Pro Wrestling Guerrilla Battle of Los Angeles 2018 Review: Night 2

pwgbola_0-e1529633774409

Results + Star Ratings:

  • Trevor Lee defeats Marko Stunt to move on to the Second Round @9:05 **1/2
  • Jonah Rock defeats Sammy Guevara to move on to the Second Round @12:13 ****
  • Robbie Eagles defeats DJZ to move on to the Second Round @12:04 ***3/4
  • Jeff Cobb defeats Darby Allin to move on to the Second Round @9:48 ****1/2
  • Shingo Takagi defeats Ilja Dragunov to move on to the Second Round @16:22 ****3/4
  • Walter defeats Timothy Thatcher to move on to the Second Round @18:04 ****3/4
  • Stronghearts defeat Bandido, Rey Horus, and Flamita @11:47 ****3/4 

Trevor Lee vs. Marko Stunt First Round Match:

  • Originally supposed to be Chris Brookes in the place of Marko Stunt (Brookes is of Progress fame) but he is sidelined with an injury. Trevor Lee’s 5th BOLA.
  • Marko Stunt had a breakout performance in the All In “Over Budget” Battle Royal. Stunt is making his PWG debut and gets an amazing crowd reaction with the crowd throwing in fun size candy bars because his nickname is Mr.Funsize because he’s like Hornswoggle height.  
  • Trevor Lee cuts a heel promo on the size and age of Marko, Stunt takes the microphone and says “but I’m old enough to fuck your mom”. Great comedy stuff. 
  • Stunt bridges Trevor to the outside, Marko hits a great flipping huricanrana to Lee ringside. 
  • Stunt follows it up with a Swanton Bomb off the apron to Lee on a chair. 
  • Lee shoves the referee into the ropes dumping Stunt off the top rope. 
  • Huge Lariat by Lee flips Stunt. Lee continues to methodically attack Marko.
  • Single Handed Gorilla press into a Gutbuster by Lee continuing to dominate. 
  • Huricanrana by Marko seems to get him some space but Lee fires him back with an uppercut. 
  • Stunt reverses a Brainbuster in mid-air with a huricanrana spiking Lee, great mini-sequence. 
  • Strikefest, Lee slaps Marko down. Marko fires back up and hits a Sunset Flip Rolling V-Trigger.
  • Marko hits a Tilt-A-Whirl Codebreaker to get a great near fall. 
  • Lee pops up Marko but Stunt lands on the middle rope, Marko goes for a 450 but Lee dodges. Superkick by Marko. 
  • Standing Double Stomp by Lee closes the match.

Winner: Trevor Lee Moves On @9:05!

Rating: **1/2, This match while it was fun to see Marko mess around felt like it went on way too long. Marko wasn’t ever a serious threat but it was fun to see some of the flips and agility he put on display. Stunt was a last minute replacement for Chris Brookes so the fact that he put on such a fun showing is impressive. The match didn’t have any drama or urgency to it and it should’ve ended faster than it did but it wasn’t bad for what it was. 

bola1-1

Sammy Guevara vs. Jonah Rock First Round Match:

  • Both men in their second BOLA. Sammy Guevara is replacing an injured Travis Banks. 
  • Sammy backflips over Rock to escape him which is cool but he’s still caught with a vertical suplex from Jonah. 
  • Stiff chop in the corner by Rock knocks down Sammy. Backdrop by Rock gets extra elevation. 
  • Sammy shows an impressive amount of strength and hits a Samoan Drop for a near fall.
  • Guevara sweeps Rock off the top rope and says he’s about to put a boring rest hold on Rock and plugs his Youtube Channel.
  • Switch-Up into a DDT by Rock followed up with an elevated German Suplex getting a near fall on Rock. 
  • Uranage/Senton Combo by Rock gets another near fall. 
  • Guevara V-Triggers Rock off the apron, Guevara hits an awesome corkscrew tope taking out Jonah ringside. 
  • Sammy goes up to the balcony, Awesome Moonsault off the balcony by Sammy takes out Rock below. 
  • Shooting Star Press misses, stiff lariat by Rock turns Sammy inside out and lays both men. 
  • Strikefest, Sammy flips through a lariat into hitting a superkick. Canadian Destroyer by Guevara lays out Rock so he can hit the Shooting Star Press, great near fall. 
  • Powerbomb into the Guillotine choke by Rock, Sammy Guevara taps out. 

Winner: Jonah Rock Moves On @12:13!

Rating: ****, While the match started slow it really picked up and delivered big time. Sammy turned in a great performance with his amazing agility and the balcony moonsault and Rock did what he does best which is be an imposing monster and hit really hard. The match only got a little bit tarnished by what was a slow start and both men playing to the crowd for what felt like forever. Great match and it felt fresh compared to Night One, the Americanized style mixes with risky high flying spots and the submission finish worked this match in a different way than Night One’s hard-hitting Japanese/European Style encounters. 

bola10Robbie Eagles vs. DJZ First Round Match:

  • Robbie Eagles just after this fought as Taiji Ishimori’s tag partner is the Super Jr Tag Tournament in NJPW. DJZ’s first PWG match. Robbie Eagle’s BOLA debut. 
  • Fast Start. DJZ gets an air horn sound effect which gets a huge pop from the crowd. 
  • Leg Lariat by Eagles knocks DJZ to ringside, DJZ comes back in before Robbie can dive. The 2 do a great matching sequence.
  • DJZ goes to dive through the ropes but gets strung up which was kind of a botch, Eagles hits a Vertical Suplex ringside. 
  • DJZ charges at Eagles ringside sending him into a chair. 
  • Fallaway Slam Bridge by Eagles gets the first near fall.
  • Another Air Horn Sound Effect as DJZ flies at Eagles with a back elbow. 
  • Moonsault by DJZ to Eagles draped over the middle rope. 
  • Stiff chops in the corner by DJZ, DJZ goes for a Sunset Flip roll up by Eagles does a great reversal by rolling into a roll-up of his own. 
  • Reverserana by DJZ spikes Eagles on his head.
  • Death Valley Facebuster by DJZ followed up with a lariat but Eagles kips up and hits a series of kicks, DJZ kips up and both strike-off. DJZ lariats Eagles over the top rope and hits a great Tope con Hiro. Eagles comes back in and hits a Suicide Dive.
  • Springboard Dropkick by Eagles targets the knee of DJZ. 
  • Deadlift Ulster Plantation by Eagles gets a near fall. 
  • DJZ catches Eagles into a Tombstone and follows it up with a Flying Snap DDT for a great near fall. The arena is so shocked that Eagles kicked out that the lights went off.
  •  Avalanche Huricanrana by Eagles followed up by a 450 on the leg of DJZ. Eagles locks in an Inverted Figure 4 to tap out DJZ. 

Winner: Robbie Eagles Moves On @12:04!

Rating:***3/4, This was a really fun high flying match. While not all of the work was clean, the pace kept great and the air horn sound effects and the crowd making their own versions was great unintentional comedy stuff. For some reason the lights go out towards the end of the match, that was weird. DJZ delivered a great performance and similar to PCO it is a shame we won’t get to see another match from him because they’re both from companies I don’t get around to watching. However, Robbie Eagles is becoming a break out star with more time in New Japan and performances like this one will keep him in the mainstream.

bola8Jeff Cobb vs. Darby Allin First Round Match:

  • Darby Allin’s PWG debut, Jeff Cobb’s 3rd Battle of Los Angeles appearance.
  • Cobb absolutely chucks around Allin, Allin tells the crowd to be quiet and calls for a test of strength with Cobb. Amazing flying arm drag by Allin sends Cobb to ringside. 
  • After a while of dodging Cobb, Allin finally hits the Suicide Dive. In-ring, Cobb shrugs off a crossbody from Allin. Cobb beals Allin across the ring into the other corner. 
  • Stiff clubbing strike in the corner by Cobb, Allin tries to strike at Cobb but Jeff gets him back in the corner and hits a hard chop. German Suplex by Cobb lays out Allin. 
  • Pop-Up Sledgehammer by Cobb slams Allin down, Jeff Irish whips Allin hard into the corner.
  • Cobb deadlifts Allin from the apron and chucks Darby from a waistlock across the ring. Cobb hits an F5 getting a standing ovation from the crowd and a near fall. 
  • Cobb overhead suplexes Allin brutally into the corner, Allin jumps over Cobb and shotgun dropkicks him into the corner. Allin hits a comeback sequence and torpedoes off the middle rope onto Cobb for a near fall. More crowd standing ovation.
  • Amazing coffin drop by Allin to Cobb ringside, in-ring Alin goes for a lionsault but is caught by Cobb and hits a stunner to escape. Canadian Destroyer by Allin for a near fall. 
  • Diving Coffin Drop in-ring by Allin, another great near fall. Allin heads to the top again and tries to Coffin Drop Cobb on the apron but Cobb dodges and Allin falls spine first on the apron, German Suplex off the middle rope by Cobb closes the match. 

Winner: Jeff Cobb Moves On @9:48!

Rating: ****1/2, This is easily my favorite match of the 2 nights so far. Both men turned in fantastic performances but especially Darby Allin. Allin was crazy in this match hitting the Coffin Drop off of everything but having the move eventually cost him the match. Cobb did an amazing job as the brute in this match, making Allin have to work really hard to take him down. These 2 had great chemistry and the dynamic was perfect. These matches all feel really long because of the absolutely packed layouts they have but my one complaint about this match is it could’ve gone longer. The crowd was insanely invested and with Evolve being secretly part of WWE now I would love to see Allin have performances like this in NXT. 

bola2-1Ilja Dragunov vs. Shingo Takagi First Round Match:

  • Ilja and Shingo teamed in the Main Event last night. Both men are in their BOLA debuts.
  • Stiff chop against the ropes by Takagi but Dragunov returns the favor. A sequence of evenly matched moves into the senton by Ilja.
  • Dragunov hits a suicide dive to Takagi ringside. 
  • Death Valley Driver by Takagi, Ilja tried to hang onto the ropes but that made the impact even harder.
  • Shigo dominates for a bit, Ilja tries to strike back but Shingo hits a two-handed chop blasting Dragunov back down. Senton by Takagi for the first near fall. Dragunov gets back up and tries to strike but collapses. 
  • Sit-Out Powerbomb off the middle rope by Dragunov, Shingo rolls away from Ilja to escape the pin.
  • Crucifix Roll up by Dragunov gets a near fall.
  • Strike Sequence by Shingo ending with a stiff lariat knocks Dragunov down. Snap Brainbuster by Takagi for another near fall. 
  • Made In Japan attempt from Shingo fails, Strikefest turns into stiff chops from both and an enzugiri from Dragunov knocks down Takagi for another near fall. 
  • Dragunov goes to the top but Shingo rolls away, Ilja hits a Coast to Coast Dropkick across the ring and follows it up with a Blue Thunder Bomb, near fall.
  • Top Rope headbutt battle into a superplex by Takagi, Takagi aggravates the lower back that was hurt on the Sit-Out powerbomb earlier.
  • Elbow strikes by Shingo collapse Ilja, Dragunov fires up and the 2 lariat each other hard as fuck. Saito Suplex by Ija but Shingo fires with an exploder suplex. Lariat by Shingo but Dragunov hits a Rebound Lariat and gets a near fall. Diving Senton by Ilja for a very very near fall. INCREDIBLE sequence. 
  • Catching Death Valley Driver by Takagi, Corner Lariat and a botched German Suplex by Shingo goes for a near fall.
  • Made in Japan by Shingo fails again, Dragunov hits a series of strikes into a DDT/Dropkick combo. Shingo catches Dragunov running and hits Made in Japan for an awesome near fall. 
  • Another huge lariat by Takagi followed by another Made in Japan. 

Winner: Shingo Takagi Moves On @16:22!

Rating: ****3/4, Okay just as I said the last match was my favorite match from BOLA so far this goes and tops it. This match was intense and hit really hard. Dragunov is incredible he’s one of the cleanest working, hardest-hitting, and best selling wrestlers I’ve ever seen. Shingo Takagi was pretty good too. The match itself had a lot of awesome near falls and for the first match, tonight didn’t rely heavily on dives which was refreshing. This match was just two heavyweights hitting the crap out of each other and moving faster than they should be. The bumps were hard and the crowd was into it at the end. In the beginning, the crowd was exhausted from the night of action but the work in this match lit a fire in the Globe Theatre. 

bola7Walter vs. Timothy Thatcher First Round Match:

  • Rematch from Progress Chapter 62 which was a fantastic match. Walter is the current PWG champion. These 2 are part of Ringkampf. The second BOLA for both men. 
  • Thatcher refuses to handshake Walter.
  • Very technical start as would be expected.
  • Bow and Arrow Stretch by Thatcher transitioned into a roll up but Walter kicks out at 1. 
  • Stiff clubs by Walter into a sleeper hold attempt that fails, Thatcher catches Walter off the big boot and transitions into a Boston Crab. Thatcher mounts Walter and slaps him hard, Thatcher tries to get into the Cross Armbreaker but Walter keeps the hands together, Walter brutally stomps on the head of Thatcher to escape. Walter hits 2 brutal Penalty Kicks to the back of Thatcher.
  • Walter has been striking extra brutally in this match. 
  • Brutal chop into a hard boot to the face by Walter knocking out Thatcher, JESUS.
  • Stiff elbow strikes from both men but Walter knocks out Thatcher again with the stiffest elbow strike. 
  • Walter clubs Thatcher while he’s strung up in the ropes, Sheamus-Style but much harder. Thatcher catches the 3rd one and elbow strikes Walter, Walter puts Thatcher over the top rope and steps on his neck bending him over the top rope. 
  • Brutal Chop by Walter again knocks Thatcher down, Walter hits another one but Thatcher ducks the 3rd one and jabs Walter down with a right hand. 
  • The match goes to the outside as they continue to hit each other way too hard. Vertical Suplex ringside by Thatcher sends Walter hard into the floor. 
  • Brainbuster on the apron by Walter, Thatcher has taken SOOO much in this match. 
  • Saito Suplex attempt by Thatcher but Walter collapses himself onto Thatcher in a cover for a near fall.
  • German Suplex and Saito Suplex by Thatcher for another near fall. 
  • Clubbing lariat into a powerbomb by Walter, near fall. 
  • Strikefest into a German suplex by Walter.
  • Fujiwara Armbar locked in by Thatcher, Thatcher transitions into a sleeper but Walter powers out. 
  • Thatcher locks in the sleeper again, Walter climbs the turnbuckle and backdrops onto Thatcher from the middle rope. 
  • Uranage by Walter for another near fall. 
  • Another stiff lariat by Walter wins the match.

Winner: Walter Moves On @18:04!

Rating: ****3/4, This match hit harder than any other match I’ve ever seen. However, it lacked the drama that the Walter vs. Thatcher match from Progress had. I liked this match more though because it was just such a hard-hitting affair. These 2 absolutely beat the shit out of each other for close to 20 minutes and it was a hard watch. The match was insanely technical and that was a new style we haven’t seen in the 2 nights so far. The crowd is exhausted and that was felt a bit in this match but this also wasn’t a match to be super loud about. It was a fight, a genuine fight and one of the more convincing wrestling matches I’ve seen. Walter is on a tear in 2018 and just continues it here. 

Bandido, Rey Horus, and Flamita vs. STRONGHEARTS (Desmond Xavier, Zachary Wentz and CIMA):

  • Wentz and Flamita start the match. The match goes Lucha Rules so tags aren’t made. 
  • Bandido hits a Diving Crossbody taking out Xavier, Tilt-A-Whirl Huricanrana by Bandido sends Xavier ringside. 
  • The Rascalz and Bandido and Flamita face-off, rematch from Neon Knights earlier this year which was an incredible match. Both teams hit the Floss but also hit double superkicks taking out everyone. 
  • Fast sequence from Horus and CIMA, CIMA suplexes Bandido while having Flamita in the Indian Deathlock. 
  • Diving Codebreaker by Wentz takes out Horus.
  • Wheelbarrow by Bandido assists Flamita into moonsaulting Wentz, awesome spot. 
  • Wentz dives off the back of CIMA to the outisde, Xavier follows and hits an awesome Sasuke Special diving out everyone. 
  • Dive Sequence by the Stronghearts to Bandido, Bandido kicks out at one and fires up but it met with stereo superkicks by the Rascalz. 
  • DDT on the apron by Flamita to Xavier, hard landing. 
  • Horus hits a Tornado off the top rope to ringside, Bandido pops up Flamita for the elevated Tope Con Hilo to outside, Bandido hits an awesome Diving Corkscrew. Awesome dive sequence.
  • Pop-Up Tornado DDT by Horus helped by Bandito, 450 Splash by Flamita on Xavier gets a near fall.
  • Amazing backhandspring Pele kick by Xavier to Horus, Fantastic springboard german suplex by Bandido to Xavier gets a near fall. Eruption from the crowd. 
  • Strike Sequence in the corner by Stronghearts into a Meteora by CIMA for another near fall. Amazing Moonsault by Wentz, Xavier pushing it onto Bandido gets the win. 

Winners: Stronghearts @11:47!

