Starting in the spring of 1984, the wrestling world would change when Keichi Yamada would step into a ring for the first time. Unlike most of his fellow young lions Yamada would leave New Japan on a high after winning the Young Lions Cup. It would be two years before Yamada would be sent on excursion to All Star Wrestling in Europe and Stampede Wrestling. Upon his return Yamada would be repackaged as Jushin Thunder Liger which was taken from a very popular Japanese anime called Jushin Liger. For the next thirty years all over the world Jushin Liger would cultivate a career for himself as the most legendary junior heavyweight. It wouldn't take Liger very long to become the measuring stick of the junior heavyweight division for New Japan.
Liger would set the world on fire with Tiger Mask, Black Tigers, Kuniaki Kobayashi, Naoki Sano, and others over the years. In December 1991, Liger would make his return to the United States to feud with Brian Pillman over the WCW Light Heavyweight Championship. The feud would end in February at Superbrawl, but it would only be the beginning for Liger and his trips back to North America. Since then Liger has spent time with ROH, WWE, TNA, and CMLL perfecting an imagine of a legend.
Last weekend Jushin Liger wrestled his the final matches of his career lacing up the boots one more time for another Wrestle Kingdom. Liger will go down as a legend and one of the greatest performers in the history of New Japan. Even blessing the new generation of the junior division in his last match taking the pin fall against the team of Dragon Lee & Hiromu Takahashi. His commitment to the gimmick and ability to embrace the anime side of the character never really needing to change with the times Liger is by far one of the best ever. Thank you for all you did for wrestling, New Japan, and the Junior Heavyweight division!! You deserve the rest now after 30 plus years of giving us your body, mind, and soul.
It's that time of year again as a new year beckons we await the first major event of the calendar and like always it is from New Japan. This year wrestling fans will be treated to a very special event with this years event stretching across two days instead of the traditional one day event. Doing this prevents burnout from fans and also allows New Japan to maximize the Wrestle Kingdom banner. Another reason this year's event is very special is due to the "Double Title Match" set for the January 5 event.
For months there has been a focus placed on showing how important this "Double Title Match" will be coming on January 5 for everyone involved. The "Double Belt Dash" is one of the more intriguing aspects of the new year as most times wrestling companies try and prevent talent from holding two titles at one time, but right now it seems like it's being encouraged. In my opinion, New Japan should seize this chance to really put someone on Okada's level, because right now he's on a level all his own.
On January 4, the "Painmaker" returns to fight Hiroshi Tanahashi it another dream match we didn't know we wanted until it was announced. Jericho is riding a hot ticket right now by starting off the decade in the drivers seat. Jericho and his Inner Circle are the hottest ticket in wrestling right wrapped in a developing feud with Jon Moxley and then he promises Tanahashi a shot at the AEW World Title if he can beat Jericho. Last time I checked AEW and NJPW weren't on the same page, but could things have changed or maybe at least soften. Seeing AEW expand overseas even a little bit with the help of New Japan will benefit both promotions equally as it could help each of them develop a foot hold in the US and Japan respectively.
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