Welcome back to Your Way Wednesday! If this is your first time, here’s a quick refresher — every Wednesday, we pose a question (either a prediction or an opinion, generally), Ichiban Ian and I answer it quickly, and then we turn the table over to you, the fans of New Japan Pro Wrestling and King of Sports. You can leave your answers in the comments section at the bottom of the page, or on Facebook or Twitter — basically, if we can see it, you’re good. We’ll even take some fan comments and put them in next week’s edition of Your Way Wednesday! Before we ask this week’s question, though, let’s take a look at last week’s… Should New Japan Pro Wrestling add a joshi division?
This question, spurred on by New Japan’s recently promoting women’s wrestling for the first time in 11 years, drew our largest response yet. Some people were very interested in the idea — Rachel Edwards said, “Yes. Give it a bigger platform.” while Walter Yeates responded, “I’d love it if they did.” Joe Russell fell into the “nay” camp, saying, “No, let Joshi stand on its own. Just like in the past with AJW, etc., and today with Stardom, etc., Japan has various promotions that carve their own style. Mixing them together means losing their distinctive appeal. If people want Joshi, they will watch Joshi promotions, and the unique style that goes along with it.” Some respondents favored a third option — James Bowen said, “I would have no problem with it, just keep it as a separate promotion. On special occasions, there should be interpromotional cards.” Niccoló Favilli had another solution: “They should do a collaboration with an existing promotion, but not have a division.”
Perhaps most telling is the poll we ran with the article — “Yes” got 40% of the votes, “No” got another 40%, and “Unsure” got 20% (and yes, more than five people voted). Looks like this issue is far from settled!
This week, we’re going to move back to New Japan’s upcoming calendar. Now that Best of the Super Juniors XXII is over, the full card for Dominion 7.5 has been released. It’s the first show since Wrestle Kingdom 9 to have all six championships on the line, and as such, we want to know your predictions! Which championships, if any, will change hands at Dominion?
Just as a reminder, here are the title matches:
IWGP Heavyweight Champion AJ Styles versus Kazuchika Okada (V2 defense)
IWGP Intercontinental Champion Hirooki Goto versus Shinsuke Nakamura (V1 defense)
NEVER Openweight Champion Togi Makabe versus Tomohiro Ishii (V1 defense)
IWGP Tag Team Champions The Kingdom versus Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows (V1 defense)
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion Kenny Omega versus KUSHIDA (V4 defense)
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions The Young Bucks versus Roppongi Vice versus reDRagon (V1 defense)
Strong Style Scott: It can be difficult to predict the path New Japan takes with its champions, especially in the ever-changing tag team divisions. That said, I believe that only two titles will change hands — firstly, the NEVER Openweight Championship will be claimed by Tomohiro Ishii. Ishii has made the title his own over the years, and the two are so strongly connected that they can’t be apart for long. Plus, this would set up a title rematch with Tomoaki Honma. Secondly, I believe the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship will change hands — KUSHIDA is getting the strongest push of his career, and the logical culmination of that is a victory over Kenny Omega and a decent run with the title.
Ichiban Ian: With the Dominion card set, the show looks to be an exciting one, and part of that allure is that anyone can win the big title matches. After losing two times to Togi Makabe previously, Tomohiro Ishii should win back the NEVER Openweight Championship. I also think there will be one more title change, as Kazuchika Okada takes the IWGP Heavyweight Championship from AJ Styles, laying the foundation for his run toward a main event match-up with Shinsuke Nakamura at Wrestle Kingdom 10.
What do you think? And once again, we’ve got a poll! Vote for as many choices as you like!