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Top 5 Matches: Week Ending 11/4/2018



Well let’s speak honestly here. We had a few big shows this weekend and neither of them were overly spectacular. Crown Jewel was what we expected, more spectacle than quality, but there were still some fun/good moments sprinkled in. Power Struggle on the other hand I think fell flat because nothing was extremely exciting. Both events set up what they had to, for the respective company, but neither really added clever wrinkles to ignite the imagination. So regardless of how you feel about Crown Jewel or WWE, New Japan isn’t perfect, so failing to realize both events were fairly mediocre by company standards, is just bias.

So with that, this is one of those two vote weeks. October is done, and I’ll set out the October pool to reveal what match won last week.

October Pool:

  • Super Show-Down Cruiserweight Championship: Buddy Murphy vs Cedric Alexander (c)
  • NJPW King of Pro Wrestling Triple Threat: Kenny Omega (c) vs Cody vs Kota Ibushi
  • AJPW Raising an Army Triple Crown Championship Match: Zeus (c) vs Kento Miyahara
  • Evolution SmackDown Women’s Title Last Woman Standing Match: Becky Lynch (c) vs Charlotte

So my vote will go to the Triple Crown Championship, since that is a gem of a match that most people will be unaware of because All Japan doesn’t have the visibility it used to. This is a fairly loaded pool, so I don’t think there’s a lot of arguing regardless of which match wins. But ya, I’m voting for the plucky underdog.

Now on to this week!


5. NJPW Power Struggle IWGP Intercontinental Championship Match: Chris Jericho (c) vs EVIL

Chris Jericho, the wrestler that never forgets. Took him 5 months to finish his initial interaction with Naito at Dominion, and now after EVIL stepped up, another 5 months and a wild Chris Jericho appears! Even though EVIL has had some high profile matches against Kenny Omega, Tetsuya Naito and Kazuchika Okada…this is easily his biggest match. Can EVIL overcome Jericho, or will we get the forseen outcome of Jericho retaining?

Turnabout is fair play, so before Jericho can get his masks off, EVIL quickly goes after him. The match spills outside and EVIL starts throwing him around the barricades and into the ring post. After a Snap Suplex, EVIL sets up a table but takes too long. So when he tries to Powerbomb Jericho through the table, a Back Body Drop gives Jericho a reprise.

Jericho takes the camera as is his thing in Japan this year, then starts choking EVIL with his shirt. Gets on one of the tables set up for ringside, screams “Everything is Jericho”, and DDT’s EVIL down into the table. Putting EVIL back into the ring, Jericho hits a Lionsault, but EVIL continues to show life. One more stint outside gives EVIL the opportunity to do his Homerun Swing with the chairs and take some control.

Managing to take some control back, they move to the side of the ring with the table and Jericho catches EVIL with the Triangle Dropkick, but holds on and doesn’t fly through the table. After some fighting on the apron, EVIL drives Jericho through the table with an STO. Following up with a Senton from the top rope, for a near fall. EVIL goes for Darkness Falls, but Jericho slips down and turns it into a Walls of Jericho, but EVIL gets the ropes.

EVIL manages to land a Darkness Falls and Everything is EVIL, but Jericho continues to kick out. As the match winds down Jericho lands a Codebreaker, but EVIL kicks out. As a callback to how Jericho won the belt from Naito, he shoves EVIL into the ref and goes for a low blow, but EVIL stops it. Jericho pulls off a Frakensteiner, but EVIL rolls through and Jericho rolls with that, locking in the Walls of Jericho again. After a struggle and even a small transition to the Liontamer, EVIL taps out.

Before Jericho can really do anything heelish to EVIL, Naito comes out quickly for the save. Most likely pointing towards the Intercontinental Championship rematch at Wrestle Kingdom.

Winner: Jericho via Walls of Jericho

Rating: **** 1/4


4. NJPW Power Struggle RPW British Heavyweight Championship Match: Minoru Suzuki vs Tomohiro Ishii (c)

These two have had a long standing feud from before the Rev Pro belt was involved. Two of the tougher, old school “Strong Style” wrestlers, these two always beat the hell out of one another. Suzuki did manage to take the title once, but Ishii won it back, so now we’re looking at one more for good measure. This match will be stiff, so let’s just get to it.

Now Suzuki is well known to use heel tactics and chairs, but this was a more traditional match. Both men stood in the ring and just beat each other to a pulp. It could be argued that this didn’t add a layer to their feud, but the fact Suzuki kept it in the ring proves how important this was. Suzuki got an early advantage with stiff Forearm strikes and kicks, but Ishii countered with Forearms of his own and Headbutts.

