G1 Climax 31 winner crowned amid unfortunate circumstances

BY ZACK HEYDORN, PWTORCH ASSISTANT EDITOR

PHOTO CREDIT: NJPW

SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...

The New Japan Pro Wrestling G1 Climax 31 Tournament is in the books and Kazuchika Okada was victorious out of the B Block. This is Okada’s first tournament win in seven years. Okada defeated A Block winner, Kota Ibushi, via a referee stoppage. This was Ibushi’s fourth straight finals appearance. He was the winner of the last two G1 tournaments.

The match stalled out in second gear due to what appeared to be a significant injury to Kota Ibushi. Ibushi hurt his arm and/or shoulder after a missed Phoenix Splash maneuver off the top rope. Immediately after, the referee checked on him, but called for the bell due to his inability to continue thanks to the injury concern. There is no official prognosis on Ibushi regarding specifically what the injury entails and how long he may be out of action.

In his post-match comments, Okada said he very much wanted New Japan to make a rematch between both men in the near future when Ibushi was healthy. As the G1 winner, Okada will wrestle for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship at Wrestle Kingdom in January.


CATCH-UP: 10/20 NEW JAPAN G1 CLIMAX RESULTS – DAY 18: Wells’s report on Jeff Cobb vs. Kazuchika Okada, Sanada vs. Evil, Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Taichi, More.

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