Kazuchika Okada Wins IWGP World Heavyweight Title, 1st Challenger Announced

Kazuchika Okada

Kazuchika Okada has overcome Jay White to recapture the IWGP World Heavyweight Title in a hard-hitting main event to round off Wrestle Kingdom 17.

Okada booked his place in the main event of Wrestle Kingdom 17 when he defeated Will Ospreay in the final of the G1 Climax tournament back in August 2022. Jay White had held the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship since defeating Okada for the gold at Dominion in June 2022.

Kazuchika Okada came to the ring wearing the recognisable black trunks of NJPW founder Antonio Inoki on the memorial show for the late Japanese legend.

In just over half an hour, Kazuchika Okada ended Jay White’s reign by dropping the Switchblade with a Rainmaker. This marks the second year in a row that Okada has captured the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship at Wrestle Kingdom as in 2022 he defeated Shingo Takagi for the gold.

Takagi made his presence felt after Okada’s win as he came to the ring and challenged The Rainmaker to put his championship on the line against him.

In the co-main event of Wrestle Kingdom 17, AEW’s Kenny Omega returned to NJPW to dethrone Will Ospreay as the IWGP US Champion. The show will also go down in history as seeing the debut of former WWE star Sasha Banks in the company.