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NJPW Lonestar ShootOut 2023 HOT TAKE

November 8, 2023

New Japan Pro Wrestling once again returns, presenting Lonestar Shootout this Friday night November 10 live on FITE from the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, Texas.

When it comes to the chaos of professional wrestler, perhaps no destination is as insane and upside down as the Lone Star State itself, Texas, A world unto itself, Texas is responsible for unleashing the likes of The Funks, Dusty Rhodes, Dick Murdoch, Tully Blanchard, Blackjack Mulligan, The Von Erichs, The Undertaker and The Guerrero family onto the world. There may not be another location on Planet Earth that has birthed as many insanely talented and tough competitors.

Indeed, Texas loves their professional wrestling - the true toughness of gutting through obstacles and fighting a way to victory. The rough grit and true, relentless competition that comes with proving yourself the greatest in the harshest combat sport ever devised. There may be no one who treats their love of professional wrestling like a religious experience more than the men and women of Texas, because they've all lived through and love a good fight.

It is in that spirit that New Japan Pro Wrestling once again returns, presenting Lonestar Shootout this Friday night November 10 live on FITE from the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, Texas as the combatants of NJPW seek to set the stage for this January's Wrestle Kingdom with victories and violence as defy the odds one more time as world watches live from their FITE devices.

NEVER Openweight Championship: Shingo Takagi vs Trent Beretta

Lone Star Shootout will be headlined by Shingo Takagi storming into town, seeking to successfully defend his NEVER Openweight Championship against AEW's Trent Beretta. After winning the Championship in Las Vegas next week, Takagi now finds himself challenged by CHAOS' Beretta, who is seeking his first singles championship in New Japan Pro Wrestling. While Berettta has traveled the world, enrapturing fans with his performances inside the ring, he's never battled someone with the sheer power and ferocity of Takagi, who is not just looking to legitimize his latest title reign but send a message to the entirety of the professional wrestling world that he's back in a major way. If Beretta emerges victorious, it will be massive international headlines as he levels up and shocks the world, but if Shingo has his way, it's going to be a mauling that the FITE world will never forget.

New Japan Strong Openweight Champion: Eddie Kingston vs Satoshi Kojima

Meanwhile, New Japan Strong Openweight Champion Eddie Kingston marches right back into battle, once more facing a living legend in Satoshi Kojima. Kingston has never hidden the fact that devouring and studying tapes of Japanese professional wrestling not only set him on his current path of success but saved his life growing up in New York. Now, Kingston finds himself in the precarious position of battling one of those battled-hardened souls who helped shaped his own style inside the squared circle, Kojima, This master of the lariat is seeking to stun the world with one more major victory and championship reign, while Kingston, the Han Solo of New Japan will seek to make it up as his goes, fighting and battling with all his heart in his unorthodox style. For Kojima, this may be a final shot at championship greatness, but for Kingston, every fight may be his last. The arm raised at the end of the battle will belong to the fighter who left it all out there for the world to witness.

New Japan Pro Wrestling World Television Champion: Zack Sabre Jr. vs "Speedball" Mike Bailey

Never one to be outshined, New Japan Pro Wrestling World Television Champion Zack Sabre Jr. will be bringing all of his brash technical brilliance to what can only be described as a dream match that stands out even in a world where that term is cast out all too often. After all, if there's one competitor who can proudly claim that his own professional wrestling wizardry can stand tall against ZSJ, it's "Speedball" Mike Bailey. Bailey has carved an incredible path across the world from his native Canada to Japan and the United States and back again over the last several years, blowing the minds of fans with his martial arts-infused offensive maneuvers and insanely unique strategies inside the ring. If one traces his career paths with Sabre Jr., they are remarkably similar while also standing out as unique in their own right. These are two men with a will to enter combat chess, seeking to out-think and out-strike the other while utilizing their professional wrestling greatness to outclass the competition. This Friday's championship clash may prove to be the most legendary World Television Championship match in FITE history.

