Jericho vs. Omega might be making the headlines, but long-time New Japan fans will know that there is only one true main event on this show. Kazuchika Okada will defend the IWGP Heavyweight Championship against Tetsuya Naito, and this one has been building for more than four years. Okada and Naito are one and two in NJPW today, and they truly deserve to headline the biggest show of the year.
But even within that, this is all about Tetsuya Naito. The most popular star in Japan has been a revelation over the last two years, coming back from total rejection to become a worldwide megastar. This will be his coronation, a word that still carries meaning in wrestling no matter how often it is used in conjunction with the term ‘Roman Reigns’.
Naito winning isn’t the only outcome, but it does seem like the logical one. Okada’s run as IWGP Heavyweight Champion has been an all-time great one, but this is the natural climax. Naito has plenty of interesting challenges awaiting him throughout 2018, and some time away from the title will do plenty for the Rainmaker. We’ve got Naito vs. Fale, Ishii, Omega and more will light up New Japan in the first half of 2018.
And it will be the latter of those three to take the title from Naito before Okada wins his third G1 Climax, setting up Okada vs. Omega IV at Wrestle Kingdom 13. What a time to be alive…