As of this Friday we are just five weeks away from Wrestle Kingdom 13 at the Tokyo Dome, the biggest event of New Japan Pro Wrestling’s calendar year. With all the top matches slowly coming together, one major name currently left without a match is ironically one of the best wrestlers on the planet — the “Golden Star” Kota Ibushi.
It was recently announced that Ibushi will actually face Hirooki Goto for the NEVER Openweight Championship; a match many thought would take place at the annual Tokyo Dome show, but was actually confirmed for the NJPW World Tag League finals on Dec. 9th.
According to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, New Japan currently has Ibushi facing off against British wrestling sensation Will Ospreay on the match card for Wrestle Kingdom.
The original plan as of about a month ago seemed to be Ospreay beating Taichi — possibly the promotion’s most hated superstar — for the NEVER title, and going on to defend against Ibushi at the big event. However, when Ospreay took time off to heal up from injuries, the decision was made to put the title back on Goto instead.
All that being said, it stands to reason that Ibushi defeating Goto for the title on Dec. 9th in order to set up a variation of the original planned match with Ospreay, seems to be the most likely course of action in the coming weeks. It goes without saying, but a singles match between the two, if given enough time to really tell a story with both stars working at their absolute best, would be an easy Match of the Year candidate just four days into 2019.