RADICAN’S NJPW “DOMINION 2018” REPORT
JUNE 9, 2018
AIRED LIVE ON NJPWWORLD.COM
The show began with a vignette with NJPW owner Takaaki Kidani in Tokyo calling new NJPW
President & CEO Harold George Meij in his penthouse in New York. Kidani summoned him to Osaka. Meij has been a long time fan of NJPW he said, but he really got into it 10 years ago. He said in the video he believes NJPW has something to offer everyone. The video showed Meij awkwardly eating food in a limo at one point, which was funny. A caption said NJPW “Go To Next Stage” to conclude the video.
Meij was shown live in the arena and he ran into the ring. He cut a promo in Japanese and then English. It appears Meij is going to be key in NJPW’s expansion worldwide. Meij moved to Japan from Holland when he was 10 years old. He speaks multiple languages, which should help him in his quest to build up NJPW worldwide.
(1) IWGP Jr. Hvt. Champions Suzuki-Gun (Kanemaru & El Desperado) vs. Roppongi 3K (SHO & YOH w/Rocky Romero). Suzuki-Gun tried to get the jump on RPG 3K during the introductions, but they were ready for it and fired back and wiped out Kanemaru and Desperado with double dives. SHO & YOH isolated Kanemaru, but Desperado ended up dragging YOH to the floor where he drove him into the guardrail. A short time later, Desperado began working over SHO in the crowd. He dragged him into the crowd and slammed him into a guardrail. He then whipped him into a pile of chairs. Kevin Kelly said the show was completely sold out, but they didn’t have official numbers yet. YOH got worked over for a long period of time by Desperado and Kanemaru. SHO finally got the hot tag and ran wild on Desperado and Kanemaru in the ring. Kelly noted Desperado was the legal man. SHO hit a beautiful German with a bridge on Desperado at one point for a near fall. SHO got cut off and the action broke down. Kanemaru and YOH went to the floor. YOH whipped Kanemaru into the guardrail. SHO fired back on Desperado inside the ring. SHO & YOH hit a tandem dominator on Desperado, but Kanemaru made the save. Kanemaru shoved the ref, but accidentally blew mist into Deperado’s eyes.
SHO avoided a low blow attempt from Desperado after he shoved the ref. SHO hit a big last ride lung blower on Desperado, but he kicked out! Desperado ran SHO into the ref. Kanemaru then hit him with a whiskey bottle to the side of the head. Desperado then rolled up SHO for the win.
Winners: El Desperado & Kanemaru at 9:48 to retain the IWGP Jr. Hvt. Tag Team Championship
Star rating: (**¾) – This had some good moments and some brief lulls. SHO & YO clearly have the cheating of Suzuki-Gun scouted well, but ultimately, Desperado and Kanemaru had one trick they weren’t ready for.
(2) Juice Robinson & David Finlay vs. CHAOS (IWGP U.S. Champion Jay White & YOSHI-HASHI). Finlay and Robinson took turns working over White during the early going. White finally caught Finlay with a snap Saito suplex to regain the upper hand. Finlay tagged out at one point, but the ref didn’t see it, so he continued to get worked over. Finlay hit a dropkick on HASHI and made the hot tag to Juice and the fans fired up. Robinson hit several punches on White as the fans chanted Juice over and over. HASHI got hung upside down on top of a seated White and Robinson nailed them both with a big running cannonball. White ducked a punh and shoved Robinson into Finlay. He then hit a Saito suplex on Robinson. The action broke down and everyone hit big moves. Robinson hit a big left hand on White. He then landed pulp friction for the win!
Winners: Juice Robinson & David Finlay at 7:33
Star rating: (**¾) – This was good, but they kept it rather short. Robinson gains momentum heading into what looks like a shot at the IWGP U.S. Championship against White.
After the match, Robinson posed with the U.S. Championship. Robinson then held up the title and dropped it down on top of White’s chest.
(3) British Tag Team Champions Suzuki-Gun (Minoru Suzuki & Zack Sabre Jr.w/Taka Michinoku) vs. Toru Yano & Tomohiro Ishii – Non-Title match. Ishii and Suzuki yelled at each other during the introductions as the ref tried to keep them apart. They grabbed each other by the throat before being pulled apart. They started the match trading blows in the middle of the ring. Ishii eventually ran into a big boot from Suzuki. They continued to go back and forth and Ishii nearly got the brainbuster, but Suzuki slid out of it and drove him into the corner. Sabre tagged himself into the ring and immediately began picking Ishii apart on the mat. Yano tagged in and got worked over a short time later. Suzuki tried to knock Ishii off the apron, but he jumped off to avoid contact. Ishii tried to save Yano, which allowed Sabre to get into the ring to apply a double submission with the ref distracted. Yano hit an inverted atomic drop on Suzuki and Ishii got the tag. He hit a series of chops and forearms on Suzuki in the corner. He then decked him with a running shoulder tackle a short time later. Ishii began hitting some light kicks to Suzuki’s head and Suzuki looked pissed. They then began trading blows. Suzuki got the choke and quickly went for the Gotch, but Ishii backdropped him quickly and yelled at Suzuki.