Rating: ****3/4, I could never actually describe how this match went. Taking notes on it was really hard. These 2 did moves I’ve never seen before and topped all of the flippy shit I’ve ever seen. This was like if the All In main event didn’t have to end early. This was really fun and was worked shockingly well for how much these guys were doing in such a short amount of time.

Show Grade: A+

Last Word: Night 2 had something for every wrestling fan. The show had intense brawling, crazy flips, technical wrestling, and established characters. BOLA has been stacked this year and has delivered some of the best wrestling all year. The finals will be insane. This show had a lot of matches that were really close to 5 stars but the only missing component was a storyline. In the finals, there will be that story so my hopes are really high for a 5-star match. Regardless of star ratings, there were 3 fantastic matches to close the show and PWG establishes itself as one of the best wrestling companies in an in-ring standpoint in the world. What a show!

MOTN: Shingo Takagi vs. Ilja Dragunov

 

 

Pro Wrestling Guerrilla Battle of Los Angeles Review: Night One

pwg-bola-2018-logo-696x392

Results + Star Ratings: 

  • Rey Horus defeats Adam Brooks to move on to the Second Round @20:33 ***1/2
  • Flamita defeats Puma King to move on to the Second Round @12:07 ***3/4
  • CIMA defeats Jody Fleisch to move on to the Second Round @16:29 ***
  • Bandito defeats T-Hawk to move on to the Second Round @12:21 ****1/2
  • Joey Janela defeats David Starr to move on to the Second Round @16:01 ****1/2
  • PCO defeats Brody King to move on to the Second Round @11:15 ****
  • Ringkampf defeats Ilja Dragunov and Shingo Takagi @22:18 ****1/4

 

Adam Brooks vs. Rey Horus First Round:

bola6

  • Brooks’s first-ever BOLA, Horus fought in last years. Horus is also Dragon Azteca Jr in Lucha Underground. 
  • Pretty evenly matched opening to the match. The first speed up comes in a roll-up battle. 
  • Awesome hopscotch arm drag by Horus in the corner. 
  • Horus kicks Brooks off the top rope to the outside and hits an awesome Tope Con Hiro over the post to the outside taking out Adam. 
  • Great single leg dropkick by Horus to Adam sitting down for the first near fall.
  • Brooks slingshots the rope into the face of Horus, an interesting move for another near fall. 
  • Apron Penalty Kick and a Back Drop onto the apron by Brooks. In-ring Brooks hits a senton and does a cocky cover on Horus. 
  • A slower pace than normal for both of these guys in the first ten minutes. 
  • Springboard Crossbody by Horus misses, Shotgun Dropkick by Brooks sends Horus into the corner for a near fall. 
  • Cheeky Nandos Eye Poke by Brooks gets Adam some great heel heat. 
  • Great Kickfest and Horus knocks down Adam first.
  • Brooks hits a Canadian Destroyer but Horus gets up and slams Adam with a Spanish Fly taking both down ending a solid sequence. 
  • Strikefest, Brooks smashed Horus with a dropkick that sends him outside. Brooks hits an amazing suicide moonsault over the top rope. In-ring Brooks hits a Tornado DDT for a near fall. 
  • V-Trigger in the corner by Brooks. 
  • Brooks deadlifts out of a huricanrana but Horus flies over and hits a Sunset Flip Powerbomb for another near fall. 
  • STO into the corner by Brooks, Brooks gets Horus on the top rope and slams him with an enzugiri. 
  • Horus goes for a 450 Splash but misses, Brooks goes for a Swanton Bomb but Horus gets his knees up. Good missing dive sequence. 
  • Horus flips into an Indian Deathlock torquing the knees of Brooks, Adam gets the bottom rope. 
  • Horus hits Brooks with a stiff chop on the top rope and goes for a wheelbarrow takeover but Adam stops it. Horus goes for a supercanrana but Adam brutally powerbombs him off the top rope, a hard landing for Rey. 
  • Kiwi Crusher by Brooks, great near fall. 
  • Back on the top rope, Horus hits an awesome wheelbarrow Takeover to win the match. 

Winner: Rey Horus Moves On To The Second Round @20:33!

Rating: ***1/2, This was a great high flying encounter with some ridiculous spots as you would come to expect from PWG. The match was a solid opener for the tournament and sets a tone for the great night of action to come. The match moved really well and both men worked very cleanly which often isn’t the case in a big risk big flips match like this. 

bola5Puma King vs Flamita First Round:

  • Puma King is in his PWG debut here, Flamita fought in BOLA last year losing to the eventual winner Ricochet. 
  • Very fast start into a stare down.
  • Huricanrana by Flamita sends Puma to the outside, Flamita hits a Suicide Dive followed by a Tope Con Hiro.
  • Diving Crossbody by Flamita hits, King smacks Flamita down with a Superkick. 
  • Stiff chop against the ropes by King, Flamita fires back with a handspring elbow and a standing shooting star press combo.
  • Roll up battle into double dropkicks and both stare down again getting a Standing Ovation from the crowd.
  • Stiff chop battle, Big move sequence and a superman punch by Flamita knocks down King ending a very solid sequence. 
  • Codebreaker by King and a snaprana sends Flamita to the outside, Diving Crossbody by Puma to the outside. Missile Dropkick by Puma to Flamita sitting down in-ring for a near fall.
  • Fly-over Sunset Flip Powerbomb by Flamita gets another near fall.
  • 450 Splash by Flamita hits for yet another near fall. 
  • Monkey Flip by King sends Flamita into the corner, Great Pendulum Powerbomb by Puma, great near fall. 
  • Supercanrana out of the Tree of Woe by King, Flamita pops back up and hits a Spanish Fly for another near fall. 
  • Top Rope Pendulum Powerbomb by King reversed into a Supercanrana by Flamita.
  • Flamita knocks Puma down with a superkick and hits a Pheonix Splash to win the match.

Winner: Flamita Moves On @12:07!

Rating: ***3/4, Puma King is really impressive and he does a lot of moves in this match that a man his size shouldn’t be able to do. This was my first exposure to PK and I was impressed although slightly weirded out at his whole Act Like a Cat persona. Flamita is one of the best luchadors in the world right now. The match was impressive however had some very similar spots to the match right before it and was at a weaker pace with less drama. Without context, this match is a good outing for both men that was a very entertaining lucha clash. 

bola4CIMA vs. Jody Fleisch First Round:

  • CIMA making his 3rd BOLA appearance, including his victory in 2007 beating El Generico(Sami Zayn) and Roderick Strong. Jody’s debut in PWG.
  • Very clean double leapfrog dropkick by Fleisch. 
  • Double Dropkick sequence into a stand-off. 
  • Both men playing to the crowd for a bit and doing a pretty solid comedy segment about avoiding each other’s strikes. Handshake but CIMA delivers a lariat. 
  • Enzugiri by Fleisch sends CIMA to the outside, Jody hits an awesome springboard moonsault off the apron taking out CIMA on the floor. 
  • Fighting into the crowd, Amazing springboard off the wall by Fleisch taking out Cima with a moonsault. Really impressive show of athleticism. 
  • Sunset Flip Roll up by Jody starts a roll up battle that rolls around the ring, getting a great crowd response. Dizziness starts to take over as all 3 including the referee feel the effects. A double lariat takes both down. 
  • Double Stomp by Cima to the chest of Fleisch, Cima locks in an Octopus Lock and transitions it into a crucifix roll-up for a near fall.
  • Inverted Ulster Plantation by Cima followed up with a Frog Splash but Fleisch gets his knees up.
  • Step-up Huricanrana by Jody to Cima on the 2nd rope for a near fall.
  • Great corkscrew springboard DDT by Fleisch for another near fall.
  • Jody misses a Shooting Star Press but lands on his feet, Backstabber by Cima. Cima hits an Air Raid Crash for yet another near fall. 
  • Meteora by Cima closes the match. 

Winner: Cima Moves On @16:29!

Rating:***, Other than the awesome springboard off the wall by Jody this match never got going in comparison to the 2 before it. 3 minutes of the match time was spent playing to the crowd. Fleisch turned in a very impressive performance but Cima didn’t really impress me all that much and this is my first time watching either. The match was pretty good for the closing stretch but also was given a bit of a dead spot after 2 very good matches before this. 

bola3

T-Hawk vs Bandido First Round Match:

  • Bandito’s first Battle of Los Angeles. 
  • Stiff chop by Hawk knocks Bandito down early. 
  • Springboard Crossbody followed by a Superkick by Bandito.
  • Brutal chop by Hawk knocks Bandito off the top rope, enzugiri by Bandito stops a suicide dive by Hawk. Bandito hits a great moonsault off the post to the outside. 
  • Hawk catches Bandito in mid-air with a stiff knee strike. 
  • Another brutal chop by Hawk slams Bandito down. 
  • Irish Whip by Hawk but Bandito collapses from the damage so far, near fall by Hawk. 
  • Repeated chops while keeping wrist control followed up by a Snap DDT by Hawk for another near fall. 
  • Great Tornado Dive by Bandito begins to fire Bandito back into the match. 
  • Stiff chop in the corner by Bandito. Another stiff chop by Hawk and Bandito returns with a bicycle knee. Landslide by Hawk hits. Bandito fires back with a dropkick in the corner to end the solid sequence.
  • Chop battle, Bandito fires up. Bandito’s chest is covered with welts. Rapid Fire Chop Battle now. Hawk hits a Pop-up Powerslam for a near fall. Hawk’s chest is also red as hell.
  • Deadlift by Bandido into a backbreaker, Hawk fires back with a Stiff Lariat. 
  • Amazing Spanish Fly Fallaway Slam by Bandito off the top rope to move on.

Winner: Bandito Moves On @12:21!

Rating: ****1/2, This match hit hard as hell. T-Hawk is an incredible striker and Bandito’s chest got messed up by the end. These 2 threw everything at each other strike-wise and it was an awesome match that kept it’s tight pace through it’s short runtime. Bandito turns in another great showing in 2018 and this match was a very fun watch. The 2 were very evenly matched but Bandito picked up the win with his awesome flipping fallaway slam finisher. 

bola2David Starr vs. Joey Janela First Round Match:

  • Both have had very solid 2018s. Starr has done his best work in Progress while Janela had an amazing Street Fight with Hangman Page at All In. This is Starr’s first BOLA. Janela’s 2nd BOLA losing last year to Sammy Guevara in the first round. 
  • Janela fires up early.
  • Stiff chops by Janela, Starr hit a chop of his own in the corner. Janela knocks Starr down with a chop but Starr fires back with a chop knocking Joey down. 
  • Starr chops Janela so hard he flies into the crowd.
  • Strikefest, elbow strikes by Janela knock Starr into the corner.
  • Supercanrana by Janela takes Starr off the top rope, Janela hits a Diving Elbow Drop and Tunes up the Band in the corner, Starr catches a superkick sweeps the leg and hits a Shining Whizzer Knee Strike for a near fall on Janela. 
  • Stiff chop again in the corner by Starr, Starr gets distracted by the crowd and Janela hits a series of chops in the corner. Starr rakes the eyes of Janela and hoists him onto the top rope. Starr chops Janela off the top rope onto the apron. Janela gets Starr draped over the top rope and hits a brutal reverse DDT on the apron taking out Starr. “Holy Shit” Chants, in ring near fall.
  • Stiff strikefest a rebound lariat by Starr ends the sequence.
  • Elbow strike by Castle sends Starr to the outside, a suicide dive by Joey is stopped with an apron DDT by Starr. Canadian Destroyer by Starr rolled through by Janela and Joey smacks Dave with a superkick. 
  • Another stiff strikefest, Starr rolls into a Cloverleaf Submission, Janela gets the bottom rope after a while in the hold. 
  • Great Suicide Dive by Starr, Janela fires back with a suicide dive of his own, Starr hits another suicide dive and then another one to take out Janela. Janela comes back and hits a great Flipping Senton Dive taking Starr out ringside. Starr hits a running plancha dive to finally end the dives. Great dive sequence.
  • Starr trips over the middle rope getting in the ring opening the opportunity for Janela to hit the Package Piledriver and get a great near fall on Starr.
  • Saito Suplex onto the ropes by Starr followed by a huge lariat and a brainbuster, near fall by Starr. Starr hits a superkick and gets another near fall. Near fall roll up by Janela. 
  • Another strikefest caps off with a Superkick by Janela for the win. 

Winner: Joey Janela Moves On @16:01!

Rating: ****1/2, This is the most Americanized match of the night and another absolute banger. Like the previous match, this match hit hard but the highlight of this match was the Reverse DDT on the apron by Janela and the insane dive sequence. These guys have great chemistry and I have yet to see a bad David Starr match. Starr ramps up the momentum in the closing stretches of a match like few other wrestlers I’ve seen and that happened again here with a very tight closing sequence. These 2 put on a brutally fun encounter. 

bola1

PCO vs. Brody King First Round Match:

  • PCO making his PWG debut and Brody King making his BOLA debut. 
  • PCO sends Brody to ringside and hits a great suicide dive absolutely flying for a man of that size/age. Brody King comes back with a Tope Con Hiro. 
  • Great leaping huricanrana by PCO, this old dude can FLY. 
  • Stiff chops by King, PCO returns the favor and a chop battle ensues.  
  • King hits a cannonball to PCO against the ropes for the first near fall. 
  • DDT by PCO hits and lays out King, Back Drop by King evades a running PCO and King follows it up with a cannonball in the corner. 
  • Impressive Moonsault by King, near fall.
  • Lariat by King takes both men down, Stiff strikes sent from both men. PCO hits a chokeslam and gets a very near fall. 
  • Stiff elbow strike into an insane leaping moonsault by King. Brody follows it up with a Piledriver but can’t immediately capitalize so PCO kicks out at 1. 
  • Pop-Up Powerbomb by PCO followed by a running knee strike that lays out King. 
  • Insane Diving Senton by PCO to King on the apron. PCO goes to the other post and hits an insane moonsault but misses and lands draping himself over the top rope intense botch, OUCH. PCO heads back again to hit another freakin moonsault and gets a near fall. 
  • Crucifix Piledriver by King closes the match.

Winner: Brody King Moves On @11:15!

Rating: ****, These super heavyweights did more impressive acts of agility than you would ever expect them to. PCO was an absolute beast and Brody King worked cleanly. Even though PCO wasn’t exactly both-free he took the moonsault miss like he wasn’t phased and went and hit another one. PCO’s thing is that he isn’t human and he genuinely acts like it. 

Ringkampf (Walter and Timothy Thatcher) vs. Ilja Dragunov and Shingo Takagi Non-Tournament Tag Match:

  • Ilja Dragunov in his first American Wrestling Match. Shingo Takagi joins Los Ignorables in NJPW just after BOLA finished. Walter is the current Progress and PWG champion and one of the best wrestlers in the world. Thatcher’s pretty good too.
  • Thatcher and Dragunov start the match. 
  • Walter and Shingo Takagi both tag in and standoff to a great crowd reaction. 
  • Ilja Dragunov hot tags in and stands off with Walter. Leapfrog Big Boot by Walter knocks Dragunov. 
  • Single Leg Boston Crab by Thatcher to Ilja, Thatch transitions into an STF but lets go of the hold to strike at Dragunov. Ilja takes Tim down and hits a senton for the first near fall.
  • Shingo goes to attacks Walter who’s not the legal man and Walter comes in and rocks Shingo with a big boot.
  • Senton Sequence by Dragunov and Takagi, near fall on Thatcher. 
  • A sequence of Belly to Belly suplexes by Tim open up the tag to Walter.
  • Stiff chop in the corner by Walter to Ilja, Walter continues to isolate Dragunov from making the tag. Gutwrench suplex by Tim to Dragunov but Shingo comes in to make the save from the pin. Dragunov chops Walter, Walter rocks him and then steps on his neck draping him over the top rope. Walter hits a final incredibly hard chop and gets another near fall on Ilja.
  • Saito Suplex by Ilja to Thatcher finally opens up tags, Takagi gets in for the hot tag. Takagi delivers a Flatliner/DDT combo taking out Ringkampf simultaneously. 
  • Shingo lariats Walter but Walter is asking for more, Walter trips Takagi into the Boston Crab, Dragunov chops Walter to end the hold. Walter rises up and absolutely rocks Dragunov with a chop. Takagi takes down Walter with a huge lariat.
  • Walter catches Dragunov with a stiff lariat for a near fall. 
  • DDT by Ilja taking out Walter, Dragunov follows it up with an enzugiri for another near fall. 
  • Discus Lariat by Dragunov counters Walter and gets yet another near fall. 
  • Torpedo Moscow attempt by Dragunov caught into a sleeper by Walter, Stereo Sleepers by Ringkampf. Strike Sequence by Takagi and Dragunov takes out Walter and gets another near fall. 
  • Big Boot/German Suplex/Uranage combo by Walter rocks Dragunov. Standing Ovation from the crowd and both men make tags.
  • Strikefest from Thatcher and Takagi, Widow’s Peak Facebuster by Shingo. 
  • Powerbomb/Uppercut by Ringkampf takes out Shingo, Dragunov leaps over Walter to break the pin with a leg drop. 
  • Stiff chop by Dragunov to Walter starts a chop battle, Walter knocks Ilja down but Dragunov fires back up and the chop intensity increases. Dragunov knocks Walter with an enzugiri and hits a Suicide Dive taking out Walter ringside. 
  • Made in Japan by Shingo to Thatcher for an awesome near fall. 
  • Dragunov and Thatcher strike off, Walter suplexes his own partner in order to geet Dragunov over on the German Suplex. Shotgun Dropkick by Walter to Shingo but Takagi fires back with a Death Valley Driver. 
  • Dragunov has a Fujiwara Armbar locked in and Thatcher gets a roll up to win the match for Ringkampf. 

