New Japan Pro Wrestling issued the following press release announcing a new stipulation to a matchup at the July 25th Wrestle Grand Slam event from the Tokyo Dome. The KOPW 2021 battle royal will now be contested with each competitor wearing handcuffs following a vote from the NJPW fans. Full details, including an updated card, are below.
Toru Yano has had a vise like grip on the KOPW trophies since their inception at Summer Struggle in Jingu one year ago. In his own unique way, Yano is a fighting champion, and allowed his KOPW 2021 status to be put at the most risk yet at Wrestle Grand Slam; in a New Japan Ranbo. In a twist to this pseudo Tokyo Dome tradition, Yano put KOPW stipulations to a fan vote; would it be a Ranbo with handcuffs, or with blindfolds?
Across English and Japanese social media, 15,855 votes were cast over the last week.
12,100 (76.3%) With Handcuffs
3,755 (23.7%) with Blindfolds
It will indeed be a New Japan Ranbo with Blindfolds. As in any normal New Japan Ranbo, entrants will join the match at a random order in one minute intervals. Elimination can occur by pinfall, submission, disqualification or by being thrown over the top rope. With Handcuffs means, however, that a wrestler can also be eliminated by being handcuffed to the ropes or ringside area, and must remain in place for the remainder of the match. A Toru Yano twist indeed, and it’s all coming on the kickoff to Wrestle Grand Slam Sunday!
UPDATED LINEUP FOR WRESTLE GRAND SLAM
IWGP World Heavyweight title: Shingo Takagi vs. Kota Ibushi will headline the show. Here is the full line-up:
IWGP World Heavyweight title: Shingo Takagi vs. Kota Ibushi
IWGP Tag Team titles: Tetsuya Naito and SANADA vs. Dangerous Tekkers (Taichi and Zack Sabre Jr.)
Kazuchika Okada vs. Jeff Cobb
IWGP Junior Heavyweight title: El Desperado vs. Robbie Eagles
IWGP Junior Tag Team titles: Taiji Ishimori and El Phantasmo vs. Rocky Romero and Ryusuke Taguchi
New Japan Ranbo battle royal for the KOPW 2021 trophy with handcuffs