The Wrestling Observer Newsletter’s Publisher and Editor Dave Meltzer is well known for his match ratings, his ratings once considered a scale for the business. He rates matches usually after a few days after they take place, and now a new edition of the Newsletter has arrived, with Wrestle Kingdom 12 and New Year’s Dash Match Ratings in it.
Here are the ratings.
Wreslte Kingdom 12
New Japan Rumble: 1.5 Stars
The New Japan Rumble bagged only a single star last year. This year, the rating has seen an increase of 0.5 stars.
Result: +0.5 Stars
IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Championship: Roppongi 3K(c) vs. The Young Bucks: 4 Stars
At Wrestle Kingdom 11, The Young Bucks faced Roppongi Vice(Rocky Romero and Beretta) for the very same titles, grabbing 3.5 stars. This year, they faced Roppongi 3K, with Rocky Romero having 3K’s backs. There has been an increase of 4 stars for this match from the last year’s version.
The Young Bucks: +0.5 Stars
Roppongi 3K: +4 Stars
NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship: The Bullet Club(c) vs. Taguchi Japan vs. CHAOS vs. War Machine and Michael Elgin vs. Suzuki Gun: Rated in parts
Suzuki Gun vs. War Machine and Michael Elgin: 2.5 stars
Out of all 6 participants, only Elgin made an appearance at last year’s Tokyo Dome show, winning the New Japan Rumble, War Machine had last appeared in the World Tag League and Suzuki Gun were in NOAH. 2.5 stars is what they got this year.
Suzuki Gun vs. CHAOS: 0.75 stars
CHAOS had Beretta, Tomohiro Ishii and Toru Yanu representing the stable in this match. All three bagged 3.5 stars in their matches last year.
CHAOS vs. Taguchi Japan: 1.5 stars
Representing Taguchi Japan were Juice Robinson, Ryusuke Taguchi and Togi Makabe. Taguchi grabbed a single star last year, being in the New Japan Rumble while Robinson and Makabe got 2.75 and 3.5 stars respectively.
CHAOS vs. Bullet Club: 2.75 stars
The Bullet Club had Bad Luck Fale and The Guerillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa) fighting for the titles here. Fale grabbed 3 stars in last year’s Gauntlet match while GoD earned 3.5 in their 3 way Tag Team match at 2017’s Tokyo Dome show.
Suzuki Gun: 1.62 Stars
War Machine and Michael Elgin: 2.5 Stars
CHAOS: 1.66 Stars
Taguchi Japan: 1.5 Stars
Bullet Club: 2.75 Stars
Suzuki Gun: +1.62 Stars
War Machine: +2.5 Stars
Michael Elgin: +1.5 Stars
CHAOS: -1.84 Stars
Juice Robinson: -1.25 Stars
Ryusuke Taguchi: +0.5 Stars
Togi Makabe: -2 Stars
Bad Luck Fale: -0.25 Stars
Guerillas of Destiny: -0.75 Stars
Cody vs. Kota Ibushi: 4.25 Stars
Cody earned 2.75 Stars last year on January 4th fighting against Juice Robison. Kota Ibushi fought as Tiger Mask W against Tiger The Dark (ACH) in the opener of last year’s event, with the match getting 3 Stars.
Cody: +1.5 Stars
Kota Ibushi: +1.25 Stars
IWGP Tag Team Championship: Killer Elite Squad (Davey Boy Smith Jr. and Lance Archer) (c) vs. EVIL and SANADA: 4 Stars
The Killer Elite squad returned to New Japan Pro Wrestling with the entire Suzuki Gun at last year’s New Year Dash, 24 hours removed from Wrestle Kingdom 11, and hence did not participate in any match at the Tokyo Dome that year. EVIL and SANADA bagged 3.25 Stars in last year’s Gauntlet match.
Killer Elite Squad: +4 Stars
EVIL and SANADA: +0.75 Stars
NEVER Openweight Championship (Hair vs. Hair): Minoru Suzuki (c) vs. Hirooki Goto: 4.5 Stars
Minoru Suzuki wasn’t around for last years show, booked for a return on the very next show. Hirooki Goto faced Katsuyori Shibata in a 4.5 Star match.
Minoru Suzuki: +4.5 Stars
Hirooki Goto: No Change
IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship: Marty Scurll (c) vs. Hiromu Takahashi vs. KUSHIDA vs. Will Ospreay: 4.75 Stars
Marty Scurll made himself home at New Japan around the Best of Super Juniors Tournament last year, 5 months after Wrestle Kingdom 11. Hiromu Takahashi and KUSHIDA battled for the very same Championship last year, earning 4.5 Stars. Will Ospreay got 1 Star in last year’s Gauntlet match.
Marty Scurll: +4.75 Stars
Hiromu Takahashi and KUSHIDA: +0.25 Stars
Will Ospreay: +3.75 Stars
IWGP Intercontinental Championship: Hiroshi Tanahashi (c) vs. Jay White: 3.5 Stars
Tanahashi lost to Naito for the same title last year in a 4.5 Star match. This was Jay White’s first Tokyo Dome appearance.
Hiroshi Tanahashi: -1 Star
Jay White: +3.5 Stars
IWGP United States Championship Match: Kenny Omega (c) vs. Chris Jericho: 5 Stars
Chris Jericho was working for Vince McMahon on January 4th 2017 and Omega, he got 6 stars, out of five apparently.
Chris Jericho: +5 Stars
Kenny Omega: -1 Star
IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kazuchika Okada (c) vs. Tetsuya Naito: 4.5 Stars
Naito defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi last year to gain 4.5 stars and Okada, he also got 6 Stars.
Tetsuya Naito: No Change
Kazuchika Okada: -1.5 Stars