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Shingo Takagi retains the NEVER Openweight Championship in an instant classic at Wrestle Kingdom 15

Shingo Takagi retained the NEVER Opeweight Title in a classic at WK 15.
Shingo Takagi retained the NEVER Opeweight Title in a classic at WK 15.
Soumik Datta
Modified 05 Jan 2021, 15:27 IST

In the first singles match of Night 2 of Wrestle Kingdom 15, Shingo Takagi and Jeff Cobb put together an early Match of the Year contender. The two men absolutely laid everything on the line in a match where Takagi aimed to get the better of his arch-rival Cobb.

Takagi and Cobb went back-and-forth through the course of the match and despite Cobb starting the stronger of the two, the challenger eventually fell to a Last of the Dragon.

Jeff Cobb even had his fair share of chances to win the match and hit a Tour of the Islands on Takagi. However, he failed to secure the pinfall. The reigning champion finally hit the Pumping Bomber and followed it up with The Last of the Dragon for the win.

The match could very well be regarded as the best match of Wrestle Kingdom 15 so far, at least at the time of this writing.

Where do Shingo Takagi and Jeff Cobb go from here?

Shingo Takagi is currently in his second reign as the NEVER Openweight Champion. The Dragon won the belt from Minoru Suzuki in November 2020 at Power Struggle, after initially having lost the title to the latter in August.

In his first reign as the NEVER Openweight Champion, Shingo Takagi had three successful title defenses to his name and held the title for 210 days. The Los Ingobernables de Japon member will aim to improve that record and enjoy a title reign that lasts longer than his first.

The NEVER Openweight division is definitely one of the most stacked divisions in NJPW right now, and it remains to be seen who's next in line for the current champion.

As for Jeff Cobb, his loss to Shingo means that all three members of The Empire who competed at Wrestle Kingdom 15 have lost their matches. However, Will Ospreay will aim to regroup his faction with Great-O-Khan and Cobb and will look to enjoy a much better 2021 despite the poor start to the year.

Published 05 Jan 2021, 15:27 IST
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