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Ospreay/Moxley showdown leads to a new Wrestle Kingdom match, and probably a new title

Going back to its set-up, AEW’s Jon Moxley was looming over the main event of New Japan Pro-Wrestling Power Struggle.

Will Ospreay only agreed to defend his IWGP United States/United Kingdom championship against Shota Umino if Umino’s mentor Mox would face his United Empire teammate The Great O-Khan on the show, which happened today (Nov. 4) in Osaka.

That match quickly went to a double countout when O-Khan attacked Moxley at the bell and the two couldn’t stop brawling on the floor. Mox then said let’s make it falls count anywhere, and O-Khan accepted by blasting him with a piece of the barricade. Weaponry & blood followed, and at one point Moxley got a pair of scissors and cut off O-Khan’s signature braid.

Submission and punches were exchanged as each man got nearfalls, until finally Mox shoved O-Khan off the bleachers, hit him with a Death Rider and locked in a choke to win.

Moxley would eventually come out to support the man he calls Shooter in the main event, but not until after the crowd in Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium got a chance to show their respect to Ospreay in case this is one of the last times they see him in a NJPW ring.

The match itself fit right in with other really good-to-great Ospreay matches we’ve seen this year, with the big takeaway being that Umino was able to match the soon-to-be-free agent’s intensity. Mox’s arrival at ringside inspired his protege’s comeback, but Ospreay survived various iterations of the Death Rider — including an avalanche version.

An Ospreay DDT actually signaled the finish. This Death Rider/Storm Breaker combo...

... led to a Hidden Blade/Stormbreaker one that ended the match after roughly 40 minutes.

After a post-match show of respect between the main eventers, Moxley and Ospreay got in each other’s faces. Before that could get physical, however, the current leader of the Bullet Club showed up to attack both men. David Finlay not only took out Mox & Ospreay, he took a hammer to the US & UK versions of the Brit’s belts and declared them meaningless.

At the post-Power Struggle presser, Ospreay said he wants a Triple Threat with Moxley & Finlay at Wrestle Kingdom 18 in the Tokyo Dome on Jan. 4, 2024. He also teased that the match will be an IWGP Intercontinental title rather than either the US or UK belts. The return of New Japan’s IC championship (merged with their Heavyweight belt in 2021 to become the IWGP World Heavyweight title) has been rumored of late — and it does indeed look like it’s coming back.

Elsewhere at Power Struggle, Hiromu Takahashi retained his Junior Heavyweight title againt his old rival Taiji Ishimori. Takahashi was then challenged by another familiar foe, Desperado, for a defense at Wrestle Kingdom. The IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team championship match for the Tokyo Dome is set after Catch 2/2 won the Super Junior Tag League final and were attacked by the current titleholders (Bullet Club War Dogs Clark Connors & Drilla Moloney). And Bryan Danielson vs. Kazuchika Okada look to be a go for Jan. 4, joining the already booked IWGP World Heavyweight title match between reigning champ SANADA and G1 Climax winner Tetsuya Naito.

Here are the full results from Power Struggle:

• Will Ospreay def. Shota Umino to retin the IWGP US/UK championship

• Hiromu Takahashi def. Taiji Ishimori to retain the IWGP Junior Heavyweight title

• Catch 2/2 (Francesco Akira & TJP) def. House of Torture’s SHO & Yoshinobu Kanemaru to win the 2023 Super Junior Tag League

• Tomohiro Ishii, Kazuchika Okada & Hiroshi Tanahashi def. TMDK’s Zack Sabre Jr., Shane Haste & Mikey Nicholls to retain the NEVER Openweight Six-Man championship

• Jon Moxley def. Great-O-Khan in a Falls Count Anywhere match after their scheduled bout ended in a double countout

• David Finlay def. Tanga Loa

• Los Ingobernables De Japon’s Yota Tsuji & Tetsuya Naito) def. Just Five Guys’ Yuya Uemura & SANADA)

• Kevin Knight, KUSHIDA & Tama Tonga def. LIJ’s Titan, BUSHI & Shingo Takagi

• El Desperado & Master Wato def. Bullet Club War Dogs (Drilla Moloney & Clark Connors), YOH & MUSASHI and Robbie Eagles & Kosei Fujita

• United Empire’s Callum Newman & Jeff Cobb def. Oskar Leube & Yuto Nakashima

• NJPW’s Boltin Oleg, Ryusuke Taguchi & The DKC def. Dragon Gate’s Strong Machine J, Mochizuki Jr. & Yoshiki Kato in a Frontier Zone pre-show match

You can stream Power Struggle — and will be able to stream Wrestle Kingdom 18 — with English commentary on the soon-to-be “refreshed” NJPWWorld subscription service here.

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