4. El Desperado vs. Hiromu Takahashi – IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship – Night One
One of the most iconic feuds in New Japan is between Hiromu Takahashi and El Desperado.
Over the years, the two have had some great matches and their bout at Wrestle Kingdom 16 was no exception.
With Hiromu as the Best of the Super Jr winner and El Desperado as the IWGP Jr Heavyweight champion, the stakes were higher than ever before.
Unlike their other meetings, this bout was quick from the bell and continued at a fast and dangerous pace.
Hiromu thrives in these kinds of matches and his unpredictability was on show from the very beginning.
Yet, even El Desperado, known for his mat-based offence, became a true high-flier. It showcased the urgency to win from both wrestlers.
Both inside and outside the ring, Hiromu and El Desperado had fans wincing as they threw caution to the wind.
The final minutes consisted of several near falls with roll-ups and finisher attempts.
In the end, El Desperado finally managed to conquer the Ticking Time Bomb with his Pinche Loco, which he hit several times to emphasise his dominance.
Desperado’s win was unexpected considering Hiromu’s record at the Tokyo Dome. Yet, it was a welcome surprise in a match that was spectacular.
3. Kazuchika Okada vs. Will Ospreay – IWGP World Heavyweight Championship – Night Two
After Kazuchika Okada beat Shingo for the title, he still had one opponent to conquer to cement his status back at the top of the company.
After being stripped of the title due to injury, Will Ospreay was adamant that he was still the IWGP World Heavyweight Champion.
Alongside the title, there was also a lot of history between the former CHAOS teammates.
As soon as the match started, it was high risk and fast. At one point, Ospreay took a trip down memory lane and jumped off a lighting rig, similar to what he did at Wrestle Kingdom 12.
If that wasn’t dangerous enough, it continued in the ring with Ospreay showcasing offence we haven’t seen since he was a Jr Heavyweight.
It was mixed with his newfound strength and power, which seemed to have an advantage over the battered Okada.
Yet, the Rainmaker wasn’t going to lose his title so fast and countered everything Ospreay had.
Once again, the final moments had fans on the edge of their seats. Both wrestlers had a considerable amount of energy and were putting everything into the match.
Like Takagi, Ospreay tried his Rainmaker, which could’ve been his downfall. Okada suddenly had a new breath of adrenaline, and it took one Rainmaker to get the win.
Like the first night’s main event, the match between Okada and Ospreay has been dubbed a possible MOTY candidate.
With a beautiful mixture of amazing wrestling and storytelling, it was the perfect way to end New Japan’s biggest event of the year.
Also, although he lost, Ospreay lost no momentum and still cemented just how talented he is.