NJPW (New Japan Pro Wrestling for those not familiar) is building up to it’s Summer Struggle main event which will take place in Jingu Stadium on the 29th August.
The main event will be a four way match to crown the brand new King of Pro Wrestling Champion and the four wrestlers are to be decided in matches to take place on August 26th, with very unique stipulations.
Each fighter involved in the four qualifying matches has come up with their own stipulations and voting is taking place on Twitter right now.
Kazuchika Okada is so confident that he can beat Yujiro Takahashi that he’s suggested a 1 vs 3 handicap match, with Okada himself being the sole wrestler going against the team of Takahashi, Jado and Gedo. For his part, Takahashi suggests ‘Lumberjack with Leather Belt Death’, where lumberjacks at ringside can whip anyone that comes out of the ring. (Lumberjacks are expected to bring their own belts.)
Toru Yano will face BUSHI in the second match. These stipulations have come about as a result of BUSHI getting counted out of the ring after Yano managed to tie the mask of BUSHI to the guardrails, making sure he couldn’t get back in the ring in time. Earlier in the year, BUSHI beat Yano with a flash pinfall which got under Yano’s skin.
Depending how the votes go, this match will end with a 2-count pin fall (instead of the usual 3-count) or with the opponent being outside of the ring for a count of five (instead of the standard 10.)
The third of the matches sees Satoshi Kojima take on El Desperado in either a ‘Finisher Only’ or ‘No Finisher’ match. Originally is was Desperado who said the he would choose ‘Finisher Only’ rules, so that either wrestler could only go for the pin after hitting their own finishing move. (Kojima has the Lariat and Desperado’s is the ‘Pinche Loco’.)
Kojima loved the idea and said he also wanted a Finishers Only match so El Desperado changed his choice to the opposite – a No Finishers Allowed match. Under those rules the use of the Lariat or Pinche Loco will cause the wrestler to lose the match by disqualification.
The final match is SHO taking on SANADA and is the only one not up for the vote as both wrestlers have agreed on the stipulation, a submission match. This has come about to SHO losing to SANADA by tapping out and demanding a rematch. SANADA would only grant the rematch if SHO ‘brought something extra’ and so SHO has been taking out his opponents since his loss with use of arm submissions.
The voting is live on Twitter on NJPW’s news feed and the results are to be announced on Monday 24th August.