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Andrew’s Top 5 Matches: Week Ending 6/9/2019

Two big New Japan shows, King of Gate and…erhm…Super Showdown? Okay nothing made the list from that last show. Right?

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Two big New Japan shows, King of Gate and…erhm…Super Showdown? Okay nothing made the list from that last show. Right?

Well last week was a two vote vote week! May MOTY Pool was finalized and we had a pretty distinctive winner. So our current MOTY pool looks like this:

  • January – NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 13 IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kenny Omega (c) vs Hiroshi Tanahashi
  • February – NXT Halftime Heat: Ricochet, Aleister Black & Velveteen Dream vs Adam Cole, Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa
  • March – Stardom: Wonder of Stardom Title Match: Jungle Kyona vs Momo Watanabe (c)
  • April – WrestleMania 35: WWE Championship: Kofi Kingston vs Daniel Bryan (c)
  • May – AEW Double or Nothing: Cody Rhodes vs Dustin Rhodes

It’s nice to see that our MOTY pool has a nice balance of different companies. Our first June match winner was, Takeover XXV: NXT Championship:Johnny Gargano (c) vs Adam Cole. 

Though it wasn’t my choice, the fact that this week’s Top 5 is dominated by New Japan and the first appearance of Dragon Gate in the Top 5 all year! Dragon Gate did their King of Gate tournament with more dignity this year, so it was nice to see a presentable product and some solid matches.

 

5. NJPW BOSJ 26 Finals Day: IWGP U.S. Championship: Juice Robinson (c) vs Jon Moxley

Snippet from Mitchell’s Coverage:
Moxley ends up on the table, and Juice has a target. Juice staggers away, then runs back in, CANNONBALL at the table!! But the table doesn’t break! Juice promises to “break this b*tch” one way or another. Juice drags Moxley up and bites him! Red Shoes says no, but Juice says yes to a powerbomb through the table! Juice drags Moxley from the wreckage and into the ring. Moxley stands but Juice trips him to turn him for a Tenzan Boston Crab! Moxley endures and crawls, but Juice drags Moxley away from the ropes! Juice sits back but Moxley slips out, dragon screw! And Cloverleaf! Moxley copies the Ace as he makes Juice suffer! Juice endures but crawls, but Moxley pulls him away! Juice won’t let Red Shoes calls this, he rolls and reels Moxley in, to bite! Moxley lets go, but comes back for the LEFT HAND OF GOD!

Juice wipes the blood from his face and drags Moxley up. Double underhooks from behind, but Moxley slips out. Moxley underhooks but Juice rolls up and bridges! TWO, and the two collide with clotheslines! But Juice stays up! Juice pump up but gets a kick to the bad leg! DIRTY DEEDS! Cover, TWO?! Juice survives!? But Moxley likes that! Moxley drags Juice back up even as fans rally. Moxley underhooks, and lifts, for Death Rider!! Cover, Moxley wins!!

Winner: Moxley via Elevated Double Arm DDT

Rating: **** 1/4

 

4. Dragon Gate King of Gate Finals: Eita vs Ben-K

Now you might think I don’t know, but I keep Dragon Gate in my periphery, honestly because of these two men right here. Ben-K turned heel along with his long time tag team partner Big R Shimizu late 2018. R.E.D. was the group founded by Eita out of the ashes of ANTIAS once Shingo Takagi left. However, this year there was a small power struggle, but it turned out to be a giant backstabbing on Ben-K considering him the weak link and kicking him out. So since PAC is still the Open the Dream Gate champion, and a member of R.E.D., Eita is trying to keep Ben-K down, while Ben is looking for vengeance.

My first take is it’s weird seeing Eita with short hair, but again, that’s my issue for not following Dragon Gate closely. This match definitely had a good tone of trying to keep Ben down. Eita was very arrogant which is just his character, and the outside members of R.E.D. even ran a corner train on Ben at some point (if you’ve seen Japanese wrestling, you know what I mean). Eita looked to be a step ahead of Ben a different points, especially with a very cool crouching Axe Bomber when he anticipated Ben going for a Spear or Wrap Around.

