Hiromu Takahashi To Face DOUKI In NJPW Return Match

Takahashi wants to get back in the ring before September 5

Hiromu Takahashi is set to challenge Robbie Eagles for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship at Wrestle Grand Slam in MetLife Dome on September 5, but The Ticking Time Bomb will step back in the ring before his title match.

While NJPW wrestlers would traditionally compete in tag team matches ahead of a big title bout, the other four members of Los Ingobernables de Japon are currently off Summer Struggle shows because BUSHI and Shingo Takagi tested positive for COVID-19. 

As a result, Hiromu revealed during a live stream that he would like to face Suzuki-gun's DOUKI in his return match. 

"Hi everyone, it's me, Hiromu Takahashi. As you all know, I'm coming back! But the big question has been when. I wasn't in the Super Junior Tag League. To be perfectly honest, I didn't even know we were doing the Super Junior Tag League. So my comeback bout will be for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship? Nuh-uh. I want to come back before my title match," Takahashi said (translated by NJPW).

"But right now, nobody else in LIJ is in a position to wrestle. So I have nobody to tag with. So... in that case it has to be a singles match. Here's my proposal to NJPW. Can I have a singles match for my return on August 27? As for my opponent, I want somebody who has his own frustration building at not being in the Super Jr. Tag League. Somebody who's been reeeeaaalllyy itching to get in there and hasn't been able to. Yeah, a guy like that will want to let it all out there in the ring. That's right DOUKI! How about it? I want to face someone with your kind of emotion, your frustration. 

"New Japan Pro-Wrestling, I humbly await an official announcement. Farewell. Goodbye. Bye-bye. BYE-BYE. I don't want to say goodbye to you all, but here we are! Hey, I'm waving like an elephant! There's a wild elephant in the studio saying goodbye to all of you!"

DOUKI responded to Takahashi's challenge soon after on Twitter, writing (translated by NJPW): "I'm happy Hiromu challenged me. But do you really think all I am is a rehab opponent? Don't dare look past me. If you want to go with me, I'll go, whether it's singles, or whatever match you want. But when I win, I should be able to challenge Robbie Eagles, right?"

Now, New Japan Pro-Wrestling have confirmed the match will take place at the August 27 Summer Struggle show. 

Takahashi hasn't wrestled in New Japan since he tore his pectoral muscle back in February. The Time Bomb had to relinquish the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title as a result of the injury, but he revealed he was cleared to return to the ring in late July. 

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Aidan Gibbons

Written by Aidan Gibbons

Editor-in-Chief of Cultaholic.com Twitter: @theaidangibbons