New Japan Pro Wrestling’s King of Pro Wrestling title is one of the most bizarre additions they’ve had. The title is meant to be an annual accolade, similar to WWE’s old King of the Ring. Now, after a series of stipulation matches, we know who will be fighting for it.
New Japan’s latest event in their Summer Struggle tour featured four qualifying matches. Each one had its own unique stipulation, which was voted on by the fans. Kazuchika Okada, SANADA, Toru Yano, and El Desperado all qualified for the match.
Okada had the most dominant performance of the bunch. No surprise there. His win came over Yujiro Takahashi, who he faced in a 3-on-1 handicap match also including Gedo and Jado. Okada managed to get the win by submitting Gedo with the Cobra Clutch.
In the one most resembling a normal match, SANADA topped SHO in a submission match. While you may expect SANADA to get the win with Skull End, he targeted SHO’s legs and won with a Figure Four.
The next ones are a bit more different. El Desperado and Satoshi Kojima clashed in a match where their finishers were banned. Kojima could not use his lariat and Desperado could not use Pinche Loco. In the heat of the moment, Kojima used the lariat anyway and Desperado got the win via disqualification.
Finally, Toru Yano defeated BUSHI in a two-counts match. This meant the referee only needed to count to two to pin one of the competitors. In typical Yano fashion, he got his feet taped together by BUSHI only to roll him up and get the quick pin.
Here is the full card for this weekend’s Summer Struggle in Jingu event:
- IWGP Heavyweight Championship & IWGP Intercontinental Championship Match – EVIL (c) vs. Tetsuya Naito
- IWGP Tag Team Championship Match – Taichi & Zack Sabre Jr. (c) vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi & Kota Ibushi
- IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship Match – Hiromu Takahashi (c) vs. Taiji Ishimori
- NEVER Openweight Championship Match – Shingo Takagi (c) vs. Minoru Suzuki
- KOPW 2020 tournament final: Kazuchika Okada vs. SANADA vs. Toru Yano vs. El Desperado
- Master Wato vs. Yoshinobu Kanemaru
Who do you think will win this New Japan title? Let us know on Twitter!