Wrestle Kingdom 10
January 4, 2016
Attendance – 25,204
Commentators: Kevin Kelly, Matt Striker, & Yoshi Tatsu
All GIFS were found at Wrestling Giffer.
The Young Bucks (w/Cody Hall) vs. Roppongi Vice vs. Ricochet & Matt Sydal vs. ReDragon (c) – IWGP Junior Tag Team Championship
Before the bell rings, The Bullet Club gets the jump on ReDragon with Cody Hall and the Bucks attacking. Matt Jackson calls for the ref to ring the bell, and the bell ringer complies. Fish is double teamed by the Young Bucks, and they have control early in the match. Fish turns it around when Matt Jackson goes to the apron, and Kyle O’Reilly killed him with a dropkick, followed by a samoan drop on Nick. Nick ducks some offence, tells ReDragon to suck it, and tags in Sydal.
Romero blind tags himself in after a clothesline from Sydal on O’Reilly. Romero and Berreta nail Sydal with a flying knee, and then tell the Nick Jackson to suck it. Nick tries to get in the ring, but the ref trips him. I have no idea if that was an accident, but it was hilarious. Berreta and Sydal trade moves for a bit, and Sydal spills to the outside. Berreta nails a flip dive on almost everyone, sends Matt Jackson into the ring, climbs to the top rope, and Nick pulls Berreta off the top rope, driving him into the top of the turnbuckle back first. Really dangerous.
The superkick party starts, and the Young Bucks superkick everyone in sight. Matt Jackson pulled a WCW Chris Jericho with a foot-on-the-chest cover while yelling Come On Baby! The Bucks maintain control for a little while by working over Berreta. As Matt Jackson uses on of Berreta’s hands and one of his own to tell Romero to suck it, Romero comes in the ring and slaps the living crap out of him. Matt superkicks him to death. Berreta turns it around with a weird foot stomp , followed by hitting Matt with a tornado DDT. Ricochet tags in and lives up to his name by bouncing around the ring everywhere. Sydal and Ricochet hit a really cool move as Sydal hits a standing moonsault while Ricochet hits a standing Shooting Star Press. While Kyle O’Reilly is locking in an armbar hanging over the top rope on one of the Bucks, the other buck does a flip dive. People dive everywhere. Ricochet goes for a dive, but Cody Hall trips him up and hits him with an Outsider’s Edge to the outside of the ring onto everyone else while the ref is distracted.
It doesn’t take long for Ricochet and Sydal to get back in control, however, as they smash the Bucks in the turnbuckles, and Ricochet follows by hitting a springboard Shooting Star Press onto Cody Hall outside the ring. Holy crap.
They almost get the win after a springboard 450 from Ricochet, but Matt makes the save. They set up their stereo Shooting Star Press, but ReDragon stops them. Fish and O’Reilly destroy Matt Sydal and Nick Jackson with way too many moves to count. Cody Hall pulls Fish outside the ring, but messes up his interference, while O’Reilly kills Hall on the outside. ReDragon goes for the finish, but is interrupted. They go for suplexes, but everyone comes in and blocks it, and all 7 guys struggle to suplex eachother while Rocky Romero runs around them wondering who he should grab. Hilarious. Romero decideds on one of the Bucks, and ReDragn and Roppongi Vice suplex Sydal, Ricochet, & The Young Bucks. Great spot. The Bucks hold each other and cry in pain. That is awesome.
Romero has 4 people in each corner (ReDragon and Young Bucks), and he runs around and clotheslines everyone, then both ReDragon members, followed by both Young Bucks, followed by both Sydal and Ricochet. Romero is a tank. Ricochet interupts the finish of Roppongi Vice by catching Romero in a fireman’s carry, lauching him into the air, and hitting him with a pele kick as he comes down. Holy crap. I’ve never seen that before. They signal for a stereo Shooting Star, but Matt Jackson blind tags Sydal as they hit it, sneak into the ring, and look to steal the pin, but Romero kicks out. So much action in this match.
They hit More Bang for Your Buck and get the pin on Romero and they win the IWGP Jr. Tag Team Championship.
