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Chris Deez’s WWE WrestleMania Weekend Hits & Misses

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Well that was… meh. WrestleMania 34 has passed us by, and with its passing we have had many long standing questions answered with just as many new ones asked. Let’s be realistic here for a second… it wasn’t very good at all. It wasn’t helped by the fact that NXT TakeOver New Orleans was earth shatteringly incredible, but regardless of Saturday nights superior show, ‘Mania once again flattered to deceive. We were presented with the most stacked card in history, but almost every match felt like nothing more than filler for the main event. With that said, post ‘Mania RAW was a blistering success. This was originally due to be a ‘Mania Hits & Misses rundown, but I had to include RAW purely for the fact I could only find 1 or 2 ‘mania Hits which were vastly outweighed by Misses.

Lets crack on shall we?

Hit: Ronda’s Rousing Rendition.

Hands up who expected this? Anybody? No? You at the back there, put your hand down you liar! Far and beyond the best match of the night, Ronda Rousey shocked and impressed the entire world with her performance on the Grandest Stage of Them All. She was far more involved than I ever expected and it was clear to see how much she cared about proving herself. Credit is due for both HHH and Stephanie, who both did everything in their power to put Ronda over in the biggest way possible. What next for Rousey? Well if her appearance on RAW is anything to go by, this feud is far from over and that’s something I’m more than happy to see. She needs at least a couple more months of being built up, plus some more mic work conditioning, before entering the title picture.

Miss: That Fucking Main Event.

Literally the most baffling thing I have ever seen while watching WWE… and I’ve seen ark Henry have a baby hand with Mae Young. Nailed on for an entire year, Roman Reigns was set to finally topple the beast and reward us with a full time champion. What did we get? One of, if not the, worst WrestleMania main events in history. To make matters worse, within 24 hours of Roman’s devastating loss, the instant rematch was announced for the Greatest Royal Rumble event in Saudi Arabia. That’s right. The challenger lost and got handed a rematch. Without earning it. Who said WWE favour Roman Reigns and force him down our throats? You? Don’t be absurd! He’s great! He’s earnt it!

The only saving grace here was the return of my life long bae Samoa Joe. His appearance and subsequent berating of Reigns was a thing of beauty, and even led to a challenge for Backlash. This rivalry was fantastic the first time around… here’s hoping it leads to big things for Joe.

WrestleMania

Hit: Opening The Show In A Big Way.

While it wasn’t the best match you’ll ever see, the Intercontinental Championship match between The Miz, Seth Rollins and Finn Balor was the perfect way to open proceedings. It’s always nice seeing the best guys the company has to offer starting the show off the right way. Unfortunately the match itself wasn’t even close to being the monumental 5 star extravaganza we expected. Rollins is a worthy winner however, and should go on to have a fantastic reign as champion especially considering the calibre of talent on RAW. Braun Strowman, Samoa Joe, Elias, Dean Ambrose on his return, Finn Balor and Jeff Hardy could all result in some outstanding matches.

Miss: Rusev Day is On It’s Last Legs.

Who has Rusev upset? His short time in the company has gone from one extreme to another. Since losing his fantastic 1 year unbeaten streak to Super Cena, we have seen Rusev involved in a romantic storyline with Summer Rae and Dolph Ziggler, being fed to Randy Orton, becoming the most over guy in the business all by himself with the Rusev Day movement… to being pinned by Jinder Mahal at WrestleMania. I’s genuinely shocked he hasn’t walked away from the company yet. He is phenomenally talented, has the merch sales to give Vince a raging semi (he’s old, its difficult) and has reached almost Daniel Bryan levels of over. What’s next for him? More mid card mediocrity? With the Superstar Shake Up only one week away, Ru Ru desperately needs a change of scenery. Oh I almost forgot to mention. Jinder Mahal is our new United States Champion. Kill me now.

Hit: No Celebrities Or OTT Segments.

Thank. God. The. Rock. Wasn’t. There.

