Monday, April 2, 2018

NJPW Sakura Genesis 2018 Results and Review

Sakura Genesis 2018 Okada vs. Zack Sabre Jr. 
The opening day of pro wrestling’s greatest week started with an event featuring all of New Japan Pro Wrestling’s best talent, and there were 9 matches. Lots went on in this 4 hour event and I was absolutely thrilled to get to see it all go down. After 4 plus hours of competition, I am not sure how the WWE could compare with some of the amazing talent that the New Japan Pro Wrestling camp has. Let’s talk about how it all went down, and my thoughts on the event that started April 2018.

NJPW Sakura Genesis 2018 Results and Review

The Young Bucks defeated Bullet Club Members (Chase Owens and Yujiro Takahashi)

The opening match wasn’t very long, and it was the same style that the Young Bucks showed off in Long Beach. It was a fast paced, back and forth, standard high flying match with lots of tag team elements. The end came with the Bucks getting the win, in what seemed to be a predictable fashion if you ask me.

Chaos (Tomohiro Ishii and Toru Yano) defeated Suzuki-Gun (Taichi and Takashi Iizuki)

This was another tag match with some good comedy moments from Chaos, and some great action from Suzuki-Gun. I didn’t hate this match by any means, but it seemed like the two teams just put on the same match I’ve seen before. That didn’t mean that I didn’t like it, but for those harsh critics out there, you may find it repetitive. I found it fun to watch, and it was only around 8 minutes long anyway.

Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale, Tama Tonga, and Tanga Loa) defeated Michael Elgin, Ryusuke Taguchi, and Togi Makabe in the Never Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Match

This was a fast paced affair with a lot of back and forth action. Michael Elgin is a beast! And Taguchi with Makabe were fun to watch as well, but the Bullet Club were on their game and it was hard for them to not win this one. I loved it. They were able to throw down some clever moves, reversals, and power elements that reminded me of the speed of the Usos, only bigger, badder, and more intense. I loved it.

Taguchi Japan (Hiroshi Tanahashi, Juice Robinson, and David Finlay) defeated Chaos (Hirooki Goto, Jay White, and Yoshi-Hasshi)

Another six man tag team match here, and while it was under 10 minutes, it just seemed like a lot of tag matches for the show. After the starting point, however, I didn’t mind, because the guys really put on some great moments. Lots of tag team momentum, and lots of high spots, with a mix of psychology and focus on submissions here and there. I had fun with this match, even if it ended a bit too swiftly for my taste.

Suzuki-Gun (Minoru Suzuki, Davey Boy Smith Jr. and Lance Archer) defeated Los Ingobernables de Japon (Tetsuya Naito, Evil, and Sanada)

This was another six man tag, believe it or not, and the guys tore down the house with some good back and forth. I’m still very impressed with Davey Boy Smith Jr. here, and he truly needs more attention in the states, he’s really good here. Archer and Suzuki are good too, but the Ingobernables de Japon were no slouches here. I had a blast watching them all beat down each other, and the Suzuki and Naito element was great too! Good match, a bit short though.

Suzuki-gun (El Desperado and Yoshinobu Kanemaru) defeated Los Ingobernables de Japon (Bushi and Hiromu Takahashi) and Roppongi 3K (Sho and Yoh) for the IWP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship

A triple threat match for the titles and it was a fast paced match with lots of back and forth. I found it to be great, and while I was already tired of so many tag matches, I still had fun with it. I think it’s because I grew up with Lucha Libre, and there’s a ton of tag matches in those events. This was fast, and only 13 minutes long, but it had some great back and forth action, double team moves, and even a ref pull. Great action, and the champs retain.

Will Ospreay defeated Marty Scurll in the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship Match

This went 30 minutes and it was incredible Marty Scurll seemed to have Will Ospreay’s number in nearly every single way here. He had some amazing moments, including focusing on Ospreay’s neck and really causing damage to his head, including a cut at one point. There’s a lot of back and forth, and it wasn’t just Scurll getting some hard hits either. Every major counter to high spots could’ve been seen here, and the two eventually landed into a nice ending sequence that had Ospreay pulling out the win, but not necessarily winning the war. He looked hurt, and there were some major hits taken to pull this match together. Marty Scurll is an incredible talent, and wow, this match proved it yet again.

Bullet Club (Cody and Hangman Page) defeated The Golden Lovers (Kenny Omega and Kota Ibushi)

Another great tag team match, only this time it featured two heavy hitters from the Bullet Club, and it was action packed. Cody is a great heel, and Hangman Page is deceptively strong. He has Cesaro strength, and it showed several times during this match. Cody is a great heel, and was able to make this a great counter point to Kenny Omega and Ibushi’s good guy act. Omega and Ibushi were like well oiled machines in the ring, and they put on a show, but even though they busted Cody wide open, it didn’t matter, Cody and Page were able to get the win. Great match, and lots of action with a slight shift due to the Young Bucks coming out and asking what this is all for anyway.

Kazuchika Okada defeated Zack Sabre Jr. in the IWGP Heavyweight Championship Match

I am calling it here, this was one of the best matches I’ve seen all year. Zack Sabre Jr. had nearly every single counter to everything Okada did, and whenever Okada would get a little bit of breath, Sabre Jr was right there to stop him. He is truly the man with 1,000 holds, because he knew everything and how to counter it. Okada had to really work to stop him, and instead of focusing on hard hitting back and forth action, the finishers were in place, and wow, just wow. Lots of back and forth but mainly Zack Sabre Jr. putting on a clinic of submissions that never got old. This match went over 30 minutes, and I was all in from the start. Zack Sabre Jr. may be my favorite wrestler right now, even though he lost after a couple of rain makers to finish things off. Zack Sabre Jr. put Okada through the ringer, and he survived, and I’m impressed.

This was one hell of a show, and the main events were great to watch. There’s so much talent on this show, that I am not sure how WWE is going to top any of this. I was just beyond thrilled to catch it, and am a huge fan of this type of wrestling compared to WWE.

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