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NJPW ‘New Year Dash’: Styles & Omega versus Nakamura & Hashi match rewind and fallout

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bullet-club-eliteJust one night removed from putting on their biggest show of the year inside of the Tokyo Dome, the 10th edition of Wrestle Kingdom, Korakuen Hall would provide a much more intimate setting for New Japan Pro Wrestling’s New Year Dash show. Below, we’ll take a closer look a tag team match on the card that pitted Bullet Club members A.J. Styles and Kenny Omega against IWGP Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura and Yoshi-Hashi and the shocking events that followed.

Setting the Table

With the news of 3 Bullet Club members and Shinsuke Nakamura giving notice of departure to NJPW on the day of Wrestle Kingdom 10, there was no word on any matches leading up this card. Omega would lose his IWGP Junior Heavyweight strap to Kushida in the 5th match inside of the Tokyo Dome while Nakamura and Styles put on an instant classic in the co-main event that saw the “King of Strong Style” emerge victorious. What looked like an innocent enough tag team match from the start would end up giving us what could the most important moment storyline wise of 2016.

Match Rewind

There were so many moving parts here that it’s hard to comprehend everything without just marking out all over the place. I’ll give it a shot though. We started off where we left off with Nakamura and Styles to begin the match; no rush to lock up, these two are professionals – they don’t mind making us wait while we enjoy every second of them sharing the same ring together. The grappling and the theatrics between two performers at the tippy top of their game right now makes it hard to blink. When Omega and Hashi do their thing it’s just not quite as electric and it’s not supposed to be, Nakamura and Styles are a tough act to follow for anyone in the world. When these two lock horns fans all over the world win.

Hashi gets the best of Omega early on but the Canadian is able to employ some heel tactics to get the best of his opponent before tagging Styles; a couple of moves from Styles and a quick tag back to Omega – these two are working Hashi, targeting the eye of Hashi. Another tag to Styles; they’re breaking him down. “Can you even imagine if these two ever decided to become a full time tag team,” Kevin Kelly asks as we continue to watch the two Bullet Club standouts punish their helpless victim.

Hashi would eventually get to Nakamura for what looked to be the hot tag on the surface – it was anything but. Nakamura and Omega lit up Korakuen Hall before “The Cleaner” eventually hit his One Winged Angel finished for the pin. He goes on to announce that he’s not a junior anymore – he will not challenge Kushida for a rematch. He has other plans.

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“Nakamura..I’m coming for you. I’m coming for your title.”

One Chapter Ends, Another Begins

“My God, you can’t be surprised. Can you?” – Kenny Omega after turning on A.J. Styles.

Following their victory, Styles was pulled off the 2nd rope in the corner by Omega as he celebrated. Styles, confused by the situation, would wade his arms as Omega took him to the center of the ring and planted him with his patented One Winged Angel.

Bullet Club members would fly out into the ring seemingly upset with Omega, questioning his actions. It wouldn’t take long before The Young Bucks would land a couple of super kicks on their leader. This was no mistake. Then, Gallows and Anderson would join in on the fun. After laying Styles to waste, the Stylesless Bullet Club (now called Bullet Club Elite) would leave the ring, leaving their now former leader bruised and battered. Omega would be overheard asking the Bucks if he should give Styles a Styles Clash for good measure before the three men re-entered the ring.

Omega would hold Styles in that prone position A.J. has put so many men in before while Nick and Matt Jackson super kicked him in the chest, then Omega would put him down for good. A.J. Styles has officially been excommunicated from the Bullet Club. Long live Kenny Omega.

The Fallout

Now that we’ve learned that Styles moving onto WWE is indeed a sure thing and that Nakamura may be soon to follow (he’s likely to drop his title to Omega before his contract is up at the end of the month) you have to give kudos to NJPW for putting a moment like this together on the fly. It may have been the long-term plan all along but nonetheless it came together extremely well and the execution was flawless. Styles shared a beautiful moment with the fans before leaving them as a member of NJPW for will likely be the last time. His run in Japan was easily the best 2 years of his professional wrestling career, it made him the most desirable free agent in the world and hopefully earned him a huge pay-day from WWE.

With Omega at the helm of Bullet Club (Elite) it’s a win-win situation. Omega will have a career year over in Japan and new stars will emerge in the absence of Styles, Nakamura, Gallows and Anderson, if the reports are true about the latter three, which they appear to be. It’s the loss of Nakamura that will sting the most for Japan. Luckily for them, the WWE Network has just launched in Japan (coincidence?) and Nakamura could come back to finish out his career there if things don’t work out they way they should for him (he deserves to be pushed to the moon) under Vince McMahon and company. It’ll be interesting to see what’s next for both promotions in regards to not only Omega’s Bullet Club but a potential WWE version of the stable (Balor Club?) that would reunite BC’s first leader, Finn Balor (Prince Devitt) with Gallows and Anderson and put him with Styles for the first time.

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