Second IWGP World Heavyweight Title Match Set For NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 16

Who will Ospreay face?

The IWGP World Heavyweight Title match on night two of Wrestle Kingdom 16 has been set.

G1 Climax 31 Winner Kazuchika Okada will challenge Shingo Takagi for the gold on January 4 and the winner of that match will face the self-proclaimed 'real' IWGP World Heavyweight Champion Will Ospreay on January 5.

The match was announced following NJPW's Battle in The Valley show in San Jose on Saturday, November 13, where Ospreay confronted Kazuchika Okada and invited him to challenge for the 'real' IWGP World Heavyweight Championship. 

Okada ultimately declined but offered Ospreay the opportunity to challenge him for the actual IWGP World Heavyweight Title on January 5 instead. 

Shingo Takagi then announced from Tokyo that he would be happy to face Ospreay on January 5, noting that The Commonwealth Kingpin "couldn't duck him this time." 

Ospreay was previously the IWGP World Heavyweight Champion for 46 days earlier this year but the title was vacated after The Aeriel Assassin headed back to the United Kingdom with a neck injury. Ospreay was set to defend the gold against Okada inside the Tokyo Dome in May but the event was postponed until July and the match was ultimately scrapped.

Ospreay also holds two wins over Shingo Takagi in 2021 alone, having defeated The Dragon in the New Japan Cup final and then again at Wrestling Dontaku in Ospreay's only IWGP World Heavyweight Title defence.  

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Aidan Gibbons

Written by Aidan Gibbons

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