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Multiple New Champions Crowned At NJPW Wrestling Dontaku

A number of title changes at NJPW Wrestling Dontaku

New Japan Pro-Wrestling have several new champions following Wrestling Dontaku on Wednesday, May 3 in Fukuoka.

In the first title change of the night, Hikuleo defeated KENTA to win the NJPW STRONG Openweight Championship. KENTA repeatedly cheated during the match, decking Hikuleo with a low blow and repeated kendo stick shots throughout the match but none of the extra-curricular moves could keep the challenger down. After KENTA once again failed to pick up the win, Hikuleo decked the former NOAH star with a Chokeslam to score the 1-2-3.

Kazuchika Okada also has gold in New Japan once again, having won the NEVER Openweight Six-Man Tag Team Championships with Hiroshi Tanahashi and Tomohiro Ishii. The trio defeated Ren Narita, Minoru Suzuki, and El Desperado for the belts following a Rainmaker from Okada to Narita.

The new champions' next challengers then revealed themselves post-match as Shota Umino interrupted the post-match celebrations to introduce a promo from Jon Moxley in which the three-time AEW World Champion revealed he would be returning to Japan at Dominion on June 4. It was not confirmed that they would be challenging for the NEVER belts but it was hinted at during the exchange. Who Moxley and Umino will select as their partner is unknown. 

In the semi-main event, Bullet Club's David Finlay defeated a Bullet Club original in former member Tama Tonga on the faction's 10-year anniversary to win the NEVER Openweight Championship. The match was initially a back-and-forth affair that saw both men brawl through the crowd but Finlay eventually gained the upper hand. He refused to pin Tama, though, and Jado even teased throwing in the towel at one point, until Finlay finally put the champion out of his misery with multiple Trash Pandas to score the victory. Tama Tonga was then taken away from the ring on a stretcher, leaving his New Japan future uncertain.

Finlay's first challenger was also revealed as the man he kicked out of Bullet Club in El Phantasmo returned with pink hair and took out the BC leader following his NEVER Openweight Title win. They will likely go one-on-one at Dominion to settle their issues.

The NJPW World Television Title was on the line elsewhere at Wrestling Dontaku but Zack Sabre Jr. retained the gold against Jeff Cobb after their match went to a 15-minute time-limit draw. Neither man was happy with the outcome and it was mentioned they will run it back at a future New Japan event. 

There was also no title change in the main event as SANADA defeated his former LIJ stablemate and IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion Hiromu Takahashi to retain the IWGP World Heavyweight Title in his first defence.

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Aidan Gibbons

Written by Aidan Gibbons

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