So I just watched NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 9. Such a refreshing PPV. This was the first time I had seen a NJPW event, and
having the commentary of Jim Ross and Matt Striker helped to bridge the
Yes, the show was in Japanese
(aside from the commentary), but that didn’t matter. What was
translated clearly was the wrestling. Ten matches on an almost four-hour
spectacular, there was plenty of wrestling to sink your teeth into. I
had heard of a few of the Japanese wrestlers, but it was the first
time I had seen them wrestle.
The PPV included familiar names, such as: AJ Styles, Doc Gallows (AKA Luke Gallows), Davey Boy
Smith Jr, Lance Archer, Shelton Benjamin, Jeff & Karen Jarrett, Alex
Shelley, and The Young Bucks (AKA Generation Me)
Out of the Japanese wrestlers on the card, I was most impressed with the following:
- Naomichi Marufuji (GHC Heavyweight Champion) – He stood out the most in
an eight-man tag team match that lasted five minutes. His martial arts blew me away.
- Suzuki vs Sakuraba – Jim Ross did an amazing job
explaining the importance of the match, and it didn’t disappoint. It was
pure shoot style wrestling, mixed with MMA and professional wrestling
moves. Such a brutal contest that ended with a really effective rear naked
- Makabe vs Ishii – These two put on one of the most brutal slugfests I have seen in a long time. Would definitely watch again.
- Shinsuke Nakamura – I watched this PPV with my dad (who is one of the
biggest Queen fans ever), and we both appreciated his love for Freddie
Mercury. This guy oozes charisma. It’s just dripping off him. He makes
99% of American Wrestlers today look dull. He had entertained me
enough before getting in the ring, and then he proved how great he is in
the ring as well. Kota Ibushi is definitely the future.
- Tanahashi vs Okada – Heard so much about both men over the years, and it was a pleasure
to see them have a 30-minute match together. Okada’s dropkick is
definitely the best in the world (and I thought Ziggler’s and Ortons
were good ..), and Tanahashi isn’t champion for any political reason, he
is champion because the fans LOVE him. They adore Tanahashi like a god.
And he’s so down to earth as well, just a great guy worthy of being a
If you didn’t see this PPV already, I highly recommend. Get your wrestling fix.