For the third time in its nearly 5 year history, the IWGP United States Championship is vacant again.
New Japan Pro Wrestling confirmed the news on Twitter late Friday night, stating that Juice Robinson had been stripped of the United States Championship and the planned three-way match at Dominion on Sunday, June 12 would change as well.
Robinson was to defend his newly won United States Championship against former champion SANADA and Will Ospreay in a three-way match at Dominion, but his status was called into question when he had to pull out of a scheduled match with Tomoaki Honma at the Best of Super Junior Finals at the Nippon Budokan just over a week ago, citing appendicitis. Per a video released on NJPW’s YouTube channel, Robinson indicated he would need surgery.
With Robinson out and the title now vacant, SANADA and Ospreay will meet at Dominion on June 12 to determine the new champion.
Robinson returned to New Japan at Wrestling Dontaku on May 1, and that same night threw in with Bullet Club attacking new US Champion Hiroshi Tanahashi. He would win the title just two weeks later at NJPW’s Capital Collision event in Washington, DC, in a four way also involving Ospreay and Jon Moxley.
This marks the third time that the IWGP US Championship has been vacated since the title debuted in 2017. Moxley himself was forced to vacate the title in 2019 after missing a scheduled title defense due to travel problems in the wake of Typhoon Hagibis. Then, in April of this year, SANADA vacated the title after suffering a fractured orbital bone against Ospreay in the New Japan Cup.
SANADA and Ospreay will now collide one-on-one to determine the new IWGP United States Champion. SANADA will seek to become the fifth two-time IWGP US Champion, while Ospreay, the reigning RevPro Undisputed British Heavyweight Champion, is looking for his first singles gold in NJPW since losing the IWGP World Heavyweight Title to Kazuchika Okada at Wrestle Kingdom in January.
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