Photo Credit: NJPW/TV Asahi

Why Dominion Is NJPW’s Most Meaningful ‘Top 3’ Show Of The Year

Why ‘Dominion’ Is NJPWs Most Meaningful Main Event Show
Credit: NJPW/TV Asahi

The following editorial was written by Jon Weigell and does not reflect the opinions of WrestleZone as a whole. We encourage you all to discuss Jon’s thoughts in the comments section at the bottom of this post and follow him on Twitter @JonTheWiggles 

Among several other large events throughout the year, NJPW has three that really stand out to the masses: Wrestle Kingdom, G1 Climax and Dominion. All three events possess a heightened level of competition and storytelling each year and Dominion specifically takes a large chunk of that.

If you’re not familiar with the event, Dominion can be considered the “SummerSlam” of NJPW, but it contains much more meaning in its execution. Especially in the past few years, Dominion has been a symbol of new beginnings and a catalyst to many long term feuds in NJPW. The Summer show produces match of the year candidates and also acts as a jump off point for so much more, making Dominion a show that fans would be keen not to sleep on.

For specific examples, let’s explore the IWGP World Championship scene of NJPW and it’s relationship with Dominion since 2016.

Dominion 2016

Talking about Dominion 2016, I can give a first hand account. I bought a ticket the day of the event when I was in Osaka, not knowing what I was doing. I was treated to a pivotal evening in NJPW history, something I didn’t even know enough to realize at the time.

The crowds and atmosphere at big NJPW shows are a whole other story for another time, but the matches on this night would define much of the next few years of NJPW in terms of story arc.

Firstly, this was the night that Kazuchka Okada’s 2 year long title reign began when he defeated then-champion Tetsuya Naito, whose disrespect of the belt and the promotion ignited the fans in such a unique way.

Nonetheless, Okada went over Naito to begin a lengthy title reign. Not only did the championship change hands, but groundwork was set for the main event of Wrestle Kingdom 12 where Okada and Naito once again clashed for the ultimate prize after Naito’s victorious showing in 2017’s G1 Climax. It was a very masterful and lengthy culmination that all began at Dominion 2016.

The event also prepped the audience well for the future. Kenny Omega lost the Intercontinental Title to Michael Elgin that night in the very first ladder match in NJPW history, setting Omega up for a main event push. Omega from that point was primed as a top player and would eventually meet Okada in a match of the century at Wrestle Kingdom 11 just seven months later.

Next Page: Why ‘Dominion’ Is NJPWs Most Meaningful Main Event Show (cont.)