The story came down to Suzuki kept going for the Sleeper into the Gotch Piledriver, but early on it was hard to apply since Ishii is known to not have much of a neck. The match shifted when Suzuki went for the Gotch, but Ishii countered it into a Rite of Passage style reverse Piledriver. Ishii followed that up with a few Sliding Lariats, and Suzuki was fighting from the back foot the rest of the match.

One more Gotch counter shows Ishii clipping Suzuki with a Enzuigiri, a few more strikes and then Vertical Drop Brainbuster, to retain his British Heavyweight title. Given that Suzuki has not been able to get any momentum this year, we could see a shift in Suzuki-Gun. Bullet Club has changed, CHAOS has changed, maybe it’s time to break up another long standing stable.

Should be interesting to see what happens with Suzuki come Wrestle Kingdom.

Winner: Ishii via Vertical Drop Brainbuster

Rating: **** 1/4


3. Pro Wrestling NOAH Global Tag League Day 1 GHC Jr Heavyweight Championship Match: Daisuke Harada (c) vs Kotaro Suzuki

Making his return to NOAH since the Burning departure in 2013, Kotaro Suzuki has a purpose. He claimed that the current crop of Juniors were a joke and he would win the Global Jr League, which he did to get this title shot. Harada took exception to this obviously, but couldn’t stop him in the Junior tournament. So now this is Harada’s last chance to prove himself to the returning veteran.

This match started off fairly docile until Kotaro hits a Tombstone on the apron. This set up for a nice moment of arrogance as he showed no desire to win in the middle of the ring and was okay if Harada got counted out. Harada slides in at 17, Kotaro throws him back out and waits in the corner for Harada to return. It took a little bit for Harada to regain his bearings, but when he did, the pace quickened.

We saw both men crisscrossing and bouncing off the ropes trying to keep the other off balance before Harada lays out Kotaro and tries to keep the faster pace. Kotaro gets some space and goes to the top rope for something. Harada meets him and goes for a Superplex but Kotaro shifts mid air and turns it into something I’m calling the “Holy Shit Driver”. Was it the cleanest looking? No. But by god was it a moment that made me actually jump out of my chair.

Harada rolls to the outside, Kotaro meets him with a Diving Elbow. Rolls him back in, goes for a Powerbomb, Harada block, Kotaro attempts a sunset flip, Harada blocks and attempts a Double Stomp but Kotaro evades. Harada bounces off the ropes and Kotaro catches him and lands Excalibur for 2. Follows up with Blue Destiny, but Harada kicks out again.

Kotaro goes for a Tiger Driver, but Harada block and just drops Kotaro on his face. Both men are down, and when they get up we get an unique variation of a strike fest. These two are so evenly matched, Kotaro goes for an Elbow high, but Harada hits him with an Elbow in the gut. We see dueling Forearm shivers, Discus Elbows, and then Harada finally gets the best of the exchange. Manages to pull off his Henkei Knee Upper but Kotaro kicks out.

Harada throws a strike, Kotaro catches it, tries Tiger Driver again, but as Harada is countering, he goes for a Crucifix pin. As soon as Harada gets out of it, Kotaro applies the La Magistral cradle, and we see the rolling locomotion style. About 4 or 5 rolls, before finally he wears down Harada long enough to keep his shoulders down for 3.

Interesting ending that still has both men look fantastic, but Kotaro proved the new crop of NOAH Juniors are still below him.

Winner: Suzuki via Locomotion La Magistrals

Rating: **** 1/2


Honorable Mentions:


NJPW Power Struggle Super Jr Tag League Finals 3 Way Match: Roppongi 3k vs Yoshinobu Kanemaru & El Desperado vs Shingo Takagi & BUSHI
Winner: RPG 3k via Shock Arrow
Rating: **** 1/4
WWE Crown Jewel WWE Championship Match: Samoa Joe vs AJ Styles (c)
Winner: Styles via Phenomenal Forearm
Rating: *** 3/4
NJPW Power Struggle: Zack Sabre Jr vs Tetsuya Naito
Winner: Naito via Destino
Rating: *** 3/4
Lucha Underground Mask vs Mask: Son of Havoc vs Killshot
Winner: Son of Havoc
Rating: *** 1/2
WWE Crown Jewel: Degeneration X vs Brothers of Destruction
Winner: DX via Sweet Chin Music/Pedigree combo
Rating: *** 1/4
Progress Chapter 77 Pumpkin Spice Progress: Tim Thatcher vs William Eaver
Winner: Thatcher via Fujiwara Armbar
Rating: *** 1/4
NJPW Power Struggle: Hiroshi Tanahashi & David Finlay vs Kenny Omega & Kota Ibushi
Winner: Golden Lovers via Golden Trigger
Rating: *** 1/4
Progress Ch. 77 Pumpkin Spice Progress: Isla Dawn vs Millie McKenzie
Winner: No Contest (Interference)
Rating: ***
NJPW Power Struggle: Kazuchika Okada & Trent Beretta vs Bad Luck Fale & Jay White
Winner: Trent via Victory Roll
Rating: ***


