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Kazuchika Okada vs. Tetsuya Naito (NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 12 01/04/18)

kazuchika okada tetsuya naito

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#1 ShittyLittleBoots

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Posted 04 January 2018 - 07:35 AM

A big time dramatic main event epic. I really loved it for the most part - it had some selling issues, but overall I thought it was a really damn good match. ***3/4

#2 SmartMark15

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Posted 04 January 2018 - 08:49 AM

A fun match that needed a particular result to become truly amazing. We didn't get that result. I don't know but the result really just deflates a lot of the match for me and it's not like it was a total barn burner to begin with. 



#3 Richeyedwards


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Posted 04 January 2018 - 11:35 AM

The commentators make the point of talking about star ratings, I hate this already.

Start is slow and the normal predictable okada fare. Hits his dropkick so naito falls to outside. naito does some neck work on the guardrail and apron. Bunch more neck breakers. Okada hits a DDT for comeback, at this point ten mins in it feels very dry and not very involving, just feels like doing stuff because you have to have some body part work to have a great match or so the njpw main event formula says.

Okada running around the ring and delivering a boot looks funny in those bell bottoms, he is impressively quick though. Okada hits a railing to floor DDT nasty stuff. Naito back on offence with the very next move hit guess what it was another neck breaker. 15 mins gone.

Okada back on offence.hits his elbow. A ton of reversals into a cobra clutch it was a really good sequence best of the match. Naito gets back on offence with more neckbreakers, super reverse Rana gets a two for the first big pin attempt 20 mins in, from here we move towards the finishing stretch, with a Gloria followed by a missed pheonix splash which don calls an old school move, bit confused by that one.

Strike exchange, they both have poor strikes. Big missile dropkick missed by okada, okada just gets up hits a head-drop german and the hits the first rainmaker of the match. Absolutely no suspense on that rainmaker kickout.

Okada starts stalking his prey but looks like such a vacent goof while doing so. back to the cobra clutch. Reversed into a destino, not pin attempt, naito struggling on the first cobra clutch but breaking out of this one with his finish was a nice evolution over the course of the match.

30 mins have gone.

Another strike exchange, this one is much meatier, okada loses it. Some nuts tornado reverse DDT thing gets a two count. Okada hits a rainmaker, no cover. Naito hits a destino, gets two. Dropkick from okada, tombstone rain maker reversed into destino, trys another reversed into tombstone one more rainmaker gets the three.

This match could be summed up the same way as every okada title match of this run baring the shibata match:

1. Way to long

2. First 15-20mins were completely superfluous to the match as a whole, only there to pad the run time.

3. Some very good chemistry between the workers in terms of all the spots being hit well.

4. A couple of nuts moments such as the railing DDT and the super reverse Rana.

5. The dancing around one another at the finish

Unlike the omega matches this had a much simpler finishing run with far better selling and more time given for moves to breathe, at least more than they were in the omega matches even though the work on okada's neck didn't really get sold by him as if his neck was hurting.

On the whole this was an ok match that followed the normal formula but was nothing special, I had no built in interest in naito so to people who did may have found more suspense in this than I did. Around the ***1/4 mark.

#4 CapitalTTruth

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Posted 04 January 2018 - 11:51 AM

I liked this is a good bit more than those above me. There were some small moments where the momentum slipped and certainly it felt like it might have gone longer than necessary.... but it was a NJPW main event so you can't expect much else. I did think that the action was excellent. I really enjoy Naito a lot and while we didn't get his best crossing up and misdirection work here, it did balance with Okada's big match style here. They have good chemistry and the selling particularly seemed to stand out here. 


While very different from the Omega match. It is sort of no par with that for me, maybe a touch below... neither is elite, but both matches were quite good for what they were and the context in which they exist.

