The fans of New Japan Pro-Wrestling have spoken, and KOPW 2022 provisional trophy holder Shingo Takagi will defend the trophy against Taichi in a “10-minute unlimited pinfall scramble” match.
A fairly self-explanatory stipulation, both competitors will have 10-minutes to get as many pinfalls as possible. Most falls at the end of the 10-minutes will be the new KOPW 2022 provisional trophy holder. Fans voted on Twitter between Takagi’s proposal of the “10-minute unlimited fall scramble” or Taichi’s convoluted proposal of a “no time limit limited finishers 10-count match,” in which both competitors would’ve only been able to use certain pins to win the match.
The match will take place at this Sunday’s NJPW Dominion event in Osaka-Jo Hall. Takagi has held the provisional trophy since April 25th, when he defeated Taichi in a 30-count match.
The KOPW Trophy was introduced in 2020 as a way to liven up NJPW shows. Originally pitched by IWGP World Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada, the trophy has been the signature division for Toru Yano, and other wrestlers with a reputation for comedy and creativity.
The rules of the KOPW trophy are labyrinthian. At the beginning of the year, a Rumble-style match is held to determine contenders for the KOPW trophy. Whoever holds the trophy must defend it until December 31st, at which point they are declared the Official KOPW Trophy holder, until then all trophy holders are “provisional.” All KOPW 2022 defenses must be wrestled in stipulation matches, with each competitor proposing a stipulation, and fans voting on which match they would like to see.
The official winner of the KOPW 2020 and KOPW 2021 trophies were Toru Yano. Yano was briefly the KOPW 2022 provisional trophy holder, but Takagi and Taichi have wrestled the trophy away from Yano for now. Takagi is promising to bring new respect to the trophy, and possibly turn it into a belt.
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