Jay White defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi earlier this week to become the new IWGP Heavyweight Champion. White won the belt in the main event of The New Beginning in Osaka.
The win came as a shock to many NJPW fans. Much the same as Kazuchika Okada beating Tanahashi did nearly seven years ago. Okada won the IWGP Heavyweight title in a nearly identical style, it was in the same building and came as a complete shock to fans.
According to The Wrestling Observer, White’s ascension to the top of the card is in part attributed to the departure of Kenny Omega. The G1 Supercard event at Madison Square Garden was to be headlined by Kenny Omega and Kazuchika Okada facing off for the title. This original plan meant that Kenny would’ve defeated Tanahashi at Wrestle Kingdom in January. With Omega’s current status with AEW New Japan opted to take the belt off of him.
Dave Meltzer also commented on White going forward. Meltzer claimed that the G1 Supercard show would likely now be headlined by White versus Okada. The match would of course be contested for the IWGP Championship. G1 Supercard will be taking place from Madison Square Garden on April 6th in New York City.