Kota Ibushi Becomes NJPW Double Champion At Wrestle Kingdom 15

Ibushi felled Tetsuya Naito on night one of WK15, becoming IWGP Heavyweight and IC Champion.

Kota Ibushi
NJPW

Kota Ibushi is your new IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Champion, having wrested New Japan Pro Wrestling's top two belts from Tetsuya Naito's clutches on day one of Wrestle Kingdom 15.

It was a main event typical of these two. Wrestling on the edge of control, with big neck and head bumps escalating in danger throughout, they pushed each other to their respective physical limits, each man waiting to see who'd break first. In the end, it was Naito.

The Los Ingobernables de Japon leader's reign ended when he attempted the match's third Destino on Ibushi. The 'Golden Star' countered this, nailing Naito with a standing knee, then blasting him with an exposed Kamigoye to score the 1-2-3. Naito had kicked out of the move twice prior to Ibushi lowering his kneepad for the killshot.

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So out of it was Ibushi that he didn't even realise he had won as the music played and the referee tried to help him to his feet, the new champion selling the match's impact after the bell.

Thus commences the first IWGP Heavyweight Title reign of Ibushi's career. He meets Bullet Club's Jay White with both belts on the line in tomorrow's WK15 climax.

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Senior Reporter
Senior Reporter

Andy is WhatCulture's Senior Wrestling Reporter. A writer, presenter, and editor with 10+ years of experience in online media, he has been a sponge for all wrestling knowledge since playing an old Royal Rumble 1992 VHS to ruin in his childhood. Having previously worked for Bleacher Report, Andy specialises in short and long-form writing, video presenting, voiceover acting, and editing, all characterised by expert wrestling knowledge and commentary. Andy is as much a fan of 1985 Jim Crockett Promotions as he is present-day AEW and WWE - just don't make him choose between the two.