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May 11, 2022

NJPW Capital Collision HOT TAKE

COLLISION - an instance of one moving object or person striking violently against another.

New Japan Pro Wrestling, the King of Sports, has toured the world over and has presented its showstopping professional wrestling excellence in some of the most important cities in the world - Tokyo, New York City, Osaka, Los Angeles, Hiroshima, Chicago - but this Saturday, NJPW walks into a most majestic, new destination - The United States capital itself, Washington, DC.

Washington is the city where politics rule, but underneath all that white noise-inducing arguments that pervade our cable news channels, the true truth of the District of Columbia exists. The reality is that for all the historical monuments and museums, the true lifeblood of DC is the same as the lifeblood of the United States - hard working, blue collar families who struggle to provide and to survives, all bonded in their pursuit of the American Dream, the hope of success, contentment. The pursuit of happiness, indeed.

For the competitors of New Japan Pro Wrestling, they too, are all bonded by a similar drive. No matter their affiliation, whether it be CHAOS, Bullet Club, The United Empire or beyond, they all share a similar drive and pursuit, just like the citizens of Washington, DC. They all want to over-achieve, to prove their worth, to be celebrated as the best of the best, the ultimate in athletics, supremacy inside the world's most competitive squared circle.

This Saturday, New Japan Pro Wrestling invades Washington, DC, providing the most die-hard wrestling fans in the world yet another opportunity to indulge in the greatest pro wrestling crafted by the most ferocious in-ring competitors to emerge from Japan, the United States and beyond. Washington, DC is (allegedly) the home of conspiracy theories, endless and fruitless debate and the epicenter of the decisions that ripple across the country and the globe. It's only fitting that N New Japan Pro Wrestling's greatest fighters converge to prove their fighting spirit and bask in the glory of victory.

Washington, DC is where the time capsule of history is carved. This Saturday, New Japan etches their own legacy, emanating from Washington, DC, broadcast live on FITE to every corner of the globe - time is counting down to the first-ever Capital Collision!

This Saturday's live broadcast will feature the following main event encounters:

IWGP UNITED STATES CHAMPIONSHIP

Every championship belt in New Japan Pro Wrestling is precious to the promotion's fighters, but the ongoing soap opera surrounding the IWGP United States Championship captured by Hiroshi Tanahashi at Wrestling Dontaku has captivated and shocked even the most calloused New Japan fan.

This Saturday at Capital Collision, all the major chess players in the drama will enter the ring in an attempt to settle the score and declare the definitive United States Champion once and for all, as Tanahashi, one of New Japan's most prominent and popular superstars, faces former IWGP United States Champion Jon Moxley, The United Empire's brash leader Will Ospreay and the shocking new member of Bullet Club, Juice Robinson.

Ospreay has been screaming he is the rightful champion after being removed from Wrestling Dontaku against Tanahashi due to a COVID-19 positive test, leading to Tomohiro Ishii stepping in to replace him. Ospreay has declared he is the true champion and will strip Tanahashi of the title in DC, but to do so, he'll have to face the ghosts of his most recent high profile loss in Jon Moxley, who defeated him at Windy City Riot. Moxley has been obsessed with regaining the United States Championship and this Saturday, is seeking to recapture what had previously been his most prized possession.

The fighter who may prove to be the most troublesome for all is Juice Robinson, who shocked the world by unveiling himself as the newest member of Bullet Club after it appeared he was departing New Japan. Instead, he attacked Tanahashi, sparking a new grudge feud. Robinson has always been a dangerous competitor inside the ring but how far will he go to prove himself as Bullet Club's newest mercenary?

With all these explosive issues and personalities in the same match at the same time, the only guarantee is chaos and that someone will do whatever it takes to emerge victorious this Saturday night live on FITE.

CHAOS VS. BULLET CLUB

Jay White is, if nothing else, a brilliant schemer and a patient man. The leader of Bullet Club bided his time and waited, like a cobra in the shadows, to strike when the right opportunity presented itself. After slinking in the darkness for a year, White shockingly attacked IWGP World Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada in the aftermath of Okada's win over Tetsuya Naito at Wrestling Dontaku. With a series of Bladerunners, White had made the conversation, once again, all about him, stealing the thunder and the moment of victory from Okada, who has helped define New Japan Pro Wrestling's current generation for fans across the world.

This Saturday in Washington, DC, Okada makes the long flight from Japan seeking revenge as he aligns with his CHAOS mate Trent Beretta to take on White and his Bullet Club comrade, the towering Hikuleo. While Okada vs. White has already been made official for NJPW Dominion, neither fighter wants to wait until there is a championship on the line. Indeed, they each have the same strategy - to take a piece of the other out in an attempt to weaken them before they ever reach Dominion.

