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Csonka Reviews This Week’s Free Match Grab Bag

July 15, 2017 | Posted by Larry Csonka
Kazuchika Okada - Steve Austin
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Csonka Reviews This Week’s Free Match Grab Bag  

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Csonka Reviews This Week’s Grab Bag Free Matches

G1 26 Finals: Kenny Omega defeated Hirooki Goto @ 26:48 via pin [****¾]
IWGP Heavyweight Title Match: Kazuchika Okada defeated Champion AJ Styles @ 26:00 via pin to become the NEW Champion [****¾]
From EVOLVE 59: Ricochet defeated Will Ospreay @ 18:40 via pin [****¾]

Kenny Omega defeated Hirooki Goto (G1 26 Finals [2016]): The crowd is very pro- Omega. They started off with a deliberate pacing, going back and forth and seemingly setting the stage to go long. Goto attacked the knee of Omega, which Naito worked on big time yesterday, and the crowd was not pleased with that. They aren’t booing because of his work, but because he’s a massive choke artist. It’s making for a great atmosphere, and I love that he knee stuff from yesterday was not ignored. They worked to the floor, where Omega battled back and hit a moonsault off the barricade but immediately started to favor the knee. He then slammed Goto on the apron and then hit the apron bomb to turn the tide. Back in the ring, Omega did a little Rick Rude neck breaker with the hip swivel towards Chono for added emphasis. Omega grounded Goto, working a modified camel clutch to follow up on the apron bomb. Nice focused work by Omega here, and was rolling until he missed the corner elbow. Goto got a good hope spot, but was cut off with a bulldog for a near fall. Goto fired up as they traded chops center ring and then decapitated Omega with a lariat. Goto finally put together his first sustained series of offense, hitting the top rope elbow drop for a near fall. Omega battled back, hitting the Finlay roll into a second rope moonsault for the near fall. Omega sent Goto to the floor with the dragon snap suplex, and followed with a great plancha. Omega kept favoring the leg, having issues getting to the top and selling it after a missile dropkick. It slowed Omega enough that Goto scored with the ushigoroshi, and then ht a lariat to Omega on the apron that folded him inside out. They battled up top. Goto with the USHIGOROSHI off the second rope, which got a great near fall. He then worked the sleeper, Omega kept fighting and countered the German ad hit the running knee strike and then the suplex onto the knee. Omega trying to fight through the pain, hits the running knee strike but Goto escapes the one winged angel and works the sleeper again. Omega then climbed the ropes with Goto on his back and did the Nestea plunge off the top with Goto on his back, taking a SICK bump on the fall. My God. They struggled to their feet, exchanging strikes center ring. Omega then kicked Goto o the face and hit the sit out last ride for a great near fall again! Omega struggled to his feet and MISSED the Phoenix splash! Goto fired up here, Omega countered a suplex but his knee buckled and Goto hit a spinning faceplant for a near fall. Goto went for the GTR, but Omega hit a knee strike, they traded strikes and Omega then ht the snapdragon suplex for another near fall. Goto caught a knee strike, turns Omega inside out with the lariat and hits the shorten kai but Omega somehow kicks out as the crowd is going crazy for this. GTR countered, bloody Sunday by Omega! Styles Clash by Omega but the ode to Bullet Club only gets 2. One winged angle then connects, and Omega wins! Kenny Omega defeated Hirooki Goto @ 26:48 via pin [****¾] In all honesty that was a brilliant match, especially from Omega. Omega digging deep into the past to use moves by Ibushi, Devitt and Styles to try and win were beautiful homages, but in the end he won on his own with his own move. And take nothing away from Goto, he was half of a finals that no one predicted or really wanted, but he brought his A Game, and they delivered an absolutely awesome main event. The pacing was excellent, the build felt organic, the crowd was amazing and they went home at the right time and didn’t try to go way too long to make it “feel” like an epic, it didn’t need that because it was one. Some want to point to the way overbooked Tanahashi match as Omega’s coming out party, but that true moment was tonight, all of the reactions he received were star reactions and after a lot of work and some misfires, they have finally made Kenny Omega. Kenny Omega, from junior comedy guy wrestling kids and dolls to a Bullet Club stooge to G1 winner. Wrestling in 2016 is a hell of a thing. At the time I thought that this is a top five G1 finals match, all time; I was wrong. It’s top two.

