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Andrew’s Top 5 Matches: Week Ending 9/1/2019

Another busy weekend with NJPW, NXT UK and AEW All Out! What’s the Top 5 looking like this week?

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Another busy weekend with NJPW, NXT UK and AEW All Out! What’s the Top 5 looking like this week?

This will be the last week for August, especially since all of our big shows happened right at the end. Convenient, ain’t it?

Last week we had a weird Top 5, and the voting helped to prove it. Since there were 3 Joshi matches, I feel people just gravitated more towards what they knew, so the winning match was, Impact Cali Combat: X Division Championship: Jake Crist (c) vs Rich Swann.

It’s always nice to see Impact get a little recognition since they are still the butt of a lot of jokes. Now let’s see this nicely sorted variety pack Top 5 for this week!

 

5t. NJPW Royal Quest: Rev Pro Undisputed British Heavyweight Championship: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Zack Sabre Jr (c)

From my Royal Quest Analysis:
So this starts the way we expect it to. A lot of early mat grappling and counter holds, which Tanahashi looks about a half a step behind. Sabre Jr had a few moments where he looked to have Tanahashi submitted, but no matter the injury, no matter the situation, Tanahashi continues to show the heart that made him so beloved. Sabre gets caught with an Inverted Dragon Screw, Slingblade and then High Fly Flow. The Inverted Dragon Screw seems to be the kryptonite for all members of Suzuki-Gun. Even though some of Tanahashi’s victories have seemed a little forced, this played out well and told a great story. Tanahashi becoming the British champion is also a great usage of the twilight of his main event status.

Winner: Tanahashi via High Fly Flow

Rating: **** 1/4

 

5t. Ice Ribbon Ice in Wonderland: Rina Yamashita vs Tsukushi

So Ice Ribbon and me have a bad history. And that is very simply, the shows I saw a year or so ago, had these two really damn annoying women doing commentary over top in like a little picture in picture. Thankfully when Mathew told me about this, I was able to watch it without those two terrible women.

This, this was 12 minutes of straight action and just brutal quick strikes. Both women start with a flurry of Forearm Strikes, that boils down to old hair twist and toss. Given Tsukushi is a bit more petite, just watching how she didn’t relent added to intensity. Both women did a damn good job keeping the aggression very high and action very consistent.

Hell there was one spot where Rina was in the ropes and Tsukushi hit her with a few running stiff kicks just rocking Rina more and more with every impact. After Tsukushi had a great fired up sequence, Rina’s size advantage starts coming into play more and more.

The finish sees Rina go for Splash Mountain, but Tsukushi slips out and attempts the Sunset Flip. Rina doesn’t flip, and instead flips her back onto her back Gory Special style, and gets her arms in place for the Splash Mountain, and that’s all folks. Damn stiff match, and just really fun and easy to watch.

Winner: Rina Yamashita via Splash Mountain

Rating: **** 1/4

 

4. Pro Wrestling NOAH: N-1 Victory A Block: Go Shiozaki vs Masa Kitamiya

From my NOAH N-1 Victory Day 7 Analysis:
This is a hard hitting, old school NOAH, King’s Road-esque match. Kitamiya and Shiozaki have a current common tie of Katsuhiko Nakajima (Nakajima turned on Kitamiya and joined with Shiozaki shortly after. Aggression out, AXIZ in). Kitamiya started off strong and really imposed his power onto Shiozaki. Shiozaki is known to take a hell of a beating, and this match did a lot to help to validate Kitamiya. This was the type of match where you assume big things are on the horizon for Kitamiya. I’m personally just happy Shiozaki won since he’s my N-1 pick, but damn good match.

