minds to bring you our Wrestle Kingdom 16: Night One Predictions. Who will emerge victorious? And who will be scorned around our virtual offices until throats are sore, and emotions are hurt? Well, me, probably. I’m crap at these things, but nonetheless what lays ahead is our predictions for Wrestle Kingdom 16: Night One.

Wrestle Kingdom 16: Night One Graphic for the Main Event

YOH vs. SHO

Steve Swift: This is tasty and a bit naughty as they used to be tag buddies. Should be a good opener and, because he has a slightly higher profile, SHO should prevail.
Winner: SHO

Katrina Blake: I’ve been becoming a fan of YOH and after SHO turned on him, I want YOH to get some real good retribution on SHO.
Winner: YOH

Jon Shartzer: I feel like the consensus that I’ve seen around the web has been that SHO will win this match. I find that hard to argue with, so I won’t. SHO wins the battle of ex-tag team partners. Winner: SHO

Neil Gray: If wrestling has taught me anything, its that turning on your tag partner and then facing them at your company biggest show of the year – which Wrestle Kingdom 16 is – usually means you’re going to be the one staring at the lights when all is said and done. So, I’m picking YOH, but fully expect this to be a barnstorming way to kick of Night One.
Winner: YOH

Rocky Romero, Ryusuke Taguchi and Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Bullet Club (KENTA, Taiji Ishimori and El Phantasmo)

SS: Another tasty dish, which promises to be full of annoyances from ElP and some tough stuff from Rocky, who needs to snap his losing streak. Not here though, this is surely a Bullet Club win
Winners: The Bullet Club

KB: Anytime, my guy Tanahashi is in a match, I feel compelled to go for him, so I guess it can be figured out where I’m going on this pick.
Winners: Rocky Romero, Ryusuke Taguchi, and Hiroshi Tanahashi

JS: I have no idea lol. I’ll go with Bullet Club just because.
Winners: The Bullet Club

NG: If you’d asked me this a few weeks ago, it’d been a lot easier for me to give it to Rocky Romero and his team as the Bullet Club didn’t seem to be able to pick up a win with a couple of 50 dollar bills hanging out their tights, but they’ve since been on a five-match winning run and even though this could’ve just been done to set them up as a threat going into Wrestle Kingdom 16: Night One, I’m gonna back them to walk out with the win.
Winners: The Bullet Club

Los Ingobernables De Japon (SANADA, BUSHI and Tetsuya Naito) vs United Empire (Jeff Cobb, Will Ospreay and Great-O-Khan)

SS: What, United Empire won’t win this? Even with Naito in the Los Team, they’ll be in the Loss column. Cobb and Ospreay are men who are so bigged up and even O-Khan is given mystique. This is a win all day. Should be a great match though
Winners: United Empire

KB: As much as I like Jeff Cobb, I’m going with BUSHI, SANADA, and Naito. I’m a fan of Naito and would like to see him gain more momentum going forward in 2022.
Winners: Los Ingobernables De Japon

JS: I’ll be the first to admit that I get a little tired of NJPW’s affinity for multi-man tag matches. With that said, I’m actually looking forward to this one. That’s a lot of talent for one match. I don’t see Will Ospreay taking any sort of loss before WK night two though. That should mean that United Empire picks up the victory here.
Winners: United Empire

NG: You don’t put a guy who is fighting for your biggest belt on the next night’s card into a match on the opening show, only to have him lose. There’s no doubt that SANDA, BUSHI, and Tetsuya Naito are some of the best in NJPW, but Cobb, Khan, and Ospreay are going to be the faces of the company for a long time.
Winners: United Empire

Katsuyori Shibata vs. X in a Catch Wrestling Rules Match

SS: Another keeper, we’ve been waiting for Shibata to step back in the ring for so long that, no matter who steps into the ring with him, they won’t be coming out as the winner. Yes, even if it’s Omega. Did I just write that? I did.
Winner: Katsuyori Shibata

KB: Shibata is an amazing wrestler and while I have no idea who his opponent is, I’m going with him on this match. Considering his wrestling return was questionable at a time, I look forward to this match and him winning.
Winner: Katsuyori Shibata

JS:  I saw a rumor that perhaps the mystery opponent is Minoru Suzuki. While that certainly intrigues me, I want to see Suzuki but people. That can’t happen in this instance. Either way, Shibata wins, no matter the opponent.
Winner: Katsuyori Shibata

NG: Even though the sensible money is on Minoru Suzuki being the mystery opponent – after all, he’s one of the safest hands in the world – there’s no way that they’re bringing Katsuyori Shibata back at Wrestle Kingdom and having him lose.
Winner: Katsuyori Shibata