RATING: 3/5 – Very exciting opening match. However, if you are looking for a match that has great psychology and storytelling, this is not it. It’s a spotfest from start to finish. Definitely very exciting, but little in terms of actual substance. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed it, but man in the 16 minutes that this match had, I think I saw about 7000 false finishes and twice as many finishing moves. Are these guys all super powered people that can take crazy amounts of punishment? No selling, no psychology at all. Slow down folks. Sell. No one will believe what they are seeing if no one actually acts like the moves hurt. Still very fun to watch, but the lack of selling is something that really bothers me. It was a perfectly acceptable opening match that helps set the pace for the rest of the show.
The Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale, Yujiro Takahashi, & Tama Tonga) w/ Mao vs. Toru Yano, & The Briscoe Brothers – NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship
If you ever told me that I’d see Toru Yano & The Briscoe Brothers teaming, I wouldn’t have believed you. This should be hilarious, but also lots of fun. The Bullet Club opens the match by attacking again, but it doesn’t last long as the Briscoes use their Red Neck Kung Fu to attack. As Mark screams as he hits several moves, one guy in the crowd chants ROH. Poor guy, he was just trying to be nice to everyone’s favourite ROH hillbilles. Yano is tagged in and immediately begins to irritate Bad Luck Fale by slapping him in the back of the head, going to the ropes and screaming break when Fale tries to end him. The fans begin to chant break. Yano is awesome. Tama Tonga comes in and taps Yano on the shoulder, Yano turns around and screams. This is also great. Fale takes control and beats down Yano for a few minutes, and the Bullet Club maintains control with frequent tags.
Yano turns it around when he takes the turnbuckle pad off, causing Fale to smash into it. He ducks Tonga and Takahashi, making them smash into each other. He does his YTR stuff, cheats some more, shrugs, then gets nailed by Fale. I love Toru Yano.
Yano tags in Mark Briscoe, and he uses his Red Neck Kung Fu against Takahashi. Takahashi regains control after a Fisherman’s buster. Takahashi tags in Tonga while Mark tags in Jay. Tonga flies across the ring and prevents Jay form getting in, but Mark does a crazy dive to the outside while Jay rushes back in and gets a series of near falls on Tonga. Tonga turns it around after countering a Jay Driller with a flapjack. Jay manages to get Tonga up on his shoulders, but can’t do anything with it as Tonga grabs the rope. Yano smashes Tonga with a chair in the hands, forcing him to let go, and The Briscoe’s hit a Doomsday Device for the win! Toru Yano & The Briscoe Brothers are the first ever NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Champions.
RATING: 2/5 – This was nothing special, but it was fun. Toru Yano is so great at creating fun matches. So while this match wasn’t great, I was quite entertained. Toru Yano has this effect on me.
Michael Elgin vs. Jay Lethal (c) – The ROH World Championship
This match is a big deal. The ROH World Championship being defended at Wrestle Kingdom is huge, and this is a big match for both men.
The match opens with Lethal slapping Elgin, but Elgin smashing Lethal with a massive forearm smash. Both guys trade offence, but Elgin simply overpowers Lethal. However, Lethal uses his speed and gains the advantage with a series of dives to the outside of the ring, nearly killing himself on the guard rail, leaving a dent in it.
Lethal tries to keep it up with his speed, but Elgin keeps him at bay with hard strikes, especially a massive forearm smash that looked like it hit Jay Lethal so hard his great grandchildren would feel it. Elgin hits a springboard splash and calls for a lariat, but Lethal kicks him away. Elgin hits him with a gorillia press powerslam and a dead lift German suplex simply because he can in response. Lethal hits a Lethal Combination followed by a Randy Savage Elbow. He goes for a Lethal Injection, but Elgin hits a series of German suplexes and a lariat that turns Lethal inside out.
Elgin goes for the Cesaro style suplex from the apron while he is on the middle rope, and hits a Blue Thunder Driver from the apron. Elgin hits him with a bucklebomb, Truth Martini runs in and Elgin KO’s him. The ref goes to check on Martini, and as Elgin goes for a powerbomb, Lethal hits Elgin with the Book of Truth followed by a Lethal Injection. Lethal gets the 1-2-3.
RATING: 2.5/5 – Solid match, but both have shown better performances. Nonetheless, I really enjoyed what I saw. This was nothing spectacular, but it served the purpose of keeping the pace of the show up, but not burning the crowd out.
