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Tetsuya Naito Wins the 2023 G1 Climax

10 months ago

Tetsuya Naito Wins the 2023 G1 Climax

The Winner of New Japan’s Annual G1 Climax Tournament is Decided

By: James Carlin

A rivalry was re-ignited as the Stardust Genius took on long-time foe Kazuchika Okada in the finals of the G1 Climax 33 at Ryogoku Sumo Hall.

This marks the third time that Tetsuya Naito has won the biggest tournament in pro-wrestling, having previously won in 2013 and 2017, defeating Hiroshi Tanahashi and Kenny Omega in the finals respectively.

Kazuchika Okada and Tetsuya Naito enter the ring for the G1 Climax finals.

The careers of The Rainmaker and the Stardust Genius are intertwined: Okada’s debut in New Japan was against Naito, and his first defence of the IWGP Heavyweight Championship was also against Naito, who won his first IWGP Heavyweight title from Okada.

Naito would win both the IWGP Intercontinental and IWGP Heavyweight Championships in a Double Gold Dash by defeating Okada, and the two have main evented Wrestle Kingdom twice against each other.

However, this occasion would see Tetsuya Naito getting the pinfall over Okada after hitting his patented Destino, and getting the opportunity to challenge the current IWGP World Heavyweight Champion, SANADA.

All photos by Masahiro Kubota. Copyright Monthly Puroresu, LLC

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