WWE Replica Titles

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Karl Anderson retains the NEVER Openweight title, to wrestle at Wrestle Kingdom 17

Karl Anderson is sticking around with New Japan Pro-Wrestling after he beat Hikeuleo at the NJPW World Tag League event earlier today, holding on to the NEVER Openweight title. The show was held at the Sendai Sunplaza Hall in Sendai, Japan.

The match was originally scheduled to take place on November 5, the same day as WWE’s Crown Jewel premium live event in Saudi Arabia and Anderson opted to go there instead to Japan to defend his title. In the days leading up to the show, NJPW ordered him to surrender the title but Anderson said he’s the greatest NEVER Openweight champion and he would defend it on his own terms.

Meanwhile, The O.C. member already has a date and opponent set for his next title defense: former champion himself Tama Tonga at the Wrestle Kingdom 17 event at the Tokyo Dome on January 4, 2023. Anderson will surely walk into this match as the favorite and you can already sign up for a BetMGM registration code if you’re interested in trying your luck with this match.

If Anderson remains champion past Wrestle Kingdom it would open more opportunities for a potential WWE/NJPW collaboration in the future.

Anderson won the NEVER Openweight title from Tama Tonga on June 12, 2022 at the NJPW Dominion show in Osaka while he was still under contract with Impact Wrestling. When his Impact Wrestling contract came up and Anderson and his tag team partner Luke Gallows started negotiating with WWE for a return, he was given permission to continue defend his title over in Japan, something that certainly would not have been possible under the old regime.

Meanwhile, Anderson will not be the only one from the U.S. making the trip to Japan for the show. Kenny Omega and FTR from AEW will also be part of the Wrestle Kingdom pay-per-view while Sasha Banks will be attending the event as well.

Omega will be taking on Will Ospreay for the IWGP United States Heavyweight title while FTR, the team of Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler, will defend the IWGP Tag Team titles against Hirooki Goto and Yoshi-Hashi of Bishamon. FTR have been tag team champions since the Forbidden Door pay-per-view in Chicago, winning a winner-take-all three-way match which also included Roppongi Vice and former champions United Empire.

Colin Vassallo
Colin Vassallohttps://www.wrestling-online.com
Colin Vassallo has been editor of Wrestling-Online since 1996. He is born and raised in Malta, follows professional wrestling and MMA, loves to travel, and is a big Apple fan!

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