Kushida (w/Ryusuke Taguchi as Doc Brown) vs. Kenny Omega (w/ The Young Bucks) (c) – IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship
Taguchi is out there with Kushia, dressed as Doc Brown, which is awesome. The match opens with the Young Bucks superkicking Taguchi. Omega uses a spray of some sort in Kushida’s eyes as the ref’s back was turned, and uses it on his own armpits and crotch. Why? Because it’s Kenny Omega. Kushia goes for a dive, but Nick Jackson smashes Kushida with a garbage can. Omega manages to hit a moonsault while holding a garbage can onto Kushida. The Young Bucks drum The Terminator theme song on the garbage cans as Omega hits a flip dive to the outside on Kushida. Awesome.
After this, there is some good back and forth action, with both men hitting several chops and kicks. Kushida gains the advantage with a flip of the top rope to the outside on Omega, and he hits him with a nice dropkick when Omega tries to get back in. He follows this with a a moonsault and goes for an armbar. Omega tries for a german suplex to get out, but Kushida holds onto the arm. Finally, Omega manages to dump Kushida on his head to break the hold. He puts Kushida on the top rope, but as they go up there, Kushida manages to hit an arm breaker of the top rope onto Omega. He kicks Omega in the face, blocks a T-Bone suplex, gets nailed with a spin kick, blocks Omega’s flying knee, and nails Omega with a brutal punch.
Omega moves out of the way of a corkscrew moonsault. As Omega goes for a One Winged Angel, he catches Kushida and hits a German Suplex instead, but Kushida locks in a Kimura afterwards.
Kushida calls Taguchi over as the Young Bucks try to interfere, and they eat a trash can shot from Taguchi. Omega goes for a One Winged Angel, but Kushida counters, Omega kills him with a knee then a powerbomb and almost gets him. He hits several knees, goes for a One Winged Angel again, but Kushida rolls through and pins him with a cradle. Kushia is your new Junior Heavyweight Champion!
RATING: 3/5 – This was a very good match. The pacing was good, but not overblown with the spots. This was very fun to watch from start to finish, and quite well paced. Omega and Kushida are both great.
Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma vs. The Bullet Club (Karl Anderson & Doc Gallows) (c) – IWGP Tag Team Championship
This should be a good one. Will Honma finally win the big one? Right away, Honma slams Anderson and misses his headbutt. 0/1 in this match. 3/16,000,000,000 in his career. Anderson makes fun of Honma and hits a senton after tagging back into the match, and it spills to the outside soon thereafter. Gallows grabs Makabe’s chain and hits Makabe with a clothesline on the outside of the ring.
Karl Anderson and Kevin Kelly have a shouting match, which was great. Anderson continues to smash Makabe in his weakened face. One’s face would be weakened after being hit with a chain in the mouth. Gallows is tagged in and he continues to beat on Makabe. The camera shows that the top of Honma’s head is bleeding. Homa makes the hot tag after awhile and slams Gallows. He hits Anderson with a headbutt, but takes a boot to the face in the corner. Honma yells at Anderson, hits the ropes, and is tripped by Gallows. The Bullet Club continues hitting several tag team moves, and Anderson goes for the Gun Stun, but Honma kicks out. Anderson calls for the Gun Stun again, but Honma hits a flying headbutt. He slams Anderson and goes for the headbutt off the top rope. Gallows stops him, and Anderson looks for a Gun Stun from the top rope. Both men slip, but Anderson grabs Honma and hits him with a running powerbomb. Honma kicks out. Anderson goes for a Gun Stun, but Honma blocks and hits a headbutt. Gallows and Makabe are tagged in and Makabe tries to nail him with several clotheslines, but Gallows hits Makabe with a chokebomb. Makabe kicks out.
Makabe drops both men with a clothesline, as Yoshi Tatsu says he wants to see Honma headbutt someone. Gallows kills Makabe with a few clotheslines, but Makabe gets up and smashed him with one of his own. Makabe picks up Honma, slaps him to wake him up, and whips him towards Anderson and Honma hits a headbutt.
Makabe puts Anderson on his shoulders and Honma hits a Doomsday Device with a headbutt.
Honma hits a flying headbutt on Gallows, and Makabe hits a flying knee of the top! Makabe and Honma get the 1-2-3! We have new IWGP Tag Team Champions!
RATING: 3.5/5 – This was excellent. Honma has finally won the big one. Great match out of both teams. If this is the last of Gallows & Anderson in NJPW, as they are apparently heading to WWE, this is a good way to go out.