Winner: Shiozaki via Gowan Lariat

Rating: **** 1/4

 

3. AEW All Out: Escalera de la Muerte AAA Tag Team Championship: Lucha Bros (c) vs Young Bucks

Snippet from Mitchell’s Coverage:
But Fenix goes up the ladder! Nick lets Pentagon go to intercept Fenix. They brawl, and Nick bounces Fenix’s face off the top. Matt has Fenix in the Tombstone and Nick climbs up. Titles or piledriver? SUPERKICK stops Matt so there goes that. But then Pentagon pushes Nick over! Nick CRASHES through the tables on the outside!! But on closer inspection, he also clips ropes, so he doesn’t even hit through both, just the one, and his head may have clipped the other! But Pentagon shows no remorse as he just climbs up top. Matt hurries after Pentagon and they brawl again. They reach for belts but also CHOP and punch each other! Pentagon bounces Matt off the ladder, and then reaches. But Matt UNMASKS Pentagon!! Uncalled for despite no rules. Fenix leaps into Matt’S mule kick! But with one hand, Pentagon shoves the ladder over! Matt crashes and burns onto the very same ladder!

Chicago is again stunned as the Bucks are all but broken. Pentagon rolls away, keeping his face covered. The refs help Pentagon put his mask back on while Fenix goes to finish Matt. Pentagon returns, his mask back on. They have Matt across that ladder bridge, and again, CERO MIEDO, STOMP DRIVER!! Matt and even Pentagon wreck against the ladder’s steel! Fenix is left to drag the ladder up. Pentagon crawls after and supports the ladder as Fenix climbs. The both climb as brothers, and take the belts off the clip! The Lucha Brothers win!!

Winner: Lucha Bros

Rating: **** 1/4

 

Honorable Mentions:

Takeover Cardiff: Cesaro vs Ilja Dragonuv
Winner: Cesaro via Gotch Neutralizer
Rating: ****
Pro Wrestling NOAH: N-1 Victory B Block: Kenoh vs Masaaki Mochizuki
Winner: Mochizuki via Triangle Kick
Rating: ****
AEW All Out: Riho vs Hikaru Shida
Winner: Riho via Satellite Crucifix Pin
Rating: ****
AEW All Out: Inaugural AEW World Heavyweight Championship: Hangman Adam Page vs Chris Jericho
Winner: Jericho via Judas Effect
Rating: *** 3/4
NJPW Royal Quest: NEVER Openweight Championship: Tomohiro Ishii (c) vs KENTA
Winner: KENTA via Go 2 Sleep
Rating: *** 3/4
AEW All Out: Shawn Spears vs Cody Rhodes
Winner: Rhodes via Crossroads
Rating: *** 3/4
NXT: NXT Tag Team Championship: Street Profits (c) vs Undisputed Era
Winner: UE via Total Elimination
Rating: *** 1/2
WWE Raw: Drew McIntyre vs Ricochet
Winner: Ricochet via 630 Senton
Rating: *** 1/2
Pro Wrestling NOAH: Shuhei Taniguchi & Naomichi Marufuji vs Kaito Kiyomiya & Alexander Hammerstone
Winner: Hammerstone via Pendulum Nightmare
Rating: *** 1/2
Takeover: Cardiff: NXT UK Tag Team Championship: Grizzled Young Vets (c) vs Gallus vs Mark Andrews & Flash Morgan Webster
Winner: Andrews via Shooting Star Press
Rating: *** 1/2
WWE SmackDown Live: Buddy Murphy vs Ali
Winner: Ali via 450 Splash
Rating: *** 1/2
AEW All Out: PAC vs Kenny Omega
Winner: PAC via Brutalizer
Rating: *** 1/2
IMPACT!: Falls Count Anywhere Match: Michael Elgin vs Rhino
Winner: Elgin via Elgin Bomb
Rating: *** 1/2
NJPW Royal Quest: IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship: Aussie Open (Mark Davis & Kyle Fletcher) vs Guerrillas of Destiny (c)
Winner: G.o.D. via Super Powerbomb
Rating: *** 1/2
NXT: Dominik Dijakovic vs Keith Lee
Winner: Dijakovic via Feast Your Eyes
Rating: *** 1/2
IMPACT!: Dez & Wentz vs Rich Swann & Willie Mack
Winner: Mack via 6 Star Frog Splash
Rating: *** 1/4
AEW All Out: SCU vs Two Boys and a Dinosaur
Winner: SCU via Best Meltzer Ever
Rating: *** 1/4
Pro Wrestling NOAH: HAYATA, YO-HEY, Tadasuke & Daisuke Harada vs Kotaro Suzuki, Yoshinari Ogawa, Chris Ridgeway & Atsushi Kotoge
Winner: Harada via Cross Legged Prawn Hold
Rating: *** 1/4
Takeover: Cardiff: Noam Dar vs Travis Banks
Winner: Dar via Nova Roller
Rating: ***
NJPW Royal Quest: SANADA & Tetsuya Naito vs Jay White & Chase Owens
Winner: SANADA via Skull End
Rating: ***
IMPACT!: Golden Magic vs TJP vs Taurus vs Trey
Winner: Golden Magic via 450 Splash
Rating: ***
Pro Wrestling NOAH: KAZMA SAKAMOTO, Takashi Sugiura, El Hijo de Dr. Wagner Jr & Hajime Ohara vs Minoru Tanaka, Hi69, Hitoshi Kumano & Katsuhiko Nakajima
Winner: Hijo de Wagner Jr via Moonsault
Rating: ***
AEW All Out: The Dark Order vs Best Friends
Winner: Dark Order via Fatality
Rating: ***
Takeover: Cardiff: NXT UK Women’s Championship: Toni Storm (c) vs Kay Lee Ray
Winner: Ray via Gory Bomb
Rating: ***

