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A Beginner’s Guide to Wrestle Kingdom 13

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Wrestle Kingdom 13

Ready for WrestleKingdom 13? If not, Kevin Carroll has you covered in his Beginner’s Guide to the biggest New Japan event of the year!

In the world of professional wrestling, the fun never stops. That’s the beauty of the sport; there’s no offseason, and there’s always plenty of quality content coming down the pike so that our plates are never empty.

That said, if you’re a WWE fan, the late December into early January stretch could be a bit slow. TLC seems like an eternity ago, and the Royal Rumble is still about a month away. You may be searching for some quality pro graps to fill that hole in your schedule in the meantime, yes?

Well ladies and gentlemen, I’ve got some good news for you.

Because you see, WWE isn’t all that’s out there in the pro wrestling universe, and if you’re willing to stave off sleep for a while, you may just catch the best pure wrestling on the planet come January 4th.

New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW), oft-considered the #2 promotion in the world behind WWE, will run its annual Tokyo Dome show, WrestleKingdom 13, on Friday morning, 2:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time (I know, the first time I watched it, I was alarmed at that start-time too).

What makes NJPW so special is that it strips away some of the hokeyness and pageantry that the WWE offers up, and instead highlights wrestling as pure sports, placing a focus squarely on the in-ring action. I was introduced to NJPW two years ago, and even though I haven’t become a die-hard or anything, I consider myself a follower and a lover of the Japanese approach to pro wrestling.

WrestleKingdom is NJPW’s version of WrestleMania, so it draws in a lot of first-time viewers and casual watchers the way ‘Mania does in early April each year. Naturally, first-timers may be thrown off by the different wrestlers and the much-different style, so that’s where I come in.

I’m no expert, I’m more of a layman, but I’ve decided to present you a match-by-match preview of WrestleKingdom through the eyes of a fan who knows juuuuust enough to offer such a preview. Hopefully, this opens some eyes and helps a few folks out as they prepare to pull an all-nighter and camp out for finest that Japanese wrestling has to offer.

Kota Ibushi vs. Will Ospreay – NEVER Openweight Title

This match is going to take your breath away, and show you just how cool wrestling could be outside of the WWE.

Kota Ibushi is the reigning NEVER champion, which is roughly the 4th-most important heavyweight title in Japan. It’s a belt that could be won by anyone, regardless of weight class (New Japan has a junior heavyweight/heavyweight system).

Ibushi is a stud. He’s capable of working a stiff, strong style while also taking to the skies and flying with the best of them. If you’re a WWE fan, you would remember Ibushi from the Cruiserweight Classic back in 2016. If you have the time, go back and watch his matches. That’s only a small taste of what Kota offers in the ring.

Across the squared circle from him is Will Ospreay, a junior heavyweight. Ospreay may be the best “high flyer” in the industry today, at only 25 years old. Ospreay stepped up and challenged Ibushi after he had just won the NEVER title back in December, and now the two are primed to kick off WrestleKingdom with a big ol’ bang.

Suzuki-Gun vs. Roppongi 3K vs. Los Ingobernables de Japon – IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Titles

Okay, so there’s a lot to unpack here for a match that, in terms of importance and excitement, is probably the lowest-caliber contest on the card.

A little backstory here: Each of these three teams represent three of the big factions in New Japan. Suzuki-Gun is being represented by El Desperado and Yoshinobu Kanemaru, Sho and Yoh of Roppongi3K are from CHAOS, and BUSHI and Shingo Takagi are from the Los Ingobernables de Japon (Most everyone in New Japan is in a faction, more on that later).

The lads from Suzuki-Gun are the reigning champs, and their two challengers are challenging primarily because they’re really only the only junior heavyweight tag teams in New Japan. The tag team booking hasn’t been especially great in recent years from what I’ve noticed, so while the other matches all have some semblance of build-up, this one’s a little lacking. Not to say it won’t be entertaining, because I have a strong suspicion every match on the card will be, but it definitely gets better from here.

Tomohiro Ishii vs. Zack Sabre Jr. – RPW (Revolution Pro Wrestling) Heavyweight Title

This one’s interesting because it’s taking place for a title that doesn’t belong to New Japan, instead with the British promotion Rev Pro. As such, I don’t know too much about the booking and the backstory, but I do know these two dudes, and they’re both supremely different.