Suzuki and Ishii traded some heavy forearms. Ishii took a forearm and nearly fell, but he wouldn’t go down. They continued to trade forearms. Ishii began to collapse and Suzuki smiled, but he wouldn’t go down. Both men finally went down after hitting forearms at the same time. Sabre and Yano both tagged in. Yano went to take a turnbuckle pad off, but Sabre grabbed an arm submission. Yano went for a low blow, but Sabre blocked it with his legs. He then began working a double arm submission. Yano verbally submitted and Ishii could not make the save, as Suzuki tied him up in an abdominal stretch.
Winners: Zack Sabre Jr. & MInoru Suzuki at 8:47
Star rating: (***) – This was good at times, especially the segments with Ishii and Suzuki.
After the match, Ishii ran up the ramp after Suzuki and they began brawling at ringside. Both men got chairs, but were held back from each other. They got into the ring and had a chair battle as the fans fired up. Suzuki ended up getting the upper hand and he slammed the chair over Ishii’s back. They began trading forearms as the bell rang over and over. They brawled back to the floor and continued to exchange slaps to the face. They were finally pulled apart again. Suzuki got free and went after Ishii.
(4) NEVER Openweight Champion Hirooki Goto vs. Michael Elgin vs. Taichi – Three Way match. Taichi kept bailing out of the ring and then tried to get a quick win by rolling up Goto, but that didn’t work out for him and he bailed to the floor. Elgin is looking much leaner. Taichi went back to the floor and tried to jump Elgin and Goto, but they were ready for him. Taichi bailed to the floor and put his valet on the apron to distract Elgin and Goto, but that didn’t work out too well for him either. Taichi ran in to give Goto a boot, but he got out of the way and it connected with Elgin. Taichi and Goto ended up working together to take Elgin down. Taichi smiled and tried to make a deal with Goto, but he was having none of it, as he slapped his hand away and suplexed him on top of Elgin. Elgin fired back and dumped Goto on top of Taichi, but he had to break it up because he had created a pinning situation. Goto dragged Taichi to the floor a short time later, but Taichi raked his eyes. Elgin saw them fighting on the floor and set up for a big flip dive that connected HUGE. WOW! All three men went at it inside the ring and Taichi hit a big lariat on Goto for a 2 count. He then tore off his pants and some of the fans applauded. Goto hit the Ushigoroshi on Taichi a short time later for a nearfall. Goto had Taichi set up for a superplex, but Goto slid around Goto on the ropes for a tower of doom spot.
Elgin tossed Taichi to the floor, but Goto hit the Ushigoroshi and a front side GTR for a near fall! Taichi tossed his valet into the ring and the ref tried to get her back to the floor. Taichi used the distraction to hit Goto with his microphone stand. Taichi laughed maniacally with Goto and Elgin down on the mat. He nailed Goto with a big kick to the head for a near fall and the fans gasped. He hit a big kick to the back of Goto’s head and went for the Gedo Clutch, but Elgin recovered and grabbed him for the buckle bomb. He then buckle bombed Taichi into Goto in the corner. Elgin then hit the Elgin bomb on Taichi for the win!
Winner: Michael Elgin at 13:54 to become the new NEVER Openweight Champion
Star rating: (***½) –
Goto showed Elgin respect after the match.
(5) IWGP Hvt. Tag Team Champions L.I.J. (EVIL & SANADA) vs. The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson). A big chant for The Young Bucks started after the opening bell. Nick wiped out L.I.J. with a crazy step up corkscrew dive to the floor. He got up and said, “I’m the best!” Matt isn’t wearing his weight lifting belt tonight. L.I.J. mounted a comeback and the action spilled to the floor. Matt ended up taking a standing moonsault back inside the ring for a 2 count. EVIL began going after Matt’s back. Matt sold his back, but Nick caught EVIL with a big kick from the apron. Matt struggled, but made it to the corner to tag in Nick, who ran wild on EVIL and SANADA. Nick went for a kick from the apron to the floor, but EVIL ducked and he hit the ringpost. EVIL then wiped him out with a big lariat to his injured leg. He then wrapped Nick’s leg up in the guardrail and nailed it with a kick. L.I.J. sent Matt to the floor and tried to isolate Nick inside the ring. He hit a superkick on EVIL, but ended up hurting himself in the process, which allowed EVIL to wipe him out with a clothesline. Nick escaped a magic killer attempt and Matt ran into the ring to wipe out EVIL and SANADA. The Young Bucks went for a double suplex off the top, but EVIL turned it into a tower of doom where he forced the Young Bucks to superplex his own partner off the top. Nick fired back on EVIL, but he ended up hurting his foot hitting a spinning kick to his head. He managed to tag in Matt and EVIL tagged in SANADA.
