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NJPW News: Hiroshi Tanahashi defeats Kenny Omega to win IWGP World Heavyweight Championship

Simon Cotton
SENIOR ANALYST
News
271   //    04 Jan 2019, 20:56 IST

The Cleaner vs. The Ace
The Cleaner vs. The Ace

The Ace of NJPW, Hiroshi Tanahashi, defeated Kenny Omega to become the new IGWP World Heavyweight Champion at Wrestle Kingdom 13.

His victory set a new record for the most reigns with the championship and was his first world title reign since 2014.

Their match showcased the best of both competitors as the near 40,000 in attendance were ecstatic to see The Ace of New Japan return to the main event of the Tokyo Dome to fight the Best Bout Machine.

Omega was the first superstar to gain control during the match, but the momentum began to swing in Tanahashi's favour after he began to target Omega's knee.

However, the biggest issue for Tanahashi arose in his early attempts to use the High Fly Flow. The first attempt was after a Styles Clash, but Omega got the knees up to counter.

The second attempt was to the outside onto a table, but Omega got out of the way just in time for Tanahashi to come crashing down.

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Omega had a chance to go for a count out victory but he rolled Tanahashi back into the ring to continue the match. He would land his own High Fly Flow, but Tanahashi would power out of the move after one pinfall count.

The rest of the match was filled with amazing counters and manoeuvres from both men, but the story of the match centred around Tanahashi having to use multiple finishers to be Omega, while Omega never landed his finisher.

Tanahashi hit two High Fly Flows on Omega for a near fall, but sealed the deal later in the match after he countered a One-Winged Angel attempt with a sling blade and the High Fly Flow for the win.

Omega's title reign ended at 209 days and earned Tanahashi his 10th victory at the Wrestle Kingdom - extending his record to 10-3.

Despite Omega's loss, his title reign was a significant milestone for foreigners in NJPW as he became the first foreigner to main event two Wrestle Kingdoms and the first to defend the IWGP World Championship at the Wrestle Kingdom.

Omega's story with Tanahashi could continue, but the rumours of the Best Bout Machine being offered big contracts from AEW and WWE could mean that Wrestle Kingdom 13 could be his last appearance at the Tokyo Dome.

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