Posted June 12th, 2017 by Bill Apter

By Jermaine Royster

I’ve been writing about Pro Wrestling for over a year now. It’s been so many things and great is definitely one of them. I have a lot to be thankful for, Pro Wrestling is in my blood and it’s something that my father & brother put me on to as a child. As a kid I wished I grew up with friends that watched it so I could have discussions about it. What I’m thankful for the most is becoming a fan of Wrestling promotions not named World Wrestling Entertainment. Of course that is not a knock on the WWE as most people my age grew up knowing only WWE & WCW and on a lesser but positive note, ECW.

When I began listening to Podcasts the first and only thing I’ve ever searched and listened to was Pro Wrestling. In the beginning podcasts were my only way of knowing things and I’ll never forget when I first heard about Japanese Pro Wrestling. At the time I didn’t know the names “New Japan” or “All Japan” but I always new there was something intriguing about it. Once I heard about the streaming service NJPW World, I figured this was the way to go so I signed up just prior to the G1 Climax 25 and since then I have read and watched so much that I can now write this piece. Not going to lie but all I knew about was this weird spewing guy, “The Great Muta.” When I tell you I did my research that is a shoot, in my opinion Pro Wrestling is the most original form of art & entertainment that we will ever see. I watched names like Hashimoto, Mutoh, Chono, Maeda, Fujinami on down to Nakamura, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Kazuchika Okada, the reigning and defending IWGP Heavyweight Champion.

Back in January I saw probably the best single wrestling match I’ve ever seen, Kazuchika Okada vs Kenny Omega. The IWGP Heavyweight Championship was the prize of the bout(New Japan’s highest Title) and Kazuchika Okada is the current champion. Dubbed “The RainMaker”, Okada is the suburban-like rich kid who is very arrogant and cocky. Okada is the current ace of the promotion and the leader of “Chaos” one of NJPW’s famous stables. Now in his third reign as IWGP Heavyweight Champion, Okada had faced them all and in 2017 he has made it very tough(or easy depending how you think) to determine Wrestler of the Year & Match of the Year and their first encounter back in January set the stage for something special.

Facing Okada that day was the man they call “The Cleaner” Kenny Omega, the leader of Bullet Club. Unlike so many “Gaijins”(American Wrestlers) who come to New Japan, Omega went the route of the “Independent” starting in DDT(Japanese Indy Fed) now one of the top names in all of Pro Wrestling. Once a Junior Heavyweight battling the likes of Kushida & Ryusuke Taguchi, Omega would drop the title of Junior and step into the Heavyweight ranks with a bang.

In January of 2016 during the “New Years Dash” show at Korakuen Hall, Kenny Omega & The Young Bucks turned on fellow stablemate AJ Styles and kicked him out of the group. In doing so Omega crowned himself the new leader and called himself along with Nick & Matt Jackson, The Elite. The entire 2016 saw Omega rise from a former Junior Heavyweight, to capturing the IWGP Intercontinental Championship, winning the G1 Climax Tournament (First Northerner to win the prestigious tournament) to facing Okada in this big match at Wrestle Kingdom 11.

What we saw on January 4th was one of the most spectacular matches ever…..EVER! If your wondering how people could actually say that this was the best then all you have to do is watch it. The first meeting had all the things you need for an intriguing encounter. The match was the main event, both men up until this point had never wrestled each other & Omega at that time was having the best year he possibly could. That night in the Tokyo Dome both Omega & Okada put on one hell of a show, so much so that Dave Meltzer ranked it a first ever Six Stars instead of Five. Okada would walk away the winner and retain his IWGP Heavyweight Championship.
After Okada/Omega 1 all anyone could talk about was the match and when we would get another, Okada now the clear ace would begin a stretch of matches this year and each one would be better than the last.

Okada would face Minoru Suzuki, Tiger Mask W, Katsuyori Shibata & finally Bad Luck Fale. After the match with Fale was over Okada would call Kenny Omega into the ring and challenge him to a challenge him to a Championship match at Dominion on June 11, 2017. After the announcement was made all anyone could think was if this match would or could live up to the first back at Wrestle Kingdom 11. In short, they most definitely did and the best part about all if this is the furthering of the story. Pro Wrestling is all stories being told through athletic achievements in the squared circle.

The story in the first match was basically Kenny Omega trying to throw everything he could at the champion. In the end Omega gave all that he could but there was one thing he was not able to do, hit his finisher the “One Winged Angel”. Omega had done so much that if he had hit the move then he would have won the match. Yesterday we all witnessed an even better match between these two and in my opinion it was simply better because I just couldn’t think of a better way to showcase the match. Omega not scoring his finish was the story before but in this second bout it was Okada who seemed to think of a plan and he utilized the drop kick to keep Omega grounded.

What makes Kenny Omega special is his high risk high reward manner, that first match saw all tons of high spots. I loved the table spot in the first match but Okada coming down onto Omega on the table with the diving elbow was so cool. Again this match had it all the drama, emotion and pure craziness that a main event should have. If you are reading this and have yet to watch then I would do so as soon as possible, you will not be sorry because the last 20 minutes will leave you speechless.

Category: Wrestling.

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