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Andrew’s Top 5 Matches: Week Ending 9/22/2019

With the NJPW Destruction Tour winding down this week, how much variety did we get in the Top 5?



With the NJPW Destruction Tour winding down this week, how much variety did we get in the Top 5?

So even though we had two really good WWE matches from Clash of Champions, they stole a few votes from one another and we had a clear winner. RevPro Undisputed British Heavyweight Championship: Hiroshi Tanahashi (c) vs Zack Sabre Jr, hard to argue with it, last week was just a tough week.

Now this week, we’ve got a healthy portion of New Japan, but there are some other companies that slipped in to fill out the Top 5.

Take a look…it’s in a book…great now I’ve got the Reading Rainbow theme stuck in my head. Just read the list.


5t. IMPACT!: LAX vs Willie Mack & Rich Swann

From My Analysis:
This was definitely more of a fitting way for Santana and Ortiz to head to AEW. The story was as simple as Mack and Swann wanting to give their friends a chance to go out on their own terms. There’s a lot of smiling and pandering to the crowd early, and then we got the break neck speed match that we expected. So many tandem moves from both teams, this match was just very entertaining. It was also nice to see that the referee was allowing them to play, without getting in the way with 5 counts and unnecessary rules lawyering. With the gravity of what this meant to Santana and Ortiz, the match was definitely an enjoyable watch. The face locker room clearing out to say goodbye to LAX was nice as well.

Winner: Mack via 6 Star Frog Splash

Rating: *** 3/4


5t. NXT: North American Championship: Velveteen Dream (c) vs Roderick Strong

Snippet from Mitchell’s Coverage:
Strong goes at Dream but Dream fires haymakers back. Strong resists being brought back in, but Dream resists being brought out. They end up on the apron, Dream fireman’s carries but Strong slips out. Dream throws more hands but Strong KNEES hard! Dream is hanging in the ropes now, and fans declare “This is Wrestling!” Strong underhooks and drags Dream in, but Dream powers out to get away. Dream SLAPS Strong, but Strong KNEES back! Strong has Dream on the ropes, and traps him in them! Dream kicks but he can’t reach Strong. “You did this to yourself!” Strong goes side to side for endless elbows! Another backbreaker, to a TIGER BOMB! Cover, TWO!! Into Strong Hold! Dream endures being twisted as Strong sits down deep! Dream powers up, reaches, goes around the ring, screams in pain, but gets the ropebreak!!

Everyone is going nuts, and here come the rest of the Undisputed Era! Cole, O’Reilly and Fish are shouting at Strong to end this! Dream and Strong start throwing haymakers, and Dream rocks Strong over and over! Dream whips, back drops Strong, and sees he’s surrounded. Strong uses that distraction to throw Dream into the ref! Strong drags Dream up but Dream gets Strong, DREAM VALLEY DRIVER! Cole and O’Reilly get in, they get a SUPERKICK and a haymaker! Strong KNEES again! To END OF HEARTACHE!! Cover as the ref revives, TWO!?! And no one can believe it! Strong drags Dream up again, but Dream gets him again, DREAM VALLEY! But now Cole aims at Dream SUPERKICK! O’Reilly distracted the ref from seeing that! END OF HEARTACHE AGAIN! Cover, Strong wins!!

Winner: Strong via End of Heartache

Rating: *** 3/4


4. Stardom 5 Star GP Day 8: STARS (Riho, Mayu Iwatani, Tam Nakano & Arisa Hoshiki) vs Oedo Tai (Jamie Hayter, Andras Miyagi, Kagetsu & Natsu Sumire)

From My Analysis:
The evening show had a big faction fight, where Oedo Tai even brought back Michiko Omukai. Kagetsu referred to her as Oedo Tai’s Final Boss, since when she came out of retirement in 2017, she helped Konami and Yoko Bito beat Oedo Tai. But I guess since Oedo Tai is for kids, she’s had a change of heart and decided to come out with them (as well as what I assume are her children) and get a little involved.

