Tetsuya Naito vs Kazuchika Okada
April 10, 2016
Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan
NJPW Invasion Attack
IWGP Heavyweight Championship
Aside from the silly American style ref bump and outside interference, this match was tremendous and I loved almost everything about it.
Tetsuya Naito didn’t quite get over at first as a babyface, so New Japan wisely turned him heel and gave him a heel faction, and he got over. What a shock, and that’s exactly what WWE should be doing with Roman Reigns. Even as a heel, fans were dying for him to win the IWGP Title, and tonight he did. I loved it, as Naito is one of my favorites.
Kazuchika Okada won the IWGP Title in January at the Tokyo Dome show, so this was a short reign. But it had to be done, because AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura left, not to mention Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson. This match was meant to elevate Naito, just as Kenny Omega was elevated when he beat Hiroshi Tanahashi for the IC Title at New Beginning in February.
Okada is great, but he’s too clean cut for my tastes and I love that Naito will get a chance to shine for the true pro he is. Lots of great sequences here, although Naito’s head snapping against the bottom turnbuckle scared me greatly. Okada still has the best dropkick in the business.
Los Ingobernables did a lot of outside interference (Evil and Bushi), which I hated, and after a ref bump we saw the debut of a new masked member of the group who turned out to be Seiya Sanada. Sanada has a great look and could be a future IWGP champ. Okada made a brief comeback, but Naito was able to finish him. Excellent main event match that the crowd was really into.