New Japan’s biggest show of the summer is this Saturday. We get an ongoing feud between El Desperado/Kanemaru and Roppongi 3k, The Young Bucks with their first shot at the IWGP Heavyweight Tags, Chris Jericho going after Naito, and of course…Okada vs Omega IV.
With Best of Super Juniors taking away a lot of hype for this event, this is definitely one of those, “The card speaks for itself”, type of situations.
- IWGP Junior Tag Title: Suzuki-Gun (El Desperado and Yoshinobu Kanemaru) (c) vs. Roppongi 3K (SHO and YOH)
Pick – SHO and YOH
- Taguchi Japan (Juice Robinson and David Finlay) vs. Chaos (Jay White and Yoshi-Hashi)
Pick – Juice & Finlay
- Chaos (Tomohiro Ishii and Toru Yano) vs. Suzuki-Gun (Minoru Suzuki and Zack Sabre Jr.)
Pick – Suzuki & Sabre
- NEVER Openweight Triple Threat: Hirooki Goto (c) vs. Michael Elgin vs. Taichi
Pick – Taichi
- IWGP Heavyweight Tag Championship: Los Ingobernables de Japon (SANADA and EVIL) (c) vs. The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson)
Pick – EVIL & SANADA
- Hiroshi Tanahashi, Jushin Thunder Liger and Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Bullet Club (Cody, Hangman Page and Marty Scurll)
Pick – Tanahashi, Liger & Mysterio
- IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: Will Ospreay (c) vs. Hiromu Takahashi
Pick – Hiromu
- IWGP Intercontinental Title: Tetsuya Naito (c) vs. Chris Jericho
Pick – Chris Jericho
- IWGP Heavyweight Championship 2 out of 3 Falls: Kazuchika Okada (c) vs. Kenny Omega
Pick – Kenny Omega
Reasons: So I’m aware that my picks have a lot of title changes, but with G1, a San Francisco show that’s not sold out and All In in the middle of when some of the G1 fallout happens, changes could re-spark interest.
Jericho winning gives a good opportunity to go after Okada and have more weight behind the match since Okada is already too big for Jericho to validate a match purely with his fame.
Desperado beat Hiromu in the Best of Super Juniors, so that immediately would give a first opponent if Despy wasn’t the tag champion anymore.
Taichi is purely bias, a Triple Threat is a good chance for him to heel his way into a win. Plus since moving up to heavyweight, he’s actually been impressive and less of a Gackt wannabe waste of space.
EVIL & SANADA retaining is just because I don’t think there would be an entire card of changes, so with my picks, this makes the most sense at a champion retaining (aside from Okada of course).
Omega vs Okada is the hardest pick (even Greg & Patrick on Outside Interference weren’t totally swayed) since everyone can see a bunch of different stories that spark from both outcomes. Omega winning opens a lot of easy accessibility for the West, would maybe push sales in San Francisco, would make All In more intriguing and adds a layer to the Golden Lovers dynamic. Okada is a point of pride, whereas Omega is a culmination of roughly 2 years of becoming one of the biggest names outside of the WWE.
Either way, the top of the card should be entertaining and most likely deliver highly rated matches. This should give people a lot to talk about, and hopefully reasons to purchase tickets to the Cow Palace.