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Writing the Book: NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 13

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Welcome to “Writing the Book.” This is where I attempt to book entire wrestling pay-per-views in an interesting yet logical matter. This week we have NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 13!

Wrestle Kingdom might just be my favorite event of the year. The guaranteed match quality, production, and storytelling are just what the average wrestling fan desires. Feuds culminate on the grand stage of the Tokyo Dome and new rivalries are born the very next day at New Year’s Dash.

The very recent announcement of All Elite Wrestling essentially decided several matches for me. The entirety of The Elite is competing on Friday. That would mean January 4th and 5th could be the last time we see Cody, The Young Bucks, Hangman Page, and Marty Scurll compete in a New Japan Pro Wrestling ring for quite some time.

Pre-Show

Most Violent Players (Togi Makabe & Toru Yano) and Ryusuke Taguchi v. Yuji Nagata, David Finlay and Jeff Cobb v. Hirooki Goto, Beretta, and Chuckie T v. Minoru Suzuki, Lance Archer, and Davey Boy Smith Jr. v. Hangman Page, Yujiro Takahashi, and Marty Scurll – #1 Contender Gauntlet Match to determine challengers for NEVER Openweight 6-man Titles

Winners: Suzuki, Archer, & Smith Jr.

The Suzuki-gun trio are the most seasoned guys in this crop. The Most Violent Players just reunited, Beretta and Chuckie are having problems, and Page and Scurll are likely on the way out. This one feels like a no-brainer. They’re the most complete team in terms of size, strength, chemistry, and credibility. Also, a Suzuki-gun trio has never held the Openweight tag belts which is pretty ridiculous. Let’s fix that.

Main Card

Kota Ibushi (c) v. Will Ospreay – NEVER Openweight Championship

Winner: Kota Ibushi

I want him to hold the belt for a little while. This is Ibushi’s first ever singles championship in New Japan Pro Wrestling which is even harder to believe than the stat I mentioned in the previous match.

Ospreay’s injury is still fairly recent so I’d like him to rest a little after WK then go back to rattling off a few more great feuds in the Junior division during the Spring. After the insanity that is sure to ensue here, he will have reserved himself a spot in the Openweight scene from here on out.

Yoshinobu Kanemaru and El Desperado (c) v. Roppongi 3K (Sho & Yoh) v. BUSHI and Shingo Takagi – IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships 

Winners: Roppongi 3K

I struggled with this one for a little bit. I could make a case for awarding each team with a big win. The tiebreaker was the fact that I’m not booking CHAOS to have a particularly special night (oops, spoilers) so I needed to give this one to them. It helps that R3K are one of most talented teams in the world.

Tomohiro Ishii (c) v. Zack Sabre Jr. – British Heavyweight Championship

Winner: Zack Sabre Jr.

Remember how I said CHAOS isn’t going to have a good night? That starts here. Well, it actually started back on the pre-show. Ishii has held the belt twice since ZSJ last held it so now feels like the right time to get it back. Plus, I have other plans for Ishii to start the new year.

For the finish of the match, I want Zack to win by referee stoppage rather than submission. It’ll keep Ishii looking strong and Zack like a true sadist. Stable-leader, Minoru Suzuki won the Intercontinental Championship from Tanahashi a year ago the same way. That’ll be my dash of storytelling sprinkled onto the match.

Guerillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa) (c) v. EVIL and SANADA v. The Young Bucks -IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship

Winners: G.O.D.

I’m trying to make Bullet Club look strong throughout this event. They were the sole focus of multiple storylines in 2018 and I have even more ideas for them going forward. This will likely be The Bucks’ last NJPW appearance for awhile. I’d have them swoop in when victory seems near for LIJ. That will give Evil and Sanada a gripe to get their proper tag title opportunity in the near future.

Cody (c) v. Juice Robinson – IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship

Winner: Juice

If Cody is going to run All Elite Wrestling, he can’t be holding a belt for one of the other top promotions in the world.

