Time for another “match from a show we’d not usually look at”, as we see whether Kenny Omega’s trip to Poughkeepsie was as good as they say.
We’re coming from the Mid-Hudson Civic Center in Poughkeepsie, New York – so a proper arena for an indy (although to be fair to NEW, that’s their MO!). Earlier in the card we had the obligatory indy segment with a “local sports personality” that consisted of him running down the crowd, beyond the “we want wrestling” and “boring chants” until the returning Vik Dalishus made the save. Oh, and a token women’s match that featured Katie Forbes doing WWE Diva-era shtick that was made worse by the commentary that was patterned after Jerry Lawler’s Attitude era lines. So far, so indy.
Gerry Strauss and Robbie E. are on commentary, killing some uncomfortably long down-time between matches…
Rey Fenix vs. Kenny Omega
Omega was out sans belt, as was Fenix… which was a thing. Not that it mattered to the crowd, who were rabid for the former Bullet Club leader.
From the opening tie-up, the match heads to the mat as Fenix counters a side headlock, before we get an escape and another crack at things, with a test of strength initially seeing Omega edging ahead, as he worked his way into a chinlock as he kept Fenix on the mat. The pace quickens as we went through to the usual indy stand-off, but Fenix throws in a second dropkick to catch Omega unawares, sending him into the aisle for a dive?
Nah, Kenny returns to the ring and takes some headscissors instead as Fenix lands a tope con giro that saw him and Kenny crash into the guardrails. They brawl around ringside, heading into the aisle as Fenix gets up close and personal with fans both sides of the aisleway. Fenix walks along the guard rails as he goes for more ‘ranas, but Omega counters into a powerbomb on the metal ramp.
Omega dropkicks Fenix off the apron as he was about to make it back to the ring… which sets him up for the Terminator dive, connecting with the flip plancha. They return to the ring as Omega picked up a near-fall, keeping control of the match as he bounced Fenix off the corner before stretching him with a Sabu-like Arabian clutch. A cross armbreaker’s next, but Fenix rolled up Omega for a near-fall – and to break the hold – only for the IWGP champion to come back with a knee to the gut. A Finlay roll comes next, as Fenix can’t escape… nor avoid a springboard moonsault out of the corner. They’re back outside as Fenix gets thrown into the guard rails again, before Omega ragdolls him up into a backdrop driver for a near-fall back in the ring. Fenix tries to fight back with chops, but Omega just ties him in the ropes and leathers him before a handspring… erm, Torpedo Moscau caught Omega off guard!
Fenix charges into a boot in the corner, but he’s back with a cutter out of nowhere as the tide of the match threatened to turn. Omega catches Fenix on the top rope, throwing some more chops before joining him there… where Fenix just catches him with a flipping armdrag off the top. No, that’s not me masking a swear. A Fire Thunder Driver’s next, but Omega’s able to kick out… so Fenix continues with a dropkick that sent him off the apron and onto the timekeeper’s table.
Back in the ring again, Fenix catches Omega in the corner and followed up with a step-up spring kick, only for Omega to stem the tide with a snap Dragon suplex as both men crashed to the mat. More snap Dragons follow, before Fenix fought free and moonsaulted over Kenny and into a nice German suplex! Omega again chops back into the match, before he runs into a rear spin kick… shrugging it off as he eventually hits a V-Trigger. A Praying Mantis Bomb’s next, but Fenix kicks out… and takes the Aoi Shoudou before Kenny went back to the V-Triggers. The One Winged Angel’s countered with a sunset flip as Omega keeps going for those V-Triggers, some of which he hit… others, just got turned into poison ‘ranas.
Both men fight back to their feet, but they end up trading chops on the apron, with increasing ferocity until Omega caught sight of that timekeeper’s table again, and teased a One Winged Angel off the apron through it. Fenix elbows away from it, and after shoving Omega into the ring post he… runs into a suplex off the apron and through the table! Christ, the sound that made was like breaking glass!
Omega rolls Fenix back into the ring, but so much time had passed, Fenix is able to kick out at two, so he ends up taking some more V-Triggers. A V-Trigger to the back’s followed by a German suplex for another near-fall, as Kenny’s yet to learn that spamming a move so much devalues it. Yes, more V-Triggers follow, including one as Fenix is in the corner… before he calls for the One Winged Angel again, this time heading up the ropes. Fenix escapes from the avalanche Angel and eventually countered back with a Spanish Fly for a near-fall.
A Muscle Buster’s teased next, but Omega clings onto the ropes before he flipped out of the move… and V-Trigger. He’s still shocked it only gets a near-fall, and so he tries for his death blow again. Fenix slips out into the ropes, but a Tornillo’s countered with – you guessed it – another V-Trigger, before Omega finally lands the One Winged Angel for the win. This match had its moments, but even after what feels like months of not seeing Omega in a featured match, I’m still done with those V-Trigger spams. It’s the kind of match that’d send Rip Rogers into a fit – for either the big moves, the repetition of V-Triggers and kick-outs, and also the flips! Had this been in a front of a less casual indy crowd, this would have been eaten up, but in spite of the match planning and setting, this was a cracking match. Just not in Kenny’s upper tier. ****¼