At Wrestle Kingdom 14 this past weekend, Jay White, Kota Ibushi, Tetsuya Naito and Kazuchika Okada competed in the Double Gold Dash tournament for the IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Titles. Okada retained the Heavyweight Title against Ibushi while Naito beat White to win the Intercontinental Title.
On night two, Naito beat Okada in the finals to win both belts. It appears the original plan for Wrestle Kingdom 14 had a different scenario in place.
According to Dave Meltzer on Wrestling Observer Radio, the original plan for the final four was to have Ibushi, Okada, Naito and Kenny Omega. Omega was supposed to beat Tanahashi at Wrestle Kingdom last year if he wasn’t leaving for AEW, resulting in a match with Okada inside Madison Square Garden. Kenny was meant to retain the belt and Okada was going to eventually win the Intercontinental Title to elevate it.
Meltzer went on to say that Ibushi and Omega would have faced off on night one of Wrestle Kingdom, with Naito and Okada in the other match. The finals would still have had Naito winning it all.
It was reported back in February of 2019 that Okada vs. Omega inside Madison Square Garden last April was the original plan for NJPW. When the company became aware of Omega weighing his options between WWE and AEW, they put the belt on Tanahashi at Wrestle Kingdom 13. As a result, White ended up filling the booking role Kenny left behind, winning the IWGP Heavyweight Title that year before losing it to Okada at the G1 Supercard.