2. NJPW Royal Quest: IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kazuchika Okada (c) vs Minoru Suzuki

From My Analysis:
Now, their match at The New Beginning in 2017, was one of my favorites of that year. This wasn’t quite as good, but it was still fantastic. There were a few callbacks, I love the hands behind the back strike exchange. Suzuki had a few great moments, he sunk in the Sleeper Hold and Okada’s face turned purple, but Suzuki was never quite able to pull off the Gotch Style Piledriver. The match built correctly as to give the crowd time to recover from the previous match, and it was just all great. Suzuki blocking the Rolling Rainmaker with a Bitch Slap was nice. Hell we even saw Suzuki go for his single leg timed Dropkick, didn’t hit flush, but it was still good enough. Just so many great moments, and this was definitely that type of match that felt like it could go either way.

Winner: Okada via Rainmaker

Rating: **** 3/4

 

1. Takeover Cardiff: WWE UK Championship: WALTER (c) vs Tyler Bate

From DeMarco’s Analysis:
During the build, I fully expected WALTER vs. Trent Seven, and we still could get that in the future. Physically, Tyler Bate has never looked better, and the crowd was solidly behind him. WALTER is WALTER, the huge, dominant champion that I don’t love, but I appreciate.

This what I would expect, with Bate serving as the outmanned underdog who fed off his experience and the crowd. And with the crowd supposed, The Big Strong Boi had his moments, and took a ton of punishment. Given the careers of both men, I would have believed a quick squash and a long battle where the underdog perseveres and pulls off the upset.

This match was full of moments, like Bate’s T-Bone Suplex off of the apron to the floor. That coupled with Bate’s left hook to WALTER from behind, and his multiple suplexes on WALTER really drove home what was fantastic showdown that was expertly planned and expertly executed. The Burning Hammer…I mean there aren’t words! Both men deserve a standing ovation for what they did here. The kickouts at the end weren’t like we see far too often. They made me believe, and that’s no small task. This match would have main evented a stadium show–it was THAT good.