Ishii is perhaps the best embodiment of the term “strong-style” that you’ll find on this year’s WrestleKingdom card. Big Tom is nicknamed the “Stone Pitbull,” and not for nothing, either. The man will rock you with an open hand so hard, your teeth will rattle around in your mouth. He hits hard, and doesn’t care if you could take it or not, making his matches brutally entertaining to watch. He’s the champ in this matchup.

Across the ring, you have the submission magician in Sabre Jr. Like Kota Ibushi, Sabre was in that Cruiserweight Classic field a few years back, and he wowed the WWE crowd with his array of holds and submissions. He could win with roughly 12 different submission holds, so you never know just how his matches are going to go, which is a good thing.

Guerrillas of Destiny vs. Los Ingobernables de Japon vs. The Young BucksIWGP Tag Team Titles

So to start, the Guerrillas (Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa) are the champs here, having knocked off the Young Bucks this past year. EVIL and SANADA from L.I.J won this November’s World Tag League tournament, earning themselves a spot in this match. The Young Bucks are here because you can’t leave the Young Bucks off the card, they make too much money for that.

The main story here is between the Guerrilas and the Bucks, who all used to be in the Bullet Club stable together. Now, the Bucks have joined the Elite after a hostile takeover by the Guerrillas and some other Bullet Club members. There’s plenty of bad blood there.

The World Tag League champs feel almost like an afterthought here, but EVIL and SANADA won the tag belts at last year’s WrestleKingdom, and could definitely do it again.

Cody vs. Juice Robinson – IWGP U.S. Championship

Hey, you recognize these guys! That’s Cody Rhodes and NXT’s CJ Parker!

Not anymore, as Cody’s been forced to drop his last name, and Mr. Parker let the Juice loose and turned into his current character, Juice Robinson. These two will do battle over Cody’s United States title, a heavyweight belt that’s been pretty much an afterthought recently.

This will be the most “WWE” style match on the card, probably not too long and not nearly as innovative as some of the other contests you’ll see.

Kushida vs. Taiji Ishimori – IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title

Junior action! I’m not really sure how Ishimori got himself booked into this year’s Junior Heavyweight championship match, but I’m not complaining.

Kushida’s been champ for a few months, after Hiromu Takahashi had to vacate the strap after a brutal-looking neck injury this summer. I have a feeling that this match was supposed to be Takahashi-Ishimori, but Kushida is spectacular in the ring, so I have no issues. Get well soon Hiromu!

This match is always a threat to steal the whole darn show, because the juniors wrestle such a fast-paced, high-octane style that it’s impossible not to be entertained. Expect to have a lot of fun watching this one!

Kazuchika Okada vs. Jay White

This one’s the only match without a title at stake, so you really have to be invested in the feud going on between Okada and White to enjoy this one. (I’m personally not feeling it, sue me!)

Okada, “The Rainmaker,” had his record-setting reign as IWGP Heavyweight Champion shattered in June, and ever since then he’s been a little lost. Meanwhile, the CHAOS stable that he’s in charge of began to splinter, all due to one man: Jay White.

White came in and turned on Okada, aligning himself with the Bullet Club, alongside Okada’s longtime manager Gedo. (Gedo is also the head booker of New Japan, behind the scenes. Fun little factoid for you.)

Okada was beaten by White in the 2018 G1 Climax, a big round-robin tournament held at the tail end of summer, in an upset. Since then, White’s had Okada’s number in tag matches, so this will likely be the blow-off to their six-month long feud.

Chris Jericho vs. Tetsuya Naito – IWGP Intercontinental Title

Wait. Back up a second. Chris Jericho? He’s a WWE guy, how did he get here?

Ahhhh, he WAS a WWE guy. Now, he’s a deranged IC titleholder in New Japan, defending the belt against the leader of Los Ingobernables de Japon, Tetsuya Naito.

You already know all about Jericho. I really love Naito, he wears really dapper-looking suits to the ring and practices “tranquilo,” which basically means he’s super calm, the perfect foil to Jericho’s madman character.

These two have been feuding for just about a year going back to last January, where Jericho, fresh off a loss to Kenny Omega at WrestleKingdom 12, jumped Naito at the following night’s New Year’s Dash event.

Jericho beat Naito for the IC belt in June, and tried to decline a rematch, but it’ll be Naito-Jericho at the Tokyo Dome, and it should be a blast.

Kenny Omega vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi – IWGP Heavyweight Title

The evening’s (morning’s?) main event, Kenny Omega defending the most prestigious championship in all of wrestling against the winner of the G1 Climax, Hiroshi Tanahashi. Tanahashi won the right to face Omega by winning the Climax, and defending his title shot against guys like Kazuchika Okada.