Despite the matches on show not being particularly exciting, barring 1 or 2, at least the focus of this Wrestlemania was on the actual wrestling. It was a nice change of pace to not be slapped in the face with celebrity involvement, unless you count Ronda Rousey of course, and it’s always nice when the talent doesn’t get buried by stars of yesteryear. I’m a sucker for nostalgia as much as the next cynical old fool, but seeing The League of Nations embarrassed by Stone Cold, Mick Foley and Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania 32 was completely unnecessary.

Miss: SDLive Tag Team Championship Match Placing.

The Uso’s. Tag team of the year 2017. Helped in large by The New Day and their insane rivalry. Surely this match, including the Blugeon Brothers, can only have been 24 carat gold right? Wrong! The match itself was uninspiring and frankly quite dull, but WWE did themselves no favours by placing this one right after Ronda Rousey’s triumphant debut. The crowd didn’t care in the slightest and barely made a sound. Going forward I’m concerned for the division. It was on fire for the longest time, but with Blugeon Brothers being in control for the foreseeable future I can’t see any more 5 star matches like the division was churning out weekly towards the end of 2017.

Hit: Braun Finally Winning Gold.

Strowman was my superstar of the year for 2017, and he won that much coveted award by a country mile. An amazing rivalry with Roman Reigns, months of making Big Show look good, a focal point of the title scene leading into SummerSlam, character development beyond anything we could have expected… he was more than ready to step up and show his potential at the top of a division. The tag team division was a strange place for Strowman to ply his trade, but at the end of the day it was entertaining and it was all we could talk about for weeks leading up to WrestleMania.

WrestleMania

Miss: The Way Braun Won Gold.

The fears I had going into Wrestlemania were somewhat vanquished on last night’s RAW. The Bar in no way deserved to lose their titles after holding the weak division together over the last year, so thankfully Strowman and his unlikely partner 10 year old Nicholas (don’t even…) vacated the titles and handed them over to Kurt Angle. This doesn’t change the fact that winning the titles in the first place was the wrong decision. That’s twice in the last few months that champions have relinquished their titles for no good reason at all and it just reeks of creative not planning for the long term. Braun should have been given an opportunity at a singles title rather than diminishing the value of the tag belts. Sheamus and Cesaro were in danger of looking weak and potentially splitting up, but the announcement of a tag team elimination tournament to determine their opponents in Saudi Arabia has gone a small way to keeping them relevant.

Surprise, Surprise!

Ember Moon. No Way Jose. Bobby Lashley. Jeff Hardy. Samoa Joe. Authors of Pain. Owens & Zayn… now that’s how you book a post ‘Mania RAW! Moon adds legitimacy to a women’s division which was becoming staler and staler by the month and should be a good challenger to Nia Jax’s newly claimed throne. Jose was a fun appearance as he swept aside and unnamed jobber, but hopefully it will turn out to be a one off appearance. Lashley received a great reaction and his interaction with Elias was absolute fire, with him looking more dominating than ever. Jeff’s return was a personal highlight for me, albeit a fairly pointless and confusing one, Unless he is going to be entered into the Intercontinental Championship scene, his appearance achieved nothing.

Samoa Joe has been desperately missed. The best natural heel that RAW has, and his interaction with Reigns was phenomenal. If Reigns wins the title in Saudi Arabia, Joe will be a fantastic first challenger. AOP was a predictable but nonetheless awesome debut. The RAW tag division has desperately needed new blood for a long, long time. Akam and Rezar will certainly bring plenty of blood to the table… other people’s blood. It’ll also be interesting to see the fall out from their dismissal of Paul Ellering… will he take charge of another team? Owens and Zayn was a fun little segment with a great match to boot, and with neither man coming away with a RAW contract it should lead to a few weeks of them invading the show until Kurt Angle eventually gives in and grants them their wish.

An absolutely fantastic episode of RAW.

Miss: The Dream Match Turned Into A Nightmare.

AJ Styles v Shinsuke Nakamura is, on paper, potentially the greatest match ever. So it’s a shame that the end product was completely and utterly average. Horrendous build up for months and months, the lac of interaction between the two and no real intensity really did the match a disservice. The crowd weren’t that into it, it was placed in an unusual slot on the card and was yet another case of WWE flattering to deceive. The saving grace here was Nakamura’s unexpected heel turn, which certainly ignited a little interest for me in an another very standard feud. Face v face never works particularly well in the first place. The Superstar Shake Up is going to have to conjur up something pretty special to make this WWE Championship scene worth watching. Finn Balor anybody?