KUSHIDA (c) v. Taiji Ishimori – IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship

Winner: Ishimori

My run of Bullet Club wins continues. Taiji Ishimori is a young talent with massive potential that debuted in the earlier part of last year. After Yujiro, Scurll, and Chase Owens split off into The Elite he became the sole junior of the Bullet Club. He already has a classic with Hiromu Takahashi in his first year so let’s see what he can do with a singles title run. Ishimori holding it until Hiromu’s return would be ideal.

Kazuchika Okada v. Jay White

Winner: Jay White

For weeks I had Okada booked as the clear winner. But something about it just didn’t sit right with me. Jay has been booked as this young new leader of the Bullet Club. His potential climbs every time he’s on screen. Since Jay has consistently gotten the better of Okada, I felt more justified in giving Okada the win. But now, I just can’t do it.

Giving Okada the win would halt all the momentum NJPW has been trying to build for White. It would be similar to John Cena toppling The Nexus. Wade Barrett never got back to the top of the mountain. Okada is already there and can’t be pushed off. However, I want Bullet Club to meddle in this match as much as possible. Give Jay even more heat and Okada a reason to lose.

Chris Jericho (c) v. Tetsuya Naito – IWGP Intercontinental Championship

Winner: Tetsuya Naito

As much as I love Chris Jericho, he should have never won the IC Title. It’s the second biggest prize in the company and has been nonexistent on NJPW programming. Naito will do much more with it.

Kenny Omega (c) v. Hiroshi Tanahashi – IWGP Heavyweight Championship

Winner: Tanahashi

This was another last-second flip-flop on my part. Omega was booked as my winner for awhile until I sat down in front of the card. The main focus of this match is supposed to be the clash of ideologies. Tanahashi is the tried and true hero of New Japan whose style has provided him repeated and sustained success. Kenny Omega is a gaijin who is 7 months into his first reign as heavyweight champion. Omega made comments in the past about the Japanese roster being complacent and not working as hard as the outsiders. Tanahashi took exception to this, of course. After a grueling G1 Climax, Tanahashi emerged as the winner after defeating Kenny’s golden lover.

January 4th is where Tanahashi takes back his kingdom. Kenny Omega’s ultimate downfall in the match will be his reckless style and cockiness. Although the two have been wrestling for an equal amount of time, Tanahashi is still seven years Omega’s elder. Omega will dictate the pace of the match and hold the upper hand for most of it. The problem is that Tanahashi will continue to reverse and kick out of everything Omega throws at him. That will eventually lead to Kenny attempting more and more dangerous moves (Phoenix Splash, dives to the outside, missed V-Triggers onto a hard surface, etc.). Omega’s moves will eventually miss multiple times in a row which will lead to injuries, and then defeat.

Main Stories Going Forward

Wrestle Kingdom is traditionally followed by New Year’s Dash the following night. That is where the seeds for the next feuds are planted. Now that Tanahashi is champion, there will be an unbearable nuisance named Jay White as confident as ever. New Year’s Dash will close with The Bullet Club attacking Tanahashi and Jay White declaring himself as the next challenger for the heavyweight belt. Remember that Jay White returned to NJPW last year specifically to challenge Tanahashi. Now he has a year of growth behind him.

After the Bullet Club attack, the Golden Lovers will come in to make the save. This sets up a Tanahashi/Golden Lovers vs. Bullet Club feud. Omega wants to do the right thing but wants to preserve Tanahashi for their rematch at the same time. Omega also hasn’t forgotten that Jay White took his US Title at the start of 2018.

That leaves Okada and CHAOS in a bit of a funk. In the middle of New Year’s Dash, the entirety of CHAOS will meet with Okada in the ring and have a discussion. They’ll talk about his decline in performance after he lost his championship. He started playing with balloons then continued to lose to Jay White and co. That’s when they decide to undergo trials for a new leader of the Chaos Faction.

