Backstage News On FTR & Other AEW Stars' NJPW Wrestle Kingdom Status

As the new year approaches, the excitement for New Japan Pro-Wrestling's biggest event of the year –- Wrestle Kingdom -– becomes more and more palpable. As the card shapes up and challengers are cemented for the company's various championships, we're getting at least a clearer picture of a pair of titleholders who haven't been around much since winning their titles being there to wrestle on the show.

According to the latest "Wrestling Observer Radio," the current reigning and defending IWGP Tag Team Champions FTR — Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler — will be at the Tokyo Dome to defend their titles at the momentous event. Their opponents are not set in stone just yet. Typically, the winners of NJPW's World Tag League Tournament earn the right to challenge for the titles at Wrestle Kingdom. Last year's World Tag League winners, Hirooki Goto and YOSHI-HASHI, went on to capture the IWGP Tag Team Champions, at Wrestle Kingdom 16, defeating the team of Zack Sabre Jr. and Taichi. The 2022 World Tag League kicks off on November 21, with a winner not crowned until mid-December. 

In addition to FTR's appearance, there had been some rumblings of more AEW names potentially appearing on the card. The names of Jon Moxley and the Young Bucks had been floating around, but whether or not they'll be in the mix for the January event is purely speculative at the moment. 

FTR did appear at NJPW's Battle Autumn this past Saturday, successfully defending the IWGP Tag Team Championships against United Empire's Jeff Cobb and Great O' Khan. They have held the titles since winning a Triple Threat "Winner Take All" match in June at Forbidden Door against United Empire and Roppongi Vice's Trent Beretta and Rocky Romero.