Japanese Pro-Wrestling in 2016, A Year in Review

Keep in mind that I have not covered everything that has been posted throughout this year, but some of the major points that hold a place of interest for the year. At the top of every month I have linked back to an archive for all the posts I that I have made for that specific time throughout this year. As well as links to the specific stories can be found right after the dates listed, that is if I actually covered them on the site/blog. So be sure to double check there for further details on any of any event or news that caught your attention. Thanks for supporting PS this year, and as every years comes I hope to continue growing in my vast knowledge and in turn providing you will all with the latest news and information in regards to Japanese Pro-Wrestling. Thanks for the support and let’s see what 2017 has to offer.

P.S. If you found this post informative, please help “Keep The Spirit Alive” by supporting through donations or even through the monthly Patreon (link is located right on top of the left column). This is a project of love, but as I am getting into my 30’s it is becoming harder and harder to dedicate as much free time as I would like.  Just $1 a month would be a tremendous help in covering the server costs as well showing the wife that this isn’t all for nothing. I do not plan on stopping anytime soon, as time is permitted, but any support would be much appreciated. Every like or follow on the Puroresu Spirit facebook and or twitter means a lot as it builds towards noticing the amount of real work that I personally do everyday in regards to the sport. Thanks for following the website, facebook page, twitter, and or the tumblr blog. [Charles/BushidoRX]

Quick jump to a specific month….


The listing goes in chronological order from the dates that they happened then a link to the news story, if published by Puroresu Spirit, and then a quick wording of what happened. If you want more details be sure to click on the link provided.


