New Japan Pro Wrestling put on three absolutely amazing matches last weekend as a part of the G-1 Climax semi finals and finals. Tetsuya Naito defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi to win the block A and Kenny Omega defeated Kazuchika Okada to win block B, setting up a Naito/Omega final.
Naito/Tanahashi was a great match that was overshadowed by a stellar third Okada/Omega encounter. Omega was in a must win situation and had to do it in less than thirty minutes. Okada, however, could advance to the finals with a win or a draw due to a one point differential in his favor.
Okada went into the match with an injured neck he suffered in previous tournament bouts. Omega targeted the injury right from the onset and was relentless in his attack. Okada fought him off with everything he had but with a little over three minutes left in the match, Omega hit the One Winged Angel for the pin.
The unprecedented six-star praise of the first match between Kazuchika Okada and Kenny Omega on January 4th had many fans calling it “the greatest professional wrestling match of all time”. Their highly anticipated rematch occurred on June 11th in front of a capacity crowd at Osaka-jo Hall. Expectations were too high. How could Okada and Omega top their last outing?
Being that wrestling is subjective, I have a different perspective on what’s good and what’s bad than someone else may have. Instead of judging what was better, the question to ask is did Okada and Omega simply add to something great or improve upon the original design?
The match that many have called the greatest of all-time will get its second chapter. Kenny Omega will lockup with Kazuchika Okada for the IWGP Heavyweight Title at NJPW Dominion on June 11, at Osaka-Jo Hall.
The match was made on Wednesday at Wrestling Dontaku when Okada called Omega into the ring after defeating Bad Luck Fale. Omega entered the ring for a staredown, looked to the camera and said that Okada is not the champion that people want.
Okada defeated Omega in January at Wrestle Kingdom to retain the championship in a 45-minute classic, which earned an unprecedented six-star rating by famed journalist Dave Meltzer. Those who missed out on their first encounter will no doubt look forward to the sequel.
The wrestling world is buzzing after Ryan Satin of Pro Wrestling Sheet broke the news that WWE has been in secret talks with Sinclair Broadcast Group since January about the potential acquisition of Ring of Honor. Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer elaborated on the report stating that WWE made their initial inquiry about purchasing ROH back in August.
While there is no deal on the table as of yet, WWE’s plan of acquisition seems to include the tape library, talent contracts and closing down the company. This move indicates that WWE is attempting to completely monopolize the professional wrestling market in the United States.
WWE purchased WCW and acquired ECW’s assets in 2001 because all three companies were competing for the same audience. In 2017, groups such as ROH and Impact Wrestling are competing with WWE for talent due to sub-genres in wrestling being more pronounced and defined. Continue reading
New Japan Pro Wrestling announced the brackets for this year’s New Japan Cup tournament. This will mark the 13th annual Cup where the winner of this single elimination tournament will earn a title shot at any singles championship they wish to challenge for at Sakura Genesis (formerly Invasion Attack) on April 9th at Sumo Hall.
The first round matches will begin on March 11th (The right side of the brackets) and March 12th (The left side of brackets) the quarterfinal matches will occur on March 13th and March 17. Semifinal action will take place on March 19 and the finals on March 20th. The Wrestling Observer has confirmed that the last two days will air live on New Japan World while the rest of the shows will air on a delay.
These matchups make for some interesting possibilities. I’d expect Hiroshi Tanahashi to at least make it to the finals of his bracket. Besides Toru Yano, who he’ll face in the finals is anyone’s guess.
Katsuyori Shibata vs. Minoru Suzuki in the first round is just all sorts of awesome. Booking their match in this position is the right call because placing them anywhere else in the same bracket makes the outcome too predictable.
O Kenny! My Kenny! What do we do with Kenny Omega? “The Cleaner’s” white-hot popularity makes him the easy pick to win the whole enchilada, however, does New Japan plan on having the Okada/Omega II on April 9th?
If not, how do you beat Omega? Continue reading
The strong style of Japanese wrestling isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. However, if you prefer your squared circle theater to fiercely resemble the combative variety, New Japan’s Wrestle Kingdom 11 was topped off with a quadruple crescendo that will be impossible for any promotion to top or duplicate.
Hiromu Takahashi vs. KUSHIDA, Hirooki Goto vs. Katsuyori Shibata, and Tetsuya Naito vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi would all be match of the year candidates if it weren’t for the main event.
Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer newsletter gave Kazuchika Okada vs. Kenny Omega his first six star rating. Many are calling the 46 minute classic the greatest match in the history of professional wrestling.
Adam Kohn and I ring in the New Year with our review of NJPW’s annual January 4th spectacular, which emanated from the Tokyo Dome. Every title in New Japan was on the line as the 11 match card was streamed live on New Japan World.