Sunday, November 10, 2019

WRESTLE-1 TV #134 + 135 Thoughts

Time to catch up on one of my favorite weekly shows. Let's just get through the two I missed at the same time...
On this episode, we get coverage from the last night of the Updraft tour and the ongoing Tag League. Nothing looked bad, but nothing really looked must-see either, outside of maybe the last two. The biggest stories include Pantera winning a three-way against his biggest competitors, Strong Hearts won a non-tournament match, and Enfants won a six-man. The two tournament contests saw Alejandro and Kono pick up a W and a tie between the champ, Inaba, and his partner, Doi against Strong Hearts members, El Lindaman and Seiki.

The latest episode of W1 TV starts the Autumn Bout Tour coverage and looks at two different events.

In Strong Hearts news, El Lindaman, in OWE tights, picked up a solo win, and T-Hawk did some spanking and then helped lead his trio to a six-man win. Inaba and Doi picked up a huge tournament victory over Soya and Kondo and the Tag Champs, Enfants Terribles (Ashino and Kodama) won a tournament main event. That last one looked like the MOTN.

The second night showcased here saw Dupree and Kuma beat El Lindaman and Seiki and then Irie and T-Hawk beat Pegaso and Tonsho, with the Strong Hearts breaking even in tournament matches for the evening. Both looked decent.

Neither of these were really must-see episodes for anyone that isn't hooked on the brand. That said, I still hope you watch at least some content from the company this week. They are easily a top three underrated fed and I continue to enjoy even their b-show episodes.

Saturday, November 9, 2019

This Week in AEW (November 4-8) + BTE Halloween Special, Rankings, & Full Gear Preview

So, we got a special edition of BTE after I had already posted last week, two episodes of Dark, and a whole lot more this week as we head into Full Gear. Let's just add that all in here shall we with the special event getting a separate review...

BEING THE ELITE #177 Thoughts
The opening scene had an Arrow sighting, Meltzer being robbed for stars by Kenny "Woody" Omega, and a dead Adam Cole on the railroad tracks, so what's not to like. BTE Story needs to be a full movie. A sacrifice of bad merch is made in vain. Let the horror consume you. Page takes a walk but how does he deal with a dinosaur being the most over roster member? Also, did you know Chucky T has powers? I did, but did you? Also, did you know Kenny takes care of pet disposal duties when he's off the clock? They closed things with a Black Mirror reference. The crew outdid themselves with this one, for sure.

Oh, and since everyone was wondering, my kids went as Kiki and Gigi this year.

BEING THE ELITE #178 Thoughts
Knox doesn't give af anymore and the Bucks clearly run a circus backstage like all the WWE fanboys thought. What's next, getting their talent held hostage in a foreign country known for human rights violations? SCU does Pulp Fiction in a spot that had my son get up and mimic the dancing. Also, this BTE had the best "DAMN" moment you'll see in a long time. Hey, by the way, at least the Librarians aren't being legit pushed, right? Every promotion needs their jobber crew, I suppose? SCU get their plates put on and then Kenny and the BubububuBucks send the fans home happy after Dynamite to close things.

How do people not watch this show every week?

1.Spears vs Nakazawa **
2.Big Swole, Martinez vs Allie, Gibbs **1/4
3.Jurrasic Express vs Janela, Havoc ***
MJF should do commentary more often, especially if we can't get Taz back. Him and Excalibur working the booth reminds me of PWG. Spears going from the chair shot heard around the world to working with Nakazawa on Dark is a bit sad, to be honest. One of the few things I've truly felt was a misstep so far. At least he won this, even if it was a lot more even than you'd expect. Skip that one, either way, which was average-at-best. The women's tag wasn't much better, sadly, with a run-time that went too long and several issues mixed in along the way but it got far better at the end, at least. I love the backstage stuff they show on these. The main event was far better than the rest of the in-ring content this time, too. Marko was wearing his new mask out but not to compete in, answering the question I had rather quickly. Good stuff with a touch of comedy. Jurassic Express remains wildly entertaining as a group, even without Luchasaurus. Janela gets taken out by Spears after.

