Kushida vs Will Ospreay
April 10, 2016
Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan
NJPW Invasion Attack
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship
I’m still catching my breath, as I’m writing this after just having watched what will forever become a legendary match since it was Will Ospreay’s New Japan debut. To say he won the audience over immediately is putting it lightly. A star was born.
Ospreay made headlines the prior weekend (WrestleMania weekend) for his match with Ricochet in Dallas, but this was even better than that match or even the Zayn/Nakamura match. Rather than a collection of crazy spots (though this had those too), this match had a lot of good psychology and excellent selling of the left arm by Ospreay.
At one point he tried a handspring off the ropes like he always does, but his arm gave out. Great stuff. So he did it again, with NO arms! That was so friggin’ awesome that it was lost on some of the people watching. What a terrific nuance that I hope he does in future matches because it was that good. Kushida was great as well, keeping up with him every step of the way.
Tons of great moves and dives here, and the working over the arm was key because it led to the finish. I can’t see how Ospreay can keep up this style long term, but for now, it’s revolutionary.
Jushin Liger came out after the match, to a nice pop, and issued a challenge to Kushida for the title.