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#MustWatchMonday (7/23/18): Okada Gets His Smile Back


We're a little over a week into the G1 Climax 28 and as always, there's a lot to catch up on, especially if you haven't started yet. Three to four hours of wrestling almost every day is no joke, so we've taken it upon ourselves to use the #MustWatchMonday column as the place to scope out the storylines you need to watch out for. (Like Toru Yano turning back into a straight-up wrestler.)

Today, let's take a look at one former IWGP Heavyweight Champion, Kazuchika Okada.

Ever since the guy lost the title to Kenny Omega at Dominion this year, he hasn't been well. He started losing it a little, dying his hair red, taking balloons to the ring with him, and generally... not winning. It's been over 40 days since his last singles win, everyone points out, and it's getting sad.


Or at least, it was getting sad until he managed to turn things around against Hangman Page on Day 5.

In the span of four days, Okada switched up his crimson red hair for a strawberry blonde 'do, wrestled something like his old self again against a very game Hangman Page. For those who don't regularly watch NJPW, it seems like not much has changed, but you'll probably have to catch up with his first two G1 days to see the difference. Hangman wanted the Rainmaker, so he got the Rainmaker.


It's interesting that his lost-in-the-woods slump lasted only over a month after losing the title and less than a week into the G1, but the win makes his story more must-see; if he lost this one, he would be mathematically eliminated from winning his block. That means if Page beat him, Okada would never be able to win his block even if he won all his next matches.

This tells us that even though it would be much more interesting to see him go through levels of madness, there might be more to Okada's G1 run this year. He would go on to beat Togi Makabe yesterday and cling on to the possibility of winning the A Block, but he could still lose again and say goodbye to his hopes of going to Wrestle Kingdom 13.

Photo from NJPW

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