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Andrew’s Top 5 Matches: Week Ending 6/14/2020

WWE had some great matches and some head scratchers this week. What made the Top 5? How many have you seen?

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We still have an interesting situation where this week gave us a few bigger events from different companies. Again, nearly normal…there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.

So now it’s time to get to the votes. Here’s the current MOTY Pool:

Match of the Year Pool:

  • January – Wrestle Kingdom 14: Double Gold Match: Kazuchika Okada vs Tetsuya Naito
  • February – AEW Revolution: AEW World Tag Team Championship: Hangman Page & Kenny Omega (c) vs The Young Bucks
  • March – AEW Dynamite: AAA Mega Championship: Kenny Omega (c) vs Sammy Guevara
  • April – WrestleMania 36: NXT Women’s Championship: Rhea Ripley (c) vs Charlotte Flair
  • May – NXT: Pit Fight: Matt Riddle vs Tim Thatcher

I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was shocked the Pit Fight won the vote. Not because it was bad, but because I really expected meme culture to carry Le Sex Gods.

Last round of voting was really good for WWE products since, NXT In Your House: Io Shirai vs Charlotte Flair vs Rhea Ripley, won the weekly vote. Are we going to see more WWE domination?

That was a weird sentence to write. Let’s just see what the Top 5 is this week.

Quick Top 5:

  1. WWE Backlash: Edge vs Randy Orton
    Rating: **** 1/2
  2. NOAH Go Forward Day 1: GHC Heavyweight Championship: Go Shiozaki (c) vs Akitoshi Saito
    Rating: **** 1/4
  3. WWE SmackDown: Intercontinental Tournament Finals: AJ Styles vs Daniel Bryan
    Rating: ****
  4. SEAdLINNNG Delivered To You: Beyond The Sea Championship: Arisa Nakajima (c) vs ASUKA
    Rating: ****
  5. NOAH Go Forward Day 1: Keiji Mutoh, Masaaki Mochizuki & Naomichi Marufuji vs Kaito Kiyomiya, Suhei Taniguchi & Mohammed Yone
    Rating: *** 1/2

 

Honorable Mentions:

  • WWE Backlash: United States Championship: Apollo Crews (c) vs Andrade w/Zelina Vega & Angel Garza
    Rating: *** 1/4
  • IMPACT!: Michael Elgin vs Ken Shamrock vs Sami Callihan
    Rating: *** 1/4
  • NOAH Go Forward Day 1: Hardcore Match: GHC National Championship: Katsuhiko Nakajima (c) vs Masao Inoue
    Rating: *** 1/4
  • WWE Raw: Asuka vs Charlotte
    Rating: *** 1/4
  • AEW Dynamite: TNT Championship: Cody Rhodes (c) vs Marq Quen
    Rating: *** 1/4
  • IMPACT!: Knockout’s Championship: Taya Valkyrie w/John E. Bravo & Rosemary vs Jordynne Grace
    Rating: *** 1/4
  • WWE Raw: Kevin Owens vs Andrade vs Angel Garza
    Rating: ***
  • AEW Dynamite: FTR vs Butcher & Blade
    Rating: ***
  • NXT: Mia Yim & Keith Lee vs Candice LeRae & Johnny Gargano
    Rating: ***
  • WWE Raw: Bobby Lashley & MVP vs Viking Raiders
    Rating: ***
  • WWE Backlash: Women’s Tag Team Triple Threat: BlissCross vs IIconics vs Sasha Banks & Bayley (c)
    Rating: ***

5. NOAH Go Forward Day 1: Keiji Mutoh, Masaaki Mochizuki & Naomichi Marufuji vs Kaito Kiyomiya, Suhei Taniguchi & Mohammed Yone

A lot of the fun in this match was seeing Kaito cut his teeth further against a group of veterans. Even after his year long reign as GHC champion, Kaito is still young and trying to carve his position. He’s currently got his sites set on the man behind the Muta, Keiji Mutoh.

This highlighted Mutoh and Kaito while the others made sure to not get ignored. Mutoh took some deliberate pacing with Kaito, worked his leg with Dragon Screws and Figure Fours; just doing a great job showing veteran strategy. The match ends after a flurry of finishers from Mochizuki (Triangle Kick) and Mutoh (Shining Wizard) on Yone. Marufuji locks in the Perfect Key Lock, while the entire veteran M squad has someone in a submission.

Fun match, with a great under current for Kaito.

Winner: Marufuji via Perfect Key Lock

 

4. SEAdLINNNG Delivered To You: Beyond The Sea Championship: Arisa Nakajima (c) vs ASUKA

If I’ve learned anything about SEAd, it’s that the really good matches are on a special level. ASUKA has been making waves most places she participates in, and Arisa is veteran who puts on marvelous matches with most wrestlers who can keep up.

Asuka and Arisa start off a little slow, but the intensity turns up once Arisa hits a Triangle DDT onto the apron, spiking ASUKA. The pace quickened, the strikes stiffened and we got a ton of great moments and near falls. I’m not really sure of the story since SEAd isn’t the easiest promotion to follow. But it was a title match and ASUKA is a pleasure to watch.

Arisa went for her half and half suplex hold, but ASUKA fought out, and during the struggle we saw Arisa basically spin ASUKA into a pinfall. It looked like she started with a La Magistral, followed through for a Head and Leg Cradle, bridged through for a backslide style pinfall before flipping into a Jacknife Cradle for the win. It was confusing, beautiful and I’m dizzy just writing that.

