With NJPW Wrestle Grand Slam in Tokyo Dome (full results here) in our rear view mirror, it’s time to start building to the next big New Japan shows, and that means we’ve got approximately a quarter of the matches for the Wrestle Grand Slam double header in the MetLife Dome in Saitama set. What do they have for us? Let’s list it out and break it down, shall we?
Wrestle Grand Slam in MetLife Dome Night Two (Sept. 5, 2 am ET / 11 pm PT)
- Chaos (Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI) vs. Los Ingobernables de Japon (SANADA & Tetsuya Naito) vs. Suzuki-gun (Taichi & Zack Sabre, Jr.) (c) (IWGP Tag Team Championship)
- Hiromu Takahashi vs. Robbie Eagles (c) (IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship)
- EVIL vs. Shingo Takagi (c) (IWGP World Heavyweight Championship)
Well the big story coming out of the Summer Struggle shows that lead up to the Tokyo Dome was that after five months out of action due to a torn pectoral muscle, Hiromu Takahashi is back, and challenging for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship that he never lost!
Yes, the Time Bomb is ticking and set to explode all over Robbie Eagles, who pulled out a shock win over El Desperado in the Tokyo Dome. It feels like a little bit of a foregone conclusion— modern-day New Japan has no problem minting zero-defense champions and Hiromu is THE guy in the junior heavyweight division- but it should be a hoot all the same.
Next up on the docket, EVIL laid Shingo out and issued the challenge, so EVIL is getting the next title match. This can’t help but feel like a placeholder while we await Kota Ibushi’s total recovery from aspiration pneumonia, but the King of Darkness is a former IWGP Heavyweight Champion himself and has his array of dirty tricks and Dick Togo at his side, so anything is possible.
For his part, Shingo is fired up, and in an interview did not mince words as to his feelings about EVIL—
I want to know, just what the hell does EVIL want to do? What’s he shooting for here? He left LIJ, and said we had rotten to the core. He never said in what way, or why. It’s all hot air. That message, saying the prestige of the belt had dropped? The hell is this, opposite day? When he was the top guy was when the prestige was at its lowest. I think I’ve got this going on the right track at last, and I have to keep that going now. Whatever happens, I can’t afford to lose to EVIL, and frankly I don’t think he can beat me, for that matter. Togo’s a different matter of course.
...and I gotta admit, Shingo vs. EVIL? Eh, whatever, it’ll do. Shingo vs. Dick by god Togo? Sign me up!
Last and honestly kind of least, the IWGP Tag Team Division keeps on trucking with a three-way match. Zero-defense former champs LIJ keep themselves in the mix while two-thirds of the NEVER 6-Man champs insert themselves into the scene and Taichi and Sabre try to cling onto the belts they just won back. Like the tag division in general, it’s fine, and the three-way does at least spice things up a little, but it’s not setting anybody’s world on fire.
There you have it, folks
Excited to see Hiromu’s return to the ring, Cagesiders?