New Japan now has an official match for the NEVER Openweight Championship at Wrestle Kingdom. Kota Ibushi defeated Hirooki Goto to become the NEVER Champion at today’s World Tag League finals. Will Ospreay also defeated Taichi to become the Number 1 contender to the NEVER Championship. So the dream match is on…Kota Ibushi vs Will Ospreay for the NEVER Title inside the Tokyo Dome on January 4th.
This bout has been a long time coming. Ospreay was initially expected to win the belt against Taichi but had to forfeit the Championship match due to his ongoing rib injury. Hirooki Goto took his place in that bout and won the belt, he then goaded Ibushi into a match for the title that he then lost earlier today. Ospreay has been in a race against time to be ready for the Tokyo Dome match, having to rehab a difficult and frustrating injury. It does appear as though Ospreay is ready for January, even if he may not be 100%.
This NEVER Openweight Title is Ibushi’s first championship reign since 2014. It is likely that Ospreay will go on to win the belt and establish a new era for the division, going beyond the ‘traditional’ Strong Style roots and bringing in some Junior division flavour. If Wrestle Kingdom wasn’t exciting enough already this might just tip the scale.