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Andrew’s Top 5 Matches: Week Ending 8/4/2019

Another G1 heavy Top 5, but Lucha de Apuestas provides a nice sprinkle of change! 

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Another G1 heavy Top 5, but Lucha de Apuestas provides a nice sprinkle of change!

So the last match of July is in! The votes were spread out a bit this week, but there was a definite winner. NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night 9: A Block: Kazuchika Okada vs KENTA, won the vote and will go into the July pool. So the July Pool looks as such:

  • NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night 9: A Block: Kazuchika Okada vs KENTA
  • NJPW G1 Climax Night 6: B Block: Jon Moxley vs Tomohiro Ishii 
  • NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night 3: Block A: Kazuchika Okada vs Zack Sabre Jr
  • Impact Wrestling Slammiversary: Impact World Championship: Brian Cage (c) vs Michael Elgin

Well there’s definitely a theme, and anyone who follows Japanese wrestling, even a little, should know that tournaments produce some great stuff. So for WWE fans, umm…hey, SummerSlam is next week and the G1 is over soon. So you’ll recognize more things soooon.

As for July, my vote will go to, Brian Cage vs Michael Elgin, purely because I’m pretty positive that won’t win.

This week won’t look too different from July, but Impact managed to sneak in and Triplemania had a pretty good show.

 

5t. NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night 12: B Block: Tomohiro Ishii vs Hirooki Goto

These two put on a fantastic match last year, but it signified the beginning of Goto’s disappointing G1 in 2018. Goto finally got a chance to prove that his LA Dojo training has changed something about him. After a slow start, and Ishii looking at moving into sole possession of second place, Goto had something to prove. This match wasn’t quite as explosive as last year (possibly because of the heat), but it was still a great hard hitting old school match. Goto pulling off the win could finally bring him back to prominence. 

Winner: Goto via GTR

Rating: ****

 

5t. NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night 13: A Block: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Kota Ibushi

Ibushi has finally surpassed god! Tanahashi has always been a hurdle he couldn’t get over. Tanahashi not quite looking like himself this tournament definitely bode well for Ibushi. There was a great strike exchange between the two and Ibushi landed all of his cringe inducing moves, so it was a sight to behold. Very good match, hard fought, and feels like a big step for Ibushi and possibly the first moment in A Block where you believe someone not named Okada has a shot.

Winner: Ibushi via Kamigoye

Rating: ****

 

4. AAA Triplemania 27: Lucha de Apuestas Hair vs Mask: Dr. Wagner Jr vs Blue Demon Jr

Blue Demon’s mask is one of the older family lineages in lucha libre. Demon himself is 20-0 in Apuestas matches while Wagner is 10-1. This was a brutal war, not a match, just a straight up fight. Broken beer bottles, chairs, hammers, and cinder blocks were all used on one another. This was a hell of a fight, lots of blood and the each man’s entourage interfered a little, but just damn. It also looked like Wagner broke a finger at some point, so Blue Demon using a modified Fujiwara Arm Bar often in the match, just looked crazy. I thought it was clever that Wagner used the fact the referee was out of position to visibly tap out, getting Demon to break the submission thinking he won. Wagner eats a cinder block to the skull, and after bandaging the bleeding portions of the man, the hair shaving begins.

Winner: Blue Demon via Cinder Block

Rating: ****

 

3. IMPACT!: Impact Tag Team Championship Match: The Rascalz vs The North (c)

So I was impressed this match got as much time as it did. Admittedly, early transitions were a little clunky, but because of the length, it didn’t hurt the match too much. Rascalz showed a lot of spirit being out sized and out muscled, and technically won the match. Meteora and Spiral Tap combination would’ve given them the win, if Page didn’t pull out the referee. Dez dives out on Page, and then the referee gets up and starts asking both men “which one of you pulled me out”. What kind of moron question is that? Both Rascalz were in the ring when he got pulled out. So the world’s dumbest sentence ever said by a referee aside, this was a damn good match.

Winner: The North via Tandem Inverted Mat Slam

Rating: ****

 

Honorable Mentions:

