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NJPW New Years Dash Exposes Some HUGE Upcoming Storylines



Okada and Sanada

NJPW had an amazing Wrestle Kingdom 12 event that was highlighted by two major matches. However, those two major matches were by no means the only thing that happened on the card. In fact, many people stood out. At the end of the day, New Japan is in a new year and therefore, they need to set up storyline plans for it. New Years Dash was upon us, and NJPW made sure to not disappoint with upcoming match-ups for the next number of months.

As many know, the NJPW New Beginnings tour is next up for the company. It will be taking place in Osaka, Japan in February, so NJPW needed to be quick with setting up matches for the card. The tour is often focusing on smaller talent, which means you’re likely to see a lot of Junior Heavyweights involved in big matches. Imagine Cruiserweights controlling WWE for about a month and a half. NJPW did not want to make us think Juniors were the only focus, however. This is why they set up other major matches too.

New Years Dash has given us some interesting plans, that most are quite interested in. Let us begin to break down what you can expect from NJPW soon from New Years Dash.

Kenny Omega Is A Storyline Slut In NJPW, Still No Heavweight Title Though

Kenny Omega actually offered a spot to Jay White in the Bullet Club. For those unaware, White took on Hiroshi Tanahashi for the IWGP Intercontinental Title at Wrestle Kingdom. Sadly for White, he lost to the champ and therefore the man known as Switchblade was without gold when he left the event. When Omega offered the BC spot, one would assume White would jump at it after his recent loss. He did not.

This has set up a White vs Omega storyline. Oh, and don’t forget a very important thing. Kota Ibushi won his match at Wrestle Kingdom, unlike White. It looks as if there is a side-story with Ibushi and Omega. Both were former tag partners, and pretty awesome in the ring. On the side of this even, there are more issues between Cody and Kenny. This brings about yet another story-arc to keep in mind with Omega. Ibushi is involved in the story since he’s still involved with Cody, that is how they’re connecting the storylines it appears.

That should make you pretty interested in Omega this year. It should also be speculated that Omega is not leaving NJPW for WWE this year, despite his contract being up next month with the company.

Since the champ has to keep moving on, Tanahashi seems to have set up a story with Suzuki, so that army of men should make for an interesting story-arc for the IWGP IC Champ.

NJPW Can’t Let The Past Go, So We’re Dealing With Another Year Of Okada

Since New Japan has letting go issues, Kazuchika Okada retained his IWGP Heavyweight Championship at Wrestle Kingdom 12. This has continued to extend his record as the longest reigning heavyweight champion in the history of the title. Many hated that he beat Tetsuka Naito at Wrestle Kingdom, because it makes no sense to continue the reign. Naito is the fans’ choice to be champion as well as Omega, but NJPW does not want to pull the trigger on either.

Though they may have a bit of a thing for SANADA. For those unaware, Naito and SANADA are good buds, as he helped Naito become the heavyweight champion a while back when he made a shocking debut of sorts to cost Okada the title then. While SANADA was able to capture the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Titles with Evil at Wrestle Kingdom, NJPW does not seem to be feeling the idea that he needs to just be a tag guy.

The show also set up a match between SANADA and Okada, the champ, for the tour. This should be an interesting look to see if SANADA has what it takes to be in a program with the World Champion of NJPW for the title long-term. NJPW has seemingly liked SANADA for some time now, but they don’t want to over-push him either. You know, like they’re doing with their current champion whose appearing to get John Cena-2007 hatred by some fans. But shhh….they can’t tell in the boos aren’t in Japanese. Keep it our little secret.

Oh and we’re seeing EVIL take on Goto, because EVIL cannot stand that SANADA got Okada. Plus they want to make sure they can find out who truly can capitalize their name with EVEN BIGGER letters. We’re putting our money on EVIL. It’s in the name.

Why Should You Get A Rematch? Rematches Are For Winners!

The Juniors are of course the main thing coming up, so naturally you need them to be used well. Will Ospreay managed to capture the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title at Wrestle Kingdom after he won a rare fatal four way at the event. However, he did not defeat champion Marty Scrull in the match only to face off with him again apparently. One would assume the former champ would have a beef that he rightfully should get a title opportunity again through the next month.

Screw reasoning, this is New Japan, not your kiddie wrestling in the United States or The UK! What were you thinking Steve!

This is why Ospreay is seemingly entering a program with Hiromu Takahashi. It makes sense right, Takahashi did not have any sort of presence with the title in 2017 and should be given an opportunity he never seems to get. Oh wait….

On top of this, the Young Bucks are re-entering a program with former IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Champs RPG 3K. 4K was apparently busy, so NJPW had no choice. They told us they were sorry for the inconvenience, but 4K would not be around for a least a year. By then we’re going to see 5K somewhere else though!!! We need a resolution to this problem!