Winners: Ringkampf @22:18!

Rating: ****1/4, Another match that hit brutally hard and this time it was between 4 international stars. This was a very technical tag match but had a lot of very exciting moments. The creativity in how to blast your opponent with the hardest strike got very high towards the end and as always Walter was great. Ilja Dragunov makes his American Debut and a week after BOLA finished up he had an amazing match with Pete Dunne in his Progress debut so Ilja has been making big moves the past few months. Shingo Takagi had his first exposure to me in this match and even though him and Thatcher kind of took a backseat to Ilja and Walter’s performance they both shined on a smaller stage than what they are used to. While this wasn’t the MOTN, it was a very good hard hitting match but it lacked some of the drama that a tournament match would’ve had. 

Show Grade: B+

Last Word: While I’m watching this show on DVD a few months after it happened because my DVDs just arrived in the mail, the matches on this card have made a rumble in the wrestling world and for good reason. This 7 match card only had 3 matches under 4 stars and this is just Stage One. The drama will increase and so will the pure talent level as the tournament goes on. The MOTN, in my opinion, is Joey Janela vs. David Starr as it felt fresh and delivered riskier spots than just chopping the shit out of each other. There were so many chops on this show that by the Main Event it seemed like the move had no more prestige. This show delivered some bangers and set the tone for the 2 nights of BOLA to come. 

NXT Takeover War Games 2 Review

nxt-takeover-wargames-711-x-399-696x391

Results + Star Ratings:

  • Matt Riddle defeats Kassius Ohno @0:04 N/A
  • Shayna Baszler defeats Kairi Sane to retain the NXT Women’s Title in a 2 out of 3 Falls Match @10:53 ****
  • Aleister Black defeats Johnny Gargano @18:04 *****
  • Tomasso Ciampa defeats Velveteen Dream to retain the NXT Title @22:16 ****3/4
  • War Raiders, Pete Dunne, and Ricochet defeat Undisputed ERA in War Games @47:01 ****1/4

 

 Matt Riddle vs. Kassius Ohno:

  • Matt Riddle comes out to a huge crowd reaction and calls out Kassius Ohno. 
  • Kassius Ohno agrees to a match. 
  • Matt Riddle hits an immediate knee for the win. 

Winner: Matt Riddle @0:04

Rating: N/A, Squash City just to get Matt Riddle on a Takeover.

wwe-nxt-takeover-war-games-shayna-baszler-kairi-sane

Kairi Sane vs. Shayna Baszler 2 out of 3 Falls for the NXT Women’s Title:

  • First 2 out of 3 Falls match for the NXT Women’s Title. 
  • Fast aggressive start by Sane. 
  • Sliding Elbow by Sane knocks Baszler to ringside, Flying Forearm off the apron by Sane knocks Shayna ringside. 
  • Marina Shafir and Jessamyn Duke attack Kairi Sane with the referee focused on Shayna, Baszler locks in the Coquina Clutch tapping out Sane for the first fall at 2 minutes into the match.
  • Great bicycle kick by Baszler gets the first near fall. 
  • Coquina Clutch by Baszler locked in again, Sane gets a rope break. 
  • Stretch Buckler by Baszler, Baszler stomps on the face of Sane to break the hold. 
  • Near fall roll up by Sane getting out of another Coquina Clutch by Baszler.
  • Strikefest wears both out, Lariat by Baszler ends the sequence. 
  • Amazing reversal to the vertical suplex by Baszler, Sane turns it into a snap DDT on the apron. Really innovative spot. 
  • Sane dodges both Four Horsewomen and throws them into the steps, Great Diving Elbow drop the ringside wipes out Shafir, Duke, and Baszler. 
  • In-Sane Elbow by Sane in-ring scores Kairi the first fall 7 minutes and 30 seconds in.
  • 3 Consecutive Spears by Sane, 2 spinning backfists knock down Shayna. Baszler catches Sane up on the top rope and they brawl on the top. Great Reversal out of a super gut wrench suplex by Baszler, Sane hits a super sunset flip and gets a near fall.
  • Duke distracts the ref as Shafir knocks Sane off the top rope. Dakota Kai comes out to try and even the odds. Io Shirai comes down and hits an awesome diving moonsault to wipe out the 2 Horsewomen. 
  • In-Sane Elbow by Kairi gets caught and rolled up by Baszler for the win. 

Winner: Shayna Baszler Retains @10:53!

Rating: ****, This is the 3rd matchup between these 2 and each have been over 4 stars so obviously they know how to work a great match. The underdog babyface versus cocky MMA heel stable is a great dynamic and this match perfected the story. While the match should’ve gone a bit longer it retained intensity and fire throughout and had some great spots and kept a fast pace.

wwe-nxt-takeover-war-games-aleister-black-johnny-gargano

Aleister Black vs. Johnny Gargano:

  • Great entrance attire on Black.
  • One of the best stories of the year with Gargano costing Black the title and 3 months of his career. Anti-hero Gargano is fantastic and vengeful Black is even better. Another great example of NXT storytelling. 
  • Stare down after the bell rings, the tension is insane. Gargano slaps Black and Black boots him back.
  • Black catches Johnny springboarding to the outside with a stiff buzzsaw kick. 
  • Gargano dodges Black and does Aleister’s sitting taunt.
  • A series of strikes by Black, Black does the fake suicide dive flip back sitting taunt but Gargano catches him with a kick from behind. 
  • Near fall roll up for Johnny neatly transitioned into a surfboard lock by Gargano, Black near falls pins Gargano out of the hold. 
  • Black boots Gargano off the apron and follows it up with an amazing tope con hiro to ringside wiping out Johnny.
  • Amazing springboard standing moonsault by Black for a near fall.
  • Diving Moonsault by Black misses, Gargano hits an amazing suicide tornado DDT to ringside. In-ring, Gargano hits a springboard DDT for a great near fall.
  • Gargano trash talks Black and hits a stiff elbow and a running strikefest begins. Double Lariats into more strikefest, Gargano hits a spikerana but Black hits a bicycle kick to end the awesome sequence. Standing ovation from the crowd. 
  • The match changes rings and Black catches Gargano with a knee to stop the slingshot spear. Black hits a springboard double knees/German Suplex bridge combo for a great near fall. 
  • Tilt-A-Whirl into the Gargano Escape, near fall rollup by Black to escape the Escape.
  • Lawn Dart into the corner by Johnny Gargano hits. 
  • Gargano taunts for the DIY superkick, Black sits in the ring and says Bring It. Johnny removes the knee pad but missed Black. Superkick and an exposed running knee by Gargano hits, great near fall. 
  • Gargano is hitting Black aggressively with elbows but Black begins to fight back into another strikefest, stiff buzzsaw kick by Black connects. Gargano pushed Black off the springboard to the outside. 
  • Black catches Gargano in mid-air with a bicycle knee off the suicide dive, one of my favorite spots of the year. 
  • Gargano begs Black to hit the Black Mass baiting him in and rolling him up for a great near fall. Gargano Escape locked in, Black rolls out of it and hits a spinning knee knocking Gargano. 
  • Black removes the knee pad and hits a bicycle knee and a stiff black mass but Black holds Johnny up and hits another one.

Winner: Aleister Black @18:04

Rating: *****, The story building up to this match definitely set up the 5-star rating for these guys but the in-ring match could’ve never been bad. Gargano and Black have had amazing years this year with some quality performances but this is my favorite from both. While I don’t think this is better than Gargano vs. Ciampa 2 it is the 3rd best NXT match of the year in my opinion (just after Almas vs. Gargano). The dark and determined heel Gargano was done so well that they are reflecting it with Daniel Bryan on the main roster and the angry vengeful Aleister Black was an amazing character that made this match have just an added level of aggression. The spots in this match were very smart especially the catching knee to the suicide dive which is one of the best spots this year. Even without the story, this would be a MOTY contender, the story makes it one of the best matches I’ve ever seen.

wwe-nxt-takeover-war-games-tommaso-ciampa-velveteen-dream-nxt

Tomasso Ciampa vs. Velveteen Dream for the NXT Title:

  • 2 of the most polarizing characters in 2018 Professional Wrestling. 
  • Crowd firmly behind the Dream. Velveteen also came out as Hollywood Hogan.
  • Dream escapes Ciampa but loses the Hollywood Headband, Dream rolls to ringside. Dream grabs the title and Ciampa chases him back into the ring.
  • Great standing dropkick by Dream and a flurry of ring-based offense follows capping off with a Diving Axe Handle. 
  • Dream taunts for the Atomic Leg Drop, Ciampa rolls ringside. Dream hits a Diving Axe Handle taking out Ciampa ringside. 
  • Ciampa dumps Dream off the springboard, Dream hits the apron hard on his way to ringside. 
  • Running Knee in the Corner by Ciampa knocks out Dream, Ciampa doesn’t capitalize. 
  • Hangman’s Neckbreaker over the top rope by Ciampa launches Dream to ringside. 
  • Running Knee with the brace to Dream over the announce table by Ciampa. 
  • Headlock by Ciampa is deep in, Dream does an amazing job of selling it and escapes the hold.
  • Rude Awakening Neckbreaker by Dream puts both down.
  • Big Boot and 3 Atomic Leg Drops by Dream pays homage to Hulk Hogan. 
  • Spinebuster by Dream, near fall. 
  • Amazing plancha to ringside by Dream followed by an attempt at the Purple Rainmaker but Ciampa baits him in and takes him ringside. 
  • Dream drops Ciampa’s previously injured knee over the apron and does the Bret Hart post Figure 4, Ciampa taps with the referee distracted. 
  • Velveteen Dream locks in Flair’s Figure 4 further working the knee of Ciampa, Ciampa reversed the pressure but Dream rolls back into it, Ciampa passes out and delivers a great near fall but Ciampa eventually grabs the bottom rope. 
  • Insane Suplex rolling over the top rope to the outside by Dream. Dream brings in Ciampa and escapes a near countout. 
  • Strikefest, Dream misses a superkick almost just missing the ref, Ciampa rolls up Dream but the ref catches him using the tights. A superkick hits for Dream catching Ciampa arguing with the ref, awesome near fall. 
  • Ciampa catches Dream in mid-air with a knee of the springboard. Ciampa hits the Project Ciampa lungblower and hurts the knee but goes for the pin and gets another great near fall.
  • Ciampa grabs the title belt and brings it in the ring and argues with the ref, Dream hits a Twisting DDT onto the belt for an awesome near fall. 
  • Ciampa boots Dream to ringside and on Dream’s way back in Ciampa catches him with a Draping DDT for yet another great near fall. 
  • Ciampa takes off padding to reveal ringside concrete, Ciampa tries to hit a draping DDT off the apron but Dream spears him over the announce table. Ciampa throws paper at Mauro Ranallo and Dream catches him with a Rolling DVD ringside. In-ring Dream hits the Purple Rainmaker and another awesome near fall happens. 
  • Dream goes to hit the elbow drop to Ciampa on the apron and misses and crashes to ringside. 
  • Draping DDT onto the steel holding the rings together by Ciampa closes the match. 

Winner: Tomasso Ciampa Retains! @22:16 

Rating: ****3/4, How does NXT keep doing it? How do they keep having these special matches?  These 2 polarizing figures combined their characters to perfection and involved inventive spots and constant awesome near falls in front of a RED HOT crowd. Ciampa is an absolutely great heel as always here and Dream played a great babyface who played the classic moves of Bret Hart, Hulk Hogan, and Ric Flair to huge crowd reactions. The ending stretch was fantastic with great big move/near fall sequences and the exposed concrete and metal DDT spots. The referee spots were great too especially the DDT onto the title by Dream which got a very near fall. NXT continues delivering like no other wrestling product in the world. The only possible con with this match is you felt a bit of burn out from the last 5-star match. 

wwe-nxt-takeover-war-games-undisputed-era-adam-cole-roderick-strong-kyle-oreilly-bobby-fish-war-raiders-ricochet-pete-dunne

Undisputed ERA vs. Ricochet, Pete Dunne, and War Raiders in War Games:

  • Ricochet and Adam Cole start the match. 
  • Catching Backstabber by Cole lays out Ricochet.
  • Amazing springboard forearm by Ricochet hopping from one ring to the other.
  • Kyle O’Reilly is chosen next for ERA.
  • Between the rings Ricochet strikes off Era until O’Reilly hits a Dragon Screw Leg Whip taking Rico down.
  • Stiff series of strikes by Cole and Kyle into an assisted ushigoroshi to Cole.
  • Hanson is chosen next for the faces. 
  • Hot Tag of sorts for Hanson taking out Cole and Kyle with great agility. 
  • Amazing shooting star press off the back of Hanson by Richochet to Kyle. 
  • Roderick Strong is chosen next for ERA.
  • A series of Backbreakers into the Lumbar Check by Roddy to Cole.
  • Axe and Smash by Kyle to Hanson, Cole shows great strength and hits an Olympic Slam by Hanson.
  • Rowe is chosen next for the faces. 
  • Great entrance for Rowe taking out Undisputed Era with a great flurry of offense. Powerbomb/Powerslam combo by Rowe to Kyle and Roddy at the same time. 
  • War Raiders chuck Roddy, Cole, and Kyle into the cage. 
  • Bobby Fish is last for ERA, Fish goes for Dunne in the cage and attacks him and locks him in the cage and throws away the key. Fish brings chairs into the ring. 
  • ERA uses the chairs to dominate the match, O’Reilly air guitars the chair which is totally cool with me. ERA throws Hanson into the steel cage. Hard Uranage by Roddy sends Rowe into a set-up chair. ERA throws Rowe so hard into the cage he lands on the injured knee of Fish. 
  • The referee unkeyed the original lock on Dunne’s cage but can’t get the other one done even though it’s his time to join the match. 
  • Stereo Superplexes by Adam Cole and Bobby Fish to the War Raiders.
  • The referees get bolt cutters and finally free Pete Dunne, ERA stops him from getting in the cage but Dunne gets a kendo stick to take out ERA from the door of the cage.
  • Diving Crossbody by Ricochet wipes out Undisputed ERA. 
  • Dunne enters the ring and War Games officially begins.
  • The faces surround ERA with weapons, Dunne throws Kyle from ring to ring and stomps his arm brutally over the middle.
  • Explex by Dunne sends Roddy into O’Reilly on the ground. 
  • O’Reilly calls back the chair rope spot from last year but avoids it this time but turns into a boot by Hanson knocking the chair into his face. 
  • Hanson spears Rowe into the corner with Cole and a trash can already there, Rowe slams Hanson onto O’Reilly in between the two rings. 
  • Fish and O’Reilly work together to strike out Rowe. Lungblower/Backstabber combo by Roddy and Cole to Rico. ERA surrounds Pete Dunne. Dunne throws Roddy into the cage and catches him mid-air with a German suplex. 
  • Kimura Lock by Dunne locked in on O’Reilly, Fish saves Kyle with a chair shot to Pete. Ankle Lock by O’Reilly with a crossface with a chair by Strong to Dunne while Era still surrounds him. 
  • Stereo Superplexes by Rico and Dunne, Dunne hit a Butterfly Suplex and Rico hit a supercanrana. 
  • Hanson tries to set up Cole on a table but the leg gives way, slight botch.
  • Great spear by Fish sends Rowe into a table set up in between the rings. 
  • Triangle Hold by O’Reilly to Rico on the table, Hanson hits a Diving Crossbody to O’Reilly to break the hold, first near fall. 
  • Cole and Ricochet fight on top of the cage. Roddy helps Cole and they try to push Rico to the outside to cost the faces the match. Awesome chain superplex led by Hanson take Adam Cole off the top of the cage. 
  • AMAZING Double Rotation Moonsault by Ricochet off the top of the cage wipes everyone out. Another spot of the year contender.
  • The teams separate into the different rings and standoff to a great crowd reaction. The teams brawl in the middle of the rings. 
  • Fallout by the War Raiders hit on Fish, Roddy and Kyle come to take out the Raiders but an awesome backspring elbow by Hanson wipes out ERA. Cole catches a flying from ring to ring Rico with a Superkick, Last Shot by Cole to Dunne, Bitter End/Standing Shooting Star combo by Rico and Dunne to Cole close the match.

Winners: The Faces @47:01

Rating: ****1/4, There was no way this match could’ve been bad but it wasn’t as good as last years. Mostly because Sanity turned in an amazing performance at last years War Games. The spots in this match were for the majority more lackluster however the double moonsault Ricochet hit is one of the better spots I’ve ever seen. The match felt really long but ERA kept it fresh. The dastardly heel plans that ERA delivered gave the match an added dimension. 