SANADA and Matt went back and forth. Matt eventually caught SANADA and called for the IndyTaker, but EVIL dragged Nick off the apron. Matt shook off another skull end attempt. Matt got the sharpshooter on EVIL, but SANADA was legal. He locked in the skull end on Matt, but Nick made the save with a dropkick off the top and everyone was down. WOW! EVIL hit darkness falls on Matt and signaled for everything is EVIL, but Matt blocked it and lifted up EVIL for the IndyTaker, but Nick hurt his ankle going for the springboard. SANADA then got Matt up and L.I.J. hit their version of the IndyTaker on Matt only for Nick to make the save. L.I.J. hit the magic killer on Matt, but Nick made the save. SANADA sent Nick to the outside and wiped him out with a slingshot splash. Matt blocked everything is EVIL and got a back slide for a near fall! SANADA tagged himself in and floated over Matt into the skull end. L.I.J. tried to work him over with a flurry of moves. Matt wiped out EVIL, but SANADA managed to wipe out Matt and then Nick on the apron. SANADA got the skull end on Matt. He then spun him around and let go. He went for the moonsault, but missed! SANADA landed on is feet and ate a spear from Matt. EVIL then wiped out Matt. The Young Bucks wiped out EVIL with a double superkick. SANADA went for a springboard and ate a double superkick. Nick favored his leg, but went up top. Matt lifted up SANADA for more bang for your buck and they connected for the win as Matt pinned SANADA. WOW!
Winners: The Young Bucks at 15:09 to become the new IWGP Hvt. Tag Team Champions
Star rating: (****½) – This was fantastic. Nick hurt his leg during the early going and Matt hurt his back and EVIL and SANADA had The Young Bucks on the ropes for the entire match, as Nick just kept hurting himself hitting his signature kicks and superkicks. They did a great spot where Nick couldn’t finish the IndyTaker and L.I.J. ended up hitting Matt with their own version of the IndyTaker. This was great from bell-to-bell.
(6) Jushin Liger & Rey Mysterio Jr. & Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Bullet Club (Cody Rhodes & Hangman Page & NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Champion Marty Scurll). Mysterio was wearing gear with the NJPW colors. His mask looked like the NJPW logo. He wore red and yellow face paint under his mask. Marty Scurll was the impetus for this match after he attacked Mysterio at Strong Style EVOLVED and also mixing it up with Tanahashi and Liger. Liger wanted Scurll to kick things off. Scurll said he wanted Mysterio and he tagged in, so Scurll ran over to Page and tagged him in. The fans chanted 619 for Mysterio. Page said he wanted Tanahashi and he tagged in to go at it with Page. Tanahashi got the better of Page and Cody tagged into the match and the fans booed. Cody did some pushups and the fans booed as Tanahashi looked on. Tanahashi called timeout and did some pushups and then switched to hindu pushups. Mysterio and Scurll went at it next and Mysterio took Scurll down and tagged in Liger. Scurll tried to run away from Liger, but Tanahashi held him for a dropkick through the ropes. Liger got a surfboard on Marty, but Page and Cody cleared the apron before making the save. Scurll then went for the surfboard and the fans gasped, but he ended up slamming Liger’s knees down to the mat instead of applying the surfboard. Cody got into the ring and did a cartwheel before blowing a kiss to wheel. He then went back to work on Liger.
Bullet Club worked over Liger for a long period of time. Liger finally cut Scurll off with a back breaker. The fans fired up and Mysterio got the hot tag. He ran wild on Scurll. He had Scurll set up for the 619, but Page tagged himself into the match. Tanahashi tagged in and wiped out Page and Cody. Page fended off an attack from Mysterio fro the apron. He went back and forth with Tanahashi until he wiped him out with a clothesline and both men were down. Liger and Cody tagged in. Liger got a couple of pinning combinations for a pair of near falls on Cody. He wiped Cody out with the shotei, but Scurll made the save. Mysterio set Scurll up for the 619, but Page cut him off. Tanahashi helped Mysterio set Page up for the 619. Mysterio hit a double 619 on Page and Scurll. Liger and Cody ended up alone in the ring. Liger hit a super hurricanrana on Cody. Cody ducked a clothesline and hit crossrhodes for the win.
Winners: Cody & Hangman Page & Marty Scurll at 11:12
Star rating: (***) – This was a good match. The fans tuning in to see Mysterio got just enough of his signature offense to be satisfied before Cody got the win and attacked Liger after the match.
Cody tried to put the boots to Liger after the match, but Mysterio made the save. Kelly said we would likely see Mysterio again in the future.
