Well we had our final match vote for the May pool, and this is a little surprising. Winning by a decent margin was, Jeff Hardy vs Daniel Bryan @ SmackDown. So that makes May a very WWE heavy vote, let’s see what we got.
WWE Backlash Intercontinental Championship Match: Seth Rollins (c) vs The Miz
205 Live: Buddy Murphy vs Mustafa Ali
NJPW BOSJ 25: Will Ospreay vs Taiji Ishimori
SmackDown: Jeff Hardy vs Daniel Bryan
Out of this pool, it should be a fairly obvious winner, so I’ll pile on. Seth Rollins vs The Miz @ Backlash, is my vote for May.
So let’s get to the current week, and first matches for June.
5. ROH TV Title Match: Austin Aries vs Silas Young (c)
Silas Young tosses his shirt at Aries, he catches the shirt, says no one wants it and tosses on the outside and starts playing around early. Some nice mat wrestling with headlock take downs and counters out of it, before the pause for the audience to clap spot.
The early portion of this match has a lot of counter wrestling and sweat throwing. Aries lifts up Young by his chest hair, runs him pillar to post a few times on the apron. Ear Claps him to the floor and goes for a dive, but Young counters that with a big right hand.
Silas has a most of the control on the outside, rolls Aries back in and follows up with a Slingshot Foot Stomp. Then there’s a few big strike exchanges before Silas gets a near fall after his Back breaker/Lariat combination. Young holds Aries in a Full Nelson for a while until Aries runs him around and gets enough momentum to dump him out of the ring. Aries then starts picking up some steam after a neck breaker and his Bottom Rope Suicide Dive.
Then we get a kind of redundant spot of Young going for Misery and Aries countering, then immediately trying his Brainbuster about three times. Finally Aries counters Misery by sliding over the top rope, bringing Silas onto the apron and hitting a big Death Valley Driver on the apron.
Silas catches Aries during a dropkick attempt, hits a forward roll Samoan Drop followed by a springboard moonsault but Aries gets a foot on the rope. Young then goes to use the TV belt, the ref stops him and Aries locks in the Last Chancery, but Silas gets to the ropes.
Ref bump during Misery, Aries hits a few of his signature moves. Beer City Bruiser comes down to interfere, Kenny King evens the odds. Silas goes to use the belt, Kenny King stops him and hits him with the belt for Aries to pick up the pinfall.
Aries is assumed to be the new champion until Todd Sinclair comes down and they pull the Dusty Finish. So the senior ref reverses the decision and DQs Aries.
Winner: Silas Young via DQ
Rating: *** 3/4
4. NJPW BOSJ 25: Taiji Ishimori vs YOH
After feigning the handshake, the match starts off fast. A few strikes while running the ropes, Ishimori rolls to the outside to compose himself, but YOH hits a gorgeous Tope con Hilo. YOH continues to lay in the boots on the outside, rolls in Taiji and goes for three pin attempts in a row. YOH stays on Ishimori and lands some strikes in the corner. When he tries to whip Taiji across, Ishimori rotates through the ropes to the apron and does his bob and weave through the ropes spot, taking down YOH with a springboard Thesz Press.
Will Ospreay comes out at this point to watch the match since he needs Taiji to lose, to win A Block. It doesn’t seem to rattle Taiji too much, there’s a few words exchanged, but he keeps the advantage until he missed a Double Knee Strike in the corner. YOH manages to sequence a Dragon Screw into a Hip Attack, Enzuigiri, Double Foot Stomp to the back and then a Back breaker/Neck breaker combination for a near fall.
Taiji counters some momentum and puts together a nice Flying Headscissors, to send YOH to the outside, where he follows up with a Golden Triangle Moonsault. Ishimori slides YOH back in at 17 and pins him for a 2 count. After taking a second to think, Ishimori hits a Cartwheel Death Valley Driver into a Shining Wizard for another 2. First attempt for the Crossface from Ishimori but YOH gets to the ropes.
A Dropkick sends YOH out, to do his Rewind Thrust Kick, but Taiji moves out of the way and hits a Lethal Injection. He goes for the pin and on the two count, YOH does the matrix out of the cover and Thrust Kicks Ishimori in the side of the head. After a spot where they’re both down for a while, they get up, start jawing at each other and we get a strikefest. Taiji gets the advantage and starts raining the forearms down while YOH is in the ropes so the referee makes him back off.
