Shingo Takagi Named 2021 Tokyo Sports MVP

10 months ago by Taylor Sanchez

Shingo Takagi Named 2021 Tokyo Sports MVP

IWGP World Heavyweight Champion Shingo Takagi has been named the Tokyo Sports MVP for 2021.

Tokyo Sports announced that Takagi had earned the annual award for the first time. Keiji Muto was also in the running to win MVP, but Takagi received 14 of 19 votes to bring home the accolade.

Reacting to the news, Takagi said (via NJPW):

 ‘Thank you for voting me as MVP. I don’t have the time here to really express how I feel, or how happy I am at the award, but to hear that the nominations were mainly for me and Keiji Muto, that shows that Yamanashi is churning out the best in Japan and the world, and that’s pretty cool in my book.

‘Looking back on the year, just like in 2020, we had to live with COVID, and the challenges that presents. We all as pro-wrestlers had to put everything we have into doing what we could. We were still performing in front of half capacity buildings, and the fans weren’t allowed to cheer. So it was up to us to express what they couldn’t. We had to bring that heat and energy, we had to create that emotional connection with the fans there, and of course watching at home. That’s what I was thinking in every single match.

‘This year I was chosen as MVP, but I don’t believe I did anything particularly different this year. It was business as usual, as far as I was concerned. Other people were saying ‘it should be Shingo’ but, y’know, this business is a lot like any other; sometimes luck and timing can make all the difference. Looking back, I guess that for all my talking about being fired up, this was the year that people bought into my conviction.’

Takagi started the year off strong with an impressive NEVER Openweight Championship defence over Jeff Cobb at Wrestle Kingdom 15. The Japanese star made it to the finals of the New Japan Cup in March, and challenged Will Ospreay for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship in May.

After Ospreay was forced to relinquish his gold due to injury, Takagi defeated Kazuchika Okada at Dominion in June to win the vacant title.

Takagi will defend his IWGP World Heavyweight Championship against Okada during the January 4 Wrestle Kingdom 16 show. The winner of this bout will defend against Will Ospreay on January 5.

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