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Mathew’s Wrestling Quickies #3 Feat Austin Aries vs Johnny Impact

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Welcome back to another edition of my Wrestling Quickies as we have another stacked collection of matches for your reading pleasure.

The last one I did went over well with adding ROH into the mix with the Lethal and Ospreay match along with stuff from AAA and W-1. Now I got some nice surprises in this one lined up for you all and you’ll never know what’ll pop up in my quickies, so be sure to not miss them.

So let’s get started, shall we?

 

Tag Team Match
TAJIRI & Kagetsu vs. Minoru Tanaka & Konami

Review: Our first match for the evening is a show in Japan titled GPS Growth4, which is a Freelancing show that took place on September 26th and I decided to cover the main event of the show due to knowing the people participating in the match. We have TAJIRI (Yes, the one we all know and love) teaming up with our current World of Stardom Champion, Kagetsu as they take on Minoru Tanaka and Konami. Stardom was kind enough to upload this match on their website and how could I say no to watching and adding it on here? Which of these teams will win?

Konami and TAJIRI started it off and he would quickly tag in Kagetsu for the two women to really start it off as the to would have a kicking contest to see who would win and it was Konami who came out on top and the two would tag back in the men. When TAJIRI and Minoru came into the ring, they would have a slow paced match with just chain wrestling for most of it. Kagetsu would do her trademark spitting water into her opponent’s face and the referee, but she would also do it to Minoru right after and later on, Minoru got payback by doing it to Kagetsu.

I honestly thought the match had a couple of slip-ups like when Minoru got the hot tag and went for a Dropkick to Kagetsu, it looked like he missed and she told it anyway despite ducking it and despite stuff like that, it was still a lot of fun and focused more on Kagetsu and Konami since they deserve a chance to shine while the two vets worked with them a little to give them that little rub. TAJIRI and Konami are in the ring now as TAJIRI spits green mist into her eyes and hits his Buzzsaw Kick to knock her down and go for the cover, but he stops himself to tag in Kagetsu now who sprays blue mist into her eyes before hitting the Oedo Coaster as she gets the win for herself and TAJIRI.

Rating: Eric Bischoff and three quarters

 

Tag Team Match
CCK (Chris Brookes & Jonathan Gresham) vs Ringkampf (Timothy Thatcher & WALTER)

Review: We now travel to Germany for the next match which is another tag team match from wXw or Westside Extreme Wrestling and is probably one of my favorite promotions currently right now since they usually deliver with good quality shows and matches, plus it’s the home of two of my favorite wrestlers of 2018 and one of them is WALTER. This match was apart of their tag league tournament on the October 5th show as we got Ringkampf taking on CCK, Chris Brookes, and Jonathan Gresham. So which of these two teams would get points for the league?

One thing I can say about this match is that it is aggressive and I mean that in a good way with CCK and Ringkampf deliver a lot of powerful strikes to each other in this match and showing why they’re both considered one of the top teams in wrestling right now. Timothy is one of the best technical wrestlers right now and the knowledge and experience he has in the ring just shows that from how he was handling CCK while WALTER would just overpower the both of these men to make them a threat to this league. CCK also did well with how Gresham and Brookes work well together in the ring as a tag team with their exciting athletic ability while also knowing when to be technical with their opponent.

Still, it’s an entertaining match and a great way to start off their tag league. WALTER would manhandle Gresham and picks him up for a Powerbomb as Timothy hits a European Uppercut before Greshman landed on the mat and goes for the cover until Brookes broke the count. Gresham would get the crowd off their feet when he would catch WALTER for a German Suplex and even hits it to give them that little moment. Timothy is in the ring now as Gresham would apply the Octopus Stretch onto him and as WALTER tries to break it up, Brookes would catch him in the same hold between the ropes while Timothy keeps trying to fight out of it, but he couldn’t take it anymore as he tapped out!

Rating: Eric Bischoff and a half

 

Best Two out of Three Falls Match
Michael Elgin vs. Ultimo Guerrero

Review: Our next stop is in Mexico for the promotion CMLL for their October 12th show, Super Viernes with our usual Two out of Three Falls Match like how CMLL does it as our main event of that show is between Michael Elgin and Ultimo Guerrero. Does Elgin pick up the win or will Ultimo get it?

The first fall was mostly technical with how they were in the ring together until they were both in the outside where Elgin slammed the guardrail onto him and oversold it despite it not fully hitting him. This one would last about seven minutes as Ultimo would get the first fall by making Elgin tap out to the Pulpo Guerrero. The second fall doesn’t last as long since it was mostly the two beating each other down until Ultimo threw Elgin over the barricade and would try to dive over but got caught by Elgin and threw him over to make him crash down onto the floor. Elgin would stand on the barricade to hit a Senton onto him and then threw him back into the ring so he could hit the Elgin Bomb and gets the second fall as we’re now tied up.

