Summer Struggle in Jingu: The Marquee
Naito Back On Top
The marquee match of Summer Struggle in Jingu saw Tetsuya Naito make the V2 challenge of the IWGP Heavyweight and IWGP Intercontinental ‘Double Championship’ against champion Evil, who defeated Naito for the titles on July 12th at Dominion.
Evil turning on Los Ingobernables de Japon (LIJ) to join Bullet Club served as the backdrop for the match, adding another layer of tension as Naito wanted to exact revenge and see his vision for the two titles come to light.
Despite the expected interference from Bullet Club members, Naito held his ground and was able to survive, this time with the help of fellow LIJ mates who insured Naito wasn’t robbed of his championship opportunity.
However, Evil was up to the challenge and made Naito fight for every inch as attempted to retain the titles to walk into G1 Climax 30 as champion. Evil’s place as assumed ‘leader’ of Bullet Club was also on the line as speculation has increased concerning Jay White’s mood towards Evil’s rapid ascent.
Naito was eventually able to capture the fall with his Destino technique at the 26 minute and 20-second mark to begin his third IWGP Heavyweight Championship reign and his sixth IWGP Intercontinental Championship reign.
Through his recent statements, Naito would like to defend each championship separately and not as a unified title as the ‘Double Championship’ has been presented since its inception on January 5, 2020, at Wrestle Kingdom 14.
Evil and Sanada will likely continue their paths to one another as the former two-time IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions and World Tag League winners have yet to square off against each other since Evil turned on LIJ.
The loss does not hurt Evil as he is more of a draw than he ever has been during his career.