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Andrew’s Top 5 (10) Matches: Week Ending 9/20/2020

Okay, there were a lot of good matches this week, so it’s 10 instead of 5. But it’s not only Japanese tournaments! The list is fairly diverse, feast your eyes!

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Holy cavalcade of coverage Batman! With all the Japanese tournaments and the fact that north american television decided to put on a few pretty big matches – WHO HAS THE TIME!?

Well I think I made time for most of it…I still have a 9-5 shoot job, so it’s a little rough. Let’s get last week’s winner out of the way, NXT: Vacant NXT Championship: Finn Balor vs Adam Cole, won the vote. Now let me preface this week a little bit. First world problems, I know, but there are TOO MANY good matches. It’s a Top 10 this week because just wow. I also numbered the Honorable Mentions to highlight how much quality there was all week.

So let’s get to this monster of a list!

Quick Top 10:

  1. G1 Climax 30 A Block Day 1: Minoru Suzuki vs Tomohiro Ishii
    Rating: **** 1/2
  2. N-1 Victory B Block: Katsuhiko Nakajima vs Kenoh
    Rating: **** 1/2
  3. G1 Climax 30 B Block Day 2: Tetsuya Naito vs Hiroshi Tanahashi
    Rating: **** 1/2
  4. AEW Dynamite: Parking Lot Fight: Santana & Ortiz vs Best Friends
    Rating: **** 1/4
  5. Stardom 5Star GP Red Stars Day 6: Tam Nakano vs Giulia
    Rating: ****
  6. NXT: Shotzi Blackheart vs Io Shirai
    Rating: ****
  7. N-1 Victory Day 2: A Block: Manabu Soya vs Masa Kitamiya
    Rating: ****
  8. AJPW Champion Carnival Day 3: Shotaro Ashino vs Kento Miyahara
    Rating: ****
  9. IMPACT!: The North (Ethan Page & Josh Alexander) & Madman Fulton & Ace Austin vs Motor City Machine Guns & The Good Brothers
    Rating: ****
  10. Stardom 5Star GP Blue Stars Day 5: Momo Watanabe vs Utami Hayashishita
    Rating: ****

 

Honorable Mentions:

  1. G1 Climax 30 A Block Day 1: Shingo Takagi vs Jay White
    Rating: *** 3/4
  2. N-1 Victory A Block: Masaaki Mochizuki vs Kaito Kiyomiya
    Rating: *** 3/4
  3. Stardom 5Star GP Blue Stars Day 6: Utami Hayashishita vs Maika
    Rating: *** 3/4
  4. G1 Climax 30 B Block Day 2: KENTA vs Hirooki Goto
    Rating: *** 3/4
  5. NXT: North American Championship: Timothy Thatcher vs Damian Priest
    Rating: *** 3/4
  6. G1 Climax 30 A Block Day 1: Kazuchika Okada vs Kota Ibushi
    Rating: *** 3/4
  7. Stardom 5Star GP Blue Stars Day 5: AZM vs Syuri
    Rating: *** 3/4
  8. N-1 Victory Day 2: B Block: Takashi Sugiura vs Shuhei Taniguchi
    Rating: *** 3/4
  9. G1 Climax 30 B Block Day 2: EVIL vs Zack Sabre Jr
    Rating: *** 3/4
  10. AJPW Champion Carnival: SUWAMA vs Jake Lee
    Rating: *** 3/4
  11. AEW Dynamite: Chris Jericho & Jake Hager vs Private Party
    Rating: *** 1/2
  12. G1 Climax 30 B Block Day 2: YOSHI-HASHI vs Juice Robinson
    Rating: *** 1/2
  13. N-1 Victory Day 2: A Block: Masaaki Mochizuki vs Kazushi Sakuraba
    Rating: *** 1/2
  14. Stardom 5Star GP Blue Stars Day 5: Jungle Kyona vs Natsuko Tora
    Rating: *** 1/2
  15. N-1 Victory A Block: Go Shiozaki vs Manabu Soya
    Rating: *** 1/2
  16. NXT: NXT Tag Team Championship: Breezango (c) vs Imperium
    Rating: *** 1/2
  17. AEW Dynamite: Hangman Page vs Frankie Kazarian
    Rating: *** 1/2
  18. Stardom 5Star GP Red Stars Day 5: Tam Nakano vs Saya Kamitani
    Rating: *** 1/4
  19. NJPW Strong Ep. 7: Alex Zayne & ACH vs Guerrillas of Destiny
    Rating: *** 1/4
  20. IMPACT!: Trey Miguel vs TJP
    Rating: *** 1/4
  21. UWN Prime Time Live: West Coast Pro Championship: Hammerstone (c) vs EJ Sparks
    Rating: *** 1/4
  22. N-1 Victory Day 2: B Block: Naomichi Marufuji vs Yoshiki Inamura
    Rating: *** 1/4
  23. Stardom 5Star GP Red Stars Day 5: Mayu Iwatani vs Himeka
    Rating: *** 1/4
  24. Stardom 5Star GP Blue Stars Day 5: Jungle Kyona vs Maika
    Rating: *** 1/4
  25. G1 Climax 30 A Block Day 1: Taichi vs Jeff Cobb
    Rating: *** 1/4
  26. Stardom 5Star GP Red Stars Day 6: Mayu Iwatani vs Saya Kamitani
    Rating: ***
  27. IMPACT!: Brian Myers vs Willie Mack
    Rating: ***
  28. N-1 Victory B Block: Yoshiki Inamura vs Takashi Sugiura
    Rating: ***
  29. IMPACT!: Kimber Lee & Deonna Purrazzo vs Susie & Kylie Rae
    Rating: ***
  30. NJPW Strong Ep. 7: Misterioso & Fred Rosser vs PJ Black & Rocky Romero
    Rating: ***
  31. Stardom 5Star GP Red Stars Day 5: Mayu Iwatani vs Death-Yama
    Rating: ***