This tag team bout may indeed be defined by not just White's lust for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship or Okada's pursuit of justice, but the spotlight this important bout shines down on their respective partners. Hikuleo has continued to evolve and improve over the last year and this moment is his true chance to show the FITE global audience that he's going to be a force to be reckoned with by imposing his will against Okada. But, is Hikuleo going to prove to be White's undoing? After all, White exiled his brothers, The Guerrillas of Destiny from Bullet Club, so could Hikuleo end up being the most gargantuan wolf in sheep's clothing ever known to man? If so, how can even White manipulate himself out of THAT?

For Trent Beretta, his alliance with Okada is the opposite, rock solid. This bout is Beretta's chance to return home to New Japan for the first time since 2019 and show NJPW fans what AEW's audience has seen in recent years, that his fighting spirit is second to none. A victory over White or Hikuleo could springboard him back into the epicenter of New Japan in a major way during this homecoming celebration.

No matter what team has their arms raised at the end, the ripple effects of this battle will be felt for many, many months to come.

NO RETREAT, NO SURRENDER

Eddie Kingston vs. Tomohiro Ishii.

That's right.

Eddie Kingston vs. Tomohiro Ishii.

AEW's Kingston is a hard-nosed competitor who is no stranger to controversy. In fact, if there is one wrestler who invites it far beyond everyone else in the pro wrestling cosmos, it's Yonkers' baby boy. At Windy City Riot, Kingston, who wasn't even scheduled to compete at the event, invaded the ring after The Stone Pitbull was celebrating a hard-fought victory over Minoru Suzuki, declaring he wanted to fight Ishii.

Ishii, fearful of no man, immediately accepted the challenge. In Kingston, Ishii may have a kindred soul - someone who walks a similar path, blazing a brawling trail of chaos and glory that is forever intertwined with an innate toughness that is hard to describe but easy to identify.

These two grizzled warriors are united in their unending quest for victory by any means necessary, but what happens when these two mirror images of fierce combatants from different lands explode inside the ring?

We're all going to learn together.

Eddie Kingston vs. Tomohiro Ishii!

UNBRIDLED WAR!

For the first time ever, the legendary Minoru Suzuki will step into battle with Brody King, a beast of a man who knows exactly what he wants - COMBAT. King stepped right to Suzuki to challenge him to a fight in the aftermath of Windy City Combat with Suzuki, who has been carving his own patented circle of violence across the globe since 1988, gladly accepting.

This Saturday in Washington, DC, the city where Democrats and Republicans throw down daily, a true war of attrition is coming to the center of the city when King and Suzuki stand center ring and start throwing down.

For Suzuki, he is seeking to slap down an attempt to confront and dishonor him while redeeming his recent loss at Windy City Riot. For King, who has more than proven his ferocity as a fighter in AEW, Ring of Honor, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla and elsewhere, Suzuki represents one more obstacle that must be crushed in pursuit of greatness.

FITE has presented some true physical battles from all corners of combat sports since it was instituted, but this one has the potential to be one of the most hard-hitting, soul wrenching brawls in the history of, well, ever.

Beyond these main event encounters, the stars of New Japan Strong, which can be seen every weekend right here on FITE, will be in action, featuring the following stellar bouts

-The returning Mikey Nichols & Shane Haste & Jonah & Bad Dude Tito vs. The United Empire's Jeff Cobb & Aaron Henare & Mark Davis & Kyle Fletcher.

-Great-O-Khan vs. IWGP Tag Team Champion Chase Owens.

-NJPW STRONG Openweight Champion Tom Lawlor & JR Kratos & Danny Limelight & WCWC vs. Fred Rosser & David Finlay & Rocky Romero & Yuya Uemura & Tanga Loa with Rosser's New Japan future hanging in the balance. If his team is victorious, he finally achieves his long-awaited championship encounter against Lawlor, who has been throwing obstacles and stipulations in his path for months.

-Ren Narita vs. Karl Fredericks in a battle of two of the strongest, youngest, most celebrated NJPW Strong prospects.

New Japan will stand center ring in Washington, DC as their fighters plant the Lion mark flag center ring and declare DC the newest NJPW home city, bringing the awe-inspiring striking, flying, brawling, grappling and warfare that has enraptured FITE fans the world over.

This Saturday, only on FITE, New Japan Pro Wrestling's Capital Collision!

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.