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(NOAH) WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.45 ~ 29TH JULY 2019

Finals of the Junior League along with a GHC Heavyweight title fight! Pro Wrestling NOAH brings all the good stuff and Hisame fills in any blanks!

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Finals of the Junior League along with a GHC Heavyweight title fight! Pro Wrestling NOAH brings all the good stuff and Hisame fills in any blanks!

CURRENT TOUR RECAP
Before NOAH began the big summer event in Kultz Kawasaki, they held a small interim show in Niigata.

I am afraid that with it being the provinces, I don’t have much information coming out of it regarding who said and did what, but some information did come out; Junta Miyawaki won his first singles match, albeit over Kinya Okada. He said it didn’t matter much as Okada is only a junior, but he will be seeking bigger fish.

RATELS teamed together, with HAYATA & Tadasuke managing to get on, although at the end of the match there was a small spark of friction between them with Tadasuke grinning at HAYATA before he slipped out of the ring. Marufuji teamed with Stinger, and “accidentally” caught Kotaro Suzuki with a knee.

Kultz Kawasaki was held on the 27th July, and looks to be becoming an annual event. Last year NOAH visited the venue for the first time as part of the anniversary for the Kawasaki Sports Association, but this now looks to be becoming an annual thing, that Hajime Ohara will have a big hand in arranging (he is not involved in the booking of the show though).

The event might not have been sold out, but at 1, 455, NOAH managed a bigger attendance than last year, and opened more of the floor for seating.

Junta Miyawaki and Hitoshi Kumano took on Daisuke Harada and YO-HEY (rare teaming), but ultimately lost. Junta Miyawaki showed that he has prowess as a technical wrestler, especially with his new judo inspired armbar.

Chris Ridgeway had his final match with NOAH for now (he will be returning though later in August, plus appearing on the hyper “Satoko’s Room”, which will make him the first gaijin to do so) when he teamed with Stinger against Naomichi Marufuji, Minoru Tanaka and Hi69.

Marufuji and Suzuki will be having a singles match at NOAH’s anniversary show (this will only be their second since March 2002 when Marufuji defeated Suzuki in 13 minutes, 31 seconds). Suzuki discovered that Marufuji can bust you open with just one chop…

Following the match, Hi69 and Minoru Tanaka intimated that they would be challenging for the GHC Junior Heavyweight tag titles…which Stinger say they want to keep, but do not want to defend.

Go Shiozaki and Hideki Suzuki had their long anticipated singles match, with Suzuki being somewhat more technical than Shiozaki, so you saw more ground mat work than you would with Shiozaki vs Sugiura (who beat the hell out of each other) with Suzuki applying lock holds and submissions to Shiozaki’s knees and shoulders. He even used that most eighties of moves…a sleeper hold.

When he had Shiozaki in a leg lock, Suzuki told Kenta Kobashi (Go Shiozaki and KENTA’S teacher, who is on commentary) to “take a good look”.

The match went to a time limit draw.

In the interval, NOAH made two announcements.

The first was NOSAWA Rongai bringing out the “World Class Celebrity” who was a “friend of a friend”, who turned out to be Kazushi Sakuraba.

Earlier this year Sakuraba had given Kaito Kiyomiya some training in MMA ahead of his title match with Naomichi Marufuji, and said that if NOAH could make him an offer then he would consider it. It has been announced that he will appear at NOAH’s Edion Arena event on the 16th September in Osaka. Match is yet to be announced, but there is hints that it might be involving Takashi Sugiura.

Kongoh faced off against The Sugiura Army, with Kinya Okada being defeated by his rival, Yoshiki Inamura.

