Last night at the New Japan Pro Wrestling G1 Finals, we saw former WWE Superstar and NJPW’s newest talent, KENTA, join Bullet Club. KENTA was involved in a 6 man tag match against Guerrillas of Destiny and the Bad Luck Fale, teaming up with Tomohiro Ishii and Yoshi Hashi.
In what resulted in a big moment, the story unfolded when Ishii found himself out-maneuvering GoD and going for the tag to KENTA. But KENTA clearly had different ideas. As Ishii went for the tag, KENTA took his hand back and stepped off the ringside. A bewildered crowd wondering what was to come saw a lonely Ishii without a partner. Yoshi Hashi had already been taken out during the match. He came back for a quick assist but received a Gun Stun by Tama Tonga for his efforts.
Things still looked promising for the Stone Faced Pitbull as he actually took out his opponents, even suplexing Bad Luck Fale. But KENTA would have no more of it and ran into the ring when Ishii wasn’t lucking and as Ishii turned, ran right into a Psycho Knee. It was then when the audience knew that KENTA turned. If that wasn’t enough, KENTA would then hit Ishii with the move created by him and used the world over, the “Go To Sleep” (GTS), which then allowed for Tama Tonga to pin Ishii.
What took place next was shocking as Tonga and KENTA embraced each other with smiles and as they were about to “too sweet” one another, Yoshi Hashi came in to attack KENTA, but was quickly mauled by Bullet Club. Even L.A. Dojo members tried to get in but were no match for Bullet Club. KENTA grabbed a mic to explain his actions but an unlikely member of the NJPW locker room would rush to the ring and have none of it. That member was presumably retired NJPW legend, Katsuyori Shibata.
Thankfully, SHIBATA dashed to the ring and forearmed KENTA right to the face, get him to the corner with stiff kicks to the face and forearms to the face. It felt as if SHIBATA was BACK! Bullet Club would try and interfere but an enraged SHIBATA took everyone out. He then hit the styling dropkick and would choke out KENTA and then attempt the SHIBATA kick, but JADO would hit SHIBATA with the Kendo stick and would leave an opening for KENTA to choke SHIBATA out. SHIBATA almost got out the rear-naked choke but JADO hit him again with the Kendo stick.
SHIBATA was brutally punished from there with an assault like no other from the Bullet Club. Kendo stick shot after Kendo stick shot would leave a nearly lifeless SHIBATA. In a heinous act, KENTA would abuse the situation by doing the patented SHIBATA pose of sitting in the middle of the ring, but this time, on top of SHIBATA with all of Bullet Club embracing the moment. A disgusted crowd and commentary team would share their disdain toward KENTA.
KENTA joined NJPW back in June and made his debut on night 1 of the G1 Climax tournament in Dallas, TX. He would then have a four-match winning streak before losing to IWGP Heavyweight Champion, Kazuchika Okada.
Now that KENTA has joined Bullet Club, what’s next for him? And what we ultimately saw tonight were glimpses of SHIBATA of old. Could this be just the beginning of a Shibata comeback?
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