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.
Greg DeMarco’s WWE WrestleMania Sunday Stream Of Consciousness
It’s WrestleMania Sunday and Greg DeMarco is back to see if WWE can follow-up a great Night One!
It’s WrestleMania Sunday and Greg DeMarco is back to see if WWE can follow-up a great Night One!
WWE WrestleMania is the Showcase Of Immortals, and it’s also when the WWE gets to showcase itself. After a tremendous Saturday, WrestleMania Sunday has a tough work to follow. Can it follow? Read on to see what Greg DeMarco thought in real time!
Randy Orton vs. “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt w/Alexa Bliss
- Honestly, this is a great choice to open. It might run long, and they can adjust where needed.
- Nice to see the video ring posts and ring aprons back. I understand why we didn’t have them last night (cage match), but this also help separate both nights.
- No more burnt #PizzaTheHut, who ruins my Bold Prediction on The #Miranda Show.
- Dude, Alexa Bliss AND The Fiend are insanely O.V.E.R. Randy is, too.
- A bit odd seeing The Fiend acknowledge the crowd.
- Goddammit Alexa Bliss is amazing at this character. It’s even better in front of fans
- “The Fiend has been restored!”
- Amazing entrance sequence overall.
- Bray Wyatt (the guy) keeps getting himself into better shape. Glad to see I’m not the only one who didn’t waste the quarantine.
Box like structure….you mean the box? #WresltleMania
— Christopher Platt (@therealcplatt) April 12, 2021
Glad to see Randy Orton keeping the "White Gear #WrestleMania" trend alive for 2021.
— Greg DeMarco (@ChairshotGreg) April 12, 2021
- In a rather odd ending, Alexa Bliss distracted The Fiend with fire and weird shit dripping from her head, allowing Orton to hit the RKO for the win. Obviously this is heading somewhere. Finn Balor?
Winner: Randy Orton
- So that started out WHITE HOT and ended on a rather odd note. We’ll see where this goes in the future. I like the idea that Alexa is pulling some strings…but why tho?
- “My fellow co-hosts,” and she’s a huge fan of his podcast! Love it.
- Bayley is doing her best Billie Kay impersonation, and it’s working.
- Hogan looks like a mascot for McDonald’s.
- Titus being upset that he can’t hang out with Hogan is just wrong.
WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships: Natalya & Tamina vs. Champions Shayna Baszler & Nia Jax
- I am actually surprised we didn’t get more Saturday ➡ Sunday carryover.
- Sad that Shayna Baszler is the second fiddle in this tag team, at least from the entrances. She’s such a bad ass, but she only has so many years left.
- Natalya with the ol’ babyface “C’mon you guys!” yell. That’s what you do when you’re not over.
I don't think anyone told Nia that Peacock edits shit out.
And other words, too.
— Greg DeMarco (@ChairshotGreg) April 12, 2021
- At least the right team won. Hopefully we find better champs so Shayna Baszler can dispatch of Jax and move on to somethign better.
Winners and STILL WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions: Shayna Baszler & Nia Jax
Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens
- A feud that has been going since 2009 gets the WrestleMania stage for the first (and probably not last) time. But Sami Zayn is doing his best work sans mask in pretty much ever.
- Sami Zayn seems overcome with happiness about working in front of a stadium crowd, and heaving them sing his theme. I bet we see babyface hero Sami at some point in 2021.
- Honestly we don’t need Logan Paul for this one, but his reach is undeniable.
- But Logan’s gonna pull a Mike Tyson and cost Sami in the end.
- “Expertly trained conspiracy theory expert” and “modern day Copernicus” are some of my favorite lines of the night so far.
- Rare referee naming by Michael Cole, calling Jessika Carr by name.
— Greg DeMarco (@ChairshotGreg) April 12, 2021
- Jessika Carr is back to being “the official,” btw.
