A fair mixture of WWE and Japanese matches comprise the Top 5 matches. Which one is your favorite?
We had a fairly decisive vote this week. In what was a considerable landslide…well let’s look at the August Pool and you’ll know what won.
- Takeover Cardiff: WWE UK Championship: WALTER (c) vs Tyler Bate
- Impact Cali Combat: X Division Championship: Jake Crist (c) vs Rich Swann
- NJPW G1 Climax 29 Finals: Jay White vs Kota Ibushi
- NXT Takeover Toronto: Io Shirai vs Candice LeRae
- NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night 13: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Kota Ibushi
So I think this week’s vote for August will be very similar to last week’s. With that, I will just join the party and pick, WALTER vs Tyler Bate, since it will probably win anyway.
Now last week was a lot of quality action, and this week was more of a normalized week. I of course, found some gems in Japanese promotions, but this week is not without it’s WWE inclusions.
5. WWE SmackDown Live: Chad Gable vs Andrade
Snippet from Mitchell’s Coverage:
Almas drags Gable up and hammerlocks, but Gable slips out to a waistlock. Almas standing switches but Gable victory rolls. TWO and Almas knees low. Almas suplexes for uno amigo, then dos amigos. Fans chant “Eddie! Eddie!” as Almas shimmies the shoulders, but Gable waistlocks for a German Suplex! Then another! Gable shouts out the Gold Medalist but Almas elbows free. Almas gets the third suplex! He puts Gable in a drop zone and heads for the corner but his back slows him down. Almas moonsaults, lands on his feet, but gets knees on the second! Fans are fired up as Gable goes up top! Vega freaks out as Gable MOONSAULTS! Cover, TWO!! Almas survives Gable’s other shout out to Kurt Angle! But Gable keeps his focus as he watches Almas stand. Waistlock but another elbow sends him away. Almas hip tosses Gable into buckles!
Almas has the knees ready, runs corner to corner but gets buckles! CHAOS THEORY!! But Vega is distracting the ref during the bridge!! Gable lets go in frustration, and Almas is ready, boot to ELBOW! Hammerlock, but Gable powers out! Rolling clutch! GABLE WINS!!
Winner: Gable via Cradle
Rating: *** 3/4
4. NXT: Adam Cole vs Jordan Myles
Snippet from Mitchell’s NXT Coverage:
Myles reaches for ropes but can’t quite get there. So Myles works to roll things around, and they go around to other ropes, Myles gets the ropebreak! Cole lets go but the damage has been done. Cole drags Myles up and to a corner. Cole puts Myles up top and throws forearms before climbing. Myles resists so Cole throws body shots. Myles still resists and throws more body shots. Myles sends Cole down with a forearm, then LEAPS, into a BOOT! Cole brings Myles, Last Shot 1.0! Cover, TWO!? Myles survives and Cole is furious! Cole gets to his feet as fans rally up again. Myles crawls and Cole takes aim. Cole runs in but Myles sends him out, triangle dropkick sends Cole down! Myles hurries out but Cole puts him in. But Myles just goes back to the apron for the Penalty Kick!
Myles gets Cole in quick but Cole bails out the other side. Myles just DIVES, Naruto ninja style! Myles puts Cole in, leaps, FROG SPLASH!! Cover, TWO!! Cole survives and Myles can’t believe how close he was! Fans are fired up as Myles puts Cole back in the drop zone. “This is Awesome!” as Myles climbs again. Myles smiles and 450’s but rolls through. He blocks the kick to sweep the leg, SUPERKICK for Cole! Myles hops up again, 450 splash gets knees! The Midnight Star was denied! Cole crawls and fans rally up again. The knee pad comes down, but Myles dodges the last Shot 2.0! Roll-up, TWO and Myles ends up on the apron. Myles spring-steps in, SUPERKICK! SUPERKICK to the back! LAST SHOT 2.0!! Cover, Cole wins!!
Winner: Cole via Last Shot
Rating: *** 3/4
3. Pro Wrestling NOAH N-1 Victory Day 9: A Block: Naomichi Marufuji vs Takashi Sugiura
From My Analysis:
Arguably the two biggest names in NOAH are squaring off in the newly named N-1 Victory tournament. Sugiura is still very much alive in the tournament, especially with his last match being against Go Shiozaki. Marufuji however, can’t buy a win with a Groupon discount. So let’s see if this long lasting rivalry breaks Marufuji’s losing streak, or continues to keep Sugiura towards the top.
It doesn’t take long for this match to go to the outside. Suigura hits an Apron Hung Neckbreaker and at a different point Marufuji hits the signature Apron Piledriver. But the story here really was the familiarity of the two participants. Sugiura dodged Marufuji’s Springboard Curb Stomp and was never able to pull off the Shiranui. While hitting a multitude of KO-OH style knees, Suigura catches him and turns it into an Olympic Slam.
Marufuji showed his understanding by working out of Sugiura’s first attempt at the Front Neck Lock. During Sugiura’s 4th title reign, Marufuji fell very matter-of-factly to that submission move, so trying to avoid it makes plenty of sense. Marufuji attempts the Perfect Key Lock but Sugiura gets out of it right before Marufuji finishes his roll into the Key Lock.
This really was a great back and forth, but a generally disappointing tournament for Marufuji made it hard to believe in his hope spots. So things didn’t quite get as hot and feel as high priority, just because of the dynamic of where both men are in the tournament. Damn good match, and Sugiura continues to catch Marufuji with the Front Neck Lock and NOAH’s Genius taps out.
