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Andrew’s Top 5 Matches: Week Ending 11/17/2019

In a week with no huge event, we’re going to have an interesting Top 5. What matches made the Top 5?



In a week with no huge event, we’re going to have an interesting Top 5. What matches made the Top 5?

Leading off with the match that won last week, and…well it’s not overly surprising. I wasn’t a huge fan of the match, but that’s the beauty in voting. AEW Full Gear: Lights Out: Kenny Omega vs Jon Moxley, won the vote by a significant margin.

Now with an array of tag leagues starting and ending, NOAH having another YouTube show and weekly TV episodes…what made the Top 5?

5. NOAH Starting Over Day 4: Katsuhiko Nakajima, Shuhei Taniguchi & Go Shiozaki vs Takashi Sugiura, El Hijo de Dr. Wagner Jr & Hideki Suzuki

From My Analysis:
The six man tag matches have actually been really great this show. AXIZ (Nakajima & Shiozaki) have a tag title match against Hideki Suzuki and Kazuyuki Fujita if I remember correctly. So this Sugiura-Gun versus AXIZ match makes sense. Coupled with Taniguchi being in line for a National title shot, all these players make sense.

Suzuki and Shiozaki have a nice back and forth, which also has a little more meat behind it from their match earlier this year that went to a time limit draw. Suzuki kept blocking Shiozaki’s chops, but Go catches him and that’s when the fun starts. Nakajima makes his way in and they trade off kicks and chops just lighting up Suzuki like a Christmas tree. Sugiura and Taniguchi took the match to a different level since their style together feels like Strong Style more than King’s Road. After trading forearms and headbutts, Taniguchi gets busted open above the left eye. This causes a slight botch where Sugiura can’t quit spin around for the necklock out of the suplex, but they go right back to the spot. Lots of pin break ups from both teams, Taniguchi gets the advantage off of some Punt Kicks, hits his Maybach Press twice and gets the visible pinfall over the National Champion.

Winner: Taniguchi via Maybach Press

Rating: *** 3/4


4. NOAH Starting Over Day 4: IPW Junior Heavyweight Championship: Daisuke Harada vs Atsushi Kotoge (c)

From My Analysis:
Given that this match was for a separate promotion’s junior title, the crowd wasn’t exactly abuzz, but they did seem to enjoy the match. As for the match itself, their familiarity showed beautifully. There was a great exchange of rolling out of one another’s moves, Kotoge even managed to sneak in a few knees to counter when Harada usually hits his own moves.

Both men pulled off a ton of signatures. Kotoge went for a Killswitch, Spanish Fly, Kudo Driver and a variety of backslides. Harada went for his Cross Legged Cradle, Knee Uppercut, and a few other prettier moves with some flourish. The match ending on an Avalanche German looked great and was a nice punctuation to a well paced and well wrestled match. Good match, now the only question is what becomes of the title with the recent news of IPW: UK ceasing live shows.

Winner: Harada via Avalanche German Suplex Hold

Rating: *** 3/4


3. NJPW Tag League Day 2: Lance Archer & Minoru Suzuki vs Taichi & Zack Sabre Jr w/Miho Abe

We’re early in the tag league, and we get the Suzuki-Gun face off out of the way early. Could this start to set up the Suzuki-Gun overthrow? Do we continue to see the good version of Taichi that everyone loves?

Taichi got in Suzuki’s face early and didn’t back down. We saw Dangerous T in full effect. Archer was great in his own way since he terrorized a child Day 1, and now he decided to terrorize Miho. He loomed over her on the outside causing her to crawl back against the barricade and scream, and then he screamed at her from in the ring which made her recoil and sob in fear. So Taichi could always have a US title shot in the near future if he doesn’t get in the Tag Team picture.

Sabre and Suzuki went back and forth, Suzuki had a mixture of pride and amusement when he was going back and forth with Sabre. We all know ZSJ is the only one who can compete in catch is catch can style wrestling against Suzuki, and it was just fun to watch. The personalities evolving were fantastic, and even with a couple missed spots, the story telling was more than enough to keep everything fun and entertaining.

