New Japan Pro Wrestling will celebrate 49 years of business on Thursday. The NJPW 49th anniversary show will be headlined by IWGP Double Champion Kota Ibushi defending the dual heavyweight titles for the last time against IWGP Jr. Heavyweight & IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Champion El Desperado. This marks the first time that the annual Heavyweight Champion vs. Jr. Heavyweight Champion match is actually for the Heavyweight Title, as it is usually as ceremonial non-title match.
The company was originally hesitant to make the title match, despite El Desperado asking for one at the end of Sunday’s Castle Attack. It wasn’t until Ibushi himself requested the title match that NJPW management announced the change in stipulation.
Also the first two matches of the 28-man New Japan Cup will be contested.
The show will air on March 4th at 3am EST on NJPWWorld.com.
NJPW 49th Anniversary Show
- Hirooki Goto, Tomoaki Honma, Master Wato & Gabriel Kidd vs. Suzuki-gun (Taichi, Zack Sabre Jr., Minoru Suzuki & Douki)
- Hiroshi Tanahashi, Juice Robinson, David Finlay, Toa Henare & Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Bullet Club (EVIL, Jay White, KENTA, Taiji Ishimori & Chase Owens)
- CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada, SHO & Tomohiro Ishii) vs. Los Ingobernables de Japon (Shingo Takagi, SANADA & BUSHI)
- New Japan Cup First Round Match: Satoshi Kojima vs. Jeff Cobb
- New Japan Cup First Round Match: Tetsuya Naito vs. Great-O-Khan
- IWGP Heavyweight & IWGP Intercontinental Heavyweight Double Championships Match: Kota Ibushi (c) vs. El Desperado
— NJPW Global (@njpwglobal) March 1, 2021