Hit: Charlotte Ending The Streak.

THANKYOU CHARLOTTE. WWE’s best decision of the night by far. Asuka is the most overrated wrestler, male or female, of all time in my eyes. I’ve not seen anything to back up everyone’s claims that she is the best thing since sliced sex, regardless of how much you like to jizz over her time wrestling in Japan, and it would’ve been a crying shame to see her defeat the best female superstar of the last decade. This result went a loooong way to back up my long standing opinion that WWE don’t know how to plan for the long term. An Asuka win would’ve done absolutely nothing for SDLive. Charlotte has struggled to impress on the blue brand at times because of the lack of serious competition… so what the hell would Asuka have done?

We also didn’t see a Carmella cash in, which was strange considering she tries to cash it in every 17 seconds on SDLive. What does it mean for her? She isn’t ready to be a champion, shes barely ready to be a superstar at all.

Miss: The Far From Phenomenal Return Of The Phenom.

What the hell was this? I wasn’t expecting a 30 minute epic, nor did I want one to be honest, but this was essentially a squash match. With some of the worst build I’ve ever seen for an Undertaker match, the first hour of WrestleMania was all about seeing John Cena sat in the crowd like a ‘fan’. He even interrupted Charlotte’s absolutely massive moment en route to the back of the arena. Disrespectful on WWE’s part. The worst part of all this mess is that we will likely see a rematch at next year’s event so Cena can try and achieve some sort of vindication akin to HHH and Shawn Michaels in their encounters with The Deadman. The only positive to this match was that Elias got to be a part of something huge and appear at ‘Mania at the same time.

The match didn’t need to happen, and it may aswell not have done. Was the idea to allow Taker to win and make up for losses to Reigns and Lesnar? If so, it didn’t work. 10 more wins wouldn’t work, because at the end of the day his wins could be 50 but the losses will always be 2. WWE have destroyed the legitimacy of arguably the greatest of all time and his legacy means much less than it used to.

WrestleMania


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Greatest Royal Rumble? Child Please.

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Triple H Saudi Arabia Greatest Royal Rumble

As somebody that regularly writes about WWE for multiple websites, people expect me to care about their major events. I typically do. WrestleMania is always easy to get up for, even if the card looks lackluster. SummerSlam is typically built well and takes place at a great time for big events: the end of summer. Survivor Series has cool elimination matches. Heck, Money in the Bank has fun ladder matches, even if the briefcase concept is beyond played out.

Another event I’m always excited about is the Royal Rumble. Growing up, it was the event I looked most forward to. Even more than WrestleMania. There was something about the Royal Rumble Match that appealed to me. Thirty men entering the ring individually in approximately two-minute intervals for a shot at the WWE Champion at WrestleMania was incredibly fun. Even if the winner was pretty darn predictable most years, I felt like it gave everybody a chance to become Champion. Even guys like Virgil & Repo Man had a shot at it in my eyes.

It’s the one “Big 4” WWE event I’ve attended. In 2012 I made the trip to St. Louis with some of my offtheteam.com friends to see the Royal Rumble event. It didn’t go down in history as one of the great Rumbles, but I had a tremendous time. I haven’t been to a WrestleMania and that doesn’t really bother me. Getting to a Rumble more than makes up for it.

With all that being established, you would think that I’m pretty interested in Friday afternoon’s Greatest Royal Rumble event, being aired live from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on WWE Network. It’s certainly a stacked show. Every male championship will be on the line. John Cena & Triple H will face off. The Undertaker will battle Rusev in a casket match that’s had the strangest build of any match in recent memory. The cherry on top? A 50-man Royal Rumble match! I have no idea how they’ll fill that many slots without taking volunteers from the crowd.

It’s certainly an interesting show on paper, and feels like something I should be excited about. Yet, I don’t feel excitement. Something just doesn’t feel right. This isn’t a Top 5 column, but let’s run down the reasons I’m not feeling the Greatest Royal Rumble hype.

That name…Greatest Royal Rumble.

