#AndNEW: Kota Ibushi captures G1 Climax 29 Finals

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Jay White Kota Ibushi
Photo / NJPW

In a G1 that consisted of hard-hitting matches, winning streaks and the likes of Toru Yano playing spoilsport again this year, it all came to a G1 Climax 29 final with the A Block winner Kota Ibushi v B Block winner Jay White.

Neither men had an easy ride in this tournament from the get-go. Jay White had lost his first 3 in a row and Ibushi fell on the first night to Kenta before dropping another match to Evil. However, both men had other ideas. Ibushi’s aim was to get back to the final of the G1 and do what he couldn’t last year and win the tournament. White proclaimed that he was going to go 6-3 and win the tournament with on a high.

Both men achieved their goals with White winning the rest of his matches including wins over Jon Moxley, Tetsuya Naito, and Juice Robinson. Ibushi had also won the rest of his matches and made it to the final night where all he needed was a win over the IWGP champion Kazuchika Okada to win the block – which he did in amazing fashion.

Going into the match, Jay White had already played a lot of mind games with the Golden Star from offering his hand after his match with Naito and then attacking his injured leg. However, the heart of Kota Ibushi was stronger than anything that White could throw, and he came into the final night with his heart set of winning the tournament.

It all seemed to go against Ibushi with White bringing out the entire BC with him to back him up in the corner. However, Red Shoes Unno was having none of it and sent them all to the back with the exception of Gedo (or Fredo as Rocky says). After some interference, Gedo was also sent to the back. It seemed as if the Golden Star actually had a chance.

This started what ended up being an amazing wrestling match. It was the perfect mix of both Ibushi’s and White’s style that should, in theory, clash. Yet, these styles managed to blend so perfectly in the match and create some really amazing wrestling that everyone was fully invested in.

There were suplexes, knee strikes, kicks and a whole lot of shenanigans on the outside of the ring courtesy of the Switchblade and Golden Star. Even with the injured leg, both men were on equal footing for the majority of the match with both men getting an equal amount of defense and offense in.

Of course, you can’t keep the BC apart. Gedo managed to slither back to the ring and help Jay injure Ibushi’s leg even more. Yet, Kota Ibushi stood his ground and kept his strong heart beating by countering this in every way possible. He knocked Gedo out and Red Shoes got Rocky to keep him as far away as possible, much to Rocky’s delight and managed to get to the rope to break the TTO.

After one of the tensest matches of the entire tournament, the ending sequence was the perfect way to end the G1 29. White hit Ibushi with a Bladerunner but was unable to capitalize, instead trying for a few suplexes to counter this. Ibushi then went for a kamigoye but White barely kicked out meaning that it was all to play for.

However, with two kamigoyes under his belt, the Golden Star picked up the win and the crowd at Buddoken went nuts and so did everyone in the world.

Kota Ibushi had made up for last year’s loss to Tanahashi and finally won the G1 Climax tournament!

With this win, Kota Ibushi has not only won the G1 Climax but is the first man in history to not only win the G1 but also the New Japan Cup and Best of Super Jr Tournament. This has cemented his legacy in New Japan history for years to come.

So, what’s next after the G1 tournament?

With his lifetime contract, Ibushi has made his message clear: he is here to stay in New Japan and wants to be the face of New Japan.

However, even with the briefcase and that opportunity to headline the Tokyo Dome against Okada, there will be a few people trying to snatch it away from the Star before January comes around. There’s also no certainty that Okada will still be champion by January with the likes of SANADA and Minoru Suzuki who are entitled to a title match after pinning the champ in some way or another.

Evil will definitely want a shot at it, and you can bet that the newest Bullet Club member KENTA will do anything possible to deprive Ibushi of his Wrestle Kingdom moment. Yet, you can bet anything that Ibushi will carry that briefcase with pride and will take any opponents and keep fighting with that heart we all know and love.

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