AEW vs. NJPW Dream Matches (Part Two)

AEW vs. NJPW: Dream Matches (Part Two)

Hello everyone and welcome back to part two of my two part:  AEW VS NJPW series. 

For those who missed it last month – or just need a quick refresher – check out Part One at the link, right here: 

Now that that quick piece of business is taken care of, let’s move on to the highly anticipated (I know you’ve been waiting for this with baited breath, you don’t have act cool in front of your friends) Part Two of the highly acclaimed (by a FEW folks, I’ll have you know) series:  AEW vs. NJPW Dream Matches (by Brendan Bradley).  Like any great countdown, we’re going to do this in reverse order, friends. Buckle your seatbelts…

Match #5 

Tomohiro Ishii VS PAC

Next up on this list (as opposed to, “first up,” because that would be the first match of the series in Part One – duh…) is a titanic clash between two of the toughest warriors in all of professional wrestling, as Tomohiro Ishii puts his battle-hardened brawling technique up against the high-flying bastard PAC! 

Everything about this match has me exceptionally intrigued in terms of styles AND personalities.  I would absolutely love to see it, because, for my money, these two men are the most underrated on their respective rosters and it would be fantastic to see them test themselves against each other in the squared circle with DOMINANCE as the sole prize on the line. 

Don’t even ask me about the fact that this could easily segway into a Death Triangle VS Chaos feud, depending on the results and aftermath of the bout – which could be exhilarating for fans of both factions to follow if it actually ever came to that point.

Match #6 

Minoru Suzuki VS Darby Allin

Sixth on this card has, without a doubt, the highest potential to be the batshit-craziest match-up on the entire card, as two of the most (seemingly…and more than likely, actually) insane athletes in modern wrestling stand toe to toe to see who can out-psycho the other! 

Both Minoru and Darby have a well-known history of doing whatever it takes to break down their opponents, using methods that range from hardcore weaponry or insanity-based tactics (like Suzuki using his own f***ing teeth or Darby’s wielding of a thumbtack-laden skateboard) to downright vicious striking.  

It would be absolutely fascinating to see how they would fare against each other, since both of them are used to being the most unpredictable man in ANY given match-up – and, a big-time bonus? NEITHER has any recorded history of backing down from their opposition – no matter how massive their enemy may be or how improbable the odds of them walking away from the altercation – period (not just with the upper-hand)! 

There’s also the always reliable storytelling device of rookie VS veteran, which could add  excitement and twists to the build, the match, AND the aftermath, which could be very intriguing indeed.  Like, say, if Minoru decided to add Darby into Suzuki-Gun because young Allin took Suzuki to his absolute limit in the bout – THAT would be really freaking cool, don’t you think? 

Match #7

Kota Ibushi VS Jon Moxley

Number seven on the countdow- well, count-up, but in reverse order, so…idk, are you lost?  Because, I’m lost.  F*** it, let’s start over. 

Number seven on THE LIST would easily be one of the most fun matches on the list from a crowd reaction perspective, as arguably two of the most prideful and popular athletes in the entire wrestling world would be going head to head for the very first time!

Ibushi and Moxley are both known for their wildly unpredictable strikes and their feverish fan bases, from which they draw some of their power.  With these devastating weapons and power-ups in their arsenal, they’ve been capturing countless championships along their respective ways to the top of their individual (main) company’s mountaintops!  Speaking of championships – in order for the stakes to be raised to their absolute peak, the IWGP United States Championship (held by Moxley, as of press time) could even be thrown into the mix, since both men are regulars in Japan – but, wait.  Hold on.  Something’s…yes, something’s coming to me…stay with me, here, because I’m about to melt your face off with some legendary hopes and dreams, right now…

You see, on January 4, 2021 at Wrestle Kingdom 15 – just ONE WEEK away – Kota Ibushi has an opportunity to defeat Tetsuya Naito to become both the IWGP Intercontinental Champion AND the IWGP World Heavyweight Champion – and THEN, on January the fifth, should he defeat Naito and WIN the belts the night before, he would have to defeat the vile, villainous leader of the Bullet Club, Jay White, who won the privilege to wait in the wings of the Tokyo Dome on 1/4 to challenge the winner of the first, Natio/Ibushi, battle on 1/5.  If Ibushi pulls that unimaginably difficult scenario off?  THEN, this match comes into existence, like I’ve been dreaming of for quite some time…?  

We could be talking about a match between the IWGP World Heavyweight and Intercontinental Champion, in Kota Ibushi, taking on the IWGP United States Champion, former AEW World Champion, and Pro Wrestling Illustrated’s #1 ranked Wrestler of the Year, Jon Moxley.  Ladies and gentlemen – boys and girls – by my calculations?  

THAT would be the greatest, biggest, most anticipated professional wrestling match in the history of – not just New Japan Professional Wrestling’s storied history and not just in All Elite Wrestling’s brief, but dynamic history – that’d be the biggest match to ever go down in the history of the entire f***ing SPORT.  

