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Andrew’s Top 5 Matches: Week Ending 9/15/2019

WWE brings us Clash of Champions, New Japan has Destruction in Beppu and Impact Wrestling brought back Victory Road. What made the Top 5 cut this week?

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WWE brings us Clash of Champions, New Japan has Destruction in Beppu and Impact Wrestling brought back Victory Road. What made the Top 5 cut this week?

Yes yes, I know Bloodsport happened this weekend as well…but time is an evil construct. The fact that it was live concurrently with Victory Road meant I had to choose. Again, yes, I probably chose wrong in hindsight…but that’s beyond the point.

We still get a decent amount of larger scale shows to work with this week.

Firstly, let’s see which match won our vote for August.

Updated Match of the Year Pool:

  • 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
  • June – NJPW BOSJ 26 Finals Day: BOSJ 26 Finals: Shingo Takagi vs Will Ospreay
  • July – NJPW G1 Climax Night 6: Jon Moxley vs Tomohiro Ishii
  • August – NXT UK TakeOver: Cardiff: WWE UK Championship: WALTER (c) vs Tyler Bate

The Cardiff match wasn’t a surprising win, but we most definitely got a surprise for the first match of September. AJPW Triple Crown Championship: Kento Miyahara vs Naoya Nomura, won the vote for the week. Now it was a damn good match, I’m just surprised it got enough love to sneak a week win in.

Now, let’s see this week’s Top 5!

 

5. NJPW Destruction in Beppu: IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: Guerrillas of Destiny (c) vs Tomohiro Ishii & YOSHI-HASHI

From My Analysis:
Now we see the beauty of the Guerrillas as heels in Japan. YOSHI-HASHI is an unimpressive failure of a wrestler, but due to how worthless he is, the fans rally behind him occasionally to try and motivate him. G.o.D. worked this match beyond well, the fans popped hard for HASHI, even though he has the worst Superkick and Running Blockbuster in wrestling. Plus he just falls backwards when Tama went for the Gun Stun. The fans believed, or at least hate Bullet Club/G.o.D. enough to root for the other people. KENTA however, saves us from an awful upset and as a thank you for his NEVER victory. He distracts YOSHI-HASHI just enough for Tama to get the Roll-Up and possibly some tights, to retain the titles. YOSHI-HASHI remains as relevant as the Phoenix Suns.

Winner: Tama via Roll-Up

Rating: *** 3/4

 

4. Impact Victory Road: TJP vs Michael Elgin

From My Analysis:
Even though there’s a size discrepancy, TJP is still a known technical wrestler, so there’s a level of believability. This saw a lot of the usual big man versus little man kind of pacing, but Elgin being a more athletic big man, lent itself to a few faster paced exchanges. Both men went for a number of submissions, TJP managed to catch Elgin with a few well placed kicks to get an advantage. So the Rings of Saturn gave TJP a few close hope moments, but Elgin’s power won out in the end. Countering an Armbar, into a one armed Buckle Bomb, normal Buckle Bomb, and then Elgin Bomb…yeah, TJP could only absorb so much. Pretty good match, that made you buy into both at different points.

Winner: Elgin via Elgin Bomb

Rating: *** 3/4

 

3. WWE Clash of Champions: Raw Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch (c) vs Sasha Banks

Snippet from Mitchell’s Coverage:
Becky stomps Sasha down on the steps and fights right in front of the fans! They go up higher, but Sasha uses whatever she can grab for a weapon. Becky still punches Sasha down, and they continue even higher up. Becky throws Sasha down on the stairs! Then she puts an arm through the railing for a Disarm-Her! Sasha taps but it doesn’t matter out there! So Sasha chop blocks Becky and runs for it! They’re at the very top now but the brawling still continues. Sasha keeps retreating, and ends up out of the arena and in the pavilion. Becky chases Sasha down and throws her into concession stands! Becky sprays hot mustard on Sasha before throwing her into walls! They end up back among the fans, and Becky takes a moment to soak in the moment.

Now Becky brings Sasha down the steps, but Sasha fights back. Sasha kicks Becky down as fans chant and duel. Becky hits Sasha back, then sends her staggering down the way. Becky feeds Sasha to a trash can! Becky throws Sasha back to ringside, but Sasha rams her into barriers! Sasha throws Becky into the LED apron, then into more barriers! Sasha drags Becky around and into the ring. Word comes in that, with the downed referee being Becky’s doing, she is DISQUALIFIED!