I mean, “Greatest Royal Rumble” is just an awful name all around. It sounds like you’re trying way too hard to get people to pay attention. It puts down all the Royal Rumbles that took place before it, including the one back in January. Speaking of which…

We just had a Royal Rumble.

Why are we stepping all over the annual Royal Rumble event by holding another one a mere three months after? This reminds me of when Major League Baseball would hold two All-Star Games in a season. OK, I wasn’t alive when they did that, so I can’t really say it reminds me of it. But you get what I’m saying. You got one Royal Rumble a year. Why water it down? And as the year they had forty people enter it proved, more doesn’t always equal better.

Noon on a Friday

Maybe this aspect doesn’t matter as much in 2018 because we can watch the damn show anytime we want. But there’s still something about the live aspect of a show, with the live reactions on social media & everybody discussing what’s going on. Most of us will be working when this happens. And let’s be honest, it’s a Friday, so most of us aren’t going to interrupt our Friday night plans for it. WWE should have figured this out when they put SmackDown on Friday nights & nobody watched.

Saudi Arabia

OK. Here we go.

I realize that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has paid Vince McMahon & World Wrestling Entertainment a tremendous amount of money. WWE, therefore, should feel obligated to put on a hell of a show for the money they’re being given. As somebody that has various jobs based on customers paying me their hard-earned money, I totally understand.

As somebody that isn’t getting paid by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, I don’t have to hold my nose & glorify their regime. Their deplorable human rights record is well-known. We all know that the United States & other nations turn a blind eye because of the oil reserves. They’re customers just like WWE is. They control the oil, so they can do whatever they want. It’s not an ideal situation, but we haven’t figured out a way around it yet.

The most obvious influence the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has had on this show? The complete lack of female Superstars. Which in this climate where WWE has been all about women making history for the past few years is pretty glaring.

The pro-Saudi crowd will point out that women were granted the right to vote in 2015. You know, only 96 years after the United States started letting them vote. That’s not too bad, right? They let them drive last year, which might be even crazier than letting them vote.

To be fair to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, things seem to be heading in a different direction. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has been making waves recently. He especially seems interested in opening Saudi Arabia up to the entertainment industry. Along with this random WWE show, Saudi Arabia recently allowed a movie to be shown. A MOVIE!

I’m skeptical.

Listen, we’ve seen people try to enact reform in the Middle East. Yitzhak Rabin. Anwar Sadat. The Arab Spring uprisings. It never ends well. Somebody gets assassinated & things end up more repressive than before. I’m going to need to see a lot of things happen before I buy into the idea of WWE having a Rocky IV moment in Saudi Arabia, where if you can change & I can change, then everybody can change. Once WWE does a few of these events & they go off without a hitch, and progress is made to the point where they actually let the womenfolk on these shows, I’ll start buying into the hype.

I might not be from Missouri, but you still have to show me.


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Opinion

Top 5: Matches of the Week Ending 4/22/18

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Okay well, thanks to Major League Wrestling having TV and Impact having something to prove, this is a surprisingly diverse list if we include the honorable mentions. Aside from that, our matches last week needed a vote winner even though it was dominated by AJPW. This is why the reader vote matters, since that heavily skewed the vote.

So the winner of last week was, Shingo Takagi vs Yuji Hino @ AJPW Champion Carnival! It may not win the April vote in general, but I love seeing a variety of companies in the vote.

Anyway, let’s see what we’ve got to work with this week.

 

5. ROH: Kelly Klein vs Mayu Iwatani


Now I’m aware this is the Semi-Finals match from Supercard of Honor. However, I didn’t watch Supercard except for the Cody match, so I figured I’d count this one since it was on ROH TV.

Kelly is a beast that the women in ROH haven’t been able to beat cleanly, and it shows in the match. Even though Mayu is a heavily decorated wrestler from Stardom, Kelly’s size and power advantage make it seem unfair very early.

The match has a few attempts at back and forth, with Mayu wrestling from underneath nearly the entire time. Just when it looks like the smaller wrestler might pull it off, Kelly slaps on a submission and wins the match via referee stoppage. This match probably should’ve been the finals since both women brought some aggression, and the match was better than the women’s matches involving Sumie Sakai.

