Will Ospreay has vacated the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship following a neck injury sustained in his match with Shingo Takagi on night 2 of Wrestling Dontaku.
The Englishman became the second person to ever hold the revamped IWGP World Heavyweight Title when he defeated inaugural champion Kota Ibushi at Sakura Genesis in April.
New Japan Pro Wrestling has released a full statement on their website regarding Ospreay and the title:
“On May 4’s night two of Wrestling Dontaku in Fukuoka, Will Ospreay sustained a neck injury. As a result, Ospreay will not be participating in the next series of events and will instead return to the UK for treatment and rehabilitation.”
“There is no timetable for Ospreay’s return to action at this time, and as a result, his IWGP World Heavyweight Championship will be vacated.”
“Further announcements on the status of the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship will be made at a later date.”
NJPW has already announced a return to shows following several positive COVID-19 tests in the company. The company will run a show on May 22nd in Nagoya as part of the Road To Wrestle Grand Slam series. The main event of that show has been confirmed as Shingo Takagi of L.I.J facing NJPW’s ‘Ace’ Hiroshi Tanahashi.
Further shows on the 24th, 25th, and 26th of May will take place in Korakuen Hall in Tokyo. Before Wrestle Grand Slam takes place on the 29th of May inside the Tokyo Dome. Kazuchika Okada is already advertised as the number one contender for the now vacant title but it remains to be seen what the picture will look like come showtime.