NJPW King of Pro Wrestling 2018: 10 Points To Note
What a night.
If you aren't on board with New Japan yet, you better get along. This what wrestling is. Gedo's unbelievable insight and craft in building a narrative have resulted in a year-long story unfold into a shocking semi-main event between the Ace Hiroshi Tanahashi and the Switchblade Jay White.
That's not all though, the stunning events that unfold result in greatest character arcs moving forward as they have for years on end. From the Golden Lovers tryst to Tanahashi's capability of still being the Ace, to the breaking of Okada's arrogance to questions of Naito's redemption.
There's so much to unpack about New Japan's latest event, setting the road to Wrestle Kingdom 13. Factions bolstered their ranks in many ways, while friends came to clash. Even in the lower card tag matches, a lot of interesting threads developed. So let's see what notes we have scribbled down after this epic King of Pro Wrestling.
#11. This is How Veterans Should Be
It might come as a culture shock for incoming fans of New Japan, that not just Jushin 'Thunder' Liger but Tiger Mask have a reputation as two of the best Junior Heavyweights in New Japan history. This is because despite giving a hell of a fight to Desperado and Yoshinobu Kanemaru, they fell to them relatively easy.
It might even come as a further shock, that Liger heads into next years Wrestle Kingdom without a championship or key match in his 30th year in pro-wrestling. All this would come as a shock because most fans have come to expect down and out veterans (which Liger is far from) to hog the spotlight when they return to the squared circle.
This expectancy comes from how WWE treats it's over the hill veterans, with just two days of a gap between the events of WWE's glorified house show in Australia and this event as proof. Here the veterans take a low-key position in the opening match and even manage to shine.
Over there, the veterans hog another main event (sure due to the love by fans) and stink the joint up, building towards something else. One day that bubble will burst on WWE when they will no longer have part-time stars to save them. Meanwhile, New Japan looks to an even brighter future while paying enough homage to the past.