With some tournaments coming to an end, what made the Top 5 Matches list? Cause we all know it’s nothing from Raw or SmackDown after this week, ugh.
Champion Carnival ended on Monday, Wrestling Dontaku was Friday and Saturday and we even had the block finals of the Global Tag League on YouTube. We had our last match of April decided! Let’s see the April pool of matches!
- WrestleMania 35: WWE Championship: Kofi Kingston vs Daniel Bryan (c)
- 205 Live: Cruiserweight Championship: Tony Nese (c) vs Buddy Murphy
- NJPW Sengoku Lord: IWGP Intercontinental Championship: ZSJ vs Kota Ibushi
- Impact Rebellion: Tessa Blanchard vs Gail Kim
Now on to this week!
Editor’s Note: I decided to go to an Indy show. STAR Pro-Wrestling had a show in Warminster, PA and I knew someone who had tickets. Now the Crown Jewel of the show was that Jimmy Rave is their Heavyweight Champion, so that’s always nice to see him. But the match that stole the night was The Ugly Ducklings vs Proteus Wheel. The Ducklings are great quirky faces, Rob Killjoy is a workhorse (you can find him on J Date) and Coach Mikey is the best. So this is a special mention just because it was a lot of fun.
5. NXT UK: WALTER vs Jordan Devlin
Snippet from Mitchell’s Coverage:
Devlin hops up and jumps, but into Walter’s arms! Walter puts Devlin on the top rope to CHOP him off, and German Suplex him across the way! Cover, TWO! Devlin lives and fans declare “This is Awesome!” Walter pursues Devlin as he rolls out. Devlin staggers into another CHOP! Walter drags Devlin up and gives him the apron back suplex! Walter then follows Devlin into the ring, and brings Devlin up, but Devlin sunset flips! High stack, TWO!! Devlin was so close and yet so far, but fans cheer for the “UK! UK!” Walter clutches his bad leg while Devlin sits up. Devlin and Walter slowly stand, and Walter CHOPS Devlin down!
Walter kicks Devlin while he’s down, and fans want “One More Time!” Walter obliges and CHOPS Devlin. Devlin kicks back but Walter punches. They go back and forth but Devlin kicks, kicks and headbutts! Devlin drags Walter up but Walter blocks to reel Devlin in for the saido suplex! Cover, TWO!! Devlin still lives and Walter is surprised. But Walter won’t let up, and he climbs up top! Flashbacks to TakeOver, but Devlin kicks him back. Devlin climbs but Walter CLUBS him. Devlin hits back with slaps and chops, then yanks Walter off for the saido, but it doesn’t quite hit. Walter and Devlin stand again, and NOW Devlin reels Walter in for the saido driver!! Cover, TWO!! Walter survives and Devlin is beside himself.
Brooklyn applauds the effort and chants for “NXT! NXT!” Devlin wants it again, but Walter is dead weight. Devlin kicks and slaps, but Walter reels him in for a LARIAT! And then the WALTER BOMB! Cover, Walter wins!
Winner: WALTER via Powerbomb
Rating: *** 3/4
4. New Japan Wrestling Dontaku Night 2: Tomohiro Ishii vs EVIL
Both men just went after each other as soon as the bell rung. This was building up through tag matches and you saw more and more tension. EVIL even started using the Scorpion Deathlock just to get under Ishii’s skin since Rikki Choshu is one of Ishii’s mentors. This is a hard hitting Strong Style match. Nothing super fancy, just a lot of things that make you say “Ow”. Really good match.
Winner: Ishii via Vertical Drop Brainbuster
Rating: **** 1/4
3. NOAH Global Tag League: Go Shiozaki & Katsuhiko Nakajima vs Maybach Taniguchi & Yuji Hino
After KaiOh exploded the match before this, that gave this a lot of significance. The winner of this match would win the block and face Sugiura and KAZMA.
What we got was great storytelling and stiff strikes. Yuji being he’s sarcastic bully self, Katsuhiko was aloof and plotting, Shiozaki was stoic and Maybach…was…well…Maybach. Shiozaki and Yuji had a nice chopping trade which led to a Yuji Hino signature, where he puts his hands behind his back and forces his opponent to make him react to strikes. Go did break his arrogance, but got dropped as a result. Then when Nakajima and Go were chopping and kicking Maybach, Yuji interjected himself and did his hands behind the back again to both. Again, it resulted in a Double Lariat for making Yuji feel pain, but these are always fun spots.
Yuji hit his finsiher, Fucking Bomb, on Nakajima, but neither were the legal man. So Shiozaki dumped out Yuji, so he and Maybach could get us to the finish. Maybach had a good advantage until a top rope Splash met Go’s knees. A few set up lariats, led to a big Gowan Lariat, and Taniguchi went to sleep.
So the current GHC Heavyweight Tag Team Champions make it to the finals.
