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Andrew’s Top 5 (10) Matches: Week Ending 9/27/2020

Okay okay, this Top A Lot list is all Japanese matches. With concurrent tournaments it was bound to happen. Maybe you’ve seen some of the matches?

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So last week we had too many good matches to fit into just a list of 5 – and this week is similar! This is what happens with big tournaments and shows going on all at once!

Now, even though we had a ton of choices, the hype helped this one match run away with the vote, AEW Dynamite: Parking Lot Fight: Santana & Ortiz vs Best Friends, nearly lapped the list.

I didn’t have time to really get to the normal TV programs, so this will probably be a much different list than most.

Quick Top 5:

  1. N-1 Victory Day 3: B Block: Takashi Sugiura vs Naomichi Marufuji
    Rating: **** 3/4
  2. G1 Climax 30 Day 5: Kota Ibushi vs Tomohiro Ishii
    Rating: **** ½
  3. Stardom 5Star GP Blue Stars Final Day: Utami Hayashishita vs Syuri
    Rating: **** 1/2
  4. G1 Climax 30 Day 4: Tetsuya Naito vs Zack Sabre Jr
    Rating: **** 1/2
  5. G1 Climax 30 Day 5: Shingo Takagi vs Will Ospreay
    Rating: **** ½
  6. Dragon Gate Dangerous Gate: Open the Twin Gate: Kota Minoru & Jason Lee (c) vs Dragon Kid & Susumu Yokosuka
    Rating: **** 1/4
  7. G1 Climax 30 Day 3: Jay White vs Kota Ibushi
    Rating: **** ¼
  8. Champion Carnival Day 4: Yuma Aoyagi vs Kento Miyahara
    Rating: **** 1/4
  9. N-1 Victory Day 4: A Block: Go Shiozaki vs Masaaki Mochizuki
    Rating: **** 1/4
  10. Champion Carnival Day 4: AJPW Junior Heavyweight Championship: Koji Iwamoto (c) vs Ikuto Hidaka
    Rating: **** ¼

 

Honorable Mentions:

