Okada with Last Win, Shingo with Last Word as Ospreay Crashes Last Night of 2021 【WK16】

Shingo and Okada stare down as Ospreay has his last word on 2021. 

The final main event of 2021 saw Shingo Takagi and BUSHI face Kazuchika Okada and Robbie Eagles, 11 days before Okada and Takagi meet in the main event on January 4 in the Tokyo Dome. 

A test of power saw Kazuchika Okada snatch a tight early headlock and headscissors before bringing the IWGP World Heavyweight Champion to the ropes, and giving a clean break that Takagi was unwilling to take. Strikes were traded with Shingo getting a powerful knockdown before BUSHI kept the Rainmaker in place with a T-shirt choke; Takagi kept up the pressure before a high flapjack from Okada saw Eagles back inside. 

The former junior heavyweight champion accelerated to Takagi and kicked out the Dragon’s knee before a running mid for two. A gutbuster brought BUSHI back in though and after a high speed exchange, Okada and Shingo would re-enter with renewed vigour. Stiff shots saw the champion on top and attempt Noshigami, but a counter would lead to a Money Clip attempt and then the reverse neckbreaker transitioned into the fully applied hold. 

Takagi would escape the hold, but not a brutal DDT on the hard floor outside the ring. Both men’s offense escalating wildly, BUSHI would hook Okada’s heels to stop a top rope elbow leading to a superplex. A rolling Pumping Bomber, and Shingo went for the Last of the Dragon, before landing a sliding lariat instead as an Okada dropkick missed. The recipient of a tag, BUSHI looked to follow up with a missile dropkick, but Eagles came in with the assist instead, and Okada landed a dropkick, diving elbow and a rolling lariat to the invading Takagi. A Tombstone followed on BUSHI, and then the Rainmaker for three. 

Post match, Will Ospreay delivered a message via video, declaring himself the ‘lion that New Japan has been looking for’. In response, Okada stated that he and Shingo would show the world the kind of match the IWGP World Heavyweight and G1 Champion can bring, before he heads to face Ospreay on night two; Takagi begged to differ, and said the Rampage Dragon would soar January 4 & 5 as snow fell in Korakuen.