(7) IWGP Jr. Hvt. Champion Will Ospreay vs. BOSJ 25 Champion Hiromu Takahashi. Hiromu Takahashi was out with the BOSJ 25 trophy in hand. Now that he’s getting a serious push he seems to have ditched Daryl. Ospreay got into the ring and Takahashi held up his trophy in his face. Ospreay charged right at Takahashi with a flying kick. They began exchanging blows and Ospreay charged at Takahashi in the corner, but Takahashi countered it into a suplex into the turnbuckles. They ended up on the ramp and Ospreay got a running start and hit an insane running flip dive off the ramp to the floor on Takahashi. Ospreay then went and pulled up the padding on the floor near the ring. He went for a storm breaker, but Takahashi blocked it. Ospreay ended up tossing Takahashi back into the ring as the ref’s count came close to 20. Ospreay’s shoulders were heavily taped up to his neck area. Ospreay got a bridging arm submission and he leaned back into a pinning combination for a 2 count. Takahashi went to the floor and Ospreay tossed him into the guardrail a short time later. Ospreay continued to work over Hiromu’s arm back inside the ring. Takahashi finally fired back and took Ospreay down with a headscissors takedown. Takahashi followed up with a big dropkick from the apron to the floor that sent Ospreay flying into the barricade. Takahashi hit some chops in the corner and Ospreay fired up, so Takahashi raked his eyes. Ospreay fired back a short time later and hit a 619 variation over the top rope from the apron.
Ospreay went for the Robinson Special, but Takahashi got out of the way. Takahashi then got a neck crank using his legs and he flipped backwards over the ropes and held onto it. Ospreay fought him off and hit a space flying tiger driver. Ospreay set up for the Os-cutter inside the ring, but Takahashi turned it into a German and both men were down. The announcers hammered home how Takahashi was going after Ospreay’s neck. Both men began exchanging blows from their knees. They got to their feet and continued to trade shots. They continued to trade, but neither man would go down. The pace picked up and they went back and forth with rapid counters. Takahashi got up and eventually hit a German, but Ospreay got right back up. They had some insane counter sequences ending with Takahashi countering the Storm Breaker into a code red. WOW! That was an insane sequence!! Masahiro Chono was shown with the Japanese announce team at ringside. They ended up going to the apron and traded blows. Ospreay slipped off Takahashi’s shoulders and hit a kick to the back of his head. Ospreay went up top and dragged Takahashi up over the ropes into a superplex! Ospreay held on and draped Takahashi over the top rope. He then went up top and hit the burning star press! Ospreay went up top again and hit a corkscrew SSP for a near fall. The fans applauded as the match hit the 15 minute mark.
Ospreay set up for the Storm Breaker again, but Takahashi managed to wriggle over to the counter. He hit a destroyer out of the corner and Ospreay was out on his feet. Takahashi then locked in a triangle. Ospreay slammed Takahashi down to the mat, but he held on and applied the hold again. Ospreay tried to slam Takahashi again with one arm and this time he really lifted him up and twisted him around and it looked like he dumped Takahashi right on the back of his head! Ospreay followed up with the Robinson Special. He went for the Os-cutter, but Takahashi blocked him by pushing him off the ropes. Takahashi then hit a sunset bomb, which he could do earlier in the match! Takahashi followed up with a big spinning slam and got a near fall! WOW! Ospreay slipped out of the Timebomb a short time later. Ospreay blocked an attack from Takahashi and wiped him out with a flurry of strikes. Ospreay went for the storm breaker again, but Takahashi turned it into a triangle. Ospreay tried to stand up out of it, but Takahashi let go and hit a butterfly piledriver. He hit a Blu-ray into the turnbuckles. He followed up with the Time Bomb for the win. WOW!
Winner: Hiromu Takahashi at 20:19 to become the new IWGP Jr. Hvt. Champion
Star rating: (****¼) – The match started fast and then settled down. It really heated up mid-match with a great sequence of counters that ended with Ospreay going for the Storm Breaker only for Takahashi to counter it into into a code red. Takahashi’s work on Ospreay’s neck throughout the match paid off down the stretch. He hit a sunset bomb to the floor late in the match and it wasn’t long before he finished Ospreay off with the Time Bomb.