Also nice that Suzuki was the first to offer the fist bump of solidarity. Which they extended the offer even to Miho and when she bumped hands with Archer, he screamed at her and she fell down. Everybody dies, even Miho.

Winner: Sabre via Overhead Double Leg Cradle

Rating: ****

Honorable Mentions:

Stardom Goddesses of Stardom Tag League Final Day: Finals: Dream Shine (Tam Nakano & Arisa Hoshiki) vs Top 2 Gaijins (Bea Priestley & Jamie Hayter)
Winner: Dream Shine via Brazilian Kick
Rating: *** 1/2
NOAH Starting Over Day 4: RATEL’S (Tadasuke, YO-HEY & HAYATA) vs STINGER (Yoshinari Ogawa, Kotaro Suzuki & Chris Ridgeway)
Winner: HAYATA via Cradle
Rating: *** 1/2
AEW Dynamite: PAC vs Hangman Page
Winner: PAC via Brutalizer
Rating: *** 1/2
NXT: Cruiserweight Championship: Lio Rush (c) vs Angel Garza
Winner: Rush via Final Hour
Rating: *** 1/2
NJPW Tag League Day 2: KENTA & Yujiro Takahashi vs Hirooki Goto & Karl Fredricks
Winner: Goto via GTR
Rating: *** 1/4
AEW Dynamite: AEW Tag Team Championships: SCU (Kazarian & Scorpio Sky) vs Chris Jericho & Sammy Guevara
Winner: Scorpio win Roll-Up
Rating: *** 1/4
NOAH Starting Over Day 4: KONGOH (Kenoh, Masa Kitamiya & Yoshiki Inamura) vs  Hi69, Kaito Kiyomiya & Naomichi Marufuji
Winner: Kenoh via Double Footstomp
Rating: *** 1/4
NXT: Keith Lee vs Roderick Strong
Winner: Lee via Ground Zero
Rating: *** 1/4
NJPW Tag League Day 1: Tomohiro Ishii & YOSHI-HASHI vs Taichi & Zack Sabre Jr
Winner: Ishii via Vertical Drop Brainbuster
Rating: *** 1/4
WWE SmackDown: Ali G vs Robert Roode & Dolph Ziggler
Winner: Ali G via Chaos Theory 450
Rating: ***
NJPW Tag League Day 2: Juice Robinson & David Finlay vs TenCozy (Hiroyoshi Tenzen & Satoshi Kojima)
Winner: Juice via Pulp Friction
Rating: ***
WWE Raw: Women’s Tag Team Championship: Kabuki Warriors (Asuka & Kairi Sane) (c) vs Charlotte Flair & Becky Lynch
Winner: Asuka via Roll-Up
Rating: ***
IMPACT!: Daga vs Jake Crist
Winner: Daga via Double Underhook Code Breaker
Rating: ***
NWA Powerrr: NWA Tag Team Championships: Wildcard (c) vs Homicide & Eddie Kingston
Winner: Issacs via German Suplex
Rating: ***
NJPW Tag League Day 2: SANADA & EVIL vs Terrible & Shingo Takagi
Winner: EVIL via Everything is Evil
Rating: ***


2. NXT: Ladder Match: Io Shirai vs Mia Yim

Snippet from Mitchell’s Coverage:
Referees and medics check on Mia while Shirai stands the ladder up with her own body. Shirai has the ladder up after some work, then climbs. But Mia doesn’t care about a busted face, she yanks Shirai off the ladder! And climbs it herself! Shirai hurries after her, GERMAN SUPLEX! Mia crashes down and Shirai is furious! She kicks the ladder over in anger, to METEORA Mia in the corner! And then hops up, DESCENT INTO- NO! Mia trips Shirai, claws her back, then climbs up top! Mia brings Shirai up, but Shirai fights back. Shirai headbutts the already bleeding face and Mia tumbles to the floor. But here comes Dakota Kai! Dakota checks on Mia, only for Shirai to ASAI MOONSAULT her and Mia! Shirai shows no mercy and no concern as she goes back to the ring.

