At New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Wrestle Kingdom 16 event, Kazuchika Okada beat IWGP World Heavyweight Champion Shingo Takagi to win the title.
The next night, he defended the title against Will Ospreay and cemented his status at the top of the company again.
With the title around his waist, the Rainmaker will have a lot of wrestlers to look out for as they want to challenge for the title.
Tetsuya Naito is the first wrestler to face the newest champion at the Golden Series in Hokkaido, but here are five potential challengers for Okada’s IWGP World Heavyweight Championship.
Entering New Japan as the black sheep of the company, New Japan fans spent years emphasizing the motto “Anyone but TAICHI.”
Fast forward to 2022 and TAICHI might be one of the most loved wrestlers in New Japan along with his tag team partner Zack Sabre Jr.
What better way to cement that newfound popularity than a title shot against one of the best in the world.
Over the years, Okada has wrestled TAICHI numerous times. Yet, with a newfound passion and heart, Okada could be facing a very different Holy Emperor who doesn’t always have to break the rules to win.
Combining TAICHI’s more unpredictable style with Okada’s athleticism would be a must-watch match.
It would also be interesting to see which TAICHI appears, the sneaky heel or the loveable rogue.
Despite fans loving the team, it might be the perfect time for TAICHI to go back to singles and try to win his first IWGP singles title.
With newfound respect from the crowd and after showcasing how good a wrestler he is, it could be TAICHI’s time to finally make it to the top of the company.
If he could do that at the expense of Okada, it would taste even sweeter.
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