5t. Stardom 5Star GP Blue Stars Day 5: Momo Watanabe vs Utami Hayashishita

From Mathew’s Review:

Utami slammed her down and went for the pin as Momo kicked out, leaving Utami frustrated as she went to pin her again but no luck with Momo kicking out again. Utami throws her into the corner and charges at her but Momo moved to deliver a Dropkick and delivers one more once Utami sat down and picked her up for a Suplex as Utami kicked out. Utami catches Momo with a judo flip and does it one more time before pinning her and Momo kicked out again as not a lot of time is left. The two are on the top rope and Momo attempts a Superplex but she would toss her over with what looks like a Uranagi and tops it off with a Somato as Utami barely kicked out. Momo went for a kick but Utami ducked and catches her for a German Suplex. The two slowly get up as they go blow for blow until Momo got up and roundhouse her in the face and delivers a Somato to her back and then a regular one to pin her and Utami kicked out again! Momo is wasting no time and delivers a Package Driver to get her down but Utami with another kickout as she just won’t quit.

Momo climbed to the top rope and goes for a Dropkick but Utami went under her and catches her for another German Suplex, making her crash into the turnbuckle and that looked brutal. Utami picked her up for the Kryptonite Krunch and pins her as Momo would kick out but just barely! Utami puts her in a Sleeper Hold and would turn it into a German Suplex Hold and Momo would kick out again as we have less than a minute left now! Utami attempts the Torture Rack but Momo fought off her to apply the Crossface Chickenwing for a moment and turns it into a Torture Rack of her own. Momo puts her down to hit the Tequila Sunrise and Utami kicked out! Momo calls for the Peach Sunrise and Utami flipped over her and got up to hit a Lariat as the bell rings and we have a tie!

Winner: Time Limit Draw

 

5t. IMPACT!: The North (Ethan Page & Josh Alexander) & Madman Fulton & Ace Austin vs Motor City Machine Guns & The Good Brothers

From My Results:

Ace tagged out to Josh Alexander while the Guns and the Machine Gun were having some discourse and we get some beautiful fluid tandem offense from The Guns. Shelley hits the blind tag, shoulder blocks, slingshot Sentons and Splashes, each member of the heel team comes in and The Guns dispatch each one, even Fulton. As the Good Brothers react like Emilio Esteves and Charlie Sheen during Men at Work, “Golf Clap? Golf Clap.”

After the commercial, Alexander gets an opening to bring in Ethan Page and the heels get rolling. Page then tags in Fulton and Shelley has this look on his face like “dammit”. Fun moment when Alex tries to jump over Fulton, Fulton grabs him, but only Sabin is reach out for the tag. Good Brothers are more like “We’re over here, get closer…” which then allows a really nice Northern Lights Suplex for Fulton for a near fall.

After Shelley eats offense for a while, Sabin finally gets sick of waiting, jumps into to help Shelley and Shelley tags out to Karl. The match goes into 5th gear from here. Dives, tandem moves, signature spams, both teams do the Japanese corner train spot, more signature moves, just a frenetic pace that you don’t see much in American wrestling.

The North manage to pull off their Tandem Inverted Mat Slam finish, but Ace Austin tags himself in right beforehand, so Ace gets the pin on a champion and The North are fuming a bit as we fade to black.

Winner: Ace Austin via Inverted Mat Slam (The North’s Finisher)

 

5t. AJPW Champion Carnival Day 3: Shotaro Ashino vs Kento Miyahara

From Mathew’s Review:

We got the crowd clapping to the beat of a Metallica song while Kento’s finger was playing along with them, it’s great since Ashino’s theme is from Metallica. The two locked up and they struggled till they made their way to the ropes as the referee calls them to break it up, but it looked like Kento was about to slap him but doesn’t as the two are in a standstill. When it comes to just ground work, Shotaro has a better advantage and he showed that while they locked up again and he had Kento’s arm locked till Kento backed into the ropes as the ref called for the break again, but Shotaro doesn’t give Kento the same courtesy he gave him and hits a European Uppercut before backing up. Once they got outside, Kento does his usual headbutts to him and throws him around before bringing him back into the ring and once Kento had one foot over the rope, Ashino went into the attack and hits a Dragon Screw on that leg and has him where he wants him now. Ashino just gets Kento’s leg around the turnbuckle post and twists it onto the post, making him scream in agony before letting go. This is the type of stuff Yoshi should’ve been doing when they fought but Ashino does leg work the best and he shows it. There was one takeaway from making this match great and that was that I could’ve done it without the interference from Enfants Terribles since it would’ve just been better without help from anyone as this match alone screams Triple Crown Championship and we’re getting it for the Carnival.

