Ready for a new start: White, Naito, Ibushi close 2020

Naito, Ibushi, White stand off to close out 2020

The last match of 2020 for NJPW saw Kota Ibushi and SHO take on BUSHI and Tetsuya Naito in Korakuen Hall, and though SHO would secure the year’s last win, it was Naito, Ibushi and Jay White in a standoff that left fans with a lasting image.  

The bout started with January 4 opponents Naito and Ibushi squaring off, and after the wrestled to a stalemate, it was BUSHI that made the difference, connecting with Naito to take Ibushi to the floor where he tasted the boots of the double IWGP Champion. 

SHO would enter the ring to land kicks to BUSHI and a suplex to Naito, but it was the January 4 champion and challenger that had the attention. Ibushi roared in with a lariat and a sit out Last Ride to Naito, who responded with Gloria to the G1 winner. 

With tags made both sides, SHO worked over BUSHI’s arm in hopes of a submission win, but met a BUSHI dropkick and an apron DDT. As the match broke down, Ibushi stopped a BUSHI MX attempt, but ate a running Destino, before SHO landed a cross arm piledriver to the champion. A Powewrbreaker for SHO to BUSHI led to two, and as Ibushi and Naito rolled to the floor, the Shock Arrow led to the last three count of 2020.  

Post match, Ibushi and Naito went nose to nose, but their moment in ring was interrupted by Jay White. Stating that wrestling him was a far greater prize than the double IWGP Championships, White insisted that 2020 and 2021 both were part of his new era. Giving White little notice, both Naito and Ibushi promised one another they’d enjoy doing what only they can do on the grandest stage January 4.