After the match, Kenoh gave the usual rant about LIDET, but the big announcement came from Atsushi Kotoge. Since joining Kongoh, fans have noticed that Kotoge has become more and more unhappy (even Masa Kitamiya admitted it in an interview that he was “struggling”), Kotoge it seemed himself had decided that enough was enough, and announced that he was not only leaving Kongoh, but he was also leaving the heavyweight division and heading back to the juniors. Kotoge’s decision to go to the cruiserweights was given as his being of the opinion that he could be more use there. Personally, I think it is because Kotoge knows he will probably never go further than GHC Heavyweight tag champion, but in the junior leagues, he can quite happily hold the equivalent of the GHC Heavyweight, the GHC Junior. It also means he can put on the cape again as “The Revolutionary Hero”.

After making his announcement, a few days later he posted on Twitter a poll asking whether the cape should come back or not, and he slowly seems to be returning to his old (unhinged self).

As for Kongoh, there was no bitterness, and they did not attack him or throw him out of the ring, there were handshakes all round and Kenoh wished him well and told “you assholes” to watch him.

With Kotoge leaving Kongoh this opens up both a new position in Kongoh and a new spot in the heavyweight division.

Naomichi Marufuji joked he should join, and Kenoh responded by pretending not to know his name. Kenoh also took the chance to rant against Kaito Kiyomiya the day after the title match following Kiyomiya’s comments on the match and the future, and Kiyomiya being Kiyomiya, politely ignored him.

Tadasuke and HAYATA faced off for the Global Junior league finals (Daisuke Harada and YO-HEY remained neutral with Harada seconding HAYATA instead of YO-HEY, while YO-HEY seconded Tadasuke), and put on an epic match, with HAYATA prevailing and getting the win. Afterwards, Minoru Tanaka got into the ring and HAYATA made a rare show of speaking on the microphone. He only said a few words, “next the belt”. Normally he just points at it. Afterwards, RATELS put their squabble aside, and they all posed with the trophy, doing their usual arm pose around it in their usual places, YO-HEY & HAYATA on one side with Tadasuke and Harada on the other.

Title match has been set for the 4th August (NOAH’s 19th birthday). Event will be broadcast live.

There were no post match promos afterwards, Tadasuke said nothing and although HAYATA was asked to speak, he listened to the questions, looked like he might answer, and then walked off.

Kaito Kiyomiya defeated Katsuhiko Nakajima to retain the GHC Heavyweight title, in a match that he found very hard, as Nakajima is a very different opponent to anyone he has faced before.

There was no challenger following the match due to the looming N-1 Victory, and Kiyomiya announced that he would not be competing in the league as he wished to face the winner, and only the winner. This will probably set a precedent for the champion in years to come, and will make it a marked different from the GHC Global Heavyweight League of the past.

EVENT RECAPS
Post match interviews – Mutusu Grand Hotel, Aomori
Event recap – Aore Nagaoka Arena, Niigata, 26th July 2019
Post match interviews – Aore Nagaoka Arena, Niigata
Event recap – Kultz Kawasaki, Kanagawa, 27th July 2019
Post match interviews – Kultz Kawasaki, Kanagawa

NEWS

NOAH PARTNERS WITH MLW
Pro Wrestling NOAH have officially announced a partnership with Major League Wrestling (MLW) with Alexander Hammerstone and El Hijo de Dr. Wagner Jr taking part in the inaugural N-1 Victory.

The partnership with IMPACT will continue.

THE N-1 VICTORY
The competitors for the N-1 Victory (formerly “Global Heavyweight League”) have been announced. The league is small and simple, split into two blocks and with only five competitors in each block, which means a total of ten athletes will be competing. As stated, the GHC Heavyweight champion has chosen not to enter, which will most likely set a precedent for later years as the champion has traditionally entered.

BLOCK A

  • Naomichi Marufuji
  • Takashi Sugiura
  • Go Shiozaki
  • Masa Kitamiya
  • Alexander Hammerstone

BLOCK B

  • Katsuhiko Nakajima
  • Shuhei Taniguchi
  • Kenoh
  • Masaaki Mochizuki
  • El Hijo de Dr. Wagner Jr

MEGARAGE
Despite Kultz Kawasaki now being over for another year (and there is no reason to assume that it will not return next year), NOAH’s association with MEGARAGE has proved so popular, that a further two additional dates have been announced; Takashi Sugiura will appear on the 7th August, with Hajime Ohara and Kinya Okada at a later date.

