A number of championships (and a trophy) officially changed hands during the July 25 NJPW Wrestle Grand Slam event.
Early in the night, Tory Yano lost the provisional NJPW King of Pro Wrestling 2021 trophy. Defending the accolade in a 22-man battle royal, Yano made it to the final two, before being eliminated by Chase Owens.
Yano officially claimed the KOPW 2020 title in December last year, following a 4 month reign with the provisional trophy. Yano became the first provisional KOPW 2021 champion at Wrestle Kingdom 15. Chase Owens’ victory ended Yano’s 201 day reign as provisional champion.
The IWGP Jr Heavyweight Championship also changed hands at Wrestle Grand Slam, when Robbie Eagles defeated El Desperado for the gold. This is Eagles’ first reign with the title. El Desperado became champion during a three-way match for the vacant belt at Castle Attack in February.
The title had been vacated after former champion Hiromu Takahashi suffered a pectoral injury. Takahashi recently revealed that he has been medically cleared to return.
New IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions were also crowned, with Zack Sabre Jr and Taichi of Dangerous Tekkers defeating Tetsuya Naito and SANADA to reclaim the gold.
After almost 40 minutes of back-and-forth action, Zack Sabre Jr reversed Naito’s Destino into a bridging pin for the victory.
After Kota Ibushi was pulled from the Wrestle Grand Slam main event due to illness, Shingo Takagi defended the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship against Hiroshi Tanahashi. Takagi was victorious, defeating the Ace in just under half an hour.