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AEW All-Atlantic title contender set, ex-WWE star returns at New Japan Road

The New Japan Road show today (June 21) in Tokyo’s Korakuen Hall featured the final of a mini-tournament to determine NJPW’s entrant in Forbidden Door’s All-Atlantic title match, and an IWGP Junior Heavyweight title match. They both ended with things we’ve been expecting, but that doesn’t make them any less exciting.

Tomohiro Ishii defeated Clark Connors to punch his ticket to Chicago this weekend. Most everyone pencilled the Ishii in for a spot in June 26’s 4Way to crown the first All-Atlantic champion, and he outlasted the NJPW Strong standout to do just that. He’ll face PAC, Miro, and the winner of tomorrow night’s Malakai Black/Penta Oscura bout.

The main event of today’s show was IWGP Junior Heavyweight champion Taiji Ishimori defending against Best of the Super Juniors winner Hiromu Takahashi. Ishimori didn’t have very long to celebrate a victory over his frequent foe before a cruiserweight legend reappeared...

KUSHIDA’s been expected back in New Japan since his WWE contract expired earlier this year. In addition to shaking up the division, the six-time IWGP Junior Heavyweight champion and two-time BOSJ winner also announced his intention to “spend the rest of my pro- wrestling life in an NJPW ring.”

He offered a challenge to Ishimori, but the Bullet Club standout told him he’d need to prove himself first.

Ready for the Stone Pitbull in Chicago, and the Time Splitter back in New Japan?