Shingo Takagi caps off his year with a big award.
Tokyo Sports has given its annual MVP award to reigning IWGP Heavyweight Champion Shingo Takagi. This marks the first year Shingo has won the award. Tetsuya Naito won the award in 2020.
Keiji Muto was the other name in the running to win MVP. Shingo received 14 of 19 votes.
Shingo said about winning, "Thank you for voting me as MVP. I don’t have the time here to really express how I feel, or how happy I am at the award, but to hear that the nominations were mainly for me and Keiji Muto, that shows that Yamanashi is churning out the best in Japan and the world, and that’s pretty cool in my book.
Looking back on the year, just like in 2020, we had to live with COVID, and the challenges that presents. We all as pro-wrestlers had to put everything we have into doing what we could. We were still performing in front of half capacity buildings, and the fans weren’t allowed to cheer. So it was up to us to express what they couldn’t. We had to bring that heat and energy, we had to create that emotional connection with the fans there, and of course watching at home. That’s what I was thinking in every single match.
This year I was chosen as MVP, but I don’t believe I did anything particularly different this year. It was business as usual, as far as I was concerned. Other people were saying ‘it should be Shingo’ but, y’know, this business is a lot like any other; sometimes luck and timing can make all the difference. Looking back, I guess that for all my talking about being fired up, this was the year that people bought into my conviction."
Shingo is set to defend the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship against Kazuchika Okada at night one of Wrestle Kingdom 16.
Dangerous Tekkers (Zack Sabre Jr & Taichi) won Tag Team of the Year while Great-O-Khan won the Technique Award.