We are just a few days into 2020 and NJPW has already delivered two of the best matches of the year. The first night of Wrestle Kingdom 14 took place in front of 40,000 professional wrestling fans at the Tokyo Dome as the main event featured Kazuchika Okada defending the IWGP Heavyweight Title against G1 Climax 2019 Winner Kota Ibushi in an incredible match.
The other show-stealer featured Hiromu Takahashi returning to challenge Will Ospreay for the Junior Heavyweight title. The show also featured huge championship changes and so much more. So without further adieu here are my favourite matches and moments from night one of Wrestle Kingdom 14.
#1 IWGP Heavyweight Championship Match: Kazuchika Okada vs. Kota Ibushi
This was just tremendous as the match started slow with an early feeling-out process. There was a scary spot as Ibushi was supposed to counter a Rainmaker with a backflip kick but missed as he spiked his head on the mat. Ibushi hit a Golden Triangle and a Last Ride Powerbomb but only got a two count. Ibushi called for a Bomb Ye but Okada countered with a dropkick and then hit a Tombstone.
The match picked up here as Ibushi's facial reaction changed after he no-sold a Woo dropkick and decked Okada with a closed fist. The fans booed Ibushi has he kept stomping away on a downed Okada. There was a scary sequence as Ibushi teased a long-dart but Okada countered with a Tombstone on the ring apron.
At the 30-minute mark, Ibushi hit a Swandive German suplex but Okada refused to stay down. Ibushi hit a pair of Bomb Ye and a Kamigoye Knee but couldn't put Okada away. There was an awesome spot as Ibushi teased a second Kamigoye Knee but Okada countered with a picture-perfect dropkick.
Okada avoided a Phoenix Splash and hit a pair of Rainmakers but Ibushi kicked out for an awesome near fall. The match reached all-time greatness at this point. The crowd popped as Okada hit another Rainmaker, maintained wrist control went for a second but Ibushi countered with a hook kick.
Ibushi hit a V-Trigger, went for Kamigoye Knee but Okada countered with a sit-out Tombstone and followed with a Rainmaker for the win. This was just sensational as the last 10 minutes was pro wrestling at it's finest. An instant classic.