Kenny Omega Beats Kazuchika Okada, Wins IWGP Heavyweight Title at NJPW Dominion

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJune 9, 2018

The faces of North Koreans are illuminated by stage lighting as they watch pro wrestlers enter the arena, Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014 in Pyongyang, North Korea. North Koreans got their first look at pro wrestling in about 20-years on Saturday when former NFL lineman Bob
Wong Maye-E/Associated Press

Kenny Omega defeated Kazuchika Okada at New Japan Pro-Wrestling's Dominion in Osaka, Japan, on Saturday in a 2-out-of-3 Falls match to win the IWGP Heavyweight Championship for the first time.  

Okada and Omega entered Dominion engaged in one of New Japan's longest-running rivalries dating back to the main event of Wrestle Kingdom 11 last year.

The Rainmaker beat Omega in a classic bout at that show, but their feud was far from over, as Omega got another shot at Dominion 2017.

They once again proved to be evenly matched foes, which resulted in their bout going to a 60-minute time limit draw.

Omega eventually transitioned out of the IWGP heavyweight title scene and became the first IWGP United States champion before dropping it to Jay White.

The conflict between Okada and Omega was renewed in the 2018 G1 Climax when Omega finally beat Okada to advance to the finals. With Omega losing to Tetsuya Naito, however, he did not receive another title shot at Wrestle Kingdom 12.

On the heels of successfully defending the IWGP Heavyweight Championship against Hiroshi Tanahashi at Wrestling Dontaku in May, Okada challenged Omega to another contest at Dominion.

While Okada stipulated that there would be no time limit, Omega added that it would be a 2-out-of-3 Falls match.

Okada entered Dominion as the longest-reigning IWGP heavyweight champion of all time with a reign of over 700 days. He had also successfully defended the title a record 12 times, allowing him to make the case for being the greatest titleholder in New Japan Pro-Wrestling history.

On the flip side, Omega had never won the title despite winning several other championships in New Japan and coming close on multiple occasions.

New Japan's decision-makers had plenty of opportunities to strike while the iron was hot with Omega, but they stayed true to Okada.

That finally changed at Dominion, as Omega joined Big Van Vader, AJ Styles, Brock Lesnar, Scott Norton and Bob Sapp as the sixth foreigner to win the IWGP Heavyweight Championship.

With the Omega and Bullet Club brands taking the professional wrestling world by storm, New Japan capitalized and likely boosted its efforts to gain additional traction in North America in the process.

                      

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