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Kenny Omega Gives His First Statement Since Winning the IWGP Title; Calls Okada the ‘Greatest Wrestler on Planet Earth’

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Moments after defeating Kazuchika Okada at NJPW Dominion to become the new IWGP Heavyweight Champion, Kenny Omega spoke with members of the Japanese press backstage.

The very first thing the new champion did when asked about his incredible bout was pay respect to the Rainmaker, who will now move on without the title he has held for the last 720 days, breaking nearly every record imaginable along his path of pure dominance and excellence.


“Today I defeated the greatest wrestler on planet Earth. This is a performance art. You can be a great wrestler, but if the people don’t like you, if the people don’t care you’re not worth a damn. Okada, you are the total, complete package. You are the man who carried this company to this point, and I give you all the credit in the world for what you’ve done.”

For Okada, the next step will be winning this year’s G1 Climax tournament in the hopes of launching himself back into the title program and securing yet another main event at the Tokyo Dome, come January 2019. But as for Omega, who must now attempt to fill the shoes of the single greatest Heavyweight champion of the last 30 years, the Cleaner claims he has big plans for both the title and NJPW as a whole.

“The buck stops here. [Okada has] taken this company as far as it can go domestically. I see so much more. When I look at this company I see the evolution of professional wrestling. I see the people that entertain me the most – more than my favorite television drama, and more than my favorite movie. That’s the Young Bucks. That’s Ibushi. All of them are here, by my side, and together we can do anything. That means I have so much more to do as IWGP Heavyweight Champion. Okada, you were great. Maybe the greatest, and I’m going to try hard to fill your shoes. I’m going to try to write a new history, and a new legacy for this company.”

As for what’s next, NJPW kicks off its annual Kizuna Road tour on June 15th building to three shows at Korakuen Hall, one of which will actually host a retirement ceremony for the legendary Super Strong Machine. The next major event is NJPW G1 Special in San Francisco, taking place at the Cow Palace on July 7th. The G1 Climax tournament kicks off one week later on July 14th, and from there we are off and running towards Wrestle Kingdom 13.

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NJPW Road To The New Beginning Results (1/23): New Champions Crowned, Tenzan Returns

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New Japan Pro-Wrestling continued the build to The New Beginning in Nagoya on Saturday with one of the more eventful Road To shows in recent memory.

Hiroyoshi Tenzan returned to action for the first time since New Year Dash, where a post-match attack from The Empire saw him leave the arena on a stretcher. Tenzan reunited with longtime partner Satoshi Kojima but was unable to score a tag team win over his attacks. He faces Great O-Khan on January 30 in Nagoya.


2020 Super J-Cup winner El Phantasmo and his Bullet Club partner Taiji Ishimori recaptured the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Championships in the main event.

El Desperado and Kanemaru won the titles last September at the end of a tournament. Prior to that, the belts were left vacant when YOH of Roppongi 3K, one half of the champions at the time, suffered a torn ACL.

NJPW Road to the New Beginning Results
Saturday, January 23, 2021
Ota City Gymnasium, Tokyo, Japan

— DOUKI & Minoru Suzuki def. Gedo & Jado

6-Man Tag Team Match: CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada & Tomohiro Ishii & YOSHI-HASHI) def. Bullet Club (Dick Togo & EVIL & Yujiro Takahashi)

— Great O-Khan & Will Ospreay def. Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima

10-Man Elimination Tag Team Match: Kota Ibushi & Hiroshi Tanahashi & Master Wato & SHO & Tomoaki Honma def. Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI & Hiromu Takahashi & SANADA & Shingo Takagi & Tetsuya Naito)

IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Title Match: El Phantasmo & Taiji Ishimori def. El Desperado (c) & Yoshinobu Kanemaru (c) | NEW CHAMPIONS! 

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NJPW Road To The New Beginning Results (1/18): Hiroshi Tanahashi & Master Wato vs BUSHI & Shingo Takagi

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The Road to The New Beginning tour continued on Monday with the second of eight shows heading into Nagoya on January 30. This was largely the same card as Sunday in the same building, with a few minor tweaks.

Kojima teamed with a different Young Lion but was still unsuccessful against The Empire. The second match featured the same stars with the outcome reversed, and the third match was exactly the same.


Tanahashi & SHO swapped places, as did Shingo & Hiromu in the final two matches to continue their respective programs. Master Wato is 2-0 in main events on this tour so far.

NJPW Road to The New Beginning Results
January 18, 2021
Korakuen Hall
Tokyo, Japan

— Great O-Khan & Will Ospreay def. Satoshi Kojima & Yuya Uemura

— Suzuki-Gun (El Desperado & DOUKI & Minoru Suzuki & Yoshinobu Kanemaru) def. Bullet Club (El Phantasmo & Gedo & Jado & Taiji Ishimori)

— CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada & Tomohiro Ishii & YOSHI-HASHI) def. Bullet Club (Dick Togo & EVIL & Yujiro Takahashi)

— Los Ingobernables de Japon (Hiromu Takahashi & SANADA & Tetsuya Naito) def. Kota Ibushi & SHO & Tomoaki Honma

— Hiroshi Tanahashi & Master Wato def. BUSHI & Shingo Takagi

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NJPW Road To The New Beginning Results (1/17): BUSHI & Hiromu Takahashi vs Master Wato & SHO

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New Japan Pro-Wrestling kicked off their annual New Beginning tour on Sunday in Korakuen Hall. It was a quick and easy five-match Road To card featuring tag team bouts previewing some of the advertised main events for the big shows on 1/30 in Nagoya, and 2/10-11 in Hiroshima.

NJPW Road to The New Beginning Results
January 17, 2021
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan


— Great O-Khan & Will Ospreay def. Satoshi Kojima & Yota Tsuji

— Bullet Club (El Phantasmo & Gedo & Jado & Taiji Ishimori) def. Suzuki-Gun (El Desperado & DOUKI & Minoru Suzuki & Yoshinobu Kanemaru)

— CHAOS (Hirooki Goto & Kazuchika Okada & Tomohiro Ishii) def. Bullet Club (Dick Togo & EVIL & Yujiro Takahashi)

— Los Ingobernables de Japon (SANADA & Shingo Takagi & Tetsuya Naito) def. Hiroshi Tanahashi & Kota Ibushi & Tomoaki Honma

— Master Wato & SHO def. BUSHI & Hiromu Takahashi

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