LAW Jan. 3 Update - NJPW Tokyo Dome Tonight
John Pollock / January 3, 2013 - 9:07pm
**TNA presents the first live televised wrestling show of 2013 tonight as Impact is live from the Impact Zone in Orlando with the following announced for tonight’s show:
*Kurt Angle & Samoa Joe Vs Devon & Doc in a Steel Cage Match
*The return of Sting
*The announcement of the TNA Wrestler of the Year (Okada never wrestled for them in 2012 so he doesn’t count)
*X Division tournament begins with four participants and the finals take place at Genesis
**The latest edition of Review-A-Wai is up on the site where Damian Abraham from Fucked Up and host of “The Wedge” on Muchmusic returns to join Wai Ting and myself and review the first two episodes from Season 1 of XPW at http://fightnetwork.com/news/35588:review-a-wai-xpw-episodes-1-2-w-damian-abraham/ and on iTunes by subscribing to Live Audio Wrestling.
**Late tonight at 3am EST it’s the annual New Japan Pro Wrestling Tokyo Dome show and for the first in its 20-year history the show will be airing worldwide on iPPV at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/njpw1972 for $35 (it’s their biggest show of the year and thus the price hike). Here is the card for tonight’s show and both Chris Charlton and WH Park of Japanese Audio Wrestling will be attending the show live and have a post show up on Saturday.
*Hiroshi Tanahashi Vs Kazuchika Okada for the IWGP Title – this match has been built up since Tanahashi regained the title earlier this year and Okada won the G-1 Climax and a contract to fight the champion anytime he wants, which he is cashing in on the biggest show of the year. This one should be excellent with two of the best workers in the business right now and Okada having a huge breakout year in 2012.
*Shinsuke Nakamura Vs Kazushi Sakuraba for the Intercontinental Title – Sakuraba has been protected in short tag matches since his return with Katsuyori Shibata doing the lion’s share of the work but he’s in with one of the best guys to get a great match of him but I can’t see this one getting lots of time.
*Togi Makabe Vs Katsuyori Shibata – they are in a good spot to have a great match as Shibata has so much potential when he left pro wrestling and hasn’t destroyed his body so he could have a great run in 2013 and Makabe is a fun match on paper.
*Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima Vs Keiji Muto & Shinjiro Otani – Daichi Hashimoto was scheduled to team with Muto but broke his forearm and is off the show, where he was the major focus. This is a match I expect the live crowd to get into especially Muto working the Dome and Otani even at 40-years of age can still go and always a performer I have loved watching.
*Prince Devitt Vs Low Ki Vs Kota Ibushi for the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title – On paper this is the most interesting match on the show as they have a lot of pressure to steal the show and deliver a MOTY year candidate. The big question is how the Dome crowd responds because the juniors have always had a tough time in this venue and typically you alter your working style for a stadium as opposed to an arena so it translates to the most people, hard to imagine this one disappointing.
*Yuji Nagata Vs Minoru Suzuki – This will be great, give them 10-minutes and it should be a highlight of the show.
*Davey Boy Smith Jr & Lance Archer Vs Karl Anderson & Hirooki Goto for the IWGP Tag Titles – this was put together coming out of the tag tournament. Smith and Archer continue to find their rhythm as a team and seem to be gelling. Anderson had a great year in the wake of Matt Bloom going back to WWE and breaking up their team. I like Anderson and Goto as a tag team and maybe you get a title change in this one.
*Masato Tanaka Vs Shelton Benjamin for the NEVER Title – This title is akin to their NXT title and is down on the pecking order. Benjamin is likely done with WWE interested in him once again and is probably just filling out dates by this point.
*Manabu Nakanishi & MVP & Strongman Vs Yujiro Takahashi & Takashi Iizuka & Toru Yano – After Nakanishi was beat a few shows back he likely gets his revenge against Yano and Iizuka stemming from the post match attack.
*Jushin Thunder Liger & Tiger Mask & Hiromu Takahashi Vs Kushida & Ryusuke Taguchi & Bushi in a dark match
*Wataru Inoue & Captain New Japan & Tama Tonga Vs Tomohiro Ishii & Yoshi-Hashi & Jado in a dark match
It’s unknown if the bottom two matches will be airing on the iPPV because they are listed on the website.
**Ric Flair will return to the ring on January 26th for All Japan Pro Wrestling at Ota Ward Gym teaming with Keiji Muto against Tatsumi Fujinami and Seiya Sanada. Reid Flair is also going over and will be spending three-months being trained by All Japan as part of the deal, which Ric announced on Mark Madden’s Pittsburgh radio show last week.