Show Grade: A+

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Race For Wrestler of the Year: August 2018

6f693-1534066715-800

Wrestler of the Month +10: Hiroshi Tanahashi, The NJPW legend picks up more accolades this year as he wins the G1 Climax. The G1 is the most prestigious wrestling tournament every year and the winner is always presented as an almost unbeatable threat. Tanahashi had an amazing finals match against Kota Ibushi and a great time-limit draw with Kazuchika Okada. The legend continues to be on a tear this year and as he gets closer to his title shot at Wrestle Kingdom it will be interesting to see what else he has in store. X

kairi-sane-nxt-takeover-brooklyn-iv-645x370

Women’s Wrestler of the Month +8: Kairi Sane, Sane had an amazing match against Shayna Baszler at Takeover which is one of my favorites Women’s Matches of all time. Sane played an amazing underdog babyface in that match and pulled out the victory she deserved. Sane showed her talent incredibly well this month and it will be great to see how she does as champion. 

roman-reigns-14Most Improved +7: Roman Reigns, WWE finally did it. They finally got me to like Roman Reigns. It might’ve been the fact that he was lesser of two evils against Brock Lesnar but I really think he delivered a good performance this month. He started it with some great character work in his feud against Lesnar, he won the title in a very mediocre match and is currently having another captivating feud with Strowman. I still don’t get why people hate Roman so much but I guess he is the Big Dog and has been shoved down our throats for a while. Hopefully, smarks can begin to realize that Reigns in NOT THAT BAD. X

3645a-1534636184-800The team of the Month +8: Undisputed ERA, this is the 3rd time that ERA has won team of the month. The ERA has an amazing character in their cocky heel personas and follows it up with amazing matches including this month’s absolute banger against Mustache Mountain. They always do a great job of mixing high spots and technical wrestling and Roddy and Kyle work so well together. As of right now, ERA might cross over The Young Bucks soon for the team of the year. Next Month is War Games and they will definitely pick up some points then. X

0eb48-1534365850-800

Match of the Month +10: Tomasso Ciampa vs. Johnny Gargano NXT Title Last Man Standing Takeover Brooklyn 4, these guys did it again. I still can’t decide which is my favorite match of their 3 Takeover encounters. This match was BRUTAL and had some amazing spots including the ending with Gargano taking himself out of the match in order to hurt Ciampa and the back-to-back Table spot. This match also had the added dimension of Gargano getting aggressive and becoming an anti-hero instead of a super-face. This is my favorite Last Man Standing match of all time and I thought they used the stipulation to make an amazing match that sets itself out as unique from their other matches. XX

Champions at the End of the Month:

WWE:

  • Universal +7: Roman Reigns 12+ Days
  • Raw Women’s +3: Ronda Rousey 12+ Days
  • IC +5: Seth Rollins 12+ Days
  • Cruiserweight +4: Cedric Alexander 145+ Days
  • Raw Tag +3: B-Team 47+ Days
  • WWE +7: AJ Styles 297+ Days
  • SD Women’s +3: Charlotte 12+ Days
  • US +5: Shinsuke Nakamura 47+ Days
  • SD Tag+3: The New Day 10+ Days
  • NXT +5: Tomasso Ciampa 44+ Days
  • NXT NA +3: Ricochet 13+ Days
  • NXT Women’s +3: Kairi Sane 13+ Days
  • NXT Tag +3: Undisputed ERA 71+ Days
  • UK +5: Pete Dunne 468+ Days
  • UK Women’s Rhea Ripley 5+ Days

NJPW:

  • IWGP HVY +7: Kenny Omega 81+ Days
  • IWGP IC +5: Chris Jericho 81+ Days
  • IWGP US +5: Juice Robinson 53+ Days
  • NEVER Openweight +5: Hirooki Goto 73+ Days
  • IWGP Tag +5: The Young Bucks 81+ Days
  • IWGP JR Tag +3: Suzuki Gun 176+ Days
  • NEVER 6-man: Firing Squad 17+ Days

ROH:

  • World +7: Jay Lethal 60+ Days
  • TV +5: Punishment Martinez 74+ Days
  • Tag +3: Briscoes 173+ Days
  • WOH +3: Sumie Sakai 144+ Days
  • 6-Man +3: Young Bucks and Cody 38+ Days

Over 4-Star Matches: (5 Points for a 4-star Match, 10 Points for a 5-star)

  • New Day vs. The Bar SD Tag Tournament SD Live ****
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Michael Elgin G1 Climax NJPW ****
  • Kazuchika Okada vs. Evil NJPW G1 Climax ****
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kota Ibushi NJPW G1 Climax Final *****
  • Kazuchika Okada vs. Minoru Suzuki G1 Climax ****
  • Daniel Bryan vs. The Miz WWE Summerslam ****1/4
  • Dolph Ziggler vs. Seth Rollins IC Title Summerslam ****1/4
  • Tomasso Ciampa vs. Johnny Gargano NXT Title Last Man Standing Takeover Brooklyn *****
  • Kairi Sane vs. Shayna Baszler NXT Women’s Title Takeover Brooklyn ****1/2
  • Ricochet vs. Adam Cole NXT North American Title Takeover Brooklyn ****1/4
  • Undisputed ERA vs. Mustache Mountain NXT Tag Titles Takeover Brooklyn ****3/4
  • Kenny Omega vs. Zack Sabre Jr NJPW G1 Climax ****
  • Kota Ibushi vs. Hirooki Goto NJPW G1 Climax ****
  • Tomohiro Ishii vs. Kenny Omega NJPW G1 Climax ****3/4
  • Kota Ibushi vs. Tetsuya Naito NJPW G1 Climax ****1/4
  • Tomohiro Ishii vs. Juice Robinson NJPW G1 Climax ****
  • Kota Ibushi vs. Kenny Omega NJPW G1 Climax *****
  • ZSJ vs. Tetsuya Naito G1 Climax ****1/4
  • Tomohiro Ishii vs. Sanada G1 Climax ****1/2
  • Kazuchika Okada vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi G1 Climax ****3/4
  • Kevin Owens vs. Seth Rollins IC Title RAW ****1/4

August Leaderboard: 

njpw-g1-28-3-kenny-omega-645x370Leader: Kenny Omega

  1. Kenny Omega 192 Points
  2. Kazuchika Okada 164 Points
  3. Young Bucks: 142 Points
  4. Kota Ibushi: 134 Points
  5. Hiromu Takahashi: 127 Points
  6. Johnny Gargano: 116 Points
  7. Will Ospreay: 105 Points
  8. Zack Sabre Jr -Undisputed ERA -Hiroshi Tanahashi: 102 Points
  9. Tomasso Ciampa: 97 Points
  10. AJ Styles: 81 Points
  11. Seth Rollins: 75 Points
  12. Adam Cole -Sanada: 66 Points
  13. Marty Scurrl: 64 Points
  14. Hirooki Goto -Tomohiro Ishii: 60 Points
  15. Alexa Bliss -Cody: 58 Points
  16. Hangman Page: 56 Points
  17. Jay White -Tetsuya Naito: 55 Points
  18. Andrade Almas -Dalton Castle -Cedric Alexander -Mustache Mountain: 50 Points
  19. Brock Lesnar: 49 Points
  20. Minoru Suzuki -Evil: 45 Points
  21. Pete Dunne: 43 Points
  22. Juice Robinson: 42 Points
  23. The Briscoes: 41 Points
  24. The Miz -Jay Lethal -Kushida: 40 Points
  25. Shinsuke Nakamura: 37 Points
  26. Flip Gordon -Aleister Black -El Desperado -Michael Elgin -Chris Jericho: 35 Points
  27. Dragon Lee: 32 Points
  28. Braun Strowman -Zack Gibson -Finn Balor -Ricochet: 30 Points
  29. So Cal Uncensored -Charlotte -Dolph Ziggler -Roman Reigns: 25 Points
  30. Matt Taven -Ronda Rousey -Taiji Ishimori: 23 Points
  31. Jonathan Gresham -Killian Dain -Kalisto -Ember Moon -Jeff Hardy -Velveteen Dream -Mustafa Ali -Buddy Murphy -Becky Lynch -Kanemaru -The Bar: 20 Points
  32. Burch and Lorcan -Chris Sabin -Bludgeon Brothers -Firing Squad -Sumie Sakai -Shayna Baszler -Punishment Martinez -Kairi Sane: 17 Points
  33. Asuka -Usos -John Cena -Silas Young -Roppongi 3K -Bobby Roode -EC3 -Kevin Owens: 15 Points
  34. Nia Jax -The Kingdom -New Day: 13 Points
  35. Sanity -Drew Gulak -Kenny King -Dave Finlay -Lars Sullivan -Bray Wyatt -ACH -Jack Gallagher -Sasha Banks -Yoshi-HASHI -Rusev: 10 Points
  36. Hideo Itami -Chase Owens -Beer City Bruiser -Trent Baretta -Shane Taylor -Togi Makabe -Sami Zayn -Baron Corbin -TJP -Akira Tozawa -Kurt Angle -HHH -Rysuke Taguchi -Samoa Joe -Travis Banks -Naomi -Elias -Drew Macintyre -Daniel Bryan
  37. Rhea Ripley: 3 Points

 

NJPW G1 Climax July 22nd/Night 7 A-Block Review

g1cm-000007

G1 Climax Standings Before Show: 

A-Block:

  • Jay White- 6 Points (3-0-0)
  • Michael Elgin-4 Points (2-1-0)
  • Togi Makabe-4 Points (2-1-0)
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi-4 Points (2-1-0)
  • Evil-4 Points (2-1-0)
  • Hangman Page-2 Points (1-2-0)
  • Bad Luck Fale-2 Points (1-2-0)
  • Kazuchika Okada-2 Points (1-2-0)
  • Minoru Suzuki-2 Points (1-2-0)
  • Yoshi-Hashi- 0 Points (0-3-0)

B-Block:

  • Kenny Omega-6 Points (3-0-0)
  • Tomohiro Ishii-4 Points (2-1-0)
  • Tetsuya Naito-4 Points (2-1-0)
  • Sanada-4 Points (2-1-0) 
  • Kota Ibushi- 4 Points (2-1-0)
  • Hirooki Goto- 2 Points (1-2-0)
  • Tama Tonga- 2 Points (1-2-0) 
  • ZSJ- 2 Points (1-2-0)
  • Toru Yano- 2 Points (1-2-0)
  • Juice Robinson- 0 Points (0-3-0)

G1 Climax Night 7 A-Block Results

  • Yoshi-Hashi defeats Michael Elgin via pinfall @ 14:23 ****1/4
  • Evil defeats Bad Luck Fale via DQ @ 12:22 **1/2
  • Minoru Suzuki defeats Jay White via pinfall @ 10:37 ***1/4
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi defeats Hangman Page via pinfall @ 12:07 ****
  • Kazuchika Okada defeats Togi Makabe via pinfall @ 15:10 **1/2

 

 

Yoshi-Hashi (0 Points) vs. Michael Elgin (4 Points)

  • The story here is, Yoshi has been the biggest loser of the G1 so far and has to go for broke to get some points. 
  • Crossbody to ringside by Yoshi is caught by Elgin but Yoshi brakes free. After some fight, Yoshi hits a ringside suplex. 
  • Elgin hits a lariat to Yoshi draped over the top rope for the first near fall.
  • Strikes into a DDT by Yoshi-Hashi allows Yoshi to get some space.
  • Yoshi hits a huricanrana to send Elgin ringside and follows up with an awesome Tope Con Hiro Dive. 
  • Blockbuster by Yoshi for a near fall. 
  • Spinebuster by Elgin for a near fall.
  • Super Gory Bomb by Elgin reversed with a reverserana by Yoshi for a near fall. Great high spot.
  • Chopfest fires up Yoshi to hit a German Suplex on Elgin to get some space. 
  • Powerbomb off the middle rope by Yoshi for a near fall, a sequence of big moves by Yoshi leads to the Swanton Bomb by Yoshi for a very near fall. Great firing up sequence by Hashi. 
  • Swinging Spinebuster by Elgin lays both down. 
  • Superplex by Elgin for a very near fall. Great show of heart by Yoshi. 
  • Buckle Bomb by Elgin but Yoshi fires back with a jackknife rollup for a near fall. 
  • Strikefest leads to a huge lariat by Elgin for another very near fall.
  • Splash Mountain Gory Bomb hit by Elgin for another very near fall, Yoshi is going for broke here. 
  • Burning Hammer attempt by Elgin, Yoshi flies over and hits a superkick. Fisherman Buster by Yoshi for a near fall. 
  • Karma by Yoshi for the win. 

Winner: Yoshi-Hashi via pinfall @ 14:23

Record: Yoshi-Hashi 2 Points (1-3-0), Michael Elgin 4 Points (2-2-0)

Rating: ****1/4, An incredible show of heart by Yoshi Hashi. Yoshi knew he had to go for broke and he just kept kicking out. The story was fantastic even though the pacing was a bit off. The ending was awesome, with Elgin hitting big move after big move with Hashi kicking out each time. There were also some pretty great high spots including the Super Gory Bomb by Elgin reversed into a huricanrana bomb by Yoshi. Yoshi had some amazing firing up sequences and deserved the win. 

Evil (4 Points) vs. Bad Luck Fale (2 Points)

  • Evil wastes no time and goes straight for Fale when focused on Tanga Loa.
  • Evil tries to bait Loa into hitting him for the DQ win. 
  • Fale grabs a chair distracting the referee while Tonga Loa attacks Evil. 
  • In the crowd, Fale throws Evil into chairs and throws barricades at him. Evil gets back in the ring at 17.
  • Big Splash by Fale for the first near fall.
  • Fale working the right arm of Evil.
  • Evil lariats Fale over the top rope to ringside and shoves him into the barricade. 
  • Evil wraps a chair around Fale’s head and throws Fale into the ring post.
  • Senton in the corner by Evil for a near fall. 
  • Another Big Splash by Fale for another near fall. 
  • Vertical Suplex attempt by Evil fails but he turns it into a DDT dropping Fale on his head.
  • Huge Lariat by Fale for a near fall. Fale looks more desperate for the win than usual. 
  • Bad Luck Fall attempt by Fale fails Evil fights into hitting a lariat for a near fall. 
  • Fale sends Evil into the ref, knocking out the ref and allowing Tonga Loa to attack. Bushi comes down to even the odds but Tama Tonga comes down to neutralize Bushi, Tetsuya Naito comes down to attack Tonga. STO by Evil to Fale but the referee is out and count.
  • Gun Stun to Evil calls for the DQ win. 

Winner: Evil via DQ @ 12:22

Records: Evil 6 Points (3-1-0), Bad Luck Fale 2 Points (1-3-0) 

Rating: **1/2, More of the Firing Squad G1 Overbooking. This time it’s a faction war with LIJ. This match had more momentum and given more solo time than Tama vs. Omega but this match was two slow guys battering each other which could’ve been better without all the faction war. I do like the Firing Squad character though ambushing the G1.

Minoru Suzuki (2 Points) vs. Jay White (6 Points) 

  • Youngest in the G1 versus the Oldest in the G1 facing off here. 
  • Ringside brawl leads to Jay White standing tall.
  • Jay White is getting cocky. 
  • Triangle Hold over the top rope by Suzuki. 
  • Hard strikes by Suzuki to Jay, Jay yells “Come on Suzuki” and hits a cheap shot followed by a DDT getting White back on top. 
  • Jay tries to choke out Suzuki with the ring apron, that’s unique. 
  • Suzuki brutally torquing the fingers of Jay to get out of Jay’s Cattle Mutilation lock.
  • A series of 3 PKs by Suzuki for a near fall. 
  • Wrist Lock by Suzuki, Jay White gets the ropes. 
  • Suzuki working the left arm of Jay White. 
  • Suplex into the corner by White gets him some much-needed space. 
  • Vertical Brainbuster by Jay White for a near fall.
  • Blade Runner attempt by White fails, Suzuki goes for the Rear Naked Choke and locks it in. Jay fights out and tries to low blow Suzuki, Suzuki blocks it and knocks Jay with a punch and hits the Gotch Neutralizer for the win ending White’s undefeated run.

Winner: Minoru Suzuki via pinfall @ 10:37

Records: Minoru Suzuki 4 Points (2-2-0), Jay White 6 Points (3-1-0)

Rating: ***1/4, the contrast of the cocky, young newcomer vs. the old, brutal veteran worked really well here in theory. However, the match never really kicked into another gear and lacked any huge spots. Suzuki got the win to end White’s undefeated reign in the G1 so far.

Hiroshi Tanahashi (4 Points) vs. Hangman Page (2 Points)

  • “Battle of the handsome” 
  • Technical Wrestling start where Page keeps up with Tana.
  • Hangman “breaks” the air guitar that Tana plays after his winning matches.
  • Deadlift Pumphandle Suplex by Page for the first near fall.
  • Page working the knee of Tanahashi early on. 
  • Crossbody by Tana rolled through into the Stretch Buckler hold by Page, Tana gets ropes.
  • Both hold on to each other’s legs after a kick sequence, both release at the same time but Tana gets the Dragon Screw on Page.
  • Swanton Bomb by Tanahashi for a near fall. 
  • Shooting Star Press to ringside by Page takes out Tanahashi. 
  • Top Rope Neckbreaker by Page, near fall, Page keeps ahold of the leg and locks in the Figure Four, Tanahashi turns over reversing the pressure. 
  • Dragon Screw leg whip by Tanahashi to Page over the middle rope, Page fights back and hits the Buckshot Lariat.
  • Rite of Passage attempt by Page fails and Tanahashi hits the Dragon Screw leg whip again. 
  • Page is heavily selling the leg from the multiple leg whips. 
  • Strikefest leads to a slingblade by Tana for a near fall. 
  • Hi-Fly Flo by Tana to a standing Page, a 2nd Hi Fly Flo hits to a downed Page for the win. 