Hirooki Goto vs. Tetsuya Naito
Before the bell rings, Los Ingobernables attacks Goto, but he doesn’t seem bothered by it as he beats on Naito when he gets into the ring. However, when they go to the outside, Evil and Bushi attack Goto. They wrap a chair around his head, and Evil hits Goto in the face with another chair, knocking the chair of his neck. Yikes.
Naito takes a ringside table and hits a neckbreaker off the apron onto Goto through it. Man, that looked brutal.
Bushi sends Goto back into the ring, and Naito continues to beat on him. He even takes a swing at the camera man and the referee. Naito just hates everyone, and it’s awesome. Naito spits on Goto, and beats on him in the corner. Goto reverses an irish whip, and manages to hit Naito with a lariat, nearly killing him.
Goto hits Naito with several kicks, followed by a bulldog. Yoshi Tatsu calls for the cover, but Goto drops Naito on his head instead of covering. Tatsu was probably right. Goto’s advantage doesn’t last long when Naito hits a missle dropkick, and he places Goto on the top rope. He goes up, but Goto fights back. Goto hits Naito with a headbutt and hits a middle rope Code Red on Naito. This was the second time Naito was dropped on his head. Naito kicks out. Naito sells it like he’s dead, but still manages to kick out of another cover. Naito hits a series of kicks followed by a flying forearm. Naito places Goto on the top rope and hits a Frakensteiner, but Goto kicks out.
Naito and Goto exchange forearm smashes to the delight of the crowd. The exchange ends when Goto hits a fireman’s carry into a neckbreaker across the knee. He goes for a suplex, but Naito blocks and eats a forearm instead. Naito blocks a kick, and swings Goto’s leg into the referee, who goes flying. Goto kills Naito with another clothesline, but Evil and Bushi come in. Bushi goes for a mist, but misses and hits Evil. Naito rolls Goto up, but Goto kicks out. Goto headbutts Naito, who drops again. Goto goes for the Shouten Kai and manages to pin Naito.
RATING: 3.5/5 – Awesome match. I was hoping Naito would win, but the match was so well worked that I can’t complain.
Katsuyori Shibata vs. Tomohiro Ishii (c) – NEVER Openweight Championship
This should be a great match. I would be shocked if it wasn’t. The match opens and both guys immediately try to kill each other with strikes. Lots of counters and a fast past for the first sequence. They then slow it down and begin to smash each other with forearms as the camera shows Jushin Liger and Masahiro Chono announcing. Shibata just shoves Ishii with his feet several times, which just makes Ishii angry, so he gets up, hits a takedown and kicks Shibata. Shibata stands up, Ishii sits down and welcomes Shibata to try and top him. Both men go back and forth for quite some time until Shibata kicks him so hard he falls over. Ishii starts to get up and both men chop each other. Shibata eats a bunch of hard ones, but kicks up immediately after falling down and hits Ishii with a massive forearm. Ishii suplexes Shibata on his head in response.
Ishii then kicks Shibata in the head several times, and starts chopping away again, forcing Shiabata into the corner. He whips Shibata into the corner, hits a clothesline, Shibata reverses killing him with forearms and a kick. Shibata locks in an octopus stretch, and Ishii makes it to the ropes. Shibata kicks him more, and does a few boot scrapes to great reaction from the crowd. Shibata then chops away at Ishii, which just wakes him up. Ishii challenges him to do more, and he kills Shibata with a forearm. Man, this is awesome. Ishii then does a bunch of boot scrapes to Shibata. Shibata eats a bunch of forearms and returns with his own and just destroys Ishii with a dropkick, but Ishii clotheslines Shibata before he can even stand, and Shibata dropkicks Ishii again before he can get up. Holy crap.
Shibata goes for an armbar and transitions into a triangle choke. Ishii tries to pick him up, but he leaves his arm out. Ishii went down towards the mat, but his feet get caught in the ropes, forcing a break. Ishii and Shibata exchange kicks and clotheslines, eventually stepping up into German suplexes and a headbutt to end the sequence where both men fall to the mat. This is awesome. Both men get up, and begin to trade chops and kicks. Ishii chops Shibata in the throat, and then powerbombs him. Shibata kicks out.