The match starts off quickly with Oedo Tai going after the STARS members, and setting up situations for Michiko to get a few pot shots with a Kendo Stick. Kagetsu and Tam eventually remember it’s a wrestling match and not a Rugby scrum, so wrestling starts to happen. Hot damn, poor little Tam gets singled out for a good bit of this match. Oedo Tai take turns beating her up, Andras hits a few Scoop Slams, Sumire hits her…I’m gonna call it a Bronco Buster, but yeah…it’s very…unique to Sumire. Jamie was the last to get in on beating up Tam, but Tam finally shows some life. Granted, Oedo Tai sees that and wipes out the STARS members so she has no one to tag in.

Eventually Tam does tag in Riho, and the High Speed Champion starts to equalize the match, all 98 pounds of her. Riho runs a few of them over, and STARS gets something going. Arisa comes in for a kick war with Kagetsu, and then the wild aspects continue. After a little more brawling, all eight women get in the ring, STARS gets thrown into the middle, but Oedo Tai eats kicks from each girl. Then each STARS member dives out of the ring onto someone and the crowd loved every second of this.

Mayu throws in Andras, and it’s about time to put an end to this madness. Mayu hits her Moonsault and then Dragon Suplex Hold for the pinfall. Damn good multi-person match.

Winner: Mayu via Dragon Suplex Hold

Rating: ****


3. NJPW Destruction in Kobe: Shingo Takagi vs Hirooki Goto

From My Analysis:
Takagi got one of his largest Heavyweight victories over Goto in the G1, so Goto needs to try to get his win back. This was every bit the hard hitting power match we expected. They started off countering one another’s moves and then just hitting huge lariats and just being two angry bulls trying to kill each other. Goto pulled out everything, Ushigoroshi, Reverse GTR, Shouten Kai, Modified GTR…it was just an insane match. Shingo pulled off most of his moves as well, but never hit Last of the Dragon, so that move was protected nicely. I personally have a Shingo bias, but this was a great match and might finally help Goto become more than just a gatekeeper.

Winner: Goto via GTR

Rating: **** 1/4


Honorable Mentions:

NJPW Destruction in Kagoshima: Wrestle Kingdom Contract Rights: Kota Ibushi (c) vs KENTA
Winner: Ibushi via Kamigoye
Rating: *** 3/4
Stardom Blue Stars Day 6: Jungle Kyona vs Kagetsu
Winner: Kyona via Kinniku Buster
Rating: *** 1/2
WWE Raw: KOTR Finals: Chad Gable vs Baron Corbin
Winner: Corbin via End of Days
Rating: *** 1/2
NJPW Destruction in Kobe: SANADA, EVIL & BUSHI vs Kota Ibushi, Kazuchika Okada & Robbie Eagles
Winner: SANADA via Skull End
Rating: *** 1/2
Stardom Blue Stars Day 8: Konami vs Andras Miyagi
Winner: Time Limit Draw
Rating: *** 1/2
NJPW Destruction in Kobe: Young Lion Cup: Karl Fredericks vs Shota Umino
Winner: Fredericks via Modified Liontamer
Rating: *** 1/4
NXT: #1 Contender Four Way: Candice Larae vs Io Shirai vs Bianca Belair vs Mia Yim
Winner: Candice via La Quebrada
Rating: *** 1/4
Stardom Blue Stars Day 7: Bea Priestley vs Kagetsu
Winner: Kagetsu via Death Valley Driver
Rating: *** 1/4
NJPW Destruction in Kagoshima: SANADA, Shingo Takagi & BUSHI vs Hirooki Goto, Kazuchika Okada & Rocky Romero
Winner: Okada via Rainmaker
Rating: *** 1/4
SmackDown Live: New Day vs The Revival & Randy Orton
Winner: Kofi via Trouble in Paradise
Rating: *** 1/4
WWE Raw: Bliss Cross vs Boss N Hug
Winner: Sasha via Bank Statement
Rating: ***
NJPW Destruction in Kobe: Will Ospreay, YOH, SHO, YOSHI-HASHI & Tomohiro Ishii vs KENTA, Guerrillas of Destiny, Taiji Ishimori & ELP
Winner: YOH via Inside Cradle
Rating: ***
IMPACT!: Street Fight: oVe (Sami Callihan, Jake Crist, Dave Crist & Madman Fulton) vs RVD, Tommy Dreamer, Rhino & Tessa Blanchard
Winner: Tessa via Cobra Clutch w/Kendo Stick
Rating: ***
NJPW Destruction in Kobe: DOUKI, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, Zack Sabre Jr & Minoru Suzuki vs Hiroshi Tanahashi, Tiger Mask, Rocky Romero & Jyushin Thunder Liger
Winner: Suzuki-Gun via DQ
Rating: ***
WWE Raw: Cesaro vs Rey Mysterio
Winner: Mysterio via Code Red
Rating: ***
IMPACT!: The Rascalz (Dez, Wentz & Trey) vs Arez, Toxin & Australian Suicide
Winner: Rascalz via Hot Fire Flame
Rating: ***
NJPW Destruction in Kagoshima: Minoru Suzuki, Zack Sabre Jr, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & DOUKI vs Jyushin Thunder Liger, Tomoaki Honma, Togi Makabe & Hiroshi Tanahashi
Winner: Liger’s team via DQ
Rating: ***
NJPW Destruction in Kagoshima: Young Lion Cup: Clark Connors vs Yuya Uemura
Winner: Uemura via Boston Crab
Rating: ***