Shirai crawls for the ladder she toppled over and works to get it back up. Shirai climbs, but Dakota is the one that goes after her! No disqualifications as she POWERBOMBS Shirai down! Dakota helps Mia into the ring and fans rally! Mia climbs, but wait, that’s NXT UK’s KAY LEE RAY!? She attacks Dakota, and then looks at Mia up top! She shoves the ladder over, Mia crashes through the forgotten ladder!! Full Sail loses their minds as the NXT UK Women’s Champion is helping Io Shirai! Is she the fourth woman?! Shirai reaches the top, has the briefcase, she and Team Baszler win!!

Winner: Io Shirai

Rating: ****


1. IMPACT!: Tag Team Championships: The North (Ethan Page & Josh Alexander) (c) vs Naomichi Marufuji & Eddie Edwards

From My Analysis:
This was an impressive match, and not just for TV, just a damn good match. Things built slowly as Marufuji and Edwards showed off a little familiarity and even interesting cues from Marufuji that you don’t see often. Anyone who was unaware, Eddie was trained in the NOAH Dojo, so he knows Marufuji well since Marufuji did help out the Dojo wrestlers. There was a great exchange where Eddie hooks Alexander in a Tiger Driver, Marufuji 5 Hole Kicks Alexander before the Tiger Driver goes off, but Eddie lands on his knees, so Marufuji launches himself off Eddie’s back and lands a KO-OH on Page, while Eddie hits a classic Tiger Driver for only a 2 count. The NOAH team showed a bit more fluidity than I think The North expected, and Eddie showed he was hard to kill after kicking out of the Tandem Inverted Mat Slam. Page looked out of ideas when they were setting up the Argentine Spinebuster. Just a really entertaining watch.

Winner: The North via Argentine Spinebuster Combo

Rating: **** 1/4



So all things considered, this was a stronger week than expected. I really would’ve like the Stardom Tag League Finals to have made the Top 5, but it wasn’t quite up to snuff. My Tam Nakano bias wasn’t quite strong enough.

When it comes to my choice this week, I’m going to agree with Michael Elgin. That IMPACT! tag team match, was really something special. So, The North (Ethan Page & Josh Alexander) (c) vs Naomichi Marufuji & Eddie Edwards, gets my vote.

Impact doesn’t get the love it deserves, so I’m not expecting it win this week, but it’s still worth the watch. Make sure to vote for your favorite!

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Greg DeMarco’s Good, Bad, & Ugly: WWE Smackdown On FOX (November 3, 2023)

It’s the go-home show for WWE Crown Jewel, and Smackdown is in full force! As is Greg’s Good, Bad, & Ugly review!



WWE Smackdown John Cean Solo Sikoa

It’s the go-home show for WWE Crown Jewel, and Smackdown is in full force! As is Greg’s Good, Bad, & Ugly review!

WWE Smackdown On FOX sends us home for the Crown Jewel premium live event, so it has to be strong. But is it? Maybe it’s Good. Possibly it’s Bad? I sure hope it isn’t Ugly.

Let’s find out!

If you haven’t checked out Mitchell’s Results & Review for this episode of Smackdown, go and check it out now!


