Match Review: Golden Lovers vs. The Young Bucks
March 25 2018
We’re in Los Angeles, California at the beautiful Walter Pyramid. Commentary comes from Jim Ross and Josh Barnett.
I was considering viewing the whole show but I don’t care. I’m going right in to the main. It’s the one match that New Japan have put the love into. It’s the one match with the big lead-in story. It’s a bit sad they lost Liger vs. Rey, which would have been a tremendous featured match but we’re compensating by having this big main. We get a nice little video of Kenny Omega making his Bullet Club debut, turning on AJ, creating “The Elite” with the Bucks. It’s a decent video but it lacks a decent voice over. It does serve as a nice reminder that this angle is fiery fucking hot.
Golden Lovers vs. The Young Bucks
It would be fair to say Kenny Omega is pretty fucking over in LA. The Bucks clearly have jealously issues with Kota Ibushi. Matt Jackson has had a back injury in recent months, which plays into the psychology here with Kota going after it and Omega pulling him away. Poor Kenny is conflicted. The Bucks are not. They dislike Kota and they’re not keen on Kenny anymore either. This is in beautiful evidence when Nick superkicks Kenny in mid dive. They must have been thinking about some of these spots for a long time. Ibushi makes a point of popping the crowd with crazy dives. Imagine how much shit he’ll be jumping off before this angle is over? The crowd pop everything and it feels like a big match.
— Giovanni Funes (@Ninjagaiden86) March 26, 2018
Kota Ibushi does a sensationally botched dive with the cross slash dives bit. Poor Matt gets knees across the chest from an Omegasault too. It’s a little untidy! The storytelling is solid though and these are two teams that have genuine love. There’s a sensational shot of Matt saying “get me out of here” to Nick while selling his back. Oh it’s so good. Like with JR the lack of adherence to tag team rules is a little off-putting but that’s the nature of these big spotfest tags nowadays. It’s more fun if you fuck off the rulebook. Jim gets very bent out of shape about it. JR then gets his metaphors mixed up and talks about “Young Lovers” and “Golden Showers”. Holy shit, Jim, what the fuck are you talking about?
On a brighter note Nick gets all bent out of shape and encourages Matt Jackson to put Kenny through a table instead of focusing on Ibushi in the ring. It’s a real moment of clarity for the Bucks and Omega sees that decision. It changes his mentality. He’s not thinking about protecting his boys anymore. Some of the Golden Lovers stuff is insane. The German suplex from off the apron into the ring off Omega’s shoulders is ridiculous. Also their most obvious overdone stuff works perfectly. Superkicks, V-Triggers. Every time one lands it gets a big reaction. It’s two teams getting the crowd to eat out of the palm of their hands. The moves in this match are so insane. Every time someone goes for a wacky dive it seems wackier than the one before. Although the part I dig the most is Matt Jackson’s back injury continuity.
More Bang for Your….FUCK! pic.twitter.com/FtIdMPwMas
— Absolute Arnie (@ArnoldFurious) March 26, 2018
And crazy table spots that come out of nowhere after being slyly built toward for ten minutes. I love the deeply ingrained heartfelt violence that Matt and Kenny do to each other. The punch up is one thing but Matt immediately killing Omega with a piledriver speaks volumes about how pissed off he is with this whole turn of events. Then Hollywood Matt Jackson goes on a yappapi strap match rampage, thus leaving his back exposed and Omega can shut him down. It’s good storytelling. I’m very into it.
I dig how Omega is still conflicted and didn’t want to hurt Matt and he won’t use the belt on him. Ibushi murdering Nick with a Last Ride through a table is pretty much all she wrote. It leaves Matt all alone and Matt’s insistence at kicking out of everything, forcing Kenny to get more violent to win, is the crux of the storyline. In wrestling you have to hurt your friends if you want to get to the top.
Kota forcing Kenny to do the V-Trigger and Kenny listening because, brothers in the Elite aside, he fucking loves Kota Ibushi. Matt yelling “Give it to me” when Omega won’t do the One Winged Angel is majestic and NICK FUCKING SAVES!!! Holy shit. They clear Nick out and the Golden Trigger puts Matt away, although he had barely moved since the One Winged Angel.
This was a fantastic story. I have some minor issues. The tag rules went out of the window and Ibushi flubbed huge on the cross slash (although them not being able to successfully nail that could lead to it coming off perfectly being an even bigger pop).
Final Rating: ****3/4
It might not end up as my match of the year but what a storyline these four men told here. Full of emotional resonance and the Being the Elite stories all came into play. They’ve been able to sink so much time and energy into getting people invested in Bucks & Kenny that they’ve, perhaps unwittingly, given an unreal amount of substance to this match. It’ll go down as one of the year’s best, in spite of the glaring flaws on display. Everyone killed it. Kenny embracing Nick, who had the bigger issue with Omega, but getting shunned by Matt, who’s clearly upset that Kenny worked over his back allows the story to continue. I am thrilled they puled this off.