NEW JAPAN PRO WRESTLING REVIEWS

Amin’s NJPW Wrestle Kingdom Night One Review: Kazuchika Okada vs. Kota Ibushi

NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 14AMIN’S NJPW WRESTLE KINGDOM 14 REVIEW 
SATURDAY JANUARY 4, 2020 
TOKYO DOME IN TOKYO, JAPAN 

JYUSHIN THUNDER LIGER, TIGER MASK, TATSUMI FUJINAMI & THE GREAT SASUKE (w/El Samurai) vs. NAOKI SANO, RYUSUKE TAGUCHI, SHINJIRO OTANI & TATSUHITO TAKAIWA (w/KUNIAKI KOBAYASHI)

Liger came out last to a huge reaction. Liger hit shotes. Takaiwa hit a DVD and a diving elbow to Tiger Mask for a two count. The crowd cheered as Fujinami hit a series of dragon screws and placed Takaiwa in a Dragon sleeper. Sano hit a superplex on Sasuke. Liger hit a Super Frankenstiner but Taguchi kicked out. Taguchi hit a pair of enzuigiri’s and a Bomb Ye but Liger kicked out. Taguchi hit the Dodon and pinned Liger.

WINNERS: RYUSUKE TAGUCHI, NAOKI SANO, SHINJIRO OTANI & TATSUHITO TAKAIWA (⭐️⭐️1/2)

After the match, Liger bowed and showed respect to his opponents. They played Liger’s music as Sasuke and Tiger carried him on their shoulders. This was great as Liger was treated as a legend even in defeat.

Amin’s Analysis: A basic match but the presentation was awesome as Liger was treated like a legend.

SHINGO TAKAGI, BUSHI, EVIL & SANADA vs. MINORU SUZUKI, ZACK SABRE JR., TAICHI & EL DESPERADO

A brawl broke out as the match began. Shingo nailed Taichi with a jab/lariat combo. Taichi hit a hook kick but Shingo responded with Pumping Bomber. SANADA placed Desperado in the Paradise Lock. Sabre and SANADA exchanged pinning combinations. BUSHI hit a missile dropkick to Sabre and followed with a backcracker but Desperado made the save. Sabre placed BUSHI in a Umiplata and got the submission win

WINNERS: ZACK SABRE JRMINORU SUZUKI, TAICHI & EL DESPERADO (⭐️⭐️)

Amin’s Analysis: A fun quick paced match as the interaction between Sabre and SANADA was terrific.

BAD LUCK FALE, CHASE OWENS, KENTA & YUJIRO TAKAHASHI vs. HIROOKI GOTO, TOMOHIRO ISHII, TORU YANO & YOSHI-HASHI 

Yano did his comedy routine. KENTA hit a DDT as Yujiro followed with a Fisherman’s Buster to Goto for a two count. The crowd popped as Ishii hit a Vertical Drop Brainbuster on Fale. Goto hit a Ushigorishi and then gave Yujiro a GTR for the win.

WINNERS: HIROOKI GOTO, TOMOHIRO ISHII, TORU YANO & YOSHIHASHI (⭐️⭐️)

Amin’s Analysis: A basic but solid all-action tag match as everyone looked good.

IWGP HEAVYWEIGHT TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH: TAMA TONGA (w/Jado) vs. DAVID FINLAY & JUICE ROBINSON 

Loa and Tonga backdropped Juice on the entrance ramp. Loa charged but Finlay intercepted him with a spear. Juice hit cannonballs to Loa and Tonga in opposite corners. Loa hit a sit-out Powerbomb as Tonga followed with a Macho Man Elbow but Finlay kicked out. G.O.D hit a Magic Killer on Finlay but Juice made the save. They went for a Super Powerbomb but Finlay countered into a Super Frankenstiner. Jado nailed Finlay with a kendo stick as Tonga applied a rollup for a two count. Finlay hit a Stunner on Tonga but Loa made the save. Juice nailed both Loa and Tonga with left jabs. Juice planted Tonga with a Pulp Fiction. Juice hit Loa with Pulp Fiction as Finlay followed with Acid Drop for the win. 

WINNERS: DAVID FINLAY & JUICE ROBINSON WON THE IWGP HEAVYWEIGHT TAG TEAM TITLES (⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Amin’s Analysis: It dragged early but was a good match as everyone looked solid and did a good job building to the finish.