- Second time tonight a ref has had to pull their count before someone kicked out. Timing off, I am thinking it’s due to being in a stadium with fans for the first time in 1 year, 1 month, and 2 days.
- Nice recover on the Blue Thunder Bomb reference… when Zayn actually hit the move.
- “You could hear that echo through Raymond James Stadium” … that’s because it’s two-thirds empty.
- KO wins with the “You Did This” Stunner, and Logan Paul was worthless (so far).
Winner: Kevin Owens
- Thoroughly enjoyed that one, and I have a feeling that’s not their last WrestleMania showdown.
- Sami turns on Logan Paul and gets pushed over.
- Kevin Owens hits the Stone Cold Steve Austin feel good Stunner on the guest, as expected.
United States Championship Match: Sheamus vs. Champion Matt Riddle
I legit want Sheamus to destroy Riddle. Really, really can't stand the guy.
— Patrick O'Dowd (@WrestlngRealist) April 12, 2021
- Hard hitting match to start, crowd is out of it a little. Not surprised after Owens-Zayn.
- Top Rope Overhead Belly To Belly Suplex! That woke up the crowd, and they seem to be sticking with it now.
- Brogue Knee might be more effective than Brogue Kick.
- There were some botches in the match that definitely hurt it, but the finishing Brogue Kick was impressive, and “the right guy won.”
Winner and NEW United States Champion: Sheamus
Nigerian Drum Battle for the Intercontinental Championship: Champion Big E vs. Apollo Crews
- This is basically a No DQ Match that happens to have Apollo Crews in it, but I like that they named the stipulation after him. It’s a nice touch.
- PLUNDER! That adds to this match as well.
- I was literally just watching and not typing lol.
- Babatunde finally has a role, and Apollo has his championship win. Once again, the right person wins.
Winner and NEW Intercontinental Champion: Apollo Crews
Raw Women’s Championship Match: Rhea Ripley vs. Champion Asuka
- After losing at WrestleMania 36 (in the best match of the entire event), Rhea Ripley kinda needs to win here.
- Sometimes I really enjoy a live entrance theme. This is not one of those times. This rendition of Ripley’s Brutality theme sucked.
- Asuka should be the baddest woman on the planet, but instead she…dances. Don’t blame her level of success on WWE booking, it’s how she plays her character.
- You know, it’s weird. When the bell rang, Rhea Ripley seemed to lose steam.
- I think that early kick really rocked her.
- Rhea Ripley hits the Riptide, but I bet she’d love to have that one back. Right person, yet again, wins.
Winner and NEW Raw Women’s Champion: Rhea Ripley
- I really think that early kick in the corner rocked Rhea, and it hurt the match a bit. Rhea pulls it out in the end.
Universal Championship: Daniel Bryan vs. Edge vs. Champion Roman Reigns (w/Paul Heyman)
- Very surprised by the lack of a reaction for Roman Reigns. His entire turn took place with no fans, this is truly the first time he has fans for it.
- Edge wearing the white WrestleMania gear, it’s basically him and Randy Orton.
- Jey Uso immediately attacks Daniel Bryan… and it’s BRILLIANT.
- Jey was the MVP of the early portion of the match, before being taken out.
- WAY too much commentary talk about Roman losing his title without being pinned.
- For the record, I picked Daniel Bryan to win, beating Edge.
- We’ve settled into the typical triple threat match formula, and here’s the thing: IT’S WORKING.
- Roman Reigns is honestly selling his ass off for Daniel Bryan.
- So much happened in this match–so much. Hell of a way to close out one hell of a WrestleMania.
— WWE (@WWE) April 12, 2021
Winner and STILL Universal Champion: Roman Reigns
- I know I picked Daniel Bryan–and I got it wrong–but this feels like the right call seeing it live. Everyone had their spots, Edge had some moments where it would seem like he was going to win, but Roman Reigns supreme.
