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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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