A little more than two weeks after the first night of Wrestle Kingdom 17 on January 4, New Japan Pro-Wrestling was back for Night 2. The Yokohama Arena served as the battleground for the stars of NJPW to duke it out at one of the biggest shows of the year.
One thing fans probably noticed is how vastly different the lineup was for each night. The first show featured stars from around the world and just about every title in NJPW being defended by its champion. Night 2 was the complete opposite.
This show heavily focused on Japanese talents, and there wasn't a single championship being defended on the card.
Here is a look at the full results and grades from Night 2 of Wrestle Kingdom:
- Kosei Fujita and Ryohei Oiwa defeated Taishi Ozawa and Yasutaka Yano (B-)
- Masa Kitamiya and Daiki Inaba defeated Tomohiro Ishii and Oskar Leube (C+)
- Hiroshi Tanahashi, Takashi Sugiura, Toru Yano and Satoshi Kojima defeated El Phantasmo, Kenta, Gedo and Naomichi Marufuji (C-)
- El Desperado defeated Yo-Hey (B+)
- Alejandro, Junta Miyawaki and Amakusa defeated Master Wato, Ryusuke Taguchi and Tiger Mask (C+)
- Kazuchika Okada and Togi Makabe vs. Kaito Kiyomiya and Yoshiki Inamura ended in a no-contest decision (B)
- Tadasuke defeated Bushi (B)
- Hiromu Takahashi defeated Hajime Ohara (A-)
- Manabu Soya defeated Sanada (B+)
- Shingo Takagi defeated Katsuhiko Nakajima (A-)
- Tetsuya Naito defeated Kenoh (B)
Opening the main show with a tribute to Jay Briscoe was a beautiful gesture. We saw several wrestlers stand around the ring while two photos of him were held in the ring.
Having the eight-man tag match be the official start to the action on the main show was smart because it focused more on comedy spots and personal rivalries than high spots. It was never going to steal the show, but it did a decent job of getting things going in the right direction.
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El Desperado and Yo-Hey picked up the pace a bit and delivered a technical match that showed off the submission skills of the masked wrestler well.
After a six-man match, we saw a two-on-two tag bout with the IWGP and GHC world champions representing their respective companies.
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This bout started off normal enough, but it immediately became a brawl between Okada and Kiyomiya outside the ring. The ref was eventually forced to call for the bell, ending it before it even really got started.
The rest of the show was a series of singles matches, and the trend of this show seemed to be the one-on-one contests outshining the multi-man matches.
This was a solid show with some great in-ring action, but it definitely fell short of Night 1 in terms of exciting moments.
Some of the bouts were memorable, but this show was definitely designed to appeal more to the hardcore fan of Japanese wrestling than those who watched Night 1 to see Kenny Omega, Mercedes Mone and other international stars.
NJPW stars won more matches than NOAH stars, so it looks like New Japan wins this round.
- Fujita looked especially good in the opening bout. His strikes were great and his facial expressions were on point.
- Watching somebody hurt their own head by trying to headbutt Ishii is always going to be funny.
- Leube possesses a lot of similar qualities to GUNTHER, and that's not just because both guys are German. They are similar in size and both bring a lot of intensity to the ring.
- The tribute to Briscoe was simple and effective. You could see the emotion on everyone's face as the ring announcer talked about his life.
- The Bullet Club doesn't have the same appeal it once did for casual fans, but the group has some incredible talents right now.
- A lot of people online were convinced that the fight between Okada and Kiyomiya was not planned.
- Kojima chopping Gedo dozens of times in the corner was a fun moment.
- Yo-Hey has a beautiful arm drag. It's such a simple move but harder to master than it looks.
- Alejandro's gear looked to be partly inspired by Ultimo Dragon and other stars with a similar look.
- Tiger Mask is often imitated but never duplicated.
- Amakusa's finisher was awesome. It was similar to a corkscrew moonsault with a little extra to it.
- Inamura's gear looked like it was made of several belts worn by Jeff Hardy.
- Bushi might be the most memorable person from this show just because of his look. His entrance mask was really cool, and his regular mask looked great, too.
- Bushi must have had a double dose of the mist because Tadasuke was absolutely covered with the stuff.
- Takahashi wins the award for the coolest ring jacket ever.
- Takahashi and Ohara both looked a little beat up after their match, but that isn't surprising because they were beating the life out of each other.
- The powerslam sequence between Soya and Sanada was an impressive display of power from both men.
- Every singles match seemed to include a standoff that led to both men trading strikes until one got the upper hand.