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Kota Ibushi wins IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Championships at Wrestle Kingdom 15

Kota Ibushi is finally champion!
Kota Ibushi is finally champion!
Soumik Datta
Modified 06 Jan 2021, 15:22 IST

In the main event of Night 1 of Wrestle Kingdom 15, Kota Ibushi finally fulfilled his destiny and won both the IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Championships. In what could be regarded as an early Match of the Year contender, fans saw The Golden Star outlast Tetsuya Naito and eventually win both the titles in emphatic fashion.

Heading into the main event of Night 1, Kota Ibushi had already lost his G1 Climax contract to Jay White. However, now-former champion Naito refused to take the first night off and gave Ibushi his shot at both belts anyway. After a grueling back and forth match, which also saw multiple brutal neck bumps, as per, Ibushi pinned Naito after hitting the third Kamigoye of the match.

The win marks the beginning of Kota Ibushi's first reign as IWGP Heavyweight Champion, whereas, this will be his second tenure as the IWGP IC Champion. The loss for Naito means that his third reign as IWGP Heavyweight Champion came to an end at the 128th-day mark.

Following his win, Kota Ibushi was handed the titles by the former champion in a massive show of respect. However, the newly crowned dual champion will once again be in action on Night 2 of Wrestle Kingdom 15 when he defends both belts against Jay White. And the Bullet Club frontrunner even made his way out to the ring to confront Ibushi.

What's next for Kota Ibushi as Double Champion?

Kota Ibushi will defend his IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Championships on Night 2 of Wrestle Kingdom 15. The new champion will put his titles on the line against Jay White, a man who has had Ibushi's number and has beaten him thrice in the past already.

In the final match of Wrestle Kingdom 15, The Golden Star will aim to break the "curse" by beating Switchblade and asserting his dominance as the new top dog of NJPW. If Ibushi does get past White in the main event of Night 2, an automatic rematch against Naito could soon be on the cards for a future show.

Published 04 Jan 2021, 18:43 IST
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