(8) IWGP IC Champion Tetsuya Naito vs. Chris Jericho. Chris Jericho made his entrance first. He had a very gothic look with a hat, scarf and black paint coming out around his eyes. Jericho had his hair up in a ponytail and was also wearing black lipstick. Tetsuya Naito was out next and a big Naito chant rang out in Osaka. Naito came out wearing a white mask and suit. He dragged his title down to the ring and then dropped it. Jericho jumped Naito as he made his entrance and they brawled on the floor. Jericho suplexed Naito on the floor and the ref got bumped. Jericho got a table and set it up on the guardrail. He then powerbombed Naito through the table as the fans gasped. Jericho grabbed the camera at ringside and filmed himself flipping off Naito. Jericho dragged Naito on top of another table and DDT’d Naito, but the table didn’t break. The fans gasped again, as Kelly and Callis sold shock on commentary. Jericho signed his name on a stack of papers and threw it down on the floor. Kelly said the match had not officially started yet. Jericho finally shoved Naito into the ring. Naito was bleeding from the eye. Jericho told the ref to ring the f—ing bell. He made the cover, but Naito kicked out at 2. Jericho raised his arms to the crowd and got a mixed response. The fans chanted for Naito as Jericho tried to rip his top off. Jericho taunted Naito with some slaps to the head. Naito tried to fire back, but he ended up taking a back breaker and a lionsault. He made the cover, but Naito kicked out at 2.
The fans chanted for Naito as he rolled around on the mat. Jericho choked Naito with his boot in the corner. He then played to the crowd and drew mostly boos this time. Naito still hadn’t gotten all of his entrance gear off at this point. Naito tried to mount a comeback, but Jericho got the Walls of Jericho. Naito quickly got to the ropes to break the hold. Another chant for Naito broke out. Jericho got in the ref’s face and told him to shut his mouth. Naito fired up and nailed Jericho with a punch. He then hit a spear anda a flurry of punches followed by another spear. Naito hit a neck breaker over his knee and a dropkick to the back of Naito’s head and the fans fired up. Naito and Jericho went to the apron and Naito hit a neck breaker on the apron. He then followed up with a hangman’s neckbreaker to the floor. Naito took his entrance gear off and used it to choke Jericho. Naito was still bleeding from his right eye. Naito drove Jericho into the barricade. He grabbed a broken piece of the table on the floor and smiled. He then broke it over Jericho’s head and the fans gasped. Naito grabbed another piece of the table and blasted Jericho over the head with it. He then dragged Jericho through the gate at ringside and they went behind the announcers. They went back to the table where Jericho had DDTd Naito. Naito lifted Jericho and hit a piledriver on the table and it didn’t break. WOW!
The fans really fired up behind Naito and chanted his name. They battled up top. Jericho blocked a top rope hurricanrana and locked in the Liontamer. He sat down on it and yelled at the ref to ask him if he was done. The fans once again started a HUGE chant for Naito and he got to the ropes. Naito fired back with a hurricanrana out of the corner and a tornado DDT for a 2 count. Both men were down and the fans went crazy chanting for Naito. They went back and forth. Jericho blocked Gloria and eventually got the Liontamer again. He told the ref to ring the bell over and over. The fans fired up with another Naito chant and he crawled towards the ropes. The ref asked Naito if he wanted to tap. Naito continued to struggle towards the ropes, but stopped. He appeared to be going out, but Naito suddenly fired up and got the ropes! WOW! Naito hit a German a short time later. He went for Destino, but Jericho blocked it and they went into the ropes before Jericho turned it into a pinning combination for a 2 count. Naito hit a HUGE slap and hit Destino, but he was unable to make the cover! WOW! He made the cover near the ropes, but Jericho got his hand on the bottom rope at the last second! The fans fired up and chanted for Naito. Naito had another cut open up on his cheek. It then appeared the blood might be coming from his eye. They began exchanging slaps from their knees. They got to their feet and continued to trade blows. Naito went for a flying forearm off the ropes, but Jericho turned it into a Code Breaker! WOW! He couldn’t make the cover right away and Naito kicked out at the last second.
Jericho went for a Lionsault, but Naito got his knees up. Naito hit Gloria and then signaled for Destino, but Jericho slid out of it. Jericho shoved the ref from behind, hit a low blow and then hit the Code Breaker for the win. WOW!
Winner: Chris Jericho at 18:38 to become the new IWGP IC Championship
Star rating: (****¾) This was fantastic. Jericho’s brawling style is perfect for Japan. He also does enough in the ring to engage the crowd while keeping the action moving at a pace that is acceptable for what people expect out of a NJPW main event. The fans throwing their full support behind Naito after Jericho’s villainous attacks on him before and during the match created an incredible atmosphere.
(9) IWGP World Hvt. Champion Kazuchika Okada (w/Gedo) vs. Kenny Omega (w/Kota Ibushi) – No Time Limit 2/3 Falls match. Omega’s entrance video showed him painfully reliving his failures against Okada in the past. It also showed him tormented by his feud with Cody Rhodes and his fractured relationship with The Young Bucks. Kota Ibushi then appeared dressed in white as his savior as highlights of The Golden Lovers reuniting aired. Omega was asked what it cost him and The Bullet Club logo was shown and then it evaporated and Omega told Ibushi it cost him everything. Kenny Omega was out first wearing black trunks and he looked to be in great shape. He was accompanied by Kota Ibushi. Kevin Kelly noted that his training partner was different from Omega’s previous encounters with Okada. Kelly noted that they are 1-1-1 against each other.
