What to Expect: Wrestle Kingdom 13 Gauntlet Match

Credit: NJPW

After last year’s amazing Wrestle Kingdom pre-show Battle Royal, it was highly expected that it would be the same this year because it’s a great way to showcase all the talent who didn’t get a chance to make it onto the stacked WK card. However, NJPW have switched things up this year by having a No.1 contender’s gauntlet match for the Never Openweight 6-man tag team championship (which is to be defended at new Year’s Dash).

Even though it would have been nice for a proper battle royal, the teams in this gauntlet have some great people in it and I’m excited to see how it goes and what people think about it! So, I thought the best way to preview this match was by looking at the teams involved separately and then my predictions, so enjoy!

Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Toru Yano vs. Togi Makabe (Taguchi Japan/ Chaos)

This is probably the most bizarre group in the whole gauntlet. I mean we have the Funky Weapon Taguchi, the unchained Gorilla Makabe and one of the guys who turned on GBH in Yano. I also feel slightly sorry for Makabe because he would have a genuine shot at this title, but Yano and Taguchi don’t have the best track record for wins and are known as a bit of a joke (even though I love them both so much)! However, it’ll be fun to see the story telling within this team and how Taguchi tries to keep the peace between Yano and Makabe.

Credit: NJPW

David Finlay vs Jeff Cobb vs Michael Elgin (Taguchi Japan)

After my sadness that David Finlay and Juice Robinson didn’t win World Tag League, I’m so happy that Finlay actually has a place on the card. I don’t know how I feel about him teaming with Elgin and Cobb who realistically are the bigger men and I just hope he doesn’t get overlooked because he is actually a really amazing athlete.

Maybe having Finlay’s agility with the strength of Cobb and Elgin will put them at an advantage and maybe get them further than a lot of people think. I also think that the great personalities of Finlay and Cobb will hopefully bring Elgin out of his shell.

Credit: NJPW

Chuckie T vs Trent Baretta vs. Hirooki Goto (Chaos)

I’m so upset that Goto didn’t make it onto the main card of WK after his amazing match with Suzuki last year, but at least he got a place on the card. In terms of Best Friends (Baretta and Chuckie T), who knows where their heads are at after Chuck’s antics in World Tag League. Normally I would’ve put these guys as top contender’s because all three of them are amazing athlete, but who knows what’s going to happen now because Chuck could go crazy at any minute and that could totally ruin their chances at winning!

Credit: NJPW

Minoru Suzuki vs. Davey Both Smith Jr vs. Lance Archer (Suzuki Gun)

These three guys have major chips on their shoulder and I’m not surprised because it’s a travesty that they’re not on the main card! I mean, like Goto, Suzuki was the other half of one of the best matches on the main card of WK last year and now is on the pre-show.

Also, K.E.S really should’ve been in the tag team picture but missed out by the skin of their teeth in the World Tag League. So, these guys have something to prove and I can just imagine that they’re going to be as brutal and scary as ever – I mean rules are never really important to Suzuki Gun and I don’t doubt that this will be the case in this gauntlet match.

Credit: NJPW

Marty Scurll vs. Yujiro Takahashi vs. Hangman Page (The Elite)

Apart from my sheer bitterness about Chase Owens not being on the card (I mean I was always hoping for Page, Yujiro and Chase), this team is really interesting and has great potential. We’ve got Hangman Page who is one of my MVP’s of the year, Marty Scurll who’s had a great year in so many different companies and Yujiro who’s always been an outsider in the Elite.

It’ll be interesting to see how these guys all work together and what the dynamic is going to be between them. From the looks of it, they’re lucky as they’re last on the card so maybe that will put them at an advantage.

It’s a massively stacked card with some of the best competitors in the entire company who sadly missed out on being on the main card (which is crazy good). I can’t really see the Taguchi Japan teams going very far, even though the likes of Makabe, Elgin and Cobb are examples of pure strength. However, I have really high hopes for the other three teams. I mean there are big questions like is Chuckie T going to go crazy again?

Will Goto just go straight and kill Suzuki? Is David Finlay putting the C Block championship on the line? Whatever happens, my predictions are pretty straight-forward: I think the Suzuki Gun team are going to thrash their opponents and go on to beat BC OG’s… I mean that’s what I want to happen!

So, I mean no matter how good this gauntlet looks like it’s going to be, I’m still sad that people like Chase Owens didn’t get a spot on the entire card. I think that was the good thing about the Battle Royal, you could literally have as many competitor’s as possible. But I’m not going to dwell on the negatives because the teams look amazing an, if my predictions are right, BC OG v Suzuki Gun will be an amazing match! To see if I’m right, make sure you subscribe to NJPWWorld or buy it on FITE TV to watch all the action live!