During today’s NJPW Castle Attack show, a huge title challenge was accepted by Kota Ibushi for Thursday’s anniversary show.
Castle Attack Night Two had giant ramifications for the future of the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. Kota Ibushi’s wishes to unify this title with the IWGP Intercontinental Championship were threatened with Tetsuya Naito challenging for only the Intercontinental title in the main event.
After three Kamigoye knee strikes, Ibushi pinned Naito to remain a double champion. After the match, Ibushi was challenged by the new IWGP Jr Heavyweight Champion.
El Desperado won the vacant IWGP Jr Heavyweight Title during a three-way match for the vacant championship. He came down to the ring during Ibushi’s celebrations to challenge the double champion to a match at the NJPW Anniversary Show on March 4.
Acknowledging that traditionally the Junior Heavyweight champ would battle the Heavyweight titleholder at the annual event, El Desperado wasn’t satisfied with just a singles match.
Instead, El Desperado asked for the match to be for both the Heavyweight and Intercontinental titles. Ibushi accepted the challenge, noting that he’d face him anytime, anywhere.
This match-up is interesting for many reasons. El Desperado will have the opportunity to hold the Junior Heavyweight, Intercontinental and Heavyweight Championships at the same time.
Not only could El Desperado become one of the most decorated NJPW champions ever, he’ll be facing the same man who he had his first ever IWGP Jr Heavyweight Championship match with.
El Desperado came up short when he challenged Ibushi in 2014 so will be wanting to prove that he can overcome the double champion.
The match is yet to be officially confirmed by NJPW. The NJPW 49th Anniversary Show takes place March 4 at Budokan Hall.