Ishii puts Shibata on the top rope, but Shibata goes for a kimura. Shibata manages to drive Ishii’s arm into the top rope, but Ishii hits a dropkick of the top rope, followed by a clothesline. Shibata kicks out at 1. He nails Sbibata with a lariat, but he kicks out again. Shibata turns it around when he counters a suplex with one of his own. Both men continue to forearm each other, and Ishii staggers around. Ishii gets nailed with a pele type kick, hits the ropes, goes for a kick of his own, but Shibata catches it and clotheslines Ishii. Shibata hits a Death Valley Driver, and locks in a Rear Naked Choke. Ishii manages to get back to his feet, but Shibata just kicks him in the chest. Shibata goes for another kick, but Ishii blocks and hits a headbutt and both men go down.
Ishii is first to his feet and nails Shibata with a clothesline. Both men headbutt each other legit, which is a bit distressing. Shibata hits a killer dropkick, and Ishii kills him with two lariats, but Shibata manages to kick out. Spinning back fist from Shibata, followed by a kick from Ishii, and several kicks from Shibata, until he hits the rope and kills Ishii with another kick. He covers for the 1-2-3! We have a new NEVER Openweight Champion!
RATING: 4/5 – This match was awesome. That is all that can be said about it. I hated the legit headbutts though. Those are a great way to seriously injure yourself, and they were unnecessary.
AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura (c) – IWGP Intercontinental Championship
Ohhhh man. I’ve been waiting for this one for a long time. I know AJ has a pretty bad back injury going in, but this is still going to be great.
The match starts slow, with Nakamura and Styles exchanging some strikes and ground based holds. After escaping a head scissors, Nakamura locks up with AJ and begins to work over AJ’s arm. Tatsu says he’s not interested in the Intercontinental Championship. Come on, Tatsu. Nakamura and AJ have an exchange where both barely miss with their moves. Nakamura drives AJ to the ropes and leaves his head on AJ’s chest when he breaks, and tells him to bring it. AJ does his gun pose and fires at Nakamura. Nakamura catches the imaginary bullet and eats it. This is awesome.
The pace picks up as Nakamura hits the ropes and AJ goes down to the mat and follows with his picture perfect dropkick.
Nakamura goes for a kick, AJ dodges, Nakamura manages to hit another one, followed by a snapmare and a knee drop. AJ gets pulled off the middle rope onto his back, and immediately begins selling his back injury. The ref checks on him, and he says he’s injured. Nakamura turns around, AJ gets up and attacks him, showing he was faking his injury. The crowd booed him for this. AJ hits his own knee drop and goes for a Muta Lock. That has to be hard to do with an injured back.
Nakamura and AJ exchange moves again, ending with Nakamura hitting a massive back breaker on AJ.
AJ sells like a champ, because he’s AJ Styles, or he’s actually hurt. AJ gets driven into the barricade on the outside off the ring back first, and it appears that Nakamura’s sympathy for AJ is gone. Nakamura kills AJ with a few well placed knees and kicks and does his twitching foot choke in the corner. He follows this with brutal knee strikes on the mat and a front suplex. He goes for the Boma Ye, but AJ dodges. Nakamura placed AJ on the turnbuckle and nailed him with his trademark knee, but to the back rather than the stomach. Nakamura goes for it a second time, but AJ dodges and hits a springboard forearm smash.
AJ goes for a suplex but can’t pick Nakamura up due to his back. Nakamura tries to suplex in return, but AJ reverses and hits a snap suplex into the corner on Nakamura.
AJ goes for the Calf Killer, but Nakamura makes it to the ropes. AJ tries to work over the legs, but Nakamura kicks him in the head for his trouble. Nakamura hits a One Knee Lung Blower on AJ, and a suplex and sets up the Boma Ye. AJ dodges again, and locks in a the Calf Killer again. Nakamura screams in pain as he struggles to escape. Nakamura rolls through and locks in an armbar! Awesome counter. AJ stacks Nakamura up to escape and smashes him with an elbow to the face to break the armbar. AJ goes for his moonsault into the reverse DDT, but messes it up a bit, and nails Nakamura with an elbow smash. He puts Nakamura in a torture rack and spins him into a powerbomb, but Nakamura kicks out. He goes for the styles clash, but Nakamura fights it off, AJ rolls through, and Nakmura misses the Boma Ye again. Nakamura manages to nail the Boma Ye of the middle rope, but he can’t follow it up because he is so worn out.
