Yay! This is probably the most consistent week in a few months when it comes to quality across all matches. More companies are running shows with no audience, limited audience or locker room audience; and it’s just nice to see more options popping back into the mix.
Before we get to this week, we have the last entry for May and then the May vote to start!
May Match Pool:
- AEW Dynamite: Street Fight: Le Sex Gods vs Matt Hardy & Kenny Omega
- AJPW Broadcast #3 2020: World Junior Heavyweight Championship: Susumu Yokosuka (c) vs Hikaru Sato
- AEW Double or Nothing: MJF vs Jungle Boy
- NXT: Pit Fight: Matt Riddle vs Tim Thatcher
AEW had a decent amount of memorable moments this month, but we still have a small variety when it comes to matches for May. From ring work quality, the AJPW match is a definite contender for Match of the Year so far, but it suffers on a visibility level. That is my vote of course, but I’m fully expecting the Street Fight to win because of the golf cart memes and call back during Stadium Stampede.
Anyway! On to this week.
Quick Top 5:
- NXT In Your House: NXT Women’s Championship Triple Threat: Io Shirai vs Charlotte Flair (c) vs Rhea Ripley
Rating: **** 1/2
- DDT Peter Pan Day 2: KO-D Openweight Championship: Masato Tanaka (c) vs Tetsuya Endo
Rating: **** 1/2
- IMPACT!: #1 Contender for Tag Titles: Dez & Wentz vs TJP & Fallah Bahh
Rating: **** 1/4
- DDT Peter Pan Day 2: KO-D Tag Team Championship: Nautilus (Naomi Yoshimura & Yuki Ueno) (c) vs Stronghearts (T-Hawk & El Lindaman)
- NXT In Your House: Finn Balor vs Damian Priest
- NXT In Your House: North American Championship: Keith Lee (c) vs Johnny Gargano
Rating: *** 3/4
- IMPACT!: #1 Contender Tournament: Ace Austin vs Wentz
Rating: *** 3/4
- King of Gate Finals: Eita vs Naruki Doi
Rating: *** 3/4
- DDT Peter Pan Day 2: HARASHIMA & Naomichi Marufuji vs MAO & ASUKA
Rating: *** 1/2
- NXT: Interim Cruiserweight Championship: El Hijo del Fantasma vs Drake Maverick
Rating: *** 1/4
- AEW Dynamite: AEW Tag Team Championship: Kenny Omega & Hangman Page (c) vs Jimmy Havoc & Kip Sabian
Rating: *** 1/4
- WWE Raw: Charlotte Flair vs Asuka
Rating: *** 1/4
- NXT In Your House: Last Chance Backlot Brawl for NXT Championship: Adam Cole (c) vs Velveteen Dream
- WWE Raw: United States Championship: Apollo Crews (c) vs Kevin Owens
- AEW Dynamite: Chris Jericho vs Colt Cabana
- WWE SmackDown: AJ Styles vs Drew Gulak
- NXT: Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch vs Breezango vs Undisputed Era
- IMPACT!: Susie & Kylie Rae vs Kiera Hogan & Tasha Steelz
- NXT In Your House: Karrion Kross w/Scarlett vs Tommaso Ciampa
5. NXT In Your House: Finn Balor vs Damian Priest
We saw fantastic work, a bevvy of strikes and martial arts kicks from Priest, a few big spots like a Crucifix Bomb on the apron and an Avalanche Side Effect. Priest took a huge bump when he tried to throw Finn from the apron on to steps, but Finn slipped out and launched Priest back first over the steps. Finn hits a Double Stomp to the back of Priest’s neck and then Coup de Grace in the middle of the ring for the pinfall. It’s a little surprising to see Finn win with the Coup de Grace, but given where the last big bump happened, it makes sense.
Winner: Balor via Coup de Grace
4. DDT Peter Pan Day 2: KO-D Tag Team Championship: Nautilus (Naomi Yoshimura & Yuki Ueno) (c) vs Stronghearts (T-Hawk & El Lindaman)
Stronghearts are a great stable, that have gotten a lot of notoriety since they’ve been nearly everywhere outside of New Japan. Not familiar with the KO-D Tag champions, but they have a stereotypical bigger guy/smaller guy combination.
El Lindaman is still the smallest in the match, and that plays into part of the story. He fights through most of the match, trying to hit his German Suplex on the bigger Nautilus member, and when it finally happens, it punctuates the pace of the match well. T-Hawk is an all around fantastic performer, and someone really need to try and settle him down and make him their Ace.
