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Andrew’s Top 5 Matches: Week Ending 1/19/2020

With a big WWE weekend on the horizon, what made the Top 5 this week?

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With a big WWE weekend on the horizon, what made the Top 5 this week?

With next weekend being Hard Times, Worlds Collide and Royal Rumble, this week managed to sneak in a few different promotions! Now being the fact that one match this week has more visibility, it might be an easy to guess kind of week. A nice surprise though is that MLW had a match make the Top 5 for the first time in a while.

Last week’s runaway vote getter was, NXT UK TakeOver Blackpool II: Tyler Bate vs Jordan Devlinand I have no complaints. Two great matches lead off 2020, now let’s get to this week’s Top 5!

Quick Top 5:

  1. NOAH New Sunrise: GHC Heavyweight Championship: Go Shiozaki vs Kaito Kiyomiya (c)
    Rating: *****
  2. Stardom 9th Anniversary: World of Stardom Championship: Momo Watanabe vs Mayu Iwatani (c)
    Rating: **** 1/4
  3. NXT: Pete Dunne & Matt Riddle vs South Wales Subculture (Mark Andrews & Flash Morgan Webster)
    Rating: ****
  4. NOAH New Sunrise: GHC Junior Heavyweight Championship: Yoshinari Ogawa vs HAYATA (c)
    Rating: ****
  5. MLW: Opera Cup Finals: Brian Pillman Jr vs Davey Boy Smith Jr
    Rating: ****

 

Honorable Mentions:

AEW Dynamite: PAC vs Darby Allin
Rating: *** 3/4
NOAH New Sunrise: GHC National Championship: Masa Kitamiya vs Takashi Sugiura (c)
Rating: *** 3/4
NOAH New Sunrise: Michael Elgin vs Katsuhiko Nakajima
Rating: *** 1/2
AEW Dynamite: #1 Contender Tag 4 Way: The Young Bucks vs Best Friends vs Santana & Ortiz vs Hangman Page & Kenny Omega
Rating: *** 1/2
NXT: Isiah Scott vs Tyler Breeze vs Lio Rush
Rating: *** 1/2
WWE Raw: Buddy Murphy vs Aleister Black
Rating: *** 1/2
NOAH New Sunrise: Daisuke Harada & Shuhei Taniguchi vs El Hijo de Dr. Wagner Jr & Hajime Ohara
Rating: *** 1/2
AEW Dynamite: Jon Moxley vs Sammy Guevara
Rating: *** 1/4
WWE Raw: AJ Styles vs Drew McIntyre vs Randy Orton
Rating: *** 1/4
MLW Fusion: MLW Middleweight Championship: El Lindaman vs Myron Reed (c)
Rating: ***
NWA Powerrr: Eli Drake, Tim Storm & Robert Gibson vs Wild Cards & Scott Steiner
Rating: ***
NOAH New Sunrise: GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship: STINGER (Atsushi Kotoge & Kotaro Suzuki) (c) vs KONGOH (Hao & Nio)
Rating: ***
WWE SmackDown: Tables Match: Robert Roode vs Roman Reigns
Rating: ***
NXT: Time Splitters (Alex Shelley & Kushida) vs Grizzled Young Veterans (James Drake & Zack Gibson)
Rating: ***
IMPACT!: TJP & Daga vs Dez & Wentz vs Reno Scum vs Rohit Raju & Mahabali Shera
Rating: ***
WWE SmackDwon: John Morrison vs Big E
Rating: ***
NOAH New Sunrise: Naomichi Marufuji & Minoru Tanaka vs Chris Ridgeway & Doug Williams
Rating: ***

 

5. MLW: Opera Cup Finals: Brian Pillman Jr vs Davey Boy Smith Jr

This tournament played out well, and was definitely another moment for building Pillman Jr as a future star. Davey resurrecting the Opera Cup, gave an easy storyline of him winning it for family pride and tradition. Pillman however overcame opponents considered better than he is, on top of a shoulder injury after Injustice tried to take him out before his last round match. Both respect each other being faction members (assuming the New Hart Foundation is still a thing with Teddy leaving), so there’s no real heat.

The crowd was quiet like a match in Japan (which commentary pointed out) and that allowed the viewer to take in the match and not the surround sound. Pillman wrestled most of the match from underneath with Davey throwing some offense at the injured shoulder. It was mostly just a great clean match, both men had spots where they utilized their father’s signature moves. Pillman did have a few nice hope spots, a good locomotion cradle spot, and just a generally enjoyable match.

Funnily enough, this tournament brought my attention back to MLW. It fell off my radar a bit, but a great tournament, capped of with a damn good match and some tangible emotional weight, helped to reignite my interest in the promotion.

Winner: Davey Boy via Crossface

 

4. NOAH New Sunrise: GHC Junior Heavyweight Championship: Yoshinari Ogawa vs HAYATA (c)

From My Analysis:
This was a clash of styles, but done very well. Ogawa is in his 50s, but a very proficient technical wrestler, where HAYATA is the young flashy typical junior style. This also continues the STINGER and RATEL’S rivalry, so there’s a lot of build here.

Ogawa does a good job at focusing HAYATA’s left leg. Ogawa proceeded to slap on a few Figure Fours and Indian Death Locks. HAYATA showed his resolve and championship pedigree by fighting through the pain and putting together most of his effective offense. The finish was great when HAYATA went for Headache (Snap Frankensteiner on a kneeling opponent), but Ogawa blocks it, crosses up the legs and pins HAYATA for the upset victory.

