When the world comes crashing down for New Japan Pro Wrestling, they have one constant to fall back on. That is their ace, Kazuchika Okada. 2021 got off to a solid start for the company, with them being able to run the Tokyo Dome for a two night Wrestle Kingdom. Things got rocky with fan reception when Kota Ibushi merged the IWGP Heavyweight & Intercontinental Championships into a new belt and promptly dropped it to Will Ospreay, and then it went down from there.
There would be an outbreak of COVID-19 in the locker room, catching the likes of IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion El Desperado, YOH, Taichi, and Kazuchika Okada. Will Ospreay would then suffer a massive neck injury during his match with Shingo Takagi and be forced to vacate the top title. Their two stadium tour of May would be postponed by the outbreak as well. However, tomorrow we see Kazuchika Okada step up and face Shingo Takagi for the vacant belt, and Okada had some words ahead of their clash.
Okada Gives His Thoughts On Title Unification
In a sit-down interview for NJPW World, he would start by saying it’s weird to challenge for the top title for the first time. He’s a five time IWGP Heavyweight Champion, but this is a new top belt. So much of his history is tied to the old championship, including the best reign in the titles history, but he’s ready to move on.
However, he does view the unification as one of the worst choices NJPW ever made. “But thinking through 49 years of company history, maybe it wasn’t the biggest mistake, but it’s probably the second. The second biggest gaff that should have been avoided.” He approached the idea of reversing the unification, but also blamed himself for losing the belt in the first place.
Kazuchika Okada Is Ready For Shingo Takagi
Okada was set to challenge for this title late in May in the main event of Tokyo Dome for the second night of Wrestle Grand Slam. He would have faced his old protege turned rival, Will Ospreay. Okada beat him at Tokyo Dome, and knew Ospreay would want revenge. When Ospreay called him out, Shingo crashed the party and Okada let them go at it first, knowing that Ospreay would likely get past the Dragon.
The last time Shingo & Okada met was in the first round of the New Japan Cup, where Okada was determined to walk away with the win to fast track himself to a title shot. However, Shingo baited Okada into using The Rainmaker all match, and when Okada finally bit, the next thing he knew he was staring up at the lights after being dropped with Last of The Dragon.
So Okada knew Shingo had the right to the first challenge, but knew his chance was coming. Now, he faces Shingo again but is ready to get his win back. He’s beaten Shingo before, they’re coming into this match with a 1-1 record, and whoever wins will likely carry the IWGP Heavyweight Championship proudly through the G1 Climax and into Tokyo Dome next January.
Will Kazuchika Okada become the man to bring importance to the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship? Let us know what you think in the comment section down below.
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