Eita pulled off some great high risk moves, even Ben hit a second rope Spear earlier in the match to make some space. But as Ben fought out of everything Eita tried, a timely Spear and Jacknife cover barely kept Eita’s shoulders down for the 3. So Ben calls out PAC for their Kobe World Festival show 7/21/2019.

Winner: Ben-K via Spear

Rating: **** 1/4

 

3. NJPW Dominion: IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: Will Ospreay vs Dragon Lee (c)

From My Analysis:
Well this match was more of a typical Junior style match. Numerous huge excessive moves, flipping out of maneuvers, not a ton of selling. It was fun, there was high work rate, but not much anything else. People will love this match, some may hate it, but it was entertaining for the style of match it was. Ospreay challenged Robbie Eagles to be the first one to step up during the Southern Showdown tour in Australia.

Winner: Ospreay via Stormbreaker

Rating: **** 1/4

 

Honorable Mentions:

IMPACT: Tag Team Championship Match: LAX (c) vs Dez & Wentz
Winner: LAX via Dusty Finish
Rating: ****
NJPW BOSJ 26 Finals Day: Jay White vs Hiroshi Tanahashi:
Winner: White via Hammerlock Cradle
Rating: ****
NJPW Dominion: NEVER Openweight Championship: Tomohiro Ishii vs Taichi (c)
Winner: Ishii via Vertical Drop Brainbuster
Rating: ****
Dragon Gate King of Gate Semi-Finals: Ben-K vs Kzy
Winner: Ben-K via Ben-K Bomb
Rating: *** 3/4
NJPW Dominion: IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Chris Jericho vs Kazuchika Okada (c)
Winner: Okada via Double Legged Cradle
Rating: *** 3/4
Impact A Night You Can’t Mist: HoH Television Championship: Willie Mack (c) vs Teddy Hart vs Rich Swann
Winner: Mack via 6 Star Frog Splash
Rating: *** 3/4
NJPW BOSJ 26 Finals Day: Rocky Romero & Kazuchika Okada vs Brody King & Marty Scurll
Winner: Okada via Rainmaker
Rating: *** 1/2
NJPW Dominion: IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship: Guerrillas of Destiny (c) vs EVIL & SANADA
Winner: Tama via Roll-Up
Rating: *** 1/2
Dragon Gate King of Gate Semi-Finals: Eita vs KAI
Winner: Eita via Biblia
Rating: *** 1/2
NJPW BOSJ 26 Finals Day: YOSHI-HASHI, Jushin Thunder Liger, Tiger Mask, Toru Yano & Tomohiro Ishii vs Zack Sabre Jr, Minoru Suzuki, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, Taichi & DOUKI
Winner: HASHI via Karma
Rating: *** 1/4
AAA Gira de Conquista Total desde MONTERREY: Keyra & Tessa Blanchard vs Lady Shani & Faby Apache
Winner: Keyra via Short Double Stomp
Rating: *** 1/4
NJPW BOSJ 26 Finals Day: LIJ vs Kota Ibushi, Togi Makabe, Tomoaki Honma & Henare
Winner: LIJ via Magic Killer
Rating: *** 1/4
NJPW Dominion: Shingo Takagi vs Satoshi Kojima
Winner: Takagi via Last of the Dragon
Rating: ***
Impact Digital Destruction: Billy Gunn, Tommy Dreamer & Jordynne Grace vs Johnny Impact, Taya Valkyrie & Moose
Winner: Gunn via Fame-Asser
Rating: ***
WWE Super Showdown: Intercontinental Championship: Finn Balor vs Andrade
Winner: Balor via Coup de Grace
Rating: ***