2. WWE SmackDown WWE Championship Match: Daniel Bryan vs AJ Styles (c)

From Mitchell’s Coverage:

Why wait three more days? We’re getting The Phenomenal VS The Goat tonight! Who wins to then have another match at Crown Jewel?

SmackDown returns as introductions are made and the belt is raised! The bell rings and we begin! Bryan and Styles circle and tie up. They fight for control as they grind shoulders into each other. Bryan brings Styles in, gets the wristlock, then brings him down. Bryan hammerlocks and stomps the arm! He backs off as Styles gets up, showing a semblance of respect. Styles and Bryan circle again, but Styles gets a waistlock slam! Bryan gets up and goes after the wrist again. He wrenches the arm around, but Styles scoops and throws Bryan over the top rope. Bryan stays on the apron, and Styles backs off to show his semblance of respect.

Bryan returns, and the two circle again. They tie up and Styles has Bryan in a corner. Bryan turns it around as fans start dueling. Bryan backs off at 3, then gives a shove. Styles shoves Bryan so Bryan shoves back. Styles shoves again, so Bryan goes after the arm. Bryan gives a shoulder breaker, then a hammerlock. He puts Styles into a corner shoulder first, then kicks away from both sides. He goes left and right, then grabs the arm for another shoulder breaker. Styles throws a forearm, then forearms and chops in a corner. He chops Bryan then whips him corner to corner. Bryan goes up and over, then runs, but Styles keeps pace. Styles dropkicks Bryan down! Bryan bails out as fans fire up. Styles aims, slingshot but misses! Bryan builds speed to DIVE! Direct hit but just a little double edged as Bryan holds his leg.

We go picture in picture while both men are down. The referee checks on them, and they’re okay to continue. Styles heads for the ring first while Bryan gets his leg moving. A ring count begins, but Bryan puts Styles in at 6. He stalks Stylse to ropes, then wrenches the arm for another shoulder breaker. He keeps going and has Styles in a hammerlock on the mat. Bryan sits on the hold to add leverage as he pulls back. Styles endures but Bryan flips him over for a cover, TWO! Styles gets to ropes, but Bryan is after him. He hits Bryan and put shim in a corner, but Bryan hits him back for buckle bumps. Bryan whips corner to corner hard, then says “YES!” before running in. Styles boots Bryan away, then leaps up, moonsault DDT! But the bad arm keeps Styles from making a cover.

Styles gets to ropes while Bryan stirs. Styles goes to Bryan in a corner, brings him up, and rams in his shoulder. He chops Bryan, but keeps with him in the other corner. Styles chops and chops, but Bryan turns things around to chop Styles! And kick him! Bryan reels Styles out for an arm wringer! He twists Styles’ arm, but then backs off. Fans duel between “YES!” and “NO!” as Bryan stalks Styles. Bryan drags Styles up and gives him a rocking European Uppercut. We return to single picture as Bryan unleashes Yes Kicks! Styles takes the kicks, but blocks the buzzsaw into a dragon screw! Bryan clutches that bad leg, but Styles is right on it. Styles DDT’s the leg into the mat and Bryan crawls away in pain. Styles kicks Bryan while he’s down, showing little mercy as he tweaks it between his own legs.

Bryan is still down, so Styles keeps going after the leg. Styles drops an elbow into a toehold. Bryan works to go after Styles’ face, but Styles fights him off. Bryan gets the fish hook and reels Styles in for an armbar! Styles works against it, and has Bryan turned over, for a knee smash! And then he sweeps the leg! He keeps kicking Bryan while he’s down, but the referee has him back off. Styles comes back for a BIG shinbreaker! He keeps kicking, but then Bryan hits back! Styles kicks the leg again, then gives Bryan a shinbreaker on a buckle! Bryan is down, clutching the leg, but Styles still keeps on him. Styles drops another elbow, but Bryan uses his good leg to kick Styles in the back. Bryan gets free, and gives Styles another EuroUpper.