IWGP Women's Championship: Mayu Iwatani vs Stephanie Vaquer

As legends are forged in combat, the IWGP Women's Championship match this Friday may be the most furious of everything set for Lone Star Shootout. Challenger Stephanie Vaquer has fought her way across CMLL in Mexico before arriving in New Japan. After impressing the wrestling world at Fighting Spirit Unleashed in Las Vegas, she called her shot, challenging Mayu Iwatani to face her this week in Texas. If she can capture the championship from one of the most accomplished STARDOM fighters, Vaquer will have forever changed the trajectory of her career. To do so however, she'll have to figure out a riddle that not even Mercedes Mone was able to solve - how to defeat Iwatani. Indeed, Iwatani has been a relentless fighter from the day she arrived in professional wrestling, holding titles in Ring of Honor, STARDOM and elsewhere, but could Vaquer have the hunger inside needed to shock the world? FITE fans will learn the truth at Lone Star Shootout!

Jon Moxley & Wheeler Yuta vs KENTA & David Finlay

While there is always a sense of chaos in every professional wrestling showdown, Jon Moxley brings a sense of riot to his battles. Moxleuy and his Blackpool Combat Club brethren Wheeler Yuta will unite to unleash the carnage against Bullet Club's KENTA and David Finlay, a tag team bout that will foreshadow Moxley and Finlay's triangle battle against Will Ospreay at Wrestle Kingdom in Tokyo. With Finlay having committed the sacrilegiousSHOPO act of destroying the IWGP United States and United Kingdom Championship bouts with a sledgehammer, Moxley seeks to storm into Texas and dish out Lone Star Justice. It will be Wheeler's job to battle KENTA and keep him at bay in order for Moxley to have a clear shot at vengeance against Finlay, but can any official even hope to maintain order in a bout where insanity is the baseline? Expect weapons drawn, blood to drop and anarchy to reign!

Mistico vs TJP

CMLL Superstar Mistico will return to New Japan Pro Wrestling this Friday at Lone Star Shootout, entering into singles competition against TJP. After stunning fans internationally with his appearance on AEW Rampage, Mistico seeks to test his aerial assault style against the technical arrogance of TJP. Who will emerge victorious from this hybrid battle of unique professional wrestling disciplines?

New Japan Strong Openweight Tag Team Champions: Hikuleo & El Phantasmo vs Royce Isaacs & Jorel Nelson

New Japan Strong Openweight Tag Team Champions Hikuleo & El Phantasmo will enter into battle this Friday in Texas, seeking to defeat the notorious West Coast Wrecking Crew, Royce Isaacs & Jorel Nelson. Nelson and Isaacs have challenged for the titles before but were unable to achieve championship victory. Could they have learned from previous defeats and if so, can they find a way to ward off the two-pronged attack of ELP's manic offensive maneuvers and Hikuelo's strength and power?

Joey Janela vs Toru Yano

Lone Star Shootout will also feature the debut of professional wrestling's last living maverick Joey Janela seeks to take out the fun-loving Toru Yano. Janela's worldwide exploits have brought him from GCW to AEW and not to New Japan Pro Wrestling. He always seeks to leave a path of destruction behind, but could he end up igniting a fire not seen in a long time out of Yano?

New Japan Pro Wrestling extravaganza features some incredible Tag Team attractions

This Friday's New Japan Pro Wrestling extravaganza will feature some incredible tag team attractions as Bullet Club's Alex Coughlin, Gabe Kidd, Clark Connors and Chase Owens will combine like Volton to face the unique combination of KUSHIDA, Kevin Knight, Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa in a true battle of attrition that will push the boundaries of mental, emotional and physical limits inside the ring.

Atlantis, Tiger Mask and Mascara Dorada vs Rocky Romero, Hichicero and Ultimo Guerrero.

The story of professional wrestling in Texas cannot be told correctly without the inclusion of lucha libre and this Friday, the stars of CMLL will team with some of New Japan's brightest stars, shattering the limits of expectations and gravity alike as the legendary Atlantis unites with Tiger Mask and Mascara Dorada to battle Rocky Romero, Hichicero and Ultimo Guerrero.

With Tom Lawler, Fred Rosser and more also slated for battle this Friday at Lone Star Shootout, NJPW and FITE once again strive to bring the absolute best in combat sports to FITE fans worldwide. With the Tokyo Dome looming ever larger on the horizon, all of New Japan's greatest combatants must survive the Lone Star Shootout to prove their greatness as the biggest battlefield in all of professional wrestling moves ever closer. This Friday, the best athletes in the world will push themselves to the brink in order to prove to themselves and the world why they, above all else, are the greatest. Witness it live on FITE!

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.