TEXAS DEATH MATCH FOR THE IWGP US HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE: LANCE ARCHER vs. JON MOXLEY

Moxley came through the crowd to a big reaction. The fireworks started early as Archer tossed a chair into Moxley’s face and then delivered some kendo stick shots. Archer went for a pounce but Moxley swung a trash can lid into his face. Moxley suplex Archer in-between two chair and then hit a Regal knee. Moxley went for a plancha but Archer countered into an apron Powerbomb. Archer took to the skies and hit an Undertaker dive onto Moxley and some Young Lions. Archer hit a Blackout sending Moxley onto a stack of chairs. Moxley got up at 9. Archer went for a Chokeslam but Moxley countered with a Dirty Deeds DDT. Archer got up at 9. Archer blocked a Death Rider DDT and sent Moxley flying with a pounce. Archer planted Moxley with a Chokeslam on a chair. Moxley got up at 9. Archer grabbed a bag, went for the EBD Claw but Moxley refused to quit. Archer grabbed a pair of tables. They battled on the ring apron as Moxley hit a jumping elevated Death Rider DDT sending Archer through a stack of tables for the win.

WINNER: JON MOXLEY WON THE IWGP US HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Amin’s Analysis: This was superb as it had a big fight feel and the use of weapon was very effective. This was the right decision for Moxley to win as he has the presence of a superstar.

IWGP JUNIOR HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH: WILL OSPREAY vs. HIROMU TAKAHASHI 

The fireworks started early as Takahashi hit a Woo dropkick from the ring apron sending Ospreay crashing into the guardrail. Takahashi went for a flying Hurricanrana but Ospreay countered with a double stomp and then hit a draping DDT for a two count. The match slowed down as Ospreay worked over Takahashi’s neck. Takahashi made a comeback by hitting a wheelbarrow flatliner and then hit a Falcon Arrow for a two count. There was an amazing sequence as Takahashi avoided a Sasuke Special, went for a German suplex on the floor but Ospreay landed on his feet. Takahashi went for an overhead belly-to-belly suplex but Ospreay landed inside the ring and then hit a Sasuke Special on the floor. Ospreay hit a double stomp and a missile dropkick. Ospreay went for the Hidden Blade but Takahashi collapsed. Takahashi made a comeback by hitting a Sunset Bomb and then hit a Dynamite Plunger for a pair of two counts. Ospreay hit Made in Japan, a Shooting Star Press and an OzCutter but couldn’t put Takahashi away. Takahashi avoided a handspring and hit a sunset Canadian Destroyer but Ospreay kicked out. Ospreay caught Takahashi coming off the ropes and hit a standing Splash Fly for a two count. Ospreay nailed Takahashi with the Hidden Blade, went for Storm Breaker but was countered into Yoshi Tonic for a two count. Takahashi hit Time Bomb but Ospreay kicked out. Takahashi hit an elevated Emerald Frosion spiking Ospreay for the win.

WINNER: HIROMU TAKAHASHI WON THE IWGP JUNIOR HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Amin’s Analysis: This was an incredible spectacle as it was filled with some amazing sequences as both Ospreay and Takahashi worked a tremendous match. The storytelling was just fantastic as Takahashi refused to quit after taking all of Ospreay’s big moves. I liked the finish as now Ospreay can possibly move out of the Junior division and work towards winning a heavyweight title. Just a fantastic match.

IWGP INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH: JAY WHITE (w/Gedo) vs. TETSUYA NAITO 

The crowd booed as White stalled early. White caused a distraction as Gedo smashed Naito’s leg with a chair. White took control as he hit a complete shot/German suplex combo. Naito went for a Tornado DDT but his leg cramped as White hit a uranage for a two count. White delivered a Blade Buster, maintained control and then hit a Kiwi Crusher for a two count. White applied an inverted Figure-4-Leg Lock but Naito grabbed the ropes. The crowd cheered as Naito made a comeback by hitting a Tornado DDT and a Super Frankenstiner. Naito delivered Gloria but White kicked out. The crowd booed as White showed Naito into Red Shoes. Naito gave White a Dragon suplex and then kicked Gedo in the nuts. With the referee still down, White tossed a chair into Naito’s face. There was a great spot as White hit a pair of Sleeper suplex but Naito no-sold and hit Destino. Naito hit a Poison Hurricanrana and followed with a Destino but White kicked out for a close two count. There were a series of great counters as Naito avoided a Blade Buster and hit Velenica. Naito delivered Destino to White for the win to a big reaction. 

