NJPW Dominion in Osaka-Jo Hall
Date: June 7, 2021
Venue: Osaka-Jo Hall
Time: 6:00pm JST
Watch: NJPWWorld.com (With live English Commentary)
International Start Times
After a brief season of turmoil, NJPW Returns to Osaka-Jo Hall for their annual Summer event, Dominion on June 7th. The card will be headlined by three singles matches including Kazuchika Okada facing Shingo Takagi for the vacated IWGP World Heavyweight Championship in what is likely to be another classic Main Event bout at Dominion. In the semi-main event, Kota Ibushi will battle Jeff Cobb in a special singles match. Third down the card will see El Desperado seeking his first IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship defense against YOH. And the undercard is filled out with two multi-man matches. The card will begin with a tale as old as time, as CHAOS will do battle with Bullet Club in a ten-man tag match and Los Ingobernables De Japon will battle Suzuki Gun in a six-man tag match before the singles matches take the stage.
IWGP World Heavyweight Championship Match
Kazuchika Okada vs. Shingo Takagi
The Main Event of this year’s Dominion will see the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship on the line as Kazuchika Okada returns to singles action against Shingo Takagi to win the vacant top-title. In just the third match with the newly established title on the line, this match will crown the third IWGP World Heavyweight Champion after Will Ospreay controversially vacated the title 17 days ago. The last time the top title in NJPW was vacant was 4270 days ago. Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Togi Makabe for the vacant title after Hiroshi Tanahashi vacated the IWGP Heavyweight Championship after fracturing his eye socket in a match with Nakamura. The stretch between Tanahashi and Ospreay vacating the title is the longest such stretch in NJPW history.
Ospreay’s misfortune led the NJPW booking committee to book this title match between arguably his two greatest singles rivals. Kazuchika Okada is a perennial fixture in the Main Event picture for NJPW, but this will be his first singles championship match since January 5th, 2020. That is, by far, Okada’s longest stretch without a title match since his return from excursion in 2012. Before Ospreay vacated, Okada was in line for a championship match at the Tokyo Dome, but due to COVID related challenges and cancellations, that match did not happen before Ospreay recognized his injury was too severe to continue on as champion.
Shingo Takagi has been on the rise in NJPW since he established himself as a heavyweight two years ago at Dominion. He recently came off of a very establishing run as NEVER Openweight Champion and a trip to the New Japan Cup Finals. Takagi’s most recent singles action has not been successful. He suffered back-to-back losses to Will Ospreay in the New Japan Cup Finals and in Ospreay’s first IWGP World Heavyweight Championship defense, but Shingo’s showings in those matches were enough to earn him this spot against Okada as the most worthy competitor to fill the vacant championship.
Okada and Shingo have wrestled each other in singles matches twice, and they have split the series 1-1. This is sure to be a war, with the highest stakes in the company on the line and two motivated wrestlers fighting to become the third IWGP World Heavyweight Champion.
Recent History – 2021 Singles
- Only Will Ospreay (8) has more singles victories than Shingo Takagi’s 7 thus far in 2021.
- Shingo Takagi’s 4 hours, 8 minutes, and 28 seconds of 2021 Total Singles Match Length is the longest in NJPW in 2021.
- Shingo Takagi’s last singles loss to someone other than Will Ospreay occurred on January 30th when he lost the NEVER Openweight Championship to Hiroshi Tanahashi.
Recent History – Last 90 Days
- Kazuchika Okada’s last singles match was 93 days ago on March 6th when he lost to Shingo Takagi in the first round of the New Japan Cup.
Recent History – Last 365 Days
- In the last 365 Days, Kazuchika Okada has the best singles record in NJPW at 16-6.
- This will be Shingo Takagi’s 25th singles match in the last 365 days, tying him for the most in NJPW with EVIL.
- Shingo Takagi’s 8 hours, 28 minutes, and 1 second of Total Singles Match Length over the last 365 days is the highest in NJPW.
Head To Head History
- Shingo Takagi has never been pinned by Kazuchika Okada. In their G1 Climax match, Kazuchika Okada forced a Referee Stoppage via the Money Clip.
History In Osaka-Jo Hall
- Kazuchika Okada is 3-1-1 in singles matches at Dominion. He has defeated AJ Styles, Tetsuya Naito, and Chris Jericho in IWGP Heavyweight Championship Matches at the event. His loss and draw both occurred against Kenny Omega.
- Shingo Takagi began his ascent as a Heavyweight in NJPW at Osaka-Jo Hall when he defeated Satoshi Kojima here at the 2019 Dominion event. At last year’s Dominion, Shingo defeated SHO in a NEVER Openweight Championship defense.
IWGP World Heavyweight Championship
- Kazuchika Okada participated in 44 IWGP Heavyweight Championship Matches. He was 35-9 in those matches. This will be just the second time in his career that Kazuchika Okada challenges for an NJPW title that is NOT the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. Okada is 0-1 when challenging for other NJPW singles titles. He challenged for the Intercontinental Championship once in it’s existence. That was on January 5, 2020 in the first ever Double Title Match at the Tokyo Dome against Tetsuya Naito.
- Shingo Takagi is 0-1 in IWGP World Heavyweight Championship Matches
Special Singles Match
Kota Ibushi vs. Jeff Cobb
After Ibushi lost his first IWGP World Heavyweight Championship defense to The United Empire’s leader, Will Ospreay, Jeff Cobb put an exclamation point on the loss by picking up a worn-down Ibushi and giving him a brutal Tour Of The Islands. Of course, Kota Ibushi couldn’t stay away from a fight, so he seeks revenge on the former Olympian in this special singles match.
