Kazuchika Okada regained the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, defeating Jay White in the main event of the Ring of Honor and New Japan Pro Wrestling’s G1 Supercard event at Madison Square Garden. We were there, and have your breakdown of a huge night in wrestling, live from The World’s Most Famous Arena.
For the first time in over 60 years, wrestling that wasn’t a product of the McMahon family came to Madison Square Garden. New Japan Pro Wrestling and Ring of Honor teamed up for G1 Supercard, an event featuring some very high highs and some *comically exaggerated yawn* lows. All-in-all though, it was an historic night of wrestling featuring the likes of Okada, Naito, Ibushi and more. Read on for a comprehensive recap of the event.
Kazuchika Okada is the best wrestler on the planet and I am no longer afraid to die
At last, The Rainmaker is back on top of New Japan Pro Wrestling. While it wasn’t necessarily the best match of the night, Kazuchika Okada became the King of New York, toppling “Switchblade” Jay White to finally regain the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. Even on a night that felt like it had been going for 13 years by the time this match started, an epic 30-pus minute clash was exactly what the crowd needed to close things out.
That Okada was up against the easy-to-despise White didn’t hurt things, either. Even though he lost in his first title defense, White still came off looking great, refusing to be put down by an Okada who felt destined to win. His countering of the Rainmaker attempt by just sitting down and wagging his finger was such a perfectly bratty move. It made it that much sweeter once Okada finally did obliterate him with a Rainmaker, signaling the end of the match.
Only: That Rainmaker wasn’t the end of the match. White kicked out at 2.9999999, and it was genuinely shocking. A New York City crowd should have known better that a cockroach like White wasn’t going to get killed that easily. A no-doubt triumph for Okada suddenly felt in jeopardy. Was White really going to skitter away through the cracks of MSG with the title?
Thankfully, no. But, the finish where Okada kept doing Rainmakers instead of going for a pin, was about as stressful as it can get while watching an overwhelming fan favorite absolutely pummel a villain into dirt. When the bell sounded though, it was euphoria. After a crisis of red hair, weird balloons and long pants, Okada was back on top. Balance was restored. White had been referring to his rise to IWGP Heavyweight Champion as a “new era,” and he was right. Except it’s Okada’s new era, and White’s just living in it.