Winner: Sugiura via Front Neck Lock
Pro Wrestling NOAH N-1 Victory Day 9: RATELS (Daisuke Harada, Tadasuke, YO-HEY & HAYATA) vs Hi69, Minoru Tanaka, Junta Miyawaki & Seiya Morahashi
Winner: Tadasuke via OutKast
Rating: *** 1/2
ROH Global Wars Espectactular: ROH World Title: Matt Taven (c) vs Voldar Jr
Winner: Taven via Draping Climax
Rating: *** 1/2
Impact!: Career vs Titles: Impact Tag Team Championships: LAX vs The North (c)
Winner: The North via Torture Rack/Spinebuster Combo
Rating: *** 1/2
Pro Wrestling NOAH N-1 Victory Day 9: Shuhei Tanaguchi, Kaito Kiyomiya & Alexander Hammerstone vs KONGOH (Masa Kitamiya, Kenoh & Yoshiki Inamura)
Winner: Hammerstone via Pendulum Nightmare
Rating: *** 1/2
AJPW Summer Explosion Day 13: EWA Intercontinental Championship: Tajiri (c) vs Akira Francisco
Winner: Tajiri via Locomotion Cradle Attempts
Rating: *** 1/4
IMPACT!: TJP vs Golden Magic
Winner: TJP via Inverted Figure Four
Rating: *** 1/4
Pro Wrestling NOAH N-1 Victory Day 9: 50 Funky Powers (Quiet Storm & Mohammed Yone) & Rocky Kawamura vs AXIZ (Go Shiozaki & Katsuhiko Nakajima) & Hitoshi Kumano
Winner: Nakajima via Vertical Spike
Rating: *** 1/4
WWE Raw: Ricochet vs Samoa Joe
Winner: Double Pinfall
Pro Wrestling NOAH N-1 Victory Day 9: NOSAWA Rongai, Hajime Ohara & Kinya Okada vs STINGER ( Kotaro Suzuki, Yoshinari Ogawa & Atsushi Kotoge)
Winner: Kotoge via Splash
WWE Raw: Baron Corbin vs Cedric Alexander
Winner: Corbin via End of Days
2. AJPW Summer Explosion Day 13: World Tag Team Championships: Violence Giant (Shuji Ishikawa & Suwama) (c) vs Zeus & Ryoji Sai
Now I haven’t been paying as close of attention to All Japan as I used to, but this should be interesting. Zeus is an accomplished singles and tag wrestler and Ryoji Sai brings his own accolades. Violence Giant has been the preeminent Japanese tag team winning Tokyo Sports Tag Team of the Year, two years in a row, and having quite a good 2019 so far. Only losing the titles to Strong BJ for a few weeks and retrieving them prior to the Champion Carnival.
This match was fun. Since the show took place in Korakuen Hall, things spill to the outside and we get the East and West sign spot. After that, Zeus was on the receiving end of a ton of punishment. He was singled out for what felt like 5 or 6 minutes before Sai made the hot tag. Amusingly to me, Sai’s offense didn’t really seem to effect Violence Giant much, and he tagged back out to Zeus, who recovered enough to make a comeback.
Ishikawa threw nearly everything at Zeus, Tsunami, Fire/Thunder Driver and just huge power moves in succession. Sai seemingly did enough to keep Suwama at bay and break up a pin on occasion. We see Zeus get out of the Giant Slam, and hit a few Biceps Explosions before leading to an emphatic Jackhammer.
The crowd seemed receptive, and this really looked like a great match for Zeus to build back to the main event, since he carried his team through the bulk of the match.
Winner: Zeus via Jackhammer
Rating: **** 1/4
1. AJPW Summer Explosion Day 13: Triple Crown Championship: Kento Miyahara (c) vs Naoya Nomura
This is the first duplicate opponent for Kento this calendar year. When they faced one another in March, it was more of Naoya proving himself since he broke away from NEXTREAM. Now it seems like he’s grown and established himself as more of a threat, but Kento is the ever present measuring stick. 2019 may be seen as the rise of the former NEXTREAM members, but none of them have been able to surpass the Ace and former leader of NEXTREAM. Does that change?
Kento’s arrogance was on full display early. He definitely still sees Naoya as a younger brother to not be taken seriously. Posing and just general bad sportsmanship ran rampant early on. Naoya however, showed a ton more heart and determination in this match. Kento looked for opportunities to hit the Blackout knee strike, and Naoya even baited him with it.
In typical older brother fashion, Kento gets frustrated and even chokes Naoya in a Head Triangle, where Kyohei Wada had to admonish him about three times before physically pulling him off as to not end a championship match in DQ. Naoya had great moments when he sunk in the Nomura Lock, and hit Maximum at least twice, but Kento kicked out.
The finish was great since Naoya already escaped from the Shutdown German Suplex three other times. We got what was more of a modern New Japan finish, with Naoya breaking the Shutdown, Kento slipping out of Maximum and that went on quite a few times before Kento gets snapped off the Shutdown German Suplex and retained by the skin of his teeth.
Winner: Kento via Shutdown Suplex
Rating: **** 3/4
My main thought is I need to get back to watching All Japan more frequently, but there are only so many hours in the day. All that said, the Kento match was on another level. It was definitely one of the better matches I’ve seen all year, and the emotion was easy enough to follow without needing a ton of context. So I’m going with, AJPW: Kento Miyahara vs Naoya Nomura.
Should be interesting to see how the votes shake out for the week and the month of August!