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Who Should Win The IWGP Intercontinental Championship From Chris Jericho

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Chris Jericho

Ever since Chris Jericho took the IWGP Intercontinental Championship from Tetsuya Naito in June, he has not appeared on New Japan Pro Wrestling programming.  He didn’t wrestle in the G1 Climax which is customary of the IC champion.  Jericho made that appearance at ALL IN where he attacked Kenny Omega, which was fun, but that was done more to promote his upcoming cruise. Jericho definitely deserves to hold the belt but I would have preferred for Naito to keep it if there’s no plans to forward the story.  WWE fans know what it’s like for a top guy to hold a top belt off of television so I think it’s best to find the next holder soon before the fans grow frustrated.

Jay White

As we saw in the G1, Jay White has a current obsession with taking out the top guys in the company.  He actually started off the tournament by pinning both Kazuchika Okada and Hiroshi Tanahashi so management clearly thinks very highly of him.  Chris Jericho would be a great option for Jay White’s next conquest.  It would make a star out of one of the talented younger guys and make White’s character even more deranged than it is right now.

Kazuchika Okada

Okada ties in directly with Jay White.  Jay has vowed to dethrone Okada as the rightful leader of the CHAOS faction.  Chris Jericho’s last two feuds were with Tetsuya Naito and Kenny Omega, two of the top three guys in the company. Kazuchika Okada is that third guy.  So it all just meshes perfectly.  Okada can win the Intercontinental belt from Jericho until the IWGP Heavyweight Championship scene shifts a little.  That would leave Jay White to continue his pursuit of Okada.  Ideally, their ultimate meeting would occur at Wrestle Kingdom.  Not only would the winner get the belt and control of CHAOS, but a stipulation could be added where the loser has to leave the faction.

SANADA

He has become one of my favorite technical wrestlers after watching him in the last two G1 tournaments.  His technical style is quite refreshing since he has the appearance of a hardcore wrestler like Jimmy Havoc.  Sanada has yet to hold a singles belt in NJPW which is a shame.  Bad Luck Fale and Michael Elgin have both held the Intercontinental Title and Sanada’s ceiling is already higher than both guys.  He has all the makings of a star.  Kenny Omega even hinted that he would be a world champion after their G1 match.  Sanada also had a title shot for Okada’s heavyweight belt.  Nobody expected him to win but they don’t just hand those matches to anybody.  Unfortunately, I don’t see them giving him the belt any time soon.  Unless Naito is holding the world title, then the IC belt would give Sanada the appearance of the head guy in Los Ingobernables de Japon.

Tomohiro Ishii

All Ishii does is crank out 4 and 5 star matches.  You could say he produces quality matches at the same rate as Omega, Okada, Naito, and Tanahashi.  I see a lot of similarities to Cesaro.  They’re both world-class wrestlers, but they’re not flashy and don’t really cut promos.  Because of that, the guys in charge probably don’t feel that ring work has enough drawing power to hold the top belt in the company.  He is currently feuding with Kenny Omega for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship but I would be really surprised if Ishii comes out on top.  With all that being said, Tomohiro Ishii would make for the perfect candidate to hold the Intercontinental strap.  It’s the second most prestigious belt in the company, Ishii’s a true veteran, and he could be the true workhorse of the heavyweight division.


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WWE NXT 2021 Year in Review: Best Matches Of The Year

Bradley Jay takes a look back at 2021 for NXT as he ranks the best matches of the year!

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Bradley Jay takes a look back at 2021 for NXT as he ranks the best matches of the year!

Better late than never. Here are the best NXT matches of 2021.