**The New Year’s Eve edition of WWE Raw averaged 3,550,000 viewers and drew more than Christmas Eve, which I was surprised by. The final rating should be out in a day or so.
**Ring of Honor has announced a match between Kevin Steen and Tadarius Thomas on January 18th in Dearborn, Michigan.
**CM Punk Vs Ryback in a TLC Match for the WWE Title was announced on Main Event Wednesday night. They have also started taking out ads promoting the 20th Anniversary of Raw on January 14th from Houston, Texas with talent from the past returning for the show.
**Smash Wrestling in Toronto presents a big show this Sunday entitled “Any Given Sunday” with a rare ROH Vs Dragon Gate USA main event with Kevin Steen taking on Johnny Gargano at the eZone in Mississauga at 120 North Queen Street with bell time at 5pm EST and tickets at $15. The show also features Tyson Dux Vs Scott O’Shea, 3.0 Vs The Overdogs, Brent Banks Vs Mathieu St. Jacques, Gregory Iron Vs John Greed and Alex Vega Vs Louis Lyndon.
**Hulk Hogan has dropped his $100-million lawsuit against the Gawker website for posting a portion of his leaked sex tape involving Heather Clem in federal court. Since that time he has quickly re-filed the lawsuit in Florida State court for the same amount and suing both Gawker and Heather Clem over the tape being leaked and posted. TMZ has posted a clip from a recent episode of Bubba the Love Sponge’s radio show where he apologized on the air and is no longer involved as one of the defendants in the lawsuit.
**Colt Cabana was recently interviewed on the NBC Chicago website about being an entrepreneur and utilizing social media to run his business.
**It was on this date in 2000 that Triple H won the WWF Title for the third time defeating Big Show in Miami, Florida on the first Raw is War of that year. Show had won the title the prior November at the Survivor Series after they shot an angle to take Steve Austin out of the main event that night due to his pending neck surgery and Show was put in the match and won defeating Triple H and The Rock in a triple threat match.
**Today’s edition of The MMA Report is up on the site at http://fightnetwork.com/news/35625:the-mma-report-w-john-pollock-javier-mendez-ariel-helwani/ where I am chatting with AKA head coach Javier Mendez about his fighters Cain Velasquez and Todd Duffee being victorious this past Saturday at UFC 155, where this leaves Daniel Cormier and more. I am also joined by Ariel Helwani from MMAFighting.com and FUEL TV to wrap up UFC 155 and the year of 2012 and then we look forward to the new year, and a play a game of “Likely / Unlikely” AND I make my predictions for 2013. You can subscribe to The MMA Report w/ John Pollock on iTunes and catch it Friday nights at 11pm EST on TSN 1050 Toronto.
**The new Bellator 360 show debuts tonight at 10pm EST on Spike TV, which will be their version of Unleashed and being airing in high rotation leading into their official debut on January 17th.
**A reminder that Tom Lawlor will join us on The LAW this Sunday for our monthly round table. Tune in at Midnight EST this Sunday on TSN 1050 Toronto.
**Erick Silva is off of the UFC 156 card on February 2nd where he was set to fight Jay Hieron and taking his spot is Tyron Woodley, who is coming over from Strikeforce.
**MMAFighting.com has a comprehensive list of all of the injuries and changes to UFC cards in 2012 and what a list it is at http://www.mmafighting.com/2013/1/2/3826788/the-complete-list-of-ufc-injuries-and-card-changes-for-2012.
THE MMA REPORT – January 3rd 2013
(John Pollock chats with AKA head coach Javier Mendez, MMAFighting’s Ariel Helwani and 2013 predictions)
REVIEW-A-WAI – XPW Season 1, Episodes 1 & 2
(John Pollock and Wai Ting welcome back Damian Abraham from Fucked Up and host of “The Wedge” on Muchmusic)
THE LAW – December 31st 2012
(Dan Lovranski, Jason Agnew, John Pollock and Wai Ting go through their Worst of 2012 picks plus Dave Meltzer and your phone calls)
THE MMA REPORT – UFC 155 Post Show
(John Pollock and Jason Agnew recap UFC 155, chat with Todd Martin and take your calls)
REVIEW-AN-IMPACT – December 28th 2012
(John Pollock and Wai Ting chat final Impact of 2012 and Nate Milton shares his Best of 2012 picks)