Damnit, camera guy for cutting off what Kento was doing to get momentum back since he focused on Yuma watching from the back, he does this twice and it was annoying. Kento had Shotaro in the corner and hits the first Blackout, making him go out the ring again. Koji Doi chopblocks Kento when the referee wasn’t looking and Shotaro has time to breathe. Ashino hits stiff European Uppercuts to daze him and runs the ropes, metting a kick from Kento and gets him with the Brainbuster, causing them both to go down. Kento hits a second Blackout and a German Suplex on top, and as he goes for another Blackout, Shotaro ducked and grabbed his foot to apply the Ankle Lock. Ashino has it locked in tight and Kento is trying to fight it off. Love how he struggles here with all the leg work Ashino did but tapped to Yoshi with miminal work during day one. Kento was able to flip around to try and pin him as Ashino kicked out at two to break the hold. Kento goes for the Shutdown German Suplex Hold but Shotaro broke it off and kneeled down to grab his ankle again for the Ankle Lock! Kento was able to get to the ropes as Ashino hits a German Suplex but Kento gets up and hits another Blackout. Ashino is dazed as Kento quickly went over behind him and would hit the Shutdown German Suplex Hold for the pinfall victory! Kento is still in the race but it seems like Shotaro is now eliminated as well.

Winner: Kento via Shutdown Suplex Hold

 

5t. N-1 Victory Day 2: A Block: Manabu Soya vs Masa Kitamiya

From My Results:

This was a titanic bout between two heavyweights. There was lariats, clubbing, standing and taking punishment; everything you could ask for from two power wrestlers. Both trying to get the other to budge with Shoulder Tackles and displays of power that fizzled at the force of the other.

Realizing that the power was very close to equal between the two, Soya broke out a kneeling Neck Crank variation to get Kitamiya to tap. This was a great win for Soya since it helps stabilize him in the tournament; it was inner faction, so it gives him personal bragging rights and hopefully leads to more with him. Kitamiya however, tends to struggle quite a bit against other power wrestlers.

Winner: Soya via Neck Crank

 

5t. NXT: Shotzi Blackheart vs Io Shirai

From Mitchell’s Coverage:

Shotzi brings Shirai up to a fireman’s carry but Shirai fights out. Shirai shoves and FLAPJACKS Shotzi down! Shotzi flounders up, into the TIGER FEINT! Shirai climbs up top, aims at Shotzi, for the missile dropkick! Cover, TWO!! Shirai won’t slow down, she goes back up top, but Shotzi trips her up! Shotzi spins Shirai around, goes up top and SUPER STEINERS! Cover, TWO!! Shotzi can’t believe how close yet so far she is from defeating the champion! Shotzi puts Shirai in the drop zone, heads back up top, but Shirai SHOTEIS first! Shirai climbs up, throws forearms and then grabs a leg. Shotzi resists the superplex, clubs Shirai back and puts her down on the apron! Shotzi boots Shirai, hops on abut Shirai bucks her off! Shirai APRON GERMAN SUPLEXES Shotzi down!!

Both women are down but only Shirai is on the apron! Shotzi is dazed as she slowly stirs and is somehow still okay to continue! Shirai drags Shotzi up and in to finish this directly. Cover, TWO!! Shirai is frustrated that Shotzi survived, but Shotzi is in the corner, still dazed. Shirai runs corner to corner, SHINKANSEN! Then Shirai puts Shotzi back in the drop zone before going back up top. Shirai goes OVER THE MOON!! Cover, Shirai wins!!

Winner: Io via Moonsault

 

5t. Stardom 5Star GP Red Stars Day 6: Tam Nakano vs Giulia

From My Results:

Even if Tam can’t cut a pre-match promo without the giggles, boy does she know how to wrestle with hatred. The strikes between these two were great, the fact that when one had the upper hand, the smiled with dubious delight. It was a great match that helped you feel the level of their disdain.

Giulia hit a gorgeous flying Octopus hold which Tam fought to the ropes, but Giulia transitioned to a Sunset Flip leaving our number 1 idol in the universe on the backfoot for a while. It wasn’t until Tam slipped a Glorious Driver into a Dragon Sleeper, broke the hold and then cold cocked Giulia with a Spinning Crane Kick that looked on point. Tam hits a German Suplex, a regular Tiger Suplex, holds on, to hit one more Tiger Suplex with the bridge. Tam picks up the win, eliminating Giulia from 5Star contention and solidifying her bid at the White Belt next month.

