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Andrew’s Top 5 Matches: Week Ending 9/13/2020

NXT, Stardom, All Japan, Impact…all have big matches or tournaments going on. What does this week’s Top 5 look like?



We see the Stardom 5Star Grand Prix continuing, AJPW Champion Carnival starting, plus some pretty big television matches. So much wrestling, so many tournaments…this is gonna be an interesting next few weeks.

So let’s see how August broke down and what the Match of the Year Pool looks like so far.

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
  • June – NXT In Your House: NXT Women’s Champion Triple Threat: Io Shirai vs Charlotte Flair (c) vs Rhea Ripley
  • July – NJPW Dominion: NEVER Openweight Championship: Shingo Takagi (c) vs SHO
  • August – NOAH the Chronicle Vol 3: GHC National Openweight & GHC Heavyweight Championship Double Title Match: Kenoh (c) vs Go Shiozaki (c)

I always love when a non-New Japan puro company makes it on to the list; especially a quality match like the Double Champion match. Plus, to prove there’s no hanky panky in the votes, AEW All Out: AEW Tag Team Championship: Hangman Page & Kenny Omega (c) vs FTR, won the weekly vote. And we all know I’d rather eat glass than vote for AEW 90% of the time, so there we go.

Quick Top 5:

  1. NXT: Vacant NXT Championship: Finn Balor vs Adam Cole
    Rating: **** 1/4
  2. Stardom Red Stars: Mayu Iwatani vs Konami
    Rating: ****
  3. IMPACT!: World Tag Team Championships: The Rascalz (Dez & Wentz) vs Motor City Machine Guns (c)
    Rating: ****
  4. Stardom Red Stars: Saya Kamitani vs Himeka
    Rating: ****
  5. AJPW Champion Carnival: SUWAMA vs Jiro Kuroshio
    Rating: ****


Honorable Mentions:

  • AJPW Champion Carnival: Kento Miyahara vs Yoshitatsu
    Rating: *** 3/4
  • Stardom Blue Stars: AZM vs Utami Hayashishita
    Rating: *** 3/4
  • NJPW New Japan Road: NEVER 6 Man Championship: CHAOS (YOSHI-HASHI, Tomohiro Ishii & Hirooki Goto) (c) vs CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada, SHO & Toru Yano)
    Rating: *** 3/4
  • AJPW Champion Carnival Day 2: Yuma Aoyagi vs Shotaro Ashino
    Rating: *** 3/4
  • NJPW New Japan Road: Vacant IWGP Jr Tag Championship: Suzuki-Gun (El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru) vs LIJ (Hiromu Takahashi & BUSHI)
    Rating: *** 3/4
  • Stardom Blue Stars: AZM vs Jungle Kyona
    Rating: *** 1/2
  • AJPW Champion Carnival Day 1: Jake Lee vs Jiro Kuroshio
    Rating: *** 1/2
  • NJPW Strong Ep. 6: TJP & ACH vs Adrian Quest & Logan Riegel
    Rating: *** 1/2
  • NJPW New Japan Road: LIJ (Hiromu Takahashi & BUSHI) vs Suzuki-Gun (Yoshinobu Kanemaru & El Desperado)
    Rating: *** 1/2
  • Stardom Red Stars: Konami vs Giulia
    Rating: *** 1/4
  • Stardom Blue Stars: Momo Watanabe vs Natsuko Tora
    Rating: *** 1/4
  • NJPW New Japan Road: Ass Masters (Master Wato & Ryusuke Taguchi) vs Bullet Club (Taiji Ishimori & Gedo)
    Rating: ***
  • IMPACT!: TJP vs Chris Bey
    Rating: ***
  • NJPW New Japan Road: Kota Ibushi, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Tomoaki Honma & Yuji Nagata vs Suzuki-Gun (Minoru Suzuki, ZSJ, Taichi & DOUKI)
    Rating: ***
  • NJPW New Japan Road: Yota Tsuji, Gabriel Kidd & Yuya Uemura vs Tomoaki Honma, Yuji Nagata & Satoshi Kojima
    Rating: ***
  • NJPW Strong Ep. 6: IWGP US Rights Certificate: KENTA (c) vs Jeff Cobb
    Rating: ***
  • NJPW New Japan Road: Darkness Club (Yujiro Takahashi, Dick Togo & EVIL) vs LIJ (SANADA, Shingo Takagi & Tetsuya Naito)
    Rating: ***
  • NJPW Strong Ep. 6: Guerrillas of Destiny vs David Finlay & PJ Black
    Rating: ***
  • IMPACT!: Willie Mack vs Brian Myers
    Rating: ***
  • AJPW Champion Carnival Day 2: Kuma Arashi vs Zeus
    Rating: ***
  • NJPW New Japan Road: Darkness Club (EVIL, Dick Togo & Yujiro Takahashi) vs LIJ (SANADA, Tetsuya Naito & Shingo Takagi)
    Rating: ***

2t. AJPW Champion Carnival: SUWAMA vs Jiro Kuroshio

Snippet From Mathew’s Review:

They get back into the ring and Jiro tries to do an Irish Whip but Suwama holds on, so what does Jiro do? He springboards off the ropes to do a backflip and brings Suwama’s arm down with him and applies the Kimura Lock. Jiro struggled to get it on but does until Suwama made it to the ropes. Suwama hits Jiro with the Lariat but Jiro kicked out at two. Suwama attempted a German Suplex but Jiro landed on his feet as Suwama saw and went for a Lariat, and Jiro spun to catch his arm into an Armbreaker! Suwama got to the ropes again and Jiro would hit a Superkick to make the champ to down. Jiro would go for the Moonsault Press to end it but Suwama had his knees up before he could connect. Suwama ran into him in the corner for a Lariat and hits a German Suplex, only to top it off with a Discus Lariat right after but Jiro kicked out after all that! The champ is looking to end it as he lifts him up for the Last Ride but Jiro flipped over him to roll him up and get the surprise victory! Jiro has pinned the champ!

