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By Matthew Macklin on 2016-01-03 13:59:21

NJPW held Big Pro- Wrestling Festival yesterday ahead of Wrestle Kingdom. 

Two new young lions were introduced by Yuji Nagata.  They will begin training ahead of their pro debuts.  The first going by the name of Kitsuya Kitamura is a former amateur national champion.  He is 30 years old, 182cm tall and weighs 115kg.   The second is Noriyuki Oka who is an amateur national and world champion.   He is 24 years old, 185cm tall and weighs 115kg.  Both guy's are huge.

They also introduced a concept called Lion's Gate, which will have it's first show on February 25th.   It will be a place for young wrestlers from different companies to wrestle.  The new young lions, Kawato & Kanemitsu will be involved.  It looks to be an NXT type system.  There will be more information in the future.

There was a press conference for each Wrestle Kingdom match held with some great promos from the likes of Jay Lethal, Karl Anderson, AJ Styles, The Briscoes & Kenny Omega. There was nothing really newsworthy. Tama Tonga stood out and cut a promo about how he was sick of being forgotten about and that he would win gold at Wrestle Kingdom.  The Briscoes wore some incredible outfits. There was a lot of goofing around from the Jr tag teams.  Naito did all he could to wind up Goto.  Anderson & Gallows laid out Makabe & Honma. Some of it was fun, and some of it dragged on.   

We then had four matches to close out the event.

Yohei Komatsu defeated Hirai Kawato
This was the debut of 18 year old Kawato, one of the two new young lions that have begun their training. It was strange seeing Komatsu in the role of veteran as he worked over and beat down Kawato.  Komatsu shrugged off Kawato in the same manner that a Yuji Nagata would shrug off Komatsu.  Kawato didn't get much in.  He delivered some kicks and a nice drop kick. Considering this was his first match at 18 years old, he looked really good and it's only the start of his New Japan journey.  Komatsu won with a Boston Crab.

Sho Tanaka defeated Teruaki Kanemitsu
This was similar to the previous match with Tanaka taking Kanemitsu to school.   Kanemitsu seemed sharper and more fiery than Kawato.  He hit a nice gutwrench suplex.  Tanaka won after a Boston Crab.   You can see just how ready Tanaka & Komatsu are with these matches.

Mascara Dorada, Ryusuke Taguchi & David Finlay defeated Jay White, Jushin Thunder Liger & Tiger Mask IV
Dorada pinned White with after a Dorada Screwdriver.

Satoshi Kojima, Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Juice Robinson defeated Captain New Japan, Yuji Nagata & Manabu Nakanishi

The whole event is available now at

Wrestle Kingdom 10 takes place in the morning, but as well as that New Years Dash takes place from Korkuen Hall the following morning.  That show will also have English commentary from Kevin Kelly & Matt Striker on NJPW World.

I can be found on Twitter @MatthewMacklin and (TweetEnzuigiri).

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