On a special Saturday night episode of AEW Rampage, the show was headlined by an ROH title match. Outside of the women’s title, ROH title matches frequently (and annoyingly) happen on AEW programming. Katsuyori Shibata put his Pure Championship on the line against Wheeler Yuta.
Yuta is a two-time Pure champion and has shown interest in getting his title back as of late. He is also the only Blackpool Combat Club member not in the Continental Classic.
Following Shibata putting him in a submission, Yuta hit the champion with a closed fist. Under Pure rules, one closed fist punch is a warning. Two by the same wrestler is a disqualification. Yuta worked the entire match aggressively and his BCC training came through.
Referee Mike Posey was distracted which gave Yuta the opening for an unchecked low blow (low blows are also against Pure rules). Yuta dropped Shibata on his head and maneuvered him for a pin to become a three-time Pure champion. His BCC brethren would be very proud.
After the match, Yuta tried to get Shibata to shake his hand. Instead, he kicked him in the yam bags and dropped him on his head once again. HOOK made the save (he beat Rocky Romero in the first match of the show).
ROH Final Battle is just three weeks away. It seemed odd for a title change to happen this close. Shortly after the match, Fightful Select reported that Shibata has to return to Japan quickly (likely visa related) and could not wait until the pay-per-view to have this match.
ROH and Shibata reportedly worked on the idea of Yuta stealing the Pure championship. Dropping him on his head twice allows Shibata to be out for an undetermined amount of time. With Shibata temporarily out of the picture, there won’t be an immediate rematch. It appears that HOOK will be stepping up to challenge Yuta next.
Besides HOOK, Josh Woods has been on a mission for several months to earn the Pure championship. He will be none to happy that Yuta beat him to the punch. His mission doesn’t change and Yuta is just another obstacle in his way.
Yuta is now the first three-time ROH Pure championship. He’s going to do everything in his power to remain champion as long as possible.