Despite being in lockdown for over three months due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, NJPW once again produced another terrific year of in-ring work in 2020. It has been an up and down 12 months for the industry and that has been clearly evident with New Japan Pro Wrestling as well.
They started 2020 on a high with the first-ever two-night Wrestle Kingdom 14 event. Following their self imposed lockdown, NJPW came back strong with the New Japan Cup 2020 in the summer. They also became the first major wrestling promotion to invite fans back to their events.
With 78 events and 100,000 fans in attendance over that time, the company can proudly be praised for having zero cases of COVID-19 for their crowds. Even with restrictions, the fanbase has brought something unique in wrestling this year, which has brought an added energy to their in-ring action. In this article, we will take a look at the five best NJPW matches of 2020.
- Shingo Takagi vs. Will Ospreay (NJPW G1 Climax 30 Day 5)
- Kazuchika Okada vs. Shingo Takagi (NJPW G1 Climax 30 Day 13)
- Hiromu Takahashi vs. El Desperado (NJPW Best of Super Juniors 27 Finals)
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#5 Jon Moxley vs. Minoru Suzuki for the NEVER Openweight Championship (NJPW New Beginning in Osaka)
At the NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 14, Jon Moxley regained the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship by defeating Lance Archer and successfully it defended against Juice Robinson. Following his win, Minoru Suzuki confronted Moxley and laid him out to challenge him for the gold.
At NJPW New Beginning in Osaka, these two men competed for the title in an incredible match. It was the battle of the sadist that is Suzuki against the masochist that is Moxley. Both men inflicted pain on each other during this hard-hitting affair that generated an awesome reaction from the crowd in Osaka-Jo Hall.
For over 17 minutes, Moxley and Suzuki traded strikes, steel chair hoisting, and impactful moves in a memorable spectacle unlike anything seen this year. Jon Moxley had one of the best years in his career in the wrestling business between his brief time in NJPW and his stellar run as the AEW World Champion and this barnburner with Suzuki had to be his best match of 2020.