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NJPW on AXS report 10-9: Kenny Omega vs. Ryusuke Taguchi for IWGP Jr. title


Tonight’s show is from January 4, 2015, held in the Tokyo Dome. This is the first in a five part series looking at WrestleKingdom 9.

The first match that aired (in full!) was the opening Junior tag team championship match, with reDragon defending their titles against the Forever Hooligans, Timesplitters, and the Young Bucks. This was a crazy match full of high spots and clever counters. There was one point in the match where everyone was doing big dives to the floor, with Kushida capping it off by doing a senton from the top rope to the floor, wiping out everyone on the outside. It’s one of those matches where there are a billion moves going on at once, but it doesn’t feel excessive. Very good match with reDragon getting the win, pining Kozlov (who’s on his way out shortly after this match) with the Chasing the Dragon, a brainbuster/kick combo.

O’Reilley and Fish are interviewed backstage. They don’t say much other than they intend to take over New Japan, they’re ichiban, etc.

Kenny Omega is interviewed. When asked why the joined the Bullet Club, he said it was because he wanted to be in New Japan. He’d ask them for years to be in, but they would only let him be in the Super Junior tournament. So the Bullet Club came to him and said they’d get him on whatever show he wants and would even get him a title shot, so he joined up with them, calling them family. When asked about champion Ryusuke Taguchi, he mocks the hip attacks a bit, but also says that they hurt so he knows what they’re doing. At one time they were a tag team unit, but that’s over as now they both want to become a legend in the Junior heavyweight division.

The match aired. I liked this match. It was good, but not super great or anything. It was a very much back and forth match with the two working slow at first, then eventually trading finishers and submissions and the like. It reminded me very much like a WWE big time feel match. Taguchi hit the dodon and the ankle lock but Omega remained resilient. He cut off Taguchi and hit the One Winged Angel for the win. It started slow, but turned into a very good match towards the end with some good near falls.

Kenny Omega was interviewed backstage. He says that now he’s proven himself to be the best in the world. He’d better than Taguchi, better than Kushida, and even better than his former tag team partner, Kota Ibushi. He mentions that at one time Prince Devitt was considered one of the best junior heavyweights of all time and was also the former leader of the Bullet Club. But now he’s a legend, and he’s at the top.

Taguchi is also interviewed, saying that he wants another shot. He says it’s not like an eye for an eye, but if he befools him , he’ll befool back. When asked if he will take this match seriously or fool around, he says he’ll seriously fool around, but he is frustrated right now.

Omega reflects, saying he know Taguchi will come back stronger, but he will clean him up just like he’s done two other times in the past. He does respect him trying so hard, though, and encourages him to keep trying. He says when he won the title, for a moment he felt like he had accomplished his dream, but now he has work to do as he has so many crappy wrestlers to sweep away.
Good show. Both matches were good, with the Junior tag having some really creative spots. Check them both out.