NJPW Strong Style Evolved Review

5 years ago by Wrestle Talk

The Golden Lovers Vs. The Young Bucks

The Golden Lovers, Kenny Omega and Kota Ibushi, defeated the Young Bucks in a near forty-minute epic. The story all four men told was flawless, with Omega hesitant to hurt his former allies and the Bucks caught between divided loyalties, not knowing at times whether they wanted to be in the clash at all. No one can do justice to just how good this was.

After a game of musical partners where none of the four men could make up their mind about who wanted to begin the bout, Nick and Kota kicked off the action in style with a chain of reversals which ended in the pair avoiding each other’s crescent kick and moonsault. The standard of action was being set early. A test of strength followed but soon turned into brain busting head kicks before Ibushi seized control with a body kick. That signaled the entrance of Matt Jackson who continued to sell the back which has seemingly been troubling him for three months.

Working on the rear, Ibushi was halted by Omega who couldn’t bear to see one of his friends in pain and possibly injured. The story took an interesting turn when Matt rejected Omega’s help and Nick charged in, attempting to take advantage off of the distraction, but ate a double elbow which soon turned into a Bucks advantage when the brothers dazed the Japanese legend with a rolling neckbreaker and cracked Kenny with a stereo dropkick. So far so good, but boy were we in for a treat as the action and rapid tags continued without relent.

A Rise of the Terminator was countered with an illegal apron enziguri before Ibushi tagged back in and illegal man Nick landed a plancha. With Matt Jackson now back in control, the tale of divided loyalty came into play once again when the legal partner attempted to retrieve a table from underneath the ring only to be stopped in his tracks by his brother. Cody’s reign of terror was seemingly beginning to sever not just the team but also family ties. Agreeing to leave the weapons alone, the Bucks dropped Ibushi with a crisp neckbreaker/senton combo until Matt accidentally knocked his sibling from the apron. It was stirring stuff.

Back and forth the action went with a buckle bomb/enziguri blend, dropkicks, an Omega crossbody, hurricanranas, Aoi Shoudou from Kenny, and Cross Slash from the Lovers. Now you may all catch your breath. You’ll need it. Following an outside brawl, the Golden Lovers amused themselves by attempting to outdo each other in a wonderful spot. Omega nailed a rolling fireman’s carry, Ibushi executed a stunning shooting star press, Kenny landed a moonsault, and Kota tried one of his own for an excellent near fall. Surely the quartet of stars couldn’t keep this pace going much longer. Oh wait, they could.

The highlights were many and the psychology sound. After all four caught their breath with some stalling work on the back of Matt, then the reversals and counters returned as the momentum swung back and forth like a broken pendulum. Nick Jackson connected with a bulldog/lariat recipe, Omega hit a frankensteiner, Nick took flight with a tope and nearly stole the victory with an excellent shining wizard. My fingers are actually beginning to hurt now, damn their brilliance.

The table came into play as the foursome teased putting each other through it in more top-notch action. The highlight of these intense moments was clearly Ibushi’s German suplex from the shoulders of Omega who had Matt Jackson set for a one winged angel. Simply wonderful! The v-trigger and Ibushi’s last ride powerbomb which followed were just as sumptuous as we began to wind towards the breathtaking finale.

With the Lovers resistance wearing thin, the Young Bucks spied an advantage but Matt’s back gave out during ‘more bang for your Buck’ and he needed assistance in driving Omega through the wood with an elbow. The match wore on, Kenny rallied with a one-winged angel from the top but it was overturned with a superkick. A snapdragon suplex, jumping piledriver, and two v-triggers still weren’t enough to get the job done but it wouldn’t take much more because the Jacksons had nothing left to give.

A Meltzer driver was invalidated with a powerbomb through a table on Nick, the Lovers nailed a great Indytaker on Matt for a heated near fall, and Omega pummeled his friends with both a gut-wrench powerbomb and a heavy heart. Like many others, I was drained by the time Matt collapsed but it didn’t stop Omega smashing him senseless with a stiff v-trigger. It was the end. And what an end to an excellent exchange. With his brother down and out, Nick was left in a handicap scenario which came to an abrupt conclusion when Ibushi and Omega struck the golden trigger for the victory.


Beaten, bruised, and injured – Kenny Omega was rumored to have suffered a broken orbital socket – it was what followed the action which was most telling. Cody’s appearance to berate the brothers helped drive a wedge further into the faction, whilst Omega’s embrace of Nick and rebuked offer of help by Matt points to a possible split for the Young Bucks somewhere down the line.

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