Bryan runs in at the corner but into a back elbow. Styles hops up, moonsault but no DDT as Bryan gets a cravat! Bryan drives in knees, then throws Styles down! Both men are down but now Bryan is firing up. He gives more Yes Kicks! The buzzsaw hits! Bryan takes aim from a corner, but runs into a dropkick! Both men are down again, but Styles heads for an apron. He prepares himself, springboards, but Bryan trips him up! Styles is stuck up top, so Bryan turns him around. Bryan climbs up to join Styles, for a SUPER Back Suplex! That Styles turned enough on! The crossbody brings both men down, Bryan gasping while clutching his neck! We go to break while the referee checks on him.

SmackDown returns and Styles throws forearms. Bryan drags Styles into the Yes Lock!! Styles is so close to the ropes, he just reaches out, Ropebreak! But the damage was done as Bryan backs off. Bryan waits for Styles, then brings him in for a suplex. Styles resists, and suplexes Bryan out!! That bad leg is hurting again from the landing! Styles drags Bryan up, shinbreaker on the desk! Styles whips but Bryan reverses, Styles goes into steel steps! Bryan puts Styles in, then joins him. Bryan fires himself up, bad leg and all. He aims at Styles, runs in corner to corner, for a big dropkick! Bryan runs again, for another dropkick! He hoists Styles up top, then climbs up to join him. Super Steiner BLOCKED! Styles Brings Bryan back up, but Bryan gets that Super Steiner! Both men are down again, but stirring.

Styles gets up, and throws a clothesline in the corner. He runs in but is put on the apron. He shoulders in but Bryan kicks him! Bryan wraps the bad arm on the ropes, but backs off at 4. Bryan YES Kicks Styles between the ropes! But Styles catches one, dragon screw in the ropes! Bryan is down while Styles gets back on the apron. Styles aims, springboards, but flies into a double underhook suplex! Into armbar! Bryan pulls back, Styles flails and fans duel. Bryan shifts to a YES LOCK! Styles endures as Bryan pulls back. Styles gets up, makes it a cover, ONE! Bryan holds Styles with headscissors, and now it’s more a triangle. Fans duel as Styles holds on. Styles gets up, deadlifts Bryan, STYLES CLASH!! To CALF CRUSHER!! Bryan reaches, flails, but taps!! Styles wins!!

Winner: Styles via Calf Crusher

Rating: **** 1/2


1. Progress Chapter 77 Pumpkin Spice Progress World Championship Match: WALTER (c) vs Zack Sabre Jr

So I don’t follow Progress heavily, but this match seems to have had something brewing for a while. WALTER is one of the biggest and most well known names in the European wrestling scene, and we all known Sabre is a technical wizard. So Sabre gets another shot to prove himself against the Ring General from Austria. Who will survive?

The early game of cat and mouse was fantastic. Sabre was trying to pick his spots, allowing to give WALTER a couple openings, just to try and grab his arm or pick an ankle. Sabre’s Bicycle Kick to the arms really helped to play into his strategy.

As Sabre softened the arms, he went for numerous variations of stretches and Armbars. WALTER managed things early just by purely over powering Zack. Sabre got too cheeky at one point when he bridged out of a pin attempt and held it to talk shit. So WALTER decided to just stomp the hell out of Sabre.

WALTER tried to keep things grounded and go hold for hold with Sabre which wasn’t really a smart move. WALTER has an impressive Sleeper Hold and STF variation, but Sabre knows how to get out of more holds than most people can name. So what kept Sabre in this match was picking his spots and trying to wear down limbs, old school wrestling style.

This was a masterfully wrestled match and I can’t do it justice with the transitions and technical holds, but I will say regardless of a huge discrepancy in size, Sabre was very believably in this match until the waning moments. A highlight moment was when both men would hit each other and hold on while yelling at the other to accept and dish out more punishment. Sabre also had a Shawn Michaels moment of defiance when he flips off WALTER when all hope is nearly lost.

WALTER counters out of a last ditch Triangle Choke and ends the match with the Fire Thunder Driver. Damn impressive match.

