Wrestling has been a part of my life for as long as I could remember. It has led me to want to watch and write about it for you. I would watch WWE with my grandma and my mother. My twin brother and I would get excited. We would yell at the television. He would try different wrestling moves on me and vice versa. Sure, I watched ECW and WCW, but WWE was my gold mine. It was an intricate part of my childhood.
However, I had no idea that New Japan existed until 2019. I quickly found out just how much I was missing. I realized that I had to tell as many people as I could about the greatness that is New Japan. Wrestling is different over there, but just as entertaining. Their matches tug at your emotions until the end where you’ll either be happy or annoyed with the results. I’m Katrina and I can’t wait to show you through my eyes and writing all about wrestling.
My Intro to NJPW and Kota
I was introduced to New Japan Pro Wrestling pretty recently. By attending the G1 in 2019 at Madison Square Garden in NYC, I fell in love with the wrestling. Especially with how entertaining it was for me. One of the people that stood out to me that day was Kota Ibushi. I made it my business to make sure that I would find out all I could about him. So, I watched all his matches then did some google searches. I made sure I could watch any match that he was in. Including his tag team run with Kenny Omega when he was part of the Golden Lovers and all his matches he had during the WWE Cruiserweight Classic in 2016.
Wrestle Kingdom 14
After winning the G1 in 2019, Kota Ibushi became the first to win the three main singles tournament in NJPW which was the G1 Climax, the New Japan Cup and the Best of the Super Jrs. With that G1 Climax win, he took his briefcase straight to Wrestle Kingdom 14. He faced the IWGP champion at the time, Kazuchika Okada on Night 1.
I was excited for this match. As I felt Kota had done everything possible to show why he deserved the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. And as much as I love Okada, this was Kota’s time. At least it was in my head. However, at the end of that main event, I was crushed that Kota did not win. I was even more crushed that Okada lost it the very next night to Tetsuya Naito. While, I understood it for storyline purposes. I was highly upset about it.
G1 and Plans to Become God
During the G1 Climax for 2020, Kota Ibushi was able to beat Okada at his first match on the A Block on September 19, 2020. As translated by Chris Charlton, the following was said.
“When I said I will become god, maybe you can speculate that I want to be on the level of my gods Nakamura and Tanahashi. That’s fine, but what I mean is I actually plan to be God. Capital G.”
I saw this match and clapped so hard because Kota was starting to see himself as I did. He was a phenomenal talent. A talent that hasn’t gotten his due.
Power Struggle and Jay White
On November 7, 2020, I was peeved to see Kota defend the IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Championship Challenge rights to Jay White. My hopes were once again dashed quickly. I didn’t understand how Kota kept being halted in his road to the top. A bud of hope returned when Naito allowed Kota to challenge him on January 4 for Night One of Wrestle Kingdom 15 since Jay White said he would have the night off.
Wrestle Kingdom 15
Night One: Wrestle Kingdom finally arrived. I was all, but ready to see the match between Kota and Naito play out. This match played with all my emotions until the very end. When Kota won the match and held both belts, I was cheering from my desk happy that at last it was Kota’s time to shine. However, moments later Jay White came out. I was annoyed because as previously stated I didn’t care about the Switchblade. This was Kota’s time and Jay was trying to derail that already.
Night Two: Getting myself ready to watch Night Two, I was a mess. I’ve told anyone who would listen that if New Japan hurt my heart by having Kota’s reign be for only 24 hours then I was going to be highly upset. The match between the two went for about 48 minutes. It beat a previous match record that set by Okada and Kenny Omega at Wrestle Kingdom 11.
By the time the match had ended, Kota triumphantly retained both of his belts. I could feel a small tear at the corner of my eye. 2021 was officially the year of Kota Ibushi. While, Kota already has his next contender in place in SANADA, who confronted him after the match. I am sure Kota will do what is necessary to continue his reign.
Kota Ibushi is God!!!
Kota Ibushi has officially won two G1s, the New Japan Cup, and Best of the Super Junior. He has also held the IWGP Junior Tag Team Title, The IWGP Junior, Never Openweight, IWGP Intercontinental Championship and lastly, the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. As Kota Ibushi has spoken some months ago, he is truly a God in New Japan. I am here for it all!!!
Is Kota officially the God of New Japan Pro Wrestling? If not, tell me why? What wrestler gets you pumped up in New Japan? Let us know here at Sports Obsessive what you think below in the comments. Follow me on Sports Obsessive for more articles.