Thursday, July 18, 2019

Road to All Out #1 Thoughts

They're finally putting these on the AEW channel instead.

Good move.

A reminder to anyone put off by BTE, but these Road to installments are basically the antithesis of them and serve as a serious look at the behind the scenes of AEW as well as help build some of the plots.

Now, this one takes a look at Fight for the Fallen and then continues setting the blocks for Page and Jericho's big contest with a nice promo from the Hangman. We then are given an awesome sitdown interview featuring JR talking to Spears about the big chair shot at Fyter Fest. At the end, we find out that Tully is going to be the manager of the Perfect Ten!

This was must see stuff and I encourage all AEW fans to check it out.

Dragon Gate Cutting Edge #27 Review

Image result for ben-k king of gate
1.King of Gate Finals: Ben-K vs Eita ***

We've arrived at the finals of this year's tournament, ending in dramatic fashion as Ben-K takes on former teammate, Eita. The Dead or Alive cage match was a launching point to push Ben-K to the main event. King of Gate this year was the next step.

They clipped this is a tad and I found the manner in which they did so a bit iffy, but it didn't take much away from the match and it wasn't so much that I couldn't enjoy and rate the contest.

While a step down from last week's installment it was still an enjoyable episode. The match was good, the right guy won, and now we can look forward to Kobe! Check this out before the big show.

Overall Rating: 70/100%

WRESTLE-1 TV #118 Thoughts

This week's episode was a short one promoting big, upcoming matches. While they all looked good, you can safely skip this one and just look at the scheduled cards.

Wrestling TV Roundup: July 2019 (Week 2)

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Week of 07/01-07/13
Note that MLW ran a special episode this week and was reviewed separately. Also, I am doing the BTE, AEW Road to, and W1 episodes away from the roundup again. I'm running a bit later than usual for this week due to health issues.

1.Chik Tormenta, Keyra, Tessa vs Faby, Lady Shani, Taya **1/4
The AAA women's division can be pretty damn entertaining and joshi levels of good at times, but this just had too poor of a layout and had too much ref bs to be recommendable. We don't need Hijo del Tirantes fucking with Faby AND a run in from Daga in the same match. There's a good outing hidden in here, but I don't think you should have to make time to find it.

2.SMASH Title: Tarik(c) vs Bennett **3/4
Honestly, before the bs finish, this had been a good match. It wasn't at the level they were aiming for, but I was enjoying it decently enough. But yea, the closing minutes were pretty much trash. I get that promotions like to gain cheap heat by doing this stuff, but I personally just don't care much for it and it elicits a different kind of negative response from me. One of, if you care this little, why should I care at all? And I know most companies do stuff like this occasionally, but that was overkill and made the belt and new champ seem worthless.

3.The Northern Tournament Final: Evil Uno vs Dux vs Kincaid vs Bailey ***1/2
This was actually very good. The first half was largely enjoyable, though a bit rocky at times. The second half more than made up for that. This saved the episode. Check this one out.

4.Cavernario vs Dragon Lee ***1/2
CMLL Martes
Yea, they were short on time with the show going over the normal time already but even a shorter match between these two was likely to be worth seeing and that's certainly true once again. If you like lucha matches full of spots, here ya go.

5.ROH Title: Taven(c) vs Hotsauce ***
Yea, Taven's run has been underwhelming but I had to see Tracy get a chance at the gold. I've been a fan of his since the days he was wearing a green mask. We avoided too much of the cheap stuff that tends to come from Taven matches and the action and drama were decent. Make no mistake, it's a throwaway defense meant as filler but I had fun and it was still a good, little contest.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