All events will be broadcast live on YouTube.

CURRENT CHAMPIONS

TOUR TIDBITS
~ YO-HEY arrived late at Kultz Kawasaki as he got lost at the station and missed his train
~ Kaito Kiyomiya was reminded of a story by someone who knew him as a child, of a tantrum he threw as a little kid during a hometown festival on a Mikoshi
~ Kazushi Sakuraba apparently refused to wear one of the Sugiura Army “Company Dog” t-shirts, as he is a supporter and not a member.

BROADCASTS
NOAH’s big Kawasaki Kultz event (and the GHC Heavyweight title, plus the final night of Global Junior League 2019) will air on the 2nd August on G+ at 8.30PM JST

NOAH will be broadcast live on Sunday 4th August at 11.30am JST on G+

LINKS
“A Stranger Or A Fool” ~ Hideki Suzuki reforms the NOAH mat
“Return to Origins” Kiyomiya’s hometown return for fifth defense against Nakajima
“Come At Me You Bastards” ~ Kenoh’s column 
“I was not expecting to…” Kazushi Sakuraba’s NOAH participation on 16th September in Osaka
GHC Heavyweight champion, Kaito Kiyomiya, defeats Katsuhiko Nakajima in 5th defense and pulls out of the N01, “I want to fight with the winner”
Go Shiozaki vs Hideki Suzuki: First single match is timed out

Picture credit: Noah GHC, PKDX


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Andrew’s G1 Climax 31 FINALS Day Results & Match Ratings: 10.21.2021

Kota Ibushi looks to 3-Peat, Kazuchika Okada looks to win his first G1 in 7 years! Who will win?

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Kota Ibushi looks to 3-Peat, Kazuchika Okada looks to win his first G1 in 7 years! Who will win?

So we get a fairly basic card. A few undercard tags, the semi-main contains Shingo and most of the main players not in the Finals. Jeff Cobb goes from a shot in the Finals to the opening match, that’s a big blow to the ego.

There’s a few interesting threads that can be pulled at, but the major draw is the G1 Climax 31 Finals. So let’s get to it!

Ratings:

  • Ryohei Oiwa & Kosei Fujita vs El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru: Kanemaru wins via Boston Crab @8:40 – **
  • United Empire (Jeff Cobb & Great-O-Khan) vs Toru Yano & Yuji Nagata: Yano wins via Roll-Up @8:29 – **
  • House of Torture (EVIL, SHO & Yujiro Takahashi) w/Dick Togo vs Hirooki Goto, YOSHI-HASHI & Tomohiro Ishii: EVIL wins via Everything is Evil @11:20 – * ½
  • KENTA, Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa & Chase Owens w/Jado vs Togi Makabe, Tomoaki Honma, Tiger Mask IV & Hiroshi Tanahashi: Chase wins via Package Piledriver @10:41 – ** ½
  • 5 Minute UWF Rules Match::Katsuyori Shibata vs Zack Sabre Jr: Time Limit Draw @5:00 – *****
  • TenCozy, Ryusuke Taguchi & Master Wato vs Hiromu Takahashi, BUSHI, SANADA & Shingo Takagi: Shingo wins via Pumping Bomber @12:17 – *** ½
  • G1 Finals: Kota Ibushi vs Kazuchika Okada: Okada wins via Referee Stoppage @25:37 – *** ¼

 

Results:

Ryohei Oiwa & Kosei Fujita vs El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru

Commentary doesn’t even really try to hide the fact that these Young Lions are very early in their careers and have no real chance. They are in this match to learn, build endurance and get experience.

Nothing special in this match, they give the Lions a few flash pinfall attempts but again, we all know better. More just moments of surprise cause the Suzuki-Gun duo were playing with their food. Still far too fresh in their training to show anything more than basics, and all I’ll say is, they didn’t embarrass themselves, so that’s a positive.

