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Csonka’s NJPW WrestleKingdom 11 1.04.17 Review

January 4, 2017 | Posted by Larry Csonka
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Csonka’s NJPW WrestleKingdom 11 1.04.17 Review  

Csonka’s NJPW WrestleKingdom 11 1.04.17 Review

RAMBO: Michael Elgin @ 25:17 [**]
– Tiger Mask W defeated Tiger The Dark @ 6:45 via pin [**¾]
IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title Match: RPG Vice defeated Champions Young Bucks @ 12:25 via pin [***¾]
NEVER 6 Man Title Gauntlet Match: Los Ingobernables defeated Champions David Finlay, Ricochet & Kojima, CHAOS and Bullet Club @ 21:25 via pin [***½]
– Cody defeated Juice Robinson @ 10:03 via pin [**½]
ROH Heavyweight Title Match: Adam Cole defeated Champion Kyle O’Reilly @ 11:11 via pin [***]
IWGP Tag Team Title Match: Tomohiro Ishii and Toru Yano defeated Champions G.O.D (Tanga Roa & Tama Tonga) and TEAM GBH @ 13:00 via pin [***½]
IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title Match: Hiromu Takahashi defeated Champion KUSHIDA @ 16:55 via pin [****½]
NEVER Openweight Title Match: Hirooki Goto defeated Champion Katsuyouri Shibata @ 16:35 via pin [****½]
IWGP Intercontinental Title Match: Champion Tetsuya Naito defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi @ 25:55 via pin [****¾]
IWGP Heavyweight Title Match: Champion Kazuchika Okada defeated Kenny Omega @ 48:25 via pin [*****]

THE NEW JAPAN RAMBO: Michel Elgin made his return from a broken orbital bone to participate. MR ASS IS HERE! In the year of our lord 2017, Mr. Ass is working the Tokyo Dome. They did power spots until BONE SOLDIER joined the fray. Corino and Kelly basically buried BONE SOLDIER quite properly. #4 is Cheeseburger! Cheeseburger ran wild and eliminated BONE SOLDIER, but Gunn then beat him down. Liger is #5, and his music kicks all the asses. Liger and Cheeseburger worked together, because Liger is a huge fan of Cheeseburger, legit. Large Michel eliminated Gunn. #6 was Kobayashi, who immediately worked with Liger. #7 was Tiger Mask IV. Kobayashi was a miserable bastard and was attacking masks, but Liger, Cheeseburger and Tiger Mask dog piled pin him for the pin and elimination. Nakanishi was #8, who laid into everyone with lariats. #9 is Taguchi. ASS ATTACKS FOR ALL! The small dudes all tried to dog pile on Nakanishi, Elgin then hit a splash and they all covered him for the elimination.#10 is Yoshitatsu as Liger was eliminated. Tiger Mask also got eliminated during this. Yoshitatsu foolishly attacked Elgin; Taguchi gave Cheeseburger the stink face as #11 was former RAMBO winner Yuji Nagata. He arm barred Taguchi right away, Yoshitatsu broke it up and got booed for it so Nagata started to kick his ass. #12 was Tenzan. WAR NEW JAPAN DADS as Yoshitatsu was eliminated. Tenzan and Nagata battled, Taguchi busted out more ass attacks. #13 was Hiro Saito. Nagata lit up Tenzan with kicks; Tenzan and Saito worked over Nagata and eliminated him. #14 was SCOTT FLASH NORTON. Norton no sold Taguchi’s ass attacks, POWERBOMB and Taguchi is dead and eliminated.

Everyone then looked to attack Elgin, but he fired up and attacked everyone. Elgin ran wild, eliminated Saito and then Norton. Elgin and Tenzan battled, Cheeseburger tried to help and got tossed onto Tenzan. Elgin then eliminated Tenzan. We’re down to Elgin and Cheeseburger, who fired up. Elgin no sold him and tossed him down. Cheeseburger avoided a powerbomb and hit a superkick, but then ate the Elgin bomb and he was done. Michael Elgin @ 25:17 [**] This was better than expected and a good way to bring Elgin back, having him kill a bunch of dudes. It was nothing special but I had fun, but was a bit disappointed that we didn’t see some guys like Haku and Kabuki. This was exactly what it needed to be.

