Shingo Takagi is determined to shape the value of the new IWGP World Heavyweight Championship in his image.
Shingo Takagi is the third person to hold the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship, the title that was created from the merger of the former IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Championships. However, he did not defeat Will Ospreay, the former IWGP World Heavyweight Champion to win the title. Instead, he defeated Kazuchika Okada to become the champion.
The first thing he did with the title is put it around his waist and in a new interview with the official website of New Japan Pro-Wrestling, Shingo explains exactly why that was his first move.
“I think there’s definitely part of me that knows I can’t really puff my chest out with pride and call myself the absolute best until he’s back and I’ve beaten him with the title on the line. But I also wanted to put that pressure on him. That’s why I knew the first thing I wanted to do as soon as I won the belt was wear it around my waist.”
He continued, “Ibushi was the first to hold that belt, but said he wouldn’t wear it until he beat Ospreay. Well, he lost, and never wore it. Ospreay got hurt and returned it. So I wasn’t about to stand on ceremony. I wanted to wear it right away. First of all, belts are made to be worn in my opinion, but it was also about putting pressure on Ospreay. Sending that message that if he didn’t like what he saw, he should heal up and come fight me.”
Regarding the current prestige of the championship since the merger of the two former belts, Takagi simply stated that he believes the wrestler makes the championship and not vice versa. As such, he says that he will make sure that he creates value in this new championship for all to see.
“I’ve said this before, but it isn’t about what you hold, it’s about who holds it. If there isn’t that color to the belt yet, if there is still that sense that it’s not established yet, well I’ll establish it in my own image. If people can’t see the value in it, then I will create value in it to see. I think the very fact I beat Okada for this at Dominion, the title was elevated a little by my winning it. All I did was fight the way I always do, produce results, and win. But the response that got, about what an achievement that was, it indicated to me that the prestige had been elevated, don’t you think?”
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