Kazuchika Okada defended his IWGP Heavyweight Championship against Kenny Omega at Wrestle Kingdom 11, what happened during the match?
Kazuchika Okada has held the IWGP Heavyweight Championship since he defeated Tetsuya Naito back in June 2016. Kenny Omega gained this title shot by winning the 2016 G1 Climax tournament, with the title opportunity set for NJPW’s annual super show Wrestle Kingdom 11.
Okada is the franchise of New Japan, whilst Omega is the current leader of the Bullet Club. Omega’s stable mates The Young Bucks accompanied him to the ring, whilst Okada was followed by NJPW booker Gedo. This is a battle between the leaders of the two top factions in NJPW, Chaos, and The Bullet Club. The crowd was hot for both men, but having already seen six title changes from seven title matches already, would they be ready for The Cleaner to walk out with the big one?
On the floor, Omega looked like he could have the advantage, but Okada managed to hit a draping DDT leaving Omega laying. Okada went under the ring to bring out a table, but before he could use it Omega recovered and hit a forearm. Okada then hit a running cross body to leave Omega out on the floor as well.
Back in the ring, Okada was in total control of the match, gaining a couple of near falls on the challenger. Omega recovered and sped up the pace of the match, himself getting a near fall.
Omega concentrated on the back of Okada, with strikes and power moves looking to set up his One-Winged Angel finishing move. A flurry of moves from both men ended with Omega hitting a huricanrana to send Okada to the floor. Omega hit a massive dive to the floor to take Okada down again, as the Young Bucks cheered their man on.
Okada turned things around by hitting a desperate suplex, and then a big elbow to take Omega down. Okada locked in a submission, Omega looked like he may be out cold but managed to make it to the ropes to break the hold. As Omega tried to recover, Okada attempted to hit him with an elbow from the top rope, but Omega got his knees up then hit a backbreaker to send Okada to the floor again.
A dropkick then saw Okada right on top of the announce tables, with the Young Bucks cheering him on Omega hit a springboard moonsault on top of Okada. The Bullet Club men had a team talk as Okada was out at ringside. Omega laid the table on top of Okada then hit a double stomp from the apron. Dragging Okada back in the ring Omega hit a couple of power bombs, both times getting a long two count.
Whilst that was going on, the Young Bucks set up the table at ringside. As Omega was looking to drive him through it the referee stopped him. Omega was well on top but couldn’t put the match to bed. Okada looked to fight back but was again put down for a two after a big moonsault.
Okada recovered enough to put Omega onto the top rope, then hit a dropkick to send Omega to the outside. The table loomed ominously in the background, and it looked for a second that Omega could hit the One Winged Angel through it from the apron.
Back in the ring they went back and forth, but Omega was backdropped through the table at ringside from inside the ring. Okada brought the challenger back inside and hit a stiff looking dropkick, followed by a big elbow from the top rope. Okada then set up the Rainmaker but Omega countered to drive him into the corner.
From the top rope, Omega drove Okada to the mat head first with a Dragon Suplex. Following up with a neck breaker over the knee, Omega was ready to hit his finisher, but was hit with German Suplex and then countered with a big knee. Omega couldn’t avoid a beautiful dropkick, though.
Omega hit a reverse Hurricanrana then a big knee, Okada managed to escape the One Winged Angel and then hit a tombstone and a Rainmaker, only for Omega to kick out. The crowd went absolutely crazy for the near fall. Okada looked incredulous in the ring.
After a piledriver reversal, Omega hit a cradle version but Okada kicked out a two and nine tenths. They traded elbows, Omega hit two massive knee strikes then attempted the One Winged Angel only for Okada to reverse into the Rainmaker.
Omega got back into the match, hit a dropkick then a massive knee from in close, before being reversed into another Tombstone and then the Rainmaker to see Okada retain his title in one of the best matches you’ll ever see. Following the match, both Gedo and Okada talked to the fans, with Okada ending the night by saying he was going to be the man to take New Japan onto the global platform as he was the number one man in the company.