Full disclosure, I am an American wrestling pure fan. I’ve never been interested in other promotions, and if it wasn’t WWE or WCW or the likes, I was never interested. That being said, I want to broaden my horizons and experience more wrestling from different cultures.
I have always heard that Japanese wrestling produces some of the best matches, so I seek recommendations. If you describe one match from Japan as the best match you have seen, what is it, and where could one find it?
Any Kobashi vs Misawa match or Kawada vs Misawa match in All Japan in the 90s.
You could basically pull up the Observer Match of the Year winners, close your eyes and point at a year and most likely would land on a match that took place in Japan or at least involved a Japanese wrestler. AJ Styles vs. Minoru Suzuki won the award in 2014 and is a great place to start that involves a wrestler you may already be familiar with.
I do want to say that I didn’t list my favorite Japanese match (Okada vs Omega IV) as that is too long, while the G1 is perfect for an introduction.
Any combination of the four pillars matches that @jallonar4040 has suggested are incredible.
AJ Styles vs Minoru Suzuki (Suzuki-gun will always be Ichiban) is great.
There is also Styles vs Nakamura WK10: https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x86w92j
Nakamura vs Ibushi WK 9: https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x86x53p
Tanahashi vs Okada. Just pick a match. Any match.
If you are going to watch an Okada vs Omega match, you need to start from match 1. Dont just start in the middle of the series. It tells a story as it goes and wont mean as much, if you dont follow it from the start.
Are they relatively easy to find in order?
I couldnt tell you. I dont have New Japan World anymore and dont really look up matches that way, but those matches tell a story from match 1 until match 4. My personal favorite being match 2. You have to watch the struggle to fully appreciate the greatness, in my opinion.
I disagree with @Rated_R_Poster in one way and one way only: If there was one match from the series that Omega would recommend showing to a first-time viewer, he recommends the G1 match.
To get the whole story, @Rated_R_Poster is entirely correct: you need to watch all four. If you want a single G1-banger of a match, Okada vs Omega 3.
Okada vs Omega 1 - Wreste Kindgom 11 (2017)
Okada vs Omega2 - Dominion in Osaka Jo Hall ( )(2017)
Okada vs Okada 3 - G1 Climax 27 Block A Final (2017) - You might want to watch Omega vs Naito G1 27 finals.
Okada vs Omega 4 - Dominion in Oksaka Jo Hall 2018
Ibushi vs Tanahashi - G1 Final 2018 is well worth it if you are getting NJPW world to watch most of this.
Hope that helps.
Ive never witnessed anything like this in my life
Again, You’re welcome, and I issue my most sincere welcome to Japanese professional wrestling to you.
Continuing enjoying the niche art that kept me a fan longer than I probably should have been.
(BTW: for starting with Okada vs Omega 3…the crazy part…it’s even better when you’ve dug into the first two chapters)
While watching Supercard of Honor, I found out that the friends I was watching it with had never seen Sasaki/Kobashi or any Akira Hokuto. In that spirit, may I suggest these:
Or you can catch POST WRESTLING “Long & Winding Royal Road” where W.H Park and guest comment on the 90’s era of All Japan Pro Wrestling. They go in depth to the competitors, the matches and the story and history of each match.
Also. Any Pro Wrestling NOAH matches involving KENTA & Naomichi Marufuji whether they tag ot battle one on one is a strong recommendation for me.
100% agree. Vader AJPW matches or Manami Toyota and the 90s AJPW women’s scene are also there to explore!
Oh yes! AJPW is a must viewing because these ladies go hard it’s incredible.
If you want to get into “modern” Japanese wrestling then start with Kenny vs Jericho. It’s two guys you know and then build to Kenny vs Okada and Jericho vs Tana etc. it’s a good spot to pickup and then start watching the major events to the present.
G1 is when it all usually picks up (similar to Rumble season)
NJPW’s Wrestlekingdom is awesome, especially the match between Kenny Omega and Kazuchika Okada.
Are any of those G1 specials that aired on Axs TV available anywhere? That young bucks vs Kenny and Ibushi was a hreat match