Tanahashi is referred to as the “Ace” of New Japan, and a lot of people like to compare him to Joh Cena, which is pretty high praise if you ask me. He’s been heavyweight champ plenty of times, but he’s still evidently got some left in the tank as he preps to challenge for his 8th IWGP heavyweight title.

On the other hand, Kenny Omega is enjoying his first reign as champ after dethroning Okada back in June in a match hailed as one of the greatest of all time. But the fact is you could say that about most of Omega’s matches, it’s why he’s nicknamed the “Best Bout Machine.”

He’s defended the belt against Cody and Tomohoro Ishii, among others, since winning the belt. He’s one of the hottest commodities in the sport, and if WrestleKingdom is your first exposure to him…get your popcorn ready. The man is a modern marvel.

That’s the card! If you’re out there gulping down coffee and rubbing your eyes frantically in an attempt to stay awake like I’ll be, then I wish you good luck! Enjoy the show, and consider sticking around on NJPW World, New Japan’s subscription streaming service, a little while longer for the January 5th New Year’s Dash event, where a lot of new storylines for 2019 will be kicked off!


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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Chris King: Seth Rollins vs. Kofi Kingston At Survivor Series-The Perfect Time For A Cash-in

Lesnar keeps playing his cash-in cards close to his vest. Never tipping if he’s aiming for Seth or Kofi. Por que no los dos?

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Lesnar keeps playing his cash-in cards close to his vest. Never tipping if he’s aiming for Seth or Kofi. Por que no los dos?

At WrestleMania 35, both Seth Rollins and Kofi Kingston overcame their opposition and capture the World Heavyweight Championships of their respective brands. The self-proclaimed ‘Beastslayer’ kept his promise and slayed the beast with three skull-crushing curb stomps to capture the Universal Championship. Kofi toppled the self-proclaimed ‘Planet’s Champion’ the New Daniel Bryan; who endured his own personal trouble in paradise, and Kofi captured his first WWE Championship in eleven-years. On the Post-Mania-Raw; as Rollins was celebrating his huge victory with the WWE Universe Kofi joined in the fun and challenged Rollins for a ‘Monumental’ Champion vs. Champion winner-takes-all main event with major implications of unifying both championships.

While the incredible first-ever contest was ruined after The Bar interfered; throughout the whole broadcast they were announcing Kofi’s celebration on SmackDown Live so he wasn’t going to lose his title, WWE was forced to end the match so abruptly.

Leaving the Post-WrestleMania crowd furious, It felt like WWE was building this one-on-one contest up for a bigger platform…Survivor Series.

All-the-while ‘The Beast in the Bank’ is looming, waiting for his opportunity to strike. He unsuccessfully attempted to cash-in on a weakened Rollins at Super ShowDown, and hasn’t appeared since…Which is why during the Champion vs. Champion ‘dream-match’ is the perfect chance for ‘The Beast of the Box Office’ to make headlines once again!

In the past two years, Survivor Series has transitioned into a battle for brand supremacy, pitting Raw vs. SmackDown Live champion vs. champion in head-to-head competition. At last year’s main-event we saw Brock Lesnar then-Universal-champion vs. Daniel Bryan the brand-new SmackDown Live champion; who more days ago defeated AJ Styles using wily tactics.

Bryan had the Universal champion reeling after delivering a low-blow while the official was down; and nearly stole the victory but Lesnar bounced back with a devastating F5, to stand tall and give the red brand another win. At this year’s Survivor Series, pitting Rollins and Kofi against each other the winner of the match is an extremely difficult decision to make. Contrary to the others, Lesnar was the undeniable choice to bet your money on.

Both Rollins and Kofi are currently booked to appear dominant; and cannot afford to take such a significant loss, WWE has a track record of favoring the Raw superstars on their flagship show, compared to SmackDown being the secondary show. I must say I am positively shocked that they are building Kofi up as a credible WWE champion; but I can’t count WWE’s confusing logic, that Kofi will suffer the loss. Let’s not forget about Mr. Money in the Bank who’s lurking in the shadows…who am I kidding we all know he’s sitting at home in Canada.

I’ve been reading all over social media; and everyone’s prediction is that Lesnar will cash-in on October 4, 2019 on the first episode of SmackDown Live on Fox; while I agree that would be a tremendous surprise that might generate higher ratings, Fox has been extremely vocal that if WWE’s viewership doesn’t improve or drop they will pull the plug. It would be a damn shame if they use Lesnar cashing-in to capitalize on one good night of television.