Honorable Mentions

  • Ilja Dragunov versus Rampage Brown versus Joe Coffey 4.5 stars
  • Swerve Scott versus Leon Ruff, NXT TV, 5-4-21, 4.6 stars
  • KUSHIDA versus Johnny Gargano, NXT Vengeance Day, 4.6 stars
  • Timothy Thatcher and Tommaso Ciampa versus GYV, NXT TV, June 17, 4.7 stars
  • Subculture versus Eddie Dennis & Primate, NXT UK TV, 1-11, 4.7 stars
  • A-Kid versus Nathan Frazer versus Rampage Brown, tv 09-24 4.7 stars

Ilja Dragunov on his win over WALTER at WWE NXT TakeOver 36

7. WALTER versus Ilja Dragunov, Takeover 36, 4.7 stars

When you are talking about the best match of the year, you have to split some hairs. Yes, this match was brutal and lived up to the hype, but the end left a sour taste in my mouth. Dragunov is standing tall, belt held high, with his foot on a prone WALTER’s chest. WALTER has been too good for too long to deserve this kind of disrespect. Dragunov had a million reasons to celebrate his victory, and that gesture was forced and unnecessary. Great means great from start to finish.  

WALTER vs. Tommaso Ciampa -- NXT UK Championship Match: photos | WWE

6. WALTER versus Tommaso Ciampa Takeover, Stand & Deliver,  4.7 stars

I gave Ciampa a 1% chance of winning. Despite the lack of drama, these two told a masterful story with near flawless execution. Something about WALTER brings out the best in whoever he faces. He did it with Tyler Bate and Ilja Dragunov. He did it with Ciampa. This was easily his best performance since his return from neck surgery. People say he’s a brawler, while guys like Johnny Gargano and Roderick Strong are known for their gas tank. Ciampa showed he can run with the best of them. He earned the respect of Imperium and my #1 Star of the Night.

WWE Women 🎊🍾 — Kay Lee Ray(c) vs Meiko Satomura for the NXT UK...

5. KLR versus Meiko Satomura, NXT UK TV, 3-4-21, 4.8 stars

Kay Lee Ray versus Meiko Satomura was brilliant. Near flawless. Oh how these two deserved a live crowd. I was worried because the build was rushed and forced. Silly me. After 25 years of bumps, Satomura is still quick as a blink. I can only imagine what she looked like in her prime. I’ll be honest. The post-match show of respect from KLR was so genuine, I shed a tear.

WWE NXT UK Crowns New Women's Champion In Meiko Satomura

4. KLR versus Meiko Satomura II, NXT UK TV, 6-9-21, 4.8 stars

How would they top their first MOTY contender match-up? By delivering another MOTY candidate. I would have liked to see Satomura with more rage & anger throughout. And it would have been better if I watched on mute instead of enduring Nigel McGuiness’s incessant yapping. Satomura’s post-match reaction was priceless. She’s been wrestling for two decades and still looked like she just won her first title. If you tell me either is the best women’s wrestler in the world, I will not argue with you. 

MSK vs. Grizzled Young Veterans -- Men's Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Finals: photos | WWE

3. Grizzled Young Veterans versus MSK, Vengeance Day, 4.8 stars

It’s my favorite cliche in all of wrestling: the tag team match will steal the show at Takeover. I wanted to see MSK deliver in a longer match. Wow. I got what I asked for. I loved the end when Nash Carter flipped the switch from goofy skater boi to a guy who can get angry and kick some ass. As for Wes Lee? Shades of Ricochet! And I’m already looking forward to GYV in the finals of next year’s Dusty Cup Classic. 

Something Wicked This Way Comes - NXT's "New Year's Evil" Review (06/01/21) - STEELCHAIR Wrestling Magazine | Covering WWE, AEW, NJPW, ROH, IMPACT and more

2. Rhea Ripley versus Raquel Gonzalez, New Year’s Evil, 01-06, 4.9 stars

First, one tiny grievance. I was hoping for more with the finger tattoos. Someone should have tried to tear a digit off. That would have sealed the deal and made this 5 stars. Despite that missed opportunity, I loved this match. Both women looked like absolute destroyers. I’m sorry to see this rivalry end. Any other night, including Takeover, this would have been MOTN by a miracle mile. Wednesday night was not any other night… 

Kyle O'Reilly Addresses Hospital Reports Following NXT New Year's Evil 2021 Main Event Against Finn Balor | EWrestling

1. Finn Balor versus Kyle O’Reilly, New Year’s Evil, 01-06, 4.9 stars

Call me bitter, petty, a mark. If O’Reilly had won this would have been 5 stars, maybe more. There are few wrestlers in NXT more universally loved and appreciated than O’Reilly. Everyone wanted to see him win. I was certain we were getting his Daniel Bryan WrestleMania 30 moment. I felt O’Reilly’s anguish when he lost. Heartbreaking. As it is, we got what could be the 2021 MOTY, and it’s the first week of January! It will be a very good year watching everyone else try to top this.