Winner: WALTER via Burning Lariat

Rating: **** 3/4

 

Thoughts:

So, I’m definitely in the camp of, If Bate and WALTER went about 10 minutes less it would’ve been a 5 star classic. That’s really not taking much away from the match, cause it was very good and the story of Bate fighting for all of British Strong Style and NXT Uk was easy to digest. It just really started to drag a bit towards the end, which sadly takes a little of that epic shine away.

Given that, I can’t rightly give my vote to Cardiff this time around. Kazuchika Okada vs Minoru Suzuki, gets my vote this week. Mainly because it’s Okada’s first damn good defense of his current reign, and Suzuki’s best match all year. Also for context, it did go about 10 minutes less than WALTER vs Bate…so, take that for what it is.


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Opinion

King: Plotting The Return Of Randy Orton To WWE

Chris King is back with his look at the best scenario to bring Randy Orton back to WWE, and the perfect opponent for his first big match back.

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Randy Orton 4

Chris King is back with his look at the best scenario to bring Randy Orton back to WWE, and the perfect opponent for his first big match back.

I wanted to bring everyone’s attention to a superstar that’s being overshadowed right now, ‘The Viper’ Randy Orton. After RKBRO lost the Raw Tag Team Championships to The Uso’s, Orton vanished from the company. There was speculation about his serious back injury and, it wasn’t until The Viper’s wife herself posted a candid picture of Orton after successful surgery.

While the focus in WWE right now is either on The Bloodline, Bray Wyatt and Uncle Howdy, or the returning Cody Rhodes, I felt this was a good time to start plotting The Viper’s return to WWE.

Randy Orton’s Return to WWE

On the Raw-After-Mania ‘The American Nightmare’ opens the show after a tough battle over Roman Reigns to win the WWE Championship. Rhodes with tears in his eyes is giving an emotional promo about his family’s legacy, and how much this title means to him. The WWE Universe is chanting “You Deserve It,” and out comes Finn Balor flanked by The Judgement Day.

‘The Prince’ starts by congratulating the new champion for dethroning ‘The Tribal Chief’ but, now he wants his title shot. Rhodes being the resilient hero accepts Balor’s challenge for the main event. The American Nightmare and The Prince are putting on a clinic of a match, delivering multiple finishers but unable to put the other away. Judgement Day starts to interfere when Orton’s music blares throughout the arena. Orton takes out the heels and helps his former protege. Rhodes capitalizes and hits Crossroads for the 1.2.3.

The former Legacy members are celebrating and embracing with a hug as Rhodes goes to raise his newly-won title. In the blink of an eye, The Viper strikes and takes out Rhodes with an RKO Outta Nowhere! The champion is knocked out as Orton hoists the title above his head while trash-talking his now rival. Orton violently throws Rhodes out of the ring and delivers a nasty-looking draping DDT onto the floor.

The Build–And Culmination–of Randy Orton vs. Cody Rhodes

Orton stares giving 2009 vibes as Rhodes’ head raises, so The Viper runs and delivers a punt kick. WWE officials come out and break things up and the champion is stretchered out of the arena. The show closes with Orton grinning over the destruction he has caused to his former protege. Over the next few months, Orton and Rhodes enter into an extremely personal rivalry over the coveted prize. We finally make it to SummerSlam where both men agree to raise the stakes and do war inside HELL IN A CELL!!!!

This is how I would book The Viper’s return to WWE. If you feel like this should be written differently, I’d love to hear your thoughts!


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Opinion

AJ’s Phenomenal Opinion: Bray Wyatt

So everyone loves Bray’s return right? Right? Well the McDonald’s Sprite spicy opinions of AJ…may feel differently.

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Well, just because my work schedule changed, doesn’t mean I’m not going to drop some opinions of mine, of which, I haven’t done too bad with. I got Three out of Five for my returns right a few months back and this is going to be about the last entry on that previous list. I knew for a fact that Bray Wyatt would return to the WWE in some way shape or form and time for some… controversy.