United Empire (Jeff Cobb & Great-O-Khan) vs Toru Yano & Yuji Nagata

So one of the most successful teams and singles wrestlers this year, against a clown and a veteran. I mean Nagata is no slouch, but he’s not in a position to be upsetting two rising stars. Maybe Yano pulls off some thievery, but I’m not really intrigued.

Early on we see the usual Yano stuff of shenanigans and turnbuckle pads going missing. Nagata gets tagged in and we get some real wrestling. However, Cobb and Nagata square off outside when they aren’t the legal men, and Yano executes the miraculous shot to the Ding-Ding, and Rolls-Up O-Khan for the win!

This does continue the weird story between O-Khan and Yano, so at least there’s a thread of story, but it does definitely leave Cobb in a weird spot.

House of Torture (EVIL, SHO & Yujiro Takahashi) w/Dick Togo vs Hirooki Goto, YOSHI-HASHI & Tomohiro Ishii

Early on SHO starts with the mind games having a CHAOS towel in the ring and wiping his body with it, and being generally mocking. Things start quick, turnbuckle pads are taken off, people get wrapped into ropes and I suppose this is a more tolerable usage of EVIL. House of Torture can torture the 6 man division with bad wrestling and cliché paint by numbers heel work.

Togo uses the garrot on HASHI, but HASHI and Goto manage to hit GYR on EVIL, but Dick Togo of course gets involved to distract the referee. Chairs lay out the CHOAS members, Everything is EVIL on HASHI and yeah yeah, House wins and challenge for the six mans. Ugh.

KENTA, Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa & Chase Owens w/Jado vs Togi Makabe, Tomoaki Honma, Tiger Mask IV & Hiroshi Tanahashi

So wait, we get all Bullet Club members against the veteran Hontai Squad? I mean Tanahashi has looked extremely mortal lately, and he’s not really bringing a ton of back up. When Makabe is the second best one on your squad, and he’s barely wrestled this year…you gotta wonder.

Makabe starts things off and we can see his back and waist heavily taped. So it looks like Makabe’s part time schedule could have something to do with injuries. Injured or not, Makabe gets the most of Loa, brings in Honma, then Honma eats some offense from Tama, until Honma counters and lands a big suplex. Tiger Mask IV comes in and actually cleans house, it takes a little bit before Tama does the Double Leapfrog Haku Chop to start taking control.

Bullet Club smacks around Tiger Mask until KENTA eats a Tiger Driver (ironic, I’m aware) and then Tanahashi gets tagged in. Tanahashi works to get a measure of revenge on the Bullet Club, but  then we get some spam moments. G.o.D. tries to take out Makabe, but Makabe wipes out G.o.D. easily. Makabe brings in Honma, Honma takes it to Chase Owens, but no avail. A missed Kokeshi, a blocked Brainbuster attempt, and then C Trigger into Package Piledriver gives Chase the win.

Chase looks to be setting up a challenge, but KENTA blindsides Tanahashi with the belt. KENTA and Chase play tug of war a little, Chase tells KENTA he pinned him, KENTA says he doesn’t care, and Chase relents. He says KENTA can get the first shot, but he got next.

5 Minute UWF Rules Match: Katsuyori Shibata vs Zack Sabre Jr

This…this is amazing. Shibata gets his first match in 4 years, and it’s against the most perfect wrestler for Shibata to have a technical and safe exhibition match.

Since its UWF this is usually done in a points system like the old IMPACT Grand Championship. But a 1 round exhibition doesn’t allow for anything beyond a Draw, but this is wonderful. It’s a technical marvel with counters, submissions, references to Inoki’s classic on the ground pose that we saw Great-O-Khan reference back to during the G1. This is just a great moment, and hard to do any real play by play, but it’s a technical marvel. Hell, Shibata looks better than he ever has.

