Hiromu Takahashi has made history by winning the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship for the fourth time after defeating Taiji Ishimori at NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 15 night 2!
Takahashi – who won the 2020 Best of the Super Juniors tournament – earned his shot at Ishimori’s Jr. Heavyweight title after besting Super J-Cup 2020 winner El Phantasmo during night 1 of Wrestle Kingdom 15. The two had a blisteringly fast-paced match that went 25 minutes and 30 seconds, in line with the typical high impact-style seen from the junior heavyweights at Wrestle Kingdom events.
After hitting a Time Bomb, multiple Death Valley Drivers into the corner and lots of other high-risk offence, the Los Ingobernables De Japon member escaped Ishimori’s Bone Lock for the second time in the closing moments of the match before hitting a facebuster followed up by the Time Bomb 2 to pick up the win – beginning his fourth reign as IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion.
Takahashi becomes only the sixth man in history to possess four different reigns with New Japan’s junior heavyweight singles title. The other five to achieve this monumental feat are Minoru Tanaka with four reigns, Koji Kanemoto (Tiger Mask II) with five, KUSHIDA & Tiger Mask IV with six and Jushin Thunder Liger with 11. With this win, Takahashi also restarts his chase to surpass KUSHIDA as the 7th longest combined reigning IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion in history. To do so, he would need to hold the belt until at least August 9th 2021.
Elsewhere on night 2 of Wrestle Kingdom 14: Kota Ibushi fulfilled his quest to ‘become God’ by retaining the IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Championships over Jay White in the main event, Shingo Takagi kept hold of his NEVER Openweight Championship despite an incredibly close challenge from The Empire’s Jeff Cobb and Toru Yano once again became King Of Pro Wrestling by defeating Chase Owens, Bad Luck Fale and BUSHI in the show’s opening four-way bout!
Keep up-to-date with all the latest NJPW news right here at Inside The Ropes.