Disappointed but unsurprised about Mutoh as he's the closest thing they could book for a nostalgia draw to help fill Budokan, even though he has little history with the company outside of a few crossover shows over the years when he was with All Japan. If you had to go with the nostaglia run, with the three surviving pillars long retired the only other realistic option would be Akiyama, and my guess is that they likely did ask him and he turned it down.
Tokyo Sports has announced their annual awards, with Tetsuya Naito winning top honors.
This year’s MVP award goes to Naito, who defeated Kazuchika Okada to win the IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental titles at Wrestle Kingdom 14. He held those titles for most of the year, minus a short EVIL run with the titles during the summer.
The Okada/Naito bout from January 5 won Match of the Year. This marks the eighth time Okada has won the award, tying with Kenta Kobashi, The only person who has won the award more times is Genichiro Tenryu with nine.
Hiromu Takahashi, who returned from a major neck injury, won the Fighting Spirit award.
Stars from other promotions won the rest of the awards. Current GHC Heavyweight champion Go Shiozaki won the Outstanding Performer of the Year. DDT star Tetsuya Endo won the Technique award. Giulia from Stardom won the Women’s Wrestling Grand Prize, while Takashi Sugiura & Kazushi Sakuraba won Tag Team of the year.
No winner for the Newcomer award was named.