It looks like Ishimori starts settig up an Avalanche Frankensteiner, but YOH manages to fight against him and almost get a Powerbomb off. Taiji fights through, YOH steps away and hits a big Enzuigiri. Then YOH pulls off his Seth Rollins impression to do a Superplex into a Falcon Arrow for two. YOH goes for a big Reverse DDT maneuver, but Taiji stops that, hits a Bicycle Knee Strike and manages to pull off his Bloody Cross, for another near fall.
Taiji goes for another, but then we get a very nice roll up sequence for YOH. Cradles, La Magistrals, O’Connor Roll with a bridge, and the crowd erupts for the near falls. Taiji manages to take advantage of the bridge as he kicks out, locking in the Crossface. Will Ospreay is going insane on the outside, urging YOH to fight through it…but to no avail. YOH taps out, and Taiji Ishimori wins A Block.
Winner: Ishimori via Crossface
3. NOAH Navigation with Breeze GHC Heavyweight Championship: Takashi Sugiura (c) vs Naomichi Marufuji
The match starts out how you would expect from two veteran rivals. A lot of feeling out, a few mind games during rope breaks, and then the aggression picks up. Marufuji hits Sugiura with three sets of Kawada Kicks before getting caught by Sugiura and thrown off the apron via Gutwrench Suplex.
From that point, Takashi keeps momentum for a while. A nice Body Scissors submission to weaken Marufuji, followed up by a few power moves, including just throwing him into the top rope and watching him bounce back into the ring. After getting worked over in one corner, Sugiura shoots him into the other, and Naomichi finally finds some offense. A big kick, followed up by a Dropkick, creates a little space for Marufuji to recollect himself.
Marufuji now strings some strikes together, lands a big running kick in the corner and it looks like Sugiura is going to counter the next move, but Naomichi moves out of the way, and Takashi goes shoulder first into the ring post. This opens up a nice opportunity for Marufuji to land his signature strike combination. He tries to continue the advantage but Sugiura counters his suplex attempt with a throw into the corner.
A running big boot and a knee strike later, Takashi has the momentum back. He takes Marufuji to the top corner and hits a big Vertical Suplex that he delayed long enough for the crowd to start clapping in support and anticipation. Takashi sinks in a deep Boston Crab after the big top rope move, but Marufuji manages to hop his way to the ropes off his knuckles.
Another moment of trading strikes and go behind transitions ends up in Marufuji following Sugiura to the ropes, and hitting a beautiful Dropkick. Marufuji then hits his Apron Piledriver and allows the referee to start counting while he tries to recuperate. Sugiura manages to crawl back in at 18, Marufuji tries to hit his Springboard Curb Stomp, but Takashi moves and hits a big Release German suplex, sending Marufuji neck first into the corner.
Sugiura is getting blatantly frustrated as he rains down forearms and pushes the referee away when admonished to stop. Marufuji almost gets the advantage back, but Takashi counters a Standing Body Scissors into a German Suplex Hold for a near fall. A big running knee, and another near fall for Takashi. Sugiura attempts an Olympic Slam, Marufuji slips out, Takashi charges, but Marufuji moves and hits a big Ko-Oh in the corner. He manages to hit a big Shiranui on Sugiura after that, but an exhausted cover leaves Takashi’s leg available to just fall on the bottom rope before the three count.
A big Spanish Fly from Marufuji gets two, so he goes for his Fisherman’s Flowsion, but Sugiura counters it into a Brainbuster. We get the Strong Style strike exchange from these two worn out warriors. It was even for a short while and then turned into Sugiura just rocking Marufuji, all while Marufuji goads him to hit him more. A big Ko-Oh from Marufuji, followed by a Lariat from Takashi, lays both men out.
Marufuji gets a quick spark where he hits a bunch of strikes, two reverse Crescent Kicks and a wrist clutch knee to the head for only two. Naomichi then goes for the Fisherman’s Flowsion one more time, but Sugiura counters it into the Olympic Slam and then hits his Front Necklock submission, where Marufuji eventually taps.
Winner: Sugiura via Front Necklock
Rating: **** 1/2
NJPW BOSJ 25: SHO vs Marty Scurll
Rating: *** 1/2
NOAH Navigation with Breeze GHC Heavyweight Tag Match: Go Shiozaki & Kaito Kiyomiya (c) vs Katsuhiko Nakajima & Masa Kitamiya
Rating: *** 1/2
OWE: Cima vs T-Hawk
Rating: *** 1/4
Impact Under Pressure Heavyweight Championship Match: Austin Aries vs Pentagon Jr (c)
Rating: *** 1/4
SmackDown: The Bar & Miz vs The New Day
Rating: *** 1/4
MLW Fusion: Rich Swann vs Kotto Brazil
OWE: Wang Jin & Monk Zhao Yilong vs Whirlwind Gentlemen
NJPW BOSJ 25: Will Ospreay vs Flip Gordon
Impact Under Pressure Knockout’s Championship Match: Allie (c) vs Su Yung
2. 205 Live Cruiserweight Title Match: Cedric Alexander (c) vs Buddy Murphy
Early chess game with some chain wrestling and flipping out of initial high flying moves. Wrecking Ball dropkick and Suicide Dive send Buddy Murphy over the announce table for the early advantage. Murphy manages to find an opening when Cedric plays to the crowd and trips him up on the table and drops him onto the apron, followed by throwing him into the barricade.