Elgin started to dominate the beginning of the third fall and even hits his Powerbomb onto the entrance ramp while taunting the crowd after to get the fans fully behind Ultimo. Elgin would hit another Elgin Bomb into the ring and Ultimo would surprisingly kick out of it. Elgin and Ultimo really do have good chemistry in the ring together and Elgin really does transition well to the Mexican style of wrestling since he’s no stranger to it due to being in AAA for a bit also, but I really enjoyed their work here in the ring. Elgin would have Ultimo on the turnbuckle to go for a Hurricanrana but Ultimo would catch his hands to hit a Powerbomb but Elgin kicked out of it. Elgin went to the top rope but Ultimo quickly follows behind him to hit an Inverted Suplex off the top rope and he goes for the pin as Ultimo wins the match!

Rating: Bruce Prichard

 

International Ribbon Tag Team Title Match
Hamuko Hoshi & Mochi Miyagi (c) vs. Hiragi Kurumi & Tsukushi

Review: It’s been a while since I’ve had Ice Ribbon talked about from my stuff and was kinda hard to drop them after one show and it wasn’t bad or anything, just had other promotions lined up and it was getting too much without a balance. But now I get to talk about them in this set of quickies and it’ll most likely be where you’ll see them pop up from time to time unless there’s a rave about one of their big shows. So, we will be talking about the Ice Ribbon show from October 8th which was called Oktober Ice Ribbon Fest 2018 and the main event was the Lovely Butchers defending the International Ribbon Tag Team Championships against Hiragi Kurumi and Tsukushi. Will we have new champs or will they retain?

What’s this, no corner screen with the female commentators and using actual commentators for this match? This is a sudden surprise for me since that was one of my big problems with Ice Ribbon with that little corner screen being covered to watch them do commentary when it’s unnecessary to see and loses focus of the match. I thought the Lovely Butchers did a fine job showing why they’re the champions while Tsukushi and Hiragi seemed like they work just as fine as well. The match itself wasn’t great, but I thought it was still a solid bout with nice tag team wrestling involved along with some good chemistry, but still felt like they could’ve done more if they were given a little bit of extra time instead of about eleven minutes for their main event. Mochi would have Hiragi up on the turnbuckle as she hits the Styles Clash off the ropes to make it connect and the Lovely Butchers retain the titles.

Rating: Eric Bischoff

 

Singles Match
Pete Dunne vs. Ilja Dragunov

Review: We’re now in England as we talk about one of the biggest shows for PROGRESS which was Chapter 76: Hello Wembley. The show was stacked from top to bottom with great matches and moments but we’re only going to be covering one of the matches and the match I’m covering is the one I was more excited for which is WWE United Kingdom Champion, Pete Dunne taking on wXw’s Ilja Dragunov. A lot of you people already know Pete Dunne by now, but not many of you know Ilja Dragunov and he’s the other favorite I was talking about at the previous match involving wXw and this guy just has the look of a star, has charisma, and can work a great match while being a good talker. When this match got announced, I was super excited to see it unfold finally and now that moment has come. Who wins in this special dream match?

This match was more of a battle for supremacy as both of these men were considered some of the best in Europe right now and seeing these two battle it out in that fashion is what made it exciting from bell to bell. Even just seeing them exploding with energy soon as the bell rang with them punching each other right away with Ilja getting the upper hand with it and dove to the outside later on. The match, while had great wrestling, involved also treated it like a fight with the strikes both of them would do to each other and trying to push their limits on one another. Ilja made his PROGRESS debut in this match and he would fit in right away playing the heel in the match to get the crowd to hate him while showing the fans how good he really is in the ring while Dunne is just being Dunne proving why he’s UK’s best wrestler at this point in time in this match.

Around the middle of the match, Dunne would even get some heat into the match when he grabbed Ilja’s arms so he could stomp his face down on the mat to make him feel defenseless and the fans seem to have disliked that type of thing for this match. Ilja’s manager would hit Dunne with the WWE United Kingdom Championship when the referee wasn’t looking and Ilja would capitalize on that but Dunne kicked out. The manager would start yelling at Dunne until he grabbed his hand to snap his fingers and would hit Ilja with a Bitter End but turned it into a Tombstone when he had him mid-air, but Ilja still kicked out of it. Ilja would hit the Burning Hammer and Sickle for a two count as he ran towards him for Dunne to catch him into a Triangle Choke which Ilja escaped out of. Ilja would later onrush towards him again for Dunne to catch him once again for the Triangle Choke but he shifted his body around so he was sitting on top of him to grab his fingers to snap them over and over again until Ilja couldn’t take it anymore and tapped out!

Rating: Bruce Prichard and a half

 

Impact World Title Match
Austin Aries (c) vs. Johnny Impact

Review: You heard it right, I will be talking about Impact Wrestling in this set of quickies like I did with ROH at the previous one. The show took place at Bound for Glory as Austin Aries is set to defend his Impact World Championship against Johnny Impact in the main event of this big PPV. I don’t follow Impact as much as I would like but from what I’ve seen with their recent work, it looks like they’ve been slowly getting better and I’m glad that’s been the case lately. This rivalry though has sparked some personal stuff between the two to get the crowd into the match more and now it’s time to see how it unfolds. Will Aries retain again or will we finally have a new champion?

