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Wataru vacates IWGP Jr. belt and graduates! Muto vs. Nakanishi set!

Posted by invizweb on June 21, 2008

Stuart Max wrote (on June 16):

Wataru Inoue today stunned the wrestling world by vacating his IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title, one day after winning the Best of the Super Jr. tournament and exceeding his teacher, Koji Kanemoto. Wataru said he has been struggling to keep his weight under the junior limit since coming back from Mexico, and has decided not to fight it any longer – the man who fought his way to the top of the junior division officially announced his graduation from the junior division to the heavyweight division. Wataru said he had this idea in his mind for a while, but wanted to fight Kanemoto first, the man he has been so close to over the years. And so, Wataru now begins a new phase of his career and looks ahead to the G1 Climax, where he will truly begin his heavyweight years. Wataru also reported that he was married to a 34-year-old woman from Oita in May last year. New Japan announced that another tournament will take place during the Korakuen triple header that highlights the upcoming “NEW JAPAN TRILL” series in July, to determine a new champion.

t’s set! Manabu Nakanishi will challenge for the IWGP Heavyweight Title for the first time since 2003 on July 21st when New Japan returns to the Tsukisamu Green Dome in Hokkaido. Nakanishi, following his de facto number one contendership match win over Hirooki Goto yesterday, will battle Keiji Muto, the man he bested in the 1999 G1 Climax final, but was unable to lift the IWGP belt from at the follow-up Tokyo Dome event. Nakanishi has various opponents in New Japan, PREMIUM, and ZERO1-MAX before fighting Muto, so wants to prepare himself properly for this, his chance to lift a singles title for the first time.

NJPW, 7/21/08 (WPW)
Tsukisamu Green Dome

IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Title: Jushin Thunder Liger & AKIRA (c) vs. Minoru & Prince Devitt
IWGP Heavyweight Title: Keiji Muto All Japan (c) vs. Manabu Nakanishi

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