New Japan Pro Wrestling‘s Destruction in Kobe show earlier today ended in a game-changing betrayal. In the show’s main event, Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated Kazuchika Okada for the first time since 2015 to retain his contract for the main event IWGP Heavyweight Championship match at Wrestle Kingdom 13. Though this was a surprising twist in the context of their rivalry, it fit the New Japan trope of G1 winners never losing their contract/briefcase. The truly shocking part of the show came after the match was over.
Tanahashi beating Okada continued both the Ace’s quest for a complete comeback and the Rainmaker’s downward spiral. Since he lost the championship he held for over 700 days to Kenny Omega at Dominion, he’s been taking it like he lost a family member. Okada’s extended personal crisis has included questionable hair dye, adding balloons to his entrance, cutting needy promos, and losing his first few G1 matches, including one against his rival and faction-mate Jay White. At the G1 Final, Okada announced that he was splitting with his manager Gedo, who has been yelling “COME ON, RAINMAKER” in his corner for the past six years. At the time, Gedo seemed to take it pretty well!
But at Destruction in Kobe, that turned out not to be the case!
As Tanahashi posed victoriously, Jay White ran into the ring and hit him with the Blade Runner. As the only person in G1 Climax 28 with a win over Tanahashi, White was the logical first challenger for the Tokyo Dome contract, but the Ace chose to face Okada first due to their history together. Still, another singles match between the two was inevitable.
White then starting beating up the prone Okada. Since he gained the leverage of a win over Okada, White has only gotten more explicit with his Make Chaos Heel Again agenda, but this was the first time he had gone as far as to attack one of his stablemates. White went to the English commentary table, took his critic Rocky Romero’s chair, and went to attack Okada with it. He was briefly slowed down by Yoshi-Hashi, but it was the appearance of Gedo that made it look like the attack might finally stop.
Gedo took the chair from White, but didn’t actually look that mad about Switchblade attacking his golden boy.
As White yelled at the Rainmaker, Gedo moved behind Okada and ATTACKED HIM WITH THE CHAIR.
After White hit Okada with the Blade Runner, Gedo hopped on the mic and cut a promo on both wrestlers from the main event, saying that neither of them deserves to main event the Tokyo Dome since they both lost to Jay. He said the briefcase belongs to White, and yelled White’s catchphrase, “Breathe with the Switchblade,” followed by “New era coming soon!”
How will the rest of Chaos respond? How will this affect White vs. Tanahashi? Whatever happens next, this is will probably go down as one of New Japan’s most shocking betrayals ever. Now, please excuse me while I listen to the version of Okada’s theme song that Yano sings that turns into a diss track about Gedo for the rest of the day.