As my favorite ratings winner of 83 Weeks once said, Controversy Creates Cash and boy HOWDY… Do I have something to get off my chest here so sit back, order some Chairshot Merch and lets get on with Adam’s… Rants for a bit.

Initial Thoughts

Bray coming in and making a return to the WWE was an inevitability. Death, Taxes and I guess WWE Returns are always guaranteed anymore and maybe we could get some new creativity with a supernatural gimmick. Bray has always had that supernatural to him ever since he had the Wyatt Family in Erik Rowan, the late Luke Harper and in the end, Braun Strowman. The Wyatt’s had a control like no other and were beloved for a moment in the WWE.

Bray did a lot to make sure things were in motion but for some reason any massive feud he had, he failed. Following a bunch of injuries to the rest of his family and even releases later on, he seemed to at least get some traction going for him. WWE Champion, somehow got Randy Orton with him, Universal Championships and got those big match wins that eluded him in the Wyatt Family beginnings. Let me also say this as well, I actually liked the Firefly Funhouse Match with Cena as a “This is Your Life” match of sorts. I was tickled and entertained… Then much like Bray in character, something changed.

Dark and Terrible Lurk with Fiends

We had a lot to figure out during the Pandemic. Like A WHOLE HELL OF A LOT. Through it all though, WWE figured it out but the person that helped these types of ideas, soured them drastically. Lets go back to the WWE Championship run in 2017. Randy Orton won the Royal Rumble that year and he wouldn’t betray Bray, right? Well he does and Mania for the two is set, Orton against Wyatt for the WWE Championship and it was… terrible. Random images of maggots and decay (Not the IMPACT Stable) popping up into the ring as the match goes on and Randy still wins. Through head game attempts, Bray comes up short in the big match moment. That’s odd but maybe it will be a bigger pictu– and Jinder Mahal wins the Championship. Okay.

Wyatt returns as this Mister Rogers character and has a darkness inside of him with The Fiend. Now we had this amazing theory or maybe that’s what happened but the story was, anyone The Fiend fought, they revert back to their best selves. The Miz returned to be the A Lister, the guy who grabs a microphone that you love to hate. Finn Balor doesn’t have the Demon Gimmick anymore because after his loss, he’s the Prince again. The cocky guy that walks around because he is the best, he gives no care in the world. Seth Rollins, who he took the WWE Universal Championship from, went from a dorky sweetheart back to the asshole taking every opportunity that he could get because he’s that much of a weasel and when he lost… He lost to Goldberg. The one guy that has been the same since 1997. Drums, Pyro Bath, Spear, Jackhammer, “Who’s Next?” and during that time, he sucked at points. One of those Rollins matches was in a Hell In A Cell match, the red cage with the red lighting. Match ending with a Stoppage from the referee… INSIDE OF A HELL IN A CELL (I think Sean Waltman said it best… Why did the match stop? It’s supposed to be Hell?) and it’s one of the rare times that I agreed with wrestling’s favorite Uncle… That was Negative Stars for a match.

After Goldberg, he didn’t have a commanding presence. He recruited Alexa Bliss who was already over whether she was a Heel or Face and made everything so unbelievably… boring. Alexa had to carry that idiotic demon gimmick and doll, not having anything really supernatural. Just some wrestling and Brock Lesnar cleaning up everything faster than a Chop Shop in main events and segments. He tried to return and make his grand return, beating the Universal Champion Braun Strowman at Summerslam just to falter a literal week later to Roman Reigns, who proceeded to never look back from that win. Bray gets fired after and no more supernatural ideas. Undertaker isn’t around really and retires, Kane is a mayor. Paul Bearer is no longer with us and everything is just… normal.

Wyatt’s Six (Reasons I Tune Out)

In 2022, Vince retires seemingly from everything and Triple H is at the helm, could he bring balance to everything? He makes a bunch of returns that people love seeing. Johnny Gargano, Dakota Kai, Tegan Nox, Bronson Reed, Dexter Lumus just to name a few and of course, the big one that everyone wanted. Bray Wyatt.