In all, this was a solid hour but far from required viewing. Outside of Omega/Janela, Dark has yet to provide much must-see action but it still serves a valuable purpose and is still fun to watch the promotion evolve and find their footing.

Overall Rating: 55/100%

1.PAC vs Trent ***1/4
2.Private Party vs Dark Order ***1/4
3.Riho, Shanna vs Emi, Hayter ***1/4
4.Spears vs Cutler **1/2
5.The ELITE vs Inner Circle ***1/2
I largely love the even nature of the matches from AEW, slowly allowing for everyone to get over and have a chance to shine. The opener was a good display of that approach, with the bastard getting to look like a...bastard and a star while Trent got to still come off well, too. Fairly good start to things.

Cody cut a promo after that has the wrestling world on fire right now. I love the added stipulation here and I sincerely enjoyed the hell out of this one. The amount of fire and passion Cody showed here was magic. Please, watch it!

Up next, tag action with bronze medals on the line. I dig that, actually. Fits the sports approach they are aiming for. Like the opener, this wasn't required viewing but fairly good either way and a nice way to keep the show moving along. Private Party was the right call!

I loved the next package and humorous touches and I am actually pretty excited about this title defense. I sincerely have no idea who's winning. That's a good thing.

Women's tag action kept the theme going for the night, working well and helping push the weekend's title match a bit. It should be a great contest. Note that Hayter and Shanna looked good, too.

Brandi's promo rocked!

Up next, Spears picked up a decent win over Cutler in just over three minutes. Cutler had a nice underdog thing going but the right man won and largely looked dominate. Put the secondary title on him. The Janela run in after (and mention prior to the match itself) proved that Dark is being treated as an important part of the brand instead of an afterthought like WWE would.

Good Omega/Mox package and a very good main event. I don't love finishes like those, but it was logical and didn't take too much away. Add in a chaotic after-match finish to close the episode and, in all, this was another very fun 2 hours.

Overall Rating: 75/100%

This was basically one of those Nightmare Family videos we got before Dynamite started. So, high quality packages building up Full Gear mixed with content you would see on those WWE spotlight dvd's such as a lot of old clips of the Bucks in backyards. Those images of Mox's infection were sick, by the way. Actually, fuck that WWE comparison, this was like what ONE does.

Insert cheap plug here, but there was CZW footage here and on Dynamite and CZW is set to start airing live on Fite starting at the end of the month.

If you want a last minute way to pump yourself up for the show, this countdown video is well worth seeing!

1.Big Swole vs Shida ***
2.Rose, Leva vs Shazza, Royal **
3.CIMA, SCU vs Kip, TH2 ***
The women's division has been one of the weakest parts of AEW so far. Not for a lack of talent, but it just hasn't jelled as much as the rest of the show and the general booking has been an afterthought at times. The opener here was a nice showing, at least and it does look like things in this regard are getting better. The follow up got Nyla back on track in what was basically an extended squash while Bates read a book.

The main event was a good close to the episode, and I wonder if there is still a plan for an Asian SCU like they teased and when we'll see the Strong Hearts back, too. Note that AEW put out a lot of content this week yet it never felt like too much. I can't even make it through a single episode of Raw on Hulu, for fucks sake.

Overall Rating: 65/100%

AEW Rankings
Champ: Jericho

Champ: Riho

Tag Team
Champs: SCU
1.Lucha Bros
2.Private Party
3.Young Bucks
4.Dark Order
5.Best Friends

With Full Gear, this will look VERY different next week. In all, I dig the approach and largely agree in kayfabe with the listings. I look forward to them adding their "secondary" belt so that we can see how they handle that, too.

Matches & Predictions
1.Baker vs Bea
This one is announced for the Buy In. They feuded throughout the Summer, with Bea actually fucking up the dentist, but they haven't done much in the way of building this one up. Maybe because of Bea pulling double duty? Either way, they have a plan for Britt and her winning here seems most likely.

