Wrestle Kingdom 17 is just around the corner, and the card for one of the biggest shows of 2023 is taking shape with 5 matches confirmed, as of this writing. With NJPW putting the pieces in place for their biggest show of 2023, NJPW has a decision that needs to be made regarding the main event of Wrestle Kingdom.
NJPW as of this moment has two matches that could easily be the main event of Wrestle Kingdom, the most likely match to finish the show is Jay White (c) vs. Kazuchika Okada for the IWGP World heavyweight championship as the most likely match to end the show; the other option is the match everyone has been talking about, Will Ospreay (c) vs. Kenny Omega for the IWGP US championship.
The debate of which match should main event the biggest show for NJPW of the year comes because of interest; one match (Ospreay vs. Omega) is the more interesting match than the other. Makes sense to put the more interesting match last as the main event for Wrestle Kingdom and NJPW as done it in the past so the possibility is there.
Back at Wrestle Kingdom 8 in 2014, NJPW made a fan vote to decide which match should main event Wrestle Kingdom 8 and the IWGP Intercontiental championship match between Shinsuke Nakamura and Hiroshi Tanahashi won that fan vote over the IWGP heavyweight championship between Tetsuya Naito and Kazuchika Okada. The reason for this fan poll and change to the main event of Wrestle Kingdom had to do with the fact that Naito, a clean cut babyface, was getting a negative reaction, and the fact people were more excited about the matchup between Nakamura and Tanahashi. So, there’s a precedent for a Wrestle Kingdom main event change.
The reason the debate of which match should main event Wrestle Kingdom comes from the fact that Jay White vs. Kazuchika Okada is a burnt-out matchup, while the match between Kenny Omega and Will Ospreay feels more special and something new and that’s a problem NJPW is currently facing in their main event scene only having the same 6 wrestlers wrestling each other and making the main event scene stale for NJPW.
As of this writing, there’s no indication that NJPW will hold another fan vote relating to the Wrestle Kingdom main event or that NJPW will change their plans for relating the main event of Wrestle Kingdom. The most likely placing for Omega vs. Ospreay is on the semi-main event, just like when Omega faced Chris Jericho for the IWGP US championship.