IWGP Champion AJ Styles vs. Kazuchika Okada (Dominion [7.05.15]): The early portion of the match was some nice counter wrestling, with both men looking to get a dominant position with Bullet Club constantly trying to get involved. Red shoes would toss them, and once that was handled, we got down to the real business, which was simply fantastic wrestling. The middle portion was simply effortless by both guys, the work was almost flawless, the flow was excellent, they kept the crowd into it and did an excellent job of setting the stage for what was a scintillating closing stretch. The stretch near the end when Okada hits the rainmaker and drags Styles up for another, but Styles was still game and avoided that shit because one was more than enough for him. The closing sequence was a thing of beauty, with Okada hitting the dropkick and looking for the tombstone, only for Styles to counter out and hit a tombstone of his own and the springboard 450 for the near fall. They then worked into a series of counters, built around escaping the Styles clash and rainmaker. Okada finally countered bloody Sunday, and used a backslide to get Styles in prime position for the rainmaker. Styles kept fighting, but Okada had enough of his gaijin bullshit, hitting a German suplex and a final rainmaker to win back the IWGP title. Kazuchika Okada defeated Champion AJ Styles @ 26:00 via pin to become the NEW Champion [****¾] I expected an excellent match here, but they blew me away with a match of the year caliber match. These guys are so great, and work so well together that it almost comes across as effortless on their part. The build and drama of Nakamura and Goto (on this same card) was great, but this match did that and took it to another level as they continually played off of each other, their past matches and everything simply clicked. Tremendous action, an awesome crowd and unparalleled drama made this one of 2015. The final five minutes or so was simply beautiful, willed with constant counters and a tremendous atmosphere that rarely gets achieved. Okada connected with the rainmaker, a German suplex and one more rainmaker to finally put styled away and capture the title. The match was 26-minutes and never felt long, they pulled me in from the opening bell and delivered a match worthy of the main event spot on any show; it was simply one of the top four matches of the year. This was also the culmination of Okada rising back to the top, as he tried to prove that he was the new ace.

Ricochet vs. Will Ospreay (EVOLVE 59): The opening minutes was all fast paced work, counters and both guys trying to one up the other in a what ended up a mirror/mirror deal. The big thing is that Ricochet has been regarded as the best high flyer for the past few years, and now Ospreay is getting that buzz, so it makes sense. A match like this feels so refreshing, the pacing, the different things (Ricochet pulling out the ripcord leg sweep) and just the general work are very enjoyable. Ricochet missed the People’s Moonsault, countered Ospreay’s attempt and then finally hit it. They are playing this perfectly as the “king of flight’ defending his crown against the young upstart. The story made perfect sense, and the work was a joy to watch as both guys seemed to have an answer for the other, including both guys hitting reverse RANA back to back for a double down spot. For a regular match I would loathe that spot, but here it works because of the story. Both of these guys did a great job with the mirror aspect, which is the real hook here like when they would do the same counters, and then end up kicking each other with the same style of kick at the same time. The action escalated to a striking battle, to a DVD on the apron and then the 450 by Ricochet for the near fall, which he sold so well. Ospreay countered and then absolutely spiked ricochet with the cutter, the shooting star and the phoenix splash for a near fall of BEAUTY. Sweet Baby Jesus they have done such a good job of building to this point, Ricochet made a comeback and planted Ospreay with a sick regal-plex for another great near fall. Ospreay avoided the 630, and hit the Spanish fly for a near fall, the Essex destroyer followed and some how Ricochet survived. Ospreay misses some wild looking twisting shooting star, Ricochet then did the deadlift brainbuster for another near fall. Michinoku driver by Ricochet, but Ospreay says I ain’t got time for that shit and kicks out. Ricochet ate knees on the shooting star, KO kicks by Ospreay and then he did a back handspring into the benadryller by Ricochet for the win. Ricochet defeated Will Ospreay @ 18:40 via pin [****¾] This was the early prototype for the much talked about and controversial BOTSJ match they had; EVOLVE had it first, it was awesome, but it got lost in the WrestleMania weekend events, and didn’t get the love it deserved at the time.

– End scene.

– Thanks for reading.

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“Byyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyye Felicia!”

The final score: review Amazing
The 411
Three different matches, three very awesome matches; a joy to go back and watch.