WAIT – After the match Shibata says “Next time I’m in the ring, I will be in my ring gear”. He punctuates the line with a hard flat back bump and a kip up. …Shibata is back? SHIBATA IS BACK?!

TenCozy, Ryusuke Taguchi & Master Wato vs Hiromu Takahashi, BUSHI, SANADA & Shingo Takagi

Taguchi and Hiromu start off with a good bit of comedy, before everyone not named Tenzan starts doing the Mongolian Chops, much to Tenzan’s chagrin. Wato has some nice spots early before LIJ do their wonderful Bum Rush. BUSHI comes in, uses the shirt and then LIJ starts dominating Wato. Wato manages to get a little space and get Kojima in and we get Machine Gun Chops on SANADA in the corner!

Hiromu tries to block it, gets shoved in the corner for his own chops, BUSHI tries to stop it, and gets put in the corner for the Triple Stacker of Chops. Shingo looks, and then drops off the apron and decides he’s just gonna let them play. Shingo does cut off Kojima before he does his signature Elbow, so Shingo didn’t ignore his team, just decided he wasn’t gonna fall into the dumb spot.

Signature spams, LIJ pain train, signature spam again, and then we get solid call backs. Shingo and Tenzan are the last two, Shingo uses Mongolian Chops, Tenzan responds in his own way. Some haymakers thrown, a Headbutt from Tenzan, the attempted Flying Headbutt, but Shingo cuts him off, Pumping Bomber, and Shingo wins!

G1 Finals: Kota Ibushi vs Kazuchika Okada

So they feel each other out early, and have the usual fast pace wild swings that get dodged and end in a small rest moment where they just smile and absorb the energy of the match. Before Ibushi can really get anything going, the arrogance of the Rainmaker returns. Very deliberate shots, perfectly rolling through his Slingshot Senton, and his single foot Dropkick. It’s really interesting to see Okada reverting back to his old self. The 2017 form is further exemplified by Shibata’s return since it helps to bring everyone back to “brighter days”.

Okada goes for his corner Hip Attack, but now Ibushi gets to start a comeback. Dropkick, Roundhouse Kicks, Standing Moonsault and Okada powders. After some fighting on the outside, Okada takes control again and hits a DDT on the ramp, which has Ibushi pretty much out. Okada waits in the ring until about 18, before he decides that’s not how he wants to win. Drags Ibushi in, tries the Money Clip, Ibushi won’t go in comfortably, Okada rocks him, whips him into the ropes, hits the Million Dollar Dropkick, and finally gets the Money Clip sunk in. Okada is in a different aggressive form that we haven’t seen since 2018 when his nearly 2 year title reign ended and he went balloon crazy.

Savage Elbow, Rainmaker Pose, Zoom Out…Wind up…Rainmaker misses and Ibushi returns with his own Lariat turning Okada inside out. Now they stand up for the strike exchange. Okada falls into an old Nakamura trap, where he starts winning the exchange, taunts the challenger and gets rocked. Ibushi grins, hits the Frankensteiner sending Okada to Powder. So now it’s Moonsault time for Ibushi, and lands perfectly on Okada.

Going back inside, Ibushi looks for Kamigoye, Okada blocks and then ducks the Round Kick, goes for a Backslide, but Ibushi rolls through and kicks Okada. Okada then eats a V Trigger and a Kamigoye…but it’s only 2! Okada flips Ibushi over when he attempts another Kamigoye, Double Legged Cradle, but ibushi kicks out. They lay each other out, Ibushi crawls to the top rope, Phoenix Splash and…Ibushi lands weird. He immediately grabs his arm, Red Shoes goes over to Ibushi, and after a few moments Red Shoes calls for the bell.

Okada wins the G1 off of Ibushi missing the Phoenix Splash and possibly dislocating his right arm.