  1. N-1 Victory Day 4: B Block: Shuhei Taniguchi vs Katsuhiko Nakajima
    Rating: ****
  2. Dragon Gate Dangerous Gate: Kzy vs Naruki Doi
    Rating: ****
  3. N-1 Victory Day 4: B Block: Naomichi Marufuji vs Kenoh
    Rating: ****
  4. G1 Climax 30 Day 3: Will Ospreay vs Tomohiro Ishii
    Rating: *** ¾
  5. N-1 Victory Day 4: A Block: Manabu Soya vs Kaito Kiyomiya
    Rating: *** 3/4
  6. WWE Clash of Champions: Intercontinental Ladder Match: Sami Zayn vs AJ Styles vs Jeff Hardy (c)
    Rating: *** 3/4
  7. G1 Climax 30 Day 4: YOSHI-HASHI vs EVIL
    Rating: *** 3/4
  8. N-1 Victory Day 3: A Block: Kazushi Sakuraba vs Go Shiozaki
    Rating: *** 3/4
  9. N-1 Victory Day 4: B Block: Katsuhiko Nakajima vs Takashi Sugiura
    Rating: *** 3/4
  10. G1 Climax 30 Day 3: Taichi vs Minoru Suzuki
    Rating: *** ¾
  11. Dragon Gate Dangerous Gate: DOA Cage Match: Eita vs YAMATO vs Big R Shimizu vs KAI vs Masato Yoshino vs BxB Hulk
    Rating: *** 1/2
  12. NJPW Strong Ep. 8: Blake Christian vs Adrian Quest
    Rating: *** 1/2
  13. Stardom 5Star GP Grande Finals: Himeka vs Utami Hayashishita
    Rating: *** 1/2
  14. N-1 Victory Day 3: B Block: Kenoh vs Shuhei Taniguchi
    Rating: *** 1/2
  15. G1 Climax 30 Day 5: Jay White vs Kazuchika Okada
    Rating: *** ½
  16. Stardom 5Star GP Blue Stars Final Day: Maika vs Syuri
    Rating: *** 1/2
  17. WWE Clash of Champions: Universal Championship: Jey Uso vs Roman Reigns(c)
    Rating: *** 1/2
  18. Champion Carnival Day 4: Shuji Ishikawa vs Shotaro Ashino
    Rating: *** 1/2
  19. N-1 Victory Day 3: A Block: Kaito Kiyomiya vs Masa Kitamiya
    Rating: *** 1/2
  20. UWN Prime Time Live Ep. 2: NWA Women’s World Championship: Thunder Rosa(c) vs Priscilla Kelly
    Rating: *** 1/2
  21. Stardom 5Star GP Red Stars Final Day: Tam Nakano vs Mayu Iwatani
    Rating: *** 1/2
  22. IMPACT!: Winner Gets an Immediate X Division Title Shot: Chris Bey vs TJP vs Trey Miguel
    Rating: *** 1/4
  23. Stardom 5Star GP Red Stars Final Day: Konami vs Himeka
    Rating: *** 1/4
  24. Champion Carnival Day 4: Kuma Arashi vs Jake Lee
    Rating: *** 1/4
  25. G1 Climax 30 Day 4: SANADA vs Hirooki Goto
    Rating: *** 1/4
  26. IMPACT!: Tenille Dashwood w/Kaleb Konley vs Jordynne Grace
    Rating: *** 1/4
  27. WWE Clash of Champions: WWE Championship Ambulance Match: Randy Orton vs Drew McIntyre (c)
    Rating: *** 1/4
  28. NJPW Strong Ep. 8: Barrett Brown vs Danny Limelight
    Rating: *** 1/4
  29. G1 Climax 30 Day 4: Juice Robinson vs KENTA
    Rating: *** 1/4
  30. G1 Climax 30 Day 3: Shingo vs Jeff Cobb
    Rating: *** ¼
  31. N-1 Victory Day 4: A Block: Masa Kitamiya vs Kazushi Sakuraba
    Rating: ***
  32. G1 Climax 30 Day 5: Jeff Cobb vs Minoru Suzuki
    Rating: ***
  33. WWE Clash of Champions: Raw Tag Team Titles: Angel Garza & Andrade vs The Street Profits (c)
    Rating: ***
  34. Stardom 5Star GP Blue Stars Final Day: Maika vs AZM
    Rating: ***
  35. IMPACT!: Kimber Lee w/Deonna Purrazzo vs Susie w/Kylie Rae
    Rating: ***
  36. UWN Prime Time Live Ep. 2: Karl Fredericks vs Slice Boogie
    Rating: ***
  37. N-1 Victory Day 4: A Block: Kazushi Sakuraba vs Kaito Kiyomiya
    Rating: ***
  38. Champion Carnival: SUWAMA vs Zeus
    Rating: ***
  39. NJPW Strong Ep. 8: Clark Connors vs Jordan Clearwater
    Rating: ***
  40. G1 Climax 30 Day 3: Kazuchika Okada vs Yujiro Takahashi
    Rating ***
  41. IMPACT!: RVD w/Katie Forbes vs Sami Callihan
    Rating: ***

 6t. Champion Carnival Day 4: AJPW Junior Heavyweight Championship: Koji Iwamoto (c) vs Ikuto Hidaka

Snippet from Mathew’s Review:

Koji gets Ikuto up for a Brainbuster and as he attempts a second one, he bounces him off the ropes to do a Swinging Neckbreaker. Koji attempts a German Suplex as Ikuto flipped over him and caught Koji’s leg, kicking it in and hits a Dropkick on it right after to hurt his knee again. Ikuto applies the Kneebar and wrenches it up to get more pain in until he had to break the hold but he’s still on the attack, hitting him with beautiful kicks to make the champ hang between the ropes. Ikuto takes advantage of this as he goes onto the apron, hitting a DDT right on it and the champ goes down. Koji got back in the ring eventually and runs after him as Ikuto hits him with a kick to the face as Koji kicked out. Ikuto attempts a Brainbuster as Koji pushed him out of the ring, holding onto the ropes to lunge himself back in as Koji would do the same as Koji caught him with a knee to the face. Koji ran the ropes but Ikuto catches him with a Backdrop, making Koji roll up right away and does another takedown, the crowd is loving it! Koji hits a German Suplex Hold as Ikuto kicked out at two. Koji would throw him into the ropes and attempts the Koko no Geijutsu but Ikuto held his ground and pushed him off for a moment and as Koji ran towards him, Ikuto backflips into him as if it was a Sliced Bread! Koji catches him with a Lariat before hitting the Dragon Suplex to try and take him down, and he finally hits the Koko no Geijutsu, retaining the championship! What a match!