Fast paced great striking, tandem moves, high risk…just this match gives a little bit of everything after a relatively slow start. Stronghearts has a great near fall that I thought was the finish, but Nautilus wasn’t ready to relinquish the titles. After some trading of signatures, T-Hawk gets dumped out, Linadman eats the tandem finisher and the champions retain.
Winner: Nautilus via Tandem Finish
3. IMPACT!: #1 Contender for Tag Titles: Dez & Wentz vs TJP & Fallah Bahh
Fallah gets a bit winded dodging, so stops Dez to tag in TJP. It’s funny, but it also is very Japanese where both members start off easy and get a little time against one another. TJP and Wentz were fantastic, great Junior style moves and just crisp fun moves and counters. Wentz and Dez tried to keep TJP in and in their corner with constant tags and quick moves, including a Bronco Buster, but Fallah eventually got sick of watching.
This was a very fun match. Fallah showed more athleticism than someone his size would be expected to have, and the Rascalz finally showed the desire to actually win instead of just play. TJP caught Dez’s leg at the end of his Double Back Handspring Overhead Kick, and had his stuck in an Ankle Hold for a while. But Dez fought out, Wentz pushed him backwards and Dez bridged with one of TJP’s legs trapped and picked up the win.
After the match, The Rascalz say they can do this again, and damn this proves it would be a hell of a banger.
Winner: Rascalz via Single Leg Bridge Clutch
2. DDT Peter Pan Day 2: KO-D Openweight Championship: Masato Tanaka (c) vs Tetsuya Endo
Tanaka has had numerous great matches this year. It’s hard to imagine he’s pushing 50, and he’s been a force since showing up in DDT. Endo however is one of the better known names from the DDT camp. This has all the makings of a MOTY contender.
As is the trend with Openweight titles, this is tougher and more hardcore oriented. A table got introduced by Endo, by Tanaka turned the tide and threw Endo through it. Surprisingly, THAT was the slow part. Tanaka worked on Endo’s knee, and it was great to watch him systematically throw Elbows and sliding attacks to try and take the legs out from under his opponent.
Endo did a great job selling, and making believable comebacks through pain and whilst limping. He even crumbled during a back handspring move, just to sell the torture. Tanaka threw everything at Endo, but surprisingly, he was able to stay resolute. Two Shooting Star Press attempts later, and Endo dethrones the gritty veteran.
Winner: Endo via Shooting Star Press
1. NXT In Your House: NXT Women’s Championship Triple Threat: Io Shirai vs Charlotte Flair (c) vs Rhea Ripley
Shirai gets up first and she puts Charlotte in the ring. Shirai hurries up to the corner and the top rope. Rhea rises and hurries over and she ROCKS Shirai with a right! Rhea gets in, Charlotte runs in but is sent into the POST! Charlotte flops out and Rhea goes after Shirai with CHOPS and haymakers! Rhea climbs up, brings Shirai up, but Shirai resists! Shirai fights Rhea back, slips under, and pushes Rhea into the buckles. Shirai climbs back up, clubs away on Rhea, then brings her up for a SUPER STEIN- NO! And Charlotte returns to BOOT Shirai down! Rhea BOOTS Charlotte, but Charlotte throws forearms and CHOPS! Charlotte CHOPS and CHOPS and climbs again. Rhea resists and headbutts back! Rhea pump handles for a SUPER RIPTIDE!! Cover, but Shirai breaks it! That was so close!
The crowd is at a fever pitch but Rhea is furious. Rhea boots, misses, and the SHOTEIS land from all sides! Shirai runs, pops up, but the victory roll is blocked to the INVERTED CLOVERLEAF! Or as she calls it, the Prism Trap! But Charlotte has a kendo stick! Rhea spanks Shirai, Charlotte SMACKS Rhea! And then Shirai! And then Rhea again! And then Shirai more! Rhea, again! Charlotte says she’s going to beat Rhea again! She tosses the kendo stick away, and SPEARS Rhea again! Charlotte grabs the legs, Figure Four! Bridge to the Figure EIGHT!! Rhea endures, but Shirai ASAI MOONSAULTS RHEA!! Cover, SHIRAI WINS!!!
Winner: Shirai via Moonsault
We finally got some 1-5 damn good matches, and it’s just cool to see things coming back around. My personal vote will go to the Women’s Triple Threat, since it’s the perfect crowning achievement for Io.
All of these are pretty damn great, so this is the hardest vote in a while.
Make your pick known, and Always Use Your Head.