- Big E is freed up to feud with Roman, and Daniel Bryan and Edge can feud all summer. I think we are in for a fun ride through October’s WWE Draft over on Smackdown.
It’s too soon to call, I need to re-watch it. But this feels like an all-time great WrestleMania. So many things clicked, so many things seemed to go right. This was 7 hours of wrestling action, but it was spread over two nights. I hope this format is here to stay. Kudos to all involved, especially the crowd. Welcome back!
BWN Nerds’ Movie Review: Godzilla vs Kong (2021)
Big boy monster throw down of the year! The Nerds return with a current movie review, and this one should be interesting. Is Dave too forgiving? Is Patrick taking his role as the German judge too seriously? Find out where the overall ratings lands between these two!
Welcome to this week’s edition of the Nerd Review! Every week the Nerds give you their take on a different movie from the Nerdosphere. This week Dave and Patrick review the fourth installment of kaiju cinematic universe Godzilla vs. Kong!
The Flick: Godzilla vs. Kong (2021)
What’s it About: A researcher believes a hollow world beneath the Earth’s surface is the birthplace of the mighty Kaiju. He convinces and old friend to help him take the mighty Kong to find his birthplace even if it means incurring the wrath of the King of Kaiju Godzilla. The battle between the two alpha Kaiju could result in the end of all mankind.
Metacritic Score: 59
The Nerds’ Take on Godzilla vs Kong (2021):
Dave It is time for the Main Event of Legendary’s MosterVerse, the showdown we have been waiting for: Godzilla v. Kong. If you have been following along with our Nerd Reviews, then you knew this was coming. What you don’t know is whether we feel the climax to the series is worth your time or not. Well allow me to give you my take on that topic.
Plot wise, it has been some five years since Godzilla defeated Ghidorah and things have been relatively quiet and peaceful. Meanwhile, on Skull Island, Monarch has created a dome like structure to observe and try and control Kong. Kong has developed a relationship with a little girl, Jia, who seems to be the last surviving member of her clan. Jia has, for lack of a better term, been adopted by Dr. Ilene Andrews. Jia is deaf and she seems able to communicate with Kong through sign language.
Halfway across the globe, Apex Cybernetics is engaged in some sort of experimentation that attracts the attention of Godzilla, who shows up and annihilates their facility in Florida. Godzilla’s attack shatters humanity’s notion that he is their friend. Bernie Hayes is an employee of Apex, but he also hosts a Podcast focusing on conspiracy theories involving the Titans. He is soon joined by Madison Russell (from Godzilla: King of the Monsters) who is a fan of the Podcast, and her friend Josh as they start poking around the remains of the Apex site in Florida. We soon discover that Apex is looking for a massive power source that they believe is located in Hollow Earth. Hollow Earth is really more of an Earth within the Earth (Middle Earth, perhaps?) and the quandary is how to survive the trip to Hollow Earth. Nathan Lind is a Hollow Earth expert whose brother perished in a prior expedition to Hollow Earth due to a reverse gravitational effect. But Apex has developed vehicles that can survive the voyage. They just need Kong to lead them there.
In the process of transporting Kong to Antarctica, which has an entry point to Hollow Earth, Godzilla senses his old rival and attacks. Godzilla definitely gets the better of this battle, forcing the expeditionary force to transport Kong by air to Antarctica to avoid detection by Godzilla. Kong gets the group to Hollow Earth and it becomes clear there has been an ancient rivalry between Kong’s ancestors and Godzilla’s. Kong discovers an axe made out of portions of Godzilla’s ancestor’s skins. Back on the surface, Bernie, Madison, and Josh have been whisked away to Hong Kong and they discover what Apex is really up to….Mechagodzilla. Mechagodzilla can be telepathically controlled and it is Dr. Serizawa’s son who is pulling the strings, using the severed head of Ghidorah to do so. The problem is that to utilize Mechagodzilla to its full potential, they require more power, much more power to be exact. This is where the search for the Hollow Earth power source comes into play.