  • Roman Reigns & LA Knight In Ring Promo – Last week LA Knight got the better of Roman, so it made sense for Roman to get it all back this week. And he did just that. “Redneck Cosplay of my cousin” was a fantastic line from Roman Reigns, but “I ain’t here to finish something” from LA Knight got a bigger reaction from me. Roman calling himself the megastar was also a phenomenal line. Good stuff all around.
  • Kevin Owens vs. Austin Theory – Kevin Patrick keeping “The 150 million hit man” schtick going for Austin Theory is so great. Milk that for all it’s worth! “What is your issue with Kevin Owens’ face?” “LOOK AT IT, MAN!” Absolutely brilliant shit. “How’s that feel, idiot?” Grayson Waller should be on commentary every week, for every match. And this match, by the way, was really good. Austin Theory has settled into his current role, showing he understands the WWE cycle. And Owens is Owens.
  • Backstage Series Of Events – We had the Bianca Belair interview where she was attacked by Damage Ctrl, followed by The Street Profits & Bobby Lashley running into Logan Paul and then B-Fab. Flowed well, no issues for me.
  • Chelsea Green & Piper Niven vs. Shotzi Blackheart & Charlotte Flair – No surprise that Charlotte Flair was the partner, and no surprise that Alba Fyre and Isla Dawn made an appearance. This was a perfectly fine TV match–didn’t set the world on fire, but also wasn’t Bad or Ugly. This was a step in this story, and an effective one.
  • The Brawling Brutes vs. Pretty Deadly in a Good Ol’ Fashioned Donnybrook! – Shout out to Sheamus, whose return I look forward to seeing. With Ridge really coming into his own, we’re to the point where all four of these guys range from good to great to fantastic on any given night. Putting Pretty Deadly into any “manly fight” is always guaranteed entertainment. Really, Pretty Deadly in anything is typically guaranteed entertainment. Pretty Deadly picking up the win was not a shock, although I’d have loved to see Butch and Ridge Holland pick up a win here. Given the rules (or lack thereof) of this match, Pretty Deadly basically won clean here.
  • Rey Mysterio vs. Logan Paul Crown Jewel Weigh-In – A very effective way to pretape something, which saves time as part of a double taping. It was essentially a go home promo, but done in a different way. I liked it. It also smoothly transitions into the rundown of the card by the commentary team, which I always appreciate.
  • Bianca Belair vs. Bayley – If you know me, you know that Bianca can be hit or miss for me. She can’t “work with anyone,” but she can definitely work with Bayley. Bayley, of course, is money with anything she does. Both women delivered a main event quality match, and no one should complain that Bianca Belair won. She’s challenging for the Women’s Championship in less than 24 canon hours, so she needs to win. Bayley is a made woman, losing here doesn’t hurt her one bit.
  • “Just Enough Nick” Nick Aldis Usage – Triple H has done an amazing job of establishing Nick Aldis. Three weeks in and he already “belongs.” Much of that is attributed to how Aldis carries himself. But they are also using him to the right degree. It’s not too much, but it’s also not too little. Adam Pearce could miss two weeks of Raw and when he shows back up, it all makes sense. For Aldis, he needs to be very present, but not overbearing or “shoved down our throats.” They have the right balance.


  • Solo Sikoa & John Cena In Ring Promo – John Cena, lost voice and all, completely buries Solo Sikoa. He “cooks” Solo, as promised. And, as Cena does, he makes Solo look like crap. Bargain Basement Tazz Rip Off? C’mon man, you’re better than that. But here’s the real problem: what happens if Solo loses? Cena made him look like a loser, and then proves that he is? Solo has to win this match. If he doesn’t, and Cena is gone, then Solo is left out in the cold. And you don’t want to do that to Solo Sikoa at this point of his career.


  • Misstep for Theory – Referencing Halloween as if it hadn’t already happened. You can edit this episode–c’mon, man!
  • Kevin Owens’ Crotch Chop – C’mon, man! We’re better than crotch chops in 2023.

The Verdict

  • Good – 8
  • Bad – 1
  • Ugly – 2

In all honesty this was a damn good show. Milwaukee showed out considering they’d already seen 2 hours of Smackdown before this was taped. Good on them, and good on WWE for a great go home show for Crown Jewel.

Interesting of note – the pictures for this show that are posted to the WWE website are uploaded in the order the matches and segments were recorded, not the order in which they aired. Just a little tidbit that I found interesting.

