While this weekend may not have been out of the ordinary for our readers outside of the United States, the July 4 weekend inside the United States is usually a different story. Celebrating Independence Day, especially on a weekend, means a lack of attention to that which may be a usual focus during normal time periods. This July 4, the wrestling world saw a ton of things happen, and to make sure you didn’t miss anything, we present the first edition of what will be a regular series here @voiceswrestling: Weekend in Review! Catching everyone up on the biggest news during the weekend in pro wrestling, we begin our first edition with the new IWGP Heavyweight Champion.
Kazuchika Okada becomes IWGP Heavyweight Champion
New Japan Pro Wrestling held their annual DOMINION show on Sunday, available on NJPWWorld live. The show, which is available On Demand, featured several championships changing hands, most notably the IWGP Championship. Defeating AJ Styles with two rainmakers, Okada won the title for his 3rd time.
Also at DOMINION, Best of the Super Juniors winner KUSHIDA won the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship by defeating Kenny Omega, while Gallows & Anderson of the Bullet Club won back the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Titles. Retaining their titles in matches were Hirooki Goto, the Young Bucks, and Togi Makabe. You can catch a full review of NJPW DOMINION 7.5 from @JoeMLanza here on Voices of Wrestling!
Finn Bálor wins the NXT Championship
Winning the title for the first time, the former Prince Devitt defeated Kevin Owens in Tokyo at WWE Beast In The East to win the NXT Championship. The event took place Saturday, airing in the morning for fans in the US on WWE Network. The special also featured the in ring return of Brock Lesnar, with Lesnar defeating Kofi Kingston rather quickly. You can check out the Voices of Wrestling review of Beast in the East here.
Austin Aries returns to Ring of Honor
Announced via Ring of Honor on Twitter, the former TNA Tag Team Champion will return to the company where he first made his name nationally: Ring of Honor. On July 17 in Las Vegas, Austin Aries will participate in ROH’s Aftershock Tour. The event features announced main events of Jay Lethal & Roderick Strong & Moose vs Jay Briscoe & Dalton Castle & Kyle O’Reilly and Roppongi Vice vs Young Bucks. In a surprise, ROH also announced a match between ODB and All Japan legend Nanae Takahashi.
— ROH Wrestling (@ringofhonor) July 6, 2015
Caleb Konley wins the FIP Championship
Defeating Rich Swann in the main event of Full Impact Pro’s Declaration of Independents event on WWN Live iPPV, Caleb Konley won the FIP Championship. The event, which took place on July 3, also featured former WWE stars Michael Tarver and Mason Ryan.
Legendary Stories of Dusty Rhodes comes to WWE Network
On Demand via WWE Network, superstars in and around WWE get together to tell the legendary stories of the late Dusty Rhodes. Announced over the weekend by WWE, the event premieres on Monday night, but will be available at your convenience on WWE Network, which you can sign up for FREE all July.