Pre-Show: Great-O-Khan, Taiji Ishimori, Toru Yano and YOH in the New Japan Ranbo and Advanced to New Year Dash to Challenge for the Provisional KOPW 2024 Championship
This accomplished what it always does and that's getting everyone on the show. I was surprised how many names I recognized were involved, but that's probably because Wrestle Kingdom was just one night this year and not spread across two or three. I didn't think it was much different than any other New Japan Ranbo I've seen in the past, but it was fine for a pre-show Battle Royal. Yano always seems to be one of the last remaining entrants in these things.
Pre-Show: Joe Hendry, Yuya Uemura and Heath def. Rocky Romero, Master Wato and Ryusuke Taguchi
Henry is the king of IMPACT's pre-shows at this points, even though he's no longer the Impact Digital Media Champion, because the crowds are consistently behind him and he plays his role really well. Uemura has benefited from being aligned with him and Heath was a good fit as their partner. This was a well-wrestled matchup with nice work from all involved. Romero continues to show up pretty much everywhere except WWE.
Zero Hour: Mogul Embassy (Swerve Strickland and ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Champions Brian Gate and The Gates of Agony) def. CHAOS (Rocky Romero and Best Friends) and El Desperado
Strickland doesn't lose all of his matches, but he certainly doesn't win whenever it matters most. CHAOS lose far more than he does, including here and on Friday's Rampage. This was a nice sprint and never boring. There wasn't really a reason for it and probably didn't need to happen (especially when not a lot of fans were in the building yet), but I get that they wanted to get as much talent on the show as possible from both promotions.
Pre-Show: Yuya Uemura def. Gabriel Kidd
I'm not familiar with Kidd at all, but I thought he had a solid showing. I'm much more familiar with Uemura from the time he's spent in IMPACT over the last year and he's always impressive. He lacks direction, but at least he isn't consistently booked like a loser. This was a serviceable match to set the tone for the rest of the night. There was nothing out of the ordinary about it, so I had no issue with it being positioned on the pre-show.