Rating: *** 1/2

 

4. MLW Fusion: Austin Aries vs ACH


Now to kick off, I never realized ACH says he hails from the Planet Vegeta, that popped me for the Dragon Ball reference.Either way, we have two very well known Cruiserweights, and this is the kick off match.

When the match starts we see ACH has the right side of his ribs and his right upper thigh taped up. Aries and ACH shake hands to kick things off, and honestly, Aries never really tries to exploit the injured areas.

This match was the longest match of the night, and the two put on a clinic. ACH was hampered slightly because of his injuries, but both men got all of this signature moves in. Schiavone kept jumping at the opportunity to call the 450 Splash, and when ACH finally did it, he was met with Aries’ knees.

After a Horns of Aries submission and the Discus Fivearm, Aries finally puts away ACH with the Brainbuster.

If this is a precursor for how they’re going to pace out their shows, anyone who loves quality wrestling, will enjoy this program.

Rating: *** 3/4

 

3. Impact Wrestling Redemption X Division Championship: Matt Sydal (c) vs Petey Williams

Williams got a Feast or Fired case, to cash in for an X Division Title shot. Since returning last year, Petey has had 2 or 3 opportunities and kept coming up short.

This was more of a wrestling match, then a high spot match. Petey focused on Matt’s legs and lower back, while Sydal was favoring injuries throughout. Big pop/spot in the match was when Petey hits the Canadian Destroyer, but Sydal rolls out of the ring. After that, Petey gets desperate and tries to set up a Super Canadian Destroyer from the top turnbuckle.

Sadly for Petey, Sydal fights off the Destroyer, goes for a Shooting Star, Williams rolls out of the way and attempts one more Canadian Destroyer. Sydal slips through Williams’ legs, and picks up the pinfall by a pump handle cradle. Damn good match.

Rating: ****

 

Honorable Mentions:

Impact Redemption House of Hardcore: Ohio Versus Everything vs Tommy Dreamer, Eddie Edwards & Moose
Rating: *** 1/2
AJPW Champion Carnival: Dylan James vs Yoshitatsu
Rating: *** 1/4
Raw US Championship: Jinder Mahal (c) vs Jeff Hardy
Rating: *** 1/4
MLW Fusion: Pentagon vs Rey Fenix
Rating: *** 1/4
Smackdown: Daniel Bryan & AJ Styles vs Rusev & Aiden English
Rating: ***

 

2. AJPW Champion Carnival: Zeus vs Naomichi Marufuji


Zeus needs this victory to stay alive in the Carnival, and Marufuji has been riding an undefeated wave.

Zeus comes out with long pants and a rally towel, which isn’t his normal attire, so I’m not sure if there’s a story there. But the match itself was exactly what you expect from two high tier wrestlers.

They feel each other out by a test of power, trading chops and just generally seeing what the others’ pain threshold is. Zeus dominates most of this match, even though Marufuji gets in everything from the Kawada kicks to his corner blitz. Both men get their finishers countered or slowed down a few times, so you are sucked in since either man has the prowess to win this.

Just when Marufuji gets some momentum, and looks to end it with the Shiranui, Zeus counters it with his signature Jackhammer and gets back on the winning track. Personally, this is my favorite match of the Carnival so far.

Rating: **** 1/4

 

1. Impact Redemption World Championship Triple Threat: Austin Aries (c) vs Fenix vs Pentagon Jr

The thrown together main event because Alberto decided to no show during Mania weekend. It’s also really a curious situation with Fenix and Pentagon being so visible to Americans within the last month. Both made their WrestleCircus debuts, MLW Fusion main event, ImpactvsLU special event and now Redemption.

Aries tried to take the fight to the brothers immediately, and we got a nice callback to the last triple threat, when Fenix and Pentagon went for the stereo superkicks, but Aries avoided it. After that, it was definitely a free for all. Pentagon had a lot of moments where he baited his little brother into moves, but Fenix had glimses of brillianc. He also had the same issue as other high fliers though, with the top rope. Fenix (and Aero Star in an earlier match) lost balance often, but Fenix is much smoother and made it look like an extended set up, opposed to an obvious botch.

