The New Japan Cup has now come to an end, with Kazuchika Okada winning the tournament for the second time in his career. The Rainmaker will look to get his revenge over Jay White in Madison Square Garden, which is exactly the subject of today’s article. Will Okada prevail and cut the Switchblade’s new era short ? Let’s dive into the matter at hand !
If there is one thing I learned watching New Japan Pro Wrestling, it is to NEVER neglect any possibility. Such a statement has never felt more true since Jay White came back to New Japan at Power Struggle in 2017. Since then, White has kept being the ultimate trump card. First by defeating Kenny Omega for the IWGP US Heavyweight championship. Then, he defeated both Okada and Tanahashi in the G1 Climax, took over Bullet Club, and went on to repeat his G1 upsets over Okada and Tanahashi, at Wrestle Kingdom and New Beginning, claiming the IWGP Heavyweight championship from Tanahashi in Osaka.
What New Japan called the “Switchblade shock” in reference to Okada’s “Rainmaker shock” from 2012 is now real, and with Okada marching to MSG with the purpose of finally vanquishing his nemesis, I have to wonder if Okada will actually do it, because if there is one thing I am actually sure of, it is that the outcome of the match between the Rainmaker and the Switchblade is as uncertain as it could be. Sounds paradoxical ? I will explain.
Here’s the thing. While the possibility of the rest of this year gravitating around Okada and White fighting over the Heavyweight championship is not something to rule out, I find it hard to imagine that other people will not be involved. I can think of Tetsuya Naito or Kota Ibushi, depending on the result of their soon to come IWGP Intercontinental championship match. I believe this match will help shape up the new direction following the Okada vs White encounter. I have already touched on Kota Ibushi in a previous article, explaining why I could see him take the Intercontinental championship away from Naito, so let’s follow that logic. This would leave the leader of L.I.J empty handed in every sense of the term… Or does it ? While Naito won’t be able to reach his goal of becoming a dual champion, it is doubtful that he will stop looking to take back the Heavyweight championship, the first chance he gets. This is actually important to consider in the eventual result of Okada vs White and especially what will happen going forward. Naito being the biggest star in New Japan to not hold a championship while also haven’t taking part in any Heavyweight championship matches since Wrestle Kingdom 12, and with Dominion slowly coming up, we have to think of who would challenge for the Heavyweight championship in Osaka-Jo Hall this year.
With that in mind, we are left with two options. Assuming whoever leaves MSG as Heavyweight champion keeps the title until Dominion, which seems likely, will New Japan add another chapter to one of the most storied rivalries of the last decade, or will we see the continuation of New Japan’s new era in a more explicit way, with a never seen before IWGP Heavyweight championship to main event the second biggest New Japan show of the year ?
Of course, this is only based off assumptions. Who knows, depending on the circumstances of this upcoming Okada vs White III, we could be up for a fourth encounter even sooner than expected.
To cap off with this opinion piece, let’s actually give an answer to the initial question. I do not believe G1 Supercard will be marked by the Rainmaker’s revenge over the Switchblade. Let me ask you one question : Do you fully expect Jay White to lose the Heavyweight championship without any defenses, considering the fate New Japan seems to have put in him ? You guessed my stance, I think that feels unlikely. Not impossible, remember what I said about never putting any possibility aside, but unlikely. We could even witness a surprised in Madison Square Garden, but it won’t be Jay White retaining the championship, if that does happen.
Let me add that, as a nod to another previous article concerning Bullet Club dominating G1 Supercard, the best way to dominate the event, in terms of results and talk created afterwards, a Jay White win would probably be the best bet. After all, White would be 3-0 against Okada, which says something considering how highly regarded of a wrestler the Rainmaker is.