***WARNING: GRAPHIC INJURY SUSTAINED IN GIF BELOW***
***WARNING: GRAPHIC INJURY SUSTAINED IN GIF ABOVE***
It’s currently being reported by Dave Meltzer that IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion Hiromu Takahashi suffered a broken neck on Saturday night, with this Phoenix-Plex spot being the one that did it (uh, no duh). Hiromu finished the match but collapsed as soon as he entered the backstage area, and was rushed to a local hospital immediately where I believe he remains.
In the likely scenario that you’re unaware of who Takahashi is, he’s one of the best wrestlers in the world right now at only 28 years of age and probably the most promising prospect to be a massive main event draw for the company in a few years time. Here’s some highlights from his match in the finals of this year’s Best of the Super Juniors:
Obviously this is a fucking ridiculous move that should’ve never been done in the first place, because of the nature of how dangerous it is, but it has been executed successfully many times in the past, most notably by Kevin Owens. When Owens was on the indies, going by his real name Kevin Steen, he’d perform this move into the turnbuckle pads in the corners of the ring and call it “The Steenalizer”. It wasn’t in his moveset for very long, because he felt uncomfortable with coming inches from manslaughter every night, but I always thought a funny tidbit from his days of doing the Steenalizer was that he’d let his opponents know that he would “never in a million years” agree to take the move before he pitched it to them.
We’re wishing the best for Hiromu in recovery of course, as is the rest of the wrestling world.
Currently, the last we’ve heard is that he’s “in a state where he can sit and talk with consciousness”, so that’s great news, and X-Pac offered some great words of encouragement and optimism for the Los Ingobernables de Japon member as did IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kenny Omega.
Jim Ross actually sustained an injury on the same show – yep, Good Ol’ JR – when Jay White suplexed Juice Robinson into a ringside barricade that shoved the commentary table back into Ross’ ribs, possibly breaking one and making him fall off his chair.
Other than those two unfortunate occurrences and injuries, the G1 Special was a rousing success headlined by the second one-on-one meeting between Kenny Omega and Cody Rhodes, and capped off by a great angle further pushing the self-destruction and civil war of the Bullet Club, but the black cloud hanging over the event is certainly present.