Bray makes this heartfelt return and everything seems great. We get him as him, he makes this weird build to a Wyatt 6, assuming we think it’s the Firefly Funhouse and he’s just talking, building. Alright well who is going to be these six figures because they are more than just puppets this time around. A masked man named Uncle Howdy that people think is Vincent Marseglia or maybe a bearded Bo Dallas who is Bray’s real life brother and he……… pops in and out to confuse people. Okay… (1)

Alexa might return to the 6 because of all the segments and gets darker and a heel. Alright that is perfectly fine but, WHY IS VINCENT DALLAS HERE AGAIN TO JUST INTERFERE WITH RANDOM THINGS? Okay… fine. (2) Alexa has a Women’s Championship match against Bianca Belair, that will make sense of thi– it’s a clean finish… Why is it clean? No Howdy, No Wyatt just a random VHS tape like I’m watching The Ring about her being dark after the match. Okay…… (3)

Oh Wyatt finally gets a feud for his return. I almost forgot about that! Who will be this first victim? LA Knight.

…Okay…… (4)

Maybe this will be good. They are both great on the microphone, maybe Bray has new moves that he can do and I know all too well how good LA Knight is, I have been an Eli Drake/Shaun Ricker fan for years. This could be a great match that they have, they announced it for the Royal Rumble so it’s going to be big and it’s a… Pitch Black Match presented by Mountain Dew.

O…okay…… (5)

The Royal Rumble is upon us, the Men’s Rumble starts the show and we all have adrenaline in our soul for it and now is this weird Pitch Black Match and it’s not a cinematic match. It’s in the ring, No Count Outs and No Disqualifications. LA Knight comes out in his iconic Yellow Attire and Wyatt is talking… with a mask on. The lights turn off and the ropes are glowing a neon greenish-yellow… with an announce table spot that… has Nickelodeon Slime inside of it when they break it? Okay fine… I knew the match was going to be dumb and gimmicky from the Mountain Dew Sponsorship. Bray wins, yay. LA Knight comes back with a Kendo Stick and… we get invulnerable Bray again… they don’t hurt. Lets go to this crash pad and Bo Marseglia shows up from somewhere and just elbow drops him from maybe fifteen to twenty feet with pyro and the Firefly Funhouse Puppets appear at the top, to watch a fire… And there is number six…

Actual Thoughts on Current Bray Wyatt, Post Rumble

I absolutely hate it.


This was awful. You build whatever insignificant thought process of the Wyatt 6 has going for it when Uncle Howdy does the best Cap’n Shane O elbow drop for a hellfire effect. At least the pyro was better than the AEW Explosion Match I guess…

Regardless, how does LA Knight come out of all of this moving forward? He lost an idiotic gimmick match and looks presumed dead. This just makes me think that whoever in whatever interview said Bray Wyatt is a creative mastermind needs to put whatever they have down before we hear about their T.O.D. posted somewhere. This Pitch Black Match is somehow worse than that Rollins Hell in a Cell Match and that takes talent. At least a good amount of alcohol lulled that from my brain but this made me remember that and enjoy the thought of that match happening with its finish. The best way I can picture how this was pitched was Burnt Dogshit, wrapped in a Kerosine Blanket with… sorry had to look at what I wrote, not putting that on websites but… people saw a Creative Quesadilla and when we got the actual product, it gave Salmonella poisoning and E Coli at the same time.

I really don’t want to see another Bray Wyatt match… again. Whoever gave him creative, take it away immediately. As much steam as Bray Wyatt gets in promos or possible matches in the past, the only steaming he gets at the end, is steaming piles of shit. You can say, he’s getting paid millions where I’m a little troll on the internet with typing power and I really don’t care but to me, Triple H… you finally got your first failing grade with something in your leadership role in WWE.


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