Posts tagged Kota Ibushi
Ruthless Aggression EP 28 - It was you, Hunter

Rob Pierce and Chris review RAW 480 and Smackdown! 155, highlighted by Triple H looking for the culprit who beat up Shawn Michaels last week, and Brock Lesnar defending his #1 contenders match for Summerslam against Hollywood Hulk Hogan! Plus Ronda Rousey shines in her Monday Night RAW debut, Lincoln Ricketts joins Pierce to preview the final three nights of the G1 Climax, and we preview what we have in store for Summerslam week! (note: it has nothing to do with Summerslam).

Follow Rob: @RobertONeill31
Follow Chris: @ChrisMNovak
Follow Pierce: @HennyOmega
Follow Linc: @MaAdLyNx

New Japan returns stateside for its Strong Style Evolved show

New Japan Pro Wrestling returned to the United States for Strong Styled Evolved, giving us a decent card with a main event that everyone will be talking about. While this is just a preview of NJPW for the western hemisphere, this card is gearing us up for Sakura Genesis on April 1st

Bullet Club is NOT fine

NJPW

NJPW

The crumbling of Bullet Club started at the beginning of the card when Cody/Marty took on the Guerillas of Destiny. Started off with some comedy with Marty getting all of the love and Cody getting BOO’d out the building. Cody is one of the biggest heels in the wrestling business, as everyone knows that he is the reason why Bullet Club has so much turmoil. Cody/Marty won but they kept assuring Bullet Clun was fine even though the world can see the dissension from miles away.

Let’s talk about that main event, Young Bucks vs. The Golden Lovers. The storytelling in this match was amazing. Wrestling fans knew coming in that this match had the potential to be match of the year contender. The tension was strong from the start as Matt Jackson of the Young Bucks was the most emotional wrestler out the four. Matt was the one in the face of the Golden Lovers until Nick had to intervene ferociously. Matt dared them to attack and scolded Omega to put him away with the One Winged Angel. Some may say that Matt was over-acting but they were trying to sell the fact that both teams had so much history together. The spots in this match were tremendous but I have a small problem with TOO much spots in a match. Matt was selling a bad back but throughout the 40 minute match we seen incredible spots that would be a 3 count pinfall in other promotions.

NJPW

NJPW

Other than that, if you did not like the card itself, this match made up for it. Ibushi was my favorite wrestler in this bout because he was pushing Kenny to perform his moves to his former best friends. Ibushi was taking all of the spots inside the match as the Young Bucks kept Kenny outside especially with an elbow drop through a table. Omega truly is one of the best in the world as his actions were telling the story more than words he said in the ring. Kenny never wanted to hit Matt with his V-Triggers but he knew he had to if they wanted to win.

After the match, Nick shook Kenny’s hand as they reconciled but Matt was unwilling to give Kenny the same type of love. Is this the end of the friendship between Omega & The Young Bucks? We can assure that the next “Being the Elite” episode will be a must watch.

Quick Hits

Zack Sabre Jr. & Suzuki defeated Ishii & Okada giving them momentum towards Sakura Genesis on April 1st. Ishii never met a person like Suzuki as he actually brought the strongest wrestler in NJPW down. Okada has a full plate on his hands as he has to deal with ZSJ’s technical prowess.

Hangman Page & Jay White had a decent match but it included a spot that could’ve injured Page for a long time. White did a German Suplex to Page on the apron and his head missed the apron by inches, it was too close a call. White retained but this match left much to be desired.

Will Ospreay defeated Liger and challenged Mysterio that will have the wrestling universe anticipating that match. After he made the announcement, Marty Scrull interrupted and hit Ospreay & stole Mysterio’s mask, building up the heel’s contention to the IGWP Junior Heavyweight Championship.

NJPW Strong Style Evolved predictions
NJPW

NJPW

New Japan Pro-Wrestling will invade Long Beach, California, Sunday for an huge event featuring the promotion's most noticeable stars as they continue to grow their brand to the western hemisphere. The event will air on AXS TV at 8pm ET. NJPW also released the full card for Sunday's show on Wednesday, which you can check the predictions out below

Kenny Omega and Kota Ibushi vs. The Young Bucks

A Dream match for indie darlings everywhere. If you have been following “Being The Elite”, Matt has been under the assumption that Kenny has been sending shots at the Young Bucks but this has been a ploy by Cody Rhodes to break the Bullet Club up. With the reunion still fresh on everyone’s minds, expect The Golden Lovers to win.

IWGP United States Championship Match: Jay White vs. Hangman Page

Hangman Page has been getting better with his tag matches with the Young Bucks but this is the first time we are going to see Page in a championship match in NJPW. Jay White just got his title so I don’t expect him to lose so quickly, White retains

Tomohiro Ishii and Kazuchika Okada vs. Minoru Suzuki and Zack Sabre Jr.

A Preview of the main event at Sakura Genesis on April 1. When this tag team match was announced, it was one of the hardest to predict. Okada will face the New Cup winner; Sabre Jr. and this will be an anticipated match up. Okada & Ishii will win further cementing CHAOS’s place at the top of NJPW.

Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Will Ospreay: Sadly, Rey Mysterio got injured last month and he had to be replaced, the good news is that Ospreay was the person who replaced him. Ospreay wins as Liger puts him over as one of the best young talents NJPW has to offer.

Dragon Lee, Kushida, Ryusuke Taguchi and Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Hiromu Takahashi, Bushi, Sakada and Tetsuya Naito: Naito has been on a bit of a losing streak ever since he lost his championship to Okada. Naito will continue to lose, as I feel that NJPW is creating a story with his current losing streak.

Tanga Loa and Tama Tonga vs. Marty Scurll and Cody: OG Bullet Club vs New Bullet Club, what a match. While I am a huge Tama Tonga fan (His persona is one of the best in the indies), Cody/Marty are winning to keep the momentum going for Cody & Kenny’s clash at ROH Supercard

Chuckie T and Toru Yano vs. Killer Elite Squad: Killer Elite Squad is winning……..unless Yano does something comedic and gets away with a win

David Finlay and Juice Robinson vs. Hirooki Goto and Gedo: Juice Robinson is rising within the ranks and he is over with the crowd in Japan. David Finlay & Juice Wins.

Roppongi 3K and Rocky Romero vs. Scorpio Sky, Frankie Kazarian and Christopher Daniels: Roppongi 3K wins as they continue to show why they are the best junior tag team in NJPW.

The return of the Golden Lovers

Usually indie wrestling is just wrestlers having great matches for the interest of the crowd. Rarely we get a story that last for years grabbing the attention of its viewers.

10 years ago Kota Ibushi and Kenny Omega, two of the best wrestlers in the world, were formerly the tag team known as The Golden Lovers. Once friends turned rivals, there has a been a lingering feeling on when these two wrestlers would either tag team again or face each other in the ring. At New Beginning in Sapporo for New Japan Pro Wrestling, we got our answer and The Golden Lovers were back.

The way that The Golden Lovers reunited was a great wrestling angle stemming from the friction within the Bullet Club. Cody Rhodes & Kenny Omega have not been on the best terms lately. Ever since Dominion 2017, Cody/Kenny has not seen eye to eye with each other. Cody has always felt that he can do whatever he wants to do. Cody wanted to not only prove he can beat Kota, but he is a better friend to Kenny than Kota has ever been. Ibushi defeated Cody (Rhodes’ best match on the indie scene) and Cody was not going to let it go.

Tokyo Sport

Tokyo Sport

The day after Wrestle Kingdom 12, Cody aimed a chair at Ibushi’s head and Kenny came in for the save. Kenny was trying to create unity within the Bullet Club while also saving his old friend. Then it happened, at the main event of New Beginning in Sapporo for New Japan Pro Wrestling, Omega lost his US Belt to Jay White and Hangman Page instantly challenged White but Kenny interrupted giving White his congratulations. Cody sneak-attacked him from behind with the Cross Rhodes and began to further damage Kenny, until Kota Ibushi made the save. The Golden Lovers reunited but the world wanted to know what was next for them, was Kota going to join the Bullet Club? Is Kenny leaving the BC?

Kota & Kenny went against opposing Bullet Club members Cody & Marty Scrull at NJPW/ROH Honor Rising and it was such a sight to see. Both men at the peak of their wrestling ability, showing that they never lost their chemistry in the ring. From their synchronized asai moonsaults, double teams of their signature moves, to their combination of the V-Trigger/kamigoye finisher (Vicious).

After their bout with Cody/Marty, they claimed that they were the best tag team in the world, but there is one tag team that took offense to that, the Young Bucks. An indie dream match has been made official, as The Young Bucks will take on The Golden Lovers at Strong Style Evolved show in Long Beach, California, on March 25. I wonder how this will play out in Being The Elite, as the build has been minimal so far.

The Golden Lovers' reunion has been monumental as they receive a pop everywhere they attend. This is reminiscent of the reunion of Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose, something we wanted as long as it was properly done. Let’s see how far this reunion goes, as 2019 is a new year and we don’t know if Kenny will head to the WWE, so they should capitalize while the iron is hot and push this duo as the faces of NJPW.

What happens to the Bullet Club?
NJPW

NJPW

In the aftermath of New Japan’s New Beginning of Sapporo, we have begun to see the cracks within the Bullet Club. Cody attacked Kenny Omega after his match with Jay White, showing his true intentions to become the true leader of the Bullet Club. What does that mean for the Bullet Club, and the Elite, in 2018?

Ever since AJ Styles left New Japan two years ago, Kenny Omega has been the de facto leader of the Bullet Club, even forming a sub group within with Matt and Nick Jackson of the Young Bucks called The Elite. Omega has been on a chart rising run, becoming one of the best wrestlers in the world. Through the past two years, a few Bullet Club members have questioned Kenny's leadership; Tama Tonga is the normal hot head within the group who feels he is better than everyone & Adam Cole felt that he should be the leader due to his dominance in ROH. Once Cody Rhodes entered into the picture, it all changed.

