NJPW Confirms Karl Anderson's Next Opponent

Karl Anderson is currently working in both WWE and New Japan Pro-Wrestling, which is a rarity in 2022. Anderson was originally scheduled to defend the NEVER Openweight Championship against former Bullet club stablemate Hikuleo at NJPW Battle Autumn on November 5; however, he was unable to make the defense due to being booked for WWE's Crown Jewel the same day. Anderson teamed with AJ Styles and Luke Gallows in a losing effort against The Judgment Day's Dominik Mysterio, Damian Priest, and Finn Balor at Crown Jewel.

NJPW issued a press release stating that Anderson versus Hikuleo will officially go down during the Super Junior and World Tag League 2022 finals on December 14. It will be Anderson's second defense of the NEVER Openweight Championship since defeating Tama Tonga for the title earlier this year. Anderson's only title defense was against Hiroshi Tanahashi in September.

In the past, NJPW has stripped champions of their titles if they are unable to defend them after a title defense has officially been scheduled.

Anderson has spent a number of years in NJPW dating back to 2008, with much of that time coming as a part of Bullet Club. Anderson has won the IWGP World Tag Team Championships on four occasions. Three of those reigns came alongside Gallows (known as Doc Gallows in NJPW) and one was with Giant Bernard (aka Matt Bloom). The NEVER Openweight Championship is Anderson's first singles title in NJPW. He reached the finals of the G1 Climax tournament in 2012, losing to Kazuchika Okada.