The full cards have been revealed for this week’s Fighting Spirit Unleashed events, and it all kicks off this Friday with a huge title match in the Lowell Memorial Auditorium!
The main event in Lowell sees an all star six man tag team match as Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kota Ibushi and Kazuchika Okada meet the Los Ingobernables De Japon trio of Tetsuya Naito, EVIL, and SANADA. Okada is counting down to his October 14 IWGP Heavyweight Championship match with SANADA, while EVIL and Ibushi’s Tokyo Dome Right to Challenge Contract match has just been confirmed, also for King of Pro Wrestling. Ibushi will also have his eye on the recently deposed former IWGP Intercontinental Champion Tetsuya Naito. Both have declared their hopes to be double Heavyweight and IC champions after the Tokyo Dome in January, but Naito has never been further from his destino. Plus, what mark will Tanahashi make in Lowell, as he heads toward the 20th anniversary of an already legendary career?
In the semi-main event, the IWGP Tag Team Championships will be at stake as Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa, the Guerrillas of Destiny, face the challenge of Roppongi 3K, SHO and YOH. GoD have never been as dominant as tag team champions, racking up their sixth defence of the titles in Beppu just last week. With this match, their reign could potentially tie Hroyoshi Tenzan and Masahiro Chono’s V7 reign from over a decade ago as the second most dominant run in the championships’ history.
Yet to do that, they must defeat SHO and YOH, who despite their junior heavyweight status, are on fire when it comes to facing the heavyweight champions. In Kagoshima and Kobe on the Destruction tour, YOH flash pinned first Tama Tonga, and then Tanga Loa. With a non-title loss from the first day of the G1 in Dallas on the records, SHO and YOH are definitive underdogs, but it only takes three seconds to win or lose a match, and RPG3K could well have GoD’s numbers.
In the sixth match of the night, Rocky Romero, Hirooki Goto and YOSHI-HASHI form a CHAOS trio opposite Gedo, KENTA and new IWGP Intercontinental Champion, Jay White. After crashing White’s title victory party in Kobe, Goto may be set to challenge White at some point in the future, and will look to solidify his case here. The day after Lowell, YOSHI-HASHI will challenge KENTA for his NEVER Openweight Championship in New York, and will want to make his own impact on the champion. Plus, Rocky Romero will be dying to lay his hands on the man he still calls ‘Fredo’ after his betrayal of CHAOS one year ago.
Amazing Red returns to NJPW in the Fighting Spirit Unleashed tour. He and Tomohiro Ishii will team up to face BUSHI and Shingo Takagi in what should be a hot tag team match with a chance of an Ishii and Takagi reunion after their classic Yokohama slugfest in the G1.
Robert Gibson and Ricky Morton will take on Jado and Chase Owens in the fourth match of the night. Morton has been widely credited for teaching everything Owens knows about tag team wrestling, but Owens rejects such claims, and will be teaming here with another masterful tag team veteran, Jado.
TJP also returns to New Japan in Lowell, and will team with the LA Dojo’s Clark Connors, with whom he had a spirited first round encounter during the Super J-Cup. They will face Mikey Nicholls and Juice Robinson, a tag team who had success earlier in the year, and challenged for the IWGP Tag Team Championships in Melbourne back in June.
The second match of the night sees Ren Narita face Lance Archer. At Destruction in Kobe, Narita asked Katsuyori Shibata to allow him into the LA Dojo. Shibata accepted the young prospect, and said he’d rebuild Narita from square one in pro wrestling. Narita has a hell of a square one in front of him, as Archer seeks to prove to even the young and hopeful that ‘everybody dies’.
In the opening match of the night, Karl Fredericks takes on Alex Coughlin. The Young Lion Cup winner Fredericks will seek to prove why he earned that accolade against a Coughlin who came on in leaps and bounds during the tournament to end at an impressive eight points.