May 3, 2021 marked night 1 of New Japan Pro Wrestling‘s annual NJPW Wrestling Dontaku event. The night was headlined by the big match of Hiroshi Tanahashi defending his NEVER Openweight Championship against “Switchblade” Jay White. The night ended in a big win for BULLET Club, with Jay White defeating the Japanese legend, seeing the New Zealander add to his ever-growing list of accolades by capturing the NEVER Openweight Championship from Tanahashi at the Fukuoka Convention Center.
— Tanga Loa (@TangaloaNJPW) May 3, 2021
The match, in what has become typical fashion for both, was a grueling, 39 minute bout which saw outside interference from GEDO assist White in claiming victory. This marked the end of Tanahashi’s 93-day reign with the championship and means yet another big defeat for the Ace. The victory for White also means this is his first reign as NEVER Openweight Champion. A moment of history was made, too, as Jay White is now the first man to win the IWGP Heavyweight, the IWGP US, the IWGP Intercontinental, and the NEVER Openweight Championships. The victory clearly signals NJPW’s trust in Jay White as a big name within the promotion; an international superstar with plenty to offer the company.
Other Results From Night 1 of Wrestling Dontaku
– Taiji Ishimori, EVIL, Yujiro Takahashi & Dick Togo def. Tiger Mask, Master Wato, Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Toru Yano
– Roppongi 3K & Kazuchika Okada def. Yoshinobu Kanemaru, El Desperado & Minoru Suzuki
– SANADA, Tetsuya Naito, BUSHI & Shingo Takagi def. Aaron Henare, Will Ospreay, Jeff Cobb & Great-O-Khan
– Zack Sabre Jr. def. Tanga Loa – (Rights To Challenge The IWGP Tag Team Championship Match)
– Taichi def. Tama Tonga – (Iron Finger From Hell Ladder Match)
– Jay White defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi (NEVER Openweight Championship)
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