WINNER: TETSUYA NAITO WON THE IWGP INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE (⭐️⭐️⭐️3/4)

Amin’s Analysis: Let me just say I’m not a fan of outside interference and referee bumps as the match dragged and went too long. However, this was a solid match as the storytelling was great with Naito selling through but overcoming the unlikable heel. The final minutes of the match was very good as they had the crowd buzzing.

IWGP HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH: KAZUCHIKA OKADA vs. KOTA IBUSHI 

Okada’s entrance was awesome. The match started with an early feeling out process. Okada hit a draping DDT on the floor for a near fall. Ibushi hit a powerslam/moonsault combo for a near fall. There was a cool spot early as Okada hit a running crossbody over to Ibushi over the guardrail. Okada applied Red Ink but Ibushi grabbed the ropes. Okada hit a Macho Man Elbow and then hit his Rainmaker pose. There was a scary spot as Ibushi was suppose to counter a Rainmaker with a backflip kick but missed his timing as he landed on his head. Ibushi countered a Tombstone with a Cradle Driver spiking Okada on the mat. Ibushi hit a Golden Triangle to the floor and followed with a springboard dropkick. Ibushi hit a Last Ride Powerbomb for a two count. Ibushi called for the Bomb Ye but Okada countered with a dropkick and then hit a Tombstone. Okada went for a Rainmaker but Ibushi blocked. Okada hit a series of uppercuts but Ibushi no-sold it. The match picked up here as Ibushi facial reaction changed as he no-sold a Woo dropkick and decked Okada with a closed fist. The crowd booed as Ibushi stomped away on a downed Okada as Red Shoes had to pull him off. There was a scary spot as Ibushi teased long-darting Okada into the ring post but was blocked. Okada delivered a Tombstone to Ibushi on the ring apron which looked nasty. They teased a count-out but Ibushi made it back into the ring at 19 as Okada hit a missile dropkick for a two count. Okada hit an Air Raid Crash and Heavy Rain for a pair of two counts. Okada went for a Rainmaker but Ibushi countered with a huge lariat. At the 30 minute mark Ibushi hit a Swandive German suplex as he dropped Okada on his head for a two count. Ibushi hit a Bomb Ye but Okada kicked out at one. Ibushi delivered a second Bomb Ye to the back of Okada for a two count. Ibushi delivered Kamigoye but Okada kicked out at the last second for an awesome near fall. There was a great spot as Ibushi exposed his knee pad, went for a second Kamigoye but Okada countered by hitting a picture-perfect dropkick. This was a work of art as the timing was perfect. They exchanged strikes as Ibushi got the better as hit a pair of hook kicks at the 35 minute mark. They battled on the turnbuckle as Ibushi teased an avalanche 1916 DDT and a Tiger Driver but Okada shoved him off. Okada went for missile dropkick but Ibushi countered by hitting a jumping Powerbomb in mid-air for a great near fall. Okada avoided a Phoenix Splash, hit a Rainmaker, maintained wrist control and hit a second Rainmaker but Ibushi kicked out for an awesome near fall. The match reached all-time greatness at this point. The crowd cheered as Okada hit another Rainmaker and then posed. Okada went for another Rainmaker but Ibushi countered with a hook kick. Ibushi delivered a V-Trigger, went for Kamigoye but Okada blocked and hit a sit-out Tombstone. Okada delivered a Rainmaker for the 1-2-3. 

WINNER: KAZUCHIKA OKADA RETAINED THE IWGP HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️3/4)

Okada applauded Ibushi. Naito came out and asked Okada if he remembered what he told him at the Tokyo Dome two years ago. Naito noted he’s back and will beat Okada tomorrow night. They both posed with their respective titles as Naito left. Okada thanked Ibushi for the fight of his life. Okada noted he doesn’t care what Naito wants and will be the strongest IWGP Heavyweight champion of all time. Okada thanked the 40,008 people for selling out the show except for the production seats which opened the days of the show. Okada noted NJPW is the best pro wrestling in the worlds and hopes to see everyone for night two of Wrestle Kingdom 14. Okada posed and noted he will make it rain.

Amin’s Analysis: This was just sensational as the last 10 minutes was pro wrestling at it’s finest. Ibsuhi is a tremendous wrestler and plays an awesome babyface. Was a bit disappointing to not see him win but his time will come. Okada is the best as his ring movement is flawless, and knows exactly how to pace a match. An instant classic.


[Overall Thoughts] This was an excellent show as it started great with the presentation of Liger. The show cooled down but picked up as everything starting with the Moxley match was must see as NJPW has already delivered two match of the year candidates in Okada/Ibushi and Ospreay/Takahashi.

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