Toru Yano will be defending his KOPW trophy at Wrestle Grand Slam.
New Japan Pro Wrestling announced that a Rambo would be held during the pre-show of Wrestle Grand Slam on Sunday, July 15th. Yano won the provisional 2021 title back in January and has since defended it in a strap match against Chase Owens and a blindfold match against EVIL. Now looking to elevate the prize, Yano has asked that it be defended inside the Tokyo Dome, and against all challengers.
NJPW issued the following press release:
It’s been almost a full year since the KOPW concept was introduced, with the KOPW 2020 trophy first won in a four way by Toru Yano at last year’s Summer Struggle in Jingu Stadium card. Ever since, Yano has doggedly maintained his position as the King of Professional Wrestling, retaining the 2020 trophy until the end of the year, and then winning the provisional 2021 title on January 5 2021.
Yano has since defended the KOPW 2021 label in tough positions that included a strap match with Chase Owens, and a unique blindfold match against EVIL. The pride of the King is strong and, at least to an extent, well justified, and in his own way, Yano is seeking to elevate the status of the KOPW name. Slighted at the idea of conversation revolving around the other championships in NJPW, Yano has insisted that the trophy be defended inside the Tokyo Dome, and against all comers- simultaneously if need be.
As a result, the KOPW 2021 trophy will be defended in a New Japan Ranbo before action starts at Wrestle Grand Slam. Entrants will head to the ring at one minute intervals, with the last surviving member taking the trophy. At Wrestle Kingdom night one, the New Japan Ranbo determined a four way for the trophy the next night, but this time, it’s the trophy itself on the line.
In January, Yano sparked controversy by being the last entrant to the Ranbo, booking his place in the trophy four way without even getting into the ring. There will be no such luck for the ultimate wrestling polymath this time; could his trophy be under the biggest threat yet?
Also scheduled for Wrestle Grand Slam is an IWGP World Heavyweight Championship Match between Shingo Takagi (c) and Kota Ibushi.
Fightful will have results and news from the event on that day.