Monday, August 15, 2016

Top Five 8/8/16-8/14/16

1) Kenny Omega: Man, people sure weren't happy with my review of Omega/Naito. I saw comments here and an entire Facebook post about it. Anyway, I didn't like the idea of putting the new flavor of the month gaijin over the hottest act in NJPW (who has eaten Gedo's shit for years), nor do I think Kenny Omega of all people should be the fist Westerner to win the G1 Climax. Still, Omega beat Naito win his block in the best match I've ever seen him have. I didn't watch the finals, but he beat Gedo's favorite punching bag and perpetual choke artist Hirooki Goto to win the entire thing. Like it or not, it is a massive accomplish for Omega who, barring the loss of the briefcase over the next few months, is in line to actually headline Wrestle Kingdom 11.

2) Kota Ibushi: People like to diss ROH for fumbling with Cedric Alexander, but Gedo did worse by Kota Ibushi. It was a monumental fuck up. There is no reason, other than bad booking, for why Kota isn't a massive star in NJPW right now. Instead, he is in the Cruiserweight Classic and killing it. After beating an Uso clone in the first round, Ibushi wrestled Alexander in the second round this week. There was a lot of hype surrounding it after being taped and it delivered. Their match was right up there with the best G1 stuff and was probably my favorite match of the week. Ibushi won to advance to the Elite Eight in a tremendous match that is must see and currently among my ten best matches of the year.

3) Cedric Alexander: Originally, I was going to group Ibushi and Alexander together but decided against it. Cedric deserves his own praise for the week. While it was Ibushi who came out on top, Alexander made a statement. He showed the entire world that yes, ROH blew this big time. It was one of those matches where the guy that lost gained just as much, if not more, than the winner. Alexander hung and was even with a heavy tournament favorite. So much so that there were "please sign Cedric" chants after it was all over. Triple H came out, making his first appearance on TV since WrestleMania, and basically said "okay" before shaking hands with Cedric. Alexander became a star this week and needs to be competing for the Cruiserweight Title once it returns.

4) Hiroshi Tanahashi/Kazuchika Okada: New Japan's favorite matchup happened once again this week. The match that main evented three of the last four Wrestle Kingdom shows determined the result of the A Block in the G1 Climax. If Tanahashi won, he'd take the block. If Okada won, it was his block for the taking. They made up for their less than stellar Wrestle Kingdom 10 match with a great back and forth match that built to a dramatic conclusion. Both guys came close to winning before it ended it a time limit draw, giving Hirooki Goto the A Block victory. Neither guy won here, but their performances were enough to earn them a tie for the fourth spot this week.

5) Lashley: With a win over James Storm, now holds the TNA Heavyweight, X-Division and KOTM Titles.