Winner: Iwamoto via Koko no Geijutsu

 

6t. N-1 Victory Day 4: A Block: Go Shiozaki vs Masaaki Mochizuki

From My Results:

After Go fights off the submission we get more strikes, Chops from Go, Kicks from Mochi; Mochi gets the advantage after a Buzzsaw Kick, Brazilian Kick and a Snapping High Kick drive Go to the corner ropes. Mochi runs to perform his Triangle Kick finish, but a huge desperation Lariat takes Mochi out of his shoes. They both crawl to the center, slowly get up to strike, Go gets a small advantage hitting a few chops, Limit Breaker, the Karate Chop takedown and a Go Flasher, but only a 2 count!

The strikes continue until we see a trade of finishers, Triangle Kick lands which rocks Go, but he falls back into the ropes and charges forward with a Gowan Lariat. As both recover a little, Go looks for another Gowan Lariat, Mochi ducks, follows him to the ropes, Dragon Suplex Hold for the pinfall!

Winner: Mochizuki via Dragon Suplex Hold

 

6t. Champion Carnival Day 4: Yuma Aoyagi vs Kento Miyahara

Snippet from Mathew’s Review:

Kento waits for Yuma to get back into the ring and hits the first Blackout into the corner and attempts a German Suplex as Yuma fought off and attempts one of his own, making Kento turn as they both do but Yuma would eventually hit the move onto Kento. The two would get up and hit each other with stiff forearms and it seemed like nobody was going to stop anytime soon until Yuma hits Kento with a Superkick before hitting three German Suplexes in a row but Kento kicked out at two! Yuma jumped to the second rope and it looked like he was gonna go for another Crossbody as Kento caught up to him before he could jump and hits a German Suplex with Yuma on the second rope! Kento attempts the Shutdown German Suplex Hold as Yuma broke free but Kento tries to hit a Blackout instead, only for Yuma to catch his knee and hit a stiff forearm before hitting a spinning kick to get Kento down. Yuma applies the End Game again in the center of the ring and this could be it but as Yuma tried to position himself better, Kento got his foot on the rope! Yuma goes for the Rockstar Buster as Kento pushed himself off and hits the Blackout and as he attempts to hit another one, Yuma had him to the ropes and pins him with the European Clutch as Kento kicked out at two! Another Blackout from Kento in which Yuma responds with a Superkick and goes for a spin kick but Kento ducks and hits another Blackout. Kento goes for the finish as he finally hits the Shutdown German Suplex Hold, staying in the game while eliminating Yuma in the process.

Winner: Kento via Shutdown Suplex

 

6t. G1 Climax 30 Day 3: Jay White vs Kota Ibushi

Snippet from Mitchell’s Coverage:

Red Shoes counts, White kicks the bad leg! SNAP SLEEPER SUPLEX! But Ibushi is back up!? V-TRIGGER!! Kenny!! Ibushi brings White up, lifts, LAST RIDE!! Cover, TWO!?! White barely survives and Gedo is relieved! Ibushi won’t stop to be frustrated, he vows to end this! Ibushi grabs the arms, sits White up but White reaches for Red Shoes! Red Shoes tries to shake White off but White refuses. White does let go and throws forearms, but Ibushi just takes them with a smirk on his face. Ibushi DECKS White with one! Fans applaud again as Ibushi sits White up for the BUZZSAW! But Ibushi won’t stop there, he sits White back up with both wrists, but Gedo has the towel? Is Gedo really going to save White like this?

No, it’s so White can get away with a LOW BLOW UPPERCUT! Gedo walks away and White drags Ibushi from the ropes. Fans rally for Ibushi but White gives Ibushi the fisherman BACK SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO!! Ibushi escapes and White is furious! White drags Ibushi up by the wrists, reels him in, but Ibushi powers out and V-TRIGGERS!! Gedo is on the apron, Ibushi ROUNDHOUSES him down! Ibushi has White’s wrists, for KAM- NO! BLADERUNNER!!! Cover, White wins!!!

