The main event at New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Destruction in Kobe today (for full results, check here) between Hiroshi Tanahashi and Kazuchika Okada, with the former’s G1 Climax 28 winner’s contract to challenge for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship at Wrestle Kingdom 13 on the line, was not the most surprising part of the show by far.
The match was a predictably epic clash that played out in a somewhat less predictable manner, with a driven Okada working Tanahashi’s leg over early and often, leaving the 1/100 Ace on the back foot and driven only by his desire to finally get another win over a man he had once dominated in back to back Wrestle Kingdom main events. In the end, Tanahashi’s drive won out, and after three consecutive High Fly Flows, he retained his briefcase and denied the Rainmaker the Wrestle Kingdom main event for the first time since 2013.
And then “Switchblade” Jay White reared his ugly head, hitting Blade Runner on the Ace and prompting YOSHI-HASHI to run down and make the save. Poor Tacos slipped at the bottom of the ramp and cut his face open, but he fought on until White dispatched him, but the Switchblade was not ready to fold and put himself away.
Jay made his way to the English announce table, accosted Chaos stablemate Rocky Romero and took his chair before heading back to the ring with evil intentions, and now it was Gedo’s turn to make the save, or so we thought. With Okada risen at last, the Raintaker took the chair out of White’s hands and seemingly took his place at the Rainmaker’s side, together again for one last ride...
And then Gedo cracked the chair across Kazuchika’s back.
He cut a promo running Okada down in Japanese and then, just to make it extra clear for the international audience, exhorted us to breathe with the Switchblade, and promised a new era coming soon.
It’s the second faction civil war to escalate from tension to pure violence in New Japan over the last year or so. Bullet Club made it out the other end of their war fractured into two squabbling halves but still a viable fighting force.
Will Chaos be able to say the same?
In any case while the Bullet Club civil war’s final resolution may have been a bit damp, especially with the Firing Squad / Bullet Club OGs being the weakest part of the G1 Climax this year, the storytelling that got us there was some of the most fun and compelling in recent memory, so I’m certainly up for NJ trying to have another bite at that apple with Chaos.
There you have it, folks
Is Gedo a rat bastard for turning on his protege after all these years or are you ready to breathe with the Switchblade, Cagesiders?