3. Kenny Omega vs. Kazuchika Okada – Dominion 2018
In my personal opinion, this is the greatest wrestling match of all time. Omega’s trilogy of matches with Kazuchika Okada in 2017 stands as probably the greatest wrestling trilogy ever. Omega got the last laugh in the G1 Climax but that was a non-title match. When they found each other again a year later, everything had changed.
Omega no longer had Bullet Club by his side but he had embraced his old partner Kota Ibushi. This change in attitude is referenced in the pre-match video package when Ibushi asked what it cost for Omega to prepare for this battle only for Kenny to reply “Everything”.
The match was best of three falls with no time limit. By the match’s end, it went 64:50. This is another match that has everything you could ever ask for in a wrestling match. It had the highest stakes in any wrestling match since Undertaker’s streak ended in 2014. To try to list everything great about it in just a few words would be doing it a disservice so just do yourself a favour and go watch it.
2. Kenny Omega vs. Kazuchika Okada – Wrestle Kingdom 11
I considered flipping the order of this match and their 64:50 epic but this match is easier to watch for newcomers and it is the one that started it all. Kenny Omega was a relative newcomer to the main event scene at Wrestle Kingdom 11. He had joined the heavyweight division less than a year earlier and was thus unproven but this match showed how great he was on a global scale.
New Japan had been gaining in popularity thanks to people like Okada, Tanahashi, and Shinsuke Nakamura but this was the match that launched it into the stratosphere. Despite the business escalating, this match holds up as if it happened yesterday. There is much more feeling out between the two men early but things ramp up as they approach the finish. They are each other’s greatest rival and in their first singles match, they changed the game.
If anyone is looking to get into Japanese wrestling, this is a great match to start with and it is definitely one you need to watch.
1. Kenny Omega vs. Kota Ibushi – DDT Peter Pan 2012
If there is one Kenny Omega match you have to watch it is this one. DDT is an indie promotion in Japan and thus not as many people have seen this match. That needs to change. To fully understand Omega’s character and relationship with Kota Ibushi, this match is mandatory viewing.
The two had been partners up to this point but Omega needed to prove he could beat Ibushi, a goal that drove him for much of his career in Japan. This was their final singles match for six years and their best one to date. The emotion in this match is so thick you can cut it with a knife. Omega clearly values his friendship with Ibushi but is willing to do what it takes to beat him. Ibushi seems like he is struggling with the task ahead of him but soon changes his tune and hit Kenny with some of the most dangerous offence of this century.
Ibushi even got himself banned from the Nippon Budokon for doing a moonsault off a balcony in this match. That spot has been edited out of the DDT version of the match but you can find it online. By the end you had to wonder if these two could still consider the other a friend after what they were doing to each other and that is where the drama exists. They loved each other but fought like hated rivals. Truly, a masterpiece.
This tops our list as the most must-see Kenny Omega match as it displays his character and motivation better than any other.
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