NJPW have announced that Hiroshi Tanahashi will face Shingo Takagi at Wrestle Grand Slam for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship. This decision has been made after Kota Ibushi had to be pulled from the event due to his ongoing struggles with aspiration pneumonia.
NJPW’s full statement reads:
“As previously reported, Kota Ibushi has been diagnosed with aspiration pneumonia, and as a result, has missed the Summer Struggle tour. After careful monitoring of his recovery, Ibushi is unfortunately, unable to compete at Wrestle Grand Slam where he was scheduled to face Shingo Takagi for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship.
We apologise to fans who were looking forward to seeing Ibushi wrestle. We appreciate your understanding, and hope you join us in wishing Ibushi the best in his recovery.
In a change to the main event of Wrestle grand Slam, Hiroshi Tanahashi will face Shingo Takagi in the main event. Saturday in Nagoya, Tanahashi defeated KENTA before stating he was ready to take the main event spot if it was open. Tanahashi defeated Takagi on January 30 at New Beginning in Nagoya to win the NEVER Openweight Championship, and has main evented in the Tokyo Dome more than any other wrestler in history, preparing now for his 11th headline match in the building.
Wrestle Grand Slam kicks off at 4PM JST with the KOPW 2021 New Japan Ranbo with Handcuffs, before the main card begins at 5PM.”
As Kota Ibushi continues to recover from aspiration pneumonia, he will be absent from Wrestle Grand Slam in the Tokyo Dome.
— NJPW Global (@njpwglobal) July 25, 2021
NJPW Wrestle Grand Slam kicks off in just over five hours. You can catch the event on either Fite.TV or NJPW World.