Tetsuya Naito vs. Kazuchika Okada Wrestle Kingdom 12 Results with video highlights, January 4th 2018
What's the story?
Kazuchika Okada has successfully defended his IWGP Heavyweight Championship against Tetsuya Naito in the main event of Wrestle Kingdom 12 at the Tokyo Dome, hitting the challenger with a Rainmaker to extend his historic NJPW Title run.
In case you didn't know...
Kazuchika Okada is the longest reigning IWGP Heavyweight Champion in NJPW history, and has held the belt for the longest amount of days out of anyone, beating all comers in 2017, including two instant classics with Kenny Omega.
However, Tetsuya Naito has been steadily rising to the top of the card for NJPW, with Tokyo Sports naming Naito wrestler of the year. As a result many thought that Naito would be anointed champion at Wrestle Kingdom 12.
The heart of the matter
Both men made their entrances as we got a recap of the story so far between the two, with the focus being heavily on Naito's desire to main event Wrestle Kingdom.
The match started with Naito dictating the pace, backing away from lock-ups and leaving the ring for breathers, this lead to the two men brawling on the outside but Naito picked up the advantage with a vicious neckbreaker onto the guard railing.
Back in the ring Naito got a near fall before attempting Destino to end the match early, Okada reversed it, but Naito reversed the reversal and got a near fall. Naito worked Okada's neck, before Okada hit a DDT with both men ending up outside the ring. Okada then hit a running big boot and a rail assisted DDT, spiking Naito's head into the floor.
Okada rolled Naito back into the ring and then there's a series of attempts to hit a Cobra Clutch on Naito, which he evaded, before eventually getting locked into a hold. Okada kept the hold on for a long time before Naito is able to get out of it by escaping to the corner. Naito then hit a rope-assisted Neckbreaker.
Naito then missed a Stardust Press leading to the two men exchanging blows in the middle of the ring with Naito eventually pummeling Okada to the floor, Okada countered with a drop-kick, but Naito countered right back with a Crossbody.
In the last section of the match, Okada hitting a huge German Suplex before attempting the Rain Maker, Naito countered with a Destino attempt but Okada managed to hit the Rain Maker for a near fall.
Okada went for a Tombstone Piledriver but Naito countered with Destino, but can't quite cover his opponent. The two then traded an extended series of blows before Naito spat in Okada's face and slapped him. The two then trade finishers again with Naito's second Destino almost picking up the win.
Naito attempted another Destino but Okada counted with some elbows and a drop-kick. Okada then Tombstones Naito and goes for another Rainmaker only to get hit by another Destino. Naito tries for a second Destino in quick succession but Okada turned it into another Tombstone followed by an emphatic Rainmaker for the win.
After the match Gedo and Okada cut a promo in the ring. Gedo calls Naito superhuman, but goes on to add that Okada is unstoppable before handing over the microphone to the man who is still champion.
Okada's has three things to say, first he congratulates Naito on the Wrestle Kingdom main event, and says that he'll do this again with Naito in the main event at the Tokyo Dome. Then Okada says there are still a few empty seats, but that the Rainmaker will fill them, and finally Okada ends by saying that he wants wrestlings fans to ultimately be happy.
This was truly a superb match with the two men pulling out all of the stops for the largest Tokyo Dome Wrestle Kingdom crowd in fifteen years, and they had a hell of a match to follow in Jericho vs Omega, but they pulled it off!