I don’t get a chance to watch a lot of Johnny these days but from I’ve seen with him lately, it’s good to see he’s still in excellent shape and still doing the stuff I normally see him do while still finding ways to be creative, like how he stepped between the ring apron and guardrail to hit a Moonsault right onto Aries and it looked like a kick but still great with the impact. Aries really hasn’t changed a whole lot except for slowly upping his heel game in the match and knowing how to draw heat from the crowd.

I don’t watch too much Impact these days as I said previously due to not always being home and focused on writing other coverages, but I do watch clips and keep up to date with them when I can and this match was great and I do hope they find success with this new reboot they’ve been having this year and have been doing much better than ROH. Aries would hit the 450 Splash for Johnny to kick out of it at two and he would eventually hit his Starship Pain and it looked like he had it, but Aries grabbed the rope before the referee could count to three. The match is getting down to the wire now with close calls as Aries now hits his Brainbuster for Johnny to have his foot on the rope before the three-count also. Aries would then apply the Last Chancery for Johnny to break the hold again and Aries would hit a Suicide Dive onto Johnny’s wife, Taya Valkyrie which gets Johnny pissed and attacked him on the outside before taking him in to hit a Brainbuster and hits one more Starship Pain for the pin, and we have a new champion!

Once the bell rang, Aries would no sell the move and flip off Don Callis before walking out of the ring. Some people are saying it’s a work while others are claiming it to be a shoot since Aries’ contract would expire after the event and hasn’t shown up at the tapings. However, another source has claimed that Aries is doing a loose cannon type of gimmick where he would do this stuff on purpose and then wrestle for other promotions to keep the gimmick intact and not sure if I’ll fully buy it but we’ll see what happens, but also wouldn’t be surprised if it was, in fact, a shoot and not as bad as Low Ki. Congrats to Johnny Impact, hope you have a good reign.

Rating: Bruce Prichard and a half

 

GHC Heavyweight Title Match
Takashi Sugiura (c) vs. Katsuhiko Nakajima

Review: We return to Japan as we talk about another Japanese promotion, NOAH. If you have seen Hi5ame’s articles popping up on the website about NOAH, you’ll know what it’s all about and if you haven’t read them, then you’re missing out and you should check out her work since it’s great stuff and some of the best I’ve read whenever she has something posted. Anyway, we’ll be talking about the GHC Heavyweight Championship match that took place on the October 4th show which also had their Global Junior League finals taking place as Takashi Sugiura is set to defend the title against Katsuhiko Nakajima. Takashi is honestly my favorite champion in all of 2018 with how impressive he has been with his title matches since each match told a different story in the ring and each defense is just a work of art, he’s even a better champion than Kenny Omega and not many people will watch NOAH or his title reign and they’re missing out on that which is a shame. NOAH really needs a streaming service next. So will Takashi deliver us another classic while retaining at the same time or will we have a new champion?

The progression for Nakajima since he lost the title over a year ago has been an amazing experience seeing him turning from this vanilla like babyface to this heel with a new attitude to raise his confidence and made himself grow more as a character and a wrestler. These two would just beat the crap out of each other mostly with stiff kicks all around by both of these men, slaps, elbows, you name it and they did it in the match to give it that fighting type of feel while telling a great story in the ring. Takashi would once again give us a unique title defense to make all of his title matches have a different feel with completely different stories to tell you how great his reign as GHC Heavyweight Champion has been so far.

Nakajima would wrestle this match rather fairly until near the end of the match as he would use a weapon on Takashi to hit him with it over and over again to eventually choke him with it until the referee would finally turn around to see what he was doing as Nakajima threw the weapon out of the ring to go back to beating down the champion. Nakajima would deliver slaps to his face to get him down on his knees from the beating has was given would even get on top of him to keep delivering punches onto him. Nakajima would then have Takashi get up so he could kick him, but Takashi collapsed on the floor ducking the kick before it would connect and it looks like he’s out of it. Eventually, Takashi would get back up for Nakajima go for another kick but Takashi would catch his foot and would apply the Ankle Lock on him as he holds onto it tightly. It looked like Nakajima was going to break out of it but Takashi would land on the mat to hold him in place, still holding onto the submission with Nakajima being unable to move, he held on for as long as he could and had no choice but to tap out and Takashi retains once again. Beautiful match and probably his best title defense for this run. I hope to see a rematch if Nakajima wins the Global League.

Rating: Jim Cornette

 

Singles Match
BxB Hulk vs. Shingo Takagi

Review: Mat, don’t you already cover Dragon Gate? Why is this on here? Good question and I actually have the answer for you which is, I had a bit of a busy week last week and the Dragon Gate network takes their live shows off after a week and brings them back a month later, which means I was unfortunately unable to get to it in time. So instead of waiting a month for it to come back to the service, I’m just gonna move forward and only talk about the match that was important on the show, Shingo’s final Dragon Gate match. Before Shingo Takagi made the jump to New Japan Pro Wrestling, he would have his last match with the company he’s been known for as he fights on the October 7th show against his former rival, BxB Hulk. Will Shingo win his final match or does Hulk take it?

