PwInsider.com is reporting that TNA has opened discussions with former WWE and IWGP champion Brock Lesnar about coming into the company this fall. The belief is that discussions circled around the idea of Lesnar coming into the company once TNA moves forward with its expected two hour expansion of Impact on SpikeTV. As long as negotiations are completed as expected, that expansion is believed to take place in early October. Kurt Angle is working as something of a conduit between the two sides and had a long conversation with Lesnar about coming in while the two were both in Japan working for Antonio Inoki. One source has indicated to me that Lesnar quietly traveled to Nashville for an initial meeting several weeks ago.
Juice Robinson Vows To Never Go Back To WWE
IWGP United States Champion Juice Robinson has been rumored to be a name of interest to the WWE, where he once performed in Florida Championship Wrestling and NXT as CJ Parker, but is shooting down those rumors.
Robinson has made it clear that he fully intends to never go back to WWE, making the comments backstage from Night 8 of the G1 Climax 28 tournament.
“I ain’t going back. I ain’t ever going back.”
Juice Robinson on NXT/WWE pic.twitter.com/KHpVbKpQCV
— JJ Williams (@JJWilliamsWON) July 26, 2018
Chris Jericho Says New Japan “Breathing Down The Neck” Of WWE
IWGP Intercontinental Champion Chris Jericho believes that while New Japan won’t ever top WWE, they are certainly putting the pressure of competition on the wrestling giant.
“[New Japan] is a company that’s slowly but surely increasing its worldwide popularity and basically breathing down the neck of the WWE” Jericho said, in an interview with the Winnipeg Free Press’ Taylor Allen.
“It’s a Japanese wrestling company, the top stars are Japanese, but there we were, two foreigners, headlining and main eventing the Tokyo Dome. It would be like two Japanese football teams in the Super Bowl. The fact it’s two guys from Winnipeg is a really huge deal.”
Jericho believes that what makes New Japan so successful is that they present something different than what fans see in WWE programming.
“Obviously, you’ll never beat WWE, but to carve out a niche for yourself within the market, you have to do something different, and New Japan is a completely different animal. Yes, it’s still pro wrestling, but it’s a completely different style and much more reformed, more hard-hitting and, in a lot of ways, more fun, depending on what you’re looking for.”
NJPW: Himoru Takahashi Wins Best of Super Juniors
Former IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion and Los Ignorables de Japon member Hiromu Takahashi has spent the last year trying to reclaim the title. He took the first grand step toward that goal by winning the 2018 Best of the Super Juniors Tournament.
The Ticking Time Bomb will get his next shot at the championship against current titleholder Will Ospreay at Dominion on June 9.
Takahashi won Block B with 10 points and losing only two matches to El Desperado and Current CMLL World Lightweight Champion Dragon Lee. In the tournament finale, Takahashi defeated newcomer and Bullet Club member Taiji Ishimori, who had won Block A to qualify for the final match.
Takahashi’s victory marked the first time he won the BOSJ Tournament – it is also the first BOSJ tournament championship for LIJ.
It is also the latest success for LIJ in the calendar year. Last August, current IWGP Intercontinental Champion Tetsuya Naito won his second G1 Climax Tournament. Evil and Sanada claimed their first World Tag League Tournament and would go on to win the IWGP Tag Team Championship at Wrestle Kingdom 12.
While the 2018 BOSJ victory is another feather in Takahashi’s cap, it’s also the climax in what has been a year-long redemption story arc for the Ticking Time Bomb.
Takahashi has been chasing the Jr. Heavyweight title ever since he lost it last June to 2017 BOSJ winner Kushida, who he defeated in this year’s tournament. He won his first Jr. Heavyweight title from Kushida at Wrestle Kingdom 11. During his 158 days as champion, Takahashi had four successful title defenses and formed a deep bond with the title. Calling it “Belt-san,” Takahashi would take baths with the belt and take it out to dinner. It was humorous, like many things Takahashi has done – this is a wrestler who has gotten a cat doll over with the crowd – but when he lost the title it was devastating for him. It was also a contrast to Naito, who treated his Intercontinental Championship horribly, going to great lengths to destroy it.
Takahashi unsuccessfully challenged for the title throughout late 2017 and early 2018 – one of those bouts was a fatal four-way at Wrestle Kingdom 12 that featured Ospreay, Kushida and Marty Scurll.
While Takahashi has been unable to win back the Jr. Heavyweight title, he had the support of the fans, who are waiting for him to accomplish his goal and carry Belt-san.
Even if Takahashi doesn’t win the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight title from Ospreay at Dominion he at least claimed his perch on the division and will be featured in various bouts for the title in the next couple of years.
Eventually Takahashi will become the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion. The last two BOSJ winners have go on to win the title at some point. Kushida won the title from Takahashi after winning the tournament. Also Ospreay didn’t claim the title after he won the 2016 BOSJ Tournament, he would eventually win the belt in late 2017.
If he doesn’t win the belt, Takahashi may do what many other Jr. Heavyweights have done in the past – declare his move up to the Heavyweight Division.
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