Kenny Omega (c) vs KUSHIDA
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship
Tokyo Dome, Tokyo, Japan
(reviewed as it aired on 01/04/2016) Kushida comes out with Taguchi dressed up like Doc Brown from Back to the Future, which is a cute little touch. Taguchi acts as Kushida’s second here, despite there being no official affiliation between the two, and Taguchi’s goofy acting really shines. They’ve added a Terminator beat intro to Omega’s theme, which is pretty cool. The Bucks come out with him, complete with broom, mop, and metal trash cans, and they jump Kushida and Taguchi at the start. This is a pretty shitty theme to keep running through this show. Good action from the two men at the start here, and Kushida gets a flurry that sends Omega to the outside. Kushida goes after the champ, who pulls out an aerosol can from under the ring and sprays it in Kushida’s face. Omega’s facials here, looking at the crowd after having just sprayed Kushida, and his reaction after spraying it on his crotch, are goofy and fun. Kushida comes off the apron with a running nothing, but Nick Jackson smashes him with a metal trash can. Omega then hits a one-man More Bang For Your Buck on the outside with the trash can in a pretty fun spot. Bucks slap out the Terminator theme on the trash cans before Omega hits a beauty of a dive onto Kushida, who’s basically on the entrance ramp. Omega’s facials and heel antics the whole way through here are just fantastic, and while I think this gimmick puts an unnecessary ceiling on his character, he plays around within it very well. Kushida gets a quick flurry into the Hoverboard Lock, but Omega’s got the ropes almost right away. Kushida starts to target the arm, but Omega stops him with a big ol’ chop. Omega goes off the ropes and Kushida does the awesome handspring into the ropes into him, and then hits a sizeable dive off the top to the champ on the outside. Moonsault and kimura attempt from Kushida, and he turns it into an armbar when the kimura doesn’t work, but Omega wriggles around and is able to reverse it into a pretty gross one-armed German. Big, big, big top-rope kimura/armbreaker from Kushida that really looks like it hurts. Omega fights back with a big boot, but Kushida fires right back with a baseball punch that looks mean and sounds meaner. Corkscrew moonsault off the top from Kushida misses, and Omega’s selling of his arm and trying to get the blood flowing through it is awesome. Omega catches Kushida when he springboards off the ropes and is able to hit the Croyt’s Wrath, but Kushida reverses the pinfall attempt into the Hoverboard Lock. The Bucks lean in and are trying to drag Omega out of the ring, and Taguchi, who’s been dead since the beginning, runs over and beats them down with the trash can. Omega goes for the One-Winged Angel but Kushida fights out, and the champ plants him with a big kneelift that sends Kushida to the mat. Big, impressive one-armed powerbomb from Omega for two, and the people are into this match. Omega gets a pair of nasty knees and goes for the One-Winged Angel, but Kushida reverses it into a roll-up (with Omega’s shoulder being clearly up the whole time) for the win. Not a terribly decisive finish, but a quite good match. Omega’s selling and character stuff is great, and his wrestling is fairly good. Kushida’s performance is rock-solid like it always is. Wish it was better, but this still ends up being pretty good, one of the better matches of the night.