Shingo Takagi defeated Kazuchika Okada to become the third IWGP World Heavyweight Champion on Monday, in one of the most shocking upsets of our young decade. The Dragon drilled The Rainmaker into the canvas with Last of the Dragon to win the vacant title in the main event of New Japan Pro Wrestling’s annual Dominion event. A former IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion and NEVER Openweight Champion, it is Takagi’s first IWGP Heavyweight title of any kind.
The IWGP World Heavyweight Championship was created after the unification of the IWGP Heavyweight & IWGP Intercontinental Heavyweight Championships. First Champion Kota Ibushi lost the title in his first defense against Will Ospreay. Ospreay was then forced to vacate the title due to injury, which led to Okada and Takagi’s match in Osaka.
Okada had been the clear favorite heading into Dominion. The franchise face had been promising a return to normalcy after a tumultuous start for the new title. The multi-time champion had just overcome a battle with COVID-19 that kept him out of competition for most of May. Even Takagi was stunned as the referee’s hand came down for the final count.
After the match, Takagi called out Kota Ibushi, and will look to prove he is more than a paper champion by defending against the inaugural champ.
— 高橋ヒロム / Hiromu Takahashi (@TIMEBOMB1105) June 7, 2021