Hiroshi Tanahashi is once again the IWGP United States Championship after a brutal, violent, and dangerous “no disqualification” match. He took back the title from KENTA on Night 2 of New Japan Pro-Wrestling’s Wrestle Kingdom 16 event.

Hiroshi Tanahashi punctuated the title victory with a High Fly Flow from the top of a ladder that towered over the ring. Tanahashi crashed down through KENTA, who was lying prone on top of a table.

Moments earlier, KENTA was set to deliver his own high-impact blow from the top of the ladder. However, Tanahashi recovered in time to shake the ladder. KENTA appeared to land headfirst on a trash can left laying in the ring. KENTA’s face was bloodied after the landing.

Ringside doctors were at KENTA’s side immediately after the match. He walked away from the ring under his own power with a large bandage wrapped around his face and head. KENTA came into the match battered and bruised following a 6-man tag team match on Night 1 of Wrestle Kingdom 16.

Other weapons were introduced earlier in the match. Those included chairs, kendo sticks, guitars, and the damaged briefcase KENTA once carried to represent his right to challenge for the United States title.

This is Hiroshi Tanahashi’s second reign as IWGP United States Champion. He won the title from Lance Archer last August at New Japan’s Resurgence show in Los Angeles. KENTA ended Tanahashi’s first reign in November at Power Struggle in Osaka, Japan.

Hiroshi Tanahashi eventually offered KENTA the option to choose the stipulation for a title rematch. KENTA initially refused that offer as well. But later, KENTA finally relented and agreed to defend the title in a “no disqualification” match.

This was KENTA’s first reign as IWGP United States Champion. Before winning the title from Tanahashi in November, KENTA unsuccessfully challenged Jon Moxley early last year. The match aired on an episode of NJPW Strong last February.

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