Cody’s personality is demanding, brash & controlling, the perfect combination of a heel leader. Cody has become an indie star, trying to become the center of attention of every promotion he joins. Once Cody started to embrace his lieutenant role in the Bullet Club, it seemed that he wanted more. From interrupting Omega’s matches, challenging Okada for his championship and his fascination with Kota Ibushi, Cody’s obsession with becoming leader of the Bullet Club was heading towards a dark path. At New Beginning of Sapporo, the inevitable happened, Cody snapped.

NJPW World

NJPW World

After losing his title to Jay White, Hangman Page comes down and interferes with White’s celebration to issue a challenge for the U.S. Championship, but Kenny pulls the belt from him and gives it to White, as a sign of respect to him. Cody comes out enraged because he feels that Kenny took a moment away from Hangman Page. Kenny and Cody shove each other and Omega ends up pushing Matt Jackson to the floor, creating even more tension. At this point Kenny apologizes for his actions and heads out the ring with Cody, but then Cody grabs Omega and gives him the Cross Rhodes. Hangman Page grabs Kenny as Cody is ready to lash Kenny with a chair before KOTA IBUSHI makes the save. Cody rushes out as Kenny and Kota stand in the ring and embraced, reuniting the Golden Lovers.

So what happens to the Elite? Does everyone in the Bullet Club choose a side? In the recent Being The Elite episode, Cody explains his actions on why he attacked Kenny and why he should become the leader that Kenny was supposed to be. The most pivotal part of the episode was the ending as Kenny & Kota meet up with the Young Bucks, alluding that the Young Bucks will be siding with Kenny.

Due to matchups and how each member was presented throughout 2017, Kenny & The Young Bucks will likely end up on the opposite end of Cody, Hangman Page & Marty Scrull. Bullet Club members Bad Luck Fale, The Guerrillas of Destiny, Chase Owens and Takahashi were nowhere to be found during this revelation, so the public wonders how do they fit into the picture.

Cody vs. Kenny can become a main event at any promotion, from ROH, NJPW to their upcoming event “All In”. Realistically, they can drag this to Dominion or they can face each other in the G1 Tournament. While The Elite are fine kayfabe wise, this creates a much-needed change within the story of the Bullet Club. All eyes will be on the Bullet Club, not just for their wrestling style but their unique storyline. Did this attack plant seeds for Kenny Omega’s rumored decision to go to the WWE in 2019? Only time will tell.

New Beginnings for New Japan as the promotion turns the page on a new year

This was one of those wonderful weekends where wrestling took over, from Japan to the Americas. NJPW New Beginning in Sapporo (Night 1 & 2) did not disappoint as new storylines were created for 2018. With surprising title changes and a possible dissension in one of the most over groups in the world, NJPW showed why they are one of the best companies in the world.

Suzuki v Tanahashi

Suzuki is a coldblooded wrestler, a character that only he can portray, and it was to perfection. It’s no secret that Tanahashi is injured but Suzuki did not care, laughing at his injuries as he continued to push Tanahashi to the limit. Tanahashi is the king of selling as he kept grabbing his leg after every move; his injury hindered his movements especially after performing the High Five Flow. Suzuki was so merciless that after he hit his Gotch Driver, he proceeded to not pin him and quickly put him in a submission. Tanahashi did not give up but was screaming in pain as the ref put a stop to the match. Suzuki becomes the new Intercontinental Champion and now Tanahashi can fully heal his numerous injuries and come back for a rematch for the ages.

New U.S. Champion

While a lot of viewers did not think that Jay White was going to defeat the incredibly popular Kenny Omega, I thought different. After watching Tanahashi lose his title to Suzuki, I knew that anything was fair game within this title match. White’s WK12 match left much to be desired as he continues to find his footing in NJPW and Kenny was trying to help him every step of the way. While this match was good (Not great, the crowd didn’t quite take a liking to Jay White), it told a better story after. Hitting the blade runner on Omega and subsequently pinning him, there was a stunning silence, then the unthinkable happened.

The Elite are No More?

If you watch NJPW quite often, you can notice the disagreements between Cody & Kenny Omega. Both are considered the leaders of the Bullet Club/Elite. From Cody almost throwing the towel at Dominion in Omega/Okada II to Cody’s fascination with Kota Ibushi, Kenny’s former tag team partner. Once Kenny lost, Adam Page went to Jay White to show that he is next challenger, Kenny allowed Jay White to walk off in peace as a deserving champion. Cody runs to the ring and argues with Kenny to let him know that he’s not being a good leader. The Young Bucks try to break up the fracas and suddenly Kenny pushes Matt to the canvas. After the Bucks leave the ring, Cody acts like he’s making up with Kenny as he grabs him and gives him the Cross Rhodes. No one is there to protect Kenny, until Kota Ibushi runs down the ramp to save Kenny. The pop was immense as Kenny & Ibushi’s wrestling history runs deep. The Golden Lovers are back and this shakes up the dynamic of NJPW.