Instead, why doesn’t he choose a more unpredictable time to cash-in; to pay Rollins back for cashing-in on him when he was down and out at WrestleMania 31, and equally exercise the element of surprise on Kofi who he’s never been in the ring with? Everyone hated when Lesnar climbed up the ladder; unscratched and fresh to retrieve the Money in the Bank briefcase but, when his music blared through the arena the WWE Universe popped loud. Nobody had the slightest clue Lesnar was even in the building, and in this day and age, that’s hard to pull off.

Credit: TalkSport

So how do we get Lesnar to cash-in and keep the titles on both Rollins and Kofi who are more deserving? You execute the bait-and-switch formula. The WWE Universe is already expecting another boring Lesnar title reign; so when ‘The Beast Incarnate’ rushes down to the ring and turns it into a triple-threat-match, have Rollins and Kofi join forces to take him out.

Since it’s now a triple-threat-match any and all weapons can be utilized; have Kofi knock Lesnar out with a Trouble in Paradise onto the announce table, then have Rollins deliver an a Frog-splash through Lesnar and the table. After that, when ‘The Beast’ starts stirring and he will…Rollins can crush his skull with a colossal Curb Stomp through the final announce table…Paul Heyman will be beside himself as views the damage of his client.

Paramedics come down to stretcher Lesnar out of the arena; no more Mr. Money in the Bank looming, and the best part of all is both champions can carry on with their fantastic match. Where will are guaranteed to get a definitive winner, and prove once and for all which championship is the ‘Undisputed’ Championship in the land of WWE!


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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Andrew’s Top Matches: Week Ending 6/16/2019

A jam packed week of matches displays a few of the more infrequent companies. Who made the Top 5?

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A jam packed week of matches displays a few of the more infrequent companies. Who made the Top 5?

Two big New Japan shows had them dominate last week. Funnily enough, one match dominated by amassing nearly 5 times as many votes as second place. The winner of last week’s Japanese filled Top 5, NJPW BOSJ 26 Finals: Shingo Takagi vs Will Ospreay.

For anyone who was upset about the domination last week, well this is the week for you. We’ve got some WWE products, a little flavor from Mexico, and of course some matches from Japan.

Let’s get down to business!

 

5. NXT UK: Imperium (WALTER, Marcel Barthel & Fabian Aichner) vs British Strong Style ( Pete Dunne, Tyler Bate & Trent Seven)

Snippet from Mitchell’s Coverage:
Barthel throws Dunne out while Walter throws Seven. Walter stomps Dunne down while Barthel has Bate. Aichner tags in but Bate fights back. Bate boots but Barthel deflects that to ropes. Aichner gives Bate a draping backstabber! Barthel climbs to add double stomps! Aichner covers, TWO!! Bate survives and Glasgow loves it! Aichner is furious but he keeps focus on Bate. Tag to Barthel and they trash talk Bate in their respective languages. But Bate fires off with fast hands! Aichner kicks low and whips Bate, but Bate rebounds for DOUBLE LARIATS! Bate crawls but Walter intercepts, only to get the rolling kick! Hot tag to Seven!

Dunne tags in off Seven, Seven gives Barthel the Seven Stars Lariat! Seven DIVES onto Aichner while Dunne tags Bate. Dunne pump handles, Bitter End on Barthel! Bate climbs, for the corkscrew senton! Walter returns and barrels through Dunne to BOOT Bate! Dunne dropkicks Walter then slingshots out, only to miss. Walter runs at Dunne but Dunne sends him into steel steps! But then Walter back suplexes Dunne onto barriers! Wait, who is that coming down the ramp? He wears a hood and familiar mask… In the ring, Seven CHOPS Aichner. Aichner shoves Seven into the ref! Seven clotheslines Aichner and himself out of the ring! The mystery man enters the ring and targets Bate! It’s ALEXANDER WOLFE!! The German Ax Man POWERBOMBS Bate! Glasgow boos but Wolfe grins. Barthel covers while Walter gets the ref in. Imperium wins!!

