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[2018-11-09-NEW-Redemption] Kenny Omega vs Fenix


paul sosnowski
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Kenny's time on top as IWGP Heavyweight champion has been very mixed depending on how you like your IWGP champion to act, but I have to commend Omega for trying to take a different approach as champion. Kenny truly appreciates wrestling fans from all over the world, and coming to a small-ish indie in the north east was a nice treat for those fans since New Japan doesn't see that area as a priority. Not to mention his opponent on this night was Rey fucking Fenix, this match was pretty incredible. It told a great story of Kenny being outshined in a game of athleticism, but gained the upper hand when it came to big moves and strikes. Kenny could've easily done a 15 minute match with house show tights on, but instead he brought out the big boy pants and gave the crowd an excellent 25+ minute performance. It didn't feel like it dragged on like most New Japan title matches either. Hell I'd say this match was a tad better than Kenny vs Penta, ****1/2.

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  • GSR changed the title to [2018-11-09-NEW-Redemption] Kenny Omega vs Fenix

Definitely better than the All In match since we're not bogged down with Penta's repetitive taunting. Instead what we get is Omega trying to dominated Fenix with his strikes and suplexes only for Fenix to use his agility, speed, and risk taking to sneak the advantage at points. It makes for very fluid, very exciting wrestling. The set up to the table spot was a little distracting but it didn't eat up too much time and once it did pay off, it felt earned and entirely shocking in the moment as well. From there, the finishing stretch was just the kind of goodness that Omega typically delivers and with a good counterpoint in Fenix who does much more high flying offense than most of the people Omega works with in New Japan. Makes for an exciting dynamic that allows both guys to shine really well.

****1/2

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This was an inevitably solid match because it featured two willing, athletic and highly capable performers.  Not sure just how big of an audience it got because of the live stream / VOD availability, but they obviously worked it like a big match for one of their home promotions rather than a spot show.  That being said, this was basically all out spots and box checking for both of them.  Because they can check so many boxes it was entertaining and solid, but that approach (which is all too common these days) only goes so far with me and is the wrestling equivalent of a quick sugar burst.  I couldn't recall more than a couple spots even immediately after it was over as most of it just blended in as they skipped along to the next spot. 

***1/2

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  • 2 weeks later...

Although I normally love these type of high-impact, fast-paced spectacles, this one veered a bit too much into "empty calorie wrestling". Still, considering this was an indie match with no backstory or context, it makes sense that they would work a greatest hits format. The first 5 minutes were obviously padded but you got basically everything you would want out of this match. Kenny and Fenix are without a doubt two of the most athletic and offensively dynamic wrestlers in the world and everything they did looked great. I wish there had been more of a story driving the action, but what we got was still a lot of fun.

****1/4.

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