NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 15 in the Tokyo Dome was a showcase of the immerse talent that the company has at the moment. New Japan Pro Wrestling is known for having some of the very best professional wrestling in the world, but they were able to achieve another level of greatness on January 4th and 5th this year.
The headline IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Championship matches on the two-day events came in with many fans anticipating Match of the Year candidates. However, there was plenty more on the offer at NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 15.
From heavyweight clashes to the high-risk insanity of the junior heavyweights, there was something for every wrestling fan. With 13 matches televised across two nights, let's take a look at the top five best NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 15 matches and the star ratings for each.
#5 Taiji Ishimori vs. Hiromu Takahashi for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship (NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 15 Day 2)
Hiromu Takahashi and Taiji Ishimori have set a high bar with their previous meetings. From their phenomenal Best of Super Juniors 25 Finals in 2018 to their underrated gem from Summer Struggle in Jingu, these two men have become a guaranteed great match every time out.
At NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 15, Takahashi and Ishimori set an incredible pace from the opening bell on Day 2. Going at breakneck speed, the two men put on spellbinding sequences and breathtaking counters to one another's offense. Ishimori's sound attack on the shoulder and injured hand of Hiromu provided the contest with a progressing narrative that added value to his late submission attempts.
Over the course of 25-plus minutes, the two top stars of the junior heavyweight division put in a remarkable effort that consistently produced the high quality standard of their prior encounters. Hiromu Takahashi defeated Taiji Ishimori, using the Time Bomb 2 to win his fourth IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship and for the third time in the Tokyo Dome at NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 15
The restrictions on the Tokyo Dome crowd at NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 15 held this encounter back from hitting the pathos of their BOSJ 26 Finals, but the pacing and terrific closing stretch made for a special bout. Takahashi made a valid case for propelling the Junior title match to the main event of the Tokyo Dome next year.
Star Rating: ****1/2