2.Janela vs Spears
This could be interesting. I thought Spears was being set up to be a top heel but has so far been more of a midcard name since falling against Cody. Janela has been loosing and needs a big win to get back on track. Tully will likely be involved a bit. I'll go with Spears winning, since he seems to be in the middle of a mini push right now, but really it could go either way.

3.Page vs PAC
The rubber match! Page looks like he's gotten over finally and PAC has been a glorious bastard. This should be fantastic, but PAC really should get the nod here. Maybe have one of the Elite accidentally cost him the match to help further the heel turn tease we've been seeing.

4.Young Bucks vs Proud N' Powerful
I'm not big on the new name for Santana and Ortiz as a duo, but that's not really a big deal. What matters is this should be awesome. Don't expect to see them fall in their first ppv match and, really, first true contest in AEW. The Bucks have built the division and have been putting everyone over to show it off. Expect a four star battle!

5.AEW Tag Titles: SCU(c) vs Lucha Bros vs Private Party
Cluster spotfest action with everyone getting a chance to shine before SCU retains? Yup, that's exactly what this will be. Don't expect any surprises, though.

6.AEW Women's Title: Riho(c) vs Emi
While the division has been the weaker part of AEW so far and despite the build to this one feeling half-hearted, this still has a solid story mixed in and should be a very fun defense. Riho will retain here.

7.AEW World Title: le Champion, Jericho(c) vs Cody
Jericho dropping the belt here didn't seem likely last week. Yea, he's working New Japan early January, but that seemed like it wasn't going to change anything. He's been doing great with the belt and I love the Inner Circle plot, which works best with him holding gold. That said, Cody's fire promo and the added stip has left me uncertain. Had he said he wouldn't challenge Jericho again, that'd be one thing. He said he'd never challenge for the belt again in general if he lost, though. So, unless the pull a 180, that's a big deal. He's over as hell and would likely be a great champ, at least. I have no idea who is winning and I love that. I just hope we don't get any bullshit, which is a fear I have in the back of my head and something I fear would be a bad call at this point for AEW. We'll see...

Thanks to anyone who read all of this. Please, take a moment to comment here, on Facebook, etc and let me know what you're predictions, thoughts, etc are.

Friday, November 8, 2019

Select Match Reviews: Light Yet Heavy

Match from CMLL Puebla Oct 14th
1.CMLL World Light Heavyweight Title: Niebla Roja(c) vs Gran Guerrero ***1/2

Jump about an hour and forty-two minutes in for this one.

It's funny, but loosing your mask is supposed to ruin your career (not really true most of the time for the record) but Niebla Roja has been 1000x better since unmasking and in the right situation the dude shines.

For all of the issues CMLL has going on behind the scenes right now, they still have a lot of quality talent on the roster and here two of their best worked hard to make for a memorable title defense. That's especially surprising since Puebla shows tend to suck.

This was very good, with the right amount of drama and action mixed in making it worth checking out if you skipped out.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Select Match Reviews: Gun and Octopus

Image result for shelley vs gresham
Match from ROH TV #424
1.Shelley vs Gresham ***1/2

It's sad that Gresham is arguably getting his best push in ROH this year yet still continues to drop matches like these. It is what it is, though.

Two commercial breaks hurt this a tad, but if you enjoy technical showcases, this is for you. This one built up nicely until the sudden finish and was a very enjoyable outing in general. Borderline great, actually.

Watch this and let it be a reminder that Ring of Honor is still a good source of quality wrestling, especially if you are selective about the way you watch.

Select Match Reviews: You're So Dramatic, Huxley

Match from DDT Dramatic New World
1.ALL OUT vs HARASHIMA, Billy Ken Kid ***1/2

I'm a sucker for Takeshita content. While not as smooth as I might have liked, this was still pretty good in general and a nice teaser for the recent title match between HARASHIMA and Takeshita that I need to check out soon.

Don't expect to be blown away, but this is worth considering if you're bored enough and/or love Takeshita as much as I do.