Lucky V13 for Zack opposite surprise opponent Oiwa

Sabre defeats super sub Ryohei Oiwa

Fans in Korakuen Hall on September 8 were in store for a surprise before the event started as a change was made to the night’s card. Boltin Oleg, scheduled to challenge Zack Sabre Jr, had his match canceled due to an injury and at the orders of the NJPW medical committee. In his place would be Ryohei Oiwa, who headed to the ring along with NOAH tag team partner Kaito Kiyomiya.

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Oiwa would drink in the chants of the crowd as he sent Sabre to the floor and rocketed the champion into the guardrails outside. Oiwa would try to use his gut wrench suplex but was denied by Sabre, who followed up with a brutal PK down the apron line. The champion then targeted Oiwa’s arm with typical surgical precision.

The challenger would go to his amateur roots to escape from Sabre’s clutches, and landed the bridging Gutwrench suplex for two. The champion would go back to the arm to fend off his challenger, nearly tapping Oiwa out; still Oiwa got to the rope , and after powering through from a German suplex, landed a Dragon Screw and locked the Figure Four in.

Sabre made a pained journey to the ropes,  and was not going to let Oiwa back into the bout. As the challenger wanted another Dragon Screw, Sabre countered into a brutal submission hold to pick up the win.

The win put Sabre in rarified air indeed, as the winngest champion with 13 defences of any title holder in modern NJPW history. Post match though, Sabre unveiled a new ambition- to hit 20 defences with the year. That led him to nominate as challenger the next person he saw… which happened to be Satoshi Kojima emerging from the Korakuen Hall backstage restrooms. 

Sabre wanted the match Saturday in Korakuen Hall, but Kojima is currently booked in a singles bout with Oskar Leube. Does Sabre have the match making stroke to change the already announced card?