SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
RADICAN’S NJPW “WRESTLE KINGDOM 12” BIG MATCH SPOTLIGHT
IWGP US CHAMPION KENNY OMEGA vs. CHRIS JERICHO IN A NO DQ MATCH
AIRED LIVE ON NJPW World
Note: I will be doing spotlight article highlighting the action in the top three matches on NJPW “Wrestle Kingdom 12” today. Here is my spotlight on IWGP U.S. Champion Kenny Omega vs. Chris Jericho.
IWGP U.S. CHAMPION KENNY OMEGA (w/The Young Bucks) vs. CHRIS JERICHO: ALPHA vs. OMEGA – No DQ Match
A video package aired before the match with a shot of Tokyo and a caption saying Dream Match. They went to highlights of Jericho in NJPW. They highlighted the career path of both men with Kenny Omega being billed as “Best Bout Machine.” They showed both men sitting down talking about the match. Jericho said he’s the best of all time and Alpha vs. Omega is not just a catch phrase.
They showed Jericho attacking Omega and leaving him bloody at the World Tag League Finals and the match being made a No DQ match. Jericho walked out of his interview and Omega was shown saying Jericho drew first blood and would have to kill him to win.
Fireworks went out on the stage and Jericho’s new theme played. His signature jacket was shown with the lights flashing. The lights came up and Jericho began walking down to the ring with his light up leather jacket and scarf. Smoke filled the background as it was shot up from the stage while Jericho walked to the ring. Jericho puckered his lips and sneered once he got into the ring. They got a really cool closeup of Jericho with a spotlight in the background.
Kenny Omega was out next. His signature theme played and he came up through the stage wearing a helmet with horns and carrying a futuristic looking weapon. The Young Bucks came out and walked down to the ring with him as flames shot out all over the stage. Omega’s helmet was really cool looking. Omega did his signature gun point with his huge gun. Omega was wearing blue and black tights.
The ref didn’t seem to want The Young Bucks at ringside. Jericho jumped Omega as he hugged The Young Bucks. Several Young Lions ran in and pulled them apart. Jericho told The Young Lions to leave and Omega sent The Young Bucks aaway. Omega wore his hair with braids and a bun.
The bell rang and both guys ran at each other and went at it. This match has a huge big match atmosphere as the crowd was into every strike early. Jericho grabbed the ref and raked Omega’s eyes even though the match is No DQ. Callis shouted that this was a double main event as Omega hit some HUGE chops to Jericho’s chest. Kevin Kelly said the match added tens of thousands of subscribers to NJPW World, which was directly credited to this match. Jericho fired back and got the lion tamer. Omega got ot the ropes, but the match is No DQ. Omega fought Jericho off and sent him to the floor. He set up for The Terminator dive, but switched to a baseball slide when Jericho got up. Omega kicked Jericho through the ropes a short time later and he went over the barricade. Omega went for the Terminator dive, but Jericho got out of the way and Omega went over the guardrail and through the English announce table. He wiped out Don Callis, but Kevin Kelly wasn’t hit. Jericho applied the walls of Jericho on the Omega on top of the rubble. He shoved the ref and then slapped his son, who is a Young Lion, and put him in the walls of Jericho. Omega recovered and slammed Jericho into the debris from the table at ringside. He hit him with a monitor and Kelly got knocked off the air. The brawl continued at ringside and Kelly got back on commentary with Callis. OMega climbed a lighting rig and hit a double stomp off of it on Jericho. The match was just a crazy brawl at this point and the announcers getting knocked off air definitely added to the drama on the English feed.
They brawled near the apron a short time later. Omega went for a springboard, but Jericho hit an inside out dropkick and Omega came up favoring his knee. OMega sold his midsection as Kelly talked about Omega just getting over a knee injury. Omega sold his knee heavily as well. Jericho grabbed a table and taunted Masahiro Chono, who was on Japanese commentary. Jericho went for a powerbomb and OMega tried to punch out of it to avoid going through a table and Jericho ended up powerbombing him right on the floor. Jericho grabbed a camera and flicked the fans off. Omega tried to fire back, but Jericho tossed him into the ring and hit a big elbow. Each time Omega mounted a comeback, Jericho was able to cut him off. Jericho hit the lionsault and the fans popped big. Jericho smiled at the crowd before getting a 2 count on Omega.