#5 bradhindsight

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Posted 04 January 2018 - 02:26 PM

I owe this a re-watch as I viewed it in choppy parts, however...I liked Naito's focus on the neck early - the stuff outside and then the constant clubbing. Any time guys just work the neck, I can reconcile the other bumps later and offense as being decent psychology. touchy selling - expected and not egregious for a NJPW main event. There's two interesting wrinkles for Naito on the go-forward: he kept going for Stardust, his super babyface move, and he got a touch cocky with the pickup off the third destino where he got reversed and ended the match. I didn't feel he was as buried as one would have thought he would be if they knew just this result a couple days ago. ****1/4

#6 soup23

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Posted 04 January 2018 - 02:27 PM

Watched this twice now and enjoyed it on the second watch through and have it up there as a fitting lineage of the Tokyo Dome main events of the past 5-6 years. IF that is your style, this is for you, if not move along. Okada seemed to be going back to his norm with the dropkick transitions and the flap jack but he debuts a few new tricks in his bag this year besides those atrocious pants. The cobra clutch submission is worked as a transition and point of control for Okada throughout the match. I also thought the running around ringside kick was excellent. Naito working the neck was smart to set up the Destino and even though Okada wasn't clutching at it throughout the match, Naito in general getting the best of the strike exchanges favored the storyline that Okada's neck was weakened. The finish will probably end up being one of those pivotal moments in this era of NJPW as I am unsure if Naito will ever reach the top of the mountain now but it was heavily dramatic and executed perfectly for the grandiose feel they were going for. The Destino attempt > Rainmaker > Wrist Control > Destino was particularly amazing. Once Okada got that look in his eye after the dropkick, I knew it was over until Naito got greedy and goes for a double Destino. Okada capitalizing on those mistakes is the mark of a champion and an ace.  ****1/2 

#7 aguakun

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Posted 04 January 2018 - 05:58 PM

Okada's pants. ****3/4

#8 fxnj

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Posted 05 January 2018 - 07:42 AM

Okada's pants. ****3/4

Haven't seen the match, but this post is hilarious with that avatar.

#9 superkix

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Posted 05 January 2018 - 03:53 PM

Okada's shit pants aside, Naito was great in this match, bumping like a maniac for Okada's whatever offense...I mean, the way he takes that running big boot on the floor was gnarly. When he's focused on a limb, he really focuses on it but in order for it to be compelling, he needs someone who can make it look effective and Okada ain't that guy. Having two 30+ minute matches back-to-back didn't add to my viewing experience and this felt like Okada going back to Okada ace cruise control mode with his convenient selling and predictable transitions. I did like the first cobra clutch sequence, with Naito momentarily escaping before Okada catches him again and when Naito tries to arm drag out of it, Okada holds on. Loved Naito's leg sweep on the apron and him smacking the shit out of Okada after those shitty Okada elbows. I enjoyed this more than Okada/Omega from last year's WK but it wasn't too too great. 



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Posted 07 January 2018 - 04:56 PM

I think Okada-Omega was better than this, it was at least a milestone for a style even if the way they got there wasn't particularly creative. Naito had some moments of greatness here like the Suimengeri and some of his usual mannerisms, but at the end of the day he is a modern New Japan wrestler and he shares many of Okada's worst tendencies and it showed here. Nothing in this match felt significant or novel-six years into his main event run Okada looks not nearly as cool as the gold/purple haired super rookie, he has enough confidence to cut a promo now but he still acts awkward and can't think of a submission he can execute properly. I understand that fans of the style really like the whirlly-doos with the finish countering and all that, but this clearly looked like a match in a style past its peak for me. Or maybe it's just that Okada and Naito never really had the chemistry to do it on the level they did against Omega.

#11 BigVanCrush

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Posted 08 January 2018 - 06:59 PM

Nothing really happened for the first 20 minutes, Okada's offense still isn't good, his cobra clutch is the Cena STF of cobra clutches and even though the finishing run had some genuinely exciting moments I feel like it's completely overshadowed by the wrong guy winning. Naito was fantastic here and the crowd was really hot, but they were up for basically the entire show. This wasn't a bad match, really, but it wasn't what I want from a Tokyo Dome main event. ***, maybe ***1/4?

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