2. NJPW Destruction in Kobe: IWGP Intercontinental Championship: Jay White vs Tetsuya Naito (c)

From My Analysis:
This match lived up to the build. They played mind games, taunted and were just generally douchey to one another, but it was fantastic. Tons of mocking and talking, both men kept telling the other to ‘Smile’, the odd enjoyment and disdain of each other made for a fun dynamic. Naito pulled out a few unique applications of Combinacion Cabron, and did his Tornado DDT by kicking off of Gedo at one point. We saw the culmination of a story where if the situation was a little different, these two could be best friends. Gedo didn’t really get involved much, so that was nice, this was just a great match if you were following the feud a little. Also I did appreciate Jay White gingerly walking down the ramp, and taking a big step over the metal connector, as a reference to when YOSHI-HASHI face planted last year.

Winner: Jay via Blade Runner

Rating: **** 1/2


1. NJPW Destruction in Kagoshima: IWGP Juinor Tag Team Championship: Bullet Club (Taiji Ishimori & ELP) (c) vs Birds of Prey (Will Ospreay & Robbie Eagles)

From My Analysis:
Words do tend to fail a little bit to encapsulate what happened in this match. The main thread was that Ospreay and Eagles both have issues mainly with ELP. ELP instigated things beautifully and of course there were a ton of high flying spots, but damn it did tell a great story.

Eagles left Bullet Club, so BC wanted to prove it was the wrong call. Birds of Prey pulled off a tandem flip out of the powerbomb, they followed it up with a tandem Tope con Hilos and just a lot good work. Eagles still maintained his Sniper gimmick by focusing on Taiji’s leg as set up for the Ron Miller Special. But ELP managed to break up the hold and throw caution to the wind by hitting a Top Rope Moonsault over the first barricade and into the first row of fans just to try and take Ospreay out of the equation. This really was the Phantasmo show, not to say Taiji didn’t hold his own and isn’t still one of the best Juniors in wrestling today…but the story was all ELP. Phantasmo did just enough to wipe out Ospreay and a combination of finishers from Taiji and ELP kept the belts in Bullet Club’s possession. A damn crazy match.

Winner: ELP via Bloody Cross/CR2 combo

Rating: **** 1/2



Unsurprisingly, I really enjoyed the New Japan Destruction tour, for the first time in a couple years. It’s usually generally considered the reset point from the G1 Climax to get us to Wrestle Kingdom, and there’s usually a disappointing show, but not this year!

Liger’s reveal of Kishin Liger has eclipsed everything else about the tour, but when it comes down to the best match…I was just tickled at every interaction between Naito and Jay. The match had a lot of personality and was just a blast to watch how the whole thing built up. But yeah, Tetsuya Naito vs Jay White, gets my vote for the week.

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Random NXT Stuff: Joe Biden Gacy & Cle’Shay

It’s not an official T-Minus, but Brad jots down some NXT brand thoughts!