Mechagodzilla is activated and this attracts Godzilla. Godzilla also senses what Kong is doing in Hollow Earth and he sends a blast of atomic breath from Hong Kong to, in essence, the center of the Earth. Kong and the Hollow Earth expeditionary force follow the hole made by Godzilla to the surface. Everyone emerges in Hong Kong for a massive fight between Kong and Godzilla. Kong fares better this time around but is ultimately rendered near death by Godzilla. At about this time, Mechagodzilla is imbued with the power source from Hollow Earth and he also achieves sentience. This leads to the big brawl between Godzilla and Mechagodzilla and it is a mismatch in favor of Mechagodzilla…. until Kong is revived, evening the odds in an enormously predictable moment. Godzilla supercharges Kong’s ax with his atomic breath and the two Titans take down Mechagodzilla. Godzilla and Kong show each other a sign of respect and go their separate ways. Apparently, there can be two alpha Titans after all.
Let’s talk about the good stuff first: the monster fights. They are all fantastic. The battles between Kong and Godzilla feel as big as you would expect. They are titanic clashes in every sense of the word. Godzilla fans will have bragging rights after watching this movie because it is clear that Godzilla whups Kong’s ass on more than one occasion. Kong fans save face though by noting that without Kong, Mechagodzilla would surely have triumphed. As for Mechagodzilla, his appearance in the movie was not a secret and he did not disappoint. The clash between Godzilla and Mechagodzilla was done very well to show just how much more powerful Mechagodzilla was and why it took the combined might of Godzilla and Kong to turn the tide. If massive Kaiju action is your thing, then Godzilla vs Kong is definitely your movie.
Now for the bad: The people. Now, I know what Patrick is going to say. That the movie shifts the focus to the people too much and detracts attention from the monsters. I know he thinks the concept of humans using a defibrillator on Kong is absurd. I am OK with those points in a movie like this. The problem I have with the people is this: They don’t matter. Not at all! They are white noise in the purest sense of the word. 90% of the characters are wholly uninteresting and meaningless. They add little to the plot and just get in the way. So, to be real, Patrick and I are, to a certain extent, talking about different sides of the same coin. The exceptions to this involve Jia, who is quite important to the whole notion of establishing Kong as the “good guy”, and Bernie, who is a fun character and kind of represents a microcosm of conspiracy theorists that are quite common in the real world today. Bernie epitomizes the notion that just because you are paranoid, doesn’t mean they aren’t watching you. But, beyond those two, the characters are quite dull and just felt very pointless.
As far as this being the series finale, I greatly enjoyed the movie. The dynamic between Kong and Godzilla is interesting and keeps you engaged, regardless of whether you are rooting for one, the other, or both. There are some interesting concepts in the movie, specifically how Hollow Earth is different than you might expect and much more interesting, no matter how far-fetched the idea might be. Interestingly, this movie really showcases just how bad ass Godzilla is. I am not sure why it took three movies to get it right, but I digress. Then there is Kong, who ends up being a multi-layered creature that is shown even more heroically than he was in Kong: Skull Island. As for me, I always favored Kong over Godzilla and I left the movie feeling fine with the outcome of everything. If there is a downside it’s that it appears the MonsterVerse has come to an end, just when it was getting really good. That’s too bad. As for Godzilla vs Kong, the awesome action sequences and special effects vastly outweigh the issues involving the people. This is a very good final installment (we think) in this franchise. It is the best of the movies involving Godzilla. I still liked Kong: Skull Island more, but this was a close second.
Dave’s Rating: 4/5
Patrick: Here we are again covering the fourth film in the Warner Brothers/Legendary produced Kaiju Monster universe. And once again this film somehow finds a way to mess up a simple concept. If you recall, in my review of Godzilla King of the Monsters I said good kaiju movies minimize the involvement of human beings in the film and let the monsters take center stage. Unfortunately, the folks at Warner Brothers still have not quite grasped the concept here in its fourth Kaiju film. The result is an uneven film that shines when the monsters are on screen and leaves me tuning out when the focus shifts to the little primates.