Kazuchika Okada was out next as Okada money shot into the air at the top of the entrance ramp. This is the 720 day of Okada’s reign. He’s at over 1,500 combined days as IWGP Hvt. Champion. Kelly said Okada is 17-2-2 since 2016 in singles matches. Ibushi and Omega hugged before the match began.
The bell rang and the fans fired up adding to the big match feel in Osaka-Jo Hall. Kelly noted that neither man had been able to beat the other twice in over 2 hours of combined action. The fans chanted back and forth for Okada and Omega. Kelly ran down the list of names Okada had beaten during his current reign with 12 successful title defenses. Omega and Okada were both off of the BOSJ tour. Kelly mentioned that Omega trained harder than ever during the break. The first five minutes were a slow feeling out period. Omega then missed a V Triigger in the corner. THey went at it at a fast pace. Both men went for their finishers and both men went over the top to the floor after Omega attempted the One-Winged Angel. Okada got the upper hand on the floor. He hit a running boot that sent Omega over the barricade. Okada then got a running start and went for a running splash over the barricade, but Omega caught him with a V Trigger! It looked like it connected right to Okada’s shoulder. Omega went to work on Okada with several elbows to the shoulder where he hit the V trigger on the floor. Omega worked over Okada’s back and then cranked on his neck with a chin lock. Okada went for the ropes and Omega transitioned into the camel clutch. Okada finally fired back and caught Omega with a flap jack and both men were down.
The pace picked up and Okada caught Omega with an elbow coming off the ropes. Okada hit a big DDT, but only got a 2 count. Okada set up for the cobra clutch and got it on the mat. Omega ended up using his momentum to shove Okada to the floor. Okada ducked a slingshot splash from Omega and ran into the ring and hit one of his own! They went back and forth inside the ring. Okada hit a kick to the head, but Omega caught him with a snap hurricanrana. Okada rolled to the floor and Omega sent him over the railing with a dropkick to the back of the head. The fans clapped for Rise of the Terminator, but Omega hit a springboard splash over the guardrail to the floor to wipe out Okada. WOW! Omega followed up with the Kitaru Crusher inside the ring for a 2 count. Kelly said Omega had wrestled a perfect match so far. Okada ducked a V Triigger and went for a German, but Omega landed on his feet. Okada blocked a V Trigger, but Omega went for it again right away and connected! He went for a snap hurricanrana, but Okada hung onto the ropes! Okada set up for the rainmaker, but Omega backed him into the corner to break the wrist control. They battled up top and Okada punched Omega down to the mat. Omega fired back and placed Okada over the top turnbuckle. He set up for a dragon suplex off the top, but Okada blocked it. Okada ended up slipping out to the apron and he grabbed Omega and hit a tombstone! WOW! Omega got up to the apron, but Okada drop kicked him off the apron into the guardrail! Omega took one hell of a bump on that spot. The ref seemed concerned that Omega was continuing. Okada then went to the floor and began working over Omega. He tossed Omega back into the ring a short time later.
Okada went up top and hit a sick dropkick on a kneeling Omega for a near fall and the fans gasped! Omega sold his ribs after kicking out. Okada went up top and dropped an elbow. Omega continued to sell his ribs. Okada signaled for the rainmaker, but Omega was playing possum and he leapt up and hit a snap hurricanrana. The fans fired up for Rise of the Terminator and this time Omega connected near the entrance ramp! WOW! Omega got insane height on that dive right before the 25 minute mark. Omega hit a dropkick off the top to the back of Okada’s head. That’s yet another big shot to the back of Okada’s head in this first fall. Omega went for the One-Winged Angel, but Okada escaped. He went for the Rainmaker, but Omega blocked it and hit a V Trigger. He went for the One-Winged Angel again, but Okada slipped down only for Omega to turn it into a German for a near fall! WOW! The fans chanted for Omega. Omega hit a sick running V Trigger. He then went for the One-Winged Angel, but Okada escaped and hit a dropkick to the back of the head. He then caught Omega with a traditional dropkick off the ropes. Okada screamed and set up for the Rainmaker, but Omega ducked it. He then held onto Omega’s wrist and went for the Rainmaker again, but Kenny hit a V Trigger for a near fall.
Omega lifted up Okada, who countered him and eventually hit a tombstone. Okada screamed and hit the Rainmaker pose on his knees. Okada went for the Rainmaker, but Omega tried to counter it into a pinning combination only for Okada to sit down on him for the three count. Okada leads 1-0 and they will now have a 2 minute break!
