NJPW star Toru Yano is still the KOPW 2021 champion.
Yano defeated Yoshinobu Kanemaru at today’s Road To Tokyo Dome event in a End of the Year party contest to hold onto the trophy, a bout where both men continued to down shots of alcohol before going at it in the ring. NJPW has since released a full play-by-play breakdown of the match, which you can check out below.
December 24 saw Toru Yano officially named 2021’s KOPW victor, as the last KOPW match of the year saw a End of Year Party match opposite Yoshinobu Kanemaru to decide 2021’s final trophy holder.
The match, wherein both competitors had to consume a shot of whiskey within 20 seconds at two minute intervals, began with Yano declaring his drinking prowess, the first two minutes expiring before any contact. With one shot in their systems, both men employed the acquired Dutch courage to try for victory with flash pins, but to no avail. The match would spill to the floor and Kanemaru sent Yano to the guardrail, before whiskey time two was called.
Yano would down his second shot faster, and used the advantage to get in the ring and remove the corner pad, though it would be Yano taking the rather different kind of shot into the exposed buckle. A series of Irish Whip reversals, and both men crashed, disoriented to the canvas before shot number 3 was called. This time ‘Nobu took the drink fastest, and used the advantage to try and prevent Yano from consuming his own shot in time, Yano just barely beating the referee’s 20 count.
As Yano willed himself in, Kanemaru scored a basement dropkick, and tortured Yano with a Rolling Cradle, only getting two, leading to a double down before shot number 4. Kanemaru again completed his shot faster, and used a Young Lion to stop Yano from getting in the ring in time, but the KOPW holder still kept himself in the contest, and kicked out of repeated cover attempts.
Kanemaru went for a bonus shot to mist into Yano’s face, but accidentally misted the referee. Yano would low blow his challenger before forcing more alcohol down Kanemaru’s throat before hitting the Oni Koroshi Powerbomb to secure victory.