The always insightful Rev. Claire was one of many scratching her head about New Japan’s decision to have G1 Climax winner Kota Ibushi lose his challenge briefcase to Jay White at Power Struggle on Saturday.
We have more insight into Gedo’s thinking after the Wrestle Kingdom 15 press conference yesterday (Nov. 8) laid out NJPW’s plans for the IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental titles currently held by Tetsuya Naito.
Our Stardust Genius champ-champ isn’t happy about not getting to prove himself against Ibushi at the Tokyo Dome. So even though he no longer has a contractually guaranteed title shot for the show, Naito demanded a match with the back-to-back G1 winner for night one of Wrestle Kingdom. Kota accepted, and it’s a go.
ICYMI:— NJPW Global (@njpwglobal) November 8, 2020
Tetsuya Naito has demanded to face Kota Ibushi on January 4 and Jay White January 5 in back to back title defences at Wrestle Kingdom 15!https://t.co/TXai4H3I8J#njpw #njwk15 pic.twitter.com/wjK9G4Posd
Rather than forcing White to defend his briefcase again - a route some thought Gedo would choose - he’ll use it to face whoever wins on Jan. 4 in the main event of night two.
Huge matches confirmed as Varsan Plus presents Wrestle Kingdom 15!— NJPW Global (@njpwglobal) November 9, 2020
Night two- January 5 2021:
IWGP Intercontinental & Heavyweight Championships
Jay White vs Tetsuya Naito or Kota Ibushi!https://t.co/yZspkKyu6R#njpw #njwk15 pic.twitter.com/VkGMLdEFkX
The Kazuchika Okada/Will Opsreay clash that was set-up back in the G1 semis was also booked for night one.
Let us know what you think of the way New Japan is handling the IWGP Heavyweight & Intercontinental title picture, and what else you want to see on Jan. 4 - 5, in the comments below.