Great competitors know how important it is to respond to adversity, even when their spirit comes into question after defeat. Kota Ibushi and Jay White have the opportunity to immediately move past disappointment and regain their footing at the top of the New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW).
The current vague understanding is the winner of this match will challenge the winner of IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada and IWGP Intercontinental Champion Tetsuya Naito at New Beginning In Osaka; however, which championship they will challenge for is unknown.
Kota Ibushi showing his dark and vicious side on night-one of Wrestle Kingdom 14 drew the ire of many in attendance at the Tokyo Dome, ushering back recent memories of Jay White offering Ibushi a spot within Bullet Club.
While it’s unlikely Ibushi would ever align with Bullet Club, his added edge will likely be a facet of his character NJPW fans will see throughout 2020. For White, he will look to topple Ibushi without having to deal with that side of his adversary.
The loser of this contest will have a steep hill to climb to find their way back into contention for the two most prestigious heavyweight championships in NJPW. The winner will pull himself one step closer to obtaining his goals despite not being declared the winner of the Double Gold Dash tournament.
One has to imagine there isn’t anything Jay White won’t do to ensure his victory tonight, especially after Ibushi defeated him in the G1 Climax 29 finals last year.