There was a ton of wrestling over the weekend, so that made it quite an interesting assortment of matches for me to pick from. Even though the last few weeks have been a lot of expected content, this week should give everyone stuff to look for.
Before we get to this week, we have to discuss the winner of last week. Now I’m pretty sure it’s mostly thanks to availability, but, 205 Live Roderick Strong vs Cedric Alexander, won the votes last week, by a decent margin.
So now, let’s get to this week’s list of matches:
5. 205 Live: Mustafa Ali vs Drew Gulak
The last semi-final match, winner gets Cedric Alexander.
So this match was hard hitting, and the story seemed to be Mustafa trying to keep his composure and not sink to “bully” tactics. Even though Nigel McGuinnes was right in his assessment of how Gulak carries himself as opposed to what a bully is, the story of the match was still fine. Both men pushed each other hard, and went to ‘dark’ places to attempt to get across more offense.
I’m not a fan of Ali getting the win with an 054, since we just saw this match when they were building Cedric for his match with Enzo. So it’s a hard sell to make us care or consider Ali an actual threat. The match was still pretty good, not the best of this tournament, but good enough.
Rating: *** 3/4
4. WrestleCircus Lady of the Ring Title: Tessa Blanchard (c) vs Chelsea Green
Tessa coming off the big loss to Brian Cage and Chelsea slowly picking up steam everywhere, should make for a solid match.
Tessa’s story was that she was angry and more driven after her loss to prove herself, while Chelsea was just trying to capitalize on Tessa’s moments of blind rage. The crowd swung back and forth between the two women, and save for 2 bad spots, the match had a lot of intensity and was paced nicely.
Angry Tessa is a little scary, so I’d much prefer smiley Tessa. But regardless, a lot of back and forth, a Laurel Van Ness transformation, but still Tessa B ain’t nothing to fuck with. She drives Chelsea into the mat head first, and then lands The Magnum flush, and picks up the pinfall victory.
Rating: **** 1/4
3. AJPW Dream Power Series <Last Battle> Triple Crown Championship: Kento Miyahara vs Joe Doering (c)
Easily Doering’s biggest challenge to date and on the heels of the Champion Carnival, the anticipation for this match was fantastic.
Joe looks to be in the best shape since coming back, and Miyahara was playing up a lot of his arrogance during this match. There was really no true heel since both men have flaws in the persoanlities that came out during the match, but the crowd loves them both.
This match spent a good amount of time on the outside. Utilizing the guardrail, the apron and even the cameraman (dude needs to learn how to move). Doering had Miyahara knocked out at some point, but when the referee got to 8 out of the 10 count, he stopped him and decided to bring him into the ring. Not sure if that was over confidence or an odd respect of wanting to beat Miyahara in the ring, but it was his downfall.
Miyahara barely kicks out at 2, and then starts to hit his second wind. A couple Blackout knee strikes, one big Blackout to the back of Doering’s head in the corner, all lead to a Straight Jacket Suplex Hold, giving Miyahara the pinfall victory. So NEW Triple Crown Champion, the Ace, Kento Miyahara.
Rating: **** 1/4
NJPW: IWGP US Heavyweight Title: Jay White (c) vs Hangman Page
Rating: *** 3/4
NJPW: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Zack Sabre Jr
Rating: *** 1/2
NXT: Pete Dunne & Roderick Strong vs Danny Burch & Oney Lorcan
2. Golden Lovers vs The Young Bucks
Another chapter of the Bullet Club saga unfolds in the main event. Young Bucks move up in weight class, and the Golden Lovers look to prove themselves.
This match had most of what anyone could want, however, it was sloppy at times. Ibushi and Omega had timing issues early, and it wasn’t caught on camera, but there may have been an issue with Ibushi during his half of the Cross Slash.
The nit picks aside, story telling was great, reluctance from Omega and Bucks slowly went away at different points in the match. Thanks to that, the first table spot was more poignant because it went from Nick telling Matt not to go there, to Nick saying screw it let’s do it, and then Matt eventually putting Omega through the table mid More Bang for Your Buck.
The second table spot was unnecassary and seemed more like an excuse to keep Nick out of things for a prolonged period. Matt sold his ass off for another match, and it definitely helps to add to a psychology aspect. I don’t know if they started this dynamic because they were sick of the hate, but Matt being the one who sells and Nick being the hot tag guy, has worked wonderfully for them this year.
Rating: **** 1/2
1. WrestleCircus: Penta El Zero M vs Shane Strickland
Two men who can put on clinics, allows for a lot of imagination in a match like this.
Immediately, Penta dives on Shane and goes to collect a bone, by snapping Shane’s right arm. So Shane wrestled 99% match with ‘one’ arm. So many chairs were used all throughout this match. Commentary had amusing moments of referencing the chair company and that the chairs have families.
So this match was entertaining as hell, with moments of technical wrestling thrown in, but was mostly a brawl the likes of Attitude Era WWF or Omega vs Jericho. We saw Canadian Destroyers, Penta Drivers, seated strong style, CHAIRSHOTS, and cursing in Spanish. This match also did a good job at highlighting Strickland’s ingenuity, by seeing what he could do with one arm mostly useless.
With so much back and forth, it came down to Pentagon going to the top one too many times, Shane throwing a chair at him to send the action to the outside, then it was all Shane. Another CHAIRSHOT, saw Pentagon sit down, Strickland goes up to hit a Swerve Stomp on the seated Pentagon (which snaps the back of the chair clean off), throws Penta into the ring, and one final Swerve Stomp gets the pinfall.
Rating: **** 3/4
So this is a fairly highly rated list all things considered, so it’s hard to go wrong with most of these. But I’m gonna follow my rankings, and give my vote to, WrestleCircus Penta El Zero M vs Shane Strickland. Bedlam would describe the match, and there’s just so much to enjoy/be entertained by, it’s hard for me to vote differently.
If you think I’m wrong, let your voice be heard about the matches, on Twitter or Facebook. It’s hard to have a wrong opinion, as long as you, Always Use Your Head.