Kazuchika Okada: The G1 Is More Important Than The IWGP World Heavyweight Title
Okada won the G1 for a third time in October
After winning the recent G1 Climax, NJPW icon Kazuchika Okada declined the usual G1 briefcase guaranteeing him a shot at the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship at Wrestle Kingdom, and instead opted to bring back the fan favourite IWGP Heavyweight Title belt.
Asked why he chose to resurrect the retired championship, Okada said the following to NJPW:
"That belt has always been important to me, and that there is my connection to Ibushi while I wait for him to come back. He retired that belt, and it isn’t being used right now, so why not? In the past, G1 winners have had a briefcase, I’ll have a belt. I’m not calling myself the IWGP Champion, but I’ll have that belt until Ibushi comes back.”
Okada will still receive a shot at the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship at Wrestle Kingdom, but has insisted he won’t carry both belts should he win the bout:
"No, I’m not going to go for any convoluted stuff. All this is right now, is I want to protect this belt like it was my contract briefcase, and after that we’ll cross the bridge when we come to it. I mean, at the end of the day, briefcases, for a G1 champion? Pretty old hat wouldn’t you say? A briefcase really wouldn’t match my ring gear right now either. I think that it’s easier for casual fans to understand that winning the G1 makes you important, makes you a leader and gives you the responsibility to fire things up. Even though I’m not an IWGP Champion, I aim to be more important than the IWGP World Heavyweight Champion. On another level, you might say."