|Wrestle Kingdom 8|
Promotional poster for the event, featuring caricatures of various NJPW wrestlers
|Promotion||New Japan Pro-Wrestling|
|Date||January 4, 2014|
|Wrestle Kingdom chronology|
Wrestle Kingdom 8 in Tokyo Dome was a professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event produced by the New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) promotion, which took place at the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan on January 4, 2014. It was the 23rd January 4 Tokyo Dome Show and the eighth held under the "Wrestle Kingdom" name. Wrestle Kingdom is traditionally NJPW's biggest event of the year and has been described as their equivalent to WWE's WrestleMania.
The event featured ten matches, six of which were contested for championships. For the first time in twenty years, the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) World Heavyweight Championship was defended during the event with NWA representative Rob Conway defending against Satoshi Kojima. The event was headlined by a double main event; Shinsuke Nakamura defending the IWGP Intercontinental Championship against Hiroshi Tanahashi and Kazuchika Okada defending the IWGP Heavyweight Championship against the winner of the 2013 G1 Climax, Tetsuya Naito. A fan vote decided the order in which the two matches took place during the event; the Heavyweight Championship match went first and the Intercontinental Championship match was the final match of the event. The event also featured outside participation from Wrestle-1 representative Keiji Mutoh, who worked under his Great Muta character. The event also featured appearances by Harley Race, Marty Friedman and Stan Hansen.
Wrestle Kingdom 8 featured eleven professional wrestling matches that involved different wrestlers from pre-existing scripted feuds and storylines. Wrestlers portrayed villains, heroes, or less distinguishable characters in the scripted events that built tension and culminated in a wrestling match or series of matches.
On August 11, 2013, Tetsuya Naito defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi in the finals to win the 2013 G1 Climax. The following day, Naito was given a contract granting him a shot at the IWGP Heavyweight Championship in the main event of Wrestle Kingdom 8. Despite being a clean cut babyface, Naito was thoroughly disliked by NJPW fans, which led to NJPW changing their course of action, announcing a fan vote to decide whether the match between him and Okada or an IWGP Intercontinental Championship match between Shinsuke Nakamura and Hiroshi Tanahashi would main event Wrestle Kingdom 8. Nakamura and Tanahashi won the vote with Naito and Okada being demoted to the semi-main event.
Wrestle Kingdom 8 was headlined by a "double main event", featuring Kazuchika Okada defending the IWGP Heavyweight Championship against Tetsuya Naito and Shinsuke Nakamura defending the IWGP Intercontinental Championship against Hiroshi Tanahashi. In the first of the main events, Okada made his seventh successful defense of the IWGP Heavyweight Championship against Naito, while the second main event saw Tanahashi defeat Nakamura to become the new IWGP Intercontinental Champion.
The event also saw Kota Ibushi defeat Prince Devitt to become the new IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion. Devitt, wrestled the match covered in face and bodypaint, which would become his signature big match look. After the match, Ibushi was approached by an unknown masked man, later identified as El Desperado, who handed him a bouquet of roses. Another match featured Hirooki Goto's return after suffering a broken jaw during the 2013 G1 Climax. He defeated his high school friend Katsuyori Shibata, who afterwards helped him backstage.
Other title matches included Satoshi Kojima defeat National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) representative Rob Conway to capture the NWA World Heavyweight Championship in a match that featured an appearance by Harley Race. Bullet Club's Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson, the winners of the 2013 World Tag League, defeated the Killer Elite Squad (Davey Boy Smith Jr. and Lance Archer) with help from their stablemate Tama Tonga to become the new IWGP Tag Team Champions, while The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson) successfully defended the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship in a four-way match.
Tetsuya Naito used the snub he suffered at Wrestle Kingdom 8 to turn heel and form the Los Ingobernables de Japon stable. When he finally won the IWGP Heavyweight Championship from Okada in April 2016, Naito had managed to turn his career around and was now fully embraced by the NJPW fans.
