NJPW News: Dave Meltzer awards record-breaking rating for Okada vs Omega
What's the story?
Dave Meltzer has broken his own five-star rating system once again by awarding Kenny Omega and Kazuchika Okada's epic two out of three falls bout at last weekend's Dominion event seven out of five stars in the latest edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, making it the highest rated match in the publication's history.
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In case you didn't know...
At last weekend's NJPW Dominion event, Kenny Omega defeated Kazuchika Okada in a two out of three falls match, ending Okada's two-year reign as the IWGP Heavyweight Champion.
The match was the fourth time the two men have met in the past 18 months, with Meltzer breaking his own five-star system for all three of their previous encounters; he has given two six-star ratings and one six-and-a-quarter-stars rating.
The original encounter between the two men, which took place at Wrestle Kingdom 11, was awarded six-stars by Meltzer in January last year in what he called, at the time, potentially the greatest wrestling match he had ever seen. This was followed up by a time-out finish at Dominion, in a match that Meltzer awarded six-and-a-quarter stars. The two men would then meet again in the company's annual G1 Climax tournament, in a match which Meltzer would award a further six-stars.
The heart of the matter
Okada vs Omega IV has been met with critical acclaim, with many fans and wrestlers claiming that it is the best match they have ever seen. Meltzer echoed this sentiment in the latest edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, saying:
"When it had ended, my thought was that this was the greatest match I’ve ever seen. Not arguably, and not by a little bit either. It was at a level far beyond when it came to emotion, storytelling, and attention to detail."
Meltzer has never awarded a match seven stars before, and the question now is, if the two men were to somehow top this incredible encounter, would he push things further?
Kenny Omega won't have too much time to relax after winning his belt. NJPW confirmed that his first title defence will be against his former Bullet Club teammate, Cody Rhodes, at the G1 special on 7 July.
As for Okada, he will be appearing in the UK in a few weeks at the company's British Style Evolved event. He will also team with his Chaos stablemate, Will Ospreay at the G1 special to take on the Los Ingobernables de Japon team of BUSHI and Tetsuya Naito.
The other question, of course, is what this means for Meltzer's often controversial star system. He received a lot of attention for awarding six-stars last year, so the internet is sure to have a lot to say about this announcement.
Following the initial clash between Okada and Omega at Wrestle Kingdom, many fans said that they believed they would never see a greater match in their lifetime. The two went on to top that at last year's Dominion, and have somehow, gone on to do that once again. Okada and Omega are hands down the best wrestlers on the planet, and at this point, it would be foolish to suggest that they might never top this encounter.
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