Hikuleo takes STRONG gold from KENTA at Dontaku

Fourth STRONG Champion crowned in Fukuoka

The first of five championship matches at Wrestling Dontaku saw the STRONG Openweight Championship on the line for the first time in Japan, Hikuleo challnging KENTA in the sold out Fukuoka International Center.

Watch the replay now!

A reckless charge before the start of the match saw KENTA meet the awaiting big boot of Hikuleo, a real threat in the air that KENTA may be knocked out. At the sound of the bell and the match officially starting, the wily veteran KENTA’s plan was unveiled as he tried a quick roll-up after playing possum, but Hikuleo escaped. Now on the front-foot, KENTA immediately began working on his chqallenger’s long legs, doing his best to keep the challenger on the mat through targeted attacks and submissions, to nullify the overwhelming height advantage. 

Finally back on his feet, Hikuleo landed another big boot to KENTA’s face and got moving, hitting snake eyes on the corner pad and landing a big lariat. The follow up suplex saw the champion fall from huge heights, however it only secured a two count for Hikuleo. A third big boot from Hikuleo saw KENTA instead throw the referee in harm’s way, the official levelled and allowing the BULLET CLUB member the opportunity to hit a villainous low blow. Returning to his choice of weapon throughout the tour, KENTA unleashed a barrage of kendo stick strikes to the vulnerable Hikuleo, plus another deadly strike to Jado on the apron. 

Enraged, the monstrous Hikuelo caught a kendo stick strike under his arm and broke it in half. A double handed chokeslam flattened KENTA and looked sure to get the win, but the referee was still unconscious. With another referee called and now in the ring, Hikuleo attempted another chokeslam to earn his first title but a timely transition from KENTA saw him lock in the dangerous Game Over. Hikuleo eventually found the sanctuary of a rope break, but a quick distraction from KENTA gave him the opportunity to hit yet another low blow unbeknownst to the referee. The Busaiku Knee landed true and had the champion primed to retain but Hikuelo managed to get his shoulder up before the three count. Back on his feet Hikuleo caught KENTA with a wicked scoop powerslam and instantly followed up with a giant chokeslam to get the victory and win the STRONG Openweight Championship.