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April 12, 2023

NJPW Collision 2023 Bundle: Everything You Need to Know


There is a great reason why New Japan Pro Wrestling is renowned as the King of Sports. Since its formation, NJPW has become the central hub for professional wrestling excellence. From the days of Antonio Inoki through the majesty of Jushin Liger and Masahiro Chono to the rise of Hiroshi Tanahashi and Kazuchika Okada, the one thread that has run through all of NJPW is the fighting spirit of true warriors who step into the ring to battle and prove their supremacy against the toughest competition possible.

As New Japan's legend grew, the promotion has surged beyond the borders of Japan, seeking to showcase its might in all other countries, to show those fans and those competitors that New Japan Pro Wrestling is the apex and everyone else is just striving to reach their level of greatness inside the ring.

This Saturday and Sunday, FITE is proud to present New Japan Pro Wrestling's latest charge forward into the United States as some of the best and brightest competitors from Wrestle Kingdom, The G1 Climax and more land in Washington, DC and Philadelphia to bring forth the best professional wrestling action to ever take place, sparking memories that will be remembered in the time capsule of pro wrestling decades from now.


This Saturday's Capital Collision event from Washington, DC will be headlined by what can only be proudly touted as a true dream match as the two men who battled over the last decade to prove themselves as the true "Ace" of New Japan Pro Wrestling, former IWGP Heavyweight Champions Hiroshi Tanahashi and Kazuchika Okada unite in a rare tag team pairing as they seek to dethrone The Motor City Machine Guns of the New Japan Pro Wrestling Strong Openweight Tag Team Championship as part of a Triangle match with newly crowned IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions Aussie Open.

Yes, you read that correctly. Alex Shelley, considered one of the true professional wrestling wizards when it comes to his approach to grappling, submissions and reversals will tie up with Okada and Tanahashi. Chris Sabin, one of the most important professional wrestlers in Impact history, will take to the air against Tanahashi and Okada. This is the stuff dreams are made of and that's not even including the unbridled mighty and sheer aggression of Aussie Open, now empowered more than ever by their Sakura Genesis ascension to the gold. The sheer potential of their match, both from an in-ring competition standpoint and for the emotional explosion of so many top-tier athletes involved is unthinkable.

With Championship gold and pride alike all on the line, New Japan Pro Wrestling fans will see everyone take their game to the next level as no one involved wants to deal with the reality that during one of the most unique and important internationally broadcast FITE events of the year, they were the one who came up short. Three teams all seek to prove they are the best in the world when there is no argument against any of them as they seek to showcase their stature.

Pride will also be on the line when Impact's Eddie Edwards, a former Pro Wrestling NOAH Global Honored Crown Heavyweight Champion challenges the brutal KENTA for the New Japan Pro Wrestling Strong Openweight Championship. Edwards' do or die hard nosed fight to the end style has enraptured fans worldwide his entire career but can even Edwards stand the test against KENTA, who has been permanently raging like The Incredible Hulk since his return to NJPW? KENTA has taken his misery and anger out on every single competitor he has stepped into the ring with in recent years and while Edwards is no stranger to the darker side of the ring as well as returning fire against true brutality, one has to wonder which of these competitors will strike the kill shot en route to victory.

This Saturday in Washington, DC will be FITE fans first chance to witness the new IWGP World Heavyweight Champion SANADA in action after shocking the world and capturing the championship at Sakura Genesis. SANADA and his fellow Just5Guys competitor Yoshinobu Kanemura will attempt to solidify their new position as the most important faction in New Japan Pro Wrestling, battling Los Ingobernables de Japon's Tetsuya Naito and Himoru Takahashi. While Naito has always proclaimed to not care about much, the chance to get in the ring and prove himself against the New World Champion is surely an exception to that rule. Takahashi has always sought to destroy all opposition with his insane aerial attacks and this Saturday live on FITE will prove to be no exception.

Washington, DC will also see Tomohiro Ishii battle El Desperado, NJPW World Television Champion Zack Sabre Jr. go to war with Tom Lawlor and more. Then, it's onto the legendary corner of Swanson and Ritner Streets in South Philadelphia…


This Sunday afternoon, Collision in Philadelphia concludes the massive New Japan Pro Wrestling weekend with international ramifications for not just NJPW but All Elite Wrestling and more.

The event will be headlined by a massive six man tag team war that will see The United Empire's TJP and Aussie Open unite to battle against the legendary Hiroshi Tanahashi, the expert upstart Lio Rush and the powerhouse known as Tomohiro Ishii. Inside the confines of the 2300 Arena, a legendary venue that has seen more in-ring battles than any other venerated venue, this war could explode well past the ring and into the streets of Philadelphia as each side seeks to prove their supremacy and strike down the opposition. United Empire are seeking to showcase their might in the name of Will Ospreay while Tanahashi seeks to once again defend the honor all that New Japan Pro Wrestling fans hold dear.

A new tournament will also commence in Philadelphia, with the winner earning a championship match down the line against IWGP United States Champion Kenny Omega. Lance Archer has been brewing for a fight for months and this Sunday in Philadelphia, he will get one against Juice Robinson as the two AEW and NJPW standouts go to war in their journey to battle towards Omega. Each of these competitors have tasted gold and greatness in the past but need to survive a war against each other to live those dreams again.

AEW International Champion Orange Cassidy will make his New Japan Pro Wrestling debut in the City of Brotherly Love this Sunday afternoon live on FITE as he battles British Bruiser Gabriel Kidd. Kidd has been racking up a number of impressive victories of late, including a big win at the Multiverse United event, but with this bout, has a true chance to step into the record books with one of the most shocking upsets of all time. Cassidy's unorthodox style and taunts are very much polar opposites with what most fans would expect from NJPW, so it should be fascinating to see how he varies his strategy and presentation this Sunday live on FITE. There is no question of his heart inside the ring, but the defending champion may have to level up a bit to represent AEW at this all-important event. If not, Gabriel Kidd may be taking the belt back to his fellow Brits.

New IWGP World Champion SANADA and Yoshinobu Kanemura will grace the 2300 Arena this Sunday, stepping into battle with respected NJPW veterans Fred Rosser and Rocky Romero in a tag team encounter that could set the pace for not just the Philadelphia event, but for Just5Guys' dominance over all of the world.

In a most intriguing tag team encounter, LIJ's Tetuya Naito and Hiromu Takahashi will battle Bullet Club's KENTA and Chase Owens in an attraction designed to showcase these two factions' mightiest warriors as they fight their way towards the annual G1 Climax and a shot at the Wrestle Kingdom 2024 main event.

With far reaching ramifications the world over, the epicenter of New Japan Pro Wrestling's 2023 will kick off this weekend in Washington, DC and Philadelphia as FITE presents the Collision 2023 Bundle, allowing fans the world over to witness and live vicariously through the combatants of New Japan Pro Wrestling as they invade the United States and once again, set the tone for everything that is great in the king of sports, professional wrestling!

Mike Johnson is the lead reporter for PWInsider.com and has been writing about professional wrestling since 1996. He can be found on Twitter @MikePWInsider and MikeJohnsonWrites.com.