Japanese Pro-Wrestling in 2016, A Year in Review

DECEMBER 2016

[12/2] NOAH – Katsuhiko Nakajima defended the GHC Heavyweight belt against Minoru Suzuki. This match would mark the end of Suzuki-gun in NOAH as per Suzuki’s own stipulation. Takashi Sugiura made a physical turn against Suzuki as he removed himself from the loser group. Atsushi Kotoge also defended the GHC Junior belt against Taichi.
[12/2] STRONG STYLE HISTORY – A show was held to help Masa Saito who has been battling health problems. The main event saw Koji Kanemoto & Shinjiro Otani taking on Yoshihiro Takayama & Akihiko Mouri.
[12/3] AJPW – The “Saikyo Tag League” began in Sendai. The main highlight match saw Jun Akiyama and Kendo Kashin taking on the Zeus and Bodyguard.
[12/3] NOAH – Suzuki-gun would suffer yet another total loss to the NOAH opposition at the Differ Ariake. Sugiura and Suzuki would face in a special single match which saw Sugiura with the win. Go Shiozaki and Maybach Taniguchi would recapture the GHC Tag belts from Lance Archer and Davey Boy Smith Jr. The now broken and beaten Suzuki-gun would leave the promotion.
[12/5] NOAH – President Masayuki Uchida announced that a new era will begin in NOAH as the promotion looks to reclaim their “pure blood line” of the past. The December event cards were announced as several freelance talent and others, namely some from K-DOJO, would be offered spots to fill the open spots for tour shows.
[12/7] RJPW – Shinjiro Otani defended the Legends belt against Taka Kunoh at the Korakuen Hall. The First Tiger Mask also made his return to the ring after not competing in over a year and a half.
[12/9] WRESTLE-1 – Masayuki Kono defended the W-1 Championship against Jiro “Ikemen” Kuroshio. Kaz Hayashi & Kotaro Suzuki defended the W-1 Tag belts against Koji Doi & Kumagoro. Then MAZADA defeated Yusuke Kodama to become the new Cruiserweight Champion.
[12/10] NJPW – The final day of the “WORLD TAG LEAGUE” was held as the Sekisui Super Arena. Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma defeated the IWGP Tag Champions Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa to win the league. Hiromu Takashi became the latest member of “Los Ingobernables de Japon”. Then Cody Rhodes appeared in a special video as he announced his New Japan debut. He will now be going under the name “The American Nightmare” Cody.
[12/10] ZERO1 – The “Furinkazan Tag Tournament” began at the Shinkiba 1stRING. The main saw Yusaku Obata & KAI taking on Kohei Sato & KAMIKAZE.
[12/11] Osaka Pro – HUB defended the Osaka Pro Championship against Okonomiyakida. The Osaka Pro Tag belts were announced to be revived in 2017 as a tag tournament was announced to determine the new champions.
[12/15] Michinoku – The “Space Great War 11” was held at the Korakuen Hall. The main event saw The Great Sasuke, Shu Brahman, Kei Brahman, Ultraman Robin & Mothra (Mini Master) taking on Killer Crock GAINA, Harley Quinn #2, Dead Shot #1, Gunji, and Shin Minya.
[12/18] AJPW – The final match of the “World’s Strongest Tag League” was held at the Korakuen Hall. Takao Omori & Manabu Soya defeated Kento Miyahara & Jake Lee to win the league. Joe Doering announced that he would make his in-ring return on January 2, after just battling brain cancer earlier in 2016.
[12/18] ZERO1 – The final match of the “Furinkazan Tag Tournament” was held at the Shinkiba 1stRING. Yusaku Obata & KAI defeated the team of Akebono & Shogun Okamoto.
[12/18] BJW – Abdullah Kobayashi defeated Kankuro Hoshino to become the new Deathmatch Heavyweight Champion at the “BIG JAPAN DEATH VEGAS” in Yokohama. Daisuke Sekimoto also defeated Hideyoshi Kamitani to once more become the World Strong Heavyweight Champion.
[12/23] Doutonbori – The final match of the “Doutonbori Saikyo Tag King Tournament” was held. TORU & Kazuaki Mihara defeated Kuuga & Osamu Suganuma to win the tournament. Akagi also won an Osaka All-Star Battle Royal to win the WDWW title.
[12/24] NOAH – Katsuhiko Nakajima defended the GHC Heavyweight belt against Masa Kitamiya in the main event at the Korakuen Hall. Takashi Sugiura declared himself as the next challenger following the match. Atsushi Kotoge & Daisuke Harada defeated Jado & Gedo to become the new GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Champions. Then both Kenoh and Atsushi Kotoge declared that their desires to move up to the heavyweight class in the promotion.
[12/24] AJPW – It was announced that Koji Iwamoto will be joining All Japan in 2017. Takao Omori & Manabu Soya defeated the team of Kento Miyahara & Naoya Nomura. As Omori made it known that he wants the Triple Crown belt.
[12/25] BASARA – Isami Kodaka defeated Trans★Am Hiroshi to become the 6th champion of the vacant Union MAX Championship.
[12/25] Apache Army – Held their last show at the Shinkiba 1stRING. Kintaro Kanemura defeated Koji Kanemoto to become the final champion for the WEW Heavyweight belt. Tatsuhito Takaiwa & Tetsuhiro Kuroda defeated Tomohiko Hashimoto & Keisuke Okuda to become the new WEW Tag Champions. Tetsuhiro Kuroda and HASEGAWA announced a new promotion called “A-Team” will be formed in April of 2017.
[12/26] FREEDOMS – Daisuke Masaoka defeated Violento Jack to become the KING of FREEDOM WORLD CHAMPION.
[12/27] Kintaro Kanemaru Retirement – Kanemura held his retirement show at the Korakuen Hall. The deathmatch veteran teamed with Masato Tanaka & Tetsuhiro Kuroda to take on the team of Daisuke Sekimoto, Kohei Sato & Yuji Hino.
[12/30] BJW – Kohei Sato & Shuji Ishikawa defended the BJW Tag belts against Takayuki Ueki & Masaya Takahashi for their 3rd defense. Yoshihisa Uto also claimed an upset with over Daisuke Sekimoto during the show. Setting up a potential title challenge with the coming of the new year.
[12/31] New Years Pro-Wrestling – DDT, BJW, K-DOJO, AJPW, and WRESTLE-1 sent wrestlers to compete in the final and first Korakuen Hall show to celebrate the dawn of the new year. 16 teams competed in the single night tournament. The “Japan Indie Grand Prix 2016 Awards” were also announced as Shuji Ishikawa won the MVP award, Ryuji Ito vs. Kankuro Hoshino’s deathmatch from the Ryogoku show on 7/24 won match of the year, and BJW’s Takuya Nomura won rookie of the year.

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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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