Sho was able to defeat NEVER Openweight Champion Shingo Takagi in the first round of the New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) Cup, that victory the right to challenge Shingo for his title at Dominion.
This match was also a continuation of the Roppongi 3k (Sho/Yoh) feud against Shingo/Bushi over the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship that lasted until Shingo moved to the heavyweight division after last years Best of the Super Junior (BOSJ) tournament.
In similar fashion to their previous encounters, and in line with the NEVER Openweight division Sho and Shingo pounder one another with strikes, suplexes, and lariats throughout the match. Shingo didn’t seem to let Evil’s treachery distract him from his task at hand, despite struggling to keep a consistent advantage over Sho — Shingo rarely seemed as if he was at risk of losing his title to one-half of the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship team.
After escaping the Shock Arrow, Shingo was able to eventually defeat Sho after an onslaught of offense, capped off with the Last of the Dragon retaining the NEVER Openweight Championship at the twenty-minute and seven-second mark.
The successful v2 title defense for Shingo was short celebrated as he was immediately attacked by the Suzuki-Gun member El Desperado after the match, who would leave with the NEVER Openweight Championship. If Shingo can retain against Desperado, he is likely starring down a challenge from Toa Henare who will likely soon return from New Zealand.
With Yoh currently out with a knee injury for an undisclosed amount of time, it’s unknown what’s next for Sho over the next month or so. His impressive performance against Shingo bodes well for him if NJPW will host the BOSJ concurrently with the G1 Climax this year.