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Greg DeMarco’s Wrestling Ratings Report: Monday Night Raw (10/30/2023) & WWE NXT (10/31/2023)

Greg DeMarco takes a look at your Monday and Tuesday night TV ratings. What do they mean? Do they matter?



WWE NXT Halloween Havoc Night 2 Carmelo Hayes Ilja Dragunov

Greg DeMarco takes a look at your Monday and Tuesday night TV ratings. What do they mean? Do they matter?

Settle in for a look at this week’s ratings for WWE Monday Night Raw and WWE NXT Halloween Havoc Night 2! Both were up against some stiff competition–let’s see how they fared!

WWE Monday Night Raw (October 30, 2023)

  • Hour #1 – 1.466 million viewers, .44 demo rating, #6 for the night on cable
  • Hour #2 – 1.450 million viewers, .46 demo rating #5 for the night on cable
  • Hour #3 – 1.256 million viewers, .39 demo rating, #8 for the night on cable

WWE Monday Night Raw for October 30, 2023 faced some stiff competition on Monday night. You had Monday Night Football as normal–which aired on both ESPN and ABC–along with the usual peripheral shows (Monday Night Football Postgame, Monday Night Football Kickoff, SportsCenter, and the Monday Night Countdown, which factored into the Top 10). 6.851 million people watched Monday Night Football on ESPN, a number that more than doubles when you factor in ABC.

What does it all mean? It means that outside of Monday Night Football–on cable–WWE Monday Night Raw was the top rated show. If you take away all things NFL, Raw finishes #1, #2, and #3 for the night. Viewership did drop off for our 3, but that’s the 10 PM hour that sees kids go to bed and people checking on the Monday Night Football and World Series games.

Speaking of which, that’s another factor to consider–the World Series! 8.126 million people watched the World Series on FOX (not really that good), with another 8.356 million watching Monday Night Football on ABC (yes, more than the World Series) for a decent-at-best Lions vs Raiders match-up.

In summary, it was another successful night for WWE Monday Night Raw, which was the go-home edition of the program. You can check out my Good Bad & Ugly look at Monday’s Raw, where I gave the show an overall “Good” rating. Haven’t watched yet? Give Mitchell’s live coverage a read.

Listen to this week’s edition of Bandwagon Nerds!

WWE NXT Halloween Havoc Night 2 (October 31, 2023)

  • Entire Broadcast – 674 thousand viewers, .20 demo rating, #6 for the night on cable

WWE NXT (Halloween Havoc Night 2) for October 31, 2023, had to deal with a myriad of external factors this week. First is the most obvious–it was Halloween! Many people had plans, Trick-Or-Treat escapades and more. That right there will be a detriment to any ratings results. Add in two live NBA games, each drawing over a million viewers for TNT. Combine it all together and WWE NXT was the top rated program that wasn’t sports programming on TNT or ESPN. Hell, the entire Top 12 consisted of ESPN and TNT sports programming, plus NXT.

It’s easy to call this a failure since viewership was lost week over week. But that’s very shortsighted. The fact remains that NXT was among the most watched programming for the night, holding its own against live sports and sports-peripheral programming.  If you’re WWE and USA Network, you’re nothing but happy with these results.

NXT, of course, featured the second week of Halloween Havoc, headlined by Ilja Dragunov defending the NXT Championship against Carmelo Hayes in the third match of their trilogy. Along with that you had The Creed Brothers in a Tables, Ladders, and Scares (Chairs) match with Angel Garza & Humberto Carrillo, Lola Vice vs. Kelani Jordan in the finals of the Women’s Breakout Tournament, and much more.

I’d call the Tuesday program a ratings success. My Good, Bad, & Ugly review of NXT Halloween Havoc Night 2 is available here, where I called it “Good” overall. If you haven’t seen the show yet, check out Mitchell’s play-by-play.

As the weeks roll on, I will compile some historical data and look more about week-over-week (and beyond) patterns in all of my ratings reports.

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