NJPW: Styles retains against Okada


STYLES CLASH: IWGP Heavyweight Champion AJ Styles finishes Kazuchika Okada in Japan’s Yokohama Arena. PHOTO: New Japan Pro-Wrestling

AJ Styles has asserted himself as the number one wrestler in New Japan Pro-Wrestling with his second IWGP Heavyweight Championship defence this month.

Styles, who also retained his title in triple threat action at ROH War of the Worlds, defeated Kazuchika Okada in the main event of NJPW’s Back to the Yokohama Arena event on Sunday.

While the title bout was plagued with interference from both Styles’ Bullet Club and Okada’s CHAOS stablemates, things ultimately boiled down to the one-on-one match fans had been holding out for since Styles first won the title.

Styles proved he was every bit as athletic as Okada with his back-flip Pelé kick, which he followed with a brainbuster.

Styles then tried to secure Okada for his Styles Clash, but the challenger back-dropped his way free of the move, or so it seemed.

The IWGP Heavyweight Champion maintained his grip as Okada took him over, and rolled through as if for a sunset flip pin, before getting back to his feet with Okada still in position for a second Styles Clash.

Styles connected with his signature move and covered Okada for the win, chalking up his second title defence of the month.

NJPW Back to the Yokohama Arena Results:

  • Alex Shelley, BUSHI, KUSHIDA & Ryusuke Taguchi def. El Desperado, Jushin “Thunder” Liger, Mascara Dorada & Tiger Mask IV
  • Bullet Club (Doc Gallows, “Machine Gun” Karl Anderson, Tama Tonga & Yujiro Takahashi) def. Captain New Japan, Manabu Nakanishi, Tomoaki Honma & Yuji Nagata
  • NWA World Tag Team Championship:
    Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima (c) def. Davey Boy Smith Jr & Lance Archer and Rob Conway & Wes Brisco
  • Minoru Suzuki & Shelton “X” Benjamin def. Takashi Iizuka & Toru Yano
  • Bad Luck Fale def. Tetsuya Naito
  • Kazushi Sakuraba def. Rolles Gracie
  • NEVER Openweight Championship:
    Tomohiro Ishii (c) def.. Kota Ibushi
  • #1 Contender’s Match to the IWGP Tag Team Championship:
    Hiroshi Tanahashi & Togi Makabe def. Hirooki Goto & Katsuyori Shibata
  • IWGP Intercontinental Championship:
    Shinsuke Nakamura (c) def. Daniel Gracie
  • IWGP Heavyweight Championship:
    AJ Styles (c) def. Kazuchika Okada