Predictions for Wrestle Kingdom 13
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Predictions for Wrestle Kingdom 13

January 3, 2019
By: Lou Pickney

RIP New Japan Rambo/Rumble. I hope they bring that match to the United States at some point, though I have no idea if NJPW has that in mind.

If I had to guess what was in Gedo's secret booking journal for this show...

WK13 Predictions:

1. Makabe & Yano & Taguchi to become #1 contenders for the NEVER Openweight Six-Man Tag Titles in a gauntlet match on the preshow. Makabe/Yano/Taguchi is the only team with three NJPW full-timers. But really any team could win this, though I would think Hangman's team would have the longest odds relative to him signing with AEW.

Hirooki Goto turns 40 this year, and while he's not ready for the Senior Circuit just yet, the clock is ticking.

Also, have they explained why Makabe and Yano are teaming up? Did they finally bury the hatchet over Yano turning most of the members of Great Bash Heel against Makabe and Honma in 2009?

2. Will Ospreay over Kota Ibushi for the NEVER Openweight Title. Ospreay gains his bridge to singles title matches against heavyweights, and to that end everyone wins.

3. Bushi & Shingo, with Shingo ideally winning the fall over Kanemaru or Desperado, as LIJ gets its win back from the Super Junior Tag Tournament. Sets up the two-time consecutive Super Junior winners Roppongi 3K to chase.

4. Sabre over Ishii. This show is lining up to be heavy on title changes, but it would give the RevPro British Heavyweight Championship some extra cachet for having a title change in front of 36,000+ at Tokyo Dome.

5. Guerrillas of Destiny. Hope we get some good SANADA exchanges with the Young Bucks before it's all said and done.

6. Juice Robinson to win the U.S. Title. Cody has a ticket to Jacksonville and this will perhaps be the start of a big push for Juice in 2019.

7. Taiji Ishimori to win the IWGP Jr. Title. If (as rumored) this is it for Kushida, and really he hit his ceiling in New Japan when he won the 2017 BOTSJ while also holding the ROH TV Title, it's the only outcome that makes sense.

8. Jay White, probably due to someone betraying Broken Okada. The saga continues as Gedo gives the fans more time to miss the old Rainmaker gimmick and further fade any potential overexposure with Okada during that epic run as IWGP Heavyweight Champion.

9. Tetsuya Naito to win the I-C Title. No DQ which means a wild brawl is very likely, with plenty of Jericho savvy veteran shortcuts thrown in there.

10. Hiroshi Tanahashi for the IWGP Heavyweight Title, paying off a nearly three-year build for Tanahashi vs. Omega 2. I feel more confident about that outcome than I do on whether Tanahashi will kick out of the One-Winged Angel.

See any mistakes, omissions, or needed corrections? Please let me know: @LouPickney

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