New Japan Pro Wrestling's Wrestle Kingdom 13 event lived up to the hype on Friday as the Japanese promotion put on an excellent 10-match card inside the Tokyo Dome.
With eight championships changing hands, the show was full of jaw-dropping moments and vicious wrestling maneuvers, but the most dangerous moment of the night might have come during the main card's opening match.
In a bout between NEVER Openweight Champion Kota Ibushi and Will Ospreay, the British wrestling sensation pulled down one of his elbow pads and ran full force at a kneeling Ibushi from behind. Ospreay's elbow hit Ibushi square on the back of the head, causing him to hit the floor. He then lifted Ibushi up and planted him back down with his Stormbreaker finisher for the win.
No Good: Kota Ibushi legitimately knocked out by Will Ospreay's elbow, had to be stretchered out. Ospreay picks up the NEVER Openweight Championship due to injury of Ibushi. #njwk13 pic.twitter.com/FlwZixhuhz— GIF Skull - #njwk13 "Wrestling from Japan" (@GIFSkull) January 4, 2019
While the move appeared to be just another example of Japanese Strong Style, it quickly became clear that something went wrong as Ibushi was unable to make it back to his feet. Several trainers and Young Boys (New Japan wrestling trainees) rushed over to check on him, and he eventually had to be carried out of the arena on a stretcher.
By the end of the event New Japan had yet to release an update on Ibushi's condition. We will update you once that information is released.
Ibushi's loss was just the first of many for champions walking into Friday's show. The popular Japanese faction Los Ingobernables de Japon wound up winning three championships as Evil and Sanda won the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships, Bushi and Shingo Takagi won the Jr. Heavyweight tag titles and leader Tetsuya Naito reclaimed the IWGP Intercontinental Championship from WWE icon Chris Jericho in a No Disqualification match.
But while LIJ saw a huge wave of success, The Elite faction may have just seen its final days. Every member of the group that competed on the show lost, starting with Adam Page, Martry Scurll and Yujiro Takahashi in a guantlet trios match on the preshow. Cody Rhodes lost his IWGP United States Championship to Juice Robinson, the Young Bucks were pinned in their triple threat match for the heavyweight tag titles and Kenny Omega lost the IWGP Heavyweight Championship to Hiroshi Tanahashi in an excellent main event bout.
Given that at least four members of the group — Rhodes, the Bucks and Page — are involved in the new All Elite Wrestling promotion, Friday was reportedly the final day they would wrestle for the promotion for the foreseeable future.