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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?

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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

 

Thoughts:

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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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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