Cody Rhodes
Photo Credit: AXS TV

New Japan Need To Watch (10/8) King Of Pro Wrestling *No Spoilers*

New Japan Need To Watch (10/8) King Of Pro Wrestling *No Spoilers*
Photo Credit: AXS TV

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FIRST MATCH: IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Championship Match: Suzuki-gun (Yoshinobu Kanemaru & El Desperado) (c) vs. Jushin Thunder Liger & Tiger Mask.

Solid start to the show, with the NJPW Masked Legends being undercut by sneaky tactics from the champs. While not on the intense level of Liger & Tiger’s matches with Suzuki-gun in the past, still a fun opener.

Need To Watch Rating: (7.5)

SECOND MATCH: Great Bash Heel (Tomoaki Honma & Togi Makabe) vs. Juice Robinson & Toa Henare

GBH are out to get back in fighting form before the World Tag League. Robinson & Henare are a cohesive unit, that could make David Finlay jealous. Solid match, far more competitive than it looked on paper.

Need To Watch Rating: (6.0)

THIRD MATCH: Bullet Club Elite (Matt Jackson, Nick Jackson, Hangman Page & Chase Owens) vs. Bullet Club OGs (Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa, Bad Luck Fale & Taiji Ishimori)

Elite vs. OGs is developing a consistently entertaining dynamic. Ishimori’s exchanges with The Bucks are breathless. Owens & Page are becoming a great tandem.

Need To Watch Rating: (6.4)

FOURTH MATCH: CHAOS (Tomohiro Ishii, Hirooki Goto & Will Ospreay) vs. Suzuki-gun (Minoru Suzuki, Taichi & Takashi Iizuka)

An intense battle that lit a fire under the Suzuki/Ishii and Goto/Taichi feuds. Ospreay makes a case for joining the heavyweights with his performance. Iizuka is also in this match.

Need To Watch Rating: (6.5)

FIFTH MATCH: CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada, Toru Yano, SHO & YOH) vs. Los Ingobernables de Japon (Tetsuya Naito, SANADA, BUSHI & X)

A very important match due to X’s debut. Definitely recommended viewing.

Need To Watch Rating: (7.1)

SIXTH MATCH: Special Singles Match: EVIL vs. Zack Sabre Jr.

Shenanigans prevented this match from happening. Must see stuff.

Need To Watch Rating: (N/R)

SEVENTH MATCH: IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship Match: Marty Scurll vs. KUSHIDA

One of Scurll’s best matches in a while. KUSHIDA also gets sometime in the spotlight, after hanging back for a lot of 2018. Phenomenal stuff.

Need To Watch Rating: (9.1)

EIGHTH MATCH: IWGP Heavyweight Championship Challenge Certificate Match: Hiroshi Tanahashi (c) vs. Jay White

An absolute masterpiece. Tanahashi has the odds stacked against him. A failing body. A young upstart, who is backed by the literal booker of NJPW. The match is an utter delight, that tells a classic age vs. youth story. Plenty happens after this match, but the match itself is stellar. Vastly superior to their Wrestle Kingdom & G1 Climax matches. Seek. Out. This. Match.

Need To Watch Rating: (10.0)

MAIN EVENT: IWGP Heavyweight Championship Match: Kenny Omega (c) vs. Kota Ibushi vs. Cody

On any other show, this would be match of the night. Moves after moves after moves, accentuated by the yearlong drama that has been the Cody/Kenny/Kota triangle. This is an utterly spectacular match, that had me gasping at many points, but it couldn’t quite elevate itself to the level of White/Tanahashi. Still a thrilling bout that will not disappoint.

Need To Watch Rating: (9.9)