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NJPW/ROH G1 Supercard: Why Kazuchika Okada needs to win the IWGP Heavyweight Championship

Sanjay Dutta
07 Apr 2019, 05:42 IST

Okada is the longest-reigning IWGP Heavyweight Champion
Okada is the longest-reigning IWGP Heavyweight Champion

Widely considered to be one of the best wrestlers on the planet right now, Kazuchika Okada's journey to the main event of ROH-NJPW G1 Supercard has been quite interesting. After losing the IWGP Heavyweight Championship to Kenny Omega at Dominion last year, Okada went on losing spree, which seemed to dilute his character a bit, given the dominant run he had as a champion. 

Okada would suffer a shock loss to Jay White in his opening match at the G1 Climax 2018 and would then suffer another defeat at the hands of Bad Luck Fale, failing to make it to the finals. The former IWGP Heavyweight Champion would then suffer perhaps the biggest loss of his career as he was backstabbed by his long-time manager and Choas Stablemate, Gedo. Gedo would attack Okada from behind after the latter was attacked by Jay White, forming an alliance with White and joining the Bullet Club. 

White and Okada would face off once again in a singles match at WrestleKingdom 13, which Okada would lose in a decisive fashion, meaning he had a 0-2 record against the SwitchBlade. Okada winning this year's New Japan Cup was a foregone conclusion especially after the mass-talent exodus from the company at the start of the year. 

Okada defeated Sanada in the finals of the New Japan Cup for the right to face the current IWGP Heavyweight Champion, Jay White at the G1 Supercard. New Japan has lost some of its top talents following the announcement of All Elite Wrestling (AEW). Names like Chris Jericho, Cody, The Young Bucks, Hangman Page, and Kenny Omega have left the Land of the Rising Sun and the company currently has a star deficit. 

While the company's Japanese stars are highly talented, they aren't as recognized a face as someone like Kenny Omega. But, Okada is someone who has gained worldwide notoriety with his series of matches against Omega and Tanahashi over the past few years. He is a complete package who excels in every aspect of the game and has the ability to deliver knockout performances every time he steps inside the squared circle.

Okada has to win on Saturday simply because he is someone who can carry the company forward. Jay White doesn't seem ready for that spot yet, and him winning the IWGP Heavyweight Championship from Tanahashi drew a lot of flak for that very reason. The Switchblade character is missing that extra something which is required of a main-event star and is quite one-dimensional at times. 

The Wrestling landscape has changed dramatically following the announcement of AEW. With New Japan looking to expand into the highly-competitive North American market, they would need someone who has a worldwide appeal and we believe that Okada ticks all the boxes in this regard. Besides, the IWGP Heavyweight belt looks great around the waist of The Rainmaker. 

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