Indiecent Exposure: AJ Styles Wins IWGP Heavyweight Championship | Smark Out Moment

Indiecent Exposure: AJ Styles Wins IWGP Heavyweight Championship

Posted by Oliver Court Wednesday, May 14, 2014
At Wrestling Dontaku last weekend, AJ Styles ended the 13-month reign of Kazuchika Okada as International Wrestling Grand Prix Heavyweight Champion, when Yujiro Takahashi attacked his former CHAOS stable-mate Okada to join Bullet Club and helped Styles to become the 4th gaijin Heavyweight Champion in New Japan Pro Wrestling's history. It's a big win for Styles in his first match in New Japan, and it shows that NJPW have a lot of faith in both him and the Bullet Club stable, who stated their intention to take all the titles in the company. We've seen the 'dominant heel stable that cheats to win' a thousand times in Western pro wrestling, but its a rarer concept in Japan, so while some people are grumbling about the 'Westernising' of purorseu, I'm looking forward to seeing what the Bullet Club will do next. Having a Japanese member in Takahashi provides a fresh dynamic, as does AJ Styles becoming the new centerpiece now that Prince Devitt has left (still no definite word if Devitt is coming to WWE; I'll keep you posted on that).

New Japan Pro Wrestling NJPW AJ Styles IWGP Champion Title Bullet Club heel stable Karl Anderson Yujiro Takahashi CHAOS

Elsewhere on the Dontaku card, Tomoaki Honma and Tomohiro Ishii had an awesomely brutal match for the NEVER Openweight Title, which has gained a lot of prestige with Ishii having must-see matches every time he defends it. His series with Tetsuya Naito has been the feud of the year so far, and his clash with the Junior Heavyweight Champion Kota Ibushi in a few weeks is sure to be excellent as well. Ishii's one of my favourite wrestlers right now, and I urge you to go find one of his matches if you're not a fan already.

Another personal favouite of mine is Shinsuke Nakamura, but not even he could save the mess that was 'Pro Wrestling vs Jiu-Jitsu' against Daniel and Rolles Gracie. Four guys rolling around in gis pretending to have an MMA fight is not what anyone wants to see in New Japan, and the Gracies really can't be gone soon enough.

Nakamura will almost certainly have a much better outing at next weekend's Ring of Honor crossover show 'War of the Worlds', where he will wrestle Kevin Steen in a bit of a dream match for me. Other matches on the card include AJ Styles taking on Michael Elgin, Adam Cole facing Jushin Thunder Liger for the ROH Championship, and the crazy good KUSHIDA wrestling Jay Lethal. I skipped over the first ROH/NJPW show 'Global Wars' because 'WotW' looked like the better card and I'm not made of money, but by all accounts that was a very fun show. With more actual crossover matches at 'WotW', it should be even more awesome.

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