I honestly never thought it was possible to buy into a wrestling match just like I did as a child, now that I’m an adult and understand how it’s put together.
January 4th, 2017. To most people, just another day with no meaning. To me? A day I’d been looking forward to for weeks. New Japan Pro Wrestling was presenting its ‘Wrestlemania’ show of the year, Wrestle Kingdom. To casual wrestling fans, an event you probably don’t even know exists, but to hardened fans, a must-see, so to speak.
I tuned in 30 minutes late, due to completely messing up the time differences and thinking it was a 9AM GMT start. In fact, it started at 8AM! However, I loaded up my stream and instantly found myself in the middle of Young Bucks’ title defence. The whole show really was a spectacle, with a handful of title changes, the debut of Cody (Rhodes) and Adam Cole making history by becoming a three-time ROH World Champion. Now all of that is fantastic, but nothing could prepare me for the main event I was about to witness.
Kazuchika Okada vs. Kenny Omega is a match worthy of main eventing any wrestling card you’re ever likely to put together in 2017. Add to that it’s for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, on the back of the 2016 Omega has just had and you really do have a potential MOTY candidate before the bell has even rung.
The entrances were incredible and really did give it that big match feel. But then what they put together once the bell went was magical. Every wrestling fan will make predictions before an event or a match and we all like to think we know how each match will pan out. But watching that match unfold, all of that went out the window. Even if I wanted to predict, I couldn’t. I was far too engulfed in this master class between two world class athletes. I completely forgot that I knew they were ‘selling’ and for the first time in years, I gasped, I cheered and I completely lost my shizz on the biggest roller coaster ride I’ve been taken on. I’m a huge Kenny Omega fan, but the result had no relevance to me after that. I witnessed two of, if not the best, in the world tear down the house on one of the biggest stages possible in professional wrestling.
For that, all I can say is THANK YOU!