The IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship match at Sunday’s “Dominion” has taken on a new complexion following a big announcement from the company.
New Japan Pro Wrestling announced today that the current IWGP US Titleholder, Juice Robinson, would be stripped of his Championship. In the press release regarding the situation, it was explained that Juice sent New Japan officials a video of himself refusing to defend the Title at Sunday’s event.
On Friday June 9, New Japan Pro-Wrestling was in receipt of a video from Juice Robinson, in which he stated that he would not be present for his IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship three way match at Dominion.
In fact, Robinson had initially agreed to the championship match Sunday in Osaka Jo Hall. Having now reneged on this agreement and refusing to attend in Osaka, NJPW is hereby stripping Robinson of his champion status and is demanding the return of the championship belt currently in his possession.
As a result of the championship vacancy, the previously scheduled IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship three way is now a singles match that will determine a new champion.
The card change is as follows:
9th Match- IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship Three Way
Juice Robinson vs SANADA vs Will Ospreay ->
9th Match- IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship
SANADA vs Will Ospreay
New Japan Pro-Wrestling apologises to fans who were looking forward to seeing Juice wrestle, as well as for the confusion and inconvenience caused.
As the press release mentions, we will instead see SANADA vs. Ospreay in a singles match to determine the new IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion going into NJPW x AEW “Forbidden Door” on June 26.
It’s unclear at this time if the announcement is fully storyline-based or if there is an element of reality to it. Robinson has gone the extra mile as of late when attempting to blur the lines between what is fact and what is fiction, including a recent announcement involving his contract at NJPW. The former IWGP US Champion claimed that his contract with the company had expired and he was looking into opportunities elsewhere for the time being.
That was proven to be a ruse when shortly after the claims, Robinson appeared at “Wrestling Dontaku” on May 1 and turned heel, joining Bullet Club in the process. He would follow up the newsworthy return by winning the IWGP United States title at “Capital Collision” in Washington, DC on May 14.
Up until this point, the company had established that Robinson was missing matches due to appendicitis. Whether he is still recovering and that is the legitimate reason he is missing this weekend’s pay-per-view is unclear at this time.
Stay tuned for updates on Juice Robinson. We’ll have live coverage of NJPW “Dominion” this Sunday, starting at 1 a.m. ET.
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