NJPW G1 29 Night 11: A Block: EVIL vs Hiroshi Tanahashi
Winner: Tanahashi via High Fly Flow
Rating: *** 3/4
NJPW G1 29 Night 13: A Block: Will Ospreay vs EVIL
Winner: EVIL via Everything is EVIL
Rating: *** 3/4
NJPW G1 29 Night 14: B Block: Jay White vs Jon Moxley
Winner: White via Blade Runner
Rating: *** 3/4
NJPW G1 29 Night 11: A Block: Lance Archer vs Kazuchika Okada
Winner: Okada via Rainmaker
Rating: *** 3/4
NJPW G1 29 Night 12: B Block: Jeff Cobb vs Shingo Takagi
Winner: Cobb via Tour of the Islands
Rating: *** 3/4
Triplemania 27: AAA World Trios Championship: El Hijo del Vikingo, Myzteziz Jr & Golden Magic vs El Nuevo Poder del Norte (Mocho Cota Jr., Carta Brava Jr.& Tito Santana) vs Las Fresas Salvajes (Pimpinela Escarlata, Mamba & Máximo)
Winner: Vikingo via Inverted 450 Splash
Rating: *** 1/2
NJPW G1 29 Night 12: B Block: Juice Robinson vs Tetsuya Naito
Winner: Naito via Destino
Rating: *** 1/2
NJPW G1 29 Night 11: A Block: Zack Sabre Jr vs Will Ospreay
Winner: ZSJ via Modified Grounded Octopus Hold
Rating: *** 1/2
Triplemania 27: Killer Kross, Texano Jr & Taurus vs Psycho Clown, Cody Rhodes & Cain Velasquez
Winner: Velasquez via Kimura
Rating: *** 1/2
WWE Raw: Raw Tag Team Title Triple Threat: The Revival (c) vs The Usos vs Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows
Winner: OC via Magic Killer
Rating: *** 1/2
NJPW G1 29 Night 13: A Block: Lance Archer vs Zack Sabre Jr
Winner: ZSJ via Crucifix Pin
Rating: *** 1/2
IMPACT!: X Division Number 1 Conteder: Aiden Prince vs Wentz vs Rohit Raju vs Chuck Mambo vs Cody Deaner vs Petey Williams
Winner: Prince via 450 Splash
Rating: *** 1/4
NJPW G1 Climax 29: A Block: SANADA vs KENTA
Winner: SANADA via Moonsault
Rating: *** 1/4
Triplemania 27: Laredo Kid, Pentagon Jr & Fenix vs Kenny Omega & The Young Bucks
Winner: Pentagon via Spiked Fear Factor
Rating: *** 1/4
NJPW G1 29 Night 13: Jay White & Chase Owens vs Jon Moxley & Shota Umino
Winner: Owens via Package Piledriver
Rating: *** 1/4
Triplemania 27: Reina de Reinas Championship 7 Way TLC Match: Chika Tormenta vs Keyra (c) vs Lady Shani vs La Hiedra vs Taya vs Tessa Blanchard vs Faby Apache vs Ayako Hamada
Winner: Tessa Blanchard
Rating: ***
NJPW G1 29 Night 12: EVIL, SANADA & BUSHI vs Kazuchika Okada, Will Ospreay & YOSHI-HASHI
Winner: YOSHI via Butterfly Lock
Rating: ***
NJPW G1 29 Night 12: B Block: Toru Yano vs Jon Moxley
Winner: Yano via Count Out
Rating: ***
NJPW G1 29 Night 14: B Block: Jeff Cobb vs Hirooki Goto
Winner: Goto via GTR
Rating: ***
NJPW G1 29 Night 12: B Block: Taichi vs Jay White
Winner: White via Blade Runner
Rating: ***
Triplemania 27: Llave a la Gloria Twitch Exclusive Match: Dragon Bane, Astrolux & Arkangel Divino vs Aramis, Arez & Toxin
Winner: Dragon Bane via 630 Senton
Rating: ***
NJPW G1 29 Night 13: Minoru Suzuki, Taichi & Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs Tetsuya Naito, Shingo Takagi & BUSHI
Winner: Takagi via Made in Japan
Rating: ***
WWE RAW: US Title #1 Contender Gauntlet: Rey Mysterio vs Cesaro vs Sami Zayn vs Andrade vs Ricochet
Winner: Ricochet via 630 Senton
Rating: ***
NJPW G1 29 Night 14: Chase Owens, Bad Luck Fale & Yujiro Takahashi w/ Pieter vs Tomoaki Honma, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Kota Ibushi
Winner: Chase via Package Piledriver
Rating: ***
NJPW G1 29 Night 11: Hirooki Goto, Yota Tsuji & YOSHI-HASHI vs Tomohiro Ishii, Yuya Uemura & Tomoaki Honma
Winner: HASHI via Butterfly Lock
Rating: ***
Copa Triplemania (Rumble style match)
Winner: Pagano
Rating: ***

2. NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night 14: B Block: Tetsuya Naito vs Shingo Takagi

Naito pushed Shingo to try and take LIJ from him, he wanted a determined Dragon. The match started off deliberately and then turned into a hell of a battle. Shingo powered through a lot of Naito’s mind games, Gloria and a few Destino variants. As I’ve said a few times, Shingo being a Junior has him slated for a lot of losses, but this match proves that once he moves up, he’s gonna be a force to be reckoned with. An arm ringer style Destino seals the match shortly after the 3 minutes to go call. Great punctuation, and thanks to Jay White’s win, the Block is still wide open.

Winner: Naito via Destino

Rating: **** 1/2

 

1. NJPW G1 Climax 29: A Block: Kazuchika Okada vs SANADA

Well this was a hell of a match. We saw similar shadows of their matches earlier this year, where Okada was a step ahead and SANADA kept going to the well. Okada was in the Skull End for about 4 minutes towards the end of the match. Okada managed to counter out of it, looked to hit a Rainmaker, but SANADA hit a Pop Up Cutter and then two Moonsaults to give him his first win ever against Okada.

Winner: SANADA via Moonsault

Rating: **** 1/2

 

Thoughts:

These are all great matches to kick off August with, but honestly, how often do I get to write out a finish by cinder block? So just for the cinder block, and of course the blood, history and just unbridled hatred… Lucha de Apuestas Hair vs Mask: Dr. Wagner Jr vs Blue Demon Jr, gets my vote.

None of these are bad choices, but it’s the little things in life that sway me sometimes. Heh, cinder blocks…


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