Tha Sports Junkies 101

New Japan Stacks the Genesis 2017 Card

New Japan Genesis Kane Lasten via Flickr.com

WWE

New Japan Pro Wrestling Genesis 2017 – Coming April 9, 2017

New Japan Pro Wrestling has expressed interest in the past in expanding their brand to North America. They have indicated that they would like to debut ahead of their annual G1 Climax Tournament. This would come in late June to early July.

The locations have yet to be announced. Speculation has been running high. The projected target area would be Southern California. Before they can bring the G1 Climax to the states, they have to plan their strategy. Story lines have to be carefully cultivated. That all starts with Genesis.

The Build Up to Genesis

In March of each year, New Japan presents the New Japan Cup. This is a tournament held with the winner earning a shot at a title of their choosing. Historically, this has meant challenging the IWGP World Heavyweight Champion.

After winning the tournament, some have chosen to challenge for others. This would include current WWE star Shinsuke Nakamura. He chose to challenge for the IWGP Intercontinental Title in 2014, after winning the New Japan Cup. The championship match takes place at Genesis.

The New Japan Cup 2017

This year, the tournament action was fast paced and saw several surprises. First, perennial favorites including Hiroshi Tanahasi and Togi Makabe were eliminated early. Then emerging stars Tomohiro Ishii and EVIL seemed primed to take the next step in their careers by catapulting themselves into the title picture.

This didn’t happen. Bullet Club member Bad Luck Fale and New Japan veteran Katsuyori Shibata emerged from the field. They battled to the bitter end in an old fashioned slobber knocker. The finals of the tournament saw Shibata earn his championship opportunity. He defeated Fale in a brutal back and forth contest. In the end, he finally put Fale away with a running strike to the face.

The Main Event

After his victory in the New Japan Cup, Shibata has declared his intentions for Genesis. He will challenge IWGP World Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada. This is a match die hard wrestling fans are salivating at. Shibata is a physical terror. He has an amazing submission game. Okada has conquered them all. His signature “Rainmaker” finisher has made him the Japanese equivalent to John Cena. This match has match of the year written all over it.

The Rest of the Card

The rest of the card features the best that New Japan has to offer. The IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship will be contested between champion Hiromu Takahashi and #1 contender and former title holder KUSHIDA.

Next the Never Openweight Championship will see the champion Hirooki Goto defend against the emerging international superstar Zack Sabre Jr. Sabre Jr has dominated competition around the globe. He has made his presence felt in ROH, AAA, WCPW, AAW, ICW, and now New Japan.

 

The IWGP Tag Team Championship will be up for grabs. Champions Satoshi Kojima and Hiroyoshi Tenzan will put the gold on the line against Ring of Honor’s War Machine.

Next, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Juice Robinson, Ryusuke Taguchi and Ricochet will bring high flying action to Genesis as they face Tetsuya Naito, Sanada, EVIL & BUSHI representing the faction Los Ingobernables de Japon.

Then, Toru Yano and Tomohiro Ishii have their hands full with Bullet Club members Kenny Omega and Bad Luck Fale.

Next the IWGP Jr. Tag Team Championship will feature high flyers Taichi and Yoshinobu Kanemaru defending against Jado and Gedo.

Roppongi Vice and Yoshi-Hashi will battle Suzuki Gun members Minoru Suzuki, El Desperado & TAKA Michinoku.

Tiger Mask, Tiger Mask W, Yuji Nagata and Togi Makabe will face Chase Owens, Yujiro Takahashi, Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa representing the Bullet Club.

Finally, similar to WWE Pay Per Views, New Japan has a pre-show. The Pre-Show Match will feature established stars David Finlay, Jushin Thunder Liger and Manabu Nakanishi. They lock horns with up and coming Young Lions Katsuya Nitamura, Tomoyuki Oka & Hirai Kawato.

Genesis Promises to Deliver Action and Excitement

This card features some of the best talent found anywhere in the world. New Japan has started to build a strong audience in the United States. Their weekly syndication on AXS TV has been huge. This event will lay the groundwork for their North American aspirations.

Main stream wrestling fans who have not seen the NJPW product should really take a few moments and see what they have to offer. Then, for those who are tired of the same stars at the top of the card every week, think about this. Are you tired of the same matches on Raw and Smackdown? Give New Japan Pro Wrestling a try. Their product is potentially the best in the world.

Check out their weekly television shows on AXS TV Friday nights starting at 8 pm.

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