I gotta be honest here, it felt a little bit underwhelming and yeah the match was good, but I felt like the atmosphere of it wasn’t as impactful or nothing fully stood out and didn’t really have a bigger feel for a final match of his and it hurt it a little bit for me. Anyway, it was still solid enough to get over despite it being just a regular match with nothing special in it in-ring wise until the end, but it was mostly the story that helped carry it due to their history together in the ring. Around the last five minutes of the match or so was when it would start picking up to get better with Shingo hitting Hulk with everything in his arsenal, he would even hit two MADE IN JAPAN’s in a row to try and put him away but Hulk would kick out of it at two, even kicked out of the Pumping Bomber as well. Hulk would start getting in some offense now with his series of kicks all onto his head and would hit his First Flash which Shingo would kick out of right away before the referee could even get to one. Shingo would start yelling at Hulk which leads to Hulk kicking him more and hits one more First Flash to pin Shingo and end his Dragon Gate career.

Shingo Takagi was in Dragon Gate since 2004 when he made his wrestling debut and has been with the company ever since while doing a little bit of freelance work here and there. He’s been with the company for fourteen years and he’s done everything he could at Dragon Gate, which now means that it’s time for him to move on and do more with his career to show the world more of who he is. He made his return to NJPW on October 8th as he joined Tetsuya Naito in Los Ingobernables de Japon where he would now be considered a Junior Heavyweight and is now teaming up with BUSHI for their Jr Tag League. I’m kinda iffy about him being stuck in the junior division, but I’m sure it’s only a short-term thing since the heavyweight scene is stacked right now and I still wish him luck. Thank you, Shingo Takagi, for your contributions to Dragon Gate and still hope for more success in your career.

Rating: Eric Bischoff and a quarter

 

Overall: Despite some of the matches being underwhelming, the majority of the matches I’ve watched have been either enjoyable or great matches to give me plenty of excitement for this version of the quickies and could be a while for me to top it or have it this stacked, but you’ll never know what to expect.

Favorite Match: Takashi Sugiura vs. Katsuhiko Nakajima

Least Favorite Match: Hamuko Hoshi & Mochi Miyagi vs. Hiragi Kurumi & Tsukushi

Score: 8.5/10


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Opinion

Andrew’s Top 5 Matches: Week Ending 3/7/2021

Now this was a pretty packed week of wrestling action! Between the normal television products, we had four different New Japan events, AEW Revolution and Stardom’s All Star Cinderella!

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Now this was a pretty packed week of wrestling action! Between the normal television products, we had four different New Japan events, AEW Revolution and Stardom’s All Star Cinderella!

There were even more events that I just couldn’t find time for, because trying to balance consumption with any other hobby or interest is mad difficult on weeks like this. Yes – first world problems, I’m aware.

Anyway! Let’s see what match won last week to fill out February!

February Pool:

  • NXT: Tommaso Ciampa & Timothy Thatcher vs The Undisputed Era
  • NXT Vengeance Day: Johnny Gargano vs Kushida
  • AEW Dynamite: Riho vs Serena Deeb
  • NJPW Castle Attack 2.27: Jay White vs Tomohiro Ishii

My vote will go to Riho vs Serena Deeb. Yes Gargano and Kushida was a beautiful match, but Riho and Deeb really helped a tournament and division that is the laughing stock of an already meme worthy company. So I feel like it had a larger impact for the year.

Before we get into the Top 5, yes I saw the Sting cinematic, and it falls in line with my feelings about the Boneyard match and what not. I don’t officially rate cinematics, but I thought it was damn good, definitely comparable to Undertaker’s Boneyard match. It would’ve made the Top 5 if I rated cinematics.

Quick Top 5:

  1. New Japan Cup 3.6.2021: Kazuchika Okada vs Shingo Takagi
    Rating: **** ½
  2. New Japan Cup 3.5.2021: Taichi vs Hirooki Goto
    Rating: **** ½
  3. Stardom 10th Anniversary: Wonder of Stardom Championship: Hair vs Hair: Giulia (c) vs Tam Nakano
    Rating: **** ¼
  4. New Japan 49th Anniversary: IWGP World Heavyweight Championship Match: Kota Ibushi (c) vs El Desperado
    Rating: **** ¼
  5. New Japan Cup 3.7.2021: Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs Will Ospreay
    Rating: ****

 

Honorable Mentions:

  • New Japan 49th Anniversary: New Japan Cup: Great O-Khan vs Tetsuya Naito
    Rating: *** ¾
  • NXT UK: UK Women’s Championship: Kay Lee Ray (c) vs Meiko Satomura
    Rating: *** ¾
  • IMPACT!: Deonna Purrazzo vs Jordynne Grace vs Kiera Hogan
    Rating: *** ¾
  • AEW Revolution: AEW Women’s Championship: Hikaru Shida (c) vs Ryo Mizunami
    Rating: *** ½
  • NJC 3.7.2021: Gabriel Kidd vs Zack Sabre Jr
    Rating: *** ½
  • Stardom 10th Anniversary: Mayu Iwatani vs Yoshiko
    Rating: *** ½
  • NJC 3.6.2021: New Japan Cup: Juice Robinson vs KENTA
    Rating: *** ½
  • IMPACT!: Black Taurus vs Chris Bey vs Ace Austin
    Rating: *** ½
  • New Japan 49th Anniversary: New Japan Cup: Satoshi Kojima vs Jeff Cobb
    Rating: *** ½
  • NJC 3.7.2021: LIJ (SANADA, BUSHI, Shingo Takagi & Tetsuya Naito) vs CHAOS (Hirooki Goto, SHO, Kazuchika Okada & Tomohiro Ishii)
    Rating: *** ¼
  • AEW Revolution: AEW World Heavyweight Championship: Exploding Barbed Wire Deathmatch: Jon Moxley vs Kenny Omega (c)
    Rating: *** ¼
  • NJC 3.6.2021: New Japan Cup: Tomoaki Honma vs Minoru Suzuki
    Rating: *** ¼
  • NJC 3.5.2021: Suzuki-Gun (Minoru Suzuki, Zack Sabre Jr, DOUKI) vs Gabriel Kidd, Yuya Uemura & Tomoaki Honma
    Rating: ***
  • AEW Face of the Revolution Ladder Match: Penta El Zero M vs Cody Rhodes vs Scorpio Sky vs Ethan Page vs Max Caster vs Lance Archer
    Rating: ***
  • NJC 3.7.2021: Bullet Club (Jay White, EVIL, Dick Togo & KENTA) w/Gedo vs Ryusuke Taguchi, Toa Henare, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Juice Robinson
    Rating: ***
  • New Japan 49th Anniversary: LIJ (BUSHI, SANADA & Shingo Takagi) vs CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada, SHO & Tomohiro Ishii)
    Rating: ***
  • NJC 3.5.2021: Bullet Club (EVIL, Yujiro Takahashi, Chase Owens & Taiji Ishimori) w/ Dick Togo vs Hiroshi Tanahashi, Tiger Mask IV, YOSHI-HASHI, David Finlay
    Rating: ***
  • AEW Dynamite: Shaq & Jade Cargill vs Cody & Red Velvet 
    Rating: ***

 

5. New Japan Cup 3.7.2021: Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs Will Ospreay

From My Results:
Ospreay fires up, but runs into a BIG LARIAT from Tenzan! Fans fire up as Ospreay stumbles about, into Tenzan’s scoop! T T D!! Cover, TWO!! Ospreay survives but Tenzan wants the Anaconda Vice again! Ospreay flails and reaches as Tenzan thrashes around again. Ospreay fights up, but Tenzan hits the ANACONDA BUSTER! Cover, TWO!!! Ospreay survives again but Tenzan heads up top! Ospreay anchors a leg but Tenzan clubs at him! Ospreay tucks Tenzan in! CHEEKY NANDOS! And then Ospreay gets Tenzan up for a LAST RIDE! Cover, TWO!?! Tenzan survives and fans fire up, but Ospreay calls his shot!

Ospreay springboards, OSCUTTER!! Cover, TWO?!?! Tenzan survives and no one can believe it! Ospreay gets up, reels Tenzan in, underhooks and gets Tenzan up, but Tenzan slides off to headbutt! MONGOLIAN CHOP! And again! Tenzan fires up, scoops but Ospreay resists! Ospreay elbows away on Tenzan, scoops him, and pops him up to a fireman’s carry, for a SIT OUT SLAM!! Cover, TWO!! Tenzan survives but Ospreay takes off the armband! Ospreay brings Tenzan up, around, and hits a DREAM CRUSHER ELBOW! Ospreay keeps going, underhooks and lifts, for STORMBREAKER!! Cover, Ospreay wins!!

Winner: Ospreay via Stormbreaker

 

3t. New Japan 49th Anniversary: IWGP World Heavyweight Championship Match: Kota Ibushi (c) vs El Desperado

From Mitchell’s Coverage:
NO! Ibushi fights out to wrench and LARIAT! Ibushi fires up and fans respond in kind! Ibushi gets Desperado up, reels him in, and lifts, for a LAST RIDE!! Cover, TWO!! Desperado lives but Ibushi vows to end it! Ibushi grits his teeth, gets Desperado’s wrists and sits him up. Desperado wrenches through to ES EL CULERO! Cover, TWO!!! ROUNDHOUSE from Ibushi hits clean! Ibushi sits Desperado up again, KAMI- NO! ROLL UP, but to the STRETCH MUFFLER!! And he puts it on tight! Then gets NUMERO DOS SUPREME! Ibushi endures but he is caught! Desperado holds on as hard as he can but Ibushi refuses to give in!

Ibushi pries an arm free, reaches, but Desperado rolls him from ropes! Ibushi make sit a cover, TWO!! KAMIGOYE!!! Cover, TWO!??!?! Ibushi can’t believe Desperado still lives! Ibushi gets the wrists again, for ANOTHER KAMIGOYE!!! Cover, Ibushi wins!!

Winner: Ibushi via Kamigoye

 

3t. Stardom 10th Anniversary: Wonder of Stardom Championship: Hair vs Hair: Giulia (c) vs Tam Nakano

Tam and Giulia has been an on going feud since Stardom returned to activity. Giulia has been seen as the new It Girl, and Tam is always popular with her cute exterior, but her drive for the white belt was for her former tag partner. Arisa Hoshiki had to retire for a second time because of neck injuries, and even though they fought and acted like oil and water for a while, Arisa and Tam became great friends. This being Tam’s fourth shot at Giulia, her only win so far being in the 5 Star Grand Prix. So when Tam demanded one more title shot, Giulia wanted the Universe’s Cutest to put her hair on the line. Tam agreed, and that brings us here.