[1/1] ZERO1 – Held their annual New Year’s show at Korakuen. The main event saw Hideki Suzuki defended the World Heavyweight belt against Masato Tanaka (2nd defense).
[1/2] AJPW – Held thier first show of the New Year at Korakuen. Suwama defeated Jun Akiyama to become the new Triple Crown champion.
[1/2] BJW – First show of the year held at Korakuen. The main event saw Ryuji Ito defend the BJW Deathmatch belt against Masato Inaba, 3rd defense.
[1/3] AJPW – Kento Miyahara started the year off on a strong note as he bested Suwama in a tag match, setting up his future challenge for the TC belt. In defenses, Yohei Nakajima defended the GAORA belt against Naoya Nomura.
[1/3] DDT – First show of the New Year at Korakuen. Isami Kodaka defended the KO-D belt against the super rookie Konosuke Takeshita, 2nd defense.
[1/3] NJPW – New Japan held their “Pro-Wrestling Festival” at the Differ Ariake in prelude to WK. The show saw Teruaki Kanemitsu and Hirai Kawato make their debuts. Future trainee’s Masayuki Oka and Katsuya Kitamura made their first appearances to the New Japan fans.[1/4] NJPW – WRESTLE KINGDOM 10 was held at the Tokyo Dome. Kazuchika Okada defended the IWGP Heavyweight belt against Hiroshi Tanahashi, 2nd defense. Shinsuke Nakamura defended the IWGP IC belt against AJ Styles. Nakamura made it known that his “aim is the world”. Katsuyori Shiba also captured the NEVER belt and Togi Makabe and Tomoaki Honma became the IWGP Tag belts.
[1/5] NJPW – Kenny Omega made his claim for the IWGP IC belt after besting Shinsuke Nakamura. AJ Styles was removed from the BULLET CLUB faction following his loss at the Tokyo Dome. Toru Yano and the Briscoe Brothers made their first defense of the NEVER 6 Man Tag belts which they won at the Dome.
[1/6] NJPW – Hirooki Goto forcefully made it known that he wants a shot against Kazuchika Okada and the IWGP Heavyweight belt.
[1/9] NOAH – Takashi Sugiura betrayed NOAH as he joined Minoru Suzuki and Suzuki-gun. Yoshinobu Kanemaru also made his return to the NOAH ring after last competing there in over 3 years.
[1/10] WRESTLE-1 – Yuji Hino defeated Manabu Soya to become the new W-1 Champion. Hiroshi Yamato also defeated Andy Wu to become the new Cruiserweight Champion. Kotaro Suzuki, now freelance from All Japan, made his presence known in W-1. Calling out a shot against the new Cruiser champ.
[1/12] AJPW – Suwama announced that he has suffered a severe injury to his achilles tendon. Due to this he relinquished his reign as the Triple Crown champion. Takao Omori was announced to have taken a directors position in the promotion and Atsushi Aoki was placed over talent management. Rookie Keiichi Sato was announced to be leaving the promotion, will follow his teacher Kotaro Suzuki.
[1/12] NJPW – Shinsuke Nakamura announced that he would be leaving New Japan by the end of the month. He would hold onto the IC belt for the remainder of the month, but would be relinguishing his reign.
[1/13] DRAGON GATE – The groundwork for the MONSTER EXPRESS vs. Dia.HEARTS losing unit dissolution match was set for February.
[1/18] BJW – The first cooperation event between BJW and AJPW was held at the Shinkiba 1stRING, D-RIZE. The event featured the young talent of both promotions as they look to gain their own position among the already established. The main event saw Naoya Nomura best Yoshihisa Uto.
[1/21] Tokyo Sports Awards – Kazuchika Okada accepted the MVP of 2015 from the newspaper publication.
[1/21] BASARA – Isami Kodaka’s promotion held their first show at the Shinjuku FACE in Tokyo.
[1/22] NOAH – Sugiura continued his betrayal to the NOAH ring. As he stopped on the NOAH flag at the last arena in which the late Mitsuharu Misawa competed, in Hiroshima.
[1/22] NJPW – The first day of the NJPW & CMLL “FANTASTICA MANIA” at Korakuen were held. The CMLL World Welterweight and CMLL National Welterweight belts were contested on the show.
[1/23] NJPW – The second day of the “FANTASTICA MANIA” at Korakuen was held. Kamaitachi, formerly Hiromu Takahashi, made his return to the New Japan ring as he called out a match against Dragon Lee.
[1/24] BJW – Yuji Okabayashi made his 2nd defense of the World Strong belt against the 225kg Ryota Hama at the Korakuen Hall. Kankuro Hoshino and Masato Inaba also called out for a shot at the Asia Tag belts, which was held by Yankee Nichokenju.
[1/24] NJPW – The 3rd, and final, day of the “FANTASTICA MANIA” shows at Korakuen Hall. Dragon Lee defended the CMLL Lightweight belt against Kamaitachi.
[1/25] NJPW – Nakamura took part in a special honoring by the New Japan Chairman Naoki Sugabayashi. This would mark it official for Nakamura to be making his leave be the end of the month. A few days later it was formally announced that he would be moving to WWE/NXT. His first match would be set for April 1 in Dallas, TX.
[1/26] GUM ROCK FES – Tatsumi Fujinami and Riki Choshu took part in a special music and sports event at the Nippon Budokan.
[1/27] FMW – Atsushi Onita and NOSAWA Rongai continued a fued heading into the end of February. A group dissolution match was set, either FMW or the WING Monster Army would fall.
[1/30] NJPW – Nakamura held his last match in New Japan at the Korakuen Hall. He would not say his goodbye to the promotion but hello to the world. Hiroshi Tanahashi made it known that he wants to be in hunt for the now vacant IC belt. Omega would be the other involved.
[1/31] NOAH – Takashi Sugiura would defeat Naomichi Marufuji to become the GHC Heavyweight belt, and in the process bring the belt back to the invading force. Yoshinobu Kanemaru was announced as the second time bomb as he aligned with the heel group as well. Maybach Taniguchi unmasked himself as he came out to make the save to his friend Go Shiozaki. Taiji Ishimori defended the GHC Junior belt against Kenoh. Harada and Kotoge also defended the Junior Tag belts against TAKA and Taichi.
[1/31] DDT – Isami Kodaka defended the KO-D belt against Masa Takanashi, 3rd defense. Kendo Kashin also defeneded the EXTREME belt.

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About BushidoRX

I have been following Japanese Pro Wrestling for 20 years now and I have also been doing some form of covering it either in news or results for nearly 15 years as well. I got my start in promotions like AJPW, NJPW, FMW and Michinoku Pro. With All Japan being my go to promotion till this very day. Throughout the years I have followed All Japan more closely than any of the others out there, and thus I have taken it upon myself to keep people informed with what is happening all throughout sport in Japan. If it does not appear on the news feed I either do not follow it closely enough to relate the information or it just not my go to promotion in general. Follow Puroresu Spirit, which is my personal site, as I do my best to keep you all informed with what is happening in the land of the rising sun.

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