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By Lee Relph on 2009-01-04 09:39:27

Courtesy of Strong Style Spirit (

The day came at last where the pupil finally surpassed the teacher, as Hiroshi Tanahashi today defeated Keiji Muto to bring home the IWGP Heavyweight Title. Tanahashi and Nakamura, the latter of whom defended the New Japan ring against Pro Wrestling NOAH, are in the lead going into the New Year, and it was Nakamura who Tanahashi nominated as his first defence opponent. New Japan Pro-Wrestling is a company with a history of massive inter-promotional warfare though, and the return of both its greatest prize as well as the junior title was soured by the outflow of both tag belts into the custody of TNA Wrestling. 2009 promises to be a fascinating year.

Tokyo Dome
40,000 Fans

0. Milano Collection AT, Minoru & Taichi Ishikari beat Mitsuhide Hirasawa, Kazuchika Okada & Nobuo Yoshihashi (6:24) when Milano used a super scrap kick on Yoshihashi. 
1. Wrestle Kingdom Grand Opening VIENTO DORADO: Mistico, Ryusuke Taguchi & Prince Devitt beat Averno, Jado & Gedo (9:50) when Mistico used the La Mística on Averno. 
2. Jushin Thunder Liger 20th Anniversary Match: Jushin Thunder Liger & Takuma Sano beat Wataru Inoue & Koji Kanemoto (8:47) when Liger used an avalanche-style brainbuster on Kanemoto. 
3. IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Title ~Tread on!!~: Alex Shelley & Chris Sabin beat Yujiro & Tetsuya Naito (c) (13:21) when Sabin used the Made in Detroit on Naito to become the 22nd champions. 
4. IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title ~Ballistic interception~: Tiger Mask beat Low Ki (c) (8:48) with a modified Tiger suplex hold to become the 56th champion. 
5. Fighting Holdings Competition: Riki Choshu, Masahiro Chono, Kurt Angle & Kevin Nash beat Giant Bernard, Takashi Iizuka, Tomohiro Ishii & Karl Anderson (7:09) when Angle used an ankle lock on Anderson. 
6. World Heavyweight Title ~Crusade for Justice~: Yuji Nagata (c) beat Masato Tanaka (11:41) with a backdrop hold (3rd defense). 
7. New Japan vs. NOAH Battle Tendencies ~the invasion~: Jun Akiyama Pro Wrestling NOAH beat Manabu Nakanishi (10:27) with a wrist-clutch Exploder. 
8. IWGP Tag Team Title - Hardcore Rules: Team 3D beat Togi Makabe & Toru Yano (c) (15:34) when Ray pinned Makabe after the 3D to become the 52nd champions. 
9. New Japan vs. NOAH Battle Tendencies ~the encounter~: Shinsuke Nakamura & Hirooki Goto beat Mitsuharu Misawa & Takashi Sugiura (15:17) when Nakamura used a flying cross armbreaker on Sugiura. 
10. IWGP Heavyweight Title: Hiroshi Tanahashi beat Keiji Muto (c) (30:22) with the High Fly Flow to become the 50th champion.


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