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[2014-03-06-NJPW-42nd Strong Style AnniversaryShow] Kazuchika Okada vs Kota Ibushi

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Didn't do much for me at all. Ibushi does have some cool looking highspots. I imagine if guys like Kaientai DX were still doing their thing he would have been a fun sixth guy in an MPRO trios. I hadn't seen much Okada, but he looked pretty crappy. His SUWA dropkick was fun, but everything else looked pretty bad. His top rope elbow looked like he grew up watching CM Punk and was doing it as a tribute, and if you are going to use a clothesline as a finisher, throw a fucking clothesline

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Guest TheGreatPuma

This did a humongous amount for me. Helped me get wired as f***. Besides the match shooting up the adrenaline for me, it put a big smile on my face knowing this would get Ibushi even more over with the NJPW audience which he more than deserves. And he's already way over!! Tremendous stuff. Much love :wub:

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This was a damn good match. Managed the milk the best of the NJPW style -- the high-energy exchanges, hot nearfalls, etc -- without falling into its usual traps -- over long length, boring opening section, no selling and ridiculousness. The opening stuff was fine, they didn't kill time on the mat and kept things lively with some moments of action. The bulk of the match was the extended stretch run which I thought was really good, lots of big moves that looked great and fun high energy exchanges. Only real flaw was how badly Ibushi's moonsault to the outside missed. Ibushi connects with some real nasty strikes here, his lariats looked great and he finishes a strike exchange by swiping Okada across the face with a big kick. One small feature of this match I liked was how Okada utilized some of his signature moves: he hits the flapjack right after putting his knees up for a splash and uses his fireman's carry neckbreaker thing right after sending Ibushi neck-first into the turnbuckle with a big dropkick (great looking spot by the way). This match does have the obligatory one count but, eh, whatever. Ending is great with Okada hitting a real nasty German suplex right into the Rainmaker. My NJPW MOTY by a good margin.

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I agree with tim in the sense that this did a fine job of showcasing the modern NJPW style. However I can’t agree with this being a NJPW MOTY or anything. Ibushi really made Okada’s offense look a lot better than most of the NJPW heavyweights. He just flows along with Okada’s offense and it actually looks brutal. Even Okada’s crappy looking tombstone piledriver looks decent here. Ibushi reversing Okada’s Rainmaker and nailing his own was a good looking spot and Ibushi’s one was brutal. Sucks he followed it up with what looked like a huge botched lariat that didn’t even seemed like it grazed Okada. Loved how Okada kept the waist lock on Ibushi after the beautiful high bridging German suplex leading to the Rainmaker even if it looked weak here. Good stuff either way, but definitely not a match for those of you who don’t enjoy the current New Japan style.

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IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada vs IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion Kota Ibushi - NJPW 3/6/14

 

Ibushi would need to be having one of the best nights of his career just to hang with Okada, but to beat him he was going to need that rare A+ performance. That is the story of this match, this is not a junior heavyweight underdog hanging on by a thread against the Man. This is the underdog totally overachieving and beating the champion for the majority of the game. Ibushi came to play and Okada clearly underestimated him. Early on, you see Ibushi beating Okada to a dropkick and having Okada's dropkick scouted. Okada because he is the champ did eventually get things under control with the dropkick his preferred momentum-changer. The Hangsman DDT off the railing put him in a strong position and again he starts to gloat. It is the one foot cover and the crowd is booing. Okada is taking his time between moves and fixing his kneepads. He is going to take care of his light work when it suits him. Next thing you know, he is thrown to the outside by an Ibushi hurricanarana and then is taking a moonsault press on the floor. Sleep on Ibushi and he will make you pay. Okada has the double jump moonsault scouted with knees. For the first time watching Okada in 2014, I get that feeling of desperation. The pressure is on him as Heavyweight Champion to win the match. Ibushi is one with nothing to lose and everything to gain. Okada hits his pretty big elbow drop and the prelude for the Rainmaker. When you got nothing to lose, you can take big chances and that's what Ibushi did in the match. He smacks Okada in the face with a Pele kick. Okada roars back with a massive sitout dropkick. He is getting frustrated. I like this, Okada. Ibushi has all of Okada's moves scouted the Tombstone and The Rainmaker even hitting his own version of the Rainmaker. Okada desperately tries to climb to the top rope to hit a bomb and Ibushi nails him with a backhandspring mule kick, which was fucking awesome! The crowd seemed behind Ibushi most of the way, but Okada fans have become more vocal as it seems that their boy may actually be out of it. Ibushi is feeling it and he goes for the home run. The Phoenix Splash and he crashes and burns. It was an excellent run, but you can feel that it is over for Ibushi. Unfortunately, they do go a little longer than necessary with a strike exchange and Okada hitting a couple counters. Finally a dropkick to the head, a nice stacked up German and The Rainmaker wins it.

 

All the build was to the Phoenix Splash, once you hit that payoff, there is no real reason to delay inevitable. I would have had Ibushi struggle for a bit then go with dropkick, stacked up German and Rainmaker. Best Okada performance yet, where you feel like he actually cares about the outcome of the match. He is cool and cocky early, but as thing get out of head he becomes frustrated and desperate. Ibushi was great as overachieving underdog. He left it all in the ring and he pulled the trigger on his best shot. It missed, but he can at least say he tried. Very well-done heavyweight vs junior heavyweight match that stayed true to both characters. ****1/4

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Awesome match. I haven't watched an older Okada match in a long time and I'm glad I chose this match to watch. Perfect showcase for Ibushi. Okada sells his arse off for him, really puts him over as on his level as well as doing some excellent work himself. Love Ibushi's work from underneath as well. Nothing gets me more pumped than an Okada match. Ibushi was incredible too. ****1/4

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