The year didn’t end as strong as it started, but let’s be thankful for what we had. Thanks for reading, and always remember: Good things happen when you let wrestlers wrestle.  


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POD is WAR & Peacemaker: Episodes 1-3 Review

DC needs some love too! It’s not just all about Marvel! So POD is WAR, decides to cover some Peace-maker. John Cena, 80s hair metal, dumb jokes…is there anything more on brand?

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Well since the Bandwagon Nerds are buried in other shows, the tumultuous triple triad decided this show’s title just goes too well with our show name. So as a cheap excuse for a literary reference, and to spread the good word of hair metal and John Cena, POD is WAR will be reviewing Peacemaker!

  • Show: Peacemaker
  • Streaming Service: HBO Max
  • IMDB: 8.4/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes: Critics – 94% / Audience – 85%

WAR & Peacemaker Review: Episodes 1-3

Andrew: It was the best of shows…it was the worst of shows. What? Have you heard the podcast? If you expect serious this is the wrong article and definitely the wrong series to be watching.

The show picks up after the events of The Suicide Squad with Peacemaker (John Cena) being told he can leave the hospital and immediately conferring with a janitor whom he smoked a little weed with during his rehab. A comedic back and forth about being trustworthy and if Peacemaker is really a Superhero and not a racist Super Villain sparks up (a pretty consistent theme through the first few episodes as well) as Peacemaker decides he’ll leave but he has to be careful.

So he first heads to what I’m assuming was his place, an American flag painted trailer. We get a small hint at his crime fighting buddy Vigilante (Freddie Stroma) who left him a ton of messages because his dad (Robert Patrick) never shut off the cell service. Just as Peacemaker thinks he’ll have normal situations to take care of, he’s ambushed by a group of people claiming to be a detachment from A.R.G.U.S. and are employing his help on Project Butterfly. Peacemaker realize that since Amanda Waller is involved, he’s not gonna be able to get out of this; even though they won’t explain what the hell Project Butterfly is.

With the main story catalyst established, we then meet his father, in an unassuming house with an upside down American Flag waving in the front yard. Fast forwarding a little through the setup, his dad is a racist hard ass but also a tech genius and has created a pocket dimension in a closet to store all of Peacemaker’s helmets. So an awkward attempt at Peacemaker trying to reconnect with his dad, leads us to the best eagle in a streaming show…Eagley; obviously Peacemaker’s side kick and best friend.

The rest of the first episode is a lot of Peacemaker trying to live a somewhat normal life and drop the Super Villain implications. After going home with a hair metal groupie looking chick at a bar, he clumsily leaves the file on Butterflies and potential targets on the bed they just had sex on. Turns out, she’s a Butterfly. So John Cena in his tighty whities is fighting this woman straight out of 1985 with Quireboys playing in the background. Peacemaker manages to get to his car (A Ford Comet with the American Flag painted on it) to get to a helmet that blows the attacking woman to literal pieces.

From there we find out that basically everyone in this squad is straight out of F Troop. The tech guy switches registration but uses Peacemaker’s dad cause he was “stressed”, the conversations tend to just be awkward and it comes down to Emilia Harcourt (Jennifer Holland) needing to tranquilize a good portion of police officers to get Peacemaker out of that exploded body situation.

Vigilante’s actual introduction is amusing and we go through a buddy montage of shooting things and playing with grenades. Which is beneficial because when it comes down to their first Butterfly target, Peacemaker chokes because he doesn’t have a reason to kill them and two targets are children. Thankfully, Vigilante is a psychopath and takes out three targets before their meta-human bodyguard Judomaster breaks up the sniper’s nest. After a funny torture scene (I know what I said), we bumble our way into Judomaster getting hit by a truck to be captured and Peacemaker manages to take out the target. During all of this we see that Peacemaker’s father does get arrested for the situation with the 80s looking woman, and when he enters prison, he immediately intimidates a black inmate with many of the white inmates reacting to his return. The episode ends with the Aryan Nation bowing and calling him the White Dragon.

