Kazuchika Okada vs. Kota Ibushi from NJPW 2014


This one held up very nicely.

Okada at this point was still pre-babyface-ACE-turn-that-was-forced-upon-him a few months later. This was Okada in his element (or at least as close to it as he’s been since he was very rudo in 2012). He got to be a bit of a condescending dick. He was dismissive of Ibushi. He was very focused in his attack of Ibushi’s neck to set up the Rainmaker as a death blow. He pounced whenever Kota started to fight back in any way.

In other words, this was Okada when he was actually consistently good.

Kota was his usual exciting self here. He was outmatched by Okada entirely so he had to rely on his big stuff here to give himself. That story frame really maximized Kota’s talents basically, as really just had to plug in at the right moment all of his trademarked spots.

Both guys looked great. The match was exciting despite the predictable result. NJPW did well here. You go, Glen Coco. (****)


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