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Okada using IWGP Heavyweight belt to signify NJPW G1 Climax win


In a post-G1 Climax 31 press conference last week, Kazuchika Okada declared his intention to bring back the IWGP Heavyweight Championship as a symbol of his tournament win. 

Today at NJPW's Road to Power Struggle event in Korakuen Hall, he did just that. 

When entering for his six-man tag team match at today's show, Okada carried what is commonly referred to as the v4 IWGP Heavyweight Championship, a title that was retired earlier this year after it was unified with the IWGP Intercontinental title and the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship was created. 

Traditionally, the G1 Climax winner carries a briefcase with a contract inside guaranteeing a title match at Wrestle Kingdom. At the press conference, Okada lobbied NJPW Chairman Naoki Sugabayashi to be allowed to carry the belt rather than the case. 

"...I won the G1, and I want to face [Kota]Ibushi again, but I feel there should be something concrete to represent that," said Okada. "I’m not a champion, and I don’t have anything to put up. The IWGP Heavyweight Championship that Ibushi retired though… I’m not saying that people should call me the ‘X-ieth Heavyweight Champion’ or anything, but I want to hold that belt, until Ibushi gets back."

Since the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship's inception, Okada has made clear that he is not a fan of the title. In an interview on NJPW World in June, Okada called the title a "mistake" and referring to the run of illness and injuries that have befallen the company this year as the "IWGP Curse."

Okada won the G1 Climax 31 finals by referee stoppage after Kota Ibushi suffered a shoulder injury, cutting their main event match short. 

Okada is set to defend his Wrestle Kingdom title shot against Tama Tonga at NJPW Power Struggle on Saturday, November 6.