Late to the Party Review: KOTR, Queen’s Crown, and G1 Climax Finals.

WWE Photo
Photo Credit: WWE

Welcome to our late to the party review of the G1 Climax, Queen’s Crown, and King of the Ring finals. One tournament finale triumphed while another one ended in disaster. Then, there was one that was just, meh.

QUEEN’S CROWN: Zelina Vega defeated Doudrop to become the inaugural Queen’s Crown winner. It was a slow and plotting match that failed to resonate on an engaging level. I’m not sure if it was the massive size discrepancy between the two.

Perhaps their ability to move around the ring comfortably was hindered by the long sleeve shirt and pants they wore instead of their wrestling gear per Saudi law? While Becky Lynch, Sasha Banks, and Bianca Belair didn’t have that problem in their Triple Threat Match, it’s different strokes for different folks.

Vega’s Queen’s Crown coronation on Raw and rematch with Doudrop was her longest televised segment in over a year. Vega looks the part and is good on the microphone. If WWE sticks with booking her as a serious character long-term, they will get a good return on the investment. I would have bet the farm she would lose to Doudrop due to WWE’s 50/50 booking. Surprisingly, she did not, which is promising.

WWE Photo
Photo Credit: WWE

KING OF THE RING: Xavier Woods pinned Finn Balor to win the crown in a moment that had fans jumping for joy. “Finally, WWE gave the fans what they wanted,” said one enthusiast on Twitter. Woods and Balor worked their asses off for the 10 minutes, including entrances they had for their match. Woods finished Balor with the springboard elbow drop to become king.

Woods had his coronation on SmackDown, where he proclaimed making WWE a better and fun place. Heels who win King of the Ring often adopt the royalty schtick as the success of it all goes to their head. A heel can get away with pretending to be a king. Babyfaces can’t. However, Xavier Woods is a babyface of a different sort.

Let’s keep it real. He’s a brother who lives in an 8-bit world and rides a unicorn while playing the trombone. If that dude can’t be a fun-loving king without losing any street credit, no one can.

Photo Credit: New Japan Pro Wrestling

G1 CLIMAX: The snake continues to bite New Japan Pro Wrestling. Kazuchika Okada won his third G1 Climax tournament. In a match that was beginning to turn into a classic, Kota Ibushi legitimately injured his shoulder when delivering a Phoenix Splash off the top rope.

Okada moved out of the way, and Ibushi’s right arm was injured on impact. While it’s wasn’t a gruesome-looking injury (thank goodness), the pain on Ibushi’s face rushed the doctor into the ring, and the referee stopped the match a few moments later.

No one knows yet if Ibushi was supposed to win the G1. Either way, it’s another unfortunate setback for “The Golden Star” and the company. Okada is making the most of his G1 victory by throwing a little bit of a curveball.

Instead of traditionally carrying a briefcase with a contract inside, Okada brought back the IWGP Heavyweight Championship belt that was retired in March in favor of the new world title.

Okada stated in an interview, “There’s usually a briefcase with a contract inside. But after the way things ended yesterday, I want to face Ibushi again. And since Ibushi retired that title, I want it as proof of my promise to him. To have a title belt instead of a contract.”

The 2020 G1 Climax will be remembered as a cursed tournament that was damned with faint praise before it even began. The lack of foreign talent hurt the lineup and bookended with Tesuya Naito’s injury on night one and Kota Ibushi’s on the final evening 

As a result of Kazuchika Okada’s win, he will wrestle Shingo Takagi for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship at Wrestle Kingdom 16. However, between Okada defending the title match and Wrestle Kingdom being a three-night event, who knows what New Japan’s main event picture will look like come January 4th.

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