Will Ospreay vs Kota Ibushi
January 4, 2019
Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan
NJPW WrestleKingdom 13
NEVER Openweight Championship
These two belong on any list of “Top 10 Wrestlers in the World,” and this was about what you’d expect it to be. The only criticism is it was a little too short, which isn’t their fault, and in some ways it left us wanting more should they ever meet again.
The surprise to me was that they toned it down (as toned down as they two can be), in the sense Will Ospreay did less than he would do two years ago, but the stuff he did do meant far more. Ditto for Kota Ibushi, although he was never one to overdo the high spots like Ospreay would. The result was a collection of spots that were very memorable, and thus had far more of an impact. With that said, even with the danger element reduced, Ibushi suffered a legit concussion from one of Ospreay’s kicks.
Many thought the concussion was from the sick looking elbow Ospreay threw to the back of his head, however that was just solid execution and believable selling. Other key spots were Ibushi doing a moonsault off the outside ringpost and getting kicked, a corkscrew moonsault outside the ring by Ibushi, perfectly timed kicks by Ospreay, and the aforementioned sick elbow. And that’s just a partial list. Really well executed match that was smooth without looking too hokey.