Winner: Ogawa via Figure Four Cradle

 

3. NXT: Pete Dunne & Matt Riddle vs South Wales Subculture (Mark Andrews & Flash Morgan Webster)

From Mitchell’s Coverage:
Andrews tags to FMW, then moonsaults onto Dunne for a TORNADO DDT! FMW is up top, 450 but he has to bail out! BRO SPEAR! Andrews is back, BRO SPEAR! Riddle has FMW, for the- NO! INSIDE CRADLE! TWO!! Riddle spins FMW for a Pele! Tag to Dunne, Riddle fireman’s carries FMW, Bro To Enziguri! Cover, TWO!?! FMW survived a ladder match, so he can surely survive a tag team com-bro-nation! Fans love “All These Guys!” because “This is Awesome!” Dunne and Riddle have FMW, X-Plex Bomb countered to a rana! Andrews springboards in to block Dunne! FMW with the cover, but Dunne DECKS Andrews and Andrews falls on the pin! Somehow, someway, Dunne saved the day!

Dunne goes back to the Broserweight corner as Riddle kicks FMW away. Hot tags to Andrews and Dunne! Andrews slides but Dunne BUZZSAWS! Then pump handles, but cradle counter! Dunne blocks the cradle, X-Plex STUN-DOG MILIONAIRE! FMW fakes Riddle out, HEADBUTT! FMW DIVES, but into Riddle’s BRO DEREK!! Andrews is up top, aims for Dunne, but shooting star into a FOREARM! Tag to Riddle, pump handle, BITTER FINAL FLASH!! Cover, Broserweights win!!

Winner: BROserweights via Bitter Final Flash

 

2. Stardom 9th Anniversary: World of Stardom Championship: Momo Watanabe vs Mayu Iwatani (c)

You gotta love when Stardom-World load up 1 match ahead of the full show, especially when it’s a big match. This is Momo’s third attempt at the World title, and she’s also had a great rivalry with Mayu over the years. Mayu is the last remaining of the Big Three (Io Shirai, Kairi Hojo and Mayu Iwatani), so winning the red belt off of her would solidify Momo’s ascent to the top.

This was a rough match, each time these two have a match, there’s a good bit of aggression. Mayu had her left shoulder visibly taped, and Momo went right after it. Momo pulled off numerous submission variations that work the shoulder joint. Arm Bar variations and Chicken Wings, but Mayu was resilient. Mayu managed to get some separation with a few well placed kicks, Moonsaults and suplexes. Momo stole the Dragon Suplex at one point to make a point, and even hit her finisher Peach Sunrise, but Mayu kicked out.

Momo went to attempt an Avalanche Peach Sunrise, but that’s when Mayu started taking advantage of positioning. Rocking Momo with multiple strikes, it set Mayu up for her finish, the Two Stage Dragon Suplex. With that, she retained, giving Mayu her first singles victory over Momo in 4 years.

Punctuating this as important, it was right after this match that Bea Priestley turned on Momo and joined Oedo Tai.

Winner: Iwatani via Two Stage Dragon Suplex

 

1. NOAH New Sunrise: GHC Heavyweight Championship: Go Shiozaki vs Kaito Kiyomiya (c)

From My Analysis:
Shiozaki earned this opportunity after a decent run in the N1, and a few key wins, most notably against Katsuhiko Nakajima during the 15th anniversary match. Kiyomiya has carried the belt for a little over a year, while establishing himself as the face of the new NOAH. From an emotional standpoint, Shiozaki is someone that many consider the true soul of NOAH. Student of Kobashi, came up while Misawa was still around, and still carries himself from the Golden Era. The biggest question mark with Shiozaki is; will the fans finally accept him as champion?

This was a fantastic match. Kiyomiya showed his determination to remain champion by going after Shiozaki’s bad elbow and trying to work whatever advantages came his way. Shiozaki on the other hand, summoned a lot of NOAH’s history to power him through points of the match. Kobashi’s Machine Gun Chops, Misawa’s Rolling Elbow to interrupt Kiyomiya’s offense, and Vader Hammers to disorient the young champion. Kiyomiya did his best to stave off the challenger, even using Misawa’s Emerald Flowsion for a near fall. Shiozaki pulled out plenty of tricks and tributes as the veteran challenger should, and this was fantastic to watch. Shiozaki winning with the Moonsault is great since it’s a tribute to Kobashi to begin with, and it was the move that got him this opportunity anyway.

Kobashi presenting him with the GHC Heavyweight Championship was just a nice moment to cap it all off.

Winner: Shiozaki via Moonsault Press

 

Thoughts:

Now my vote is insanely obvious since the, Go Shiozaki vs Kaito Kiyomiya, match was head and shoulders above other things this week. Again remember, even though the show was 1.4.2020, it didn’t air on TV until the 14th, making it available for the list. The GHC Heavyweight match had great callbacks, great historical references, on top of great wrestling.

Of course MLW and NXT have a better chance of being seen by a larger western audience, and they’re great matches as well. I’m aware I will probably be in the minority with my vote, but huzzah for subjectivity!!

Either way, remember to vote and make your opinion known!


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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