This told a great story. Tam had moments of despair and frustration where Giulia was just toying with her and Tam couldn’t find an angle to get in offense. Giulia’s hubris was her undoing though. Giulia had Tam down in the ring for a 10 count, but she shoved the referee and went into full mount to continue the punishment.

After that point, Tam’s frustration turned into motivation, we had a great slap exchange which showed Tam’s heart and Giulia even clasped her hands behind her back, showing that much disrespect to Tam. It’s honestly hard to tell if Giulia was trying to get this side of Tam out, or if she was just cocky, but it was great heel psychology.

Tam countered the Glorious Driver variations often, landed the Shining Knee, ther Tiger Suplex Hold and really started to come alive in the second half of the match. Once Tam landed Giulia’s Glorious Driver, it was all but over. So Tam hammerlocks both of Giulia’s arms, and locks in the Twilight Dream for the win! Tam finally has the white belt!

The story of the match was great, the emotion of the struggle for the last 9 months was fantastic and Tam finally gets a chance to show how she went from a teased and lost girl who needed Io Shirai and Mayu Iwantani to protect her at different times; to now she’s leading her own faction, and a great asset to Stardom.

Winner: Tam via Twilight Dream

 

1t. New Japan Cup 3.5.2021: Taichi vs Hirooki Goto

From Mitchell’s Coverage:
Taichi paces, drags Goto but Goto is dead weight. Fans rally up and Taichi drags Goto by his hair. Taichi stands Goto up but Goto blocks the forearm into a spin and suplex, SHOUTEN KAI!! Both men are down again and fans fire back up! Goto grits his teeth and rises again! Goto gets himself to ropes while Taichi sitrs. Goto drags himself to his feet, Taichi is in a daze but Goto powers up now. Taichi sits up into the BUZZSAW! But he pops right up to BOOT?! Goto forearms, Taichi mule kicks, Goto HEADBUTTS! Taichi is down but Goto shakes his head. Fans are thunderous again as Goto fires up and drags Taichi into the dragon sleeper!

Taichi slips out, Alabama lifts, but Goto escapes to dragon sleeper! Taichi gets out to ROUNDHOUSE! Taichi hooks the arms, TAICHI STYLE GEDO CLUTCH! TWO!!! Goto narrowly escapes and the fans are thunderous yet again! Taichi and Goto slowly rise, and Taichi goes to a corner. Taichi fires himself up, builds power and takes aim, but Goto blocks the kick! Goto fireman’s carries to G T W!!! Cover, TWO!?!?! Taichi survives and the fans are now electric! Goto isn’t done, he dragon sleepers to TRUE G T R!!! Cover, GOTO WINS!!

Winner: Goto via GTR

 

1t. New Japan Cup 3.6.2021: Kazuchika Okada vs Shingo Takagi

From My Results:
Shingo added his arrogant flair to a lot of things in this match, including the Rainmaker pose that Japanese Commentary called the “Pumping Steel Maker”, which also worked well when Shingo countered the Rainmaker with his own Pumping Steel Maker. Even injured this was a great slugfest between the two. Okada still hit a good number of his classics, but he was visibly hampered as the match wore on. Shingo managed to escape the Money Clip twice, which was an important element since Shingo passed out to the Money Clip in the G1.

Superplex, Noshigami, Made in Japan and an Uranage Backbreaker were some of the bigger moves towards the end that swayed the momentum for Shingo. Shingo went for Last of the Dragon a few times, but Okada usually had an answer. At the end, Okada slips behind the Last of the Dragon, winds up the Rainmaker, but Shingo ducks it and continues the momentum to lift Okada to his shoulders and finally hit his finish to win the match!

Winner: Takagi via The Last of the Dragon

 

Thoughts:

Well now this is a very Eastern centric week, but I tried, you saw other stuff in honorable mentions. Now I’m conflicted since I’m a big fan of Tam, and really enjoyed her story the last few months. However, Shingo versus Okada II is fantastic. These two have great chemistry and it’s cool to think of the former top guy of Dragon Gate facing the current top guy of New Japan is nice dream matching.

Big match Holy Emperor showed up really well for a loss, I just personally don’t see it surpassing my Shingo/Okada fanfic of amazingness. So yeah, Tam Nakano vs Giulia is close to winning my vote, but beefy Shingo getting the Rainmaker rub is my vote this week!

There we go, Japan was great this week and I never even got around to NOAH’s show. *grumbles about time and flat circles* 


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News From Cook’s Corner 3.8.21: Explosions R Us

Cook brings us all the explosive news! Big, small, literal, figurative…an explosion is an explosion…right?

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Hi, hello & welcome to News From Cook’s Corner! So much going on in the world of wrestling this week that it’s tough to keep track of it all. We do our best here, and pretty much anything I don’t cover here is covered in a column or podcast here at the Chairshot.

