Report: Original Plans For NJPW G1 Climax 31 Final Revealed
Also changes to Power Struggle
The NJPW G1 Climax 31 Final ended suddenly on Thursday, October 21.
Kazuchika Okada and Kota Ibushi faced off in the final of The Tournament Of Tournaments, having won their respective blocks, and they fought back and forth for 20 minutes until the match ended abruptly by referee stoppage after Ibushi awkwardly on his right arm following a Phoenix Splash attempt.
Ibushi remained motionless following the Phoenix Splash and Red Shoes Uno immediately called for the bell and awarded Okada the victory. NJPW Chairman Naoki Sugabayashi has since confirmed Ibushi suffered a dislocated shoulder.
Thursday was Ibushi's fourth G1 Climax final in a row. Unlike 2019 and 2020, though, The Golden Star wasn't scheduled to win the match, according to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
The original plan for the G1 Climax 31 Final was for Ibushi to put up a strong fight but ultimately come up short. His strong performance and a win over Shingo Takagi in the A Block would have led to Ibushi challenging The Dragon for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship at Power Struggle.
Due to the shoulder injury, Ibushi isn't expected to be in action on the Power Struggle tour and Zack Sabre Jr, who also defeated Shingo during the G1, will challenge for the world title on November 6 instead.