Following what can best be described as a hectic month for New Japan Pro Wrestling, the Puroresu juggernaut is getting set for its annual May fixture, Wrestling Dontaku 2021, on the 3rd and 4th of the month. Despite yet another state of emergency being placed in cities all across Japan, NJPW will go forward with both of their shows in the Fukuoka International Center. Considering the impact of Japan’s third COVID-related lockdowns, along with New Japan’s recent difficulties in drawing big crowds in the Tokyo area, it will be interesting to see if the company can draw a good number of fans to the arena less than a month before their return to the Tokyo Dome on May 29th.
Wrestling Dontaku 2021 Night One Card
Master Wato, Tiger Mask IV, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, & Toru Yano vs. Dick Togo, Taiji Ishimori, Yujiro Takahashi, & EVIL
SHO, YOH, & Kazuchika Okada vs. Yoshinobu Kanemaru, El Desperado, & Minoru Suzuki
BUSHI, SANADA, Tetsuya Naito, & Shingo Takagi vs. Jeff Cobb, Aaron Henare, Great-O-Khan, & Will Ospreay
IWGP Tag Team Championship Challenge Match: Zack Sabre Jr. vs Tanga Loa
Iron Fingers From Hell Ladder Match: Taichi vs. Tama Tonga
NEVER Openweight Championship Match: Hiroshi Tanahashi (c) vs. Jay White
Wrestling Dontaku 2021 Night Two Card
DOUKI, Zack Sabre Jr., & Taichi vs. Jado, Tanga Loa & Tama Tonga
SHO & Kazuchika Okada vs. Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Minoru Suzuki
BUSHI, SANADA, & Tetsuya Naito vs. Jeff Cobb, Aaron Henare, & Great-O-Khan
Master Wato, Ryusuke Taguchi, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Toru Yano, & Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Dick Togo, Taiji Ishimori, Yujiro Takahashi, EVIL, & Jay White
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: YOH (c) vs. El Desperado
IWGP World Heavyweight Championship: Will Ospreay (c) vs. Shingo Takagi
Last night in Korakuen Hall, Tanga Loa raised the stakes for his May 3 singles match with Zack Sabre Jr.
— NJPW Global (@njpwglobal) April 21, 2021
Tag Team Championship Rivalry Continues in Singles Matches
Following a long feud dating back to the Guerillas of Destiny’s return to New Japan in late 2020, it seems as if the endless war between G.O.D. and Dangerous Tekkers is finally reaching its climax. Wrestling Dontaku Night One will contain two singles outposts between the rival teams, with both featuring a crucial stipulation for the futures of both teams. Firstly, Zack Sabre Jr. will battle Tanga Loa in a match to confirm Dangerous Tekkers’ undying claim to being the number one contenders for the IWGP Tag Team Championship. ZSJ holds multiple pinfall victories over Loa in multi-man tag matches but will prove, once and for all, that he and Taichi are the rightful contenders by defeating him one-on-one.
On the other side of the coin, Tama Tonga and Taichi will battle in a ladder match to declare the rightful owner of Takashi Iizuka’s Iron Fingers From Hell. While both men have previous experiences in ladder matches, this will only be the second-ever ladder match in NJPW history. The first ladder match, which was between Michael Elgin and Kenny Omega back in 2016, was a unique matchup unlike anything that New Japan fans had seen before, and the battle between Taichi and Tama Tonga will likely be similarly unprecedented. It is truly unknown what can be expected from this match, but whoever wins the Iron Fingers will likely have the edge going into their pending championship match.
Will Tanahashi Tap Out?
In the main event of Night One of Wrestling Dontaku 2021, Jay White will look to win the elusive NEVER Openweight Championship from the Ace, Hiroshi Tanahashi. After renewing their feud dating back to 2018 at this year’s New Japan Cup, White made his ambitions to win the NEVER Openweight Championship clear, getting a win over the champion in tournament action. “The Switchblade” has since made it known that the NEVER belt is the only singles championship that he is eligible for but hasn’t held and that he would love to be the one to take it from the Ace.
On the other hand, Tanahashi has the ambition of elevating the NEVER Openweight Championship to the level that the IWGP Intercontinental Title was at before its untimely erasure. White, who has been highly effective with his “Tanahashi Tap Out” submission hold, will look to once again defeat his elder with a title on the line.
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship Match
In just a month following his return to action, Roppongi 3K member YOH has found himself with one junior title around his waist and a second in his sights on Night Two of Wrestling Dontaku 2021. Returning from a leg injury sustained in the 2020 New Japan Cup, YOH quickly picked up where he left off last summer, winning the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship alongside SHO in his first match back in action at this year’s Sakura Genesis.
This momentum pushed him to quickly challenge El Desperado, whom he defeated for those tag titles, to a match for the most coveted prize a Junior can hold in New Japan Pro Wrestling. While El Desperado is yet to truly prove himself as a singles champion, he is intent on holding onto the belt past his first defense and will do everything in his power to halt any momentum YOH has going into the summer months.
IWGP World Heavyweight Championship Match
Following his shocking win over Kota Ibushi at Sakura Genesis, Will Ospreay has his work cut out for him in his first of two confirmed championship defenses. In the main event of Night Two of Wrestling Dontaku 2021, Ospreay will defend the IWGP World Heavyweight Title against long-time rival and Los Ingobernables de Japon member Shingo Takagi.
This is, of course, a rematch from their New Japan Cup finals match just two months ago, along with their two other matches that have taken place in the last 2 years, with Ospreay currently having a 2-1 edge over Takagi. Whoever wins this match won’t have much time to celebrate, as later on in the month, they will face Kazuchika Okada at the Tokyo Dome in a battle that would put the champion in a clear underdog role against “The Rainmaker.” One can only hope that it is a fresh, interesting match and not one we have seen six times before.
Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world. You can watch Sakura Genesis 2021 and plenty more tremendous wrestling content from New Japan Pro Wrestling on NJPWWorld.com; The King of Sports Streaming.
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