Winner: Shiozaki via Gowan Lariat
Rating: **** 1/4
NJPW Wrestling Dontaku Night 1: NEVER Openweight Championship: Jeff Cobb (c) vs Taichi
Winner: Taichi via Black Mephisto
Rating: *** 3/4
NJPW Wrestling Dontaku Night 2: IWGP Heavyweight Championship: SANADA vs Kazuchika Okada (c)
Winner: Okada via Rainmaker
Rating: *** 3/4
IMPACT: #1 Contender Match: Johnny Impact vs Michael Elgin vs Pentagon Jr
Winner: Elgin via Elgin Bomb
Rating: *** 1/2
NOAH: Junta Miyawaki, Hi69, Minoru Tanaka & Shiro Koshinaka vs RATEL’S (Daisuke Harada, Tadasuke & HAYATA) & Naomichi Marufuji
Winner: HAYATA via Moonsault Press
Rating: *** 1/4
Wrestling Dontaku Night 1: Kazuchika Okada & Tomohiro Ishii vs EVIL & SANADA
Winner: EVIL via Scorpion Deathlock
Rating: *** 1/4
STAR Pro-Wrestling: STAR Pro Heavyweight Title NoDQ Lumberjack Match: Jimmy Rave (c) vs Jeff Cannonball
Winner: Rave via Roll-Up
IMPACT: Eddie Edwards w/Kenny vs Fenix
Winner: Fenix via Fenix Driver
2. New Japan Wrestling Dontaku Night 1: IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: Taiji Ishimori vs Dragon Lee (c)
Dragon Lee and Taiji put on a nice display of Lucharesu. It’s not a typical Junior style, when sure there are high spots, but there’s quite a bit of physicality as well. Beautiful transitions between moves coupled with big attacks that leave both wrestlers catching their breath, makes this a very entertaining match. Both have great chemistry, and no amount of me listing off moves will do this match justice. This was a great match and great main event for Night 1.
Winner: Lee via Desnucadora
Rating: **** 1/2
1. AJPW Champion Carnival Finals: Kento Miyahara vs Jake Lee
From Mathew’s Review:
Their chemistry in each match they have has been some of the best and they raised the bar right here with this match as I feel like this was Jake’s best match in his career so far. Jake really went all out with Kento in the beginning and even did his knee to the chest on the outside of the ring to mess up his breathing a little bit and it did work for the most part until Kento delivered some headbutts to fight back. Kento is still showing why he’s still the best in his craft and still the best All Japan has to offer but guys like Jake Lee, Naoya Nomura, and Yuma Aoyagi aren’t too far off either as those are your next top 4 for the future of All Japan right here. Loving the story of Jake trying to overcome his biggest obstacle with wanting to defeat Kento Miyahara as he keeps on losing whenever they fight each other.
Kento hits Jake with a Blackout to the corner and Jake ran towards him to hit a Helluva Kick to the face and would also deliver a PK for a two count. Kento hits another Blackout and hits a German Suplex Hold as Jake would kick out of it before getting up to hit the Shutdown German Suplex Hold, but Jake would break out of it and hits another knee to the chest as both go down. Both of them looking down at each other and Jake starts to deliver a few more knees to the chest and hits one more for good measure and Kento kicked out at two. Jake would quickly get him up to hit the Backdrop and this looks like it could be over but Kento barely kicked out of it and I really thought that was the end right there! Jake doesn’t know what to do anymore but he rolls his kneepad down as he looks to hit the Ko-Oh but Kento runs at him with a Blackout and a German Suplex Hold as Jake kicked out at two! Kento would hit another Blackout and Jake kicked out again but Kento quickly sets up for the German Suplex Hold as Jake was struggling this time to make sure his hands wouldn’t connect, but he failed as Kento would hit it and pins to win the Carnival!
That’s right, Kento Miyahara was able to win it all for the first time while still the Triple Crown Champion and I don’t recall when the last time the champion won the Carnival, but still a fantastic moment regardless. Jake Lee looked fantastic in the match and is definitely a star win or lose and the day that he finally beats Kento, it’ll be a moment we’ll never forget. Now that Kento won, it looks like his next title defense will be against one of the people that defeated him in the block matches, Shuji Ishikawa. That match is going to be amazing if you’ve seen their battles before. Great way to end the Carnival and can’t wait until next year.
Winner: Miyahara via Shutdown Suplex Hold
The Ugly Ducklings win all the matches! Wait, okay that’s not how this works. FINE.
I know many may be shocked to see Okada’s name in Honorable Mentions, but hey, that match didn’t really stack up to their previous matches. But now we’ve got two votes to decide since I threw in the Editor’s Note.
April Pool: Kofi vs Daniel – don’t really see another option. Everyone else is playing for second there.
Weekly: Kento vs Jake – That was a great matches that furthered their rivalry, whereas Okada vs SANADA felt more like a plateau point.