It’s not an official T-Minus, but Brad jots down some NXT brand thoughts!

File:Joe Gacy.jpg - Wikipedia

6. Joe Gacy was the most complete and interesting character in the 2021 Breakout Stars tournament. That’s why his new character sucks so bad. It’s not because he’s a boring stereotype. It’s because all I think about is what should have been. I was willing to believe Gacy was an angry loner whose favorite hobby was hurting strangers. There is not a single cell in my brain that believes he is any part of his new character. This is 100% bitter vince taking shots at liberals. Stick to demanding a recount, you old goat. 

Myth Buster: No Two Snowflakes Are Alike? Very Likely, But It's Hard To Prove - Forest Preserve District of Will County

5. Wrestling fans once had a reputation for being racist, sexist, bloodthirsty gorillas. If we’re being honest, there was a lot of truth to that. Thankfully, we have evolved. We support womens’ wrestling. We support Darren Young and Nyla Rose. We reject the sexism and racism that once stained our beloved sport. If the E wants to take shots at half their audience, that’s their choice. Wrestling fans have evolved. Vince has not. 

Lash Legend debuts “Lashing Out” on NXT: WWE NXT 2.0, Sept. 28, 2021 - YouTube

4. Dear Joe Biden Gacy, you aren’t the worst new character. That honor goes to Lash Legend. She is what some old white guy thinks every black woman is. Her character is the opposite of fresh and edgy. From now on, she is Cle’Shay Hoover, because she sucks so hard. Go drink your tea and MYOB, homeslice.   

7 Ups And 3 Downs From WWE NXT 2.0 (Oct 12) – Page 11

3. Despite being given barely 8 minutes and a bloated ending, there’s a reason Swerve Scott versus Santos Escobar is the best match of the 2.0 era. They have interesting personalities they’ve been allowed to develop, and they’re both great in ring. WWE doesn’t have to convince me they are awesome. Every chance they get, Swerve and Escobar show me they are top shelf talents. NXT can keep insisting that Bbrronn Brreakkerr is a steak, but I know he’s elementary school cafeteria food.

Duke Hudson Defeats Ikemen Jiro In Opening Round Of NXT Breakout Tournament, Kyle O'Reilly Will 'Finish' Adam Cole - Wrestlezone

2. Duke Hudson already has a great presence, great physique and solid in-ring skills. CURSE WORD ALERT. Who the fuck thinks he needs a poker room? What the fuck purpose does this serve? It’s like putting a kitchen sink in the back seat of your car. Who the fuck is running this shit show? Duke Hudson doesn’t need fluff. He needs the opportunity to develop.   

bobby on Twitter: "why does every startup talk to their customers like poochie the rockin' dog… "

1. I care so little about Poochy the dancing, daredevil, ladies man boxer, I’m not even going to look up his name. Chandler, could this goober be more things? I have no idea where he came from, where he’s going and why I should care. He isn’t even a proper character. He’s an improv exercise. Pull some shit out of a hat and see if it works. You are a dancing wrestling boxer. You are a medieval librarian who hand cuts jigsaw puzzles. You are a singing veterinarian is an actual war vet. No go entertain the masses!!! 

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Bandwagon Nerds

BWN Nerds’ Movie Review: Free Guy (2021)

The Nerds tackle the new Ryan Reynolds movie Free Guy! It did surprisingly well at box offices and has been quite a topic for the last few months. Does it live up to the hype?



This week the Nerds decide to tackle another new movie! Free Guy opened with one of the stronger pandemic numbers and maintained number 1 status for two straight weeks. Smaller scale, not a large budget, but it plays in that space that seems to be fairly popular unless it’s Pixels with Adam Sandler.

Does it live up to the hype?


  • Metacritic: 62
  • IMDB: 7.3/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes: Critic – 80% / Audience – 94%

Nerd’s Take on: Free Guy (2021)


If you are one of BWN’s loyal listeners (you 22 know who you are), then you know that we just wrapped up our review of Marvel’s What If…? The topic of the Nerd Review this week is kind of like asking, “What If Ready Player One was merged with Wreck It Ralph, The Truman Show, and The Matrix? I am not entirely sure…. but I think it would look and feel a lot like Free Guy. And that, my friends, is a very good thing indeed.