The Bucks became 7-time IWGP Junior Tag Champs at Wrestle Kingdom by beating RPG 3K. So it made sense that they would wrestle them again. You know, this would have been an interesting idea for the singles championship in the division. But hey, we’re not bitter.

But Guys Guys, We Need A Winner For Best Loser

Now we move on to the end of the show which saw Chris Jericho attack Tetsuya Naito. Both were upset with their loses at Wrestle Kingdom, which meant they needed to fight to crown the REAL loser in NJPW, right? We’re not entirely sure. However, NJPW wants to make that a thing apparently, so Jericho and Naito looks to be the direction we’re heading. In all honesty, it could be a good match.

The question will be, what happens when Jericho loses again? He is the Canadian/American here. And he’s in Japan. Did you assume he would win? That’s cute. He couldn’t even beat the other Canadian they have. That is saying something! This also means we’re likely seeing Jericho stick around for more programs in NJPW this year too.

Though Jericho is still rumored to be in the Royal Rumble later this month for WWE, it appears they New Japan is willing to continue using Jericho sparingly. Remember though, light-bright jackets can only be seen for so long before they end up making you blind. That is a scientific fact!

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AEW Coverage

Mitchell’s AEW Continental Classic Update! (11/27/23)

What a start to the tournament!



Did your picks win points?

The AEW Continental Classic is underway, with almost everyone competing. Check in here if you haven’t seen the winners and losers of week 1!

Here are your Gold League standings!

  • Jon Moxley: 1-0, 3 points
  • Swerve Strickland: 1-0, 3 points
  • Jay White: 1-0, 3 points
  • Rush: 0-1, 0 points
  • Mark Briscoe: 0-1, 0 points.
  • Jay Lethal: 0-1, 0 points


Here are your Blue League standings!

  • Brody King: 1-0, 3 points
  • Claudio Castagnoli: 1-0, 3 points
  • Daniel Garcia: 0-1, 0 points
  • Eddie Kingston: 0-1, 0 points
  • Bryan Danielson: Yet to Compete
  • Andrade El Idolo: Yet to Compete


My Thoughts:

Nothing too crazy, nothing too wild, this tournament only just got started. The only disappointing point is that they could not get Bryan “cleared to compete” Saturday night. Not sure how much of that is shoot given the bad eye, but this was kinda the problem of wanting him in the tournament over tons of other choices. Bryan wants to face Okada for WrestleKingdom 18, how is Bryan supposed to do that at his best if he’s also gonna be in a round robin, doing five top level matches in about as many weeks? And it takes away from Andrade being able to do something. Also a little surprised we didn’t even hear from Andrade on Saturday.

Now as we heard on Saturday, round two’s matches are set. Gold League will see Mark Briscoe VS Rush, White VS Swerve, and of course, Moxley VS Lethal. Nice variety there, a couple 0-1 guys facing off, as well as two 1-0 guys, and then 1-0 VS 0-1. No offense to Lethal, but he feels like an 0-2 going up against Moxley. Hard to call the other ones but that’s the fun of it. Meanwhile, Blue League sees Brody VS Claudio in a showdown to be 2-0, then Bryan and Andrade finally jump in, Bryan against Eddie and Andrade against Garcia. Sadly, feels like Eddie and Garcia are going 0-2, no way Tony Khan is booking Bryan and Andrade to lose their first shots.

In fact, that could be half the reason they did wait on those two, that’s almost too good for just a first round opener. But I still would’ve done it, same as NJPW does stuff like that for round robins, which this is all modeled after anyway.

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AEW Coverage

AEW announces Continental Classic entrants

The C2 is set!



Tony Khan Reveals the Blue and Gold “Leagues!”

Originally livestreamed, Tony Khan and Tony Schiavone officially announced the twelve total entrants and divided them into the two round robin blocks known as the “Blue League” and “Gold League.” If you don’t feel like sifting through the almost 30 minute video, the groups are:

Blue League

  • Bryan Danielson
  • Andrade El Idolo
  • Brody King
  • Claudio Castagnoli
  • Daniel Garcia
  • Eddie Kingston

Gold League

  • Jon Moxley
  • Swerve Strickland
  • Rush
  • Mark Briscoe
  • Jay Lethal
  • Jay White


Tony Khan also explains the rules for the Continental Classic:

  • Every match has a 20 minute time limit
  • The winner of each match earns 3 points, losers earn 0, 1 point for a draw
  • EVERYONE ELSE is banned from ringside for true 1v1 action


Eddie Kingston also joined the selection special as his “life’s work” is on the line in this tournament, both the ROH World Championship and NJPW Strong Openweight Championship on the line as part of the modern day North American Triple Crown Eddie, Tony Khan, AEW, ROH and NJPW are looking to create together. Gold League competes tonight on Dynamite while Blue League will have their start this Saturday on Collision. Look for more articles like this one to keep up with the Continental Classic standings over the next six weeks of tournament action!

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