A former WWE star turned Ring of Honor (ROH) superstar is set to defend his title at Wrestle Kingdom 12.
New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) have recently announced that Cody Rhodes will defend his World Championship title against Kota Ibushi live at the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan on Jan. 4, 2018. Billed as the largest wrestling event outside of the United States, Wrestle Kingdom sees professional wrestlers from all over the world compete for both NJPW’s and ROH’s highest honors.
Cody Rhodes began his wrestling career in the WWE, the son of WWE legend Dusty Rhodes and half-brother to another WWE Superstar, Goldust. He’d eventually become a two-time Intercontinental Champion, defeating the biggest names in WWE, but later felt his career languish under WWE’s creative direction. He quit the WWE in 2016 and joined the independent wrestling circuit, competing in such promotions as Northeast Wrestling (NEW), What Culture Pro Wrestling (WCPW), and Impact Wrestling, before signing up with Ring of Honor, and New Japan Pro Wrestling.
Billed as "The American Nightmare" with NJPW, Rhodes is the current reigning ROH World Champion and shares the ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Championship.
His opponent, Kota Ibushi, is a well known veteran wrestler with NJPW, but now fights as a freelancer, having competed in recent WWE and NJPW tournaments. A three-time Junior Heavyweight Champion and one-time Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champion with NJPW, Ibushi is sure to give Rhodes stiff competition.
Another matchup announced for Wrestle Kingdom 12 involves two more former WWE Wrestlers: Chris Jericho and Kenny Omega. Jericho finished up his WWE contract, allowing him to compete in the overseas competition, while Omega has been the reigning United States Heavyweight Champion since 2016.
PREVIOUSLY: JERICHO VS OMEGA SET FOR WRESTLE KINGDOM
Wrestle Kingdom is set to provide a who’s who of both independent and contracted wrestling stars. The matches announced so far are:
-IWGP Heavyweight Championship Kazuchika Okada vs. Tetsuya Naito
-IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion Kenny Omega vs. Chris Jericho
-IWGP Intercontinental Champion Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Jay White
-IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion Marty Scurll vs. Hiromu Takahashi vs. Kushida vs. Will Ospreay
-IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions Roppongi 3K (Sho and Yoh) vs. The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson)
- ROH World Champion Cody vs. Kota Ibushi