Following a postponement and a shakeup to the main event the day of, New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Wrestle Grand Slam has finally arrived. Any show inside the Tokyo Dome, no matter the number of people, is a special one for all those who compete in New Japan and outside of it. This was yet another card built to fit such a show and was one to remember as possibly the last major show ahead of the G1 Climax later this year.
Here are the Wrestle Grand Slam results with analysis for the main event.
NJPW Wrestle Grand Slam Results (7/25/21)
— IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship: El Phantasmo & Taiji Ishimori (c) vs. Rocky Romero & Ryusuke Taguchi
Winner: El Phantasmo & Taiji Ishimori
— IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: El Desperado (c) vs. Robbie Eagles
Winner: Robbie Eagles
— Kazuchika Okada vs. Jeff Cobb
Winner: Kazuchika Okada
— IWGP Tag Team Championship: SANADA & Tetsuya Naito vs. Zack Sabre Jr. & Taichi
Winner: Zack Sabre Jr. & Taichi
— IWGP World Heavyweight Championship: Shingo Takagi (c) vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi
Winner: Shingo Takagi
NJPW Wrestle Grand Slam Results: In-Depth Match Analysis
IWGP World Heavyweight Championship: Shingo Takagi (c) vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi
Stepping into a match is never easy. Stepping into a world championship match one night after a devastating battle with a rival? More difficult than anyone could even begin to imagine. But when it’s the “Ace” Hiroshi Tanahashi, you have some belief that he can shock the world. NJPW’s all-time great stepped in for Kota Ibushi to be Shingo Takagi‘s first challenger for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship, showing that he still absolutely has it. They wrestled earlier this year and that saw Tanahashi on the winning side. Though having as difficult of a battle as he did last night was going to be what ultimately hurt him in the end.
These two traded some incredible blows throughout the match, getting away from what their January battle was. Tanahashi visibly injured still battled and got better as the match went on. The moment of the bout would see Tanahashi hit the Kami-goye reminiscent of Ibushi then followed it up with a High Fly Flow. Not only was this a fantastic moment, but was the near fall of the match. Takagi would smash Tanahashi with headbutts at one point and hit a Death Valley Driver from the top rope on the challenger for a very close two. In the end, The Last of the Dragon would finish off Tanahashi in a great main event.
It’s not shocking that with what kind of year Takagi having that this delivered, but it’s the finest performance for possibly both men with such little time to prepare.
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