David Finlay Wins IWGP Global Heavyweight Title At NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 18

David Finlay wins gold at NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 18

In a match also featuring Jon Moxley and Will Ospreay, David Finlay emerged as the winner and the inaugural IWGP Global Heavyweight Champion at Wrestle Kingdom 18 on January 4. 

The IWGP Global Heavyweight Championship replaced the IWGP United States/United Kingdom Title that David Finlay destroyed in late 2023, with the new title belt taking inspiration from the old IWGP Intercontinental Championship with gold plating and a white strap.

The Wrestle Kingdom match featured a Red Hood-inspired Jon Moxley and Jacob Frye-inspired Will Ospreay and all three competitors enjoyed time on top in the early going before Moxley, of course, ended up covered in his own blood. Moxley looked set to win after he caught Ospreay with a Death Rider and then followed up with a Piledriver to Finlay on Ospreay's chest but the Aerial Assassin was able to kick out. 

Finlay almost stole the win soon after as Ospreay powered up following a Death Rider and fired back with a Hidden Blade to Moxley. The three-time AEW World Champion managed to kick out, though. Finlay then almost stole the win again as he fell on top of Moxley following a Hidden Blade from Ospreay, only for Moxley to kick out again.

Interference from Gabe Kidd and Alex Coughlin of Bullet Club War Dogs followed soon after but they failed miserably, being put through a set of tables with a Moonsault from Will Ospreay. Moxley then hit Finlay with two Death Riders before two Hidden Blades from Ospreay to Moxley and a Stormbreaker followed. Finlay then looked to steal the win again and he hit Oblivion on Ospreay but the former IWGP World Heavyweight Champion managed to get his shoulder up. Following a new finisher of a GTS-like move, Finlay pinned Will Ospreay to capture the championship. 

It didn't take long for Finlay's first challenger to reveal themselves as the son of Fit Finlay tried to goad Nic Nemeth (FKA Dolph Ziggler), who was sat at ringside with Ryan Nemeth. This led to a pull-apart brawl up the Tokyo Dome entrance ramp and the two talents look set to face off at a future NJPW event. 

Today's win marks the culmination of a one-year push for Finlay ever since he took out Jay White at Battle in the Valley when White was on his way out of New Japan Pro-Wrestling. Finlay was revealed to be the new leader of Bullet Club soon after and he held the NEVER Openweight Title for 159 days in 2023 in between reigns from Tama Tonga. Elsewhere, Finlay made it to the New Japan Cup final and the G1 Climax quarter-finals in 2023.

Prior to Wrestle Kingdom 18, David Finlay was a guest on Cultaholic Wrestling's Desert Island Graps.

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