Winner: Imperium via Sit-Out Powerbomb

Rating: ****

 

4. AAA Verano de Escalando 2019: AAA Tag Team Championship: Lucha Brothers vs The Young Bucks (c)

From Joe’s AAA Coverage:
Lucha Bros jump the Bucks. Matt Jackson does 3 northern lights suplexes to Fenix then does one to Fenix and Pentagon at the same time. Matt does a baseball slide and then Nick does a dive over him. Matt unties Pentagon’s mask and then beats him up in the crowd. Back in the ring they hit double super kicks. Pentagon hits sling blades on both Bucks. Fenix does a double cutter. They roll out and Fenix hits a huge dive and goes flying into the crowd while Pentagon hits Matt with the Pentagon driver. Matt hits a Canadian destroyer then a spear and Fenix breaks it up. Lucha bros go for super kicks but the Bucks reverse it into sharptshooters. Lucha bros break out and a ton of super kicks get hit. Nick hits a frog splash on Fenix and Penta runs up his back and hits a Canadian destroyer on Matt. Fenix then hits a stomp on the apron on Nick. Pentagon hits the package piledriver on Matt. He kicks out. Then Fenix and Pentagon do the combo package piledriver. Nick pulls the ref out. Nick does an asai moonsault to the ref and Fenix. Matt pulls off Pentagon’s mask and kicks him in the groin and then they hit a Meltzer driver. Fenix pulls the ref out now. Fenix kicks Matt in the groin and then hits a cutter for a two. A new ref is out here now. They do the combo package piledriver again and Fenix hits a middle rope splash on Nick. Penta pins Matt. Pentagon pins Matt Jackson with a package piledriver combo.

Winner: Lucha Bros via Spike Fear Factor

Rating: ****

 

3. 205 Live: #1 Contender Fatal 4 Way: Drew Gulak vs Humberto Carrillo vs Akira Tozawa vs Oney Lorcan

Snippet from Mitchell’s Coverage:
Sacramento fires up behind Lorcan, but Ariya Daivari runs out to SMACK Lorcan with a chair!! The Persian Lion is a sore loser from his loss last week. The referee can’t disqualify anyone but he does get Daivari to leave. That doesn’t matter to Daivari, the damage has been done, and he laughs all the way to the back. This leaves Carrillo and Gulak in the ring. Gulak goes to throw Carrillo but Carrillo throws him out first. Carrillo turns around to get Tozawa’s mule kick. Tozawa swings, misses, slides under and hits the rolling roundhouse! Nese is still watching as Tozawa climbs up top! Fans fire up but Carrillo kicks Tozawa down! Carrillo climbs but Gulak returns to shove him off! Carrillo hits barriers!

Gulak has Tozawa, but Tozawa fights back! They brawl up top and Tozawa clubs away. Fans “AH! AH!” along with him, but Gulak just headbutts Tozawa to stop him. Gulak adjusts, for the SUPERPLEX! But both men cradle the other!! Three count, but who wins!?

Winner: Tozawa & Gulak via Simultaneous Pin

Rating: ****

 

Honorable Mentions:

NOAH Misawa Memorial 6.9.2019: Naomichi Marufuji vs Go Shiozaki
Winner: Shiozaki via Gowan Lariat
Rating: *** 3/4
NXT: Submission Match: Drew Gulak vs Kushida
Winner: Kushida via Hoverboard Lock
Rating: *** 1/2
NJPW Kizuna Road: IWGP Jr Tag Team Titles: Roppongi 3k (c) vs El Phantasmo & Taiji Ishimori
Winner: ELP via CR2
Rating: *** 1/2
205 Live: Chad Gable vs Jack Gallagher
Winner: Gable via Countout
Rating: *** 1/2
AAA Verano de Escalando 2019: Tessa Blanchard & Daga vs Taya Valkyrie & Laredo Kid
Winner: Laredo Kid via Laredo Fly
Rating: *** 1/2
NJPW Kizuna Road: LIJ vs Kota Ibushi, Yuji Nagata, Tiger Mask IV, Jyushi Thunder Liger & Shota Umino
Winner: Shingo via Pumping Bomber
Rating: *** 1/2
IMPACT: Michael Elgin vs Willie Mack
Winner: Elgin via Elgin Bomb
Rating: *** 1/4
NJPW Kizuna Road: DOUKI, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Taichi vs Tomohiro Ishii, Tomoaki Honma & Ren Narita
Winner: Taichi via Superkick
Rating: *** 1/4
WWE Raw: Bobby Lashley, Samoa Joe & Cesaro vs Ricochet, The Miz & Braun Strowman
Winner: Ricochet via 630 Senton
Rating: *** 1/4
NXT: Undisputed Era (Roderick Strong & Kyle O’Reilly) vs Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch
Winner: Burch via Distracted Roll-Up
Rating: *** 1/4
NJPW Kizuna Road: Minoru Suzuki, Lance Archer & Zack Sabre Jr vs Kazuchika Okada, YOSHI-HASHI & Toa Henare
Winner: Archer via Claw
Rating: ***
IMPACT: Jordynne Grace vs Madison Rayne
Winner: Rayne via CrossRayne
Rating: ***