Tiger Mask W vs. Tiger The Dark: Tiger Mask W is Kota Ibushi and Tiger The Dark is former ROH performer ACH. I hope the masks do not cause any issues, they look the same as Ibushi wore the first time, which gave him issues. They aren’t traditional masks, but are bigger and look to be made of plastic. They worked a nice back and forth opening stretch, leading to a stalemate. Dark took control and posed and then hit a great looking Sasuke special to the floor. Dark laid in some strikes, but then ran into a dropkick and Dark rolled to the floor. W then hit the double jump moonsault to the floor. Corino keeps teasing that he knows who is under the masks. Back in and W covers for 2. Dark cut off W, took the heat and looked for a tombstone, but then locked in a submission but W escaped. They did the tombstone reversal series, but Dark then hit the tombstone for a near fall. Dark looked for a tiger bomb; W escaped and hit a snap German and then the tiger suplex for 2. Sky-high tiger bomb by W secures the win. Tiger Mask W defeated Tiger The Dark @ 6:45 via pin [**¾] That was solid and fun, but I still think a straight up ACH vs. Ibushi match would be way better, since they wouldn’t have to deal with he gimmicks and masks.

IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title Match: Champions Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson) vs. RPG Vice (Beretta & Rocky Romero): the Bucks have all of their tag titles (NJPW JR, ROH, PWG) with them, including their custom “Superkick” Titles. They also cut promos on the Hardys as they made their entrance. They all brawled before the bell, Vice quickly fought back and sent the champions o the floor. They teased dives and the Bucks teased walking out. Vice chased and got laid out on the ramp, the Bucks rushed to the ring and we got a count out tease. Vice struggled, but made it back in to break the count. The Bucks took the heat on Beretta, sending Romero back to the floor. We got some superkicks as the Bucks talked a lot o shit as they worked over Beretta. Romero in for the save, but ate a superkick and mocked Beretta as he looked for the tag off of the tornado DDT. Beretta again got cut off, but avoided the tandem corner kicks. Nick then accidentally kicked Matt, and then Nick superkicked a young lion at ringside. Romero got the hot tag ran wild and then hit the forever clotheslines, turning the champions inside out. Sliced bread countered…. But Romero fights and avoids the Indytaker. It broke down, the Bucks avoided strong zero, but Vice hit the contract killer…


The Bucks again countered strong zero, set Romero up top and he fights out of the superplex. Beretta turns Matt inside out with a super German suplex. He then completely missed the sweet ass dive as the Bucks ran away. Fucking hell.


Romero had to fight on his own, survived superkicks but ate the double team 450. Great near fall there. More superkick, but Romero fired up and survived again. More bang for your buck countered by Romero into a cradle as Beretta helped out as well. RPG Vice defeated Champions Young Bucks @ 12:25 via pin [***¾] That was a very good match, with some cool counters of trademark spots, but they never went too far and hit 20 finishers. The finish was out of nowhere and I liked that. RPG Vice nearly broke up as Romero was basically costing them matches while Beretta carried the load, so here, Romero had to do the work in order to be fully redeemed.

