Two of NJPW's top champions will clash at the 52nd Anniversary show.
NJPW announced that the IWGP World Heavyweight Champion will face the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion at NJPW 52nd Anniversary on March 6. The champion vs. champion bout has been a tradition, but it last occurred in 2021, when El Desperado faced Kota Ibushi. In 2024, either IWGP World Heavyweight Champion Tetsuya Naito or SANADA will face Junior Heavyweight Champion El Desperado or SHO, depending on the results of their upcoming title matches.
A trademark in many anniversary events over the years has seen the IWGP Junior Heavyweight and IWGP Heavyweight Champion face off. The last time this happened was back in 2021, when El Desperado would challenge Kota Ibushi, and the tradition has come and gone over the decades, heralding back to Shinya Hashimoto’s famous 1994 battle with Jyushin Thunder Liger.
In 2024, the Anniversary match tradition will return when depending on results from Sapporo. Either El Desperado or SHO will bring the IWGP junior Heavyweight gold to Ota, and will take on the winner of Tetsuya Naito and SANADA from February 24 in Sapporo. What happens when the two top champions from each weight class square off? Find out March 6 in Ota, or live in English on NJPW World!
Fightful will provide more information as it becomes available.
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