Winner of fall one: Kazuchika Okada at 29:16 to go up 1-0
Gedo and Ibushi got into the ring during the rest period. The ref signaled for the start of the second fall and Okada ended up hitting a dropkick with Omega seated up top. Omega ended up spilling to the floor. Okada eventually went to the floor to go after Omega. Omega went for a moonsault off the barricade, but Okada pushed him and he went flying into another barricade and Okada was firmly in control of the action at this point. Okada then hit a hangman’s DDT off the guardrail to the floor. Omega threw some weak punches and a pair of chops. Okada glared at Omega as he continued to nail him with chops. Omega went to bounce off the ropes, but Okada nailed him with a big boot. Okada ended up selling the chops in the corner after booting Omega down to the mat. Okada got the cobra clutch again in the middle of the ring. The ref checked on Omega, who had gone all the way down to the mat. Omega got to his feet and hit a stunner to escape the hold. He then hit a back suplex and both men were down. Omega got the upper hand on the floor a short time later and he hit a back suplex on the apron. He then got a table and slammed it on top of Okada. Omega went up to the apron and hit a double stomp on top of the table. WOW! The table was facing up with the table legs folded. That could have gone very badly if Omega had landed the wrong way with the double stomp.
Omega set the table up and lifted Okada, who countered him and whipped him into the ringpost. Okada sold his ribs before rolling back into the ring. Both men have some damage to their ribs now. Okada went for a senton, but Omega got his knees up. Omega went for you can’t escape, but Okada countered and dumped him down to the mat with a release suplex. Both men favored their ribs, but it was Okada who got up and hit a shotgun dropkick. Okada sold his ribs and went up top, but Omega got up and cut him off. Omega nailed Okada with a HUGE chop to the chest. Omega then hit a cross-legged superplex and the fans gasped! WOW! We are 10 minutes into the second fall. They went back and Omega went for you can’t escape, but Okada got his knees up on the moonsault and followed up with a big diving uppercut! Omega sold his ribs as Okada went after him. Okada eventually hit a jumping tornado DDT, but Okada rolled to the apron. Omega sold his ribs and then went to the apron. Omega stared at the table on the floor and began shaking his head. He set up for a German off the apron through the table. He told everyone to move back, but Okada blocked it! Omega went for it again, but Okada held onto the ropes. Omega then set up for a dragon suplex through the table, but Okada blocked it. Omega slipped to the floor and went for the one-winged angel, but Okada slipped out and went for the rainmaker. Omega ducked it and his a poison hurricanrana and both men were down on the mat. Okada stumbled and couldn’t get back into the ring. He got back in at 19 and walked right into a V Trigger. Omega went for the One-Winged Angel, but Okada slid out and hit a jumping tombstone! Omega ducked the Rainmaker and hit a rock bottom and both men were down. HOLY S–T!!!
Callis asked what it would take for Omega to get a pinfall on the champion. Both men slowly began exchanging punches. Omega hit a thunderous chop and the fans gasped. The pace picked up and they continued to trade as the fans fired up. Omega suddenly slipped around Okada and hit a snap dragon. Okada got right up and hit a dropkick. Omega fired back and hit a dropkick of his own off the ropes that got incredible height. Omega hit a big sit out powerbomb. He followed up with a V Trigger. Okada countered Omega and sat down on top of him again with a leverage pin, but Omega kicked out at the the last second. Omega hit a V Trigger against the ropes. He then hit a double underhook DDT for a near fall. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?! The fans fired up and chanted for Omega. He set up for a V Trigger and stalled before connecting. He then lifted Okada up for the One-Winged Angel and connected! The fans counted along and Omega got the pin to even the match at 1 fall each.
Winner of fall two: Kenny Omega at 51:38
They went to another two minute rest period. This time it was Omega who had the upper hand after the rest period unlike the first fall. Okada was shown lying prone on his back. The bell rang for the third fall and Okada was still down. Omega hit a V Trigger to the back of Okada’s head and went for the one-winged angel, but Okada slipped out and connected with his first Rainmaker. It appeared Omega’s foot caught Okada in the head on that move. WOW! Both men were down as the fans went crazy. Okada finally made a cover, but Omega managed to kick out. Kelly said this would either be Okada’s 13 straight title defense or Omega’s first win of the IWGP Hvt. Championship. Okada went for a tombstone, but Omega blocked it by grabbing his leg.The total match time passed the 50 minute mark according to the announcers. I’m not sure if that counted the rest breaks or not. Okada went for a dropkick off the ropes, but Omega collapsed bouncing off the ropes. Okada fell right on his back and Omega stumbled over to Okada and tried to lift him up. Kelly said Ibushi looked nervous and had a white towel in his hand. Omega tried to lift Okada and he wouldn’t go up, so Omega nailed him with several palm strikes. Omega finally got Okada up, but he hit several punches. Okada went for a hurricanrana, but Omega hit a STYLES CLASH FOR A NEAR FALL. WOW! WOW! WOW! Okada got his hand on the bottom rope at the VERY last second. The fans started an A.J. Styles chant as both men regrouped. What a spot! Omega hit a HUGE V Trigger in the corner and set up for the One-Winged Angel, but he collapsed in exhaustion. Omega tried once again to lift up Okada as the fans chanted for both men. Okada slipped out of the One-Winged Angel attempt. They went back and forth and Omega folded Okada’s arms up and SPIKED him with a huge modified tombstone for a near fall. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!
