Chris Jericho Match (And More) Announced For NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 13

Today's press conference was an eventful one.

An official Wrestle Kingdom 13 press conference took place this morning, from which NJPW announced four new matches for their January 4th Tokyo Dome show.

These new bouts join the already-established main event between IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kenny Omega and G1 Climax winner Hiroshi Tanahashi.

The biggest match announced today - and potentially the biggest of the entire event in terms of worldwide attention - is Chris Jericho's IWGP Intercontinental title defence against Tetsuya Naito. Y2J defeated Naito's Los Ingobernables de Japon stablemate EVIL this past week at Power Struggle, continuing his assault after the bell and forcing Naito to make the save. It seems likely, given the traditional high placing of the IWGP Intercontinental Championship on the card (and the popularity of both men) that this will be the semi-main event of the night. Jericho was in the same position at the last Wrestle Kingdom, losing to Kenny Omega in the penultimate match of the night.

The second match sees Kazuchika Okada take on Jay White in a long-awaited grudge match. During the G1 Climax, White defeated Okada and declared himself the new leader of CHAOS - but has since defected to Bullet Club, and is claiming that he has a secret ally in CHAOS' ranks. Okada's old manager, Gedo, has already joined the New Zealander. This seems to be a particularly difficult match to predict, as Okada remains one of New Japan's most popular stars, while White is in the midst of a big push as the next top heel.

Bullet Club member Taiji Ishimori will take on KUSHIDA for the latter's IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship. Ishimori has impressed since returning to NJPW, reaching the finals of the Best of the Super Juniors before losing to Hiromu Takahashi.

The final Wrestle Kingdom 13 match announced is a rematch from Power Struggle. Last week's event saw Roppongi 3K win the Super Junior Tag League for the second consecutive year, this time in a unique three-way tag match also involving members of LIJ and Suzuki-gun. The same three teams will clash again in January for Suzuki-gun's tag titles - champions Yoshinobu Kanemaru and El Desperado taking on SHO and YOH of Roppongi 3K, as well as BUSHI and Shingo Takagi from LIJ.

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Jack G. King

Written by Jack G. King

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