The trials will allow each member of Chaos to have a singles match with Okada in order to determine the new leader of the stable. Chuckie T, Beretta, Yano, Ospreay, Ishii, then Goto. It will be a story that lasts for several months but will result in Okada toppling each member. By the end, Chaos will be more unified with the new Rainmaker ready to challenge for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship once again.

Next time on Writing the Book: I attempt to book both Royal Rumble matches!


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

Andrew’s Impact Wrestling Ratings & Analysis 4/19/2019

Impact Wrestling’s penultimate show leading toward Rebellion! Andrew goes through the show and lends his analysis! How was the show?

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Impact Wrestling’s penultimate show leading toward Rebellion! Andrew goes through the show and lends his analysis!

Scarlett and Fallah debut as a tag team today! Tessa and Gail’s story continues to bubble up and Eddie Edwards & Eli Drake get their shots at the Tag Team titles!

The whole oVe story and Rich Swann continues as Tommy Dreamer apparently is getting sacrificed to Madman Fulton. Are we about to watch a murder?

 

Ratings:

  • Scarlett Bordeaux & Fallah Bahh vs Desi Hit Squad: Scarlett wins via Tandem Banzai Drop – * 1/2
  • Moose vs Dez: Dez wins via Body Scissors Cradle – ** 1/4
  • Madman Fulton vs Tommy Dreamer: Fulton wins via Lifting Reverse STO – ** 1/2
  • Madison Rayne vs Taya Valkyrie: Rayne wins via Roll-Up – N/A
  • IMPACT Tag Team Titles: Eddie Edwards & Eli Drake vs Lucha Bros (c): Lucha Bros retain via Spike Fear Factor – ***

 

Analysis:

Okay let’s be serious for a minute. This wasn’t a great match, but it was entertaining. The crowd enjoyed singing along to Scarlett’s music, Fallah did most of the work since the Hit Squad didn’t want to interact with Scarlett at first. Amusing spot was after Raj got hit with a Stink Face from Scarlett, Rohit pulled him out and sat in the corner asking for the Scarlett Stink Face. They pulled the bait and switch since she told him to close his eyes. Scarlett jumps on Fallah’s back and Tandem Banzai drop with Scarlett pinning Raj was the finish. It was amusing, not a great match, but told a story and was entertaining.

A couple backstage segments with Lucha Bros and Eli & Eddie hyping the tag match. Eddie is still imbalanced singing “We are the three best friends” song, of course referencing Kenny the kendo stick as the third.

The final leg of Moose’s revenge against the Rascalz. Moose took the match lightly, and controlled the majority of the match. Lawn Darting Dez into the corner was cool. Hell Dez tried to do a Dragonrana on the outside, Moose caught him smooth as butter and then smashed his head into the steps, before throwing him into the other Rascalz. After rolling him back in, the other Rascalz get involved for the first time and allow Dez to roll through with a Body Scissors into a Cradle.

After the match we see Rosemary and Kiera Hogan arguing. Kiera says as long as there’s two of them, two of them will fight Su Yung. So Rosemary proceeds to beat the crap out of Kiera and choke her with the chain leash that held the Bunny before she was killed in the Undead Realm. Yes, I know what I just wrote.

GWN Flashback Match: Tag Team Title 5150 Street Fight: LAX vs OGz, Slammiversary 7/22/2018

After the flashback we get a decent length segment of Tessa going to one of Robert Irvine’s restaurants where she runs down Gail, says she’s most famous for screwing a famous chef. Then she proceeds to terrorize different people all while looking for Robert Irvine. She doesn’t find him, has some interesting lines, and she sells things well. Not everyone acts well in the segment, but it wasn’t completely awful. A few amusing moments.

Not really sure why Madman and Dreamer are in a non-Hardcore match. It’s an alright match. Dreamer gets most of his offense in when Fulton takes too long to go to his next move. After hitting the DDT, Dreamer goes out to get a kendo stick…in a normal match, misses and Fulton hits a Reverse Lifting STO (think Corbin’s End of Days). Not sure what Fulton is calling it, but that was the end. Then a brawl between oVe and the rest of Dreamer’s little rag tag team of Willie Mack and Rich Swann.