Winner: Hiroshi Tanahashi via pinfall @ 12:07

Records: Hiroshi Tanahashi 6 Points (3-1-0), Hangman Page 2 Points (1-3-0)

Rating: ****, Hangman Page did an awesome job of keeping up with Tanahashi and making this match look even. Page really shined here and hit most of his signature moves. There were some awesome high spots like Page’s Shooting Star Press and the Top Rope Neckbreaker. The match had a good technical vibe too with Page working the leg of Tana early and the Dragon Screws by Tana weakening Page. The finish was pretty great too as Page started to gradually get weaker after the Dragon Screw leg whips and Tanahashi finally putting Page away after 2 Hi-Fly Flows. Great even and work rated match. 

Togi Makabe (4 Points) vs Kazuchika Okada (2 Points)

  • The “Broken” Okada shows more of a heel side here than normal. 
  • The brawling of Makabe is heavily in focus here. 
  • Ringside DDT by Okada, a hard landing for Makabe. 
  • Powerslam by Makabe gets him some needed space, Okada has been on top the majority of the match.
  • Lariat by Makabe for the match’s first near fall.
  • These two look really tired from all the G1 action so far. 
  • High Crossbody by Okada, sad near fall.
  • Shotgun Dropkick by Okada fires Makabe into the corner, Reverse Neckbreaker by Okada for another slow near fall. 
  • Okada taunts and strikes at Makabe, Makabe fires up leading to a slow strikefest.
  • Tombstone by Okada follows up with a failed Rainmaker, Death Valley Driver by Makabe takes them both out. 
  • Hard Powerbomb by Makabe for a near fall.
  • Super Overhead Suplex by Makabe, Makabe dives but Okada catches him mid-air with a dropkick. 
  • Rainmaker by Okada fails again, Makabe hits a stiff lariat. Okada gets up and hits a discus lariat.
  • Rainmaker by Okada finally hits for the win. 

Winner: Kazuchika Okada via pinfall @ 15:10

Record: Kazuchika Okada 4 Points (2-2-0), Togi Makabe 4 Points (2-2-0)

Rating: **1/2, These two men looked very tired from the constant G1 action. This match had a definite slump and even Okada with the amazing conditioning he’s shown looked exhausted. The match was mostly them laying around but towards the end, it picked up into a normal Okada finish with the dramatic attempts for the Rainmaker and with one final hit of the Rainmaker the slow match closed. 

G1 Standings after the show:

A-Block:

  • Jay White- 6 Points (3-1-0)
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi-6 Points (3-1-0)
  • Evil- 6 Points (3-1-0)
  • Michael Elgin- 4 Points (2-2-0)
  • Minoru Suzuki- 4 Points (2-2-0)
  • Kazuchika Okada- 4 Points (2-2-0)
  • Togi Makabe- 4 Points (2-2-0)
  • Hangman Page- 2 Points (1-3-0)
  • Bad Luck Fale- 2 Points (1-3-0)
  • Yoshi-Hashi- 2 Points (1-3-0)

B-Block:

  • Kenny Omega-6 Points (3-0-0)
  • Tomohiro Ishii-4 Points (2-1-0)
  • Tetsuya Naito-4 Points (2-1-0)
  • Sanada-4 Points (2-1-0) 
  • Kota Ibushi- 4 Points (2-1-0)
  • Hirooki Goto- 2 Points (1-2-0)
  • Tama Tonga- 2 Points (1-2-0) 
  • ZSJ- 2 Points (1-2-0)
  • Toru Yano- 2 Points (1-2-0)
  • Juice Robinson- 0 Points (0-3-0)

Show Grade: C 

 

 

 

 

 

NJPW G1 Climax 28 B-Block Night 6/July 21st Review

g1-climax-28-logo

Current G1 Standings Before Show (2 points per win)

A-Block:

  • Jay White- 6 Points (3-0-0)
  • Michael Elgin-4 Points (2-1-0)
  • Togi Makabe-4 Points (2-1-0)
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi-4 Points (2-1-0)
  • Evil-4 Points (2-1-0)
  • Hangman Page-2 Points (1-2-0)
  • Bad Luck Fale-2 Points (1-2-0)
  • Kazuchika Okada-2 Points (1-2-0)
  • Minoru Suzuki-2 Points (1-2-0)
  • Yoshi-Hashi- 0 Points (0-3-0)

B-Block:

  • Kenny Omega(c)-4 Points (2-0-0)
  • Kota Ibushi-4 Points (2-0-0)
  • Tama Tonga-2 Points (1-1-0)
  • Tomohiro Ishii-2 Points (1-1-0)
  • Hirooki Goto-2 Points (1-1-0)
  • Tetsuya Naito-2 points (1-1-0)
  • Zack Sabre Jr-2 Points (1-1-0)
  • Sanada-2 Points (1-1-0)
  • Juice Robinson- 0 Points (0-2-0)
  • Toru Yano- 0 Points (0-2-0)

G1 Climax Night 6 (B-Block) Results

 

Kota Ibushi(4 Points) vs. Toru Yano(0 Points)

  • Rocky Romero on commentary tonight.
  • The story going in here is Yano has to cheat to be able to win matches in the G1 and Yano has been cleaner lately.
  • Series of near fall roll-ups very early on by Toru Yano. 
  • Great looking plancha dive by Ibushi takes out Yano on the outside. 
  • Toru Yano removes the turnbuckle pads from 2 different turnbuckles but on the 3rd turnbuckle, Ibushi dives with an amazing corkscrew moonsault taking out Yano. 
  • Yano sends Ibushi face first into the exposed turnbuckle. After a little bit of fight back from Ibushi, Yano Irish whips Ibushi into the exposed buckle 3 times. 
  • Ibushi dodges the Standing Moonsault and Yano hits Ibushi with the loose turnbuckle pad. 
  • Yano tapes Ibushi’s hands together but Ibushi manages to dropkick Yano down, hit a series of kicks and a Standing Moonsault for a near fall.
  • Yano tries to low blow Ibushi but inadvertently takes out the referee. Yano low blows Ibushi and rolls him up for the upset win. 

Winner: Toru Yano via pinfall @ 8:26

Records: Toru Yano 2 Points (1-2-0), Kota Ibushi 4 Points (2-1-0)

Rating: ***, this was a very fun character clash with Ibushi being as athletically amazing as ever and Toru Yano being his goofy cheating self. While the match lacked the work rate of other NJPW matches it made up in the comedy and character aspects. Yano gets his first win and even though he’s not a favorite to win he will continue to provide a good comedy break from the serious work rate tournament matches. 

Zack Sabre Jr (2 Points) vs. Sanada (2 Points) 

  • Rematch from the NJPW Cup earlier this year. In that match, ZSJ won. 
  • Amazing counter to the snapmare by Sanada just floating out and over back into a standing position. Sanada is so athletic. 
  • Sanada is holding his own in the submission game keeping a lock on the Full Nelson hold while ZSJ keeps trying to fight out. 
  • Amazing Roll Up sequence from both, into a near fall rollup by Sanada. What a match early on!
  • Great submission sequence with Sanada again holding his own in a Straight Jacket Rest Hold Choke. Sanada looks great in this match.
  • Backslide Battle won by Sanada but ZSJ locks Sanada into a Kimura Lock, Sanada fights into a Skull End Attempt but ZSJ grabs him into a Spider Lock, Sanada fights into another near fall rollup battle. ZSJ ends the sequence with a Penalty Kick straight to Sanada’s chest.
  • European Leg Clutch Roll Up for a very near fall by ZSJ. 
  • Skull End Attempt by Sanada, ZSJ fights out, European Leg Clutch rollup by Sanada for the win. 

Winner: Sanada via pinfall @ 10:46

Records: Sanada 4 Points (2-1-0), ZSJ 2 Points (1-2-0)

Rating: ****1/4, What a technical wrestling match! It was amazing to see Sanada be able to hold his own with submissions against ZSJ. ZSJ is the king of modern technical wrestling and Sanada was able to believably hang with him at a technical standpoint. Early on, there were so many amazing sequences including Sanada keeping the Full Nelson on ZSJ no matter what, the very near fall fast roll-up sequence and even a rest hold submission sequence. There were no boring points in this match and Sanada got a shock win by turning the tables on ZSJ and using his own roll up to win. 

Juice Robinson (0 Points) vs. Tetsuya Naito (2 points)

  • Two NJPW fan favorites facing off. 
  • Juice has been more seriously since the start of this tournament, taking defeats heavily and being less flamboyant in his character lately. 
  • Tetsuya Naito working the broken hand of Juice.
  • The slingshot dropkick of Naito hits the hand of Juice, great selling of the hand by Juice even though he might actually be hurting. Adds a lot more empathy for Juice in this match.
  • Working the hand makes Naito look like a dastardly heel.
  • Juice starts to fire up by Naito spits at Juice starting a sequence into a spinebuster by Juice.
  • Sliding Dropkick to the hand of Juice by Naito, Naito locks in a submission stretch on the hand but Naito gets the ropes. 
  • Supercanrana by Naito, Juice rolls the supercanrana into a very near fall roll up.
  • Swinging DDT by Naito stopped and powered into a Jackhammer by Juice, Juice can’t capitalize though. 
  • Super Fallaway Slam by Juice sends Naito into the opposite corner, Cannonball followed by a powerbomb by Juice for a near fall. 
  • Amazing Leg Lariat by Juice flips Naito, Juice goes for the Electric Chair Drop but Naito reverses it with a reverserana.
  • Destino stopped by Juice and turned into a Pulp Friction attempt but Naito reverses it into a German suplex. Flying Forearm by Naito. Another Destino attempt fails and Juice fires back with a lariat. 
  • Another Pulp Friction Attempt reversed into a failed Destino attempt. A Juicebox attempt by Juice reverses into a successful Destino by Naito for a very near fall.
  • A final Destino wins the match for Tetsuya Naito.

Winner: Tetsuya Naito via pinfall @ 16:43

Record: Tetsuya Naito 4 Points (2-1-0), Juice Robinson 0 Points (0-3-0)

Rating: ****3/4, The story here was amazing. Juice Robinson was the underdog and had been in a slump so far this tournament. Naito was a dastardly heel working the broken hand of Juice but by the end, Juice Robinson had awakened and fought valiantly. Juice had fought like hell and looked like he was going to win. There was a mix of high spots, near falls and story in this match to perfection. Naito is killing it in match quality so far this G1. The end played out awesomely with the constant finisher attempts and near fall battle from both men that played out to a great finish. Naito hit a Destino but Juice barely kicked out showing a crazy amount of heart. Tetsuya has to immediately hit another Destino to defeat Juice. I’ll bet this is the breaking point tournament match for Juice Robinson and from now on he’ll be successful.

Tama Tonga (2 Points) vs. Kenny Omega (4 Points)

  • Before the bell, Firing Squad attacks Kenny Omega. Chase Owens and Hangman Page come out to even the attack. 
  • The rise of the Terminator by Omega wipes out the brawl outside. 
  • Tama sneaks in from behind to hit a spear to get the upper hand. 
  • While Tonga attacks Omega, Tama yells at Kenny stuff like “You Divided Us!” “It’s Your Fault”
  • Tornado DDT by Omega for the first near fall. 
  • You Can’t Escape by Kenny but Tama gets his knees up to the Moonsault. 
  • Gun Stun by Tama reversed into the first V-Trigger. 
  • Alabama Slamma by Tama Tonga hits Kenny hard for a near fall. 
  • V-Trigger by Kenny to Tama on the ropes, Omega tries to hit the snapdragon on the apron but Tama grabs on to Red Shoes as Tonga Loa attacks Omega. Omega hits a huricanrana to take out Loa. 
  • Tonga Loa comes back to distract Omega, Tama accidentally hits Loa off the apron, Loa managed to throw a chair at Omega, near fall rollup by Tama. 
  • Styles Clash attempt by Tama on the chair but Red Shoes kicks the chair away, Tama Gun Stuns Red Shoes for the DQ finish. 

Winner: Kenny Omega via DQ @ 10:12 

Records: Kenny Omega 6 Points (3-0-0), Tama Tonga 2 Points (1-2-0)

Rating: **, The overbooking here was at an all-time high. The faction war feud is awesome but the match here was taken the momentum out of because of the ongoing Firing Squad vs Bullet Club feud. Kenny Omega is still undefeated in G1 28.

  • Kota Ibushi, Chase Owens, and Hangman Page save Kenny Omega from a post-match attack. 

Tomohiro Ishii (2 Points) vs. Hirooki Goto (2 Points)

  • Shoulder Block Battle Sequence into a strikefest, very stereotypical of an Ishii match. The sequence is won by Goto.
  • Ishii yells “What is the Champion going to do!” at Goto firing him up to hit a sequence of moves into a side suplex for a near fall.
  • Hard kicks by Goto fire up Ishii into knocking Goto down with a hard punch. 
  • German Suplex by Ishii but Goto no sells and fires up into chopping Ishii down with a kick to the mid-section. 
  • Lariat battle takes a lot out of both men and the selling is incredible with both refusing to go down but Goto gets Ishii down first but the lariats don’t stop as they double lariat each other until they both collapse. Amazing strong style sequence. 
  • Headbutt by Ishii collapses Goto into the corner, Super Brainbuster by Ishii for a near fall. 
  • GTR by Goto attempt reversed by Ishii into a side suplex taking both men down
  • Another strike-fest ends in an insane lariat by Ishii flipping Goto, near fall by Ishii.  
  • Shoto Kai by Goto plants Ishii for a near fall. 
  • GTR attempt fails again, headbutts and enzugiri by Ishii, sliding lariat by Ishii for a very near fall. 
  • Vertical Drop Brainbuster by Ishii closes. 

Winner: Tomohiro Ishii via pinfall @ 18:19

Records: Tomohiro Ishii 4 points (2-1-0), Hirooki Goto 2 points (1-2-0)

Rating: ****1/2, While this match did lack any story it made up for it by miles with in-ring work. WHAT A HARD-HITTING MATCH! For near 20 minutes these two strikes the hell out of each other with intense lariats and shoulder blocks. The only match this reminds me of is Ishii vs. Elgin in the NJPW Cup. The match here lacked a few near falls and high spots that the Ishii vs. Elgin match had but this match wasn’t about the theatrics. It was about seeing who can strike who unconscious first. 

Show Grade: B+

Last Word: This show hosted some amazing tournament matches in ZSJ vs. Sanada, Ishii vs. Goto and Juice vs. Naito. Even though, Omega vs. Tama was overbooked it was entertaining as it continued the feud warfare. Each match on this card offered something different and it continued this year’s amazing G1. 

G1 Standings After Show: 

A-Block:

  • Jay White- 6 Points (3-0-0)
  • Michael Elgin-4 Points (2-1-0)
  • Togi Makabe-4 Points (2-1-0)
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi-4 Points (2-1-0)
  • Evil-4 Points (2-1-0)
  • Hangman Page-2 Points (1-2-0)
  • Bad Luck Fale-2 Points (1-2-0)
  • Kazuchika Okada-2 Points (1-2-0)
  • Minoru Suzuki-2 Points (1-2-0)
  • Yoshi-Hashi- 0 Points (0-3-0)

B-Block:

  • Kenny Omega-6 Points (3-0-0)
  • Tomohiro Ishii-4 Points (2-1-0)
  • Tetsuya Naito-4 Points (2-1-0)
  • Sanada-4 Points (2-1-0) 
  • Kota Ibushi- 4 Points (2-1-0)
  • Hirooki Goto- 2 Points (1-2-0)
  • Tama Tonga- 2 Points (1-2-0) 
  • ZSJ- 2 Points (1-2-0)
  • Toru Yano- 2 Points (1-2-0)
  • Juice Robinson- 0 Points (0-3-0) 

 

 

 

 

 

Extreme Rules 2018 Review

wwe-extreme-rules-social

Extreme Rules 2018 Results:

  • The B-Team defeats Matt Hardy & Bray Wyatt to win the RAW Tag Titles **1/2
  • Finn Balor defeats Baron Corbin ***
  • Carmella defeats Asuka to retain the SD Live Women’s Championship with James Ellsworth in a shark cage *
  • Shinsuke Nakamura defeats Jeff Hardy to win the US Title: N/A
  • Kevin Owens defeats Braun Strowman in a Steel Cage Match ***
  • Bludgeon Brothers defeat Team Hell No to retain the SD Live Tag Titles ***1/4
  • Bobby Lashley defeats Roman Reigns ***3/4
  • Alexa Bliss defeats Nia Jax in an Extreme Rules match to retain the RAW Women’s Title *1/2
  • AJ Styles defeats Rusev to retain the WWE Championship ****
  • Dolph Ziggler defeats Seth Rollins in a 30-Minute Iron Man Match to retain the IC Title ***1/2

 

d9ed4c78ae9018df8d885c4c0dd0f6aecbad3f73r1-1280-720v2_hq

Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt(c) vs. Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas for the RAW Tag Team Titles

  • The crowd is hot for the “Delete” Chant. In my opinion, Bray and Matt haven’t been that hot as an act lately. 
  • Ronda Rousey and Zach Browne (her UFC fighter husband) are shown ringside. 
  • Matt Hardy and Bo Dallas start the match. 
  • Bray Wyatt and Bo Dallas stare off, the Rotunda Brothers look like they are playing off of each other in this match. 
  • Elbow Drop by Hardy to Axel for the first near fall. 
  • Cheap shot by Bo to Hardy gets the B-Team back in charge. 
  • DDT by Axel to Hardy gets a near fall.
  • Side Effect by Matt to Axel opens up tags, Hot tag by Bray Wyatt against his bro. 
  • Neckbreaker off the top rope to Hardy by Bo gets the shock tag title win for the B-Team. 