I would say that the rest of March might be a bit busy for me due to college basketball, but the Louisville Cardinals men’s team probably has two games left at most. One ACC Tournament game, then one game in whatever other tournament they make. Fun! At least the women should be able to make a pretty good run, and that won’t affect things too much. Especially since I’m cutting back on the drinking and also not watching games out of the house anymore.

I might actually be productive this March! That’d be nice. Let’s be productive and go through the news!

Was There A Revolution?

Yes there was! I was working during the first part of it, but we definitely need to talk about some of the major happenings of this show…

Hall of Fame Worthy Signing = Christian Cage

I’m never really a fan of hyping up surprise signings for major shows. Everybody gets their hopes up to the point where unless it’s Ric Flair somehow in his prime again it ends up being a disappointment to most people. Pretty much every WWE Hall of Fame level talent not doing anything right now tried to make us think it was them on social media. It ends up being Christian Cage, complete with TNA theme song.

Definitely two schools of thought on this one. Christian has a lot of admirers that were happy to see him return at the Royal Rumble. They then wondered where he went afterwards. It makes sense. Christian had to leave WWE in the mid-2000s to get a real chance to shine as a main event level star. Now, he has to leave WWE again to get a real chance to end his career on his terms.

Then there are those out there making the TNA comparisons. It’s a lazy talking point, but you’re not going to get people off of it once it starts. As long as Christian adds to the shows and doesn’t detract from them, I don’t see the issue. I also think he’s worthy of being in the WWE Hall of Fame, so I can’t accuse AEW of false advertising here.

It has to be asked, though. How did WWE let this happen? How did they not make sure Christian was locked up after the Royal Rumble? Booking Edge & Christian against Roman Reigns & Jey Uso, or Jey & a returning Jimmy Uso, seemed like an obvious & logical way to keep the Edge/Reigns story moving. Seems like a missed opportunity for them, but I’m guessing that Vince McMahon doesn’t see it that way.

Ethan Page Returns From The Dead

It’s happened before. Allie died in Impact’s Undead Realm, then re-appeared in AEW. Now it’s Ethan Page. Maybe it’s a Canadian thing? Page appeared in the Face of the Revolution ladder match, having a good performance but coming up short to Scorpio Sky. Page is a good talker and a solid in-ring talent, hopefully he won’t get lost in the shuffle here.

Maybe he could form a team with his brother Adam Page. I just hope John Silver doesn’t get confused now that there are two Pages. Actually, three when DDP is around.

Double or Nothing announced for Sunday, May 30

It’ll be AEW’s second straight Sunday PPV event, which Tony Khan says he’ll only try to do on three-day weekends going forward. To which I say “What in the blue hell is a three-day weekend?” Must be nice! DoN will be going head to head with the Coca Cola 600, but apparently NASCAR has fewer crossover fans with AEW than boxing or UFC.

One bad exploding ring ruins the night

It’s a shame, too. The inner blood mark in me was enjoying seeing the various clips of explosions & barbed wire & blood and all that stuff that “smart” fans are supposed to act like is garbage. What can I say, I’m a sick fuck. I don’t need to see the blood & guts every week, but there’s definitely a time & place for it. Kenny Omega & Jon Moxley’s time & place was on Sunday night, and it seemed like a pretty exciting time for all involved…up until the finish.

We all know how these things work. Opinions on wrestling matches & shows are largely based around the finish. A good finish can make us forget a match sucked. A good main event can turn a thumbs down show to a thumbs up. On the other side of the spectrum, a bad finish can turn us against a match, or against an entire show.

AEW Revolution would have been more well received had the closing explosion not been a dud. They should have just started firing off the explosives used for Cody’s entrance again, that could have covered the ring stuff up. All it takes is one bad explosion to make people forget three & a half hours.

Maybe the moral of the story is to not have your show end with an explosion, but I don’t want to entirely dissuade future pyromaniac wrestling promoters.

Is the “Wednesday Night War” Over?

Speculation is rife that NXT will be moving to Tuesdays in April, with the first Tuesday episode coming two days after WrestleMania. The idea of NXT switching nights has been talked about for the past several months now, and the rumors really picked up when it was announced that NBCSN would be closing up shop and some of their main properties would be moving to USA.

So Wednesday Night Hockey is a bigger deal than I thought it was. Who knew? That’s what I get for sticking with Fox Sports Tennessee coverage of Nashville Predators games.

Nothing has been officially announced yet, but apparently William Regal has a “landscape changing announcement” scheduled for this week’s NXT episode. Could be it. Could also be an announcement that they’re going to put security guards in the NXT parking lot so people don’t get beat up. Ya never know.

I’d like to wait until everything’s official until we start speculating on the fallout, but I do get the feeling that AEW won’t see as big an increase in viewers as you might think. I tend to think that wrestling fans that wanted to watch AEW on Wednesday night were already doing so. Maybe there’s some NXT viewers that haven’t checked out AEW yet, and maybe some of the holdouts in that older demo are swayed by AEW bringing in more people in their age group, but I’d pump the brakes on any idea of Dynamite getting those Raw ratings numbers.