Winner: Tam via Tiger Suplex Hold

 

4, AEW Dynamite: Parking Lot Fight: Santana & Ortiz vs Best Friends

From Mitchell’s Coverage:

PNP regroup and they point at Trent and his bloody back. Ortiz SMACKS Trent with what’s left of the wood! Santana toys with Chuck while Ortiz rains down rights. Another SMACK from the wood! Trent gets up on noodle legs but Ortiz ROCKS him! Santana presses Chuck into another car’s trunk, and says, “This was the biggest mistake you have ever done in your f***ing life!” Santana punches Chuck over and over into the car’s license plate! Chuck can barely cover up! But he refuses to give up! Meanwhile, Ortiz has put Trent on that wood bridge on the truck bed! Santana grabs the baseball bat Chuck found and takes aim. But wait, who is that coming out of the car trunk!? It’s ORANGE CASSIDY!!

Cassidy has his fist wrapped in something, and gives Santana a FULL METAL ORANGE PUNCH! That something was a steel chain!! Cassidy drags Santana up and fireman’s carries him over to the red sedan. He hands Santana off to Chuck for an AWFUL WAFFLE on the hood! Trent turns things around on Ortiz to get him up and around for a CRUNCHIE through the wood!! Cover, Best Friends win!!

Winner: Best Friends via Strong Zero

 

1t. G1 Climax 30 B Block Day 2: Tetsuya Naito vs Hiroshi Tanahashi

From My Results:

Whenever Naito would put a few things together, Tanahashi would strike back and go after the knees. It wasn’t until Naito tapped into a small bit of viciousness and grabbed Tanahashi’s wrist and smashed him about 20 times with clubbing back elbow strikes. Tana did manage to hit a few Sling Blades after that, but it was at that point that Naito looked to be building towards an idea.

Tanahashi hit a Standing High Fly Flow, so he went to hit it flush once Naito was down, but Naito rolled and Tanahashi ate mat. Gloria, Valentia, Running Destino and finally the full arm wringer Destino. A really well paced match, with great offense from both and showed a lot of character from both men.

Winner: Naito via Destino

 

1t. N-1 Victory B Block Day 1: Katsuhiko Nakajima vs Kenoh

From My Results:

This starts off very pensive. Both circle for a few seconds, try to engage in a lockup, but back away quickly. Both were very familiar with one another before being a part of the same faction, so it’s no shock things will start slowly. Especially given the last two big victories were taken by Kenoh and he managed to knock Nakajima out twice.

After the slow start, they start measuring one another with traded kicks and the “anything you can do, I can do better” mentality. But once one stings, the pace sharply quickens. To say strikes were traded is an understatement. I mean, if you watch this, you’d be hard pressed to remember they are in the same faction.

Kenoh gets an advantage and goes for a few of his Double Foot or Double Knee dives, while Nakajima opens up slightly altered spots. He applies a Cobra Twist, pulls out his old Diamond Bomb, to go along with a flurry of kicks and his corner cocky pose spot. This match was less of a kickfest than usual, but still contained all of the grit and aggression that we’ve come to expect from their matches.

After lighting up Kenoh with a Punt Kick, he goes full mount and rains down elbows on what looks like a barely conscious body. But instead of looking for the knockout, Nakajima makes a point to win with the Vertical Spike.

Winner: Nakajima via Vertical Spike

 

1t. G1 Climax 30 A Block Day 1: Minoru Suzuki vs Tomohiro Ishii

From Mitchell’s Coverage:

Suzuki brings Ishii around but Ishii LARIATS first! Ishii dares Suzuki to sit up, then runs, bu tinto a spin and a SLEEPER! Then the spin, but no Gotch as Ishii Alabama lifts for a CRUNCHIE!! Both men are down and the fans are thunderous! Ishii gets up and sits Suzuki up, for the SLIDING LARIAT! Cover, TWO!! Suzuki survives but Ishii isn’t going to stop! Ishii suplexes, Suzuki resists and goes aftre the arm! Ishii breaks free to enziguri! Suzuki is down again but Ishii steadies himself first. Ishii runs at Suzuki, to clothesline him at the ropes! Ishii keeps moving, Suzuki gets around to waistlock and drag him down, into a SLEEPER! Ishii fights up but Suzuki spins him, GOTCH-

NO! Ishii powers up and back drops out! Suzuki boots, Ishii LARIATS! Suzuki stays up and fires off more palm strikes. Both men SLAP and SLAP, then Suzuki ROCKS Ishii and then DECKS him!! Suzuki sits Ishii up, runs, and BASEMENT BOOTS! But Ishii is up!? Ishii LARIATS Suzuki down! Ishii rests in a corner but Suzuki laughs as he rises! Suzuki boots, Ishii blocks and headbutts! Ishii fires up, waits for Suzuki to stand, and runs to LARIAT again! But Ishii isn’t done, he drags Suzuki up for the suplex, and- No! Suzuki rolls back, spins Ishii around, Gotch PILEDRIVER!!! Cover, Suzuki wins!!