Cobb has been unstoppable of late, finishing the majority of The United Empire’s tag matches with his Tour Of The Islands. Cobb enters his match with Ibushi with the best Fall Differential in NJPW in 2021 and the best winning percentage in the company, though only two of those victories have come in singles matches. Cobb looks to establish himself as a top-tier singles competitor with his match against Ibushi while the first-ever IWGP World Heavyweight Champion, Ibushi, looks to keep himself in the conversation for future IWGP World Heavyweight Championship matches.
Recent History – Singles Matches (2021 Year To Date)
Recent History – Singles Matches (Last 365 Days)
Recent History — Overall (2021 Year To Date)
- Jeff Cobb has been a finisher this year. His +29 Fall Differential is the best in NJPW in 2021, 10 falls better than Shingo Takagi who holds second place in the metric.
- Cobb’s 45 victories are second most in NJPW. He is only behind Great-O-Khan who has a 45.
Head To Head History
- The only time these two met, Kota Ibushi defeated Jeff Cobb in 10 minutes and 43 seconds. That was Ibushi’s fastest win of G1 Climax 30 and his fastest singles singles win since July of 2019.
History in Osaka-Jo Hall
- Both of Kota Ibushi’s singles matches in Osaka-Jo Hall were against Tetsuya Naito. He is 1-1 all time here.
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship Match
El Desperado [C] vs. YOH
YOH will finally challenge El Desperado for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship in a match that had previously been scheduled for the Wrestling Dontaku card. Since returning, YOH has already picked up the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championships with his Roppongi 3k partner, SHO. It seems YOH is looking to establish himself as a relevant singles championship contender the same way SHO did in his absence.
This will be El Desperado’s first defense of the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship and he will certainly be motivated to establish that he can be a successful singles champion after most of his career success has occurred in the Junior Tag Team division.
Recent History – 2021 Singles
- El Desperado won the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship in a Three Way Match against El Phantasmo and BUSHI. El Despeardo’s last one-on-one singles victory occurred on December 6th of last year when he defeated BUSHI during last year’s Best of The Super Junior tournament.
- Recent History – Last 365 Days Singles
- YOH’s last singles match was on June 23rd, 2020 when he lost against BUSHI in the first round of the 2020 New Japan Cup.
Recent History – 2021 Overall
- El Desperado’s +14 Fall Differential is the third best in NJPW this year. Only Jeff Cobb and Shingo Takagi have better differentials this year.
Head To Head History
- El Desperado and YOH have never met in a singles match, however El Desperado and Yohei Komatsu faced each other four times in 2014, with El Despeardo victorious all four times.
- El Desperado and YOH have faced off with IWGP tag team gold on the line six times, and they are tied 3-3 in those six bouts.
History In Osaka-Jo Hall
- YOH and El Desperado have wrestled twice for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships at Osaka-Jo Hall. A Suzuki-Gun victory at Dominion in 2019 and a Roppongi 3K victory at The New Beginning in Osaka. Neither match ended with both El Desperado and YOH as the legal competitors.
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship
- The IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship has been decided in 309 matches over the course of over 35 years. The title has changed hands in just 29.45% of title deciding matches.
- This will be El Desperado’s sixth career IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship match. He is 1-5 in his previous matches with the title on the line.
- This will be YOH’s first ever IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship Match.
- The IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship has been decided 45 times in Osaka. That is 14.5% of Junior Title defenses. The title has changed hands in this city 16 times, which is 17.6% of all title changes.
- When we narrow it down to just Osaka-Jo Hall, The IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship has been decided here 13 times, and it has changed hands here 7 times, most recently when El Desperado won the vacant Junior Heavyweight Championship against BUSHI and El Phantasmo at Castle Attack earlier this year.
BUSHI, SANADA & Tetsuya Naito vs. DOUKI, Taichi & Zack Sabre Jr
Fresh off their IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship victory, Taichi and Zack Sabre Jr. team up with DOUKI to face the Los Ingobernables De Japon trio of Tetsuya Naito, SANADA and BUSHI. The LIJ trio was recently unsuccessful in their challenge for the NEVER Openweight 6-man championships, but the heavyweights (Naito and SANADA) have hinted at a run towards the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships. Keep an eye on the interactions between Naito & SANADA and the new Tag Team champions Taichi & Zack Sabre Jr.
Recent History – Overall
- SANADA and BUSHI are tied with EVIL at 63 with the most matches in NJPW this year.
- BUSHI’s -26 Fall Differential is the worst in NJPW this year.
- DOUKI’s -13 Fall Differential isn’t too far ahead of BUSHI. Only Tomoaki Honma and Gedo separate the two.
History in Osaka-Jo Hall – All Match Types
Hirooki Goto, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Tomohiro Ishii, SHO & YOSHI-HASHI vs. Chase Owens, El Phantasmo, EVIL, Taiji Ishimori & Yujiro Takahashi
The first match of the evening will see five on five action between CHAOS (and Hiroshi Tanahashi) and Bullet Club. Hirooki Goto, Tomohiro Ishii, and YOSH-HASHI recently broke the record for the most NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championship defenses and they have brought significant prestige to the previously preliminary titles. A Bullet Club challenge for those titles should not be out of the question, depending on the result of tonight’s opener. Also on the CHAOS side, SHO is one-half of the IWGP Junior Tag Team Champions with potential challengers Taiji Ishimori and El Phantasmo on the other side. Keep an eye out for EVIL to pair off with Hiroshi Tanahashi as EVIL’s tour through the stars of NJPW seems primed to continue.
Recent History – Overall (2021 Year To Date)
- EVIL is tied for the most matches in NJPW in 20201 with 63. Unfortunately, he also leads the company in losses with 37. Right behind him is his teammate Yujiro Takahashi with 35.