Hiromu Takahashi and Tetsuya Naito will be facing each other at the New Japan 48th Anniversary Show on March 3rd. Typically, it is a tradition for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion to face the IWGP World Heavyweight Champion at the anniversary event, but this year, there is much more to the surrounding circumstances.
Both men are members of Los Ingobernables de Japon and for Takahashi, his comeback story now sees him facing his mentor one-on-one for the first time ever.
At the New Beginning in Osaka event on February 9th, Hiromu Takahashi engaged in a very physical battle with Ryu Lee. Lee was the man that put Takahashi on the shelf with a neck injury and this was a match that took 582 days to come together and both left it all in the ring.
Later on in the evening, Naito would KENTA and receive help from Takahashi and the rest of LIJ when Bullet Club tried to involve themselves in the Double Championship bout.
After the match, a bloody Tetsuya Naito would call his protege back to the ring and ask him if he would accept a one-on-one match at the anniversary event.
Takahashi would tell a story about Naito wishing him well before his excursion in Mexico many years ago and saying that one day they would face off in the ring. Takahashi, of course, accepted and turned the question over to the IWGP World Champion, who responded in kind.
NJPW officially confirmed the bout between Naito and Takahashi at a press conference on Monday.
It was also announced that this upcoming battle will be featured in prime time in their home country of Japan as NJPW has secured a new prime time deal with the return of World Pro Wrestling. Learn more about that at this link.