NEVER 6 Man Title Gauntlet Match: Champions David Finlay, Ricochet & Kojima vs.
Los Ingobernables (BUSHI, EVIL & SANADA) vs. CHAOS (Jado, YOSHI-HASHI & Ospreay) vs. Bullet Club (Fale, Yujiro, Hangman Page)
: CHAOS & Bullet Club will start things off. Bullet Club attacked before the bell, but HASHI fought back and ran wild on Fale. Fale and Takahashi sent HASHI to the floor, they worked him over and then worked the heat back in the ring. HASHI fought back, hitting a neck breaker on Page. Ospreay gets the hot tag, sends Page to the floor and follows with the Sasuke special. Shooting star press on Page for 2 followed. Spin kick by Ospreay, Page catches the springboard cutter and then turns him inside out with a lariat. Ospreay escapes rite of passage, Takahashi trips Ospreay off the ropes, but he fights back and HASHI and Jado are in. They run wild, cross face on Takahashi, Fale makes the save. Ospreay makes the save for Jado, Page hits the shooting star to the floor as Takahashi eliminated Jado @ 7:50. Los Ingobernables (BUSHI, EVIL & SANADA) are in next, which makes Bullet Club advancing a highly questionable call. They brawled to the floor almost right away. Los Ingobernables then ran wild, dives by BUSHI and then chair shots to Takahashi. Dragon sleeper by SANADA, and Takahashi taps at 12:50. Champions David Finlay, Ricochet & Kojima are in now. We get the big brawl right away, dives from Finlay & Ricochet followed. Los Ingobernables took the heat on Finlay as BUSHI choked him out with his shirt. Ricochet got the hot tag, ran wild on Los Ingobernables, hitting a brainbuster on BUSHI for a near fall. Kojima in and delivered chops to all of Los Ingobernables. WAR NEW JAPAN DAD! He got low blowed, allowing Los Ingobernables to take control back. Kojima manages to hit the desperation DDT on EVIL. Ricochet & Finlay in, they work double teams on EVIL, but BUSHI flies in with the code breaker. SANADA & EVIL take control; Kojima fired up and hits the Koji cutter on EVIL. LARIOTO to EVIL, but SANADA makes the save. Brain buster by Kojima to SANADA, EVIL takes the rev, mist to Kojima, but he survives the sitout powerbomb, but EVIL hits EVIL to win the titles. Los Ingobernables defeated Champions David Finlay, Ricochet & Kojima, CHAOS and Bullet Club @ 21:25 via pin [***½] My main complaint here is that you book Ospreay and Ricochet in the same match and laid it out to ensure they have no interaction at all. The final stretch, featuring Los Ingobernables and the champions was great; overall I’d call it a very good. Ospreay was also great, but most importantly, the right team won.

Cody vs. Juice Robinson: Corino and Kelly are killing me here, claming that Cody is the best Rhodes. They then compared him to AJ Styles going to Japan and joining Bullet Club. No. Cody worked the back a bit, hit the springboard dropkick and then talked shit to commentary.


Cody took control, tried a dive but Robinson caught him and hit an overhead suplex on the floor and then the cannonball, rough landing. Back in, Robinson is selling the leg from the cannonball; Cody hits the Alabama slam and a near fall for Cody. Robinson was having issues from the cannonball, selling the knee. Robinson fired up, looked for a toss up gut buster, which didn’t come off well. Cody countered the suplex, chop blocked the knee but Robinson was able to fight back with strikes. Robinson slowly up top. Hit the high cross but Cody rolled through into the American nightmare leg lock. Robinson made the ropes, but Cody hit the disaster kick and did a lot of half hearted trash talk. Robinson avoids cross Rhodes, and hits the lariat for a near fall. Robinson looks for the powebomb, but his knee gave out, Cody hit cross Rhodes and picked up the win.Cody defeated Juice Robinson @ 10:03 via pin [**½] This was about what I thought it would be, Robinson busted his ass, the crowd wasn’t all that interested and Cody worked the same match he’s been working since joining Bullet Club. It was fine. I keep watching post WWE Cody matches, and I keep waiting to see all of that fire and desire he talks about; instead, he’s just fine, just another guy.