Winner: Suzuki via Gotch Style Piledriver

 

Thoughts:

Wait, there’s a few more weeks of this? Oh boy…

ANYWHO, I don’t even know where to start with this week. AEW was surprisingly good, NXT wasn’t far behind, the Japanese tournaments top my personal enjoyment and the Impact 8 man was patterned like a Japanese match…so put all of these on a dart board, close your eyes, and toss a dart.

I guess I’ll personally pick Tanahashi versus Naito as my pick for the week, but damn it’s close. Seven different companies, three women’s matches, and this is still early on in a few of the tournaments.

 


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Cook’s 2021 AEW Dynamite Awards Preview

Steve Cook is here to preview the 2021 AEW Dynamite Awards?!?! Check it out, you won’t be disappointed.

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All Elite Wrestling AEW

Steve Cook is here to preview the 2021 AEW Dynamite Awards?!?! Check it out, you won’t be disappointed.

It’s Awards Season! Maybe it’s just me, but it feels like pro wrestling has more awards with each passing year. In addition to the Wrestling Observer, 411mania & countless other media outlets presenting awards, promotions do their own as well. WWE has the Slammys & the NXT Year-End Awards. Impact Wrestling has had their own awards since around the start of their company.

It only makes sense for AEW to add themselves to the mix. I’m a little confused by the Dynamite Awards, only because some of the moments nominated didn’t take place in 2020. Some of the late 2019 stuff was included here, which I suppose was in the interest of fairness because early 2020 would have been too soon to do awards. Still kinda off, but this will take care of itself in 2022. Probably.

Let’s take a look at this year’s AEW Dynamite Awards! I’m going to tell you who should win and who will win, so you can win your AEW Dynamite Award pool. I don’t know if people will be betting on these things, but just in case they are, here’s some help!

Best Moment on the Mic:
MJF Campaign Speech “We Deserve Better”
Cody Rhodes Accepts Mr. Brodie Lee’s Dog Collar Match Challenge
Jon Moxley “Accepts” The Inner Circle Invitation From Jericho
Brandi Rhodes Confronts Jade Cargill
Orange Cassidy Debates With Chris Jericho

Who Should Win: Orange Cassidy Debates With Chris Jericho

Honestly, one of the biggest travesties committed by the selection committee is the lack of Eddie Kingston in this category. Completely ridiculous. That being said, there aren’t any duds listed here. Brandi’s inclusion probably gets some heat from people, but her going off on Jade was tremendous. Orange’s performance against Jericho in the debate was some pretty good stuff & showed a different side of Mr. Cassidy than we’re accustomed to seeing. I’d give the award to him.

Who Will Win: Orange Cassidy Debates With Chris Jericho

We’re talking about Pro Wrestling Illustrated’s Most Popular Wrestler of the Year here, along with the Demo God. Their star power carries them to the top of the polling.

Biggest Surprise:
Matt Hardy’s Debut
Jake “The Snake” Roberts Confronts Cody Rhodes
Brodie Lee Arrives As The Exalted One
Sting’s AEW Debut
Miro Revealed As The Best Man

Who Should Win: Jake “The Snake” Roberts Confronts Cody Rhodes

Your vote here will largely depend on your fandom of the wrestler involved. Matt Hardy fans will vote for Matt Hardy. Fans of underutilized WWE talent may go for Brodie or Miro. Sting’s popularity speaks for itself. For me, it goes back to Jake The Snake being my first favorite professional wrestler. Seeing him again, especially seeing him over the issues that had plagued him for decades, was a tremendous moment.

Who Will Win: Sting’s AEW Debut

“IT’S STING!” is all that needs to be said here.

Biggest Beatdown:
The Inner Circle Jumps Orange Cassidy
The Dark Order Attacks the Nightmare Family
Nyla Rose Puts Riho & Shida Through Tables
Brian Cage Sneak Attack On Jon Moxley
The Nightmare Family And Inner Circle Brawl

Who Should Win: The Dark Order Attacks The Nightmare Family

Brodie Lee’s destruction of Cody to win the TNT Championship really put Dark Order on the map as a force to be reckoned with. My favorite part of the beatdown: we didn’t see all of it. Dustin Rhodes & QT Marshall were drug out from the back, explaining why they didn’t come out to help Cody earlier. Arn Anderson took some shots like a champ, and Brandi got choked out by Anna Jay. By the time the old TNT belt had been deposited on Cody’s carcass, the message had been sent loud & clear.

Who Will Win: The Nightmare Family And Inner Circle Brawl

This fight had a little bit of everything. MJF as a good guy. Cody smashing a window. Diamond Dallas Page looking like he could make one more run. Dippin’ Dots. Chris Jericho screaming about how he had a ticket. A hot crowd. What’s not to like?

High Flyer:
Rey Fenix
Marq Quen
Nick Jackson
Pac

Who Should Win: Rey Fenix

All four of these guys are insane, but nobody brings the insanity like Fenix. That guy just doesn’t care as long as he does as many flips as humanly possible. He & Penta were deserving winners of most web sites’ Most Underrated award, maybe he’ll get some recognition here.

Who Will Win: Nick Jackson

Fenix & Pac split the vote of Death Triangle fans, enabling Nick to ride the support of Elite fans to the crown.

