Karl Anderson to defend NEVER Openweight Championship in Japan

Nov 22, 2022 - by Marc Middleton

WWE’s Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson are returning to NJPW next month. Anderson, who is still NJPW’s NEVER Openweight Champion, took to Instagram today and posted a video from AJ Styles’ tour bus. The video also features Styles and Luke Gallows.

Gallows commented on how it’s nice to be back on a tour bus that is private and not filled with a bunch of marks, then announced that he and Anderson will return to NJPW on Wednesday, December 14 for the World Tag League & Super Junior Tag League finals event from Sendai Sunplaza Hall in Sendai, Japan. It was confirmed that Anderson will defend his NEVER Openweight Title that night, but his opponent was not announced.

Styles approved the announcement, and said the news is just “too sweet.”

Anderson was originally scheduled to defend the title against Hikuleo at NJPW’s Battle Autumn tour-closer on Saturday,, November 5 in Osaka, Japan, but The O.C. had to be in Saudi Arabia for their six-man loss to The Judgment Day at WWE Crown Jewel. Anderson posted a storyline video where he refused to come to Osaka that weekend, and NJPW also furthered the storyline by threatening to strip him of the title. Hikuleo said he wanted to beat Anderson for the title instead.

Anderson has held the NEVER Openweight Title since defeating Tama Tonga on June 12 at the Dominion 6.12 event in Osaka. He and Gallows returned to WWE on Monday, October 10, and it was reported that NJPW officials had prior notice of the return. There have been rumors on Gallows and Anderson returning to Japan to work at least one more date, perhaps the big Wrestle Kingdom 17 show in January, but the December 14 date is the only show announced for the two as of this writing.

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