Winners: The B-Team New RAW Tag Team Champions.

Rating: **1/2, While this was a very run of the mill tag match the ending made it memorable. Matt and Bray were getting stale and B-Team are a rare for WWE hot act right now and even though they don’t look incredibly strong I think they will have a solid short reign with the tag belts. 

  • Kurt Angle gives Brock Lesnar an ultimatum, if he doesn’t show up to RAW tomorrow to accept his duty as Universal Champion he will be striped of the title. 

e32ea0db29279d815f49d16c1fd197be35cc6908r1-300-168v2_hq

Finn Balor vs. Baron Corbin

  • This match is pointless and both of these men have talent and deserve better. 
  • Cool silver attire on Finn Balor
  • Corbin is wrestling in the suit which is annoying as hell. 
  • Brutal catching punch by Corbin to Balor off the springboard for the first near fall. 
  • Corbin pulls Balor off the top rope Coup De Grace attempt for a backbreaker clothesline into a near fall. 
  • Deep Six by Corbin for a very near fall. 
  • Shotgun Dropkick by Balor but the Coup De Grace attempt was stopped by Corbin. 
  • End of Days attempt rolled up by Finn for the win. 

Winner: Finn Balor

Rating: ***, The match wasn’t that long and didn’t have any good spots but it was a good even sprint. Corbin and Balor end up looking good and there was some good near falls in this match which helped add to the evenly matched vibe of this match. 

  • The Bludgeon Brothers attack Team Hell No backstage. Kane is injured so this angle saves him from having to wrestle tonight. 

5f0dddd46366b3de97c1c592485410d20e61402ar1-1200-800v2_hq

Carmella (c) vs. Asuka for the SD Live Women’s Title with James Ellsworth in a Shark Cage

  • Ellsworth does get locked in and raised in the shark cage. 
  • Ellsworth passes Carmella a chain but Asuka grabs it and gets rid of it. 
  • James passes Carmella the spray bottle but again Asuka stops Carmella from using it. 
  • There is too much reliance on Ellsworth in this match leaving horrible momentum when there is just Asuka and Carmella in focus. 
  • Asuka Lock gets in but Carmella reaches the ropes.
  • James Ellsworth picks the lock and gets himself free but James gets caught by his leg and Asuka attacks.
  • Asuka attacks the security trying to put James back in the steel cage and continues to kick the hell out of Ellsworth. 
  • From behind, Carmella sneaks up and shoves Asuka into the Shark Cage and pins her for the win. 

Winner: Carmella Retains

Rating: *, last year the worst match of the year was Bayley vs. Alexa Bliss in the kendo stick on a pole match at Extreme Rules. This match right here is the worst I’ve seen this year so far. Ellsworth being the prime focus took all the momentum out of Carmella and Asuka. Asuka continues to look like shit and Carmella continues to be annoying. Whenever Asuka and Carmella were the focus I felt bad, both of these women had worked there entire lives to have their current career overshadowed by a chinless rodent-person. What a waste of time WWE can make itself!

af26b40a8499986499c872fb2868fd9c7de51f92r1-1199-675v2_hq

Jeff Hardy vs. Shinsuke Nakamura for the US Championship

  • Jeff Hardy has some awesome Black and White facepaint on. 
  • The Hardy vs. Nakamura match has been actually interesting so far.
  • Low Blow immediately by Nakamura, the referee didn’t see it. 
  • Kinshasa after the bell rings for the win.

Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura New Champion!

Rating: N/A, The immediate Shinsuke win was a bad decision especially when no match so far has been any good and this could’ve been. However, I think Nakamura is the perfect person to be US Champion. He fits in the upper middle card well and can carry the title through good matches and couldn’t win the WWE Title because AJ is a strong champ. I’m excited to see Nakamura’s reign. 

  • Randy Orton returns (goddamnit) and kicks Hardy in the nuts. 

90b39e824fb27931a16b9a23267cda017a413fdbr1-600-400v2_hq

Braun Strowman vs. Kevin Owens in a Steel Cage Match

  • The feud has been abhorrent so far, Owens being dumped off the stage in the porta-potty was horrible and Strowman looks like such a bully that he is the heel in this match and Owens is the face even though according to WWE the roles are switched. Who is writing WWE storylines?
  • Owens keeps trying to escape early on but fails. 
  • Strowman charges at Owens but Owens dodges sending Braun into the steel, Superkick, Cannonball and Frog Splash combo by Owens for just a near fall. First actual sense of urgency in a match so far tonight.
  • Strowman sends Owens into the steel cage, Crowd chants “One More Time”  so Strowman does it twice more. 
  • Snake Eyes into the steel cage by Strowman sending Owens face first. 
  • The Crowd in Pittsburgh is annoying, being silent but  occasionally chanting crappy taglines like “Get These Hands” or “One More Time” 
  • Stunner by Owens to Strowman opens an opportunity to escape but Strowman grabs him and closes the door on the face of Owens. 
  • Owens handcuffs Strowman to the top rope, great strategy, but instead of escaping attacks Strowman to get revenge. One-Handed Chokeslam by Strowman, Strowman tries to break free. So, Braun can flip a truck, dump a piece of the stage on Lesnar and Kane but can’t easily escape handcuffs?
  • Strowman breaks free of the handcuffs.
  • On top of the cage, Braun sends Owens through the announce table ringside. Great spot but Strowman just made himself lose. “Holy Shit” Chants. The only great spot of the show so far. 

Winner: Kevin Owens via escape

Rating: ***, this is the only match so far that feels like it fits on an Extreme Rules card and not on a C-Grade PPV. However, like a lot of steel cage matches the constant escape attempts ruin the momentum of the match. Strowman spends a lot of the match in charge but when Owens is in charge there is a good sense of urgency to the match. The end of the match was dumb but a good spot while the Chokeslam off the cage was a good spot it ended up with Owens winning and Braun saying “Screw it, I lost” and leaving. If I was booking WWE I might make matches seem like they mean something this match looked like it didn’t mean anything. 

  • Jeff Hardy requests his rematch for the US Title for Tuesday’s Smackdown. 

3410219-20180703_er_match_bludgeonhellno-6f509de9dc89d2594431fffb44afce94

(C) Bludgeon Brothers vs. Daniel Bryan (Kane out due to attack earlier) 

  • Daniel Bryan and Rowan start the match.
  • Another good underdog moment for Bryan. 
  • Supercanrana by Bryan to Harper. 
  • Yes! Lock on Harper but Rowan drags out Bryan and stops the hold. 
  • Ringside, Rowan bodyslams Harper onto Bryan. Good strong tag team spot.
  • Crowd chanting “We Want Kane” 
  • Suicide Dive by Bryan caught by Rowan, Harper suicide dives but Bryan dodges so Harper takes out Rowan. 
  • Kane comes down with a foot cast kinds weakening his character as a demon. 
  • Slow Hot Tag by Kane, Chokeslam to Rowan and Harper.
  • Kane attempts a Tombstone on Harper, Harper escapes and kicks out the leg of Kane. 
  • Hot Tag by Daniel Bryan. 
  • Rowan makes a blind tag and stops the Running Knee by Bryan, Double Powerbomb by 2B closed. 

Winners: The Bludgeon Brothers Retain

Rating: ***1/4, The best match of the night so far but not by far. Also saying it’s MOTN is not saying all that much. The underdog 2-1 beginning was good and Bryan continues to be amazing. 2B looked great too and continued their solid tag title reign. When Kane comes down the match slowed down but didn’t take away the momentum. 

3410224-20180703_er_match_romanbobby-52c34bb2ed9c23362fcff86238fe381a

Roman Reigns vs. Bobby Lashley

  • Slow starting pace.
  • Drive-By by Reigns gets the first near fall.
  • Lashley is dazed by an early match elbow by Reigns. 
  • “Rusev Day” Chants start the series of chants, “CM Punk” follows right after. 
  • Reigns tries to hit Lashley with the steps but Lashley blocks starting a tug of war for the steps won by Lashley. 
  • Powerslam by Lashley for another near fall. 
  • Sloppy Crossbody by Lashley takes down them both, Lashley heads to the top rope to hit a double ax handle. 
  • Reigns throws Lashley over the top rope ringside, great spot and hard landing by Lashley, Lashley gets in at 8, Reigns leg drops Lashley over the middle rope for a near fall.
  • Vertical Suplex by Lashley to Reigns for a very near fall. 
  • Spear attempt by Lashley caught with a Superman Punch by Reigns for another very near fall.
  • Reigns charges at Lashley ringside but Lashley catches Reigns with an Overhead Suplex onto the announce table.
  • Reigns Superman Punches Lashley off the top rope.
  • Spear attempt by Reigns caught with a spear by Lashley for the win. 

Winner: Bobby Lashley

Rating: ***3/4, Wow, this match was great for these two guys. Everyone who said either of these guys can’t wrestle just got proven wrong. I did not expect this match to be as good as it was but I knew Reigns and Lashley could find an okay match. The match had great near falls, good wrestling logic and great spots. Lashley looked great in a match for the first time since his return and the match is the new MOTN, even though again that isn’t saying much.

3410218-20180703_er_match_blissnia-c675f2b64ea5a763a0ce6a8ef97d155d

Alexa Bliss (c) vs. Nia Jax in an Extreme Rules for the RAW Women’s Title 

  • Mickie James accompanies Bliss and Natalya accompanies Jax. Ronda Rousey is shown ringside.
  • The commentary is burying the extreme rules stipulation.
  • Jax awkwardly throws Bliss onto a chair.
  • Jax delivers a good gorilla press to Bliss onto a trash can, Rousey is shown in approval.
  • Bliss attacks with a trash can lid to finally gets her back in charge. 
  • Crappy dropkick by Bliss gets the match’s first near fall. 
  • Commentary putting over Bliss’ cheating strategy being allowed in this match but Alexa doesn’t even address that in the match. 
  • Bliss side-steps Jax sending her into a chair in the corner. James gives Bliss a trash can lid but Natalya takes James out, Bliss takes out Natalya but Rousey hops over the barricade to literally destroy Mickie James. Rousey chases Bliss but James comes back to attack Rousey with a kendo stick. Overbooking at its finest!
  • Jax catches Bliss but James attacks Jax with a steel chair giving Bliss the upper hand to hit the DDT on the chair for the win. 

Winner: Alexa Bliss Retains!

Rating: *1/2, while Bliss did look good in this match, this was overbooking at it’s finest. 5 Women were in the focus in this match which was a one-on-one women’s title match. Rousey is continuing to look better in the WWE too but there were too many shenanigans in this match to set up Bliss vs. Rousey at SummerSlam. Also, the in-ring work was sloppy and, like many other matches on the show, had the momentum taken away because of other people in the match.

3410225-20180703_er_match_stylesrusev-d17e2f860381b600ea6cf07004b65ee3

AJ Styles (C) vs. Rusev for the WWE Championship

  • A good pre-match video package makes Rusev look disliked by the crowd which is very wrong.
  • AJ working the leg of Rusev. Rusev is doing a good job selling it. 
  • Slow start especially for an AJ Styles match. 
  • Styles kicks Rusev’s leg on the top rope sending him to ringside, Springboard Forearm dive by Styles takes Rusev out ringside. 
  • Reverse DDT by Styles gets the match’s first near fall.
  • Styles goes for the calf crusher by Rusev powers through and punches AJ and sends him to ringside, Suicide Dive attempt by Rusev caught with a Forearm by Styles. 
  • Calf Crusher attempt rolled into the Accolade but AJ fights out, forearm by AJ caught with a boot by Rusev. These two are doing a really good job looking evenly matched.
  • Calf Crusher by Styles finally in, Aiden English pushed the ropes to get Rusev rope break. Styles chases English, Rusev catches Styles with a ringside belly to belly suplex. In-ring, Machka Kick by Rusev for a very near fall. Awesome sequence. 
  • Another Machka Kick attempt dodged and Styles hits a rebound Pele Kick, Atomic Drop/Superkick combo by Rusev for a near fall. 
  • Rusev goes for the Accolade but can’t because of the leg injury, great wrestling logic actually used in WWE, Rusev gets the hold with one leg but Styles grabs the ropes. 
  • English exposes the top turnbuckle behind the refs back, Rusev charges at Styles but Styles side-steps sending Rusev into the steel. Springboard 450 by Styles for an amazing near fall. Another great sequence. 
  • Styles dropkicks English down and out, Phenomenal Forearm closes. 

Winner: AJ Styles Retains!

Rating: ****, Easily MOTN and one of WWE’s best world championship matches this year. The challenger, Rusev, was elevated to a whole other level hanging with Styles honestly better than Nakamura could. The Aiden English interference sequences led to fantastic near falls. As always, AJ Styles is fantastic. I can now confidently say Rusev has a great future in WWE. The selling of the leg from Rusev was great wrestling logic which is rare in WWE. A good example of showing WWE is able to book good matches with actual logic. I’m super happy with this match. The slow start keeps it at 4-stars but it elevated into something special by the end. 

3410221-20180703_er_match_dolph_seth-0d062483b00c2f42b73ef86a117cb600

Dolph Ziggler (c) vs. Seth Rollins in a 30-Minute Iron Man Match for the IC Title

  • A very fitting stipulation for these two men. Also, the IC Title is in the main event! Rollins has elevated the title to the SKY. 
  • Why is there still a record scratch on Ziggler’s theme song? 
  • Drew Mcintyre accompanies Ziggler to the ring because Mcintyre beat Rollins last week on RAW. 
  • Slow start but it’s a long match so the pace should escalate soon. 
  • Buckle Bomb into a roll-up by Seth Rollins gets the first fall 5 minutes in. Crappy first fall. 
  • Diving Plancha by Rollins wipes out Ziggler ringside. McIntyre and Rollins face-off. 
  • The crowd is counting down the seconds like a Royal Rumble and making the buzzer sounds, most interesting the Pittsburgh crowd has been all night. 
  • Fameasser attempt by Ziggler follows into a roll-up sequence, Rollins powers into a powerbomb but Ziggler fights out, Rollins fires back with a Curb Stomp for the second fall 8 minutes in. 
  • Rollins calls for a 2nd Stomp but Drew McIntyre attacks Seth getting Rollins the 3rd fall via DQ also 8 minutes in. McIntyre throws Rollins against the apron and the barricade, Referee kicks out Drew but Drew leaves after hitting the Claymore kick on Seth, Ziggler goes for the pin and gets his first fall 10 minutes and 30 seconds in. 
  • Superkick by Ziggler for his second fall, 11 minutes later. 
  • The match has WAY too many falls so far, takes the piss out of the stipulation. 
  • Ziggler sends Rollins into the post and hits the Zig Zag for his third fall 12 minutes in. JEEZ STOP WITH THE FALLS.
  • Suicide Dive attempt by Rollins stopped with a forearm by Ziggler, Dolph rolls Rollins up using the ropes for ANOTHER FREAKING FALL STOP IT. Dolph goes 4-3. 16 minutes in. 
  • Ziggler gets a Sleeper Hold in deep on Rollins, they spend about 2 minutes in the hold until Rollins fights out.
  • Suicide Dive by Seth finally hits but Ziggler rolls ringside again so Rollins hits another Suicide Dive immediately afterward too. Springboard Forearm to get back in the ring by Rollins gets a near fall and shockingly not another fall. 
  • Blockbuster by Rollins for another near fall, the crowd goes ballistic for whatever reason. 
  • Ziggler drops Rollins off the top rope with a dropkick sending Seth ringside, Rollins gets back in at 9.
  • Ripcord Knee by Rollins hits for another near fall.
  • Frog Splash by Rollins for another good near fall. 
  • Awesome Falcon Arrow by Rollins for another believable near fall. 
  • Stomp by Rollins dodges and rolled up by Ziggler for a near fall, Rollins slingshots Ziggler into the corner and rolls him up to tie 4-4, 27 minutes in.
  • Sharpshooter by Rollins, shoutout to the iron man match with Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels at WM 12, Rollins transitions into a Cross Face, Rollins releases and goes for a Stomp but Ziggler rolls out and tries to escape ringside. Rollins gets Ziggler back in the ring but Ziggler fires back with a Fameasser for an amazing believable near fall. 
  • Ziggler tunes up the band but Rollins catches Ziggler with a Superkick of his own and follows it up with a Stomp, Rollins goes for the pin but the time runs out. So due to the tie, Dolph Ziggler retains. 
  • Kurt Angle comes down and gets some cheap pops and announces a Sudden Death Overtime. 
  • Drew McIntyre comes back to distract Rollins and Ziggler hits a Zig Zag for the win.

