NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 13: Kota Ibushi vs Will Ospreay, NEVER Openweight Championship winners, video highlights and analysis
Wrestle Kingdom 13 kicked off with one of the most highly anticipated matches' of all time, as Kota Ibushi defended his newly won Never Openweight Championship against Will Ospreay in the first match of the night.
Having won the Never Openweight Title from Hirooki Goto few weeks prior to WK 13, Ibushi came in as a confident champion, whereas, Ospreay has been vouching for a match against 'The Golden Star' for quite some time.
The two men started off the match with quick rapid-fire action and teased Kamigoyes and Oscutters early on but aren't able to hit each other with any of their finishing manoeuvres. Ospreay almost countered every single one of Ibushi's big moves and at one point followed it up with a quick rally of kicks, punches, and slaps.
Both men got close falls, first Ibushi kicked out at 2 after Ospreay hit the Cheeky Nandos, the champ counters it into a Last Ride Powerbomb but wasn't able to hit it as Ospreay tries to connect the Stormbreaker with Ibushi countering it into a cradle for a 2.
Fast-paced action throughout the match and in the closing stages, Ospreay counters Kamigoye with both men trading strikes and kicks until Ospreay hits a brutal lariat on Ibushi. Storm breaker is countered by Ibushi who gets another near fall following the cradle. Ospreay fires back with kicks, a spinning back elbow, and the former IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion eventually connects with a Stormbreaker for the one final time to get the win.
New Champion crowned, as Will Ospreay defeats Kota Ibushi in a fun, fast-paced opening match and one thing that we did note during the contest was Shinsuke Nakamura's name being dropped at least 5-6 times. Ibushi, who had the classic bout with Nakamura at WK 9 for the IC Title, received medical treatment afterwards.