#AndNEW: Hirooki Goto Wins NEVER Openweight Championship

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Photo: NJPW

Will Ospreay was originally slated to challenge for the NEVER Openweight Championship until an untimely rib injury at Rev Pro Global Wars UK against Chris Ridgeway set Ospreay’s title match to a later date. Hirooki Goto had previously lost the NEVER Openweight Championship to Taichi at NJPW Destruction In Beppu on September 17. Goto received a rematch and made the most of this showcase match at NJPW Power Struggle. New Japan Pro Wrestling is presenting the championship the way it should be shown recently, with Openweight matches from former Junior Heavyweight Taichi and Will Ospreay soon will make for a very interesting addition to the title picture when he returns from injury.

The champion started the match in traditional Suzuki-Gun fashion, attacking Hirooki Goto before the bell. Goto was thrown on his head with a vicious Saito Suplex and the referee had to check the challenger because Goto looked to be motionless. Taichi would then continue to bend and break the rules by introducing his valet, Miho Abe, to the match to help Taichi retain by using the title as a weapon. The referee went down amongst the chaos, Goto avoided being hit by the title and the GTR put Taichi down for the three-count.

Photo: NJPW

This makes Hirooki Goto one of the most successful NEVER Openweight champions ever, holding the championship four times now, tied with Tomohiro Ishii for most reigns as champion. Taichi, along with Michael Elgin and his eight day reign as NEVER Openweight champion and EVIL with his ten day NEVER Openweight title run, now has one of the shortest title reign in NJPW history. This means big things for the future even if Goto is a mainstay in this division since 2017, Will Ospreay could challenge Goto in a battle of CHAOS faction members or new challengers could arise such as Kota Ibushi and Ring Of Honor (ROH) TV champion, Jeff Cobb for a title rematch.

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