Tetsuya Naito has won back the IWGP Intercontinental Championship. This is Naito’s second reign with the title after his first run with the belt almost ended in the title’s destruction.
The title change happened yesterday in Kumamoto, Japan. New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Hinokuni 2018 show featured several matches with wrestlers from Los InGobernables de Japon (LIJ) taking on members of Suzuki-Gun. In the end, it would be LIJ who would get the better of the evening, successfully defending the heavyweight tag titles and winning the IC title in the night’s main and co-main event.
Naito originally won the title from Michael Elgin on September 25th, 2016. As part of his Tranquilo perspective, Naito developed a disrespectful attitude towards the belt itself. After each title defense, Naito began chipping away at the title and breaking off pieces. He defended the title against Jay Lethal, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Michael Elgin, and Juice Robinson before losing it to Tanahashi at Dominion 2017 in Osaka, Japan. Naito had said if he defeated Tanahashi on that night, he would have destroyed the title belt completely.
Minoru Suzuki’s reign with the title did not last long. After defeating Tanahashi for the belt at the New Beginning in Sapporo, Suzuki was able to defend it successfully against Togi Makabe in March. His match against Naito yesterday was just his second scheduled title defense.
NJPW Wrestling Hinokuni 2018 Results
- Ren Narita & Yuji Nagata defeated Shota Umino & Tomoyuki Oka
- David Finlay, Jushin Thunder Liger, Ryusuke Taguchi & Tiger Mask defeated CHAOS (Jay White, Rocky Romero, SHO & YOH)
- CHAOS (Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano) defeated Toa Henare & Togi Makabe
- Suzuki-gun (Taichi, TAKA Michinoku, Takashi Iizuka & Zack Sabre Jr.) defeated Golden Lovers (Kenny Omega & Kota Ibushi) & BULLET CLUB (Chase Owens& Yujiro Takahashi)
- Hiroshi Tanahashi, Juice Robinson, KUSHIDA & Michael Elgin defeated CHAOS(Hirooki Goto, Kazuchika Okada, Will Ospreay & YOSHI-HASHI)
- BUSHI defeated El Desperado by DQ
- Hiromu Takahashi defeated Yoshinobu Kanemaru
- IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Title Championships
Los Ingobernables de Japon (EVIL & SANADA) (c) defeat Killer Elite Squad(Davey Boy Smith Jr. & Lance Archer)
- IWGP Intercontinental Championship
Tetsuya Naito defeats Minoru Suzuki (c)