The Morning I Woke up to Watch NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 12

The first wrestling show for the year is in the books, and I’m happy I woke up for it. NJPW’s Wrestle Kingdom went down in the wee hours of Thursday morning. 

Wrestle Kingdom 12

I woke up as usual just after 4am Thursday for my nightly cup of tea. As the water was heating up, I realized that across the globe, possibly the feud of the year was about to boil over. New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Wrestle Kingdom had already started and we were mere moments away from Chris Jericho versus Kenny Omega. I found a feed and opted for coffee instead of tea.

I needed to stay up for this.

The hype surrounding the match was done with classic old school-esque angles being shot by the two wrestlers. Omega attacking Jericho during a press conference, Jericho’s surprise attack on Omega after a match. We’ve see it all before, but just not like this. Omega, arguably the best wrestler in the world. Jericho, coming off the best decade a wrestler has ever had in the ring. The two  going head-to-head in the Tokyo Dome for the NJPW’s flagship show. It’s mega.


Will Ospreay is my new favourite wrestler

I tuned in right after the Cody Rhodes and Kota Ibushi match, which I heard was a doozy. The first full match I did see was a stupendous tag between Evil and Sanada against Killer Elite Squad (made up of Davey Boy Smith Jr and Lance Archer).  Fine match and grabbed my interest in the `other’ matches on the card.

The match that woke me  was the fatal four way. Marty Scurll, Will Ospreay, Hiromu Takahashi and Kushida  fighting for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship. The commentators made no fuss on putting over all four gentlemen saying that they were the best in the world. And there’s no doubt about it. All wrestlers put on a clinic but the true standout, for me at least, was Will Ospreay. I hope he gets to WWE soon.

Jericho vs Omega

The most anticipated match went down in the early morning  hours in Ontario. The biggest match up  since The Rock and Cena started just after 5.30 eastern time. Future Hall of Famer Chris Jericho battled The Cleaner, Bullet Club’s Kenny Omega for the IWGP United States Championship in a No-DQ contest.

The match was a brawl. The two unloading on each other with all the hatred of Ted Irvine’s New York Rangers and the Philadelphia Flyers. The match was intense, fast moving and gripping. The finish came when Jericho delivered the Codebreaker but, tired, was unable to make a timely pin and Omega kicked out. Jericho tried for the Lionsault, Omega delivered One-Winged Angel onto a chair and scored the hard-fought victory to win the classic bout. Omega is still the champ.

It was a bloody epic. Intense war and one that felt very much like the type of match Rock and Stone Cold would have had during the Attitude Era. It was a phenomenal match that set the bar incredibly high for the rest of the year.


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