This is an interesting episode as the entire hour is dedicated to the IWGP Heavyweight championship match from Invasion Attack 2015, with Kota Ibushi challenging AJ Styles for the title.
This’ll wrap up our look at the Invasion Attack 2015 show, which took place on April 5, 2015 in Tokyo, Japan at Sumo Hall.
First up is the retrospective interview with Kota Ibushi. He put over the IWGP title and mentioned it’s the biggest title in Japan. He’s proud of himself because his skills are good enough to be in New Japan. When it comes to AJ, he considered him one of the best in the world. He also put over Styles in that Styles had the strongest skills.
I was surprised they took the whole hour to air this, but they took smart commercial breaks and the match did. They took it slow for the first half of the match, very much doing a feeling out process. They did occasional big moves but built up to a great series of moves, including a tease from Kota Ibushi with the attempt of the dragon suplex from the top rope. Ibushi was going for a hurricanrana from the top rope at one point, Styles teased the Clash from the top rope but Ibushi countered. That was a really cool tease.
Another tease I liked was when Omega came out to distract Kota Ibushi. He and Ibushi were synonymous with each other in DDT, teaming together on many occasions. I liked the subtleties of what Omega did as he seemed conflicted, and not outright heelish in his interference. Ibushi tried for a Phoenix Splash, but AJ countered into the Styles Clash and got the win there. Really fantastic match that lived up to everyone’s expectations.
IWGP Champion AJ Styles vs. Kota Ibushi
Crowd was really into this. AJ Styles was truly someone special when in New Japan as he had a presence not too many on the roster have. Ibushi has that presence too, and people buy him as someone who can headline. He’s been out for the last few months with herniated discs, which is hardly surprising considering the type of matches that he has where he completely destroys his body with crazy moves, but that’s the price you pay for doing this kind of style once or even twice a month. When Ibushi returns, and if he can go at this level still when he does, it should be a no-brainer that he, along with Omega, should be the two to fill the void that’s being left by AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura’s departures.
Styles was celebrating his win when Okada came in and cleared everyone out of the ring on his own, laying out Styles with the rainmaker. Gedo takes the mic and says he’ll wrap up the show for him, saying Okada will make it rain in the world of professional wrestling.
Okada mentions that he’s come back for the belt, since he slammed Fale in the ring – he’s really rocking it right now. He’s back, watch him go on a rampage. Gedo says he’ll take it back by force.
Ibushi in his post match interview says he considered it like his last big match, but still couldn’t win. He was very despondent. He says if he could challenge for the belt again, he’d really like to get revenge. You could really feel for him. It’s so weird in WWE they try and dismiss wins and losses because they think everyone knows its fake so it doesn’t matter. But people like seeing wins and losses because even if everyone knows it’s predetermined, they want their favorites to succeed and win, and are with them even at their lowest point, much like Ibushi was here. If you render every win and loss meaningless, why are you even out there supporting guys they want you to like?
Ibushi mentions that he felt like he lost the match in many ways – he was never able to get advantage like he wanted. When Omega interfered, he felt like time stopped. He didn’t feel it had any impact in the match. He still doesn’t know why he joined Bullet Club, but he hopes he can team with him again someday.
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Really fine episode of this program. Featured an excellent match, good interviews and some interesting perspectives on things you wouldn’t otherwise get on a regular New Japan feed.