NWA Update

Last week we knew that the NWA was holding tapings from March 21-21. We now know that the March 21 show will air on FITE, is called “Back For The Attack”, and will cost viewers $19.99. We also know that NWA Powerrr will be back airing regularly on Tuesdays at 6:05 starting on March 23, and will be available on FITE “via a low-cost subscription bundle”.

It’s obviously risky putting all of your content behind a paywall. You can’t even find the old episodes of Powerrr for free anymore. The idea seems to be that there are enough people that enjoyed what the NWA was doing pre-pandemic that a pretty good number will be willing to fork out whatever price it is per month to keep taking the ride. FITE has been a reliable streaming platform in my experience, so if you’re going to try something like this they’re probably the best bet. It definitely helps increase FITE’s presence to add “exclusive home of the NWA” to their portfolio.

In other NWA-related news, Serena Deeb, AEW roster member & current NWA Women’s Champion, recently had her left knee scoped. The Internet tells me that recovery from such a procedure takes approximately six weeks, so Deeb might not be available to work the coming TV tapings. They could use those tapings to build up a challenger for her, which I figure they will since taking the title off of her in the boardroom wouldn’t make too many people happy.

Then again, Serena said she’d be back “before you know it”. Theoretically she could return on an episode taped in advance and we wouldn’t know it if there were no spoilers!

Joey Ryan Almost Got Back In The Business!

It was close! There was a show scheduled to run in Knoxville, Tennessee on March 20 called “Wrestling For Women’s Charity”. Sounds innocent enough, right? They posted their info on the social media with the venue address, ticket prices, streaming details, covid protocols (which, by the way, some of you Southern promoters seem to be doing a pretty poor job with your protocols from the clips I’ve seen. Not naming any names, but pretty much any show south of Kentucky with a recognizable star looks like a virus pit.), and the usual stuff. Of course there was a show poster, and one of the wrestlers on it just happened to be one Joseph Cornelius Meehan-Ryan.

This obviously got some attention, and the Internet started doing some digging around. What they found out was that the event was being run by Bar Wrestling, which is the fed that Meehan was running in Southern California prior to #SpeakingOut. Apparently the wrestlers involved didn’t know about this, and started pulling out of the show. FITE, who was mentioned by the show as their streaming partner, said they wouldn’t be airing the show. Tony Khan said that the AEW wrestlers wouldn’t be participating, but offered to donate to the chairty. Then, Khan wondered if there was actually a charity, considering who was involved.

There was a charity! Since Joseph Meehan-Ryan claims to have found God since the fallout of #SpeakingOut (who apparently has commanded him to sue his fellow wrestlers), he was going to divert money to Project GRL, part of Joyce Meyer Minstries’ missions arm. In case you’re like me & wondering who Meyer is, she’s one of those televangelists that flies around in private jets & owns several homes funded by the people sending her money for Jesus. It seems like a pretty lucrative deal if you can make it work.

The show was cancelled, but whoever was running the Twitter account had to get in one last shot:

“We apologize for riling everyone up. It is clear that we’re in over our heads. We’ll say that everybody booked was fully aware of all details including going through AEW’s 3rd party booking system for talent. Rather than put talent in a tough situation, we’ve canceled the show.”

Throwing everybody under the bus, which is 100% on brand for Meehan. People wonder if he’ll use this as more evidence that he can’t make a living and file some more lawsuits. Me, I’d prefer that he find another way to make a living, but I know that we’ll be dealing with this guy trying to do things and suing people for years to come. Wrestlers will just have to be more careful about who they accept bookings from, which is probably a good idea anyway.

Another Week, Another Lawsuit

Last week, we talked about Kelly Klein filing a lawsuit against Ring of Honor, Sinclair Broadcasting Group & others concerning her alleged mistreatment by the wrestling promotion. This week, it’s her partner in crime (are they still partners in areas other than crime? No idea.) Joey Mercury. We mentioned how one of the interesting parts of Klein’s lawsuit involved challenging ROH’s classification of her as an independent contractor, and Mercury’s lawsuit addresses that as well.

Mercury claims that he was forced to resign, ROH refused to respond to his claims of an unsafe work environment, and that he was paid less than others with his job positions. He also says that he was misclassified as an independent contractor rather than an employee, which he figures he was since he was a producer.

I look forward to discussing another ROH lawsuit next week. Has Joseph Meehan-Ryan sued them yet? Surely he’s got some beef with how he was used there way back in the day.

No More Thigh Slaps!

Vince McMahon has had enough. He has stands all he can stand until he can’t stands no more. All these young kids slapping their thighs and legs when they kick somebody. No more! There are signs backstage now telling the wrestlers not to slap their leg when kicking.

Many people will be happy with this, as they feel that thigh/leg slapping is one of the things killing the business. It’s never really bothered me, but I might just be used to it. I will say that leg slapping got Yoshihiro Tajiri over with me way back in the day. Did anybody ever time it better?

Welp, that’s all the damage I can do here this week. Make sure to keep coming back to The Chairshot for your best show coverage, wrestling opinions and NFL quarterback top 5 lists! Thanks for reading, and keep your stick on the ice.


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