Winner: Dolph Ziggler Retains!

Rating: ***1/2, These two successfully put on a good match while at the same time burying the Iron Man stipulation. The first 15 minutes of the match sucked with a fall a minute but as soon as Drew McIntyre left the match turned on. After getting used to the constant falls, the match delivered some amazing near falls especially with the fameasser towards the end. The near falls really built to Rollins’ desperation with the closing seconds of the match being fantastic with Rollins hitting his sequence of moves and hitting the stomp towards the end but the time running out. Overtime was useless because Ziggler retained either way but overtime just made the end confusing and screwing over Rollins with the final McIntyre interference makes the feud have to continue. The match was a tale of two halves. Good choice for the main event though regardless. 

Show Grade: C-

Last Word: The show played out like the main event did, the first half sucked with Orton’s return, Asuka vs. Carmella and Jax vs Bliss making a near nightmare PPV for any wrestling fan. As soon as Bobby Lashley vs. Reigns surprised with the good match they had and Jax vs. Bliss ended the show got solid. Styles vs. Rusev was MOTN and a very good WWE Title match and the Iron Man main event was a good match even though it wrecked the importance of the stipulation. The show looked good on paper and wasn’t explicitly horrible but didn’t live up to the expectation it had built. 

 

 

 

 

Race For Wrestler of the Year: June 2018

Jkenny-omega-top-eb50d1b0-d210-4d50-9e98-3eb19488bf9c

Wrestler of June: Kenny Omega, the performance Omega had this month was historic. He opened it by having an amazing “7-star” clash between himself and Kazuchika Okada at NJPW Dominion. Omega picked up the title after the 700+ days Okada held the IWGP Heavyweight Title. Omega after the match reformed with The Bucks and created the Golden Elite. Omega again will dominate the race to the wrestler of the year for 2018. 

4e19133d816fb912f61b7b0a3b176ffac88a8dc0v2_hq

Match of the Month: Kenny Omega vs. Kazuchika Okada at NJPW Dominion in a 2 out of 3 Falls Match for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship: In my personal opinion, this is the best match I’ve ever seen. These two went for 70 minutes and managed to keep me invested the whole time. The spots to the storytelling to the work rate to the Kenny Omega win everything was done perfectly. The match felt HUGE and maybe had the biggest “big fight feel” of any match ever. NJPW knows how to book matches and this might be their best ever. 

7f0a644b346d65fcea3f987178d6580524eddad7v2_hq

Feud of the Month: Johnny Gargano vs. Tomasso Ciampa, Man was this month for wrestling amazing. This match would’ve been the best match in any other month but got topped by Okada v Kenny just barely but the storytelling here was a tad bit better. The former tag team members put each other through hell and Johnny Wrestling continued to push how much the feud has changed his life. Ciampa was a dastardly heel and now, in my opinion, is now the best heel in wrestling going. The face vs heel dynamic works wonders here and grabs this feud it’s second Wrestlegrade feud of the month award. 

undisputed-era-nxt-takeover-new-orleans

Team of the Month: Undisputed ERA, and another repeat award for NXT. The Undisputed ERA again shined better than any other team in the world. They boast in-ring skill, crowd heat and character like no other tag team (other than the Young Bucks). The ERA has grown so much since Roderick Strong joined and this month they did amazing, having amazing matches with Burch and Lorcan, Moustache Mountain and British Strong Style. The Undisputed ERA continues to be WWE’s best current faction going and maybe in the whole world of wrestling. 

alexa-bliss-800x400

Women’s Wrestler of the Month: Alexa Bliss, even though she is very overpushed she did amazing this month. Winning the MITB, cashing in the same night and pushing the heel champion agenda led to her standing out this month. Her performance at Money in the Bank will go down as one of the best for women in recent memory. Even though other women were more deserving Bliss did very well in this role. 

 

Most Improved: Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan, going from jobbers to excellence in a month really sums up what this award is for. Burch and Lorcan were weird choices for challengers to Undisputed Era at Takeover Chicago but they shined in that match and now will be heavy contenders in the NXT Tag Team scene. 

Champions in June (Points are Given to who holds the title at the end of the month)

WWE:

  • Universal: Brock Lesnar 453+ Days
  • RAW Women’s: Nia Jax 70 Days, Alexa Bliss 13+ Days
  • IC: Seth Rollins 71 Days, Dolph Ziggler 12+ Days 
  • Cruiserweight: Cedric Alexander 82+ Days
  • RAW Tag: Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt 63+ Days
  • WWE: AJ Styles 234+ Days
  • SD Women’s: Carmella 80+ Days
  • US: Jeff Hardy 74+ Days
  • SD Tag: Bludgeon Brothers 84+ Days

NXT:

  • NXT: Aleister Black 85+ Days
  • North American: Adam Cole 85+ Days
  • Womens: Shayna Baszler 85+ Days
  • NXT Tag: Undisputed ERA 202 Days, Moustache Mountain 2 Days, the Undisputed ERA 7+ Days
  • UK: Pete Dunne 405+ Days 

NJPW:

  • IWGP Heavyweight: Kazuchika Okada 720 Days, Kenny Omega 21+ Days
  • IWGP US: Jay White 151+ Days
  • IWGP IC: Tetsuya Naito 41 Days, Chris Jericho 21+ Days
  • Never Openweight: Hirooki Goto 156 Days, Michael Elgin 8 Days, Hirooki Goto 11+ Days
  • IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team: Evil and Sanada 156 Days, The Young Bucks 21+ Days
  • IWGP JR: Will Ospreay 156 Days, Hiromu Takahashi 21+ Days
  • IWGP JR Tag: Desperado and Kanemaru 115+ Days
  • Never 6-Man: Marty Scurrl and The Young Bucks 56+ Days

ROH:

  • World: Dalton Castle 197 Days, Jay Lethal 1+ Days
  • ROH TV: Silas Young 70 Days, Punishment Martinez 14+ Days
  • Tag: The Briscoes 114+ Days
  • WOH: Sumie Sakai 85+ Days 

Matches over 4-Stars

  • Dragon Lee vs. Desperado NJPW BOSJ XXV ****
  • Flip Gordon vs. Will Ospreay NJPW BOSJ XXV ****1/4
  • Michael Elgin vs. Hirooki Goto vs. Tai-Chi NJPW Dominion Never Openweight Title ****
  • The Young Bucks vs. Evil and Sanada NJPW Dominion IWGP Tag Titles ****1/2
  • Hiromu Takahashi vs. Will Ospreay NJPW Dominion IWGP JR Title ****3/4
  • Chris Jericho vs. Tetsuya Naito NJPW Dominion IWGP IC Title ****1/4
  • Kenny Omega vs. Kazuchika Okada NJPW Dominion IWGP Heavyweight Title 2 out of 3 Falls *****
  • Undisputed ERA vs. Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan NXT Tag Titles Takeover Chicago ****
  • Velveteen Dream vs. Ricochet NXT Takeover Chicago ****3/4
  • Tomasso Ciampa vs. Johnny Gargano NXT Takeover Chicago Street Fight *****
  • Elias vs. Seth Rollins WWE MITB IC Title ****
  • Women’s MITB (Bliss, Moon, Natalya, Lynch, Naomi, Charlotte, Banks, Lana) ****1/2
  • AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura MITB WWE Title Last Man Standing ****1/4
  • Men’s MITB (Owens, Roode, Miz, Balor, Strowman, Rusev, Joe, Kofi) ****
  • Michael Elgin vs. Hirooki Goto Never Openweight Title NJPW Kizuna Road ****
  • Hiromu Takahashi vs. Desperado IWGP Jr Title NJPW Kizuna Road ****
  • Taiji Ishimori vs. YOH NJPW BOSJ XXV ****
  • SHO vs. Marty Scurrl NJPW BOSJ XXV ****
  • Hiromu Takahashi vs. Kushida NJPW BOSJ XXV ****1/2
  • Taiji Ishimori vs. Hiromu Takahashi NJPW BOSJ XXV Final ****3/4
  • Zack Gibson vs. Jack Gallagher WWE UK Tournament ****
  • British Strong Style vs. Undisputed ERA WWE UK Tournament ****1/2
  • Zack Gibson vs. Travis Banks WWE UK Tournament Finals ****1/2
  • Seth Rollins vs. Dolph Ziggler WWE RAW IC Title ****
  • Moustache Mountain vs. Undisputed ERA NXT Tag Titles WWE UK Tournament ****1/2
  • EC3 and Velveteen Dream vs. Aleister Black and Ricochet WWE UK Tournament ****
  • Zack Gibson vs. Pete Dunne UK Title WWE UK Tournament ****1/4
  • Jay Lethal vs. Kushida ROH BITW ****1/4
  • The Briscoes vs. The Young Bucks ROH Tag Titles BITW ****3/4

kazuchika-okada-645x370

 

 

After June, the winner of the Race….. Kazuchika Okada (still) 

  1. -Kazuchika Okada 144 Points
  2. -Kenny Omega 143 Points
  3. -The Young Bucks 118 Points
  4. ↑Hiromu Takahashi 116 Points
  5. ↓ Will Ospreay 105 Points
  6. ↑ Johnny Gargano 96 points
  7. ↓ Kota Ibushi 89 points
  8. Zack Sabre Jr. 77 points
  9. AJ Styles ↑Tomasso Ciampa 62 points
  10. ↓ Marty Scurrl 61 points
  11. Seth Rollins- Strong and O’Reilly(ERA) 60 points
  12. Adam Cole 58 points
  13. Alexa Bliss 55 points
  14. Hiroshi Tanahashi 53 points
  15. Hangman Page 51 points
  16. Andrade Almas -Dalton Castle 50 points
  17. Cody 47 points
  18. Sanada -Jay White 46 points
  19. Brock Lesnar 42 points
  20. Cedric Alexander -Kushida -Hirooki Goto 40 points
  21.  Pete Dunne 38 points
  22. Minoru Suzuki -The Miz -The Briscoes 35 points
  23. Bobby Fish 31 points
  24. Evil -Flip Gordon -Tetsuya Naito -Jay Lethal -Aleister Black -Braun Strowman -Zack Gibson 30 points
  25. El Desperado -Dragon Lee 28 points
  26. Shinsuke Nakamura 27 points
  27. So Cal Uncensored -Finn Balor -Chris Jericho 25 points
  28. Charlotte -Matt Taven 22 points
  29. Ronda Rousey -Jonathan Gresham -Killian Dain -Kalisto -Ember Moon -Jeff Hardy       -Michael Elgin –Velveteen Dream -Ricochet -Taiji Ishimori 20 points
  30. Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan -Chris Sabin 17 points
  31. Asuka -Usos -John Cena -Tomohiro Ishii -The Bar -Mustafa Ali -The Tongans -Buddy Murphy -Silas Young -Roppongi 3k -Bobby Roode -EC3 -Dolph Ziggler 15 points
  32. Nia Jax -Kingdom -Yoshinobu Kanemaru -Bludgeon Brothers -Becky Lynch 13 points
  33. sAnitY -Drew Gulak -Kenny King -Juice Robinson -Dave Finlay -Lars Sullivan -Carmella -Matt and Bray -Sumie Sakai -ACH -Shayna Baszler -Jack Gallagher -Kofi Kingston -Sasha Banks -Punishment Martinez -Kevin Owens -Moustache Mountain 
  34. Ruby Riott -Alex Shelley 8 points
  35. New Day -Hideo Itami -Chase Owens -Beer City Bruiser -Trent Barretta -Shane Taylor -Togi Makabe -Yoshi-HASHI -Sami Zayn -Baron Corbin -TJP -Akira Tozawa -Kurt Angle -HHH -Rysuke Taguchi -Rusev -Samoa Joe -Lana -Travis Banks -Naomi -Elias 
  36. Mandy Leon -Tenille Dashwood -Peyton Royce -Gallows and Anderson 

Monthly Wrap Up: June 2018 may have been the greatest month for wrestling ever. Including, NJPW Dominion one of the best PPV’s of all time, NXT Takeover Chicago which hosted Ciampa vs. Gargano in an amazing match topping anything else WWE has done this year. The WWE hosted a UK tournament which saw some amazing matches and highlighted Zack Gibson and the commencement of a new NXT UK brand. NJPW finished up the Best Of the Super Juniors and had Omega vs Okada in the same month. Way to go professional wrestling! 

 

 

ROH Best In the World 2018 Review

07359ac8c10e8cad20c00afdf9d75aeb94a12e6er1-608-342v2_hq

ROH Best in The World 2018 Results:

  • The Kingdom defeat Los Ignoberables via pinfall to retain the ROH 6-man titles ***
  • Flip Gordon defeats Bully Ray via DQ *1/2
  • Sumie Sakai, Jenny Rose, Mayu Iwatani and Tenille Dashwood defeat Kelly Klein, Kagetsu, Hana Kimura and Hazuki via pinfall ***1/4
  • Austin Aries defeats Kenny King via pinfall ***3/4
  • Jay Lethal defeats Kushida via pinfall ****1/4
  • Punishment Martinez defeats Adam Page via pinfall in a Baltimore Street Fight to retain the ROH TV Title ***1/2
  • The Briscoes defeated The Young Bucks via pinfall to retain the ROH Tag Titles ****3/4
  • Dalton Castle defeats Cody and Marty Scurrl via pinfall to retain the ROH World Title **1/2

3684ab7ee8712cd7ecfec404b4eaaa8667cb2c63r1-1024-576v2_hq

The Kingdom (c) vs. Evil, Sanada, and Bushi representing Los Ignoberables de Japon for the ROH 6-Man Tag Titles

  • Both teams have been really good so far in 2018. LIJ has more solo stars but The Kingdom are some of ROH’s best characters. 
  • TK O’Ryan and Evil start the match.
  • Cheap Shot by Taven starts the match with a double team attack on Evil but Evil fights it off. 
  • Amazing Standing Moonsault by Sanada on Taven for the first near fall. 
  • Vinny Marseglia goes for the mask of Bushi starting a 6-man brawl. 
  • Matt Taven does the Naito Tranquilo pose getting a great crowd response. 
  • Spinebuster/Diving Headbutt combo by TK and Vinny for a near fall on Evil.
  • Evil gets the ref to hold the leg of TK O’Ryan so Evil can hit him with a kick to the previously injured leg opening up tags. 
  • Hot tag by Sanada
  • Paradise Lock by Sanada on Taven, TK tries to put the Paradise Lock on Sanada but fails, Sanada gets the PL on TK. Double Dropkick by Sanada opens both Locks. 
  • Vinny pops balloons at Sanada opening up a Triple Bomb by The Kingdom. Sanada fights out though. Magic Killer attempt by Sanada and Evil on TK fails as well. 
  • Just The Tip of the Knee by Taven to Sanada, near fall
  • Sanada works the previously injured knee of Taven
  • Double Huricanrana by Bushi to TK and Taven.
  • Strike sequence by LIJ ending with a backstabber by Bushi, near fall on Taven. 
  • Great Sequence of moves by The Kingdom on Bushi, Evil barely makes the save. 
  • Kick of the king by Taven to Sanada stops the Skull End on Taven.
  • Bushi mists Vinny.
  • Rockstar Supernova by Taven and TK closes the match on Bushi.

Winners: The Kingdom Retain

Rating: ***, This was a fun and fast-paced opener even with the predictable finish. Could’ve gone a little longer but both teams performed well and the Kingdom continue to be some of ROH’s Best characters. Solid start to the show. 

a38f6a02c956c3bb930f8ceb24d1441fbb5ec00ar1-1024-576v2_hq

Bully Ray vs. Flip Gordon

  • Horrible feud leading to this point. 
  • HOPEFULLY, Bully Ray’s last match.
  • Immediate attack by Flip.
  • Plancha Dive by Flip.
  • Amazing Tope Con Hiro by Flip Gordon. 
  • Fantastic Springboard Forearm Dive to the outside by Flip.
  • Very hot start by Flip. 
  • Samoan Pop/Shooting Star Press/Springboard Moonsault combo by Flip for the first near fall. 
  • Bully Ray hits a lariat draining all the energy from the match. He sucks.
  • Vader Bomb by Bully Ray misses, crowd chants “Vader” 
  • Star Spangled Stunner by Flip blocked with a low blow. Match gets called off and Bully continues the attack. 

Winner: Bully Ray

Rating: *1/2, Words cannot explain how much I hate this feud, Bully Ray and even ROH writers for allowing shit like this to happen on a show that’s supposed to be all about wrestling. “No Filler just Thriller” right? So make it that way ROH. Bully is trash and maybe he’s just so good at his character he makes fans feel this hatred but he sucks in the ring and drives all the energy out of his matches. This match ended fast and thankfully. Flip Gordon is great however so his performance saves this match from absolute hell. 

