For the last month New Japan Pro-Wrestling wrestlers have been dazzling audiences with show stealing performances across Japan. The reason is everyone in New Japan during this time of year, because it is G1 Climax season. Last week the 29th edition of the most prestigious tournament in wrestling came to a close with a surprising winner. Even though Kota has always been a marque name in wrestling he has never reached the level to breakthrough the junior heavyweight stigma that was place on him early in his career.
However, this isn't Ibushi's first trip to heavyweight division as he had a classic match a few years ago with Shinsuke Nakamura challenging for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship. Interesting note Kota Ibushi actually Kazuchika Okada in 2017 at the NJPW 45 Anniversary show the only difference was Kota was under a mask as Tiger Mask W. Upon his return to New Japan as Ibushi something changed, because from the start his stock began to slowly rise and rise. It hit it's peak or so I thought in his feud with Cody, but then the reformation of the Golden Lovers led to a matches with the Young Bucks.
Fast forward to this year and Ibushi becoming Intercontinental Champion by defeating Tetsuya Naito and even though the reign didn't last still it was his first taste of gold outside of the junior division. In my opinion, after the departures of Cody, Hangman Page, Young Bucks, and Kenny Omega for AEW it was time for New Japan to step up and make new stars. This decision is evidence of that Ibushi definitely has what it takes to become a star in New Japan and with the bumps I have seen him take he has earned his spot and this victory. I for one can't wait for Kazuchika Okada and Kota Ibushi to tear the house down on January 4, 2020!!!
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