Shingo Takagi captures the IWGP World Title | #AndNEW

When an injury forced Will Ospreay to relinquish the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship, fans were curious about who New Japan Pro Wrestling would pick to compete for the title. Fans were more than happy when the company announced that Kazuchika Okada would still get his title match and that he would face Shingo Takagi. Shingo Takagi captures the IWGP World Title.

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Photo / NJPW1972

Going into the match, both men had a win over each other, and this was going to be a rubber match with much higher stakes. The warm-up matches had fans on the edge of their seats as two of the best wrestlers in the world tried to outdo each other and prove who the better athlete was.

The match was full of power from the second the bell rang!

Surprisingly, the match itself started quite slowly and methodically, with both men sticking to the mat as if they were feeling each other out. But this didn’t last long. The speed quickly increased along with the danger. It was no secret that Okada had suffered back problems earlier in the year, and Takagi made sure to capitalize on this problem. Throwing him out onto the floor, Takagi launched Okada into the barricade before suplexing him.

However, Okada isn’t one of the best in the world for nothing. Despite the initial onslaught, the Rainmaker found a way to take the match and ensure the pace suited him. Rather than focusing on a power game, where Shingo strives, he utilized his athleticism to pick up the speed even more. With this, the unpredictability also seemed to increase.

If you blinked, you’d miss something.

The match was truly dynamic, giving fans different layers throughout. One minute, the two were flying across the ring with reckless abandonment, and the next, they would be in the center of the ring throwing forearms and strikes. There were also some nasty moments, such as Takagi hitting a “Stay Dream” and also a nasty-looking “Made In Japan” outside the ring.

As the match reached the 30-minute mark, it seemed like neither man had any plans to slow down. Takagi went in with a flurry of forearms, which Okada managed to counter with a dropkick. Like with the rest of the match, it seemed like every time one of the men tried to attack, the other found some way to counter it or use the momentum in their favor.

However, in the end, with one final Last of the Dragon, Shingo Takagi finally achieved his goal, winning IWGP’s top prize.

Shingo Takagi captures the IWGP World Title.

After years of hard work, Shingo has finally made it to the top of New Japan, and fans couldn’t be more excited. After the match ended, Takagi called out Ibushi, and like many others, announced his desire to wrestle Ibushi for the belt he lost in his first defense.

The Dragon had achieved the top prize. With New Japan now in the Dragon Era, it will be interesting to see how Takagi copes with the pressure of being the face of the company. Will he thrive like Okada? Or will he buckle under the pressure like Ibushi?

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