  • After the match, Colt Cabana saves Flip from Bully Ray and a Table Spot. 
  • Jenny Rose, Sumie Sakai, Tenille Dashwood and Mayu Iwatani won a solid 8-Woman tag match featuring the women from Stardom. However, A Klein vs. Sakai Title match would’ve been better fitted to this show as an 8-woman tag can happen anytime. ***1/4

d9062d1c27afd78511c1993a462ccbfccc0e792er1-1024-576v2_hq

Kenny King vs. Austin Aries

  • Rivalry based on Aries thinking he’s better than King and a former friendship. 
  • This match should’ve had the ROH TV Title instead of Page vs. Martinez. 
  • Good competitive start. 
  • Solid Leg Sweeps from King getting the crowd to ask “One More Time”
  • Another leg sweep but ringside this time from King getting fans to jokingly chant “Holy Shit”
  • Aries dropkicks King off the springboard to ringside and Aries hits a diving ax handle to ringside. 
  • Flipping Springboard Senton to get back in the ring by Aries for a two count.
  • Diving Back Elbow by Aries for the match’s first near fall. 
  • Solid Methodical Pace. 
  • Elbow Drop by Aries to King on the apron, pin inside the ring for a near fall. 
  • Great Springboard Blockbuster from King for a two count. 
  • The last Chancery by Aries, King gets the ropes. 
  • Neckbreaker in between the ropes by Aries sends King to the outside for a suicide dive. Amazing enzugiri to stop Aries mid-dive by King. Great spot. 
  • Back in the ring,Roll-up by Aries, near fall 
  • Half-Assed Royal Flush by King, near fall as Aries grabs ropes at the last second. 
  • Aries grabs his belt collection and tries to leave, corkscrew plancha by King stops Aries. 
  • Ringside Brainbuster by Aries getting “You Killed Kenny” Chants. 
  • Suprise roll-up by King, near fall. 
  • Brainbuster in-ring closes the match.

Winner: Austin Aries 

Rating: ***3/4, The match started with a technical methodic pace and evolved into a fast near-fall filled fun match. Aries was showing his character greatly while King did amazing in-ring. This is the best match so far on the card but that isn’t saying a hell of a lot. Hopefully, from here all the matches are great. The match ended a bit abruptly to get into the 4-star range but it was damn close. It will always be great to see Aries back in the ring and the crowd was hilarious in this match. The highlight spot was the enzugiri catching the suicide dive by King. Let’s continue this momentum with Kushida vs. Lethal. 

25a79c377572030fef8ac3d7958294b0a1b24835r1-1024-576v2_hqKushida vs. Jay Lethal

  • ROH treats Kushida like a star and Lethal is the franchise of ROH.
  • Kushida refuses a handshake from Lethal.
  • Hip toss dropkick sequence into three Tope Con Hiro’s by Kushida mocking Lethal’s Triple Suicide Dive.
  • Triple Ax Handle by Kushida, Kushida does the Macho Taunt targeted at Black Machismo from Lethal. 
  • Suplex Attempt Sequence 
  • Kushida tries for the Lethal Injection but Jay kicks out the leg of Kushida. 
  • Lethal working the taped knee of Kushida.
  • With Kushida down, Lethal finally gets his handshake. 
  • Texas Cloverleaf by Lethal, Kushida gets ropes. 
  • Slow pace after Kushida gets down selling the knee. 
  • Triangle Dropkick by Lethal into the Triple Suicide Dive, The 3rd one is caught into a Fujiwara Armbar by Kushida ringside. Great catching spot there. 
  • Good sequence including a near fall rollup by Kushida and ending with a Lethal Combination putting both down. 
  • Lethal Injection by Kushida caught into a Torture Rack by Lethal. 
  • Elbow Drop by Lethal caught into a Cross Armbreaker by Kushida, Lethal pins his way out into a near fall on Kushida. 
  • Figure Four by Lethal locked in, Kushida grabs ropes. 
  • “This Is Awesome” Chants. 
  • Hard Strikefest with some disrespect mixed in, they handshake mid-way through, the strikefest speeds up with more complex strikes and Lethal calls for the Injection. 
  • Lethal Injection caught into the Hoverboard Lock by Kushida, Lethal fights out into a roll up after a Back To The Future attempt by Kushida. 
  • Back To The Future by Kushida reversed into a cutter by Lethal. 
  • Lethal Injection closes. 

Winner: Jay Lethal

Rating: ****1/4, Yep, this match just topped Aries vs. King by a mile. This match was great and technical. This match mixed High Spots and Technical Wrestling with a good rivalry very well. Mid-match, the pace slowed down to turtle speed but they picked it back up. Kushida kept popping up and catching Lethal into different armbars and did a great job of selling the knee. The rivalry here was good too as Lethal was lost without a title and Kushida was his attempt at getting a big victory. Both of these men did very well but I wasn’t surprised that they did. These two always deliver and Kushida is having a great month. 

adb6669d8e06f68e35b85f7e75fb808708ca7df4r1-1024-576v2_hq

Adam Page vs. Punishment Martinez in a Street Fight for the TV Title 

  • Page comes down with new entrance music. 
  • Punishment Martinez wears the Street Fight Jeans. 
  • Suicide Dive by Adam Page. 
  • Good feud leading up to this point with frequently canceled matches with these two because of brawling beforehand. 
  • Page whips Martinez into the corner with a chair set up. 
  • Apron Shooting Star Press by Page dodged, the Last Ride on the apron by Martinez then a chokeslam on the barricade. Two Brutal spots were taken by Page in a row getting a “Holy Shit” Chant.
  • Page dodges a Martinez knee sending him knee first into the barricade, awesome superplex off the barricade by Page. More “Holy Shit” Chants. 
  • Brutal Cradle Tombstone by Page onto a chair, near fall on Martinez. 
  • Curb-Stomp on the apron by Martinez puts Punishment back on top. 
  • Punishment zip-ties Page’s hands together 
  • Superkick by Martinez drives Page into a chair, near fall. 
  • Page spits on Martinez and fires up, Page spears Martinex through a table ringside set up on the post. 
  • Diving Moonsault to the outside by Page. 
  • Martinez boots Page off the apron into a Stacked tower of chairs. Not great delivery to a match-making spot. 
  • Martinez gets out thumbtacks. 
  • High back body drop by Page sends Martinez into the Thumbtacks.
  • South Avon Chokeslam through a table by Martinez closes. 

Winner: Punishment Martnez Retains

Rating: ***1/2, To me personally I thought this street fight was tacky (pun intended) and without much story dimension. Punishment and Page had some very good choreographed spots but in the end, the match ended up being worked a little bit underwhelming and Page very much should’ve won. After the amazing Gargano vs. Ciampa street fight 2 weeks ago this had a lot to live up to and predictably didn’t. The match itself wasn’t bad but the lack of story and logic dragged it down. 

f6e9c6df8797dd1ce5010c3fad7b0f253a29afa0r1-1024-576v2_hqThe Young Bucks vs. The Briscoes for the ROH Tag Titles

  • Two of ROH’s great all-time tag teams. 
  • Mark Briscoe and Nick Jackson start. 
  • Good Stand-off sequence early in the match. 
  • Good Tandem work from the Bucks. 
  • Redneck Bomb by The Briscoes, near fall save by Nick. 
  • Crowd Divided between the two teams. 
  • Briscoes isolating Matt Jackson. 
  • Mark inadvertently dropkicks Jay. Matt Jackson hits a Blockbuster ringside opening up a tag to Nick. 
  • Amazing Corkscrew Plancha by Nick outside then the awesome hot tag sequence by Nick hits ringside. 
  • Stereo Suicide Dives by The Bucks. 
  • Mark saves his brother from a superplex by getting Nick into a sleeper. Allowing the Briscoes to get on top again. 
  • Amazing Blockbuster off the apron by Jay to Matt ringside. 
  • Froggy Bow by Jay to Nick, near fall. 
  • Supercanrana by Nick Jackson to Mark Briscoe. 
  • Death Valley Driver by Jay Briscoe lays down the legal men triggering a “This Is Awesome” Chant. 
  • Double Superkick sequence into Double Lariats by The Briscoes. 
  • Jay Driller to Matt, very near fall save by Nick Jackson. 
  • Super Cutter by Nick to Mark, Matt rolls up Jay for a near fall. 
  • Springboard Doomsday Device by The Young Bucks imitating the Briscoes, near fall. 
  • Moonsault sequence by the Bucks on Mark, Jay hits the Froggy Bow on the referee to stop the count. 
  • Meltzer Driver to Jay, The referee barely wakes up and slowly counts to a near fall. 
  • Mark throws a chair at Nick to stop the Meltzer Driver, Jay Driller on the chair to Matt, amazing near fall. 
  • Super Redneck Boogie Bomb gets the final pin. 

Winners: The Briscoes Retain

Rating: ****3/4, This was an amazing tag match. It was so well worked in the ring and had some very believable near falls. Especially, the Jay Driller on the chair to Matt towards the end. In my opinion, this match is one of the Briscoes best and one of the best ROH matches this year. This was an amazing clash between some of the best ever ROH tag teams. Not really a MOTY contender but it was a fantastic tag team clash and one of the best tag matches since Golden Lovers Vs. The Young Bucks. Best match of the show so far. 

f75fbb5c1db93919ca1c135405f3b173121550ecr1-608-342v2_hq

Marty Scurrl vs. Cody vs. Dalton Castle for the ROH World Title

  • Darker Theme and attire on Marty Scurrl. He looks badass. 
  • Cody again accompanied by Burnard and Brandi 
  • Cody vs. Nick Aldis at All In is on the line here, so Cody is almost definitely going to win.
  • Hopefully, Dalton Castle can deliver here. He has only delivered against Jay Lethal in his title reign. 
  • Cody ejects Burnard from ringside. Hopefully, this means Cody is more focused on in-ring than shenanigans. 
  • The match starts fast out of the gates. 
  • Nick Aldis and the NWA Title are ringside. 
  • Tornado DDT off the apron by Scurrl to Cody. 
  • Cody and Scurrl Strike-off back in the ring. 
  • Superplex turned into a Judo Throw by Castle to Cody for a 2 count. 
  • Chicken Wing by Scurrl on Castle, Cody joins and gets in the American Deathlock on Castle, Dalton fights out. 
  • Great Snap DDT by Cody for the match’s first near fall. 
  • Cody grabs the title to distract the ref, Cody tries to low blow Scurrl but Scurrl blocks it. 
  • Scurrl tried to go for Goldust’s Shattered Dreams but Brandi distracts Scurrl, near fall rollup by Cody. 
  • Finger Break by Scurrl to Cody and Scurrl removes the ring and puts it on. 
  • Bangarang by Castle to Scurrl, Nick Aldis pulls out the referee for a near fall. 
  • Cody Double Springboard Dives to take out Aldis. 
  • With the ref distracted, Scurrl hits Castle with the belt, ref back in counting the pin for a near fall but Cody pulls the ref out. 
  • Three men roll up sequence into a triple strikefest. Scurrl hits Castle with a hard elbow to take out both Castle and Scurrl. 
  • Scurrl throws Powder in Cody’s Face, Cross Rhodes to Scurrl, Castle pins Scurrl to a near fall. 
  • Bangarang to Scurrl rolled up for a near fall. Chicken Wing by Scurrl to Castle, Cody pulls Scurrl off but Scurrl hits a Cross Rhodes to Cody. 
  • Bangarang by Castle to Scurrl ends the match abruptly. 

Winner: Dalton Castle Retains

Rating: **1/2, this match SUCKED honestly. This is one of my least favorite main events from all of 2018. Why did Castle retain? Why was Aldis there if Cody didn’t win? Why was Scurrl beefing so hard with Cody? Why was Scurrl wearing the Jericho make up? Why did the match end so abruptly? Where were all the important spots? Honestly, as being an ROH fan for a few years I have no idea. ROH books themselves into a corner and they have the talent to make these matches awesome. Even with Cody as my favorite wrestler, I can’t justify this match. I’m confused on how ROH let this main event happen to end a good show. The match quality was fine after all and only the logic dragged this down. 

Show Grade: B-

Last Word: This was a great show with some very good matches including Kushida vs. Lethal, Aries vs. King, Page vs. Martinez and especially The Young Bucks vs. The Briscoes. This show was dragged down by the usual ROH logic by having Castle retain in a lackluster main event and have Bully Ray stand tall over more talented people like Cheeseburger and Flip Gordon. For 2018 ROH this was a very good show. 

 

 

The Race for Wrestler of the Year: Weekly Awards 6/11 – 6/17/18

kylenxt

Wrestler of the Week: Kyle O’Reilly, Kyle last week had an amazing match on NXT TV for the UK title against Pete Dunne. That alone wouldn’t get him this spot but then on NXT Takeover, he had a fantastic tag team match with Roderick Strong against Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan. Kyle mixes amazing selling and great technical talent to perfection and makes the majority of his matches really fun. 

alexa-bliss-800x400

Women’s Wrestler of the Week: Alexa Bliss, her performance at MITB was historic for women’s wrestling. As much as I think that she is overpushed she delivers when called upon. Bliss won a very good MITB match and cashed in on Nia Jax later the same night to win the RAW Women’s Championship. Alexa has already made a case for women’s wrestler of the month with her performance here and maybe women’s wrestler of the year. 

7f0a644b346d65fcea3f987178d6580524eddad7v2_hq

Match of the Week: Johnny Gargano vs. Tomasso Ciampa in a Chicago Street Fight at NXT Takeover Chicago, I don’t know what else to say about this match. If you want to see more of my thoughts check out my review of Takeover Chicago (https://wrestlegrade.com/2018/06/17/nxt-takeover-chicago-2-review/). This match mixed storyline, brutality and work rate to make a masterpiece and one of my favorite matches ever. 

20171025_nxt_burchlorcan-cfb4f27e821e91e42781792721ecd5bd

The team of the Week: Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch, as previously mentioned there was an amazing tag match at NXT Takeover Chicago between Undisputed ERA and Oney and Burch. Oney and Burch were interesting choices for the challenger role but showed in the end that they deserved it. Lorcan really shined in the match and post-match they got a standing ovation. This week, these guys solidified themselves as serious contenders in the NXT Tag Division. 

 

Leaderboard: 

kazuchika_okada_iwgp_heavyweight_champion_2016

And STILL the leader of the race for Wrestler of the year…Kazuchika Okada

  1. Kazuchika Okada 122 points
  2. Kenny Omega 106 points
  3. The Young Bucks 100 points
  4. Will Ospreay 95 points
  5. Kota Ibushi 89 points
  6. Hiromu Takahashi 80 points
  7. Zack Sabre Jr. -Johnny Gargano 77 points
  8. Hiroshi Tanahashi -Marty Scurrl 53 points 
  9. Hangman Page 51 points
  10. Andrade Almas -AJ Styles -Dalton Castle -Seth Rollins 50 points
  11. Cody 47 points
  12. Adam Cole 44 points
  13. Tomasso Ciampa 43 points
  14. Sanada -Jay White 41 points
  15. Minoru Suzuki -Brock Lesnar -Cedric Alexander 35 points
  16. Roderick Strong -Kyle O’Reilly 34 points
  17. The Miz -KUSHIDA 30 points
  18. Alexa Bliss 29 points
  19. Bobby Fish 28 points
  20. So Cal Uncensored -Pete Dunne -Hirooki Goto -Evil -Flip Gordon -Tetsuya Naito -The Briscoes 25 points
  21. Dragon Lee 23 points
  22. Shinsuke Nakamura 22 points
  23. Ronda Rousey -Jonathan Gresham -Jay Lethal -Killian Dain -Kalisto -Finn Balor -Aleister Black -SHO 20 points
  24. Matt Taven 18 points
  25. Charlotte -Chris Sabin 17 points 
  26. Chris Jericho -Asuka -Usos -John Cena -Tomohiro Ishii -The Bar -Mustafa Ali -Braun Strowman -Ember Moon- The Tongans -Buddy Murphy -Jeff Hardy -Desperado -Silas Young 15 points
  27. Nia Jax 13 points
  28. YOH -Bobby Roode -sAnitY -Drew Gulak -Kenny King -Juice Robinson -Michael Elgin -Dave Finlay -Velveteen Dream -Ricochet -Lars Sullivan -EC3 -The Kingdom -Taiji Ishimori -Yoshinobu Kanemaru -Bludgeon Brothers -ACH 10 points
  29. Becky Lynch -Ruby Riott 8 points
  30. Carmella -Matt and Bray -Sumie Sakai 7 points
  31. Alex Shelley 6 points
  32. Jack Gallagher -New Day -Hideo Itami -Chase Owens -Beer City Bruiser -Trent Baretta -Sasha Banks -Shane Taylor -Togi Makabe -Yoshi-HASHI -Punishment Martinez -Dolph Ziggler -Kevin Owens -Sami Zayn -Baron Corbin -TJP -Akira Tozawa -Kurt Angle -HHH -Rysuke Taguchi 5 points
  33. Mandy Leon -Tenille Dashwood -Peyton Royce -OGBC -Lana -Burch and Lorcan 4 points