SmackDown Live: #1 Contender Triple Threat: Alexa Bliss vs Charlotte Flair vs Carmella
Winner: Bliss via Bliss DDT
Rating: ***
IMPACT: Kiera Hogan vs Jordynne Grace
Winner: Grace via Grace Driver
Rating: ***
WWE Raw: The Bloodline (Roman Reigns & The Usos) vs The Revival & Drew McIntyre
Winner: McIntyre via Claymore
Rating: ***
NJPW BOSJ 26 Finals Day: Shota Umino, Titan & Dragon Lee vs Ren Narita, Jonathan Gresham & Bandido
Winner: Lee via Running Knee
Rating: ***
Impact A Night You Can’t Mist: The Great Muta & Tommy Dreamer vs Michael Elgin & Johnny Impact
Winner: Muta via Shining Wizard
Rating: ***

 

2. NJPW Dominion: IWGP Intercontinental Championship: Kota Ibushi (c) vs Tetsuya Naito

From My Analysis:
This started off as a normal hard hitting affair between the two. Business didn’t pick up until a dangerous Release German Suplex from the apron, where Ibushi’s head clipped the apron on the way to the floor. These matches are beautifully reckless, frenetic and just something to watch. They definitely need space away from each other as to reignite interest in future matches, but this was great. Naito gets the best of the current rivalry, Naito reclaims the belt that speaks to him, yet he tends to shun all at the time. Moving into the G1, we’ll see what lies in store for both men for the rest of the year.

Winner: Naito via Destino

Rating: **** 1/2

 

1. NJPW BOSJ 26 Finals Day: BOSJ 26 Finals: Shingo Takagi vs Will Ospreay

Snippet from Mitchell’s Coverage:
Shingo shakes the stars out and drags Ospreay up. He throws big forearms, but Ospreay gives them back. They go back and forth, but Ospreay starts to wobble. Shingo throws more forearms from all sides! Ospreay staggers but comes back, for the JAB! HOOK KICK! Buzzsaw, heel kick, underhooks, and the lift! But Shingo slips out, ducks the roundhouse, and pump handles for MADE IN JAPAN! Cover, TWO?!? Now it’s Shingo who is shocked by this! Ospreay and Shingo are each reaching superhuman levels as fans rally up. Shingo is up, runs at Ospreay, Pumping Bomber! But he’s not done with Ospreay, he gets a bigger running start PUMPING BOMBER! Cover, TWO!?! This is what it means to be the Best of the Super Juniors in NJPW!

Shingo fires himself up and drags Ospreay up again. Another pump handle, fireman’s carry, but Ospreay wriggles free and pops up, REVERSE-RANA! That was one especially nasty Poison Steiner. But Shingo and Ospreay still glare at each other. They headbutt on the mat, then Shingo gives a point-blank Pumping Bomber! And then another, and another! Ospreay slumps down, but roundhouses! Ospreay runs but Shingo follows for a clothesline! Shingo runs but Ospreay gets a SPANISH FLY! Cover, TWO!!! Ospreay won’t take time to be frustrated, he drags Shingo up with a cobra clutch wring out, hook kick! And then, HIDDEN BLADE!! The back hand that has taken out so many! But even that doesn’t seem enough for Ospreay or Shingo. Ospreay watches Shingo rise, top rope OSCUTTER!

But Ospreay holds on, to roll through, underhook and lift! STORMBREAKER!! Cover, Ospreay wins!!

Winner: Ospreay via Stormbreaker

Ratings: *****

 

Thoughts:

A lot of good matches, but my number 1 is also my choice. The match was a great combination of Junior and Heavyweight style, high suspense and high impact. Sadly if you don’t watch anything outside of America, this wasn’t a week for you. But damn these matches were impressive.

My biggest take away this week was the fact that Dragon Gate took King of Gate seriously this year. Last year left such a bad taste in my mouth I mostly wrote the promotion off as a flaming trash can. I guess we’ll see if my interest remains peaked.

 


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