Following the events of January 4, New Japan Pro-Wrestling returned to the Tokyo Dome for day two of Wrestle Kingdom 15 and fans witnessed the longest match in the event's history. Kota Ibushi vs. Jay White clocked in at 48 minutes and 5 seconds, 80 seconds longer than Kazuchika Okada vs. Kenny Omega at Wrestle Kingdom 11.
The January 5 show did feature a pre-show of two Stardom dark matches. The results were as follows:
• AZM, Saya Kamitani & Utami Hayashishita def. Natsupoi, Himeka & Maika
• Syuri & Giulia def. Tam Nakano & Mayu Iwatani
Check out the results for the main card below:
Toru Yano def. BUSHI, Bad Luck Fale & Chase Owens - KOPW 2021 Trophy
Toru Yano kicked off 2021 the same way he ended 2020 - as KOPW Provisional Champion.
The final four participants in yesterday's New Japan Rambo faced off in the opening contest and Yano walked away with the victory after Bad Luck Fale and Chase Owens hit BUSHI with the Grenade Launcher. Neither man could agree on who should win, though, and took out their frustrations on the official, hoisting him up for a Double Chokeslam.
This gave The Sublime Master Thief the opening he needed to Low Blow both Bullet Club members and cover BUSHI for the 1-2-3.
Yoshinobu Kanemaru & El Desperado def. Master Wato & Ryusuke Taguchi - IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship
The match featured the usual comedy spots from Ryusuke Taguchi and Master Wato impressed many with his athleticism, but it wasn't meant to be for the challengers. Kanemaru distracted the referee with a whisky bottle during the finish and Despy decked Taguchi with a Closed Fist and the Pinche Loco to retain the title.
How long Suzuki-gun will hold on to the belts remains to be seen as many fans believe El Desperado should be pushed into the upper echelons of the junior heavyweight division following his match with Hiromu Takahashi at BOSJ 27.
Shingo Takagi def. Jeff Cobb - NEVER Openweight Championship
Some have called this the best match of Jeff Cobb's career and both men did leave it all out in the ring. The champion and challenger battled back and forth for 21 minutes in a hard-hitting affair and told a story of Takagi retaining the title by the skin of his teeth.
Cobb had the match won in the later stages after connecting with Tour Of The Islands, but an injury to his knee prevented him from immediately making the pin, giving Shingo time to recover and kick out. The Hawaiian Hulk then failed to hit his finisher again as the champion repeatedly blocked his attempts and connected with Last Of The Dragon for the victory.
SANADA def. EVIL
Former tag team partners faced off in the next match. The usual Dick Togo interference featured heavily throughout but SANADA managed to overcome The Spoiler's involvement and sent him crashing through a table.
This left EVIL to fight on alone and SANADA managed to block Everything Is Evil and a Low Blow attempt before he struck back with Everything Is SANADA, a Pop-Up TKO and a Moonsault for the victory.
The expectation was the winner would be the next challenger for the IWGP Heavyweight & IWGP Intercontinental Double Championship and this was indeed the case as SANADA challenged the champion following the main event. When the match will take place remains to be seen, though.
Hiromu Takahashi def. Taiji Ishimori - IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship
Hiromu Takahashi once again left the Tokyo Dome as the new IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion. Ishimori was the aggressor throughout the match and targeted The Time Bomb's shoulder and injured hand. He was unable to make Hiromu submit like he did at Summer Struggle In Jingu, though, and Takahashi battled through the pain and put his opponent away with Time Bomb 2.
Kota Ibushi def. Jay White - IWGP Heavyweight & IWGP Intercontinental Double Championship
In the longest match in Wrestle Kingdom history, Kota Ibushi finally overcame Jay White following a year of losses to Switchblade.
The challenger dominated the early going and Ibushi failed to hit a big move until the 20-minute mark. The champion eventually went to another level, though, and unleashed "Murder" Ibushi upon the Bullet Club member. The match was then an evenly fought contest and featured ref bumps, extremely close near falls and a call-back to their Power Struggle match after White trapped Ibushi with a Backslide. Red Shoes spotted the challenger's feet on the top rope on this occasion, however.
In the closing stages, Jay White tried to connect with a second Blade Runner, but Ibushi escaped and hit a Reverse Kamigoye. He then exposed his knee, similar to his match with Naito, and delivered a third Kamigoye to retain the gold.