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NEVER

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NEVER was a series of professional wrestling events held by New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) between August 2010 and November 2012. On July 12, 2010, NJPW officially announced the NEVER project, which was to highlight younger up-and-coming talent and outside wrestlers not signed to the promotion. It was explained that the name of the project was an acronym of the terms "New Blood", "Evolution", "Valiantly", "Eternal" and "Radical". For the events, NJPW recruited several freelancers as well as wrestlers signed to promotions such as Dramatic Dream Team (DDT) and Kaientai Dojo. Some outsiders who became NEVER regulars included Daisuke Sasaki, Kaji Tomato, Madoka, Ryuichi Sekine and Shinobu. Kushida, who entered NEVER as a representative of the Smash promotion in February 2011, signed a NJPW contract the following month and returned to the project the following September, now representing NJPW. Three NJPW trainees; Hiromu Takahashi, Sho Tanaka and Yohei Komatsu, made their professional wrestling debuts at NEVER events. Takahashi, who debuted at NEVER.1, was the only wrestler who wrestled on all thirteen NEVER events.

On October 5, 2012, NJPW announced that NEVER was going to get its own championship, the NEVER Openweight Championship. The title was originally scheduled to be defended exclusively at NEVER events, but this plan was quickly changed and since its foundation, the title has been defended on the undercards of NJPW events. NJPW has not held a single NEVER event since the tournament, which crowned the first NEVER Openweight Champion on November 19, 2012.

NEVER dates and venues

Event Date City Venue
NEVER 1 August 24, 2010 Tokyo, Japan Shin-Kiba 1st Ring
NEVER 2 September 16, 2010 Tokyo, Japan Shin-Kiba 1st Ring
NEVER 3 October 8, 2010 Tokyo, Japan Shin-Kiba 1st Ring
NEVER 4 November 18, 2010 Tokyo, Japan Shin-Kiba 1st Ring
NEVER 5 February 24, 2011 Tokyo, Japan Shin-Kiba 1st Ring
NEVER 6 - Day 1 April 7, 2011 Tokyo, Japan Shin-Kiba 1st Ring
NEVER 6 - Day 2 April 8, 2011 Tokyo, Japan Shin-Kiba 1st Ring
NEVER 7 September 21, 2011 Osaka, Japan Sekaikan
NEVER 8 February 10, 2012 Osaka, Japan Sekaikan
NEVER 9 - Day 1 April 13, 2012 Tokyo, Japan Shin-Kiba 1st Ring
NEVER 9 - Day 2 April 13, 2012 Tokyo, Japan Shin-Kiba 1st Ring
Openweight Title Tournament 1st Round November 15, 2012 Tokyo, Japan Shibuya-Ax
Openweight Title Tournament Final November 19, 2012 Tokyo, Japan Shibuya-Ax

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