Taya ran down Canada, said she wasn’t gonna do the match, but Madison jumped her before she could leave. Then after surviving the initial flurry, Taya tries to powder out, but Jordynne Grace throws her back in. Taya is mad and distracted, School Girl Roll-Up. So nothing to rate, but I guess this is comeuppance for one half of the douchey championship couple.

Interesting match even though it felt to be less than 10 minutes long. Lucha Bros start fast and spotty, but eventually Eddie and Eli slow it down. LAX tries to cost Lucha Bros the match, but they fail. Eddie tries to throw Kenny to Eli, but Eli misses. Eddie gets wiped out and they pin Eli with the Spike Fear Factor. Afterwards Eli turns on Eddie and beats him with Kenny.

 

Overall Score: 6/10

Above average. Not a bad show, but it definitely felt like an episode to try and put more focus on the smaller stories. Lance Storm getting involved in the main event story does add a little more star power. Given that D’Amore insulted Cage before the confrontation, it makes me wonder where management’s feelings lie.

So again, the show wasn’t exactly a blow away, but there were plenty of entertaining moments. Ideally next week should finish the hype for Rebellion, and I’m really hoping Rebellion returns to the good wrestling form that Redemption and Slammiversary had last year.


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

Carol: Is Lacey Evans The Right Opponent For Becky Lynch?

Lacey may have The Woman’s Right, but is she the right opponent for Becky? Carol explores the question.

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Lacey may have The Woman’s Right, but is she the right opponent for Becky? Carol explores the question.

It’s been one week since Becky Lynch won both the RAW and SmackDown Women’s Championships at WrestleMania. But Lynch doesn’t have time to rest because she’s getting ready to defend her titles against Lacey Evans.

Evans being the championship contender has caused mixed reactions with fans.

So I have to wonder, is Lacey the right contender for Becky Lynch?

I can see why fans are upset with Evans being Becky’s first opponent. Since Becky is the top star of the women’s division and fans would expect her first title defense to be with another big star such as Sasha Banks or Bayley.

I can see Becky feuding with someone like Sasha or Bayley, but their match would be saved for a bigger PPV such as SummerSlam. In the meantime, Becky will have to be put in a filler feud and Lacey Evans is her first opponent.

I don’t watch NXT so I’m not familiar with Lacey’s in-ring work, although I do know about her gimmick. Since arriving on the main roster, Lacey hasn’t competed much in the ring. The only thing she does is walk down the ramp like a runway model in the middle of a match.

This past Monday on RAW, Lacey competed in her first match on the main roster when she fought Natalya.  While the match was short, it did give the WWE Universe a chance to see Lacey’s wrestling ability. Lacey showed that she has a lot of strength when it comes to wrestling, but is that enough to make her a worthy championship contender.

Reports say that WWE views her as a future star in the women’s division. She fits the mold of WWE’s women wrestlers, so it’s not surprising they want to push her. But are they pushing her too fast by having her challenge Becky Lynch for the Women’s Championships?

It would be best to slowly build up Lacey’s character until she’s able to prove why she’s championship caliber. But at the same time, a Becky Lynch feud could be just the thing to get the WWE Universe interested in the wrestler.

Becky’s the biggest star of the women’s division and anyone who has a feud with her is sure to gain a lot of attention. If WWE is adamant about making Lacey a star, a championship match with Lynch could be thing to get her push started.

While some fans are hesitant about Lacey Evans and Becky Lynch’s feud, this is a big opportunity for both ladies.

For Evans, she’ll have to prove to fans and WWE officials that she has what it takes to be a big star in the women’s division. As for Lynch, she’s worked hard to earn her spot as the top star in WWE. After a successful win at WrestleMania, she’s going to have to continue her momentum going to keep her spot as champion and leader of the women’s division.

Of course, WWE’s booking will play an important role in this feud. But if booked right, Lacey and Becky could both come out of this feud looking strong.


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