ROH Heavyweight Title Match: Champion Kyle O’Reilly vs. Adam Cole : They shake hands, but Cole spits at O’Reilly. O’Reilly attacks. Looking to work the arm. Cole kept trying to celebrate; O’Reilly would attack but then get sent to the floor. They brawled to the floor; Cole blatantly ignored the ref, and used a chair shot to O’Reilly right in front of the ref (they could have done the same thing with a pre-match attack). Cole followed up by talking to O’Reilly, so O’Reilly fired back with strikes & knees. O’Reilly worked for a knee bar, but Cole escaped and hit the last shot for a near fall. They did the crazy fists spot center ring; O’Reilly lit up Cole with strikes and then a brainbuster, but was slowed due to the arm being hurt. Cole then stomped away at the arm once again, O’Reilly then hit a German, but Cole hit a shining wizard. Last shot again by Cole gets another near fall. O’Reilly then blocked the superkick and locked in the ankle lock. Cole attacked the shoulder to escape, hit three superkicks and then a fourth. The last shot finished O’Reilly. We have a new champion because O’Reilly didn’t re-sign with ROH. Adam Cole defeated Champion Kyle O’Reilly @ 11:11 via pin [***] This felt largely anticlimactic, as I feared. It also felt like such a waste of such a long angle for O’Reilly to win and then lose it back due to not re-signing. The work was good overall, but it was missing something.

– NJPW is officially running two shows in the US at the Long Beach Convention Center on July 1st & 2nd.

IWGP Tag Team Title Match: Champions G.O.D (Tanga Roa & Tama Tonga) vs. vs. Tomohiro Ishii and Toru Yano vs. TEAM GBH (Tomoaki Honma & Togi Makabe): Big brawl to begin, with Yano getting his ass beat for stealing the titles and WTL trophies. G.O.D took the heat on Honma. Yano exposed the buckle and slammed Honma into it, Ishii in and he works over Honma. Yano tags out to G.O.D, but miscommunication allows Honma to battle back and hit the dead lift suplex. Honma then sends Yano to the exposed buckle, Makabe in and he runs wild. Clotheslines for all, spear to Yano and Ishii. Makabe fights off G.O.D, Honma back in and they work over G.O.D. Tonga fought back with his misdirection spot, Honma back in working with Roa, hits a bulldog and the falling kokeshi. Roa just keeps yelling and swearing at Honma and then powerbombs him. Ishii in and decapitates Honma, but runs into a dropkick. It breaks down; G.O.D clears the ring and hits the powerbomb/neck breaker combo. Roa’s offense consists of swearing a lot. Makabe back in, clotheslines to G.O.D. he and Honma work together, kokeshi to Roa for the near fall. Makabe powerbombs Roa, top rope kokeshi on Roa and Ishii makes the save. Running kokeshi to Ishii. Honma counters the gun stun, but Tonga finally hits it. Guerrilla warfare on Makabe connects. Honma fights off G.O.D, Yano blind tags in and Ishii fires up, double low blow by Yano and he rolls up Roa to win the titles. Tomohiro Ishii and Toru Yano defeated Champions G.O.D (Tanga Roa & Tama Tonga) and TEAM GBH @ 13:00 via pin [***½] I still think we didn’t need Yano and Ishii, but this ended up being a fun and very good match. The chaotic home stretch and near falls really made it work.

IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title Match: Champion KUSHIDA vs. Hiromu Takahashi : Takahashi attacks but KUSHIDA sends him to the floor and then hits an insane dive to the floor.


Back in the ring and KUSHIDA attacks the arm with hammerlock slams. KUSHIDA then looked for an arm bar. Takahashi picked up the pacing, and hit the sunset flip bomb to the floor. The doctor checked on KUSHIDA, but KUSHIDA made it back into the ring. Takahashi then laid the boots to KUSHIDA and slapped away at him. Nice aggression by KUSHIDA, who connected with a head kick and continued the heat. KUSHIDA then cut him off with the flatliner to the corner. KUSHIDA then started to put together some offense and finally gained some momentum. KUSHIDA looked for the hover board lock, but Takahashi hit a series of German suplexes. Takahashi went for the RANA to the floor, but they bounced off the ropes and back in. Takahashi hit the crazy senton to the floor onto KUSHIDA. KUSHIDA then hit a PELE kick, KUSHIDA then countered the sunset flip bomb. Takahashi ran off the apron, but KUSHIDA caught him in a jumping armbar.