Overall Score: 7.25/10

There’s a dark poetry in the ending to this year’s G1. Starting with Naito’s injury and ending with Ibushi’s injury, just makes this a fairly cursed year which plays into the cursed aspect of this World Heavyweight Championship. In a way, this works out for the best since if this tournament was supposed to make a newer wrestler and ended the same way, there would always be an asterisk. But it’s Okada, he’s a proven commodity and no one will really question his victory. I really appreciated the fact that he always loomed close while Ibushi was struggling with the doctor and through his injury. He held his hand many times, even seemed to tell him it’s fine, we’ll do it correctly 1 more time in the future.

Katsuyori Shibata returns, Kazuchika Okada returns to the a level of prominence by winning the G1 Climax 31 and this is a nice way to remind people of the names that many of the current crop of IWC fans know. New Japan grew quickly because of AJ Styles and Kenny Omega’s Bullet Clubs, but in the last few years we’ve seen many of the names we know fall to the back or go to different companies. This could be a return to form finally for New Japan.

Even if it ended off a failed Phoenix Splash, it could help New Japan rise from the ashes of community favor like a Phoenix.


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Andrew’s IMPACT Results & Match Ratings: 10.21.2021

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Bound for Glory is on Saturday! How does IMPACT! hype us up for one of their crowning PPVs of the year?!

We get to see Mickie in an IMPACT ring for the first since 2015, Heath tries to get answers out of Rhino and we’ll probably see a lot of Josh Alexander and Christian Cage fleshing out the last little bits of the World Title match.

Aside from that, do we get anything of note to talk about, or is it just an appetizer for the real show on Saturday?

Ratings:

  • Bullet Club (Chris Bey & Hikuleo) vs FinJuice: NO CONTEST/Double Pinfall – ***
  • Jordynne Grace & Fallah Bahh vs Tenille Dashwood & John Skyler vs Chelsea Green & Crazzy Steve: Tenille wins via Spotlight Kick – ***
  • Pick Your Poison: Savannah Evans w/Tasha Steelz vs Mickie James: Mickie wins via Mick DDT – *** ¼
  • Alex Zayne vs Trey Miguel: Miguel wins via Meteora – ** ¾

 

Results:

The Insiders Stream on YouTube didn’t start until about 9:00pm, I’m not sure why IMPACT constantly has issues, but YouTube is not a hard platform to utilize. These delays are inane and embarrassing.

Bullet Club (Chris Bey & Hikuleo) vs FinJuice

Bey and Leo try some trickery early, but Finlay keeps pace. When Leo gets back into the match he starts throwing Finlay around a bit, which opens up opportunity for Bey. Bey looks to get flashy, but Finlay manages to get Juice in and Juice comes in hot. He nearly flips Bey out of the ring, takes Leo off the apron and tags in Finlay for some tandem work.

Leo breaks up the pinfall and then throws out Juice. Finlay grabs Bey in a Backbreaker/STO combination but Bey’s feet bump the referee. Leo chokeslams Finlay, puts Bey on top, but it takes the new referee too long to show up and it’s only a two count. We see Hikuleo trying to finish things, while the new referee tries to wake up the original referee. Leo gets double teamed, Juice Rolls Up Leo and then Bey Rolls Up Finlay, both referees count a 3 count for the different pinfalls. So we get a little call back to Beer Money and Motor City Machine Guns if we’re staying within TNA Universe.

This will probably end up a triple threat, unlike the MCMG/Beer Money double pinfall which ended in overtime.

There’s a long segment with Josh Alexander giving us his story. It’s not a bad segment, but the only advantage to the show starting late means I got to rewind for the match and speed through most of this. Alexander is a great story, but I already mostly know it, and would really like to see him win at Bound for Glory. Get the title back on a wrestler on the actual IMPACT roster.

Jordynne Grace & Fallah Bahh vs Tenille Dashwood & John Skyler vs Chelsea Green & Crazzy Steve:

This is a Digital Media Championship preliminary match. I find it interesting that there’s 3 men and 3 women. So instead of one or two for “inclusion” it’s actually an even spread. The way the teams are broken apart is interesting too where it’s Power vs Crazy vs Opportunistic.