The begin to exchange forearms, with neither man giving an inch. Both men look like they’re going to collapse, but AJ drives Nakamura to the mat face first and goes for the pin. Nakamura kicks out. AJ picks Nakamura up, and hits a flurry of strikes, Nakamura counters with a few knees, AJ hits a pele and Nakamura hits a Boma Ye! AJ kicks out. Holy crap, this is great. Nakamura picks AJ up into a fireman’s carry, AJ counters with a crucifix pin, Nakamura kicks out. AJ nearly kills Nakamura with a knee, and follows it up with a 450 splash. Nakamura kicks out.
AJ goes for a Bloody Sunday, but Nakamura counters. AJ goes for a clothesline, but Nakamura catches him in a flying armbar.
He grabs AJ’s leg to keep him away from the rope and switches to a triangle choke. AJ picks Nakamura up and hits a Styles Clash, but Nakamura kicks out!
AJ hits Bloody Sunday and goes for the Styles Clash. Nakamura fights it off, so AJ just kicks him in the head and goes for it again. AJ decides against it, and brings Nakamura to the corner to try and hit it off the top rope. Nakamura counters and kicks him in the head and hits a Landslide of the middle rope! AJ kicks out! Holy crap.
Nakamura goes for a Boma Ye as AJ gets up, and he nails him in the back of the head with one of the hardest Boma Ye’s I’ve ever seen.
AJ still tries to get up, so Nakamura nails him again and pins him for the 1-2-3! Nakamura retains! Wow, what a match.
After the match, Nakamura holds his hand out to fist bump AJ, and AJ does, showing respect to a great reaction from the crowd.
RATING: 5/5 – This was outstanding in every way. What a major match. It’s hard to believe that AJ was injured throughout most of it. Both men delivered in a huge way. This was truly amazing to watch. Matt Striker commented that it would be terrible if NJPW lost both men to injury. I agree, and it appears that both have been lost to the WWE rather than injury. I sincerely hope the WWE doesn’t screw this up. They have two of the best wrestlers alive today, and they both deserve to main event in the WWE.
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kazuchika Okada (w/ Gedo) (c) – IWGP Heavyweight Championship
I don’t understand Japanese, but the hype video for this was awesome. Okada will face the one man he’s never been able to beat at Wrestle Kingdom. Can Okada finally beat Tanahashi at Wrestle Kingdom?
Okada’s theme hits, but stops for a second, as he comes out to silence, and hits again as he poses. I’m not sure if it was a technical glitch, but it actually served to make his entrance interesting, because you could hear the crowd cheer his appearance without music.
The bell rings and both men stare each other down, and the crowd goes nuts. This is going to be great. Okada pushes Tanahashi towards the ropes, pretends to not do a clean break, and simply slaps Tanahashi’s chest. Tanahashi swings at him, but Okada nails him with an elbow. Both men begin to exchange holds, simply feeling each other out in the first few minutes of this match.
Tanahashi slaps Okada and they begin to pick up the pace. Okada nails Tanahashi with a kick to the face and begins to elbow and strike Tanahashi. Both men transition to exchanging basic submission holds, from hammer locks to chin locks. Some really great basic fundamental wrestling here. Slow pace to the start of the match, but you know they’re just slow burning this one.
Tanahashi begins to work over Okada’s leg. If Okada can’t walk, he can’t hit his Rainmaker Clothesline. Okada sells like his knee will need to be amputated if Tanahashi keeps working on it, but Okada manages to kick Tanahashi into the turnbuckle. He can’t run well, but tries for a tombstone. Tanahashi manages to avoid it by going to the apron. He tries to send Okada headfirst into the turnbuckle, but Okada hits a springboard dropkick and sends Tanahashi to the outside.
Tanahashi is sent over the barricade, and Okada runs across and dives over it onto Tanahashi. Pure awesome.
Okada drags Tanahashi back into the ring and hits a springboard senton into the ring. Tanahashi attempts to come back with a few well placed elbows, blocks a dropkick from Okada, and goes for a senton from the top rope but misses. Okada is clearly working over Tanahashi’s back and neck. He hits a massive DDT, kicks up, and hits a nice European Uppercut.
Okada continues to work over Tanahashi with submissions. Okada dodges a dropkick to the knee attempt from Tanahashi, and Okada misses with a senton of his own. Tanahashi hits the turnbuckle and goes for the dropkick to the knee again, and hits it this time. Okada goes down in pain, and Tanahashi has the advantage now as Tanahashi hits a Dragon Screw Leg Whip. Okada rolls to the floor and Tanahashi climbs the top rope to dive, but Okada catches him and goes for Samoan drop to the floor. Tanahashi counters, drags Okadas leg between the ropes, and hits a Dragon Screw Leg Whip on Okada’s other leg. Tanahashi hits it again, and follows up with a Slingblade on the ring apron.
