Kenny Omega versus Will Ospreay put together an instant classic at Wrestle Kingdom 17.
As of this writing, 2023 isn’t even four days old. That did not stop Kenny Omega and Will Ospreay from putting on one of the best matches in recent history and an immediate candidate for 2023 Match of the Year. There is a lot of wrestling left to happen, with many amazing moments to come. But what Omega and Ospreay achieved at Wrestle Kingdom 17 must be appreciated as an example of the greatness that professional wrestling can offer.
Heading into Wrestle Kingdom 17, fans knew that Omega versus Ospreay was going to be a fantastic match. Few would debate that these two are among two of the best performers in the industry, arguably numbers one and two on any list. But when paired together, the storyline that’s been told for years, and the stage that is the biggest annual event in Japan, it was hard to imagine a scenario where these two men would miss. And miss they did not.
From the opening to the final bell, everything about this match worked. The entrances were “simple” by Wrestle Kingdom standards, but still, effectively let the fans know exactly who was walking to the ring. Don Callis on the English commentary played the perfect role as Omega’s “advocate,” offering praise to Ospreay at important moments in the match, but still kicking him while he was down at every opportunity. This match didn’t have any outside interference, nor needless referee bumps – simply because these two men didn’t need any extra assistance to put together a masterpiece.
This match had everything fans could ask for in professional wrestling
The big spots in this match delivered. The DDT on top of the exposed turnbuckle, the catch suplex from the top rope, the double stop through the table, and Omega’s quick “Here’s Johnny” movie reference, Ospreay hitting the Super Oz-Cutter. There are so many different moments in this match that highlight their abilities as professional wrestlers. The innovative offense and clean sequences worked perfectly for both men as they put on a hard-hitting and crisp match with a level of technical flair that is rarely seen in the industry.
And with the way this story has played out, there’s a strong chance they can do it all again in 2023.
There’s a question about what match wrestling fans would use to convert new fans to the industry and Will Ospreay versus Kenny Omega is the perfect example. These two men told a story through interviews, headlines, and limited physicality heading into this match. It checked all the boxes needed for exceptional professional wrestling and must-see for anyone who is a fan of the industry.