Ibushi got up on the apron and urged Omega on. Callis went nuts because Ibushi was on the apron. Omega said alright to Ibushi. He went for the phoenix splash, but Okada got out of the way. WOW WOW WOW!!! Okada hit a dropkick to the back of Omega’s head. He set up for a tombstone, but Omega slipped out and DECKED him with a V Trigger. Omega measured Okada, who was on his knees, and hit a big V Trigger. He then hit another V Trigger. He lifted Okada up for a third V Trigger, but Okada caught it and hit a dropkick. WOW! Okada went for the tombstone, but Omega blocked it. Okada hit another dropkick and went for the Rainmaker, but ended up collapsing. Both men were down and the fans went nuts. WOW! This is insane. The ref began counting both men down in the middle of the ring. Omega rolled over and then Okada did the same. WOW! Both men sold exhaustion. Okada hit a light punch. Omega returned fire with a weak forearm as both men were totally spent at this point. They continued to trade blows on their knees. Omega finally connected with a big slap. Okada then returned the favor. Omega hit a headbutt. The fans chanted for both men. Omega tried to lift up Omega, but Okada surprised him with a Rainmaker. Okada collapsed, but hung on to Omega’s wrist. Okada got up and hit another Rainmaker before collapsing. Okada fired up and began to will himself back over to Omega. Okada looked downright possessed as he lifted Omega. He went for another Rainmaker, but Omega ducked and hit a German and the fans went nuts. Omega hung on to Okada with them both down on the mat. The fans chanted for Omega! He hit another German and held on. Okada slid around Omega and hit a German of his own. Okada held on and both men were down on the mat! WOW! Okada then switched to wrist control. He went for the Rainmaker, but Omega ducked it and hit a German. Omega held on, but Okada elbowed his way out of Omega’s grasp. Omega then hit a snap poison hurricanrana and both men were down on the mat. Okada got his shoulders up on the bottom rope. Omega used the ref to get up to his feet. Omega set up for a V Trigger, but Okada caught him with a dropkick! WOW!
Okada set up for a Rainmaker, but Omega countered it into a quick One-Winged Angel. Omega could not capitalize and Okada had a vacant stare as he slumped up against the ropes. WOW! The selling in this match is unreal. This is insane! The fans chanted for Omega and he set up for a V Trigger up against the ropes and connected. WOW! The fans went nuts and Omega lifted Okada and hit the One-Winged Angel for the win. What an unbelievable match.
After the match, The Young Bucks made their way down to the ring. The fans applauded. Omega hugged Matt Jackson. Nick Jackson then joined in. Ibushi then joined the group hug as Kelly said their bond was stronger than the title. Okada was shown being carried to the back. Ibushi helped put the IWGP World Hvt. Title around Omega’s waist.
The fans began chanting for Omega. He cut a promo in Japanese. He said he’d cut a little of his promo in Japanese. He said in 10 years he’s accomplished a lot, but his final goal was the IWGP World Hvt. Champion. The fans applauded. He said if he has the belt, do you think I might leave Japan. In this match, I saw the future of pro wrestling. That’s why I’m going to the next step in the NJPW ring and arena. He said now The Young Bucks and he are champions. He said Kota Ibushi is handsome. He said let’s do this together.
Omega said they are a worldwide promotion, so he should speak just a little bit of English. Omega said what they’ve done here today is a miracle. Omega said each day people tell him he’s not good enough or he should take the pay day. He said that’s not his way. He said with his best friends and lovers by his side, he can do anything. Omega said he had wrestled for an hour and almost died, so it’s time for him to say goodbye. Omega then hit his catchphrase and gold confetti shot out over the wing.
Cody Rhodes then came out and the fans gasped. He made his way down the entrance ramp. He then turned around and went to the back. Kelly said he could have done the honorable thing, but he didn’t. Omega was then hoisted up by The Young Bucks and Ibushi.
Winner: Kenny Omega at 69:27 to become the new IWGP World Hvt. Champion
Star rating: (*****) – This was the best match between Okada and Omega and that’s saying a lot considering they’ve had three all-time classics. The story they told here in going over an hour was on another level with their emotional selling. Once they got to the third fall, both men really commanded the ring with their counter wrestling and facial expressions. The finishing stretch was the best I’ve ever seen and Omega’s emotional reunion with The Young Bucks after the match was great. This was an incredible presentation of storytelling with Omega getting over the hump and talking about the bond between him, his friends (The Young Bucks), and his lover (Kota Ibushi).