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[2012-08-18-DDT-15th Anniversary Show] Kota Ibushi vs Kenny Omega

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King of DDT Openweight Champion Kota Ibushi vs Kenny Omega - DDT 15th Anniversary 8/18/12

 

I know of DDT for ladders winning titles, people wrestling invisible humans and one of my all-time favorite wrestling gimmicks the demonic, zombie President Ramu, a nine year old girl in Satantic paint with a fascination of Iron Maiden and chokeslamming the hell out of the roster. However, I have always heard murmurs that DDT actually produced quality wrestling, but never pursued it. I knew Ibushi and Omega are stalwarts. I am glad both have gotten chances in NJPW and now Ibushi in WWE. I have seen Omega live in ROH in Detroit against one of my favorites Katsuhiko Nakajima. I cant believe Omega has not been picked up by WWE, good looking, six feet, good body, athletic and lots of charisma.

 

I would describe this match as All Japan meets a spotfest. There was a ton of selling and milking of spots, but it was still a total spotfest in the back half. The front half was actually really fucking good. I have read some people say this is the greatest match of all time and that El Generico called it the best match he had ever seen live. I kinda scoffed. Then watching the front half, I was like these people may not be crazy. Omega was so great working the arm. He really tortured Ibushi's arm and had a ton of variety. Ibushi was great at selling. They were also weaving this really nice story that whenever could create enough space to create movement he could create a hope spot, but then Omega would quash them by whacking the arm. There were little issues here and there that I did not like. Omega switched arms for a little bit and then went back. My bigger issue was to stop the Triple Jump Moonsault he hit a nasty Half Nelson Suplex on the apron. It was wicked great spot, but they had 30 more minutes to go! Way too early! He went back to arm and worked it so I forgave it. I like Ibushi a lot because he can sell and his spots are breath-taking like the springboard half twist onto Omega on the floor to take control. It was around the second half nelson suplex on the ramp this time by Ibushi I thought this match lots its way. With about twenty minutes left, there was really nothing they could but end the match right then to save it from feeling bloated. It became so bloated. They were selling, but the selling means nothing when they can still hit on their spots and has no consequence on how will do the next move and when the pinfall will happen. The standing full twist layout by Ibushi great, but then Omega running at KENTA speeds does an exchange that without having seen a Kenny Omega match since 2009 that one time I will bet everything is a stock Omega sequence, but feels so shoehorned into here.

 

Then there is the really big spot where Ibushi does a balcony moonsault onto Omega. It was not as cool as the Shane O Mac jump and Omega looked like an idiot waiting to catch him. The much cooler spot was the springboard hurricanarana while Omega was on the top rope to the floor. I lost my shit for that one! There are a lot of cool spots and it is one of the best spotfests I have ever seen, but there is no analysis necessary. They laid their shit in, they sold, but there is no analysis because it is totally mindless. So watch it, it is super fun, but I am not going to list a bunch of moves. I will say another bonkers high spot was Ibushi looks like he is going to powerbomb Omega off the top, but he is facing the crowd and he throws him backwards. Holy shit! What a bump and what strength! Phoenix Splash wins it!

 

It is bloated and over the top. There are way too many spots, but it is 2012 this is what fans & wrestlers associate with drama and big main event wrestling. If you are into the style and I can actually see the logic that this is the greatest pro wrestling match of all time because it may be the greatest match I have seen in this style. It started off as something that could have been wicked special, but devolved into one of the best spotfests you will ever see. There is no shame in that. ****1/4

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Kenny did some good work on top of Ibushi, great arm work & Ibushi busted out some cool comebacks with those shotgun blast kicks of his. That was basically the first half of the match, and in the 2nd half, they just went nuts - big spot after big spot after big spot. There was plenty of solid selling in there too, which was quite surprising in all honestly, but positively surprising. All in all this was very enjoyable, I'd recommend it to everybody who enjoyed Omega's WK11 battle vs. Okada, because in my opinion, this match was pretty similar in structure & just as good in quality. ***3/4

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Although Omega working the arm does tie the first half together, i thought the actual shit he did to the arm looked very weak for the most part. There's a very sloppily applied armbar, which Ibushi stacks into a pinfall. Omega lifts him up with his feet back into the armbar, that was really cool but in the end the armbar still looked bad. Ibushi's comebacks are good and Omega stopping the moonsault from the corner was cool. Ibushi's selling is solid and Omega does sell in his goofy way so this fits the traditional mold of a good match, but really for me the shit they do in the back half where they go nuts is where it gets very good, since that's what they really excel at.

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Golden Lovers Explode!!! The history behind this reaches a lot of fans' hearts, clearly. Kenny comes in for a tour, has a well received match with Ibushi, he then teams with him and the rest is history. Funnily enough, most of their run in DDT is seemingly spent apart from each other but there is something always special when they do team together. But now, they are against each other once again. In Budokan Hall, for the KO-D Openweight Title. 

I was wondering if the match would hold up or not. Considering both wrestlers have peaked a little higher than this in recent years. However I think it’s improved upon rewatching it because Ibushi’s performance stood out so much more than it did last time. I think Kenny was really good in the match. He took a hell of a lot of bumps - scary ones. And he had some cool sequences as well. But I think the initial work on the arm was kind of standard-ish. It’s mostly thrown away in the long term but it doesn’t really look good in the moment either. Except for a few flat kicks to the shoulder that looked like they hurt. When Ibushi starts getting in more offence and the match begins to escalate and escalate into an all out bomb fest, then the match starts hitting all the greatness that the match is praised for. Kota Ibushi was a god in the match, like I’ve already said. Ibushi carries most of the great moments of the match with beautifully executed aerial moves that have a great blend of grace and recklessness whenever he leaves his feet. His standing corkscrew lands hard on with all the pressure on Omega’s whip. His kicks are the same as well. He kicked Omega in the throat more than once, which was such a dick move. Ibushi goes even wilder when they head further in the crowd and hits a moonsault off the stands - something that got him banned from Budokan for years. From that point forward, the match turned into less of the Kota Ibushi show and more even with Omega hitting more death defying offence as well. His electric chair into a german off the top rope was outright insane. Ibushi powers through however and one ups him with an amazing springboard hurricanrana off the top rope to the outside floor. My favourite moment of the match was Ibushi nailing Omega with punches during a strike exchange, and then no-selling an Omega snap suplex, smiling at him and kicking him in the face. I can imagine the no selling will annoy some, and I don’t blame them, but Ibushi makes it work with his heart and insane drive. And to cap off all the incredible risk taking bumps this match has, Ibushi throws Omega with reckless abandonment, spiking him with a Phoenix-Plex on the top rope and then hitting a Phoenix splash to finally get the three.  It’s a wild match. A total spectacle with one outstanding effort from Ibushi. ****1/2 
 

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