New Japan Pro Wrestling is putting on their biggest show since returning from the Pandemic. It will take place at the Jingu Stadium in Tokyo, Japan. This outdoor baseball stadium normally holds ten of thousands of spectators. Even with reduced capacity and social distancing, this will be the biggest professional wrestling crowd since the Pandemic. It will be an impressive sight to see in the difficult year that is 2020. And this is your NJPW Summer Struggle In Jingu 2020 Preview!
This massive show deserves a great card. New Japan seems to be delivering in that regard. The show has six matches on the card. This show includes the NEVER Openweight, Junior Heavyweight, Tag Team, Intercontinental and World Heavyweight Championships all being on the line. We even have a new title, the KOPW title, being crowned on Saturday night. Jingu will certainly change the landscape of New Japan for many months to come. Let us see what they have in store for us on Saturday night.
NJPW Summer Struggle in Jingu 2020
Master Wato vs Yoshinobu Kanemaru
This is the only non-title match on the card but it is quite the personal one. Master Wato had his debut appearance ruined early this summer by Suzuki-Gun. He won his debut match against DOUKI only to be immediately attacked by Yoshinobu Kanemaru. After being a part of tag matches against Suzuki-Gun over the Summer Struggle tour, he finally gets his hands on Kanemaru in singles action in Jingu.
It will be quite a difference in their in-ring experience. Wato has only had a handful of matches in New Japan. Kanemaru is a twenty-year veteran in Japanese wrestling. Can Wato overcome the experience and likely cheating by Kanemaru on Saturday night?
Kazuchika Okada vs El Desperado vs SANADA vs Toru Yano
Earlier this summer, Kazuchika Okada announced the creation of a new title in New Japan Pro Wrestling. It is the King of Pro Wrestling title finals! It has some very unique rules stating that the title will be defended only in stipulation matches and will reset at the end of each calendar year.
The four men who made the final for the inaugural title are quite a mix of competitors. They went through some unique stipulations to get into this title match. Okada won a one versus three handicap match. SANADA won a submission match. Toro Yano won a two count pinfall match. El Desperado won by disqualification. It is time to determine the first-ever champion. With these four very different competitors, it will be the strangest match on the card for sure.
NEVER Openweight Championship
Shingo Takagi (c) vs Minoru Suzuki
Shingo Takagi has been the most active NJPW champion since the company’s return in June. He has defended his NEVER title against Sho, El Desperado, and Tomohiro Ishii in some really strong matches. Shingo has been on quite a roll since returning from the Pandemic. He is about to meet quite a challenge in Minoru Suzuki.
Minoru has been in his usual foul mood in recent months. He lost in the first round of the New Japan Cup to his long-time rival Yuji Nagata. After he got his revenge against Nagata in an early Summer Struggle show, he challenged Takagi for the title. These two, who have never met in NJPW, could put on the match of the night.
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship
Hiromu Takahashi (c) vs Taiji Ishimori
For those that remember the Best of the Super Juniors Final of 2018 between these two, we could be in for another classic in Jingu. Hiromu Takahashi has been focused on getting a shot at the IWGP Heavyweight Champion in recent months. The Pandemic cost him that match at the Anniversary Show. He lost a heartbreaker semifinal in the New Japan Cup. Then worst of all, he lost to the IWGP Double Champion EVIL at Sengoku Lord. How will he react to losing all these heartbreaking matches?
He is facing a real challenge in Taiji Ishimori. Ishimori has been on a major roll in recent months as part of the new Bullet Club. He even took Takahashi out of commission for part of the Summer Struggle tour. Can the wounded and emotionally drained Takahashi be ready for the hungry Ishimori? We might just see the Junior Heavyweight title change hands in Jingu.
IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship
Zack Sabre Jr & Taichi (c) vs Hiroshi Tanahashi & Kota Ibushi
It is rematch time! At Dominion 2020, Sabre Jr and Taichi pulled off a major upset and won the Heavyweight Tag Team Champion. In particular, they focused on Tanahashi’s famously injured knee to pick up the victory.
After the show, the new champions mocked Tanahashi and told Kota Ibushi they would give him a rematch. A rematch only if he dropped Tanahashi as a tag partner. Ibushi naturally refused and used some six man tag match victories on the Summer Struggle tour to get the title rematch. Are the Golden Aces on the same page? Can they defeat the Tag Team Champions on Saturday night? It will be an interesting storyline to watch.
NJPW Summer Struggle in Jingu 2020
IWGP Intercontinental & Heavyweight Championship
EVIL (c) vs Tetsuya Naito
The main event is going to be very personal. At Dominion, EVIL won the double championship from his long time friend Naito. Admittedly though some very underhanded means. He didn’t just cheat his Los Ingobernables de Japon stablemate out of his titles, he joined the Bullet Club as well. It is now time for Naito to get some revenge on EVIL for this shocking betrayal.
We know EVIL is going to use any and all means to hold onto the Intercontinental and Heavyweight Championships. Will Naito be able to overcome these daunting odds and win back the titles in his first singles match since Dominion? If he is able to do it, it will be quite the crowd reaction in Jingu.