From that point, we see Aries slowly gain momentum back, and keep each man in opposite corners, before they decide to team up. It’s this point where the big brother tactics work wonders. Since it looks like Pentagon tells Fenix to pin him, then superkicks him. From that point Pentagon puts Fenix in a Gory Special and then also lifts Aries into a Package Piledriver, for an amazing combination move.

Pentagon then, breaks Aries’ arm and hits his Pentagon Driver. AND NEW Impact Wrestling World Champion, Pentagon Jr! Even through the awkward spot with Fenix and the top rope, the match was hard hitting, had some call backs and showed a lot from all three men. Plus it’s the first hiccup in Aries’ “Belt Collector” gimmick, so that’s a wrinkle we might not have been getting with Alberto.

Rating: **** 3/4

 

This is another hard choice, and even though this list contains my favorite Champion Carnival match, I’m gonna have to vote for, Austin Aries vs Pentagon Jr vs Fenix @ Redemption. With a bunch of fun twists, and numerous great matches, this triple threat was the cherry on top of the best Impact/TNA PPV in at least 5 years.

Last week should’ve been proof that your opinion matters. If you’re reading this and you feel strongly one way or the other about the top 5, make your voice heard.


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International Coverage

AJPW Champion Carnival A Block Results & Review Part 4

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Welcome to Part 4 of our A Block coverage for the Champion Carnival. Before we begin, I wanted to inform you that Bodyguard starts competing again on the April 20th show.

However, he was scheduled to face Kento Miyahara on April 16th and since he was unable to compete, Kento received a BYE, meaning he has four wins and Bodyguard officially has four losses, which mathematically eliminates from winning. But, he could still take some wins to screw the scoreboard. Now that we got that out of the way, let’s…dive right in.

 

4/16/2018

 

Champion Carnival 2018 Block A Match
Naoya Nomura vs. Shuji Ishikawa

Review: We get Shuji Ishikawa back in the race as he looks to keep his vow by not losing another match going forward, so let’s see if he keeps his promise when he faces Naoya next. The beginning in the match is a bit humorous to me and even Shuji attempted to murder Naoya by taking him over to the stage from the outside and to Powerbomb him, but that fails and just gets pushed off basically. Shuji would just mostly control the majority of the match as the crowd tries to get behind Naoya to help him overcome this monster of a man. Naoya would come close a couple of times and even kicked out of the Fire Thunder, but he would fail as Shuji would still get the win with his Powerbomb called Splash Mountain, giving himself another win in his name.

Recommended: The match was average at best, so up to you if you wanted to watch it.

 

4/18/2018

 

Champion Carnival 2018 Block A Match
Ryoji Sai vs. Yuji Hino

Review: Hino right now has four wins in his name and is still undefeated as he goes into this match with a lot of confidence after defeating former Triple Crown Champions and some of the best in the Japanese scene, but now we need to see if our Asia Heavyweight Champion can try and stop his momentum and finally get a win in his name after losing his first two matches. Soon as the match starts, you can see Hino being a little too overconfident in his match with Ryoji even though they do go back and forth a few times, but you can tell Hino wasn’t trying as much since he knew he was gonna win the match and has a chip on his shoulder for sure since he’s been on a role since the Carnival started.

The match though was solid enough to get by as Hino and Ryoji still performed very well for themselves, and were able to provide a story for Hino and his progression in the tournament. Around near the ten minute mark, Hino attempts to go for the FUCKING BOMB to secure himself a possible final spot in A Block, but Ryoji would counter it into a roll-up and would get the surprise win, ending his undefeated streak! The crowd reaction may have felt a bit anti-climatic, but it was still an awesome spot and a huge win for Ryoji here to give him that much needed momentum.

Recommended: Fun match, worth at least one view.

