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New champions crowned at NJPW Sakura Genesis


Will Ospreay is the new IWGP World Heavyweight Champion.

Ospreay defeated Kota Ibushi to win the championship at this morning's Sakura Genesis event at Sumo Hall. Ospreay kicked out of two kamigoyes, hit the hidden blade, then pinned Ibushi with the stormbreaker to win the title. Ibushi had held the championship since the 49th Anniversary show, when the IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental titles were dropped and the new championship was established.

After the match, Ibushi was laid out by Jeff Cobb and was eventually helped to the back. Ospreay cut a promo saying he wanted revenge over what happened at Wrestle Kingdom 15 earlier this year. He called out Kazuchika Okada. Before Okada could say anything, Shingo Takagi entered the ring, saying he should get a shot before Okada, saying he beat Okada during the New Japan Cup tournament and thus should get the first title match. Ospreay made it clear he would challenge Takagi first, then face Okada.

New IWGP Junior Tag Team champions were also crowned at Sakura Genesis. Roppongi 3K ( SHO and YOH) won the championships tonight for the fifth time, defeating El Desperado and Yoshinobu Kanemaru. The finish had YOH pinning Kanemaru with what appeared to be a butterfly suplex. This ends Desperado and Kanemaru’s run with the titles after 38 days, winning the titles back at Road to Castle Attack on February 25.

After the match, YOH said that this was a new era for Roppongi 3K. He then said the next step for him was the IWGP Junior Heavyweight title, effectively challenging El Desperado for the title he still carries.

YOH had been out of action since last June with a torn ACL. Roppongi 3K had to vacate the IWGP Junior Tag Team titles they were carrying at the time. YOH made his return at the NJPW Cup Finals on March 21, challenging Kanemaru and Desperado for the titles Roppongi 3K never lost.