Winner: WALTER via Fire Thunder Driver

Rating: ***** 1/4



Well I guess I’ll just stick with dark horses in this article. WALTER vs Zack Sabre Jr ranks highly in my personal Match of the Year list, so there’s no way I’m not giving it the credit it deserves. Beautifully wrestled old school, Billy Robinson approved, style of wrestling. Yes it’s swimming up stream with names like Styles, Bryan and Jericho in this Top 5, but it was even better than anticipated.

Until next week, do that thing we always say and, Always Use Your Head.

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King’s WrestleMania Rewind: Stone Cold VS. Scott Hall (WrestleMania X8)

Chris King is back with another WrestleMania Rewind, looking at the NWO’s Scott Hall battling Stone Cold Steve Austin at WWE WrestleMania X8 from Toronto!



Steve Austin Scott Hall WrestleMania X8

Chris King is back with another WrestleMania Rewind, looking at the NWO’s Scott Hall battling Stone Cold Steve Austin at WWE WrestleMania X8 from Toronto!

Chris King is back this week with another edition of WrestleMania Rewind, where he is rewatching all the past Mania matches and feuds. This week you’re in for a treat as we look back at ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin vs. Scott Hall at WrestleMania X8.

In late 2001, Vince McMahon bought out his competition WCW and acquired the rights to a plethora of talent including Booker T, Eddie Guerrero, Chris Benoit, and the iconic trio known as NWO. Hulk Hogan; Kevin Nash, and Scott Hall were hell raisers, and what better way to make a name for yourself than take out the two top superstars in the WWE The Rock, and Stone Cold?

The NWO cost Austin his chance at becoming the Undisputed Champion at No Way Out during his match with Chris Jericho. Adding insult to injury, the NWO spray-painted ‘The Texas Rattlesnake’ with their brand logo just like they did in WCW. As you can imagine, Austin was pissed and out for revenge against the group and primarily Scott Hall.

Hall would challenge Stone Cold to a match at WrestleMania 18. Both superstars beat the living hell out of each other leading up to this highly-anticipated match for who runs the WWE.

The glass broke and Stone Cold made his iconic entrance, and black and white NWO covered Halls’ entrance alongside Kevin Nash. With the odds stacked against ‘The Toughest S.O.B’ could Austin or NWO prove their dominance? Sadly the NWO  broke up that very night when Hulk Hogan came to the aid of his adversary The Rock after their ‘iconic’ dream match. Stone Cold would ensure the victory with the Stunner. Hall would perform an Oscar-worthy sell over the finisher.

What a time to be a wrestling fan in the 2000s when nothing was impossible for WWE. Who would’ve thought WCW would go out of business and Hogan would make his long-awaited return to WWE?

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King’s WrestleMania Rewind: Seth Rollins vs. Kevin Owens (WWE WrestleMania 36)

Chris King takes a look at the most underrated WWE WrestleMania matches, and starts off with Seth Rollins battling Kevin Owens at WrestleMania 36!



WWE WrestleMania 36 Kevin Owens Seth Rollins

Chris King takes a look at the most underrated WWE WrestleMania matches, and starts off with Seth Rollins battling Kevin Owens in the WWE Performance Center at WrestleMania 36!

Chris King is starting a new series heading into WrestleMania season dubbed WrestleMania Rewind. Each week he’ll be going back and sharing his insight over underrated matches at the Show of Shows. First up, is Kevin Owens vs. “The Monday Night Messiah” Seth Rollins at WrestleMania 36.

At the 2019 edition of Survivor Series, Rollins sacrificed himself during the men’s traditional match allowing SmackDown to ultimately gain the victory. The following night the self-proclaimed Messiah, berated the whole roster but KO was not having any part of it. Owens quickly became a huge barrier in Rollins’ cause for the greater good. The Authors of Pain attacked Owens with Rollins’ character in question.

Owens finally had enough of his rival’s mind games and torment and challenged Rollins to a match on the Grandest Stage Of Them All. Rollins mockingly accepted his challenge and the match was made official for night one of WrestleMania. Owens came out of the gate beating the holy hell out of the Monday Night Messiah trying to achieve his long-awaited moment at Mania but, Rollins tried to steal a disqualification victory by using the ring bell.

Owens hellbent on revenge provoked Rollins into turning their encounter into a no-disqualification contest where the fight could be taken all over the empty arena. The highlight of the match, was when KO used the WrestleMania sign to deliver a thunderous senton bomb through the announce table. Owens would secure the victory with a Stunner in an incredible match. Despite having no crowd during the pandemic era, both KO and Rollins put on an intense performance under the brightest lights.

In my personal opinion, this was a great feud that helped both superstars in their transformation as compelling characters for years to come.

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