HOWEVER, back to reality, now – EVEN if the belt(s) is/are not on the line, this would certainly be a physical clash of styles the likes of which neither men have ever experienced before. The wrestling world would truly be glued to their screens for the duration of this insane spectacle.  It would still go down in history as one of the all-time greatest classics of this generation and it would still be a pretty damn big match.  Just…not…like…the biggest of all time.  

Match #8:  THE MAIN EVENT 

Kenny “The Cleaner” Omega VS Will Ospreay

Our main-event of the evening, folks!  

You guys, this match is one that features, without question, two of the – if not THE TWO – most exciting and DYNAMIC...yet, controversial athletes in wrestling, today – as current AEW World Champion, Kenny “The Cleaner” Omega, battles NJPW’s newest stable (“The Empire”) leader, Will Ospreay! 

In my mind, this match’s story would be relatively simple – just two arrogant and extremely talented individuals doing everything they can to beat the other into a bloody corpse, if necessary, to prove that they are the better athlete and better wrestler, overall!  There are several corners of the #IWC (Internet Wrestling Community, for the uninitiated), that see these two as the best in-ring talents in the entire world.  Jon Moxley may have been named the #1 Wrestler in the world by Pro-Wrestling Illustrated, and while that means a lot, it doesn’t mean they’re right and it doesn’t mean that they’re talking strictly in-ring ability – because, they’re simply just not.  When you’re talking the top in-ring talent on the planet, if you’re talking anyone at all, you’re talking Omega and Ospreay (though, that, like all wrestling accolades, is entirely subjective).

Further, there are also plenty of intriguing parallels in their storied careers thus far that would make for extremely interesting viewing if drawn upon.  For example, their legendary participation in the most prestigious, almost mythical tournaments New Japan Pro Wrestling has to offer.  These tournaments resulted in each of their dramatic, memorable, and victorious emergence of each competitor into the main event scene, as well as the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship contender picture – though, Ospreay still has a bit of mileage left to traverse on his journey before he enters that conversation in a more serious light – perhaps, that will happen if he proves a winner in his upcoming grudge match with the former five-time IWGP World Heavyweight Champion (with one of those five occasions being the longest reign in the extremely prestigious title’s history), Kazuchika Okada, on whom he turned, along with Okada’s stable, “Chaos,” this last year.  

These career defining tournament victories included some incredible opportunities for these two men, but it was Kenny Omega – “The Cleaner” – who would pave the way for Ospreay to excel at such a high level as a foreigner in a company that rarely extended foreigners not named Hulk Hogan, Scott Norton, or Brock Lesnar very many opportunities. Omega’s winning of the 2016 G1 Climax was absolutely shocking, as well as historic, as it made him the first non-Japanese participant to win the tournament since its inception in 1991 (though the tournament has ties and roots all the way back to 1959, when the Japanese Wrestling Association held the World (Big) League Tournament).  As a reward for his momentous victory – the standard prize of winning the G1 Tournament – he was catapulted into a match against Okada for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship at Wrestle Kingdom 11 – a venture, from which, he emerged defeated (Omega would not win the top belt in all of Japan until a two-out-of-three falls match at Dominion in 2018).  

The very same year that Kenny experienced that insane success, winning the 2016 G1, an extremely young, but wildly talented Will Ospreay’s “bested” of the rest of the tournament field participating in the “Best of the Super Juniors” (BSOJ) tournament, showing the world that he was not only for real, but a force to be reckoned with within the company’s illustrious and highly competitive Junior Heavyweight Division. It wasn’t until Ospreay had won that same honor again, this time three years later, in 2019, that he began to consider – and ultimately executed – the following in Omega’s footsteps, by adding some bulk to his physique, in order to transition to the Heavyweight Division of New Japan – a major, big-time move he recently completed, successfully. 

Now, with a colossal battle ahead of him at Wrestle Kingdom 15 against “The Rainmaker,” inarguably the most successful man in New Japan Pro Wrestling over the course of the previous decade – Kazuchika Okada.  If this is not a step for the foreigner in the prime of his career into the main event scene – if this is not replicating Kenny’s exact journey into GLOBAL stardom (minus a belt being on the line – one which Kenny did not defeat Okada for in his first high-profile match against him, anyway), someone PLEASE tell me what is.  They cannot, and thus, it’s as good as fact.    

At its core, despite similarities, this would be Will trying to defeat the man who knocked the door down for him as an era-defying, era-defining foreigner reaching the much-fabled mountaintop of Japanese wrestling. Defeating Omega would be Will Ospreay’s final step, his last maneuver necessary to get out of The Cleaner’s shadow once and for all, and make the way for his own “Empire.”  Omega took the Bullet Club to new heights as The Cleaner – and now, Ospreay is trying to reach those same heights as leader of The Empire – and what a helluva way to do it, by defeating The Cleaner at the top of his game, in the prime of his career.  

Regardless of who wins or loses this would certainly be an iconic clash worth tuning in for and the perfect way to wrap up this amazing (you have to admit AT LEAST that) card!

In Conclusion…

Thank you all so, so, so, VERY much for reading this. As always, your support means a lot to me.  Please, take care, stay safe, and I’ll see you guys in about a week, or so – early January, we’ll say that – with a list of my top ten favorite matches of 2020. 

  • Brendan

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