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NJPW history: Karl Anderson comes agonizingly close to winning Shinsuke Nakamura's IWGP Intercontinental Championship

  • Another one of those classic Machine Gun matches!
Soumik Datta
Modified 20 Dec 2019, 23:49 IST

Karl Anderson hitting the Gun Stun on Shinsuke Nakamura
Karl Anderson hitting the Gun Stun on Shinsuke Nakamura

The backstory

Having defeated Shinsuke Nakamura in the 2015 G1 Climax, Karl Anderson cashed in his chance to win the IWGP Intercontinental Championship from 'The King of Strong Style' after the latter had won back the IC Title from Hirooki Goto at Destruction in Kobe.

Karl Anderson almost brings home the IWGP Intercontinental Championship to The Bullet Club

With Shinsuke Nakamura recapturing the IWGP Intercontinental Championship from Hirooki Goto, Bullet Club OG and then reigning one half of the IWGP Tag Team Champions, Karl Anderson stepped up to the plate as Nakamura's next challenger for the Intercontinental Championship.

Accompanied by his tag team partner Doc Gallows, 'The Machine Gun' made his intentions pretty much clear that he wanted to become a dual champion in NJPW, as he hoped to win the IWGP IC Championship and simultaneously hold it alongside the IWGP Tag Team Championship. Nakamura, being the fighting champion he was, agreed to put his IC Championship on the line against Anderson at the Power Struggle event.

During the match, Anderson was accompanied to the ring by his fellow Bullet Club stablemates AJ Styles, Doc Gallows, Chase Owens, Tama Tonga, Bad Luck Fale, and Cody Hall, as 'The Machine Gun' seemed more confident than ever about winning the IWGP IC Championship for the first time in his career.

As expected, Anderson's chances of winning the title were potentially doubled, considering the Bullet Club used all sorts of shenanigans to help Anderson win the title. However, frequent interferences from Doc Gallows didn't quite help his tag team partner, as 'The King of Strong Style' maintained his resilience and had a counter for every one of Anderson's big moves.

So much so, that the BC OG even hit multiple Gun Stuns and a Buckshot Lariat but couldn't get the job done, as Nakamura hit two back-to-back Bomaye knee strikes to win the match and retain the IWGP IC Title, much to Anderson and the rest of the Bullet Club's agony.

The aftermath

Following the loss, Karl Anderson once again shifted his focus towards the tag team scene, as he and Doc Gallows entered the Wrestle Kingdom 10 PPV as the IWGP Tag Team Champions but eventually lost the titles to Great Bash Heel.

Published 18 Jul 2019, 02:18 IST
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