Murphy continues to hit stiff kicks and knees into Alexander’s back. A lot of back and forth counters through this match. No one keeps momentum for very long and that does help to increase the suspense. After a huge Tope con Hilo by Murphy, he missed a Double Foot Stomp and Alexander hits a big Michinoku Driver for only 2.
The back of Alexander flares up to delay his offense, and Murphy hits a big running Vertical Suplex for another 2 count. They go to the apron to tease a big Suplex from Murphy, but Alexander counters and hits an apron Flatliner of his own. Both men slide in at 9, with Murphy countering the first Neuralyzer into a Stormbreaker style DDT, very cool looking even if the set up was a little sloppy.
We see a big strike exchange that ends in Murphy catching Cedric’s foot and hitting a big running bicycle knee, for a near fall. Cedric counters a Murphy’s Law into a small package, catches Cedric’s foot for a big Power Bomb near fall and Murphy hits a Kamigoye Knee strike, but to no avail.
After a little trash talk, Murphy throws Cedric into the ropes and gets caught with a desperation Neuralyzer. Realizing he has an opening, he hits another and finally finishes the match with a Lumbar Check.
Winner: Cedric Alexander via Lumbar Check
Rating: **** 3/4
1. Dragon Gate King of Gate Semi-Finals: YAMATO vs Naruki Doi
Early feeling out process from two former winners. A few should blocks and strikes as Doi goes for a quick crucifix pin for about 1 and a half. Feeling out continues when YAMATO brings it to the ground and tries to apply an Armbar, but Doi fights through it masterfully.
First big spot of the match is a seesaw Brainbuster attempt that YAMATO gets the best of and immediately floats over for a Crossface. Doi goes to the ropes to break the submission. YAMATO breaks the hold then walks over to Doi, now on the apron, as Doi trips up YAMATO and hits a smooth Slingshot Elbow Drop.
YAMATO is on the back foot for a while after that move. He rolls out to try and recollect himself but Doi jumps on him once he comes back in. A few attempts at offense from YAMATO get stifled, and Doi ends up getting YAMATO on the mat and sinking in a nice grounded headlock. Even after the rope break, Doi continues his offense assault as he ties YAMATO up in the ropes, hits a big running missile dropkick followed by a top rope Elbow Drop for 2.
Finally YAMATO gets something going, a small strike exchange and a big drop kick, put Doi on his heels for the first time in a while. Doi tries to break out of an Arm Ringer, but YAMATO grabs him and hits a quick Belly to Belly Suplex for the near fall.
A lot of counter wrestling follows between the two. Doi eventually hits a High Angle Backdrop as both men look exhausted. Strong style strike moment ensues, Doi kicks YAMATO’s leg out from under him to hit a big Snap DDT. Doi attempts his Bakatare Sliding Kick, but YAMATO moves out of the way and counters with a Crossface.
The momentum continues for YAMATO after a few big corner moves and a big dropkick for a near fall. Doi hits a big Avalanche Leg Trap Fisherman’s Buster for another 2 count. The desperation moments kick in so we know we’re getting close to the end. Tombstone Driver from YAMATO, kick out, Doi hits Noshigami and his Bakatare Sliding Kick…for a near fall. Multiple attempts at Gallaria and YAMATO finally hits it for 2, after a little more fight from Doi, YAMATO manages to hit Ragnarok, for the pinfall victory.
YAMATO will now face Masato Yoshino in the King of Gate Finals.
Winner: YAMATO via Ragnarok
So much like Eric Ames and Christopher Platt guessed, on the Top of the Morning Podcast, I found a slightly better Japanese match for number 1. So even though, I’m expecting Murphy vs Alexander to be the shoe in, I’m voting for, YAMATO vs Naruki Doi. A rather disappointing tournament, put the two favorites against each other in the Semi-Finals and they showed up. King of Gate 2018 is still mostly a waste of time, but this match alone is at least worth watching.
Always Use Your Head and make your opinions known in regard to the Top 5.