SANADA shatters Hiromu’s Dontaku dream

SANADA moves to V1 before Tsuji appears on the scene

The main event of Wrestling Dontaku on May 3 saw IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion Hiromu Takahashi challenging SANADA for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship

Watch the replay now!

In a cautious start, Hiromu gained the early advantage with a dropkick propelling SANADA off of the apron into the barrier on the floor. The challenger followed up with a shotgun dropkick from the apron which sent SANADA crashing over the barrier, Hiromu then risking his own body as he flew over the barrier to deliver another deadly dropkick and send SANADA into the fans, but landing back first on concrete in the process. Back in the ring, SANADA fought back with a Magic Screw and a second sinister Magic Screw from the apron to the floor, the challenger now weakened and the champion oozing confidence as a big backdrop earned a two count for SANADA. 

A frankensteiner from Hiromu levelled the score. Adrenaline pumping, the Time Bomb hit a shotgun dropkick, basement dropkick and falcon arrow but was unable to earn a three count from the combination. SANADA’s signature leapfrog dropkick and soaring plancha to the outside had him back on top, but his Skull End attempt was eventually countered into a complete shot DDT. 

Hoisting the champion onto his shoulders, Hiromu ran SANADA into the corner pad with a dangerous Death Valley Driver and locked in his D submission, but the stronger SANADA powered out and caught his foe with a timely TKO for a two count. Locking in the full extent of Skull End, SANADA cranked on Hiromu’s neck and spun him around for further damage. Heading to the top rope, the champion flew, landing a Muto moonsault to Hiromu’s back but the follow up to Hiromu’s front was met by the challenger’s awaiting knees.

Quickly taking advantage Hiromu unleashed Time Bomb, however SANADA managed to barely get his shoulder off the mat and break the count. A rolling elbow attempt was met by a Hiromu thrust-kick and lariat, but the Time Bomb II attempt was fought out of and a Shining Wizard from SANADA seemed to spell the end. Setting up for Deadfall, Hiromu answered with an impressive German suplex. The Hiromu-chan Bomber usually a prelude to the end, this time it couldn’t even take SANADA off his feet as Takahashi was forced to experience the difference between junior heavyweights and heavyweights first hand.

Successive and heavy European uppercuts from SANADA rattled Hiromu, the challenger using his speed advantage instead to deliver a cutter and dynamite plunger, the champion now weakened enough for the Hiromu-chan Bomber to knock him off his feet. Hiromu dropped SANADA with an emphatic Time Bomb II and looked set to become the IWGP World Heavyweight Champion, but SANADA stunned by kicking out at the last possible moment. 

Desperation in the air after almost losing the title, SANADA’s snap side suplex was the lead-in to Skull End and the hooks were in deep as he attempted to force a submission victory. Hiromu refusing to quit, SANADA returned to the top rope to again fly with a Muto moonsault, this time hitting his target, but not getting three. Looking to finally extinguish the Time Bomb, SANADA attempted Deadfall yet again but Hiromu shocked with the Hiromu Roll, SANADA barely escaping. Back on his feet, SANADA took Hiromu’s head off with a fatal Shining Wizard before finally hitting Deadfall to win the match and retain the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship.

With post-match celebrations on-going, the returning Yota Tsuji made his entrance by attacking all of Just 5 Guys and charging through SANADA with a spear. Tsuji made his intentions clear, he wants the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship.