Following one of the most turbulent six-month spans in company history, New Japan Pro-Wrestling looks to enter the second half of 2021 with a bang with their Summer Struggle tour set to take place throughout July. The first stop of the Summer Struggle tour is set to take place on the Northern Island of Hokkaido, specifically Sapporo, where they will present two nights of action back-to-back on the 10th & 11th of this month. While the shows can be boiled down to two 1-match cards, not only are those two matches high profile championship matches between some of the best that New Japan has to offer, but they also could have implications for Wrestle Grand Slam, an event set to take place on July 25 inside the Tokyo Dome. Without any further ado, let’s get right into the NJPW Summer Struggle In Sapporo 2021 cards.
NJPW Summer Struggle in Sapporo 2021 Night One Card
- Master Wato & Kota Ibushi vs Yota Tsuji & Yuya Uemura
- Tomohiro Ishii & YOH vs EVIL & Dick Togo
- Rocky Romero, Ryusuke Taguchi & Hiroshi Tanahashi vs KENTA, El Phantasmo, & Yujiro Takahashi
- Kazuchika Okada & SHO vs Great-O-Khan & Jeff Cobb
- BUSHI, SANADA, Tetsuya Naito & Shingo Takagi vs Taichi, Zack Sabre Jr., Douki, & Yoshinobu Kanemaru
- IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: El Desperado (c) vs Taiji Ishimori
NJPW Summer Struggle in Sapporo 2021 Night Two Card
- Yuya Uemura & SHO vs El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru
- Rocky Romero, Tomohiro Ishii & Ryusuke Taguchi vs El Phantasmo, Taiji Ishimori & EVIL
- Yota Tsuji & Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Yujiro Takahashi & KENTA
- Kazuchika Okada & YOH vs Jeff Cobb & Great-O-Khan
- Master Wato & Kota Ibushi vs Shingo Takagi & BUSHI
- IWGP Tag Team Championship: Dangerous Tekkers (Zack Sabre Jr. & Taichi) (c) vs Tetsuya Naito & SANADA
Young Lions Continue to Breakout
One of the most renowned aspects of the last couple of months in NJPW has been the elevation of Yota Tsuji & Yuya Uemura, both of whom are now in their 4th year within the Young Lion system. Following their recent singles gauntlets against some of the top wrestlers in New Japan, the Lions continue this chain of big matches in Sapporo where they team up to face the #1 contender for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship, Kota Ibushi, and the upcoming Junior star, Master Wato. While their respective excursions have been up in the air due to the Coronavirus Pandemic, their output over the past year has warranted the recent fanfare they have experienced and continues to make their future success even more imminent.
Preview Battle of the Wrestle Grand Slam Main Event
Speaking of Kota Ibushi & Master Wato, they will team up together once again on Night Two of NJPW Summer Struggle in Sapporo. However, instead of facing Young Lions, they will battle the IWGP World Heavyweight Champion, Shingo Takagi, and the “Jet Black Death Mask,” BUSHI. This, of course, is a preview battle of the IWGP World title match between Ibushi & Takagi that is set to take place inside the Tokyo Dome later this month. Meanwhile, Master Wato & BUSHI have been rivals since last year’s Best of the Super Juniors. They will bring their own intensity to the preview match and could very well steal the show on Night Two of NJPW Summer Struggle in Sapporo.
A Struggle for the Junior Heavyweight Championship
In the main event of Night One of NJPW Summer Struggle in Sapporo, El Desperado will defend his IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship for the 2nd time against Taiji Ishimori, who is a two-time Junior Heavyweight Champion in his own right. While it is highly expected for Desperado to hold the junior title until Hiromu Takahashi‘s eventual return to action, Ishimori is perhaps the most infamous spoiler in the junior heavyweight division. This has been seen as recently as last month when he and El Phantasmo picked up a shock victory over Roppongi 3K and regained the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship. Can the “Bone Soldier” become double junior champion, or will El Desperado continue his march towards destiny?
Dangerous Tekkers Look for Their First Successful Title Defense Against LIJ
After winning the IWGP Tag Team Championship for the second time in their career, Dangerous Tekkers will battle what is possibly their biggest challenge yet. SANADA & Tetsuya Naito, two of New Japan’s top singles wrestlers, will contend for the titles for the first time as a duo. This will also be Naito’s first time challenging for the IWGP Tag Team titles in over 10 years, dating back to his days in NO LIMIT alongside Yujiro Takahashi. Dangerous Tekkers does have a history of conquering prominent singles stars in tag team action, having won the straps from Golden Ace back in 2020, and are even looking to battle the dream team of Kazuchika Okada & Hiroshi Tanahashi for the titles if they win in Sapporo. Will Taichi have a successful homecoming bout, or will LIJ end the night with all the IWGP heavyweight gold in Japan in their possession?
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