New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) held an event on Saturday that took place in the Copper Box Arena in London, United Kingdom. During the show, Royal Quest, KENTA took on Tomohiro Ishii for the NEVER Openweight Championship.
After a hard-fought battle, KENTA would emerge victorious, claiming the championship in the process. He won their bout with the Go To Sleep. Taking to Twitter, the new champion revealed that he had been to the hospital following the matchup. He wrote: “This is the best way to start as NEVER CHAMP in the hospital” before adding “I’m totally fine Thank you for booing me London #RoyalQuest #KENTA #G2S”
KENTA has a history of injuries, including a knee injury sustained in 2009 that kept him from in-ring action for 7 months. More recently, in 2011, the wrestler tore his ACL. While in WWE, where he was known as Hideo Itami, KENTA suffered both shoulder and neck injuries.
Since returning to NJPW, KENTA has competed in NJPW’s gruelling G1 Climax tournament. He finished that competition with 8 points. He would also turn heel, shocking the fans by aligning himself with Bullet Club during the G1 Climax Finals in early August.
His friend Katsuyori Shibata would take umbrage with this, but was unable to fight off the numbers of KENTA and his new allies in Bullet Club who left “The Wrestler” lying in the ring.