After being named President of New Japan Pro-Wrestling, Hiroshi Tanahashi not only said he would remain an active member of the roster — he said he wanted to win championships.
Well, it’s not the IWGP World Heavyweight belt he talked about at his introductory press conference, but at Wrestle Kingdom 18 on Jan. 4 in the Tokyo Dome, President Ace pinned Zack Sabre, Jr. to become New Japan Television champion.
Tanahashi tried to end the match quickly his way, but ZSJ had him scouted and got his knees up on High Fly Flow.
The Brit turned it into a catch-style bout from there, but Tana was ready, unleashing counters and submissions of his own. It was a counter of a Zack Driver that led to an exchange of rolling pin attempts. Tanahashi’s last got three, and Sabre Jr’s one year reign as TV champ was over.
He handed the belt to his boss, bowed, and exited. President Ace had a brief new year’s message for the Tokyo Dome crowd, then it was time to get back to work.
Get complete results from Wrestle Kingdom 18 here.