Winner: White via Blade Runner

 

6t. Dragon Gate Dangerous Gate: Open the Twin Gate: Kota Minoru & Jason Lee (c) vs Dragon Kid & Susumu Yokosuka

The Dragon Gate generation defends against the Toryumon generation! This promises to be fast paced and frenetic since neither group is the big bad heel group of Dragon Gate (that’s R.E.D.), so this will be more of two babyface or tweener teams going hard.

As is the usual set up with Japanese tag matches, we see each of the men have early time to shine before the match kicks into the next gear. When it kicks, it begins with a nice dive from Dragon Kid, and we’re off to the races. There are great counter moves, a nice leg sweep during the rope run for a Tiger Feint, and Asai Moonsault to the outside.

We get another gear shift as both teams start hitting a ton of tandem moves, saves, a flashy Kick/Strike combination, more pinfall breaks and tandem attacks. Jason Lee catches Dragon Kid with a kick, knocking him down, leaving him vulnerable to the Hong Kong Tornado (Yang Time).

Now since I don’t follow Dragon Gate extremely closely, I’m not sure if there was a tangible story…but damn was it fun to watch.

Winner: Lee via Hong Kong Tornado

 

2t. G1 Climax 30 Day 5: Shingo Takagi vs Will Ospreay

Snippet from Mathew’s Review:

Shingo caught Ospreay midair and would toss him into the ropes before attempting the Pump Bomber, which Ospreay flipped over him and catches him with a Powerbomb as Shingo kicked out. Ospreay would call for the Oscutter and hits it as Shingo kicked out at two! Ospreay goes for the Strombreaker but Shingo fought out of it and when Ospreay attempted a kick, Shingo caught him and hits the MADE IN JAPAN and kickout by Will! Shingo hits the Pumping Bomber this time and Ospreay backflipped with it but still kicked out. Shingo went for the Last of the Dragon but Will fought off him and hits the Hook Kick before delivering a Reverserana. The two exchange blows to each other and Will gets him to down to taught him but Shingo delivers a couple of forearms before meeting another kick. Will tries to run the ropes but Shingo catches him with a Lariat before attempting another Pumping bomber but Ospreay catches him with the Spanish Fly for a kickout when Shingo attempted to roll him up, and Ospreay kicked out as well. Ospreay called for the Oscutter from the top rope but Shingo pushed his legs out to stop him and as he attempted a German. Ospreay held on and made Shingo go to the outside to hit a Pumping Bomber before climbing up to have him on his shoulders for a Death Valley Driver. Shingo hits the Pumping Bomber and then the Last of the Dragon, giving Shingo his first victory and revenge over Will. Their first encounter was better but this was still a great match, can’t wait for the third encounter!

Winner: Takagi via Last of the Dragon

 

2t. G1 Climax 30 Day 4: Tetsuya Naito vs Zack Sabre Jr

From My Results:

Not really a fiery comeback spot, but Naito finally has space to breathe and work out a plan. Naito gets Zack into a spot to try the Destino, ZSJ stops him with an elbow, Tornado DDT from Naito stalls Zack and then Naito sinks in Puma Blanca. ZSJ struggles a little to find an exit before just rolling to the ropes. Zack counters Gloria with an Overhead Kick, Naito Enzuigiris him for good measure, goes for the Flying Forearm, but ZSJ dodges and locks in the Octopus Hold. Rides it down as a Grounded Octopus and starts going to work on Naito’s limbs. Naito does manage to find the ropes, but he’s not moving much after the rope break.

A bunch of nice quick counters set in, leading to Naito hitting the Running Destino, but when he goes for the arm wringer version, ZSJ counters with the Zack Driver. Zack with a Front Neck Lock, which he transitions to the Prawn Hold that beat EVIL, Naito kicks out, European Leg Clutch, Naito barely kicks, and we’re left at a bit of a stalemate. ZSJ tries a Zack Driver again, but Naito now counters with Destino, for 2. Arm Wringer Destino, and Naito scrapes by.

