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New Japan announces Kota Ibushi vs. Shingo Takagi for Wrestle Grand Slam in Tokyo Dome

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Plus dates for September and information on why Wrestle Grand Slam in Yokohama has been canceled entirely

At this morning’s Kizuna Road show, New Japan had some blockbuster announcements to make about its next wave of big arena shows.

First and foremost, Wrestle Grand Slam in Tokyo Dome, originally scheduled for May 29, has officially been relocated to July 25, and we’ve now got a confirmed main event— Shingo Takagi gets his wish and he’ll defend his IWGP World Heavyweight Championship against former champ Kota Ibushi!

The Golden Star has only clashed once before with the Dragon in singles action, a match that Takagi won in the 2019 G1 Climax. That match was twenty minutes of pure excellence, and while New Japan main event rules mean that this main event will have to be at least twice that, you know these dudes will deliver and they’ll deliver big!

Plus, two more shows have been added to the Wrestle Grand Slam series, a double shot in Saitama at the MetLife Dome, on Sept. 4 and Sept. 5!

And additionally, Wrestle Grand Slam in Yokohama Stadium, originally set for May 15, has been totally cancelled. Given that and the delay of the Tokyo Dome show until after Kizuna Road and the bulk of the Summer Struggle dates, one has to imagine that most of May’s originally scheduled matches will have taken place by the time we actually get to the Tokyo Dome.

There’s one more thing about this set of announcements that piques my interest, and that’s that we’re booking big September arena shows and NJ is choosing to continue the Wrestle Grand Slam branding instead of reverting to the traditional Destruction name for September shows. It’s not much but given the way New Japan have been changing show names around since the pandemic began, it might mean we won’t get to see newbies raise their eyebrows at Destruction in Hiroshima ever again.

There you have it, folks

Excited about Wrestle Grand Slam yet, Cagesiders?