Manolo Has Pizzazz
Kenny Omega made worldwide news by winning the AEW World Championship from Jon Moxley. In his first match since capturing that title, the best bout machine put on a classic with Laredo Kid as Omega traveled to Mexico to defend the AAA Megacampeonato at Triplemania XXVIII.
The challenger wore an emperor’s robe to enter first with Hijo del Vikingo by his side. The champion came out next with Michael Nakazawa as his second. Unfortunately, Omega’s dancing broom girls could not make the international visit. Omega made up for it with pre-match theatrics of a ‘break you’ hand motion then a throat slash.
Omega took a powder early when Laredo’s quickness was too much to handle. The champ neutralized Laredo by attacking his back. Omega smashed Laredo with back drop suplexes onto the apron and guardrail. In the ring, Omega executed brutal backbreakers.
Laredo bounced back to attack Omega’s legs. The challenger popped up for a huge springboard cutter to Omega on the ropes.
Omega stifled that momentum by hitting a Death Valley Driver on the apron. The action spilled off to the side with Vikingo and Nakazawa getting involved. Laredo and Vikingo came out on top of that exchange with tandem flying crossbodies off a stack of truck tires.
The next thrilling sequence saw Omega crash on top of Nakazawa on an errant tope con hilo then Laredo following with a springboard frog moonsault onto Omega. That set up a missed Phoenix splash by Laredo. He rolled through the impact on the mat then turned around to eat a V-Trigger. Omega nailed Laredo with two consecutive dragon suplexes. On the third try, Laredo countered for a roll-up attempt.
The two men threw blows in the center of the ring, then Laredo ran into a V-Trigger. On the One Winged Angel pickup, Laredo countered into a reverse rana head spike. Laredo successfully connected on a 450 splash, but Omega kicked out on the pin to stay alive.
Laredo went back to working on Omega’s knee. When Laredo got fancy again with a springboard attack, Omega exploded for another V-Trigger. Omega’s tiger driver only earned a two count.
Omega charged for another V-Trigger. This time, Laredo dodged so Omega banged his knee into the turnbuckle. Laredo’s aerial riskiness backfired again as Omega caught him for a powerbomb. Time for one more V-Trigger. Luckily for Laredo, he was able to get his hand on the bottom rope for a break.
Laredo found his second wind for a Laredo Fly moonsault slam. He was slow on the cover, and that allowed Omega enough recovery time to get his foot on the rope for a break. Laredo went back to his game plan for a 450 splash onto Omega’s leg. Laredo wrapped Omega in a leg lock submission. The champ showed his intestinal fortitude by crawling to the ropes.
High-risk failed Laredo when he missed a corkscrew splash. Omega attacked with a buckle bomb and a gutwrench powerbomb. Laredo refused to be put down for the three count. Omega popped Laredo with a V-Trigger. On a One Winged Angel attempt, Laredo escaped to trap Omega in a cloverleaf. Laredo transitioned down to the mat to pretzel Omega’s lower limbs. Omega neared the ropes, however, Laredo rolled it back to center. Omega was close to surrender, then he powered through on a roll to reach the ropes.
Nakazawa sensed Omega was in trouble. As Laredo climbed the corner, Nak hopped onto the apron as a distraction. Omega pounced for a super One Winged Angel off the second turnbuckle. That was the magic move to finally put Laredo away.
Omega continues his AAA Mega Championship reign at 421 days and counting. For his next venture to Mexico, Omega has his eye on Hijo del Vikingo. The champ took notice of Vikingo’s impressive high-flying skills.
Great match by both men. Omega delivered on being the best bout machine. He also managed to maintain his current slimeball status by having assistance from Nakazawa and stiffing Laredo on the post-match sportsmanship handshake. Laredo Kid probably earned himself a nice payday for the future as AEW and WWE no doubt should take notice.
Check out the classic contest for yourself on the Triplemania XXVIII replay (starting at 2:18:17 on YouTube).
Where does this bout rank in Kenny Omega’s library of classics?