Winner: Jiro via Roll Up


2t. Stardom Red Stars: Saya Kamitani vs Himeka

From My Results:

WOW! So Himeka comes out with medical tape on her right shoulder, so that gives Saya an eventual target. This started out slowly with both women taking a little bit to lock up, and then try to search for some grappling/mat based advantages before Himeka finds the opening and boots Saya out of the ring. This gives us the first glimpse of their dynamic, with Himeka talking smack the entire time as she bounced Saya’s head off the chairs and apron.

Once Saya turned things around, I think we’ve learned how to make Saya look good. She was vicious! Saya started talking crap, repeating jabs back at Himeka, and she threw the referee off multiple times during the match. Saya focused Dropkicks on the injured shoulder, chided and goaded Himeka to engage in strikes, and proved she has quite a sadistic side herself.

Both women sold well, fought well and it was just fantastic. Saya still has to work on finding a good time to do her Water Wheel Kick, cause that still looks bad, but so much of this was tremendous. The Draw worked wonderfully because it showed a vulnerable side of Himeka, since she’s been a bit sadistic and dominant; but damn did this do wonders for Saya.

Winner: Time Limit Draw


2t. IMPACT!: World Tag Team Championships: The Rascalz (Dez & Wentz) vs Motor City Machine Guns (c)

From My Results:

Early on the Guns picked apart Wentz once the initial onslaught stopped. They focused his knees and worked through the progressions well. Bullseye Dropkicks on the knee, a grounded Dragon Screw Leg Whip, and a plethora of other moves. Notably, Shelley was clever as hell when Wentz was seated, Shelley jumped for the expected Dropkick to the chest, but instead drives his knee into Wentz’ busted knee.

Little tandem aspects the Guns pulled off were beautiful, Dez did get the hot tag and it looked great. He took advantage of a tiny slip up by Sabin, Wentz came in, even though he was beleaguered with the knee. They went for Hot Fire Flame, and missed. Shelley comes in, Guns take out Dez, Dirt Bomb on Wentz, and the champs retain.

Winner: MCMG via Dirt Bomb


2t. Stardom Red Stars: Mayu Iwatani vs Konami

From My Results:

Mayu got a near fall with a Dragon Suplex Hold, went to the top rope for her Moonsault, but as soon as she missed, Konami was back in attack mode. Konami sunk in a Sleeper Hold for so long that by the time she broke the hold, since Mayu managed to get her foot to the ropes, Mayu looked like she was just coming back to. More submission offense, Front Neck Lock, a few Triangle Lancer attempts, and then the Triangle Kimura that finished off the match.

Watching Mayu barely limp over to the ropes, and reach with the last bit of her energy as Konami just kept finding ways to choke the life out her was pretty awesome. Konami is usually a little too stoic to get a good read on things, but after this match, attack mode Konami is pretty great.

Winner: Konami via Triangle Kimura


1. NXT: Vacant NXT Championship: Finn Balor vs Adam Cole

From Mitchell’s Coverage:

Cole aims from a corner again, Balor stands up, but Balor SLING BLADES Cole first! Cole comes back, into the elbow drop DDT! Balor hobbles but takes aim from a corner now, to SHOTGUN dropkick Cole to a corner! Cole bounces off buckles and is in the drop zone! Balor goes up top as fast as he can, takes aim again, COUP DE GRACE!! But the bad leg slows Balor to the cover! TWO!?! Cole survives because of that delay!! Balor refuses to be frustrated, he just drags Cole back up. Cole trips Balor up, wraps up the legs for another FIGURE FOUR! Balor endures, his shoulders are down, TWO! Balor refuses to quit, and he works to turn this over. Cole turns it back over, but Balor reaches for the ropes again! Cole lets go, drags Balor away, and goes to reapply, but Balor cradle counters, TWO!

SUPERKICK!! Cole takes Balor down outta nowhere but he isn’t done there. He sits Balor up, runs, LAST SHOT!! Cover, TWO!?!? Now Balor shocks Cole! The crowd is loving “NXT! NXT!” as the atmosphere is electric! Cole goes to a corner, climbs up the ropes again, but Balor catches the jump to a fireman’s carry! And pops Cole to a half hatch, but Cole rams Balor into buckles! Balor holds on, turns Cole around, BLOODY SUNDAY!! But Balor can’t cover because of the bad leg! Balor grits his teeth and powers through the pain to climb back up! Cole SUPERKICKS a leg out! Cole hurries up from the outside, but Balor grabs him first! Balor throws elbows, shifts position, for a SUPER 1916!! Cover, Balor wins!!

Winner: Balor via Avalanche 1916



So we get a solid bit of Japanese tournament matches, yet, NXT and Impact make a decent showing. As much as I enjoyed Greg’s boyfriend versus Miranda’s, I have my own biases. Himeka vs Saya Kamitani, gets my vote for multiple reasons. Those being, they help to cover one another’s short comings and I really have enjoyed watching Himeka’s story throughout the tournament.

The Jumbo Princess has won me over quite a bit. Not yet at the drinking of bath water level, but she’s special.




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