Free Guy focuses on Guy. Guy is what is known in gaming circles as an NPC, which stands for Non-Player Character. Anyone who has played just about any video game since the dawn of time knows what a NPC is, even if they did not know the technical term for it. Well, Guy is an NPC in a MMORPG known as Free City. Every day, Guy wakes up, says hello to his goldfish, grabs a coffee, and heads to the bank where he and his best friend, Buddy, a Security Guard, work. Everyday the bank is robbed, multiple times. It is all good though as it gives Guy & Buddy a chance to talk as they lie on the ground waiting for the heist to be over. Guy, Buddy, and all the other NPCs in Free City have no idea they are not real…. that is until Guy sees the girl of his dreams walking around on the streets of Free City. This leads to Guy getting a hold of sunglasses, which are what the human controlled characters wear. If you ever saw They Live, when Guy puts on the glasses, he sees things the other NPC’s cant, such as med-packs, high scores, and objects that are only visible to human controlled characters as in-game items. Guy has no clue what is going on but he follows his dream girl, known as Molotov Girl, and he is desperate to impress her. She tells him he needs to level up first. This leads to Guy breaking out of the routine of his programming and rapidly evolving into the first true case of AI in existence. Everyone who works at Soonami, the developer of Free City, thinks that Guy is a human controlled character using an NPC skin. Whatever the case, Guy comes to be known as Blue Shirt Guy and he develops a huge following.

Then we have what is going on in the real world. We get to meet Keys & Mouse, who are coders at Soonami and who have been working on the code for Free City 2. But prior to coming to Soonami, Keys developed the code for a somewhat similar game with Millie. Millie is the human controlling Molotov Girl and she is trying to come up with evidence that Soonami’s head honcho, Antwan, stole the source code from the game that Keys & Millie developed and inserted it into Free City to help make the game infinitely better. At first, Antwan loves all the attention Blue Shirt Guy is drawing to the game. But Guy’s antics soon become more problematic. Guy rescues Molotov Girl as she faces insurmountable odds in trying to retrieve a key piece of video evidence from the game. It is during this rescue that Keys comes the realize that Guy is not a human controlled character, but an NPC that has evolved and become sentient. Guy falls in love with Molotov Girl and she reciprocates, at least on some level. Antwan learns that Guy is an actual AI based being but all he can see is the threat to his empire that Guy might pose. He does everything he can to stop him, including rebooting the system and destroying servers. But Molotov Girl is able to restore Guy’s memory and Guy knows exactly where they need to go to obtain the proof that Antwan is a thief. This leads to the climactic scenes of the movie which, like a hidden level of a great video game, slowly reveals a heart-warming love story hiding in plain sight the whole time.

Let me get this out of the way:  I loved this movie. From a nerd’s standpoint, it is loaded with all sorts of nerdy stuff to make you smile. Anyone who has ever played a video game, especially a MMORPG, is going to be able to relate to so many aspects of this movie. There are multiplayer lounges, repetitive missions, just over the top violence for the sake of violence and, yes, there is tea-bagging and flossing going on (and, no, if you don’t know what that means, I am not going to explain it here). It is very clever what director Shawn Levy did here. We have all done things to the NPCs in our favorite video games that we would probably rather not mention publicly. It just goes with the territory. Free Guy, much like Wreck It Ralph did, brings you into the actual lives of the NPCs and gives them personality and purpose, even if it is all a loop and programming. Once Guy learns of the reality of his situation, and of Antwan’s ultimate plan to wipe out any possible existence of the source code from Millie and Key’s original game, he becomes a hero as he defies the odds to help his friends out. There is plenty of action and adventure here for fans of those genres, along with a lot of really funny moments.

