On the February 19th ‘Road To Castle Attack’ event, there was an injury to current IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion, Hiromu Takahashi. The initial hope was that after a few days of rest, he would be able to make his two big scheduled matches. Takahashi was first going to challenge for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships alongside fellow Los Ingobernables De Japon member BUSHI. He would then defend the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship against El Phantasmo at Castle Attack. Neither of these will be happening, as Takahashi is now set to be out for six months with a pectoral injury, as confirmed by NJPW Global on Twitter.
Second Major Injury In A Row For Hiromu Takahashi
This news is especially heartbreaking given that Takahashi just returned from a major neck injury at the end of 2019. That was the cause of a freak accident during a match with Dragon Lee over the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship. It took over a year for him to come back, and he was right back in the mix for Wrestle Kingdom. Now, he’s back on the shelf just when he’s truly hitting his stride once again.
We can only hope that this isn’t a trend for Takahashi, but given his daredevil style, injuries will happen. Hopefully he will not be marked as injury prone, but also that he will tone down his style and pace a little bit, to lengthen his career. This injury will likely take him out of this year’s Best of The Super Juniors tournament as well, if NJPW is back on it’s usual schedule.
What To Do About The IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship?
Obviously, the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship is about to become vacant. This isn’t a situation like the IWGP United States Championship and Jon Moxley, it will not sit dormant for months until Takahashi is back in the ring. Instead, we will likely see a match between two top contenders to decide who should become the next champion.
El Phantasmo is an obvious pick given that he was going to challenge for the championship, and anyone from El Desperado to SHO would make an excellent opponent for Phantasmo. We could see a new champion crowned at Castle Attack this weekend even. Who would you want to see become the next IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion? Let us know what you think in the comment section down below.
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