Omega finally cut Jericho with a snap rana and clotheslined him over the top to the floor. The fans fired up and clapped the Terminator theme. Omega fired up and hit rise of the Terminator as the fans gasped and then applauded. They got a great low angle shot of Omega flying over the ropes and landing on Jericho on the ramp. Omega got on track and fired up. The fans applauded as he set up for a V Trigger. Jericho cut him off and went for the walls of Jericho, but OMega turned it into a pinning combination for a 2 count. Omega then hit a big V trigger. They went back and forth and Jericho got the walls of Jericho and the fans gasped. Omega tried to crawl towards the ropes. He grabbed the ref and then grabbed the apron. He came back with a spraycan. He sprayed Jericho in the eyes and then sprayed himself all over. The fans popped and Omega seemed refreshed. Jericho told the ref that he can’t see. He shoved the ref into Omega. Omega went after Jericho, who countered him and sent him flying into a chair set up in the corner. Jericho got a towel and wiped his eyes. Jericho sent Omega head-first into the chair in the corner several times. Jericho taunted the crowd and Callis said over 40,000 strong were booing him.
Jericho then set Omega up and sent him through the chair and it made a huge sound. Jericho laid down on the top turnbuckle and the fans booed. Omega came up bleeding from the head. It’s amazing how well Omega bumps. Jericho sent him off the ropes for an elbow and Omega sold it great. Omega fired back and hit a V trigger and a snap dragon suplex. Omega’s head made for a wild picture with his hair all over the place and blood all over his face. Omega went for the one-winged angel, but Jericho punched out of it only to take a snap dragon. Jericho got up and obliterated Omega with a broken a chair that was already broken, so it made a huge noise upon impact and the fans gasped. Jericho hit Omega with the chair several times across the back until it broke. He then hit him with the frame of the chair after the seat fell off. The fans booed when he held up the chair.
Jericho mocked the fans chanting Kenny and went up top. Omega suddenly flew into the picture and nailed Jericho with a big dropkick. Omega then hit a V trigger that sent Jericho off the top through a chair. The fans lost their minds. This match has far surpassed my expectations. It has been wild and insane up to this point.
Omega tried to clean his cut with some water and then he tossed Jericho back into the ring. Omega measured Jericho and hit a big V Trigger and then another. Omega got a running start and hit a third V trigger. He then hit a double underhook backstabber for a near fall. Omega measured Jericho and hit a sick running V trigger off the ropes. The fans gasped and Omega set up for the one-winged angel, but Jericho rolled through! Jericho grabbed the walls of Jericho and the fans went nuts. Jericho screamed from Omega and he was bleeding from the mouth. Omega struggled towards the ropes, but Jericho dragged him to the center of the ring and got a high angle on walls of Jericho. Kelly asked if Omega would quit or if Red Shoes would stop the match. Omega shook his head and grabbed the ref’s hand. The ref asked him if he wanted him to stop the match. Omega finally grabbed the rope to force the rope break. Jericho went after the ref and shoved him over. Omega countered the code breaker into the V Trigger. Omega hit the one-winged angel, but Jericho grabbed the bottom rope at the very last second!
A short time later, Omega went up top, but Jericho got to his feet and crotched him. They battled up top, but Omega slid under Jericho and sent Jericho face-first into the top of the turnbuckle. Omega missed his signature second rope moonsault sequence and Jericho hit a code breaker for a near fall. This match is being wrestled at such a high level right not. It’s unreal. Jericho went for a lionsault, but Omega threw a chair at him. Jericho held to the ropes and Omega delivered a one-winged angel on the chair for the win.
Winner: Kenny Omega to retain the IWGP U.S. Championship
Star rating: (*****)
These two wrestled like their careers were on the line. Jericho was amazing here, as he beat the crap out of Omega and dominated a wild brawl that saw them wrestle all over ringside. When the English feed went off after Omega missed rise of the Terminator, it added a ton to the wild atmosphere of the match.
Omega escaped the walls of Jericho over and over and the match just built and built to some great nearfalls down the stretch. Jericho ducking Omega’s signature second rope moonsault sequence was an incredible near fall. They had another incredible near fall when Omega finally hit the one-winged Angel on Jericho and he got the bottom rope at the last second to break the ref’s count, it was just an incredible moment.
Kenny Omega has talked about how he wants to stay in NJPW and help the company grow and how it is the place where he can achieve his vision of wrestling. I’ve never seen Omega wrestle in a match this wild with blood and hatred that the fans ate up.
The is one of the best matches Omega has had in NJPW simply because it elevates him up to a new level as a performer. Omega has a rep for having great matches in NJPW, but this match showed he can do so much more.
I didn’t have super high expectations for this match, but I was blown away by Jericho’s performance. He was amazing and took Omega to levels and places he hadn’t reached before in his career.