With Hiromu Takahashi vs. Will Ospreay official now, the Time Bomb winning back his title is the feel good moment NJPW Wrestle Kingdom needs.
On the latest episode of the Weekly DDT podcast (Daily DDT’s official podcast where we talk about all sorts of wrestling news/discussions from all sorts of wrestling promotions), my guest was none other than published author and Daily DDT’s own Laura Mauro. At one point, we talked about NJPW Power Struggle and, specifically, the moment that Hiromu Takahashi returned from injury.
For those who need recap, Takahashi was in his second reign with the Junior Heavyweight Championship heading into the San Francisco G1 Special during the summer of 2018. During his title defense that night against Dragon Lee, Takahashi broke his neck in a horrific spot. Miraculously, he finished the match, but had to vacate the belt soon after and was put on the shelf.
In that time, we have seen four men hold that title. The most recent being current champion Will Ospreay, clocking in at 147 days and counting with the belt. After successfully defending the title at Power Struggle, Takahashi made his triumphant return to challenge Ospreay to a match at Wrestle Kingdom to retrieve the belt that he never lost. A challenge that the champion was happy to accept.
While Mauro and I spoke about how happy we were that Takahashi was back, one thing I hadn’t considered talking about was if he should win at Wrestle Kingdom.
Not only do I think he should win, but I think a return from injury to win the title he never lost is exactly the kind of feel good moment that Wrestle Kingdom needs.
For those not well versed in NJPW lore, Wrestle Kingdom is NJPW’s spiritual equivalent to WWE’s WrestleMania. In fact, some may argue that in some regards (i.e. prestige, history, etc.), Wrestle Kingdom may be bigger than WrestleMania, because while Wrestle Kingdom has been called as such for only the last 14 years, NJPW has held its momentous Jan. 4 event at the Tokyo Dome every year for nearly 30 years now.
A show like this is always packed with powerful, memorable moments both when it comes to in-ring work and storylines. Takahashi coming back when so many speculated if he’d ever even be healthy enough to wrestle again, and then picking up where he left off with the Junior Heavyweight Championship is just too perfect to pass up on. It’s – dare I say – a WrestleMania moment.
It’s a feel good moment that’d have us watching at home and the fans in attendance grinning from ear to ear in happiness while holding back tears. It simply has to happen.
Listen and download the rest of this week’s Weekly DDT podcast with Laura Mauro below:
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