So while Peacemaker is having a crisis of character since he doesn’t feel he’s a bad person, his father is a racist Nazi Super Villain. Fun times right? Reminds me of my childhood – not the point though! Since they batched the first 3 and the rest will be one episode a week, this definitely leaves enough to be intriguing. Sophomoric Deadpool style humor, with Cena’s ignorant deadpan delivery of a lot of it, is pretty great so far. I personally need to see things evolve a little to really chalk this up as a great series, but the first 3 episodes had enough things to keep me intrigued. Also…the opening is…unskippable. It’s a work of art.

Andrew’s Rating: 4.1/5

PC Tunney: Due to an unfortunate golfing accident he is only a floating head with the ability to speak and not write. Dragon Speech technology has not reached the Tunney Mansion yet. For his thoughts tune in to the show!

PC Tunney’s Rating: 4.5/5


AJ Balaz: Okay, I’m not going to lie, wasn’t expecting this to be as good as it was from the start but the intro instantly had me sold from the start with the near cringe worthy, stone face dancing as Wig Wam’s ‘Do You Wanna Taste It Plays’ to give us the joy that we are about to have in this series. The first episode give us a recap of what happened in the last Suicide Squad movie with Project Starfish and what is going on for Christopher Smith aka Peacemaker. He is tapped to do more work for the ragtag group of people who were against Amanda Waller in The Suicide Squad and are now Black Ops for a new Project that is going on, Project Butterfly. Of course being the jock like imbecile that they portray Peacemaker, they don’t tell him what it is and rightfully so… he’s kind of an imbecile. We are introduced to his father, who has a past we will get to later and his partner-in-crime, his best friend, Eagley. In the meantime, the ragtag group mentioned before has a file for Peacemaker involving the Project and the only thing Peacemaker is thinking of is… who he’s going to have sex with now that he is a “free man”. Striking out to one of the group mates, he finds a stereotypical 80’s punk rock girl and goes with that. Peacemaker, does the deed and we learn that the easy strange is actually a butterfly. After Cena sings one of the softest songs in the history of songs, he gets destroyed in the fight but after jumping out of a window, grabbing his helmet from his 1968 Ford Comet in American Flag print, he uses a sonic blast to kill the Butterfly, everything in about a 5 mile radius and we get Love Bomb Baby by Tigertailz as the outro to make light of the mood.

Following that, we get the group trying to get Peacemaker out. I haven’t mentioned the other main character of this story yet in, Leota who has been added to the group along with Peacemaker for this Black Ops mission. It’s unclear, very sketchy as to why she is in the group but she is an absolute delight and deterrent from the super serious thought process of the rest of the group. This is where more of the comedic side comes in where Peacemaker is running up the stairs to grab things from the butterfly’s room once Harcourt is telling him to stay put they are coming and he is confused as to how and asks if they can see him doing “other things” (It’s very dude bro, locker room humor. You’ll be desensitized from it very quickly. It’s few and far between). Peacemaker runs from any potential problem, the tech guy of the group changes things over that is slightly… going to make more problems after. They group escapes normally and the problem that they did was switch the records of Car Title and fingerprints from Peacemaker’s name to his father’s. At the end, we see that Peacemaker’s father that is now in jail, is a Supervillain, neo Nazi that has the name of “White Dragon”.

The third episode starts with the group going to get rid of the politician that was in the folder from episode one and Peacemaker’s sidekick comes into the fold, Vigilante. He’s more of the friend that tries to impress the group more and after Peacemaker’s rifle doesn’t have a ‘Dove of Peace’ to make him feel better of killing people, Vigilante has to step in to do the job. Peacemaker freezes up until the bodyguard of the politician attacks them, Judomaster, and kidnap Vigilante and Peacemaker. After the group tries to get in the house to save them, Judomaster is incapacitated, Peacemaker manages to break free, kill the politician and a Butterfly leaves the body, trying to escape. “Oh… Project Butterfly.”

AJ’s Rating: 4.3/5

 

POD is WAR Consensus Rating on Peacemaker Episodes 1-3:  4.3/5


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