KUSHIDA kept the hold, but rolled Takahashi back in. I love when KUSHIDA shows that extra aggression, grabbing Takahashi by the hair and kicking away at the arm he damaged on the floor. KUSHIDA keeps attacking the arm scores with the hover board lock. Takahashi keeps fighting, he screams in pain as KUSHIDA pulls him away from the ropes. He escapes, they work through some counters as KUSHIDA works the hanging hover board lock. Takahashi fights off the hover board lock again, lays in some rights, but KUSHIDA drops him with a short right, meaning KUSHIDA is in give no fucks mode. The crowd is going nuts here, they are into this shit. Takahashi hits an overhead belly to belly, sending KUSHIDA to the corner. They work up top, Takahashi fights off the hover board lock into an inverted destroyer off the top. Takahashi spears KUSHIDA to the corner. Hits the time bomb and wins the title. Hiromu Takahashi defeated Champion KUSHIDA @ 16:55 via pin [****½] This was excellent, superior work from both but this was a breakout performance for Takahashi. He is a fresh opponent that KUSHIDA needs. This smoked everything on the show so far. This also had more heat than any junior match in recent memory, and people always say that juniors get no reaction in the dome, buy they did here tonight.

NEVER Openweight Title Match: Champion Katsuyouri Shibata vs. Hirooki Goto : Goto looked to grapple early, but Shibata lit him up with chops. Goto then worked the side headlock. Shibata escaped, looked to work the arm and they then worked some nifty exchanges on the mat. Shibata then laid in the kicks to Goto, and again targeted the arm. Shibata is all taped up, but gives no fucks as he just kicks the shit out of Goto. Goto fired up, hitting a running kick and then the backdrop driver. But Shibata is still alive, surviving the elbow drop. Shibata just shakes off Goto, who starts to show some frustration and aggression. Shibata then drops him with the forearm strikes. Oh yes, this is heating up as the aggression grows. Goto showing great fire here as both guys beat the hell out of each other. Dueling German suplex spot, and both men are down. Shibata then hits another German, FIGHTING SPIRIT, STO by Goto and we get another double down. They then trade strikes from their knees, but Shibata locks in the sleeper. Goto struggles, but Shibata locks it in again and Goto drops to a knee. Shibata drops back, works the body scissors as well but Goto manages o get the ropes with his foot. Tries to drag Goto’s carcass up, Goto manages to hit head butts but Shibata drops him with he PK. Goto fire up, Ushigoroshi to Shibata! Shibata counters the GTR, but Goto hits the suplex into the side slam. Goto fires up one last time, but Shibata says fuck that and delivers elbows and head butts! Goto with the head butt, hits the GTR and wins! Hirooki Goto defeated Champion Katsuyouri Shibata @ 16:35 via pin [****½] This was the win that the V character needed; this was excellent and on par with the previous match, but worked in a completely different style. This was a beautiful symphony of violence and aggression. These guys were fired up, the crowd is fired up and I am fired up! Shibata is the ultimate warrior, winning and losing matters to him, never giving up is his motto; Goto is the ultimate failure as a title challenger and this was about him digging deep to overcome and win some gold after his many big match failures.