|1D||BUSHI, Captain New Japan, Hiroyoshi Tenzan and Tomoaki Honma defeated Jushin Thunder Liger, Manabu Nakanishi, Super Strong Machine and Yohei Komatsu||Eight-man tag team match||08:11|
|2||The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson) (c) defeated Forever Hooligans (Alex Koslov and Rocky Romero), Suzuki-gun (Taichi and Taka Michinoku) and Time Splitters (Alex Shelley and KUSHIDA)||Four-way tag team match for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship||10:35|
|3||Bullet Club (Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows) (with Tama Tonga) defeated K.E.S. (Davey Boy Smith Jr. and Lance Archer) (c)||Tag team match for the IWGP Tag Team Championship||10:27|
|4||Satoshi Kojima (with Hiroyoshi Tenzan) defeated Rob Conway (c) (with Bruce Tharpe and Jax Dane)||Singles match for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship||08:27|
|5||Kazushi Sakuraba and Yuji Nagata defeated Daniel Gracie and Rolles Gracie by disqualification||Tag team match||09:50|
|6||The Great Muta and Toru Yano defeated Suzuki-gun (Minoru Suzuki and Shelton X Benjamin) (with Taichi and Taka Michinoku)||Tag team match||12:04|
|7||Togi Makabe defeated Bad Luck Fale||King of Destroyer match||15:05|
|8||Hirooki Goto defeated Katsuyori Shibata||Singles match||15:33|
|9||Kota Ibushi defeated Prince Devitt (c) (with Doc Gallows, Karl Anderson, Matt Jackson, Nick Jackson and Tama Tonga)||Singles match for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship||16:22|
|10||Kazuchika Okada (c) (with Gedo) defeated Tetsuya Naito||Singles match for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship||30:58|
|11||Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated Shinsuke Nakamura (c)||Singles match for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship||23:24|
- ↑ Cite error: Invalid
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- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Caldwell, James (January 4, 2014). "Caldwell's NJPW Tokyo Dome results 1/4: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of New Japan's biggest show of the year - four title changes, former WWE/TNA stars featured, more". Pro Wrestling Torch. http://pwtorch.com/artman2/publish/otherppvs/article_75461.shtml. Retrieved August 25, 2017.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 "New Japan Tokyo Dome show report". Pro Wrestling Insider. January 4, 2014. http://pwinsider.com/article/82585/new-japan-tokyo-dome-show-report.html?p=1. Retrieved August 25, 2017.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Namako, Jason (January 6, 2014). "1/4 NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 8 Results: Tokyo, Japan". Wrestleview. http://www.wrestleview.com/misc-news/45937-1-4-njpw-wrestle-kingdom-8-results-tokyo-japan/. Retrieved August 25, 2017.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Hoops, Brian (January 4, 2017). "Daily Pro Wrestling History (01/04): NJPW Tokyo Dome cards". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. http://www.f4wonline.com/other-wrestling/daily-pro-wrestling-history-0104-njpw-tokyo-dome-cards-227681. Retrieved August 25, 2017.
- ↑ Martin, Garrett (January 16, 2015). "Japanese Wrestling's Golden Age Comes to America". Paste. http://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2015/01/japanese-wrestlings-golden-age-comes-to-america.html. Retrieved August 25, 2017.
- ↑ (in Japanese) New Japan Pro-Wrestling. December 11, 2013. Archived from the original on December 12, 2013. https://web.archive.org/web/20131212171721/http://www.njpw.co.jp/news/detail.php?nid=10739. Retrieved August 25, 2017.
- ↑ Grabianowski, Ed. "How Pro Wrestling Works". HowStuffWorks, Inc.. Discovery Communications. Archived from the original on November 18, 2013. http://www.webcitation.org/6LDla2zy5?url=http://entertainment.howstuffworks.com/pro-wrestling.htm. Retrieved August 25, 2017.
- ↑ (in Japanese) Tokyo Sports. August 12, 2013. https://sports.yahoo.co.jp/column/detail/201308120007-spnavi. Retrieved August 25, 2017.
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Macklin, Matthew (April 15, 2016). "Ingobernable: Tetsuya Naito's rise to the top of New Japan". Pro Wrestling Insider. http://pwinsider.com/article/101347/ingobernable-tetsuya-naitos-rise-to-the-top-of-new-japan.html?p=1. Retrieved August 25, 2017.
- ↑ (in Japanese) Tokyo Sports. July 19, 2017. http://www.tokyo-sports.co.jp/prores/mens_prores/710281/. Retrieved August 25, 2017.
- ↑ (in Japanese) Tokyo Sports. January 5, 2014. http://www.tokyo-sports.co.jp/prores/mens_prores/220650/. Retrieved August 25, 2017.
- NJPW.co.jp (Japanese)