Probably the highlight of the movie is when Dude shows up. Dude is a heavily muscled version of Guy whose code has not been completed. Guy’s battle against him is complete with a Captain America shield, a Star Wars lightsaber, and a Portal gun from the Portal video game. The way this is all integrated into the fight is more than a nod to these great movies and games; they actually shift the tide of the fight. There are lots of little things like that in the movie, just subtle nods to Nerdom and pop culture. It is nowhere near the level of nerd-nostalgia that we saw in Ready Player One, but it is tremendously fun all the same. If there is one problem, it is that the movie is not likely going to appeal to non-gamers. Yes, there is a great love-story that finally reveals itself at the end that anyone can enjoy. But the movie is steeped heavily in video game jargon, images, lexicon, and terminology that non-gamers will likely find pretty absurd. Therefore, if you are a non-gamer, this might not be your movie.

The cast is excellent, but that should come as no surprise as Ryan Reynolds, who plays Guy and Dude (except for Dude’s body) is in another zone entirely right now. His performance here is honestly one of his best. It is like he was channeling an insanely good-natured version of Deadpool. Shockingly, there was no mention of Deadpool at all in this movie and that was a good thing. Jodie Comer absolutely kills it as Molotov Girl/ Millie and is the perfect foil for Guy as their relationship evolves. Joe Keery and his immaculate hair is excellent as Keys and there is a lot of his portrayal of Steve Harrington from Stranger Things present here, which really works to his advantage. The possible MVP of them all though is Taika Waititi whose portrayal of Antwan is the perfect blend of evil villain and just total douchebag. There are cameos from Chris Evans and the late Alex Trebek and voice cameos from Hugh Jackman (of course), Tina Fey, Duane Johnson, and John Krasinski. With a cast like that, how could the movie fail?

The short answer is it didn’t. Free Guy is quite possibly the most surprisingly good movie I have seen in 2021. I knew it would be good; I did not know it would be special. It is funny, it is clever, it has just the right amount of nerd-based goodness mixed in with a surprisingly heart-warming conclusion, and it is just very entertaining from start to finish. It is as much a movie about friendship and what it means to be alive as it is about the inner workings of video games. I paid $20 to watch the movie and it was worth every penny. This is one I cannot recommend enough.

Rating: 4.5/5


Movies like Free Guy make me massively jealous.  I consider myself a creative person, one who has a ton of interesting ideas.  I could NEVER have come up with the premise for such a cleverly written and acted movie.  And that was the appeal of this movie, and then I had the pleasure of watching it.  My goodness, what a movie it was.

Normally, I like to give a bit more suspense in these articles before I give my opinion on a film.  Not this time.  This movie is a 5 out of 5 in every way.  This movie deserves to be in the time capsule.  This movie will be remembered as one of the finest achievements of cinema in this generation.  Kind of crazy for a Ryan Reynolds flick, right?

What makes this movie so genius is simply the way it flips something we know so well – video games – and flips it in a way that only someone highly inebriated and under the influence could come up with – what happens in a video game outside of the first-person viewpoint.  Ryan Reynolds brilliantly plays Guy, a Non-Player Character, who turns out to be a sentient AI created by Millie and Keys (Jodie Corner and Joe Keery), who created a game stolen by Soonami Games and their CEO, Antwan (Taika Waititi).  Both Keys and Millie decided to sell the game to Antwan and Soonami, while Millie feels that Antwan stole their code for the game.  This code turns out to be Reynold’s Guy, a banker in Free City.

Guy’s life is simple.  He wakes up, drinks coffee, looks out of his window, plays with his fish, hangs out with his best friend Buddy (a bank security guard played by Lil Rel Howery), and gets robbed repeatedly.  He carries on with his created purpose until he sees Millie’s Free City avatar Molotov Girl, in which he falls instantly in love.  The rest of the movie is Guy learning more and more about himself, eventually finding out that he’s in a game and that Antwan is trying to destroy it because Millie and Keys figured out that he stole their code.  The journey is hilarious, heartfelt, and ingenious.

There’s no need to go super in depth.  There’s no need to write a long love letter to this movie.  You just need to watch it.  It is legitimately one of my favorite movies I’ve ever watched, and I’m inspired by the ingenuity that led to the idea that became Free Guy.  So I appreciate you guys reading this article, but stop.  Go buy or rent Free Guy.  Then come back and tell me how right I was.

Rating: 5/5


Overall Nerds Rating for Free Guy (2021): 4.75/5

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