NJPW News: Kazuchika Okada becomes 15th longest reigning World Champion in modern era of professional wrestling
What’s the story?
New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Kazuchika Okada is currently in his fourth reign as IWGP Heavyweight Champion. Okada is currently holding the title at a total of 502 days and as of 2nd November 2017; Okada has entered into the list of top 15 longest reigning World Champions in professional wrestling history.
In case you didn’t know…
Kazuchika Okada is the current IWGP Heavyweight Champion in NJPW and is one of the top stars the company has ever produced. It was back in 2016 when he began his fourth reign as the heavyweight champion after defeating Tetsuya Naito at Dominion 6.19.
Since then Okada has gone on to face the likes of Kenny Omega, Minoru Suzuki, Naomichi Marufuji, and Cody Rhodes with whom he has defended the IWGP Heavyweight against and retained successfully as well throughout 2016-17.
Okada also currently holds the record of having three six star matches against Bullet Club leader Kenny Omega. The two men put up a showcase earlier this year in the Wrestle Kingdom 11 main-event, followed by a time limit draw at Dominion 6.11 and completed their amazing trilogy at this year’s G1 Climax.
The heart of the matter
Earlier this year Kazuchika Okada surpassed the legendary Shinya Hashimoto as the longest reigning IWGP Heavyweight Champion in NJPW history at 489 days.
However, on 2nd November 2017 “The Rainmaker” once again made history by entering his name into the list of Top 15 longest World Title reigns in the modern era of professional wrestling—from 1980 to present.
“The Rainmaker” has now joined the elite 500 club which also consists the likes of Hulk Hogan (who is currently in the first position), Ric Flair, Kenta Kobashi, Mitsuharu Misawa, former PWG Champion Adam Cole, former NXT Women’s Champion Asuka and much more.
Okada is currently sharing the 15th spot on the list with former AWA Heavyweight Champion Nick Bockwinkel, former AJPW Triple Crown Champion Satoshi Kojima and former WWF Women’s Champion Rockin’ Robin.
Kazuchika Okada’s next goal is going to Wrestle Kingdom 12 which will take place in January of 2018, where Okada will put his IWGP Heavyweight Title on the line against G1 27 winner Tetsuya Naito. Okada will look forward to successfully retain his title come January 4, 2018.
Personally, I have enjoyed Okada’s current reign as the top champion in NJPW right now. I believe that “The Rainmaker” has been booked as one of the strongest champions in recent Japanese history but on the other hand, I would like to see Naito dethrone Okada at WK 12.
Naito is by far the fastest rising superstar in Japan right now and is one of the most popular wrestlers in the country, if the LIJ leader manages to win the title in 2018 then it will surely bring a fresh vibe to NJPW
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