Michael Elgin vs. Kazuchika Okada - G1 Climax 27 Day 4
4.75/5 (**** ¾) - A legitimate dream match of mine, so when they landed in the same block I got very excited. Okada is having one of the best runs in wrestling history, and Big Mike is one of my favorites in the world. Sure it’s happened in the past, but both men have improved dramatically since the 2015 G1, and it shows. Both men put on a hell of a match, possibly the best yet from the G1 this year. Elgin showed he was as good as Okada is and I feel if performances like this continue for Elgin, he’ll be the first man to hold both the ROH World Title and IWGP Heavyweight Title. In the end, it took three Rainmakers to put Big Mike down for the count. This was as good as the average Okada title defense.
11, Kazuchika Okada vs. Minoru Suzuki (Aug 8th, ****¾)
12, Kenny Omega vs. Michael Elgin (Jul 27th, ****¾)
13, Tetsuya Naito vs. Kota Ibushi (Jul 17th, ****¾)
14, Kazuchika Okada vs. Michael Elgin (Jul 22nd, ****¾)
15, Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kota Ibushi (Nov 5th, ****¾)
16, Hiromu Takahashi vs. KUSHIDA (June 11th, ****¾)
17, Tomohiro Ishii vs. Kenny Omega (May 3rd, ****¾)
18, Ricochet vs. Will Ospreay (May 18th, ****¾)
19, Tetsuya Naito vs. Tomohiro Ishii (Oct 9th, ****¾)
20, KUSHIDA vs. Will Ospreay (Oct 9th, ****¾)
Honourable Mentions: Okada vs. Tiger Mask W (Mar 6th), Naito vs. Tanahashi (June 11th), Naito vs. Tanahashi (Jan 4th), Hiromu vs. Dragon Lee (Feb 11th), Omega vs. Suzuki (Aug 20th)
This has been a truly phenomenal in-ring year for New Japan. I can’t remember the last time there were this many tremendous matches in a single promotion in one calendar year. Probably not since the hay day of 90s AJPW. As unrealistic an expectation as this may be; here’s hoping 2018 is just as good.
4/5 (****) - A classic bout of agility vs. power, and a damn good match between two excellent workers. I knew a match between these two would be good, but this was better than I expected. Lots of fun spots and sequences, and one of the better matches from Day 10. Was especially great as a showcase for SANADA, who would win his third match of the tournament with an excellent Moonsault.
1. Kazuchika Okada vs. Kenny Omega (Dominion 6.11)
2. Kenny Omega vs. Kazuchika Okada (Wrestle Kingdom XI)
3. Will Ospreay vs. Kushida (BOSJ Finals)
4. Katsuyori Shibata vs Kazuchika Okada (Sakura Genesis 2017)
5. Tetsuya Naito vs. Michael Elgin (The New Beginning in Osaka 2017)
6. Himoru Takahashi vs. Kushida (Dominion 6.11)
7. Pete Dunne vs. Tyler Bate (NXT Takeover Chicago)
8. Will Ospreay vs. Ricochet (BOSJ Day 2)
9. Tomohiro Ishii vs. Kenny Omega (Wrestling Dontaku 2017)
10. Young Bucks vs. Ricochet & Matt Sydal vs. Pentagon Jr. & Fenix ( PWG Nice Boys Don’t play rock and roll)
11. Kenny Omega vs. Tomohiro Ishii (New Japan Cup 2017 Day 2)
12. Kazuchika Okada vs. Minoru Suzuki (The New Beginning in Sapporo 2017)
13. AJ Styles vs. John Cena (Royal Rumble)
Michael Elgin vs. Kenny Omega - G1 Climax 27 Day 8
4.75/5 (**** ¾) - The two Canadians in the G1, who are also two of the best in the world, and two men who have near flawless chemistry. I don’t think Omega & Elgin have had a match yet that wasn’t fantastic, be it their ladder match over the IC title last year, or their match in the tournament for the IWGP US Championship, they’ve just been fantastic with each other, and tonight was no exception. This match was action packed right from the start, and didn’t let up for the whole 25 minutes. Big move after big move, with each getting crazier. Omega kicked out of the Elgin Bomb, so Elgin hit him with a Burning Hammer. They walked the Kings Road on this match, and Elgin was the one to walk away with the win.