Radican’s Big Match Spotlight – 5/4 NJPW Wrestling Wrestling Dontaku: IWGP World Hvt. Champion Will Ospreay vs. Shingo Takagi


MAY 4, 2021


They started with a fast exchange and then went to several counters before coming to a stalemate and the crowd fired up with claps. They went to the floor and Ospreay charged at Shingo, but he side stepped him and tripped him neck-first into the ring barrier. O-Khan and Henare ended up distracting Takagi and Ospreay wiped him out. Shingo set up two tables on the floor. He went for a suplex through the tables, but Ospreay countered and suplexed him back into the ring. Ospreay worked over Shingo’s arm for a long period of time, but Shingo eventually hit a DDT and both men were down as the fans fired up.

Ospreay got the upper hand once again for several minutes, but Shingo fired back and hit a wheelbarrow suplex on Ospreay. The fans fired up once again with Takagi in control. Takagi blocked a kick attempt and sent Ospreay flipping up into the air like a whirly bird and he crashed onto the mat. They went to a crazy exchange where Shingo no-sold a handspring kick from Ospreay and nailed him with a sliding lariat. Once again, both men were down on the mat. Ospreay hit a Spanish Fly off the top for a nearfall. He positioned draped Shingo over the top rope and hit him with a SSP. He went up top and hit another SSP, but Takagi kicked out at the last second and the fans applauded. I appreciated Takagi selling his arm after kicking out. Ospreay went up top, but Shingo cut him off on the apron. They went back and forth and battled for position near the two tables set up on the floor. Ospreay went for an Os-cutter, but Shingo blocked it. Takagi then hit Made in Japan through two tables of the apron. WOW!

Both men were down on the outside. O-Khan checked on Ospreay, who wasn’t moving. Shingo got to his feet and got back into the ring. Ospreay began to move and he barely made it back into the ring. Unfortunately for Ospreay, he rolled right into another Made in Japan for a two count right before the 30 minute mark came and went. Takagi tried to throw Ospreay into the corner, but he collapsed. The fans fired up with Takagi in control. Takagi put Ospreay on his shoulders and climbed up the turnbuckles. Ospreay tried to fight out of it. Shingo trapped his arm, but Ospreay got free. They began trading blows on the ropes. Ospreay got on top of Takagi and set up for a rana, but Takagi held on. Ospreay crashed to the mat and the fans fired up. Takagi came off the top, but Ospreay caught him with a mid-air Os-cutter. He then hit a traditional Os-cutter for a two count.

Takagi avoided the Hidden Blade a short time later. Ospreay went for a double springboard Os-cutter, but Shingo blocked it and draped him over the ropes for a GTR. They went back and forth and Shingo hit an Os-cutter of his own after Ospreay hit a springboard. Takagi then hit a Pumping Bomber for a nearfall and the fans fired up once again. Takagi went for Last of the Dragon, but Ospreay blocked it and got a Crucifix for a nearfall. Shingo countered a Stormbreaker and went for Last of the Dragon. Ospreay slipped out and hit a poison rana, but Shingo got right up and hit one of his own. Ospreay no-sold it and hit a HUGE Hidden Blade. WOW! The fans fired up with both men down. Ospreay made the cover, but Takagi got his arm under the bottom rope to break up the pin.

Ospreay hit some light kicks to Shingo’s head and he began to fire up. He got to his feet and suddenly fired back with a series of forearms. He caught Ospreay with a pop up DVD, but Ospreay no-sold it. Ospreay countered a Pumping Bomber into a Spanish Fly for a 2 count. Takagi blocked Stormbreaker, but Ospreay nailed him with a big running knee to the head. Both men butted heads before getting to their feet and trading blows. Ospreay hit a big forearm and Takagi smiled. Ospreay measured Takagi and hit a headbutt. Takagi fired back and hit a big headbutt to Ospreay’s shoulder. Takagi went for Last of the Dragon, but Ospreay slipped out of it. He caught Takagi with a Rainmaker a short time later. Ospreay hit a Hidden Blade to Takagi’s face and a Stormbreaker for the win.

WINNER: Will Ospreay at 44:53 to retain the IWGP World Hvt. Championship. (*****)

(Radican’s Analysis: This was amazing from start to finish. The crowd was as hot as they could be given the restrictions. These two waged a war that built and built to a fantastic finish. Takagi just could not hit Last of the Dragon and Ospreay managed to put him way with a Hidden Blade to the face into a Stormbreaker.

The counter exchanges and fighting spirit spots late in the match were simply incredible. The exchange where both men traded poison hurricanranas and Ospreay capped the sequence with a hidden blade was insane.)

Ospreay got on the mic and said the company leans on him too much. He said one match was announced for the show and it was his. He said the show sold out because of him and the United Empire. He said he had a loss to avenge from Wrestle Kingdom. He said Okada won’t like it. He said it is his Destiny to be World Hvt. Champion. He said he bets Okada is disappointed in the man he’s become. He said he’s sure the world is disappointed with the man he’s become. He said all he cares about is the United Empire and the World Hvt. Championship. He said he would right the wrong in the main event of Wrestle Great Slam at The Tokyo Dome. O-Khan then closed the promo with some words of his own in Japanese.

Contact Sean at radicansean@pwtorch.com. Follow Sean at Twitter @SR_Torch.

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