Japanese Pro-Wrestling in 2016, A Year in Review

JUNE 2016

[6/2] DRAGON GATE – Masato Yoshino defeated Naruki Doi in “KING OF GATE” match at Korakuen Hall. Peter Kaasa also made his DG debut.
[6/3] NJPW – Hiroshi Tanahashi announced that he will be unable to compete at the big show later on in the month due to a shoulder injury. Michael Elgin made the big to challenge for the IC title against Omega, in Tanahashi’s place.
[6/4] Misc – Muhammad Ali passed away at the age of 74. Of course his boxing vs. wrestling match against Antonio Inoki in 1976 was one of the first major spectacles for Japanese Pro-Wrestling.
[6/7] NJPW – Will Osprey defeated Ryusuke Taguchi in the final match of the “BEST OF THE SUPER Jr.”.
[6/7] AJPW – The Triple Crown Champion Kento Miyahara and World Strong Champion Yuji Okabayashi teamed together as they took on Naoya Nomura and Hideyoshi Kamitani at All Japan’s special “AJ PHOENIX”, young talent based show.
[6/8] WRESTLE-1 – KAI defended the W-1 Championship belt against Shotaro Ashino. Yasufumi Nakanoue and Yuji Okabayashi captured the W-1 Tag belts. Kotaro Suzuki defended the Cruiserweight belt against AKIRA. Jiro “Ikemen” Kuroshio fell to the veteran Great Muta in a special challenge match.
[6/9] AJPW – Kazuhiro Tamura defeated Yohei Nakajima to capture the GAORA TV belt.
[6/9] BJW – Hideyoshi Kamitani won the right to challenge for the World Strong belt after beating Daichi Hashimoto.
[6/10] Michinoku – Manjimaru defended the Tohoku Jr. belt against fellow “BAD BOY” member Hayato “Jr” Fujita. This would mark his second defense of the belt.
[6/12] NOAH – Go Shiozaki defended the GHC Heavyweight belt against Shelton X Benjamin. Naomichi Marufuji and Toru Yano defended the GHC Tag belts against the former champions in Archer and Smith. Atsushi Kotoge and Daisuke Harada also defended the GHC Junior Tag belts.
[6/12] DRAGON GATE – YAMATO defeated Big R Shimizu to win the “KING OF GATE”.
[6/13] NOAH – Go Shiozaki formally announced his return to Pro Wrestling NOAH. This day also be in the 7th anniversary since the passing of the late Mitsuharu Misawa.
[6/14] Fortune Dream – The third ever show was held at the Korakuen Hall. Go Shiozaki teamed with Yuji Okabayashi to take on the power team of Daisuke Sekimoto and Yuji Hino. Jun Akiyama also took on LEONA in their first ever singles confrontation.
[6/15] AJPW – Kento Miyahara would make his third defense of the Triple Crown belt against Kengo Mashimo. Yuji Okabayashi & Daisuke Sekimoto defeated Zeus & Bodyguard to capture the World Tag belts. Yohei Nakajima defeated Kazuhiro Tamura to recapture the GAORA TV belt.
[6/15] WRESTLE-1 – The “WRESTLE-1 GRAND PRIX 2016” began at the Shinjuku FACE. Manabu Soya defeated KAZMA SAKAMOTO in the main event match.
[6/17] IGF – It was announced that Wang Bin will be leaving the promotion as he signed a contract under WWE.
[6/18] Suzuki-gun – Minoru Suzuki, Takashi Sugiura, and Takashi Iizuka took on the team Naomichi Marfuji, Toru Yano, and Kazushi Sakuraba in the main event of the show.
[6/19] NJPW – The annual “Dominion” show was held at the Osaka-Jo Hall. The main event saw Kazuchika Okada defeat Tetsuya Naito to regain the IWGP Heavyweight belt. Michael Elgin defeated Kenny Omega in a ladder match to capture the IWGP IC belt. Katsuyori Shibata defeated Yuji Nagata to recapture the NEVER Openweight belt. KUSHIDA defended the IWGP Junior belt against the BOSJ winner Will Ospreay to make his 5th defense of the belt. ROH’s Briscoe Brothers defeated Tonga and Loa to win the IWGP Tag belts.
[6/19] AJPW – Hikaru Sato bested his fellow Evolution teammate Atsushi Aoki to capture the World Junior belt for the first time in his career.
[6/20] AJPW – Yohei Nakajima held his first ever self-produced show in his hometown are of Hakodate.
[6/21] FMW – The FMW and UWF was continued as Onita, Yaguchi, NOSAWA, and Ricky Fuji took on Funaki, Takayama, Mitsuya Nagai, and Naoshi Sano in the main event.
[6/23] Real Japan – Masakatsu Funaki bested Daisuke Sekimoto to recapture the Legend’s Championship. The First Tiger Mask competed in a special exhibition against Minowaman, this being his first time competing publicly in a little over a year.
[6/23] BASARA – The final match of the “Itadaki League” took place at the Shinjuku FACE. As Isami Kodaka took on Hiroshi Fukuda. Fukuda announced his name to be changed to Trans Am★Hiroshi.
[6/24] TAKA & Taichi – Taichi and Yoshinobu Kanamaru both won the right to compete in New Japan’s upcoming “SUPER J-CUP” after a special 1-day tournament.
[6/26] DDT – Shuji Ishikawa won the “KING OF DDT 2016” after beating Tetsuya Endo. He called out to challenge for the KO-D belt at the main event of the 8/28 show at Ryogoku.
[6/28] WRESTLE-1 – AKIRA, Minoru Tanaka, TAJIRI, Ryota Hama, and Yasufumi Nakanoue announced that they would be leaving the promotion as of June 30. They would all be freelance as of July.
[6/29] BJW – Kohei Sato and Shuji Ishikawa defeated Hideyoshi Kamitani and Ryota Hama to once more hold the BJW Tag belts. Ryuji Ito challenged Kankuro Hoshino face-to-face as the next challenger for the deathmatch belt for the Ryogoku show on 7/24.

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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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