Top 5 NJPW Matches of 2019
It has been another incredible year when it comes to pro wrestling as the caliber of in-ring matches just continues to leave fans in amazement. When it comes to in-ring action for me New Japan Pro Wrestling will take top honors in 2019. While, Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi, and Kota Ibushi can all make strong cases for wrestler of the year, it was the emergence of The Arial Assassin Will Ospreay who has left fans in amazement.
From winning his 2nd Best of the Super Juniors tournament to delivering countless memorable matches in his first G-1 Climax, Ospreay showed why he's not only the best IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion but has made his claim for best wrestler of the year. So where does Ospreay's best matches rank on my list? Well without further adieu here are my top five favorite NJPW matches of 2019.
#1 IWGP Heavyweight Championship Match: Kenny Omega vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi at Wrestle Kingdom 13
This was such a tremendous match between two amazing wrestlers and what really helped was the announcing team of Kevin Kelly, Don Callis, and Chris Charlton as they did such a great job presenting the match from both champion and challenger's perspective.
They traded huge slaps and vicious chops early. Kenny Omega hit a Terminator dive which looked awesome on replay. Omega went for a moonsault but his knee gave out as Hiroshi Tanahashi hit a dragon screw. There was a great spot as Tanahashi switched from a Texas Cloverleaf position and hit a Styles Clash to a big reaction. Tanahashi delivered a Slingblade on the ring apron. Tanahashi thought about tossing Omega into the ring but instead placed him on a table. The commentators did a great job questioning Tanahashi for using the table and going against his way of having a traditional wrestling match. Omega moved as Tanahashi went crashing through a table. Omega hit a triple powerbomb but Tanahashi wouldn't stay down.
Omega hit a Slingblade and a High Fly Flow but Tanahashi kicked out at one. Omega hit a Poisonrana and a V-Trigger. He went for the One-Winged Angel but Tanahashi countered into a Poisonrana. Tanahashi hit a Slingblade and a pair of High Fly Flows but the champion wouldn't stay down. Omega hit a crazy looking avalanche Dragon Suplex but luckily Tanahashi flipped over and landed on his face.
Omega was on the verge of victory as he hit a V-Trigger, went for a One-Winged Angel but Tanahashi countered with a Slingblade in mid-air. The momentum switched again as The Ace hit a second Slingbalde and followed with a pair of High Fly Flow to capture his 8th IWGP Heavyweight Title. This was an incredible match on NJPW's biggest stage.