Winner: Sasha via DQ

Rating: *** 3/4

 

Honorable Mentions:

WWE Clash of Champions: No DQ Match: Roman Reigns vs Erick Rowan
Winner: Rowan via Iron Claw Slam
Rating: *** 1/2
NJPW Destruction in Beppu: Jay White & Chase Owens vs Tetsuya Naito & EVIL
Winner: Naito via Destino
Rating: *** 1/2
Stardom Blue Stars Day 4: Konami vs Arisa Hoshiki
Winner: Konami via Triangle Lancer
Rating: *** 1/2
WWE Clash of Champions: SmackDown Live Tag Team Titles: The Revival vs The New Day (c)
Winner: Dawson via Inverted Figure Four
Rating: *** 1/2
Impact Victory Road: Knockouts Championship: Taya Valkyrie (c) vs Rosemary
Winner: Taya via Curb Stomp
Rating: *** 1/4
NJPW Destruction in Beppu: SANADA, Shingo Takagi & BUSHI vs Rocky Romero, Hirooki Goto & Kazuchika Okada
Winner: SANADA via Skull End
Rating: ***
Stardom Blue Stars Day 4: Jamie Hayter vs Utami Hayashishita
Winner: Utami via Torture Rack Bomb
Rating: ***
Impact Victory Road: World Class Heavyweight Championship: MVP vs Chavo Guerrero Jr (c)
Winner: MVP via Drive-by Kick
Rating: ***
NJPW Destruction in Beppu: Young Lion Cup: Karl Fredericks vs Yota Tsuji
Winner: Fredericks via Modified Half Crab
Rating: ***
WWE Clash of Champions: United States Championship: AJ Styles (c) vs Cedric Alexander
Winner: Styles via Styles Clash
Rating: ***
Stardom Blue Stars Day 4: Kagetsu vs Andras Miyagi
Winner: Miyagi via Tombstone Piledriver
Rating: ***
NJPW Destruction in Beppu: Minoru Suzuki, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & DOUKI vs Jyushin Thunder Liger, SHO & YOH
Winner: SHO via 3k
Rating: ***
Impact Victory Road: Rohit Raju & Shera vs Eddie Edwards & Brian Cage
Winner: Cage via F5/Boston Knee Party combo
Rating: ***
Stardom Blue Stars Day 5: Natsuko vs Jungle Kyona
Winner: Kyona via Hammer Throw Powerbomb
Rating: ***
IMPACT!: Ace Austin vs Eddie Edwards
Winner: Ace via DQ
Rating: ***

 

2. WWE Clash of Champions: WWE Championship: Randy Orton vs Kofi Kingston (c)

Snippet from Mitchell’s Coverage:
Kofi kicks and punches, but Orton smothers Kofi then rakes Kofi’s eyes! Orton runs but into SOS!! Cover, TWO!! Both men are down but the fans don’t stop cheering. Kofi gets up first and goes to the corner. Kofi climbs but slowly. Orton stands again, and trips Kofi up! Orton climbs up to join Kofi now, but Kofi resists! Kofi fights back, clubbing Orton on his back. Kofi headbutts Orton but Orton punches back. Orton keeps throwing hands, then climbs back up. But Kofi slips out to trip Orton up! Kofi runs, but into the powerslam! Cover, TWO! Orton is still only annoyed while Kofi goes to the apron. Orton follows after and he drags Kofi through the ropes. Classic Orton with the draping DDT! Orton soaks up the cheers and the jeers as he hears the voices in his head!

Orton dares Kofi to stand with every pound of his fist on the mat. Kofi does stand, but he rolls Orton up! TWO, and Kofi is in the corner. Kofi slips out to kick Orton back! Orton staggers away as Kofi gets back in. Kofi follows after Orton but RKO OUTTA NOWHERE!! Cover, ROPEBREAK!! Kofi survives, but even now Orton isn’t frustrated, just annoyed. Orton drags Kofi to a corner, and thinks of what to do next. Orton tells Kofi to stay put, and he backs up. Is Orton bringing THAT back?! Orton aims, runs, but Kofi dodges the punt! Kofi spins Orton, TROUBLE IN PARADISE!! Cover, Kofi wins!!

Winner: Kofi via Trouble in Paradise

Rating: ****

 

1. RevPro Undisputed British Heavyweight Championship: Hiroshi Tanahashi (c) vs Zack Sabre Jr

From My Analysis:
So…this was a different match for these two. Tanahashi took the belt at Royal Quest doing something he never did, and that was a clean Finisher into pinfall, instead of a cradle variation. This match was a character change for both. Tanahashi worked on hitting multiple submissions and taunting Sabre throughout the match. Sabre got frustrated many times, even attacking Yuya Uemura on the outside.

Tanahashi hit a High Fly Flow on Sabre’s back, and instead of turning him over for a second, he captures the arm and pulls him up into a Modified Texas Cloverleaf. Sabre fights through, and then they stand up for an Uppercut exchange. Tanahashi worked the Cobra Twist and Cloverleaf during the match, so when he went back to it, it wasn’t surprising. However, Sabre had a trick, and got out of Tanahashi’s Cobra Twist, with a Twist of his own, that sent Tanahashi to the mat, and Sabre picked up the pinfall. Sabre winning by flash pin/cradle has a little bit of poetic irony since that was how Tanahashi achieved most of his wins.

Winner: Sabre via Cobra Twist into Cradle

Rating: **** 1/4

 

Thoughts:

Now since we’ve had like 4 Tanahashi versus Sabre matches in 5 months, it definitely feels a little played out even though the matches are always good. I enjoyed the wrinkles and the style flips, but that won’t be my vote for the week.

I gotta give love to, WWE Championship: Kofi Kingston vs Randy Orton. Kofi’s best feud of his title reign turned into his first great title defense. Randy’s voices got the best of him and Kofi’s resilience finally paid off on a big hurdle. Damn nice story telling helped along by blurring the lines a little.


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