NJPW Press Conference Announces New KOPW Title, Two Summer Struggle In Jingu Matches
KOPW Title Will See New Match Types In NJPW
Early this morning in the west, New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) published a taped press conference to announce the marquee and headline matches for Summer Struggle in Jingu, while announcing the KOPW (likely King of Pro Wrestling) Title.
NJPW Chairman Naoki Sugabayashi announced the Summer Struggle in Jingu feature event will see Evil make his v2 defense of the IWGP Heavyweight and IWGP Intercontinental ‘Double Championship’ against the man he defeated at Dominion on July 12th for the titles; Tetsuya Naito.
Sugabayashi also announced IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion Hiromu Takahashi will make his v2 defense against Taiji Ishimori, who submitted the champion yesterday during a six-man tag team match.
The NJPW English website summarizes details regarding the KOPW Title as hinted by Kazuchika Okada during recent post-match interviews.
The provisional KOPW 2020 will be decided across two nights, on August 26 in Korakuen Hall, and on August 29 at Summer Struggle in Jingu Stadium. Eight wrestlers will wrestle in four singles matches on August 26. Each wrestler will bring their own desired match rules to the first round. Okada suggested that ‘there are all kinds of rules. Two out of three falls, ladder, steel cage matches, it could be anything’. Fans will vote on which wrestler’s rules the singles matches will be contested under. The winners of those singles matches will advance to a four way match on August 29 under ‘regular’ four way rules. The winner of that match will be provisional KOPW2020. The KOPW title can be defended until the end of the year, with stipulations to be voted on by fans. The winner of the last KOPW2020 title match of the year will be presented with the KOPW trophy, and the process begins anew in 2021! Okada stated that this would provide action that is ‘completely different from what we’ve expected from IWGP titles, and from NJPW’ but represented a completely fresh approach.
It’s not out of the question that Okada, who announced the new KOPW Title at the press conference will compete in the eight-person tournament commencing on August 26 at Korakuen Hall.
Such a title could see steel cage, ladder, and Texas Death Matches make a return to NJPW, without influencing the ‘sports realism’ presentation of the IWGP championships. The fan participation aspect will allow NJPW’s audience to further engage with the product.
The press conference can be seen in its entirety below.