An exhausted and clearly emotional Kazuchika Okada addressed members of the press on Sunday at the Tokyo Dome, just moments after losing his coveted IWGP Heavyweight title to long-time rival, Tetsuya Naito.
The “Rainmaker” has become somewhat synonymous with New Japan Pro-Wrestling’s top championships over the last few years, following up a record-breaking 720-day reign with another 274-day reign, his fifth time representing the company as champion.
On night one of Wrestle Kingdom 14, Okada somewhat miraculously retained his title against G1 Climax winner Kota Ibushi – many people’s favorite to leave the Dome as champion. Naito also defeated “Switchblade” Jay White to win back the IWGP Intercontinental title in the show’s penultimate match.
This all led to the finals of the Double Gold Dash on night two, pitting Okada and Naito against one another with the winner becoming the first man ever to hold both the Heavyweight and Intercontinental championships at the same time. And, as noted, it was the Los Ingobernables de Japon leader who survived.
“I lost. Well, Naito… I had the IWGP Heavyweight title. Ibushi won the G1. Jay had the IC title. Naito wasn’t holding anything. But I was reminded that he had the hopes of many riding on him. That’s what makes him really strong. I can’t make any excuses about this being two days, the situation was the same for him, too.”
“Well, in this current New Japan, Naito deserves to be double champion. I think so. Honestly. I said I’d pack the Tokyo Dome, but I couldn’t. But I gave all of my effort today. So, Kazuchika Okada, I guess 2020 started off bad for me. But I will be working hard, starting tomorrow, by making this frustration my fuel.”