 

4/20/2018

 

Champion Carnival 2018 Block A Match
Naoya Nomura vs. Ryoji Sai

Review: Both Naoya and Ryoji are back at it again and this time they’ll be fighting each other as Naoya needs to win this match here or he will also be mathematically eliminated like how The Bodyguard is, while Ryoji would also be affected in the standings if he loses this match as well, so both of them really need the win here, but one of them is gonna have to lose. The two would work well in the beginning and both had enough offense in the bout to make each other look strong throughout the match. Naoya was explosive near the end of the bout as he would hit his Rolling Spear that would lead to a pinfall, but Ryoji would kick out at 2.5, but Naoya would attempt to pin him again after hitting a top rope Splash, but it still wasn’t enough to take out the Asia Heavyweight Champion here. Before Naoya would attempt a second splash, Ryoji would get up in time to hit a Superplex, work on him a little bit before he hits his Arakawa Tekkyo to give himself his second win, leaving Naoya mathematically eliminated from the tournament.

Recommended: Fun solid match, give it a look.

 

Champion Carnival 2018 Block A Match
Joe Doering vs. Shingo Tagaki

Review: We get both Shingo and Joe competing this time in the tournament, which means that Shingo still has three matches left and could be enough for him to secure a spot in the finals if things work out in his favor near the end of it, but somebody has to lose first to get the slight advantage over the other. Before the bell has a chance to ring, Shingo would start to assault Joe right away to give himself a slight advantage over the Gaijin giant here, but it would be short lived as Joe would recover enough to strike back at him and his strikes are slightly better that I haven’t yelled at my screen right away. Joe would showcase more of his power outside of his striking and you can see why the guy is so powerful and how he presents himself in his matches. Matches like these show why Shingo is considered one of the best since he has been one of the MVP’s on A Block for me so far and I do still believe he might win to go to the finals or at least come close, but it all depends on how they book it here. Shingo would start to hit his Pumping Bomber and Last Falconry, but Joe would kick out of it and hit a Diving Body Press before he puts Shingo away with the Revolution Bomb, giving Joe his third win in the tournament and Shingo’s second lost in a solid match.

Recommended: I really enjoyed the match and Shingo gets another match on the list for top A Block matches.

 

Champion Carnival 2018 Block A Match
Yuji Hino vs. The Bodyguard

Review: With Yuji Hino suffering his first loss in the tournament, he would need to defeat Bodyguard here to not only give his confidence back, but to also secure his spot on the top still since he only has one match left after this one and that is against Kento Miyahara, and Kento still has to fight Joe before he gets his match with Hino, so the outcome of the match here could help decide what the last couple of days could lead up to for the finals as the rest look like they might have a chance, except Bodyguard and Naoya who are mathematically eliminated from the tournament. Good to see that Bodyguard is back in action despite missing one match in the tournament due to the injury and I really wanted to see him and Kento fight again too, but nothing to do about it now except for Bodyguard to try and get a win to hurt Hino’s momentum a little bit more. The match was hard hitting as they both played to their powerhouse strength mixed in with their wrestling, and Hino still has that chip on his shoulder despite losing his first match at the previous show. but he attempts to fix that mistake when he goes for the FUCKING BOMB on Bodyguard, but he would fall off of him and hits a Lariat to get the unsuspecting win over Hino!

I didn’t expect Bodyguard to get the pinfall on Yuji, but now it will eventually start to get Hino annoyed due to losing two matches in a row and he only has one left, which hurt his chances to advance to the finals unless Kento could somehow lose to Joe Doering and cause him and Hino to tie up again before our duel.

Recommended: Match was alright when it starts, but the ending was average

Overall: While not as good as the ones I did in the previous article, it was still fun for what it was as the whole card was solid up and down as we have a couple of days left for A Block to see who will come out on top, and we have all but two of them slightly having a chance to win as well.

Favorite Match: Joe Doering vs. Shingo Tagaki

Least Favorite Match: Yuji Hino vs. The Bodyguard

Score: 7/10

 

Current Standings:
Kento Miyahara (4-1) (8 Points)
Yuji Hino (4-2) (8 Points)
Joe Doering (3-2) (6 Points)
Shingo Tagaki (2-2) (4 Points)
Shuji Ishikawa (2-2) (4 Points)
Ryoji Sai (2-2) (4 Points)
Naoya Nomura (1-4) (2 Points)
The Bodyguard (1-4) (2 Points)


Always Use Your Head and visit the official Pro Wrestling Tees store for The Chairshot All t-shirt proceeds help support the advancement of your favorite hard-hitting wrestling website, The Chairshot!


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