Tama Tonga is your new NEVER Openweight Champion.
Tonight’s NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 17 event saw Tonga defeat WWE’s Karl Anderson to capture the NEVER Openweight Title. The match began with a cheap belt shot by Anderson, but ended with Tonga using a pair of Gun Stuns to get the win.
This is Tonga’s second reign with the title. Anderson began his first reign with the strap back on June 12 by defeating Tonga at the Dominion 6.12 event. Anderson held the title for 206 recognized days.
Anderson carried the title with him into WWE when he and Luke Gallows returned to the company in October, but the title never appeared on WWE TV. Anderson was originally scheduled to defend against Hikuleo on November 5, but he and Gallows were booked for WWE Crown Jewel in Saudi Arabia, to team with AJ Styles for a loss to The Judgment Day. Anderson ended up retaining over Hikuleo on December 14 at thE NJPW World Tag League & Super Junior Tag League finals event. Tonga challenged Anderson after that match and the two brawled with Anderson getting the upperhand to set up tonight’s match.
Anderson is believed to be done with NJPW as of tonight’s match.
Below are a few shots of tonight’s title change from the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan:
🔥東京ドーム大会 WRESTLE KINGDOM 17🔥
— njpwworld (@njpwworld) January 4, 2023
— なかわんくま/nakawankuma/ (@nakawankuma) January 4, 2023
12 years waiting on his single’s moment at Wrestle Kingdom and now that he has finally achieved it, he just want to be with the people he loves.
To Karl Anderson – I love you man!
— Issa – Pro Wrestling Illustrated (PWI) (@IssitaMarie) January 4, 2023
— Hooked On Wrestling (@HOWrestlingUK) January 4, 2023
Stay tuned to WrestlingHeadlines.com for more.