Unlike the FITE App, we make sure our content is in good quality from beginning to end with two new champions crowned at NJPW Royal Quest. On August 31st while NXT UK Takeover: Cardiff was going on, New Japan Pro Wrestling had a show in the UK called Royal Quest and was only live on the FITE App while the streaming service would air it sometime in September like the Super J-Cup. During this show, we had two new champions crowned at this event while Minoru Suzuki failed to defeat Okada to win the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. So for this article, we’re gonna be talking about the two matches where the titles did change hands.
First up, we had KENTA defeat Tomohiro Ishii to win his first title in New Japan, the NEVER Openweight Championship. This was the first of the two new champions crowned at NJPW Royal Quest. KENTA has some negative feedback from various fans during his time in the G-1 Climax and during the finals of that show on August 12th, he would turn heel to join Bullet Club after hitting Ishii with a GTS. Because of all this, the match was made and KENTA would defeat him to win the title. As much as I like Ishii, KENTA winning it is the right call for right now as he could still be the champion when it’s time for Wrestle Kingdom.
As to who will fight him for the title, I know people will say Katsuyori Shibata after he attacked KENTA in the finals to signal that he could be cleared for competition again, but I don’t that being the case, unfortunately. However, if he doesn’t compete then I see Hirooki Goto stepping up since he is Shibata’s friend and gives Shibata a reason o be involved in the match. Either way should be very exciting.
Whether it is Goto or Shibata that step up and challenge the new champion in KENTA one this appears certain. The influence of Bullet Club and the reemergence of KENTA back in Japan in a prominent role suggests that fans will be hard-pressed to turn away from the screen when the NEVER Openweight Championship is on the line.
Up next, we had Hiroshi Tanahashi defeating Zack Sabre Jr to win the Rev Pro British Heavyweight Championship! These two have been fighting each other a lot this year as Tanahashi defeated him in the New Japan Cup in March, Zack defeated him in April when they fought at Madison Square Garden, and Tanahashi won during the G1 Climax. So during all of this, Tanahashi earned a rematch for the British Heavyweight Championship and now looks to win it this time around, which he does. Rev Pro seems to have a great relationship with New Japan and the fans love when they do cross-brand shows, so it’s nice to see Tanahashi win a world title that’s not the IWGP Heavyweight Championship to keep him in the game. So, would Zack find a way to get it back down the road? I honestly hope not at this point and they go for something different this time around. What I wouldn’t mind seeing is Jay White finding a way to get in the picture if he fails to defeat Tetsuya Naito for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship. He made a career in the UK as well, so it makes sense to see him eventually hold that belt.
In both instances, fans walked away considering who could possibly challenge for each title. As mentioned earlier a White/Tanahashi match would be quite interesting. When considering the two have a history with one another and it was White who defeated Tanahashi at one point for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. The possibilities don’t end there as a number of Revolution Pro Wrestling talent could easily be included in a potential cross-promotional match much like this one. Fans are encouraged to these developing stories.
As New Japan Pro Wrestling moves into the Fall with the upcoming Destruction series of events it appears that at Destruction in Beppu, Tanahashi will be defending his Rev Pro British Heavyweight Championship against former champion Zack Sabre Jr where interestingly enough G1 Climax contract winner Kota Ibushi will be defending his contract against KENTA at Destruction in Kagoshima the following night. Could we be looking at a case where KENTA is holding both an IWGP Heavyweight championship opportunity AND the NEVER Openweight championship? The possibily is there regardless of how slight it may happen to be.
And that about does it for our two new champions as I say that I’m looking forward to what happens during their reign and be sure to look for it on NJPWWorld if you haven’t seen it yet or failed to after FITE messing it up. Thanks for reading.