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[2015-04-05-NJPW-Invasion Attack] A.J. Styles vs Kota Ibushi

Superstar Sleeze

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IWGP Heavyweight Champion AJ Styles vs Kota Ibushi - Invasion Attack 4/5/15

Holy Shit! WHAT A FUCKING FINISH! I don't want to spoil it, but I think that's gotta be spot of the fucking year. Absolutely nuts!


Ibushi definitely seems like the breakout star of 2015 in spite of his injury late this year. I may not be as high on his Nakamura & Shibata matches, but I still thought they were great. On top of that, the Tanahashi match is killer and then this match is another feather in his cap. It was definitely a massive year for Kota Ibushi. AJ Styles regained his IWGP Heavyweight Championship in a fantastic match against Tanahashi and now faces the burgeoning star of 2015, Kota Ibushi, who won the New Japan Cup to get this title shot.


AJ was at his heel best in this match trash talking Ibushi and cheating like a muthafucka. Ibushi responded to the trash talking by showing him up with his speed. Per usual, whenever AJ gets shaken up he thinks Styles Clash, which can work as a psychological tool in addition to trying to win the match. Ibushi comes out a head on the nearfall sequence. AJ tries raking the eyes and a double thrust to the throat, but Ibushi will not be denied. Ibushi looks to land his double jump moonsault on the outside, but AJ takes advantage of him trying to hit this complicated move and deliver a German suplex on the floor that rattles the young challenger. Styles was great at this heat segment. Everything was perfectly executed and all the AJ spots (skywalker knee, dropkick and lariat in corner) were there. I loved him bringing Ibushi over to the guard rail to trash talk him about never getting the championship. Ibushi did ragdoll a bit too much here. I would have liked to seen him more plucky. AJ went for his springboard forearm, but Ibushi caught with a dropkick and AJ went throat first. Ibushi threw some nice kicks, but AJ caught the leg and elbowed the knee joint. Again when AJ is rattled, he recovers by looking for a route to victory and this time he wanted to build to the Calf-Killer. Nice leg work follows and thought Ibushi's selling was better here than earlier. Plus it does not go on too long so Ibushi does not have to worry about selling the leg. The second best spot of the match was Styles went for the basement dropkick and Ibushi avoided it by jumping up with both feet and then landing a double stomp. Very, very cool. AJ powders and Ibushi followed with a top rope double jump moonsault. Now Ibushi rattles off some of his high flying moves and he looks great as he has the champion on the ropes. A suplex struggle near the turnbuckles ensued and AJ hit his snap suplex into the turnbuckles. AJ then proceeded to hit probably his best quebrada into a DDT ever. It looked fantastic. Strike exchange and double Pele Kicks! I dont know if that was the time for that spot, but it was definitely a spot they needed to do given who they are.


Bloody Sunday! Surprisingly, Ibushi fights out of the Styles Clash. When AJ switches gears and wraps him up in the Calf Killer. Perfect wrestling by AJ. Ibushi makes the ropes and when AJ wants the Styles Clash again he gets kneed in the face, but Ibushi is hurt now. AJ HITS A MUTHAFUCKIN LARIAT THAT WOULD CREAM JBL'S PANTS! WOW! Uncharacteristically, AJ decides to go for the much riskier Super Styles Clash and pays the price as Ibushi hits a Frankensteiner off the top. Ibushi has trouble with his powerbomb, but eventually gets it and now is looking for the Phoenix Splash. That's where I will leave you.


AJ worked another awesome, classic heavyweight title defense. He got shown up early for his trash talking. He tried cheating, but Ibushi kept fighting. Ibushi got cute and AJ made him pay. In the same way, AJ got cocky and was not always following up his moves and Ibushi would make him pay. But every single time AJ was cut off, he immediately regrouped in a way to either apply the Calf-Killer or Styles Clash. The offense in this match was incredible. I don't think this match flowed as well as some of the other better NJPW matches. I think some of the spots could have been re-arranged to tell a better story. AJ's selling was great especially after being hit with the Pele and he is great at being desperate one moment and cocky as all get out the next. Ibushi needs to work on his selling. The offense is there. I would have liked to sene him fight back more too. Still a really, really entertaining match. ****1/4

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