Kota Ibushi to face the challenge of Jay White January 5
Kota Ibushi emerged from a thrilling main event at the conclusion of Wrestle Kingdom 15 night one as the double IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Champion, defeating Tetsuya Naito with the Kamigoye in 31 minutes 18 seconds of action.
Many expected high octane and high risk offense from the get go, and that’s what Tetsuya Naito provided early, with a German suplex on the rampway. Attempting to soften Ibushi for Destino, Naito would work over Ibushi’s neck in the ring, but the Golden Star went high impact of the apron and scored big with an incredible Frankensteiner off the floor to deal heavy damage.
With Naito looking to Pluma Blanca and Ibushi hitting the Bastard Driver, the match evolved with both evoking memories of their prior encounters. Those memories and brutal blows only seemed to inspire champion and challenger to grow more persistent however, as Ibushi kicked out of running Destinos and Naito from the Kamigoye.
Ibushi nearly cost himself the match when an attempt at the Phoenix Splash saw him take flight only to crash to the canvas, but Ibushi was able to withstand the Destino that followed, eventually rallying with a pump knee with knee pad removed, followed by the third Kamigoye of the match to win.
Post match, Tetsuya Naito presented Ibushi with both title belts in an emotional scene; Jay White attempted to rain on Ibushi’s parada as he reminded the new champion that he lies in wait tomorrow night, but for now at least, Kota Ibushi is on top of the world.