Match Review: Golden Lovers vs. Cody Rhodes & Marty Scurll
February 24 2018
We’re in Tokyo, Japan at Korakuen Hall. I’m cherry picking the main event from these two Honor Rising shows because I don’t want to watch Hirooki Goto vs. Beer City Bruiser. Life is too short. But the reunion of Omega and Ibushi? The first time they’ve wrestled as a team since Kenny joined New Japan? Sold.
Golden Lovers vs. Cody Rhodes & Marty Scurll
“Bullet Club is fine. Bullet Club is mine” says Cody, rocking trunks saying “Leader” on the side. The reaction for Golden Lovers is huge. This is something that people have genuinely wanted to see for years and it’s credit to NJPW that they didn’t want to rush it. They love a slow burn. The chant of “Golden Lovers” is a beautiful thing and I love that they both smile so much.
“You left me behind Kenny” says Scurll. “You clearly picked him”. The character work is what makes this whole situation effective. The inter-personal relationships. The Being the Elite show has given us a nice inside look at who likes who and for what reason. It’s good business from the Bucks. It’s helped everyone get over. Cody is great here. He’s scared of Omega. He shows a good deal of contempt for the fans. He’s selfish and manipulative. In order to have great babyfaces, you kinda need the great heels for them to overcome. Cody is doing that in NJPW right now. With the Bullet Club splintering and becoming a truly evil stable once again he’s free to become one of the biggest bastards going.
I'm sure this looked great in your head mate. pic.twitter.com/kFRxF5QXBn
— Arn~! (@ArnoldFurious) February 25, 2018
Apart from that springboard thing Cody does a fine job of being a total bastard and isolating Ibushi for abuse.
If Cody was on a par with these other guys, in terms of in-ring skill, he’d be absolutely killing it because his character is superb. He telegraphs too much for my liking, moving blatantly into position for stuff rather than selling to get in place. That’s the difference between a good wrestler and a great one. When the Golden Lovers get their double teams going the match hits another fucking level altogether. When they look for the Golden Trigger (the V-Trigger/Kamigoye) it makes me think; did Ibushi start using a knee as a finish with this tag team in mind? Of course he fucking did. The signs were all there. I love how Kenny is so protective of Kota. Especially when Cody tries to hit the Cross Rhodes off the apron, like he did at Wrestle Kingdom, but the V-Trigger stops that. This is such a lovely mesh of character work, spot work and heat. It’s the best thing the Bullet Club have produced in their recent history and proof that turns can be hugely effective in Japan as long as they make sense.
Another aspect is that Marty has finally found his spot in New Japan. As Cody’s sycophantic underling sure but it’s a good spot. Especially as he’s such a competent wrestler. Another thing I dig is how the Golden Lovers are figuring spots out on the fly. Everyone knows it’s their first match back as a team so the planning often happens in front of our eyes. Which makes sense. There’s an issue with a lack of tags and some of the structure going out of the window. But it allows for the madness they have planned. Seriously though Cody is so great here. When he ‘steals a kiss’ on Ibushi it’s purely done out of malice toward Kenny and it royally pisses Kota off. Golden Trigger puts Scurll away after Ibushi has raged Cody out of the reckoning and this match fucking rocked.
Final Rating: ****1/4
Post Match: Cody claims a victory to English comms by saying “once you go Cody…” He’s not wanting to destroy the Golden Lovers tag team. He wants to destroy their entire relationship. Omega talks about his dreams and how the Golden Lovers are the best tag team in the world. This leads to the Young Bucks coming out here! I’m actually very excited about this. Omega making that ‘best tag team’ call has irked them.
“The Young Bucks are the best tag team in the world”. Kenny looks upset but the Bucks drop a bombshell; the Bucks are moving up to heavyweight as of right now.
And with that one foul swoop, Gedo has fixed his almost permanently broken tag division! Now they have a match everyone wants to see and a reason for it happening and they only need the props; the tag titles to make it even better.