Wrestle Kingdom 14 is New Japan Pro-Wrestling’s biggest event of the year and this year it will take place across two nights with two IWGP World Heavyweight championship matches. The event will take place on January 4 and January 5, 2020 at the Tokyo Dome.
On the first night, G-1 Climax winner Kota Ibushi will get his rightful shot at IWGP World Heavyweight champion Kazuchika Okada. That night will also feature an Intercontinental title match between Tetsuya Natio and Jay White with the winner going on to challenge the winner of the IWGP match on night two, winner take all.
This is a unique mini-tournament that will crown a double champion and set up what should be a solid two nights of New Japan Pro Wrestling action.
NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 14 Betting Odds:
- IWGP Intercontinental Title: Tetsuya Naito (-250) vs. Jay White (+175)
- IWGP World Heavyweight Title: Kota Ibushi (-125) vs. Kazuchika Okada (-112)
- IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: Hiromu Takahashi (-177) vs. Will Ospreay (+125)
- Hiroshi Tanahashi (-295) vs. Chris Jericho (+200)
- IWGP Champion: Tetsuya Naito (-106) or Kazuchika Okada (+200) or Kota Ibushi (+200) or Jay White (+550)
- Exact match for IWGP Title:
Kota Ibushi vs. Tetsuya Naito (+100)
Kazuchika Okada vs. Tetsuya Naito (+150)
Jay White vs. Kazuchika Okada (+275)
Jay White vs. Kota Ibushi (+500)
- Exact match for IWGP Title:
New Japan’s plans for the double title are so hard to figure out right now. On the one hand, the crowd has been waiting for Tetsuya Naito’s crowning achievement forever. He’s been kept away from Okada for so long that this would be a great time for him to finally get his moment by beating White and then beating Okada to become the double champion.
The only thing that stops me from thinking that is, they know that. They know that is a big match that people are waiting on and if they wanted to make that happen then it would be something that they would build up and advertise for months in advance. This is just a situation where it might happen. That is not quite the same and I am pretty sure we are not getting that straight match without that build.
That said, what will we get? It’s hard to see Okada losing the title on the first night. It’s harder to see Jay White winning on the first night because the Naito fans would be rioting. It’s a tough situation because you don’t quite know what we’ll get. Okada has already avenged his Wrestle Kingdom loss to White and then some. Ibushi winning the title and then wrestling White feels like a solid bet because it’s exactly the kind of thing I could see them doing, but then you realize that would see Okada vs. Naito in a “consolation” match that nobody would care about. That match has been built for too long to be given away in a nothing match like that.
Ibushi vs. Naito is the favorite and it makes a certain amount of sense. These two spent a good portion of last year absolutely killing each other and that is a big time match-up. You could really go either way with the title at that point and set-up a lot of fresh title match-ups. The only thing is that leaves Okada out in the cold and I just don’t see it. I don’t love the tournament idea, but there is a lot of questions that NJPW is going to make some tough decisions on for these matches and that is always fun.
Other big matches are Hiroshi Tanahashi as a big favorite against Chris Jericho. Jericho hasn’t gotten a win in Japan in a long time, but it also doesn’t really matter with him. The AEW of it all complicates things and it’d be great if this led to a match in America between the two, but that seems very unlikely at this point. Feels like Tana is a big favorite for a reason here.
The same can be said about Hiromu Takahashi vs. Will Ospreay. It’s hard to imagine Hiromu coming back from that devastating injury only to lose his first match back. Ospreay is probably ready to move up in weight class at this point too so this would be a good farewell for him.
We have a lot of time between now and then and a lot more matches to get announced. I will update this article as more odds become available.