The gimmicks actually paid off in the match. Jodynne massacred kids, but then things started to get a little messy. Fallah gets a handle on things, squishes the world, and then looks to BAHHnzai Drop on Tenille but Kaleb gets involved. A little more confusion, Steve hits King Kill 33 on Fallah, but Skyler pulls Steve out of the ring. Tenille hits the Spotlight Kick and the Opportunistic team win because well…there was an opportunity.

Pick Your Poison: Savannah Evans w/Tasha Steelz vs Mickie James

Mickie takes a moment to absorb the accolades from the crowd first, and then we see a quick strategy twist. Savannah looks for a few Haymakers and using her reach to her advantage, where Mickie just finds a few quick strikes and interesting angles to land some offense. Mickie looked to be building some momentum, and then Tasha got involved.

Savannah starts to dominate after the assist from her second. Big Bear Hug in the middle has Savannah just ragdolling Mickie until she can land a few choice Forearms. Mickie fights out, Sole Butts, a few nice attacks and Mickie hits the Avalanche Thesz Press, but only a 2 count. Deonna’s music plays as Savannah kicks out, Mickie is distracted and then we see Savannah lay in some big shots. The Full Nelson Bomb only gets Savannah a 2. Mick Kick rocks Mickie and then Mick DDT for the win. Hardcore Country wins the match.

Deonna walks down, mouths off…actually pushes Mickie…so I’m confused about the no contact clause…but then Rehwoldt shows up behind Mickie and wipes her out.

Alex Zayne vs Trey Miguel

The Sauce against the other guy who can’t speak but likes to try to use food analogies and sucks at it, aka, Trey Miguel. He’s like a Young Will Ospreay with less ability to talk…so no upside at the moment cause Ospreay was pretty awful up until a year or two ago.

So this is just a lot of counters, blocks, Arm Wringers, not much direct offense, just a lot of choreographed spots. This feels like a much slower paced version of a Ricochet/Ospreay match from 2016. Zayne is a more fluid wrestler, and he just makes everything look good. Miguel does a weird Cradled Octopus but Zayne responds with a Handspring Frankensteiner, as an early highlight spot.

Miguel in Ospreay fashion hits the Cheeky Nandos, into the corner stuck Tiger Feint, Meteora and Trey wins.

Thankfully Maclin attacks Trey after the match so I feel generally better. Bullet Club comes out and take out both Maclin and Trey. El Phantasmo just baby faced himself in my house.

Show ends with the usual talking segment hyping the World Title match. Alexander gets a “You Deserve It” from the crowd and portrays himself as the everyman fighting for his boys. Christian’s music hits and Captain Charisma vacuum shows up to stir a pot that doesn’t need to be stirred.

Christian taking the experienced thrives under pressure condescending veteran angle is…annoying. Like I said a few weeks ago, the boxes they are trying to play in, I don’t love. Alexander does flip the script nicely talking about how people classified him as nothing more than a Tag Team guy, and “sounding familiar” strikes a chord with Christian. Small scuffle as Christian tries to snip back, but it’s fairly paint by numbers.

Overall Score: 5/10

Low key? This was a pretty lame episode for an Impact Go Home. The matches weren’t really anything special, with the most happening during Pick Your Poison, but it effectively being a non-issue. The YouTube delay of course hurt my enjoyment of the show, but even without the delay, I don’t really feel like this would’ve registered much higher on my scale.

I am looking forward to Bound for Glory because of who’s in the matches, but this episode didn’t help sell it. Thankfully it’s already sold out, and most people probably decided if they were purchasing it by now.

When it comes down to it, I’m expecting quite a few title changes, even though I’m figuring that Mickie’s involvement is more of a one off to give the rub to younger talent and cement her dominant reign. Alexander I would love to see win the belt and The IInspiration would do wonders and put an immediate spotlight on a division that has floundered behind a lack of real teams and no real direction.

So I’ll see all of you on Saturday for Bound for Glory!


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