Shingo Takagi vs. El Desperado for Never Openweight Title
Result: Shingo pins El Desperado
In his third defense since winning the title at the New Beginning in Sapporo show back in February Shingo Takagi faced off against the member of Suzuki Gunn in an intense and hard-hitting match.
By far the most competitive match of NJPW Sengoki Lord in Nagoya so far saw El Desperado pulling out all the stops to defeat the current champion Shingo and take his title for himself.
From tying up his legs in the ropes and torquing his knees to leaping into the air in the center of the ring and bringing his butt down on that same knee and then attacking the larger man with a series of steel chairs. This match brought a sense of brutality that had to that point been missing from the show.
Even with the king of violence in New Japan Minoru Suzuki on the card in an earlier spot on the card, this felt like the most brutal display of the evening leaving me cringing and gritting my teeth at several spots.
At one point Desperado wrapped Takagi’s knee around his own neck using his own body for leverage as he manipulated the body part.
The steel chair made its presence felt again as Desperado prepared to batter the prone Takagi on the outside of the ring before being blocked by Red Shoes Unno. After the block by Unno, Desperado was able to attack Takagi with the Never Openweight Title itself while he had his back turned leading to Unno to administer a count reaching eighteen before it was broken by Takagi rolling back into the ring.
Takagi seemed to gain momentum following this break drawing on the crowd to regain his strength and begin utilizing his signature high impact offense against the luchador, pulling him up off his feet for several high power slams before delivering a series of absolutely devastating clotheslines before using his finisher “Last Of The Dragon” to finish the match and retain his title.
Really solid defense from the champion and a bright spot on the card. Shingo is slowly building himself a truly impressive tenure with the title.