Winner: Nakajima via Cradle Variation Locomotion

 

3. WWE SmackDown: Intercontinental Tournament Finals: AJ Styles vs Daniel Bryan

Snippet from Mitchell’s Coverage:

Bryan still has the waistlock, but Styles standing switches to GERMAN SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO! Styles holds onto Bryan but Bryan fires up. Bryan standing switches, to GERMAN! Bridging over, TWO! Bryan clamps onto Styles with a seated cobra stretch, and he elbows over and over and over! Then he rolls Styles to the YES LOCK! Styles endures as Bryan cranks back, but Styles drags himself blindly towards ropes. Styles uses his leg for the ROPEBREAK! Bryan lets go in frustration but he fires himself up again. The crowd fires up with him as he grabs the wrists. Bryan gives Styles DANIELSON STOMPS!! Bryan fires up and the crowd is at a fever pitch. Bryan demands Styles stand, and he starts up the “YES! YES!” Styles stands, Bryan runs in, but his knee is caught to the STYLES CLASH!! But Styles is too exhausted to cover!!

Styles crawls to ropes, Bryan flounders to his feet and the crowd continues to duel. Styles springboards, PHENOMENAL FOREARM!! Cover, Styles wins!!

Winner: Styles via Phenomenal Forearm

 

2. NOAH Go Forward Day 1: GHC Heavyweight Championship: Go Shiozaki (c) vs Akitoshi Saito

There is a lot of significant weight to this match, beyond that of wrestling moves and a belt. Go Shiozaki was the Mitsuharu Misawa’s tag team partner, in the match that Misawa passed away because of 11 years ago. Akitoshi Saito is the man who delivered the backdrop that caused Misawa’s untimely death. It was not deliberate, it wasn’t a botch, Misawa knew his body was giving out, but he felt he had to continue on for the company. Thus, these two are tied together in horrible tragic history. Also Shiozaki won his first Heavyweight title, the day after the incident. So both men carrying weight on their shoulders is an understatement.

Saito really brought it in this match. The pacing was deliberate, but it was heavy, hard strikes. Both men motioned to the heavens at different points, acknowledge their shared tragedy before certain spots. Shiozaki pulled out two big loving homages, the Misawa elbow comeback into the Rolling Elbow, and a tremendous Emerald Flowsion.

Go did end the match with his Gowan Lariat, as to put his own seal on the history, which is wonderfully done, but the touches were great. This match could get overlooked as just “good” for those who don’t know the history. But a little bit of context, and this match was enough to choke up watching.

Winner: Shiozaki via Gowan Lariat

 

1. WWE Backlash: Edge vs Randy Orton

Snippet from Mitchell’s Coverage:

Orton is up, to UPPERCUT Edge down! Orton walks over as the crowd rallies back up. Orton drags Edge up by his hair again, and back through the ropes. Edge knows that and pops free to hotshot Orton back! Edge gets back up, slides in to sunset flip, TWO! Oklahoma Roll, TWO! Cradle, TWO! RKO OUTTA NOWHERE!!! Cover, TWO!?!?! Orton finally hit his move and it didn’t work!?! The crowd loses its mind as Orton deals with the shock of Edge surviving. Orton argues the count with the ref, but the ref defends it was two. Orton hobbles back over to Edge, looms over him, and calms himself. Edge stirs, but Orton backs up. Orton wants to bring out a deadly classic of his. A move that ended careers! Orton runs at Edge, but into the SPEAR!! Edge has a wild look in his eyes but he doesn’t cover!

Edge gets to another corner, builds the energy, and SPEARS again!! Cover, TWO!?!? Just what are these two men made of?! Perhaps they really will “Fight Forever!” Edge gets back up, watches Orton get to his feet, and stalks up behind him. Edge whips Orton corner to corner, Orton reverses, but Edge goes up and leaps, INTO AN RKO!!! Cover, TWO!?!?!?! No one knows what to make of this! Orton glares down at Edge as Edge slowly rises. Orton brings Edge up but Edge clamps on the ANTI-VENOM ARM TRIANGLE! Orton KNEES low, but how low?! Was it a low blow? The ref doesn’t know, and the PUNT hits!! Cover, Orton wins!!!

Winner: Orton via Punt

Thoughts:

Now I loved the Shiozaki and Saito story. Under normal circumstances that would run away with my affection, BUT, Randy and Edge really pulled out something special. Though not tied in tragedy, they did have a well known past, and played on that as well as any Japanese match.

Much like I said in my results, it wasn’t the greatest match ever, but hot damn it was great. Possibly the greatest of the week if enough people agree with me.


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Badlands: What If The Undisputed Era went to Main Roster?

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Badlands square

 

Mags and Tolley return with another episode of Badlands.

Firstly, they discuss Dan Griffin’s (follow him on Twitter @DanGriffin21) Owen Hart fantasy booking, before going over Mags’s vision for the Undisputed Era on the main roster of WWE. Tolley didn’t do his homework, so got off scot free. Typical!

 

 

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A Change In Attitude #43 Thursday Raw Thursday!

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One of the most significant episodes of Raw so far, in which a certain Heart Break Kid “loses his smile” and it’s on a day so nice, they named it twice!.

The ACIA team revisit Thursday Raw Thursday from February 1997


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