NEVER Openweight Championship: Tomohiro Ishii (c) vs EVIL

SS: EVIL has had it handed to him, tainted victory after tainted victory. But then Ishii is the epitome of a transitional champ, simply because can’t do that much with him beyond the tough stuff.  And that’s what makes this so delicious, he might be beatable. And susceptible to shenanigans. I reckon EVIL might just snatch this.
Winner: EVIL

KB: I don’t have too many thoughts on this match, but I do think Ishii will retain.
Winner: Tomohiro Ishii

JS: I want Ishii to return but I’m pretty sure that NJPW wants to put the title on EVIL. They seem to be behind HoT right now pretty heavily. I hope that I’m wrong but I say we have a new champ after this one.
Winner: EVIL

NG: I like Ishii – just in case he reads this and takes offense to what I’m about to say, before hunting me down and eating my head – but this will be his last stand as NEVER Openweight Champion. It’s EVIL’s time to shine and I fully expect him to walk out of Wrestle Kingdom 16: Night One as the new NEVER champion.
Winner: EVIL

IWGP Tag Team Championship: Dangerous Tekkers (Zack Sabre Jr. and Taichi) vs CHAOS (Hirooki Goto and YOSHI-HASHI)

SS: YOSHI-HASHI has put in a lot of sterling performances recently. But I can’t see Dangerous Tekkers losing here?  Why? Three letters. ZSJ.
Winners: Dangerous Tekkers

KB: Going with Sabre and Taichi on this one.
Winners: Dangerous Tekkers

JS: My first reaction was that Goto and Yoshi-Hoshi would be new champions. But the more that I think about it, the more I start to believe that the Tekkers will retain. I should probably go with my gut, but I’m going with ZSJ and Taichi to hold on to their titles.
Winners: Dangerous Tekkers

NG: I hate the name Dangerous Tekkers. Sounds like some sort of crap those idiots on Soccer AM would spout. But having said that, they’ve managed to prove that they’re one of the best tag teams in the world currently. Can’t see their reign ending any time soon either, though this will be another stellar match.
Winners: Dangerous Tekkers

IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: El Desperado (c) vs Hiromu Takahashi

SS: Tough to pick, this. They went to a draw at Super Juniors, but Takahashi was crowned in that competition.  This should be brutal and close, but Takahashi should come out on top
Winner: Hiromu Takahasi

KB: I’m a big fan of Takahashi and was very upset that he had to let the belt go because of an injury. Technically, he didn’t lose it in a match so I want him to win his belt back.
Winner: Hiromu Takahasi

JS: This could very well be the match of the night for Wrestle Kingdom’s first day. Takahashi has said that they plan to go out and steal the show and I, for one, believe that they will. Both men will be at the top of their game, but my gut tells me that El Desperado will not be the Junior Heavyweight Champion after this match. Hiromu Takahashi reigns once again.
Winner: Hiromu Takahasi

NG: This is a lot more difficult to call than it first appears. We’ve all gone for Hiromu Takahashi, and if that turns out to be the result then it will have a knock-on effect for his match against KENTA on the next night’s card. Can’t see him holding two belts, can you?
Winner: Hiromu Takahasi

IWGP World Heavyweight Championship: Shingo Takagi (c) vs. Kazuchika Okada

SS: Okada won the denuded G1 this year, a bitter end due to Ibushi’s injury. Shingo hasn’t made a massive mark as the champ, Will Ospreay is making more noise over his claims on the belt. You know this will be a stupendous match, right? Both wrestlers need it, both can give it, both can take it. I’m expecting something really well-plotted and executed. Okada will come out as the winner, as NJPW needs some star quality with the belt.  And that’s hard to write, I prefer Shingo.
Winner: Kazuchika Okada

KB: Shingo has been doing his thing this past year, but Okada is one of my faves in NJPW. I really want Okada to go to WK on Night 2 and kick Will Ospreay’s ass (excuse my language) so I need him to win Night One.
Winner: Kazuchika Okada

JS: Shingo has become one of my favorite NJPW wrestlers over the last two years or so. He has certainly earned the main event spot. He deserves to go on to day two and face Will Ospreay. Okada has been there and done that. I’m taking the champ to retain.
Winner: Shingo Takagi

NG: If Okada wins here, there’s no way that he drops the belt to Will Ospreay on Night Two. But that’s not going to happen as Will Ospreay is destined to be Champion when the dust has settled on both of Wrestle Kingdom: Night One and Two. Shingo for the win!
Winner: Shingo Takagi

 

Written by Neil Gray

SPOBS very own Mouth Of The South (West)

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