New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) will hold its biggest event of the year, Wrestle Kingdom 13, on January 4, 2019. For the event, NJPW has already confirmed almost all of its main card, but the participants of the Gauntlet Match have yet to be revealed prior to the show, in which the next challengers will be decided to the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship.
This Gauntlet Match comes to replace the New Japan Rumble, which was done prior to the show, with wrestlers who could not participate in the main card and with some returns of legends. However, this year the role will be taken by the Gauntlet Match.
According to Dave Meltzer in the last edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, the meeting is scheduled to last between 30 to 45 minutes, occupying the space dedicated to the Rumble.
In the Gauntlet Match, they will go through different teams one by one, eliminating one and entering the next. Although no equipment has been announced, NJPW’s regular talents are expected to be there. Meltzer points to the following list of fighters that will be scheduled for the match:
– Suzuki-gun: Minoru Suzuki, Taichi, Lance Archer, Davey Boy Smith Jr., and Takashi Iizuka.
– The Elite: Marty Scurll, Chase Owens, Yujiro Takahashi, and Hangman Page.
– CHAOS: Hirooki Goto, Toru Yano, Chuckie T, Barreta, Rocky Romero.
– NJPW: Jushin “Thunder” Liger, Tiger Mask IV, Ryusuke Taguchi, Toa Henare, Togi Makabe, Tomoaki Honma, Michael Elgin, Jeff Cobb, Yuji Nagata, Manabu Nakanishi, Satoshi Kojima, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, David Finlay.
In addition to these fighters, there will be other extra talents that would be programmed as surprises for the event. It should be remembered that the team that wins this match will challenge the following day for the belts that currently have Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa and Taiji Ishimori in New Year’s Dash, on January 5 from Korakuen Hall.