Hardest Moment To Clean Up After:
Orange Cassidy Drops OJ on Inner Circle
Parking Lot Brawl
Bunkhouse Match
Big Swole Dumps Garbage On Dr. Britt Baker

Who Should Win: Orange Cassidy Drops OJ On Inner Circle

The Parking Lot Brawl is my favorite moment on the list, but the damage was largely contained to the parking lot. Big Swole’s garbage ended up in Dr. Baker’s Popemobile, not scattered all over the place. The Bunkhouse Match went everywhere and definitely deserves consideration, but the OJ incident resulted in a ruined suit & ring canvas. Definitely tough to get that stuff out.

Who Will Win: Parking Lot Brawl

People get a chance to vote for this, they probably will. Orange is represented in this one too, so it’s all good.

Biggest WTF Moment:
Cody Moonsaulting Off The Steel Cage
Sammy Guevara Is Hit By The Golf Cart
The Young Bucks Frog Splash Off The Stadium Railing
MJF Lashes Cody Rhodes
Bloody Dr. Britt Baker vs. Hikaru Shida
Kenny Omega Wins AEW World Championship and Walks out of AEW

Who Should Win: Sammy Guevara Is Hit By The Golf Cart

All these moments definitely had an element of craziness, but they all pale in comparison to Sammy getting hit by the golf cart. Like, who willingly does that? Definitely something people shouted “WTF?” at.

Who Will Win: Kenny Omega Wins AEW World Championship and Walks out of AEW

We certainly saw some funny business coming when Don Callis started appearing to call big Kenny matches. Nothing quite like what we’ve gotten, where AEW is regularly making their presence felt on Impact Wrestling’s AXS TV show while Omega & Callis have joined forces with the Good Brothers to re-live their New Japan glory days. Recency bias & the general craziness of AEW & Impact crossing over make this a solid pick.

LOL Moment:
Jericho & MJF: Le Dinner Debonair
Dr. Britt Baker Waxes Tony Schiavone
Young Bucks Super Kick MJF Into Cruise Ship Pool
The Inner Circle Las Vegas Trip

Who Should Win: The Young Bucks Super Kick MJF Into Cruise Ship Pool

I’m a simple man. Anytime somebody gets thrown into a pool on a wrestling show, I laugh and cheer. As creative as Jericho & MJF’s musical number was, and as crazy as that Vegas trip was, and as much as I love Britt & Tony’s chemistry together, give me the classics every time. Man gets thrown into pool. Simple, yet effective.

Who Will Win: Jericho & MJF: Le Dinner Debonair

MJF needs another plaque honoring his musical performance to carry around. As Owen Hart & Scorpio Sky could tell you, one trophy is always better than two.

Best Twitter Follow:
MJF
Orange Cassidy
Dr. Britt Baker
Nyla Rose

Who Should Win: MJF

Dude just talks shit about everybody under the sun. Even Negative One, for heaven’s sake!

Who Will Win: Orange Cassidy

Twitter was made for people like Orange, who have no problem keeping their thoughts under 140 characters. I’m also good at it!

Breakout Male Star:
Orange Cassidy
Darby Allin
Eddie Kingston
John Silver

Who Should Win: Eddie Kingston

I can make a really good argument for every single nominee. We’ve already seen Orange’s name pop up a few times here, it’s no secret that he had an outstanding year. Darby is the current TNT Champion and has proven his worth every time we’ve seen him in the ring. The Brian Cage match took place after voting started, but it was evidence of why Allin deserves to win an award like this, and deserves his spot as TNT Champion and the man that Sting has chosen to carry on his legacy. Don’t get me started on Johnny Hungiee, once he started showing his personality on Being The Elite, everybody fell in love with the guy.

Eddie Kingston only went from needing to sell his wrestling boots to pay the rent to being one of AEW’s brightest stars. Those of us who were familiar with his work in the indies or in Impact wrestling knew about it. All Eddie needed was a chance, and he’d take care of business. That’s exactly what he did, and he’ll be in AEW as long as he wants to be.

Who Will Win: Darby Allin

It’ll be well-deserved, too. Nobody can deny that Darby brings it every time he’s out there. The man might be 170 pounds fully clothed with some chains, but his toughness and inability to quit can’t be denied.

Breakout Female Star:
Anna Jay
Tay Conti
Big Swole
Penelope Ford
Hikaru Shida

Who Should Win: Anna Jay

Anna had less than ten matches before getting on AEW television, and she immediately proved that she belongs. She can only get better in the ring, and she already performs at an acceptable level. Her only weakness? She always corpses when John Silver is being peak John Silver. I can’t really blame her for it.

Who Will Win: Hikaru Shida

I mean, she is the AEW Women’s Champion. Which is at least the second most important championship in the women’s division. It’s no fault of Shida’s, she does good work, but I don’t really see that connection between her and the audience.

