EVIL Captures Double IWGP Gold in Osaka

Dick Togo plays a shocking role in historic title change

After the New Japan Cup final saw EVIL do the inconceivable and trade LIJ colours for BULLET CLUB, an entirely new King of Darkness made his way to the ring for the main event of Dominion. Flanked by his new allies, EVIL stared down a Tetsuya Naito making his way to the ring alone, with a look of resignation and uncertainty etched on his face. 

In an echo of Naito’s first double championship defence against KENTA back in February, Osaka Jo Hall again applauded Red Shoes Unno as he ejected the BULLET CLUB presence from ringside, and again, frustration reigned as Naito’s challenger dipped to the outside, taking his time before getting in the ring. 

Naito followed his now former pareja outside however, and went to work sending EVIL into the guardrails and a ringside table. Back inside, EVIL was able to use his strength advantage to good use however, a lariat sending the champion to the floor where his knee was wrapped around the metal railing. The King of Darkness set about his devious work, with enough time to even attack former supporter Milano Collection A.T. at ringside as he set up a table on the floor and removed a turnbuckle pad in the ring. 

Naito’s back repeatedly tasted the exposed steel in the corner and EVIL tortured the left knee of the champion before El Ingobernable fired back with an instinctive dropkick. Some trademark offense followed, and Naito landed a neckbreaker before placing EVIL into his double leg submission hold, taking great pleasure in making the most of the referee’s five count.

Every motion had an added biterness from both sides of the match, and EVIL certainly put an extra effort behind driving Naito’s knee into the mat as he missed an enzuigiri. Naito responded in vicious form however, a neckbreaker onto the apron scoring before the champion attempted to send his challenger through the ringside table. 

A piledriver through the furniture did not connect however, and EVIL instead drove the knee of his former partner through the table instead at the twenty minute mark. Naito somehow clawed his way back into the ring with badly injured knee, but EVIL went straight into the Darkness Scorpion as the champion faded. One last stretch did bring Naito to the ropes, but EVIL now made his own use of the five count before laughing in the face of Naito’s anguished visage of pain and betrayal. 

Darkness Falls scored a two count for EVIL, who closed in on victory, but the EVIL itself was countered by an open hand slap, and the champion’s new move Esperanza to create distance, if not enough to be able to stand. Instead, Naito showed his will from a kneeling position, elbows finding their mark before EVIL again went down to the knee. 

Naito rallied with a rope assisted DDT and Gloria, before a seemingly possessed champion drove EVIL’s head into the steel buckle. A top rope Frankensteiner and running Destino then came, but the knee buckled on the full version, EVIL now sending Naito into the refereee as Jado and Ishimori headed to the ring to do their worst. 

Hiromu Takahashi made the save for Naito though, flinging Ishimori into the turnbuckle and then Jado. EVIL had recovered enough to grab a steel chair however, and cracked El Ingobernable over the skull, breaking the chair on Naito’s head and sending double gold within ever nearer reach at the 30 minute mark. 

Still, Naito’s spirit wouldn’t break as a reverse DDT and Valentia struck. EVIL hit Naito low though, and this time BUSHI hit the ring, choking Naito with a steel wire. EVIL connected, and a stunned Osaka Jo Hall crowd witnessed history made as EVIL became the second double IWGP Champion. 

Post match, EVIL introduced a new pareja as the man who helped him to gold; not BUSHI but in fact Dick Togo. A tortured Hiromu Takahashi demanded answers, and a championship match against the man who smashed his own dreams at facing Naito; fans left Osaka Jo Hall with more questions than answers.