Tanahashi hits a High Fly Flow from the top rope to the outside, and Okada looks like he is out. Okada manages to barely make it back into the ring before the count out, and Tanahashi hits a second rope High Fly Flow onto Okada’s legs. Tanahashi goes for a Texas Cloverleaf, but Okada fights it off and makes it to the ropes. Tanahashi keeps working over the leg again. Okada manages to hit a Kyrptonite Krunch onto his knee, but falls over immediately because he did it on his injured knee.
Both men struggle to their feet and exchange forearms, as the crowd erupts with cheers. Okada wins the exchange after a dropkick and hits 3 more on Tanahashi, but he kicks out. Okada climbs to the top rope and hits a missile dropkick across the ring, but Tanahashi kicks out! Man, that was a beautiful dropkick.
Okada slams Tanahashi and climbs the top rope again. He goes for his flying elbow and connects. He gets up and calls for the Rainmaker! Tanahashi ducks, but gets trapped in a tombstone, Tanahashi counters with a pinfall attempt, but Okada kicks out. He goes for a kick, but Tanahashi catches it and dropkicks him in the knee and Okada goes down again. Tanahashi counters a dropkick, hits a Dragon Screw and locks in a Texas Cloverleaf! Awesome! Okada struggles, but manages to escape by reaching the ropes.
Tanahashi looks like he has no idea how he escaped. Tanahashi hits the ropes, Okada avoids him, Tanahashi counters with a neck breaker, and hits a Slingblade, but misses a High Fly Flow! Okada goes for a tombstone, but can’t hold Tanahashi. Tanahashi hits a neck breaker, but Okada counters with a Tombstone and hits a Rainmaker, but Tanahashi kicks out! Okada can’t believe it! The crowd is going insane at this point. Okada jumps up to the top rope and hits a High Fly Flow, but Tanahashi still kicks out! He goes for a second Rainmaker, and Tanahashi counters and hits a Rainmaker of his own! This is just pure awesome.
Tanahashi tries to stop Okada by attacking the knee, but Okada goes for a Tombstone, Tanahashi counters, Okada goes for a Rainmaker, but Tanahashi hits a Slingblade, followed by a dragon suplex, but Okada kicks out. Tanahashi hits two High Fly Flows, and Okada barely kicks out! The crowd is going crazy at this point. Tanahashi goes to the top rope again, but Okada nails him with a drop kick as he goes for a High Fly Flow!
Okada goes for a German suplex, but Tanahashi fights it off with elbows and slaps the crap out of Okada. Okada hits his trademark dropkick after Tanahashi hits the ropes and goes for the Rainmaker again, but Tanahashi ducks and goes for a Slingblade, but Okada ducks and hits a German suplex. He picks him up and goes for a Rainmaker again, but Tanahashi just slaps him and both men drop. Okada picks him up and hits two Rainmakers, picks him up again, and hits a third in a row!
He gets the 1-2-3! Okada has finally defeated Tanahashi! The torch has been passed!
RATING: 5/5 – This is another magnificent match. This was the perfect passing of the torch match as both men delivered an amazing match with an incredible story. The last 2 matches of this show delivered in such a big way. It doesn’t get any better than this. You need to see this match.
OVERALL RATING: 5/5 – This is easily one of the best wrestling shows I’ve watched in a very long time. It was a perfectly paced show in terms of the excitment of the matches. None of the matches overshadowed the two main events, and the last two matches alone were amazing. I cannot recommend it enough. Go and watch it!
Highlights: Nakamura eating a bullet from AJ Style’s gun pose.
Best Match: Okada vs. Tanahashi and AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
Worst Match – The NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship
What will New Japan do now that it seems that Nakamura, Styles, Anderson, and Gallows are on their way to the WWE? Who will step up to replace them?
What’s next for Hiroshi Tanahashi? Will he retire soon, or will he transition to becoming the veteran who is still in the mix, with Okada being the new Ace?
If Nakamura, Styles, Anderson & Gallows make their way to the WWE, how will they do? Will the end up in NXT? Will they retain their names? Comment with your thoughts below, or tweet them to @WR_Central!