IWGP Intercontinental Title Match: Champion Tetsuya Naito vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi: They showed a great video package to set the stage for the feud. Tanahashi’s new music is the drizzling shits. Naito should win on his music and suit game alone. They haven’t even touched and the crowd is going nuts. Naito stalls early, fucking with Tanahashi. They finally lock up, no clean break from Tanahashi as he attacks Naito in the ropes. Tanahashi sent to the floor, traquilo pose by Naito. Naito takes control, working strikes and then they both work headlocks. Tanahashi pulls the hair, showing some heelish tendencies and possibly desperation. Tanahashi got cocky, Naito took out the knee and started to work it over, softening him up for the knee bar. Naito shoves down the ref and continues to assault the knee of Tanahashi. Naito is in full dick mode here, working the knee. They trade strikes, Naito back to the knee to slow Tanahashi. Tanahashi finally hits a flying forearm, he fires up with rights, slams Naito down and hits the senton of the ropes. Tanahashi looks to attack the leg to get some payback, he looks for the cloverleaf, but Naito fights it off and he spits at Tanahashi. To the apron they go, sling blade on the apron by Tanahashi, Naito took a hell of a bump there. Tanahashi up top and hits the high fly flow on a standing Naito. Tanahashi then mocks Naito’s pose and then attacks, rolling Naito back in the ring. Tanahashi up top, but he was too slow and Naito crotches him on the ropes. Naito again attacks the knee, hits the RANA and then the German for 2. Enziguri by Naito, hits Gloria and that gets a near fall. Tanahashi fights off the tornado DDT, and both men attack the leg, but Naito works the leg lock. Tanahashi struggles, and finally makes it out and locks in the cloverleaf; great transition. Naito fights, and slides to the ropes. Tanahashi hits the dragon screw leg whip and then two sling blades for the near fall. Tanahashi up top, high fly flow to the standing Naito, right back up but misses the second try. DESTINO by Naito, hangs on and Tanahashi counters the second into a neck breaker. The crowd is on fire here as they slowly make it to their feet, they trade strikes center ring. Crazy fists, they both attack the knees again. Naito survived the dragon suplex, but Tanahashi can’t hold the bridge. High fly flow! Another, but it eats knees. Naito can’t follow up, due to the knee. Enziguri by Naito, Destino out of the corner but Tanahashi kicks out! DESTINO again, and Tanahashi is done. Champion Tetsuya Naito defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi @ 25:55 via pin [****¾] This was an absolutely amazing match with tremendous crowd heat, a great slow burn and both guys doing everything at the right time. Naito winning was absolutely the right call, Tanahashi is at a stage where he can still deliver in big matches and needs to be solidifying the next generation, Most importantly, Naito won clean. Tanahashi’s match layouts are so, so good and at the end of the match, both guys always come out looking great. And now we look to tell the story of the fallen ace.

IWGP Heavyweight Title Match: Champion Kazuchika Okada vs. Kenny Omega: Omega does the Terminator entrance, playing off the rise of the Terminator spot he does in matches. No bullshit broom, Omega has a shotgun. The Bucks are at ringside. Gedo is with Okada. Slow beginning, Omega worked the arm and grounded Okada. Omega kept going for the hair early on, having no issue looking to use short cuts. Okada cut him off with elbows, but Omega grounds Okada once again. They are working some really nice and smooth back and forth to begin. Okada looked to pick up the pace, but Omega was able to counter away, they both teased their finish and Omega took a powder. Okada chased him to the floor, back in and Okada took control hitting a basement dropkick. Back to the floor they go, Omega tossed into the barricade and Okada plants Omega with the hangman’s DDT. Okada then grabbed a table, looking for revenge from the road to shows. Omega cut that off, but Okada tossed him over the barricade and hit the running cross body.


Back in the ring, Okada hit the slingshot senton and then worked the stranglehold. The neck breaker followed, but Omega picked up the pace and hit the kotaro crusher. Omega started to beat down Okada with clubbing blows, working the lower back. Okada fires back with forearm strikes, but Omega hits a RANA, Okada rolls to the floor and Omega hits the rise of the terminator dive. Omega then slams Okada off the apron as he keeps working the lower back. Back in and Omega about decapitates Okada with a missile dropkick. Omega works the modified camel clutch, Okada escapes and they did a double down. Okada attacks the legs, but Omega fights out. Okada hits the neck breaker and heads up top, but the splash eats knees. Okada to the floor after an omega back breaker, and Omega says fuck it and goes for broke…