Bleacher Report PPV Moment of the Year:
Stadium Stampede
Jon Moxley Wins AEW World Championship
Shida Wins AEW Women’s World Championship
Kenny Omega & Adam “Hangman” Page Defeat The Young Bucks
Darby Allin Defeats Cody Rhodes For TNT Title
Young Bucks Win AEW World Tag Title

Who Should Win: Jon Moxley Wins AEW World Championship

Tons of good contenders here, but it’s tough to argue against Mox knocking off Le Champion at Revolution. He was the right man to take the title from Chris Jericho at the right time, and few champions could have carried AEW through this weird year like Moxley did.

Who Will Win: Stadium Stampede

I think the multi-man clustermess has the best chance of garnering the most votes. It was certainly one of the most unique offerings from AEW in 2020.

Will the AEW Dynamite Awards be a unique offering? Tough to say, but you can find out by streaming the show on BR Live next Wednesday! You can also find out how right I was on every single award. It’s a gift.


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Opinion

Andrew’s Top 5 Matches: Week Ending 1/17/2021

Now since this week isn’t full of big events, the list should be a little more interesting. Let’s see what made the Top 5 and if it’s close to last week’s quality!

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Last week kicked things off hot and heavy, and as expected; we cooled down a little this week. Still some fun matches, but nothing should really be competition for last week’s list.

Speaking of that list, all 6 matches had some support, and that’s really nice to see. However, there has to be a winner, and by only a couple of votes; Wrestle Kingdom Night 1: Will Ospreay vs Kazuchika Okada, won the popular vote!

So let’s see what matches we get to possibly add to the January pool!

Quick Top 5:

  1. NXT UK: NXT UK Championship: Walter (c) vs A-Kid
    Rating: ****
  2. Hard to Kill: Kenny Omega, Karl Anderson & Doc Gallows vs Moose, Rich Swann & Chris Sabin
    Rating: ****
  3. Hard to Kill: Barbed Wire Massacre: Sami Callihan vs Eddie Edwards
    Rating: *** 3/4
  4. NXT: MSK vs Isaiah Scott & Jake Atlas
    Rating: *** 1/2
  5. Hard to Kill: X Division Championship: Manik (c) vs Rohit Raju vs Chris Bey
    Rating: *** 1/2
  6. IMPACT!: Rich Swann vs Karl Anderson
    Rating: *** 1/2

Honorable Mentions:

  • AEW New Year’s Smash Night 2: TNT Championship: Darby Allin (c) vs Brian Cage
    Rating: *** 1/4
  • Hard to Kill: Knockouts Championship: Deonna Purrazzo (c) w/Kimber Lee & Susan vs Taya Valkyrie w/ Decay
    Rating: *** 1/4
  • IMPACT!: Rohit Raju & Chris Bey vs Manik & Suicide
    Rating: *** 1/4
  • WWE SmackDown: Daniel Bryan vs Cesaro
    Rating: *** 1/4
  • NXT: Undisputed Era vs Breezango
    Rating: ***
  • Hard to Kill: Knockouts Tag Team Title Finals: Fire & Flava (Kiera Hogan & Tasha Steelz) vs Nevaeh & Havok
    Rating: ***
  • AEW New Year’s Smash Night 2: NWA Women’s World Championship: Serena Deeb (c) vs Tay Conti
    Rating: ***
  • WWE SmackDown: Jey Uso vs Shinsuke Nakamura
    Rating: ***
  • IMPACT!: Tenille Dashwood w/Kaleb vs Rosemary
    Rating: ***

4t. IMPACT!: Rich Swann vs Karl Anderson

From My Results:

The entire time Kenny’s been in the picture, they’ve put a lot of spotlight on some of Karl’s singles accolades in Japan. So it should come as no surprise that Karl actually came in with a plan and dominated for a good portion. Karl focused on the shoulder and it worked really well for him.

Rich was selling and getting caught by Shotgun kicks and a bunch of other moves, but at least proving to be resilient. Rich manages to catch Karl as Karl starts looking to finish things. A few nice strikes, the over the shoulder back kick and finally Swann’s got something. Karl does stabilize and look for the Gun Stun, but Rich ducks the Gun Stun with a School Boy Rollup and that’s the match!

Winner: Swann via School Boy Rollup

 

4t. Hard to Kill: X Division Championship: Manik (c) vs Rohit Raju vs Chris Bey

From My Results:

Rohit went after Manik to try and prove his point that it’s TJP. Bey seemed dead set on finding a way to win, and as we expected in an X Division match; there were a lot of spots, but they all made sense. Rohit does manage to take off the mask, but TJP painted his face under the mask, so it still throws off Rohit. TJP strings together a few moves, goes for the Mamba Splash, but gets caught by Bey with a Cutter. Bey then hits a Double Art of Finesse, but his brief moment of not knowing who to pin, caused the pinfall breakup.

Rohit almost won the title back after his call back to hitting his Tiger Knee after a Mamba Splash but Bey kicked out. Haymakers get thrown, Rohit hits the Dragon Stomp on Bey, and looks to finish things, but TJP slides in for the style of Cradle he’s used a bit lately, and retains his title after a fun, hard fought match.

