Sakura Genesis main event result between Kazuchika Okada and Zack Sabre Jr.

Originally published at

Kazuchika Okada made the 11th defense of his IWGP heavyweight title on Sunday, defeating Zack Sabre Jr. after 35 minutes in their main event match at Sakura Genesis.

Okada required two Rainmakers before pinning Sabre Jr. with a tombstone leading to the second and final Rainmaker of the match.

The story of the match was Sabre Jr’s ability to counter all of Okada’s offensive maneuvers, including the belly-to-back neck breaker, top rope elbow, and Rainmaker with submission holds.

After the match, Hiroshi Tanahashi came out to set up Okada’s record-breaking title defense, a record which the two share after Okada’s win on Sunday. It would be their first singles match since the G-1 Climax in August 2016, which ended in a 30:00 draw.

Okada’s current run as IWGP heavyweight champion dates back to June 2016.

1 Like

Unsurprising result and next match for Okada but not complaining. Okada deserves this record breaking achievements, considering he’s not long off from reaching 2 years as champion and it doesn’t feel stale at all.

I thought they got close enough to the ‘Zack could win’ moment to make it exciting. It was interesting that Red Shoes was looking to Gedo to thrown in the towel as much as he was looking for an Okada tapout (Just TAP out). I’m not sure Gedo is going to book a Gedo ‘throw in the towel’ move.

It’s cool that the crowd just lets Gedo be the corner man of the chosen one Okada. I can’t imagine the WWE crowd would be as lenient if for instance if Vince was in Roman’s corner for 11 straight title defenses (although that would make for a great story). Speaking of Vince, I often picture him locked in his office watching NJPW and saying (in Pollock’s voice) ‘God Damn it, why can’t our crowds cheer for the babyfaces like they do for Tanahashi!’

1 Like

I bought in to both of Zack Sabre’s trademark pins at the end. This title run is now like the Undertakers streak where the stakes are so high I can’t help but get invested a teeny bit more. Even if the challenger isn’t a favourite.

1 Like