In this fourth installment, we learn that Monster research organization Monarch I closely monitoring Kong. Going so far as to create an enclosure around Skull Island so that he is safe from Godzilla. This of course will not last because, well, humans. One human in particular, a man named Nathan Lind comes with the backing of a mysterious tech corporation called Apex to search for “Hollow Earth.” Hollow Earth is a world beneath the surface of our Earth that is believed to be the birthplace of all Kaiju. Lind visits his friend and Monarch researcher Ilene on Skull Island. Lind believes Kong is the key to finding this hidden world. Despite knowing, Godzilla will attempt to kill Kong, Ilene agrees to embark on the expedition. Of course, Godzilla attacks and we get the first of three rounds of monster battling that we paid for.
Unfortunately, to get to round two and three, the audience has to sit through overwrought dialogue and subplots all in an attempt to help the audience connect to the experience. It’s all really boring. You know why? PEOPLE DON’T WATCH KAIJU MOVIES FOR THE HUMANS. But, I digress. Naturally the tech corporation Apex is not on the up and up with Lind. Color me stunned, but Apex turns out to be the real enemy to both Kong and Godzilla. I haven’t even covered the conspiracy theory guy and his gang of teenagers trying to expose Apex from the inside. Again, no one cares because, read it aloud…NOBODY WATCHES KAIJU MOVIES FOR THE HUMANS.
But this isn’t the end of the dumb. The audience is treated to an ancient history between Kong’s ancestor and the other Kaiju where we see Kong find the ancient axe of his ancestors. Because a monkey wielding an axe is cool looking. Did I mention Kong can charge the thing up with Godzilla’s radioactive breath? AWESOME? How about the humans using a high tech battery as defibrillator to revive a dying Kong? Just dumb on top of dumb followed by more dumb. And humans. All of the humans.
The cast for Godzilla vs. Kong is quite the list of names. Alexander Skarsgard essentially fills the role of human protagonist Nathan Lind. Honestly, he is the only human character given anything to work with. Kyle Chandler is back in his role as researcher Mark Russell, but if you blink you miss him. Millie Bobby Brown is also back as Madison Russell, but horribly wasted in a sidekick sort of role to the previously mentioned conspiracy theorist. She is limited to trying to discover why Godzilla has started attacking human cities. Someone of her talent could have and should have been used better. There are tons of other folks in this movie, and yet I struggle to understand why we needed them all. All they do is distract from what the audience wants to see which is GODZILLA and KONG FIGHT.
Ok. So what’s good about this film? Well, the Kaiju. The special effects team outdid themselves crafting these battles. Kong and Godzilla’s bouts all feel epic. I was also impressed with how much more well lit some of the night scenes were. As Kong and Godzilla battle at night in a Chinese city, everything is well lit without appearing phony. The choreography of the battles are terrific, albeit a little silly at times. Again, radioactive monkey axe. But the joy of Godzilla vs Kong is in these epic clashes. I watched the movie on HBO Max, I can only imagine how amazing it would have appeared on an IMAX movie screen with Dolby sound shaking my eardrums.
I came into Godzilla vs. Kong with pretty low expectations. I want to stress that I loved, loved, loved the action sequences involving the Kaiju. Unfortunately, you have to sit through an inordinate amount of human exposition to get to those epic moments. That’s not to say the humans and their stories need to be gone entirely. The audience does need a guide and some context. But Godzilla v. Kong would have been so much stronger with a pared down human side of things and a focus on the monsters. It seems Warner Brothers and Legendary pictures still haven’t learned the key to Kaiju: it’ all about the monsters.
Patrick’s Rating: 2.24/5.0
Overall Nerds’ Rating on Godzilla vs Kong (2021): 3.12/5.0
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