Winner: Manik via Ole Cradle

 

4t. NXT: MSK vs Isaiah Scott & Jake Atlas

From Mitchell’s Coverage:

Swerve drags Wes up, full nelson for Atlas to HEEL KICK Wes, then a spin to a fireman’s carry, toss and SPINNING POWERSLAM! Swerve is up top, 450 SPLASH! Atlas covers, but Carter breaks it just in time! Fans fire up as Swerve grows frustrated! Swerve throws Carter back out, Atlas drags Wes back over and tags Swerve in. Atlas drags Wes to a corner, rams his shoulder in, and Swerve helps hoist Wes to the top rope. Swerve and Atlas both climb up to bring Wes up but Carter drags Atlas down in a heap! Wes shoves Swerve away and both men fall to the mat! Fans fire up as everyone is down, and Wes gets to ropes. Wes kicks Swerve away to go to his corner but no one is home.

Swerve runs in, blocks a boot, but Carter tags in! Carter ROCKS Swerve, Wes pops Swerve up to the ropes, Carter ROCKS Swerve into Wes’ NO HANDS POISON-RANA!! Carter drags Swerve up, Wes runs in, BLOCKBUSTER HART ATTACK! Cover, MSK WINS!!

Winner: MSK via Blockbuster Hart Attack

 

3. Hard to Kill: Barbed Wire Massacre: Sami Callihan vs Eddie Edwards

From My Results:

Interesting pacing to get across the familiarity, twisted respect and love for punishment between these two. We saw Barbed Wire Tables, Chairs, Baseball Bats, Kendo Sticks and even an…N64 Controller!

Sami took a ton of punishment, but the story was basically playing with Eddie’s emotions to bait him into bad dives, and openings for Sami to move out of the way, or sneak in a barbed wire shot. Eddie hit a Blue Thunder Bomb on a barbed wire chair, Sami hit an Avalanche Piledriver through a barbed wire table, but none of this was enough. If anything, the Piledriver just pissed Eddie off.

Going for the callback that started it all, Sami tries to hit a Barbed Wire Chair into Eddie’s face with a Barbed Wire Bat, but Eddie hits a low blow to get a moment. Sami tries to bring himself up with a chair, Eddie hits the Boston Knee Party, then the Diehard Flowsion for the win!

Winner: Eddie via Diehard Flowsion

 

1t. Hard to Kill: Kenny Omega, Karl Anderson & Doc Gallows vs Moose, Rich Swann & Chris Sabin

From My Results:

We get a lot of Japanese tag stylings, from the triple team that Team Impact pulls off, to the way the Club breaks up any type of momentum with their own train attacks into the corner. Moose looked amazing in this match. He went toe to toe with everyone, pulled off great moves like a Standing Moonsault, leaped to the top rope for a Spanish Fly and was a really good teammate, regardless of his issues with Rich Swann. Hell Swann and Moose even hit a Doomsday Device variant together. Small aside, I did like seeing Chris Sabin pull off Cradle Shock, which just doesn’t happen often enough anymore.

Omega almost has the match one on Rich, but the only one able to break it up was Moose, and he did so. Omega went into V-Trigger spamming mode to wipe out Moose, rock Rich and then a One Winged Angel won the match for the Bullet Club former members.

Winner: Omega via One Winged Angel

 

1t. NXT UK: NXT UK Championship: Walter (c) vs A-Kid

From Mitchell’s Coverage:

AK survives two powerful impacts and BT Sports Studio is thunderous! Walter stirs and crawls over to AK. Walter facelocks AK, drags him up and eggs him on. Walter CHOPS AK back down and AK flops to ropes! AK sits up and Walter kicks at him again. Walter CLUBS AK but AK gets up with a clenched jaw. AK SLAPS Walter, then catches the chop to a takedown! AK locks up one arm, wants the other, but Walter resists! AK shifts to an ARMBAR! Walter clasps hands, moves around, but AK keeps his shoulders up in the triangle hold! Walter moves around, rolls them both to the ropes then out of the ring! Walter APRON BOMBS AK down!!

AK crumples to the floor but Walter drags him back up to put him in. Walter stalks AK but AK fires off palm strikes! Walter grabs AK for a sleeper but AK pries it off to PELE! Walter staggers, AK runs, into a LARIAT!! Walter CHOPS AK on the back! And POINT-BLANK LARIATS!! Cover, Walter wins!!

Winner: Walter via Burning Lariat

 

Thoughts:

Well it’s hard to argue that Walter vs A-Kid was the best match, it only lacked a little punch since I don’t follow NXT UK super closely; so I didn’t see A-Kid as a credible threat. He did prove himself fairly well with the MMA style strikes and grappling attacks, but he’s still to fresh of a face to me, for me to have bought in as much as say Ilja or Tyler Bate, when they had their big versus little man matches.

Impact did bring some higher quality, but that’s to be expected since they had a PPV and a Go Home. The Rascalz debuting as MSK was nice, so I’m glad they got a small moment to shine.

Either way, Walter vs A-Kid, is my vote for match of the week. Which one gets your vote?


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