Winner: Naito via Destino

 

2t. Stardom 5Star GP Blue Stars Final Day: Utami Hayashishita vs Syuri

Snippet from Mathew’s Coverage:

The two finally got up on their feet and would punch each other back and forth until Syuri attempts a kick, making Utami punch her leg down and hits a Lariat as the two go down again. Utami was able to lift Syuri for the German Suplex hold as Syuri kicked out at two. Utami would pick her up to apply the Torture Rack but Syuri rolled off to apply a modified Fujiwara Armbar and turned it into an Armlock as she has it locked in but Utami finally got to the ropes, fighting off the pain. Syuri was able to hit the Buzzsaw Kick and it looks like it’s over but Utami kicked out at two! Syuri wasted no time and would run the ropes to hit the Running Knee Strike and pins Utami again as she kicked out again! Utami slowly got to her hands and knees as Syuri kicked her face in to knock her down but Utami grabbed the ropes before getting the three count. Syuri calls for the finish and runs the ropes but Utami pulled her in to hit a German Suplex as the two do down and we have a couple of minutes left! Utami got Syuri up and finally hits the Torture Rack Bomb and this could be it but Syuri grabbed the ropes before the three count as well! The two are punching each other until Syuri got up to hit another Buzzsaw kick, she’s done but Utami kicked out again! Utami flipped Syuri over and applies the Rear Naked Choke, looking to get the submission victory as she’s forced to let go when Syuri turned it into a pin. Utami quickly picked her up for the Torture Rack and the bell rang once she hits the Torture Rack Bomb, making it a no-contest with one point each, making Utami the winner of the Blue Stars Block with ten points! What an incredible match, best for my block!

Winner: Time Limit Draw

 

2t. G1 Climax 30 Day 5: Kota Ibushi vs Tomohiro Ishii

Snippet from Mitchell’s Coverage:

Ishii suplexes Ibushi but Ibushi slips out. Ishii swats the roundhouse away but Ibushi PELES! Ishii wobbles, but he blocks Ibushi’s clothesline to spin Ibushi around. Ishii reels Ibushi in but Ibushi suplexes first! To STEAL the BRAIN BUSTER! Fans are thunderous again as both men are down again! The ref checks on both men, they’re okay to continue and slowly rise. Ibushi is up first, teeth grit as the fans rally behind him. Ishii rises, Ibushi runs but Ishii LARIATS! Ishii drags Ibushi back up, but Ibushi trades palm strikes again! ROUNDHOUSE!

Ibushi brings knee pads down, has the wrists and sits Ishii up, but Ishii breaks free. Ibushi still thrusts, but Ishii blocks. Ibushi forearms, hops up but Ishii pushes him off to waistlock. Ishii GERMANS, but Ibushi lands on his feet! BOMAYE!! Cover, TWO!?! Ishii survives Ibushi’s tribute to the King of Strong Style, but Ibushi keeps his focus. Ibushi grabs the wrists, sits Ishii up, but Ishii lariats! There wasn’t much to it, Ibushi KNEES Ishii again, but Ishii HEADBUTTS back! Ibushi LARIATS! Ibushi runs, V-TRIGGER!! KENYY!! KAMI-GOYE!!! Cover, Ibushi wins!!

Winner: Ibushi via Kamigoye

 

1. N-1 Victory Day 3: B Block: Takashi Sugiura vs Naomichi Marufuji

From My Results:

Both men start realizing the match is going long, so they might be approaching Time. We see Marufuji go for a few Hook Kicks, but Sugiura eats em, then just tosses Marufuji. Two Running Knee Lifts, and an Olympic Slam, but Marufuji kicks out. Sugiura takes him to the ropes for an Avalanche Olympic Slam, but gets an Avalanche Shiranui instead! A slow cover means no pinfall, so Marufuji hits the Cobra Clutch KO-OH and then True Tiger King…BUT SUGIURA KICKS OUT!  Marufuji looks to be aiming for the Fisherman Flowsion, but Sugiura catches him with the Front Neck Lock.

The Front Neck Lock, wrestles him down, and Marufuji is in the hold for at least 30 seconds…but the Time Limit bell rings!

Winner: Time Limit Draw

 

Thoughts:

There’s even more matches on this article than the last! And yes, I know what some of you may be saying ” 6-10 wasn’t a tie for fifth, why didn’t you stop at 5″. Well that’s easy, because there were too many matches that deserved a bit of recognition. When there were still some 4 snowflake matches that missed a Top 10, that’s a damn good week.

So yes, there we have it. Plus I’m aware this is a harder list for most people since this Top 10 is all Japanese matches. My choice will go to my number 1, Takashi Sugiura vs Naomichi Marufuji, because that was a great match to go into their storied history.

Hopefully you’re watching at least the G1 since NJPW is becoming a little less random Japanese company, and more general knowledge.


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Opinion

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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