 

 

2. Stardom Shining Destiny: Wonder of Stardom Championship: Tam Nakano vs Arisa Hoshiki (c)

The backstory is interesting for the match. Arisa returned to Stardom about 6 months ago and has been part of the STARS faction, the same faction as Tam. Tam is an awkward girl who just wants to prove herself. Io pushed her before she left (see the Exploding Baseball Bat Match), Mayu saved her from humiliation when she was kicked out of Oedo Tai. So Arisa joining STARS and becoming quite friendly with Mayu, never sat well with Tam. Then during this years draft, Arisa was taken before Tam. This is their chance to express their feelings through a fight, since words don’t seem to be doing the job.

Tam came out with a stoic and distant look in her eyes, while Arisa was her typical upbeat self. It almost looked like Tam was distracted by her own determination to prove herself. Arisa smiles as she hits you, she’s having fun, she enjoys the sport. This was notable since Tam was straight faced through the first half of the match. Once it spilled to the outside and Tam his a German Suplex on the apron, the tone shifted.

Tam was smiling through the ropes down on Arisa, but not chiding, like she started having fun. The two had a big exchange of strikes and smiles, before Arisa started to harden a little. Tam knew to dodge the Brazilian Kick, but everything else was a great back and forth. Arisa and Tam trade running Knee Strikes, top rope attempts and Arisa tries to submit Tam, but she gets out of it.

We see the fight come to an end after the second time Arisa caught Tam with the Brazilian Kick. They have a moment after the match where Tam tells her that she’s not allowed to lose that belt to anyone besides her, or she’ll boil her. They even posed with their STARS faction, embracing with the Wonder of Stardom belt between them…and Starlight Kid keeping Tam standing.

This was a hard fought match, with a unique story that you’d see in anime but not often in professional wrestling. The concept of, words weren’t enough, so maybe they could communicate better in the ring. It’s quite poetic if you think about it.

Winner: Hoshiki via Brazilian Kick

Rating: **** 1/4

 

 

1. NOAH Misawa Memorial 6.9.2019: GHC Heavyweight Championship: Kaito Kiyomiya (c) vs Takashi Suigiura

Now as we all know from Hisame’s Newsletters, the June 9th show wasn’t televised until June 13th, hence why it qualifies for this week’s matches. Sugiura has been a great mentor to the young champion Kiyomiya. But since their tag team dissolved, Sugiura has taken to tough love. Earning his opportunity by pinning the champion a few weeks ago, Sugiura looks to become a 5 time GHC Heavyweight Champion.

Kaito came out with a lot of energy. He was trading with The Killing Machine, and holding his own, even trying to focus the left arm to take away some of his power, but the champion took a beating for a while. Kaito managed to fight out of everything Sugiura threw at him. Front Neck Lock, Olympic Slam and even a Guillotine with Body Scissors.

Kiyomiya eventually found an opening when Sugiura went for the Avalanche Olympic Slam, but Kaito turned it into an Avalanche Reverse DDT. Being Misawa’s Memorial show, Kaito hit a few Emerald Flowsions and it was only appropriate that Sugiura pulled out the ole Misawa Rolling Elbow, to rock the young champion and give hope that the old vet would pick up the win. But in a feat of beautiful camera work and great resolve from Kiyomiya, he pulls off the Tiger Suplex Hold, right in front of the portrait banner of Misawa. Almost as if Misawa gave the match his blessing.

Brutal match that proved the young champion has guts and could easily be a Match of the Year candidate.

Winner: Kiyomiya via Tiger Suplex Hold

Rating: **** 1/2

 

Thoughts:

A lot of good stuff this week! AAA managed to make an appearance outside of TripleMania, NOAH saved some great matches for the memorial shows and 205 Live looks to be almost back on track.

However, my vote will go to, Wonder of Stardom: Arisa Hoshiki (c) vs Tam Nakano. Though it wasn’t the highest rated match, I really enjoyed the story and how it told the story throughout the match and even the promo afterwards. Arisa has cemented her return and her position as a prominent player. Tam felt like she got better overnight last year during the 5 Star Grand Prix and she continues to prove she’s figured it out. If she can manage to stay healthy (she has a history of missing a few shows here or there with little nagging injuries), she might finally get a singles title.


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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