NJPW G1 Climax 31 concluded today at the Nippon Budokan. Kazuchika Okada defeated Kota Ibushi due to referee stoppage. At around the 25-minute mark of the match, Ibushi attempted his signature Phoenix Splash. However, Okada got out of the way, and Ibushi landed on his left forearm with all of his bodyweight

Ibushi struggled to get up holding onto his left forearm. This forced referee Red Shoes Unno to call the match despite Ibushi wanting to continue the match. Medical staff immediately entered the ring to check on Ibushi.

The win makes Okada the third ever three-time G1 Climax winner along with Hiroshi Tanahashi. and Hiroyoshi Tenzan. They are both tied with the most G1 Climax victories behind Masahiro Chono’s five wins.

After the match, Okada was brash in his post-comments. He claimed he was the real IWGP Heavyweight Champion and that winning the G1 means you challenge for the IWGP Heavyweight Title and not the IWGP World Heavyweight Title. The comments are a slight towards current IWGP World Heavyweight Champion Shingo Takagi who has also had his title reign questioned by Will Ospreay who claims he is the real IWGP World Heavyweight Champion and never lost the belt since he never lost it in a match, and Ospreay carries around his own belt to prove his claim.

Okada claims that Takagi has to beat him in order to prove he is a real champion. Okada recognizes Ibushi as the real champion as he was the last to have the IWGP Heavyweight Title belt before the new lineage was created under the IWGP World Heavyweight belt. Okada hopes to have a proper match with Ibushi in the future for the IWGP Heavyweight Title making it likely that the belt will return.

Tama Tonga confronted Okada and challenged him for his G1 briefcase. Tonga defeated Okada in the G1 earning the right for a future match against the G1 winner for a chance at one of the three night Wrestle Kingdom main events.

Also on the show Katsuyori Shibata made a surprise unannounced appearance and wrestled in 5-minute exhibition against Zach Sabre Jr. They fought under grappling rules, and the match ended in a draw. This is Shibata’s first match since Sakura Genesis 2017 after Shibata suffered what was thought to be a career-ending head injury. Sabre Jr. told the crowd after the match that next time it will be a match.

You can view highlights and full results below:

* Suzuki-gun (El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru) defeat Kosei Fujita & Ryohei Oiwa

* United Empire (Great-O-Khan & Jeff Cobb) defeat Toru Yano & Yuji Nagata

* Bullet Club (EVIL, SHO & Yujiro Takahashi) (w/Dick Togo) defeat Chaos (Hirooki Goto, Tomohiro Ishii & YOSHI-HASHI)

* Bullet Club (Chase Owens, KENTA, Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa) defeat Hiroshi Tanahashi, Tiger Mask, Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma

* Grappling Rules Match: Katsuyori Shibata vs. Zack Sabre Jr. – Time Limit Draw

* Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI, Hiromu Takahashi, SANADA & Shingo Takagi) defeat Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Master Wato, Ryusuke Taguchi & Satoshi Kojima

* G1 Climax 2021 Final Match: Kazuchika Okada defeats Kota Ibushi by referee’s decision (25:37)

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