SWEET JESUS MAN! Keep teasing that Kota Ibushi feud Kenny. But Omega’s not done yet, he and Okada back in, powerbomb by Omega for 2. Dead lift sitout powerbomb by Omega gets the near fall. And then, after some back and forth, this happened…



The Bucks checked on Omega, Okada then hits the missile dropkick and turns Omega inside out. Okada then hits the top rope elbow drop, rainmaker pose… Okada pulls Omega to his feet, but Omega gets to the ropes. Omega rushes Okada to the corner to counter the rainmaker. They battle up top…


OH SHIT OKADA’S DEAD! Omega drapes an arm on Okada, and gets the bear fall as Okada somehow survives.


On Omega’s performance – It’s not that you lose, it’s how you lose: Omega put in a hell of a performance, one he needed since he was losing. I feel that was a mistake after the last year of booking, but the match was so great, even if a bit too long; the thing is that most guys would have been DOA after the build and loss like this. Despite the fact that he lost, Kenny Omega is more over now than he was before the match. He put in an all time elite one-man performance, that does not mean carry job, that means that his individual work was on another level, it’s his performance you leave talking about. And the booking: Even more importantly than the performance of Omega, was the booking of the match. Omega never got to hit “his big move, the one winged angel.” That means that Okada never got to survive Omega’s best, kick out of them and show that he was truly better. Omega took Okada’s best, he survived his best and became one of the few men to kick out of the rainmaker; Omega took the best of the champion but we can’t say the same for Okada. When they meet again in a one on one setting, people will lose their shit when Omega hits the one winged angel. Greatest of All Time?: I’ve seen the label “Greatest of All Time” thrown around for this match, and once again if you loved this match that much I think that’s awesome, because it should make you happy when you see great wrestling. In my opinion I think it is a bit too soon to cal it that. “Best you’ve ever seen” I can easily buy, but to anoint it the GOAT feels like jumping the gun a bit, just like the people that want to shit on everything, claiming it the worst ever. I may look back on this in December, next year, five-years from now and it may resonate with me in an entirely different way; it’s excellent for sure, and obviously delivered. Don’t forget about that Okada fella: At the age of 29, Kazuchika Okada has been slowly but surely building what will be a hall of fame career, and depending on how much longer he can go (hopefully another 10 years or so), he may go down as the best big match performer ever. He does a on of little things (in particular his tremendous facial expressions) as well as things that call back to the builds of matches, and while a knock on him is slow and largely pointless opening portions of his matches, Okada puts together some of the best closing stretches I have ever seen. Do you know what I love about this match?: What I loved about this match has nothing to do with the outcome, the layout, the moves or necessarily the competitors. What I loved about this match is that it brought out some of the best and most passionate conversation I have seen in a long time, fans defending what they loved about it or hated, sharing genuine feelings of joy at times. As I always say, when the wrestling is great, there’s almost nothing better. I love that so many new fans found NJPW and tried to expand their wrestling palette. I love that so many fans exited their comfort zone and enjoyed an amazing show. I love that this match is making people consider what the greatest match they ever saw was. It’s shows and matches like this, that at the end of the day, make me love what I do for a living. Champion Kazuchika Okada defeated Kenny Omega @ 48:25 via pin [*****]

– End scene.

– Thanks for reading.

 photo fe36ffd0-0da4-4e3b-a2d3-b026b341dd87_zps41ef5d61.jpg
“Byyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyye Felicia!”

The final score: review Amazing
The 411
NJPW WrestleKingdom 11 was an outstanding show overall, with a good and consistent undercard. The top four matches that everyone thought would deliver, did, and did so in different ways. The show set the tone for 2017, and was a blast to watch. The interesting story is the fact that they changed all the titles, minus the main two. Tanahashi lost and Los Ingobernables was officially given the ball with their wins tonight, I love that.