Full card set for day two in MetLife
The full card is now set for night two of Wrestle Grand Slam in the MetLife Dome on September 5, with four major championship matches.
Main event: IWGP World Heavyweight Championship- Shingo Takagi vs EVIL
Singles record 1-0 Takagi
Shingo Takagi seeks to defend the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship for the second time in our main event as he takes on EVIL. At Wrestle Grand Slam in the Tokyo Dome on July 25, a hard fought defense for Shingo against Hiroshi Tanahashi saw a feel good post match celebration ruined by the presence of the King of Darkness. EVIL struck Takagi with the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship belt, and frustrated the Dragon through the Summer Struggle tour with interferences and post match attacks.
Takagi was driven to make EVIL pay for his impunity, but a bout with COVID-19 struck. Removed from cards to recover, this growing hatred between both men has been put on ice for weeks, but now Takagi is fully medically cleared, and ready to tear apart his fellow Animal Hamaguchi Gym graduate and former LIJ teammate.
Will it be Shingo’s frustration and anger that defeats EVIL in MetLife? Or will it be EVIL, in no doubt peak physical condition with the edge? Certainly the presence of Dick Togo, and potentially Yujiro Takahashi are factors that could ruin the champion’s night, as well as that of Takagi’s loyal fans. Can fragon fire consume the forces of EVIL tonight?
4th Match: IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship- Robbie Eagles vs Hiromu Takahashi
The IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship sees the semi main event in MetLife as Robbie Eagles seeks his first defence against the recovered Hiromu Takahashi. Hiromu returned to action from a pectoral injury on August 27 and instantly brought the incredible reckless energy he has possessed throughout his career, wrestling DOUKI to an instant classic match and sending a message to Eagles in the process that he is determined to ‘show the world what NJPW junior heavyweights are about’.
Indeed, Hiromu is seeking to pick up on a process he started back on January 5 this year in the Tokyo Dome, where after a Wrestle Kingdom championship victory he vowed to make the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship headline inside the Big Egg. With the title on the wild and charismatic Time Bomb, the potential would certainly be there for it to happen, but can Hiromu pull off the win?
Last week saw DOUKI push the former champion to the very limit, nearly defeating Hiromu on several occasions, and taking the match to within seconds of the clock expiring. Meanwhile, though Hiromu holds a victory over Eagles in last year’s Best of the Super Junior, it was in a match that already flirted with the time limit; and Eagles has only made strides as a competitor since. His championship win July 25 over El Desperado showed just how much punishment the Sniper of the Skies can endure, and just how badly he wants to win and keep the championship around his waist.
3rd Match: IWGP Tag Team Championships Three Way- Dangerous Tekkers (Zack Sabre Jr. & Taichi) vs Los Ingobernables De Japon (Tetsuya Naito & BUSHI) vs CHAOS (Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI)
The IWGP Tag team Championships will be on the line in a three way match for the first time since Wrestle Kingdom 13 in MetLife. After Dangerous Tekkers ended Tetsuya Naito and SANADA’s brief reign as IWGP Tag Team Champions on July 25 in the Tokyo Dome, the former champs were quick to challenge for a direct rematch, but CHAOS’ Hirooki Goto and YOSHI-HASHI threw their own hats in the ring to boot.
Goto and YOSHI-HASHI have proven just how effective they are as a team along with Tomohiro Ishii through their ten defences of the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Championships, but two on two tag team wrestling is a different story, and one where Goto and YOSHI-HASHI have yet to find championship victory together. Will they be able to take advantage of a three way melee environment to emerge victorious? Can Naito and SANADA prove their spell as champs wasn’t a fluke? Or will Dangerous Tekkers continue in their quest to advance the IWGP tag team division?
2nd Match: IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag team Championships- BULLET CLUB’s Cutest Tag Team (El Phantasmo & Taiji Ishimori) vs Suzuki-Gun (El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru)
Direct Tag record: 3-1 Suzuki-Gun
The IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships are at stake in the second match of the night as Super Jr. Tag League winners El Desperado and Yoshinobu Kanemaru challenge BULLET CLUB’s Cutest Tag Team.
El Phantasmo and Taiji Ishimori are headed to Dallas Ft. Worth and Philadelphia in the coming weeks as they are set to compete at NJPW STRONG, and have vowed to take their tag titles with them to put on the line against the best teams America has to offer. Yet to make good on that goal, they have to beat a team in Desperado and Kanemaru that has consistently had their number.
Apart from a February encounter in Ota-ku that saw Sudden Death reign after a wild affair, Desperado and Kanemaru have had the upper hand in every one of their tag team meetings, the Super Junior Tag League deciding match to boot. There, the crunching kick of El Phantasmo found its mark, but not on the legal man, as Kanemaru scooped victory while Desperado took the bullet for his team. Can that superior tag awareness lead Despe and ‘Nobu to a fourth championship reign?
1st Match: CHAOS (Tomohiro Ishii & Kazuchika Okada) vs United Empire (Jeff Cobb & Great-O-Khan)
Starting the main card on September 5, Tomohiro Ishii returns to Japanese action after a US soujourn, as the two face the United Empire team of Jeff Cobb and the Great-O-Khan. After Saturday’s singles encounter, bad blood is sure to still remain for Okada and Cobb; now that Okada finally teams with a fellow CHAOS member, will their teamwork be enough to overcome the Dominator and the Imperial Unit?
Kickoff: STARDOM Showcase (start time, match TBA)
The celebrations will start with a special STARDOM showcase bout, streaming live and in English on NJPW World for the very first time. New eyes will be drawn to the premiere female athletes of STARDOM, in what’s sure to be a tremendous kickoff to the night’s action!