1. Kazuchika Okada Has Quite Literally Gone Insane
Kazuchika Okada is a genius.
He lost the IWGP Heavyweight Championship with which he transcended Ace status at Dominion in June. In the immediate aftermath, he didn’t laugh it off. He wasn’t afforded the mandated rematch clause luxury that does nothing but mitigate and make major losses almost meaningless.
The loss has broken Okada.
His new character arc is unprecedented in its genius. Instead of diluting his Rainmaker God gimmick and disassociating us from its brilliance, he has disassociated us from it entirely. Now resplendent in red, his unimpeachable aura literally bleeding out from within, Okada enters the G1 Climax arena with balloons in tow to illustrate his descent into madness. Once utterly aloof and arrogant, this Okada is impish, deranged. He even plays to the crowd, almost begging them to give him back what he has lost.
This is a deep depression manifested onscreen, and it is as none more perfect than his legendary reign was. When the Rainmaker returns proper, in glorious purple and gold, it will be impossibly epic.
Even his new remixed theme conveys his shattered psyche. We hear the coin drop, we hear the revving guitars - but then, with a steep drone, everything deflates. His essence gone, he can only haplessly carry balloons to stay afloat.
This is stunningly brave storytelling pulled off because Okada is, once more, a genius.