WWE/NJPW News: Putting the Chris Jericho vs Kenny Omega 5-star rating by Dave Meltzer in perspective
An in-depth look at where this match from Wrestle Kingdom 12 fits in the history of the ratings.
What's the story?
In the history of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer has rated exactly 70 pro wrestling contests at 5 stars or better since 1983. As we reported earlier today, one match from Wrestle Kingdom 12 earned the 5-star rating, and it was Chris Jericho vs Kenny Omega for the IWGP United States Championship.
In case you didn't know...
The first pro wrestling match that Dave Meltzer gave a 5-star rating to was when Tiger Mask I defeated the Dynamite Kid at the New Japan Pro Wrestling Sumo Hall Show in April of 1983.
In 1994, Meltzer broke the mold by awarding his first-ever 6-star rating when Mitsuharu Misawa defeated Toshiaki Kawada at All Japan Pro Wrestling's Budokan Hall Show.
The heart of the matter
Kenny Omega is no stranger to a 5-star rating from Meltzer, the match with Jericho was his sixth match of 5 stars or better in his career. His first came in 2016 at the G1 Climax against Tetsuya Naito.
Omega has also earned a 6-star rating three times, and Meltzer has only given out four of those ratings. His 60-minute broadway with Kazuchika Okada for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship at Dominion last June earned the first ever 6.25 star rating in the 35 years Meltzer has rated matches.
As for Chris Jericho, it is the first time that he's earned a 5-star rating from Meltzer in his 28-year career. Many regarded this match as the best of Jericho's career, and based on Meltzer's rating system, it backs up that sentiment.
The Jericho vs Omega match was the 25th within New Japan Pro Wrestling to earn 5 stars or more, the most among all promotions. All Japan Pro Wrestling is the promotion with the second most with a total of 16, followed by the NWA/WCW with 10, and the WWF/E with 5.
The IWGP United States Champion, Kenny Omega, will defend his title next at The New Beginning in Sapporo, Japan on January 28th against "Switchblade" Jay White.
As for Chris Jericho, his band Fozzy resumes touring on January 28th in Paris, France to kick off a European tour before returning to the United States at the end of February. He's rumored to face Tetsuya Naito when New Japan Pro Wrestling returns to the United States on March 25th for Strong Style Evolved in Long Beach, California.
Alpha vs Omega was a masterpiece worthy of the 5-star rating. What made it even better was The Young Bucks (who normally are at ringside with their fellow member of The Elite) didn't even get involved in the match. They headed to the back after Omega's entrance. I think they realized history was about to be made and they gave them the spotlight.
The surprise of Jericho (drink it in man) appearing in New Japan Pro Wrestling was truly a landmark event in the history of the sport. The fact that they backed up the hype with what will be regarded as one of the best matches of 2018, makes it even more special.