The stage was set for the final match of New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW)’s G1 Climax tournament to be another classic. Kota Ibushi fought Kazuchika Okada in a battle of multiple time G1 winners. Ibushi won this year’s A Block with a 7-2 record and 14 total points. Okada won this year’s B Block with an 8-1 record, 16 total points, and clinching the tiebreaker over Jeff Cobb.
Ibushi was trying to win his third consecutive tournament, but it wasn’t meant to be. He couldn’t finish off Okada with his Kamigoye, so he instead went up to the top rope for a Phoenix Splash. Okada moved out of the way and Ibushi landed on the ring mat. Ibushi’s right arm/shoulder was injured on impact, and the referee stopped the match after checking him out. Ibushi held his arm while leaving the ring and being assisted to the back. This appeared to be a legitimate injury rather than a planned angle.
Just like that, Okada was declared the winner of G1 Climax 31. He will now be challenging for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship at Wrestle Kingdom 16 in early January.