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Andrew’s Top 5 Matches: Week Ending 10/20/2019

King of Pro Wrestling kicked off the week, and Bound for Glory rounds it out. Did any of the other shows make a dent in the Top 5?

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King of Pro Wrestling kicked off the week, and Bound for Glory rounds it out. Did any of the other shows make a dent in the Top 5?

Last week’s vote winner was, unsurprisingly, NXT: UK Championship: WALTER (c) vs Kushida. 

With that out of the way, let’s see what matches made this week’s Top 5.

 

5. NJPW King of Pro Wrestling: Wrestle Kingdom Rights Holder Contract: Kota Ibushi (c) vs EVIL

What can really be said? This was a great match where EVIL wrestled his style of match, and even though Kota looked a bit more fluid between his moves, EVIL kept up with him nicely. However, even though the matches preceding this did a good job at building EVIL up, he’s still not a big enough name to headline Wrestle Kingdom. So the suspension of disbelief wasn’t really there, even for the live crowd.

Great transitions and ring work in general. Kota hit the Springboard Frakensteiner and it took 2 Kamigoye’s but EVIL eventually went down. The Golden Star is finally getting his time to shine at Wrestle Kingdom.

Winner: Ibushi via Kamigoye

Rating: ****

 

4. Impact Bound for Glory: Impact World Championship NoDQ Match: Brian Cage (c) vs Sami Callihan

This was exactly what old blood feuds used to be. No introductions, just both men going after one another. Callihan tried to go right after Cage, and that was the wrong idea. Cage had him early, even showed everyone that his Wolverine claws were sharp when he drug them across Sami’s forehead and drew blood. Chairs, stairs, nearby tables and even the guardrail were utilized as weapons throughout the match. After hitting the Piledriver through the guardrail, Sami did look like he had the match in the bag. That is, until he emptied the bag and showed a few dozen thumbtacks.

Piledriver onto the thumbtacks woke up the machine and he kicked out at 1, and fired right up. Sami had this look on his face that he realized he screwed up and a Powerbomb and Drill Claw onto the tacks, proved that feeling correct. Cage stands tall after both him and his wife were attacked at different points in the story. Plus, Cage looks to be back at 100%.

Winner: Cage via Drill Claw

Rating: ****

 

3. NJPW King of Pro Wrestling: Jyushin Thunder Liger vs Minoru Suzuki

Liger comes out in his “Battle Liger” outfit, which we only see during serious rivalries. The first few minutes of the match referenced their Pancrase match quite heavily. Liger showing his mat/submission technique was better than it was 17 years ago and even surprised Suzuki with a Triangle Choke at one point. We got a bit of brawling outside with weapons, which was right up Suzuki’s alley, but this whole match was like a clip show of their history. Suzuki kept imploring Liger to hit him harder, get up stronger, keep trying, and it was just a match with a lot of heart and story. Suzuki clearing out the Young Lions with a chair just to take a moment to bow to Liger and show a small moment of respect helped to get over what this match meant. To the random observer, they may find this to be a slow match with old veterans, but for fans with any clue of what went on between them…it was very fitting and sentimental.

Winner: Suzuki via Gotch Style Piledriver

Rating: ****

 

Honorable Mentions:

AEW Dynamite: AEW World Championship: Chris Jericho (c) vs Darby Allin
Winner: Jericho via Walls of Jericho
Rating: *** 3/4
Impact Bound for Glory: 5 Way X Division Ladder Match: Daga vs Tessa Blanchard vs Acey Romero vs Ace Austin vs Jake Crist (c)
Winner: Ace Austin
Rating: *** 3/4
NJPW King of Pro Wrestling: IWGP Heavyweight Championship: SANADA vs Kazuchika Okada (c)
Winner: Okada via Rainmaker
Rating; *** 3/4
NXT: Damian Priest vs Pete Dunne
Winner: Priest via South of Heaven Chokeslam
Rating: *** 1/2
AEW Dark: Lights Out Match: Joey Janela vs Kenny Omega
Winner: Omega via One Winged Angel
Rating: *** 1/2
NXT: Keith Lee vs Dominik Dijakovic
Winner: No Contest
Rating: *** 1/2
AAA Heroes Immortales XIII: Mega Championship: Rey Fenix (c) vs Kenny Omega
Winner: Omega via One Winged Angel
Rating: *** 1/2
NJPW King of Pro Wrestling: Jay White, KENTA & Yujiro Takahashi w/Pieter vs YOSHI-HASHI, Tomohiro Ishii & Hirooki Goto
Winner: Goto via GTR
Rating: *** 1/4
WWE RAW: Raw Tag Team Championship Match: Robert Roode & Dolph Ziggler vs Viking Raiders
Winner: Raiders via The Viking Experience
Rating: *** 1/4
NJPW King of Pro Wrestling: VACANT IWGP United States Championship NoDQ Match: Lance Archer vs Juice Robinson
Winner: Archer via EBD Claw Hold
Rating: *** 1/4
AEW Dynamite: SCU vs Best Friends
Winner: SCU via Powerbomb/Backstabber Combo
Rating: *** 1/4
Impact Bound for Glory: Triple Threat Tag Team Championships: RVD & Rhino vs The North (Ethan Page & Josh Alexander) (c) vs Willie Mack & Rich Swann
Winner: The North via Argentine/Spinebuster Combo
Rating: *** 1/4
NXT: Marcel Barthel & Fabian Aichner vs Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch
Winner: Imperium via European Bomb
Rating: *** 1/4
Impact Bound for Glory: Knockouts Championship: Tenille Dashwood vs Taya Valkyrie (c)
Winner: Taya via Road to Valhalla
Rating: ***
WWE Friday Night SmackDown: Roman Reigns & Daniel Bryan vs Shinsuke Nakamura & King Corbin
Winner: Bryan via Knee Plus
Rating: ***
IMPACT!: Jake Crist vs Chris Bey
Winner: Crist via Super Cutter
Rating: ***
Impact Bound for Glory: Call Your Shot 20 Man Gauntlet
Winner: Eddie Edwards
Rating: ***
AAA Heroes Immortales XIII: 4 Way Tag Team Steel Cage Match: Averno & Dr. Wagner Jr vs Rey Escorpion & Psycho Clown vs Texano Jr & Pentagon Jr vs Chessman & Pagano
Winner: Texano & Pentagon
Rating: ***
AEW Dynamite: Kenny Omega & Hangman Page vs Jon Moxley & PAC
Winner: Page via Deadeye
Rating: ***

 

2. NJPW King of Pro Wrestling: IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion: Will Ospreay (c) vs El Phantasmo

So this was a great match. Of course being a Junior match with Ospreay it was heavy on spots. But many spots were callbacks or really helped to elevate the story of how much these two disliked one another. Phantasmo hit a few Bullet Club leader classics like Styles Clash, V-Trigger and nearly pulled off the One Winged Angel. Ospreay on the other hand went for a lot of high impact moves like a Shooting Star Press, Sasuke Special and Avalanche Liger Bomb. Eventually Taiji Ishimori interferes and looks like he’ll cost Ospreay the match, but Robbie Eagles makes the save and we get a clean finish to the great match. Also yes, I appreciated the nod to Arisa Hoshiki.

If you followed the Stardom 5 Star Grand Prix coverage, you’d know that Hoshiki bet Ospreay on Twitter that if she beat his girlfriend (Bea Priestley), she could have one of his moves. Apparently it worked both ways, cause she debuted her version of the Oscutter the same day Will uses the Brazilian Kick to set up for the finish. Fun wrinkle for those of us who follow way too much. Aside from an overly coordinated Apron Cutter, this was great without many spots to complain. Just fun and fantastic to watch.

Winner: Ospreay via Stormbreaker

Rating: **** 1/4

 

1. Impact Bound for Glroy: Michael Elgin vs Naomichi Marufuji

This was definitely a possible show stealer. Elgin put this match together very similarly to his matches against Okada, even coming out in a jacket that looked very very much like Okada’s Rainmaker jacket. Marufuji pulled out all the classics, KO-OH, Springboard Curb Stomp, Shiranui, his corner combination, he could just never get the finishing blow. He referenced the Tiger Driver a few times, but Elgin fought it off. Elgin was pushed pretty hard, and Marufuji also managed to kick out of the Buckle Bomb/Elgin Bomb combo, which I’ve only seen Daisuke Sekimoto do a few weeks ago in Big Japan.

Was it perhaps a little longer than it had to be, sure. But it was an King’s Road style match where you saw the story unfold in the match, and Marufuji gave it a damn good try. Great match.

Winner: Elgin via Burning Hammer

Rating: **** 1/4

 

Thoughts:

Well as much as some people may want to believe a few of the honorable mentions should be Top 5…like things involving Kenny Omega, that’s just not a thing. His AEW Dark was hamstrung by the announcement of “Since it’s Lights Out, none of this matters to wins or losses”. So in a company where wins and losses matter, you put out a 20 minute exhibition match, that does nothing. And the AAA match had a very clunky flow, especially after Fenix got busted open. It was really just meaningless spots strung together, and even the crowd seemed to not really care.

So yeah, New Japan and Impact dominate the Top 5, so my vote will go to, Michael Elgin vs Naomichi Marufuji.


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