DDT Wrestle Peter Pan Review

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0a.Umeda vs Keigo **
0b.BAKURETSU Sisters, Rika vs Unagi, Maki, Yuna ***
1.DISASTER BOX, Nobuhiro vs ALL OUT, Watase ***1/2
2.Umeda, Kouki vs Kazusada, Nakatsu ***1/4
3.Saki vs Yoshiko **3/4
4.DDT Extreme Title, IPPON Tube Death: Akito(c) vs ASUKA ***1/2
5.DDT Iron Man Heavy Metal Title: Toru(c) vs Ikeda NR
6.DDT Iron Man Heavy Metal Title, Time Difference Battle Royal NR
7.Hideki vs Naya ***1/4
8.Moonlight Express vs Brookes, Masahiro ***1/2
9.O-40 Title, Weapon Rumble: Sanshiro vs Super Sasadango Machine NR
10.Danshoku vs Shinya NR
11.KO-D Tag Titles: DAMNATION(c) vs  Urashima ***3/4
12.KO-D Openweight Title: Endo(c) vs Takeshita ****1/2

DDT has surpassed my expectations this year and finally won me over. I actually signed up for their service to watch this show before realizing they were offering it for free to win over new fans. You can watch it here. Anyway, let's dig in.

The opener was a disappointment as Keigo showed little life. I had expected him to step up big but he came off as an out of place young boy. Skip that one.

The follow up and last preshow match was a good TJP midcard showcase. Nothing major, but enjoyable enough stuff. A lot of empty seats, but it is a bit bigger than most companies are willing to run.

The lights went out for the main card, but they reported nearly 4,000 fans in attendance and you could tell some people came in later in the show. Still, it's a bit sad that this wasn't a sell out.

I found the six-man opener to be very good and the first match I'd recommend checking out. They were given time and everyone looked good.

They followed with the Umeda retirement tag team contest which was fairly good, too. They are doing well at showing off all of the DDT brands across the card. Too bad Umeda is leaving the business, because he had real potential.

Yoshiko and Saki did decent enough, but I never really got into it. Just a random, little joshi filler contest. I really hope they don't start booking Yoshiko more right when I'm starting to follow them closer.

A showcase of what makes DDT unique was next, because once again they took a concept that shouldn't work and made it work. A deathmatch with one light tube being the focus of an intergender match as both worked spots around it? Yea, I know. Yet, somehow it rocked. Just know going in that these regular falls count as well as the special stipulation that if you break the tube you lose. Very good match. Somehow.

What followed was the big comedy section of the show. Not really my cup of tea, especially since it was a battle royal which I tend to dislike anyway. I don't give ratings to comedy stuff unless there's enough of a real match to the core and this was borderline. The camera cuts didn't follow the "action" well, either way. It was ok for what it was but yea...skip it unless that's something you tend to enjoy.

Unlike the uninspired preshow match that saw a rookie look out of place, the next match was a good showing for the young, Naya. He took a beating, owned it, got in a bit of good offense, and did his job. Good stuff. If you don't have a marquee match fro Hideki, this is the next best use.

Brookes is set for a KO-D Openweight challenge soon so it made sense to have him on the winning side next. Very good match, though it still sucks seeing Moonlight Express fall here. They're taking a lot of falls lately it seems. Either way, both of these teams were fun here and I'd like a rematch soon.

Number nine was a bit different, being for the right to be the inaugural O-40 Champ. If this isn't just a one off, it could be a fun idea. Now, this was a comedy heavy match but that doesn't mean all defenses would have to be. It'll probably be dropped shortly, either way. Decent stuff, but niche stuff for sure and enough comedy to make it ineligible for a rating. When's the last time you saw someone get blood drawn during a match?

The fans are led in a stretch.

Keeping the theme of "unique" going, next was an mma themed battle between an mma style worker and comedy worker, Danshoko who actually kissed multiple strangers on the way to the ring and channeled his inner HHH. The rules included ten, three-minute rounds. The odd numbered rounds were mma rules and the even allowed, "courtship". I can't rate this either but again, it was certainly...something. If you hate Joey Ryan, avoid this one at all cost. If you have a sense of humor and can stop being too serious for a bit, you might crack a smile at least.

Luckily, we're finally at the two matches I wanted to see the most.

DAMNATION are a good team and one of my favorite groups as I get more into the promotion. I liked the pace here and honestly thought this was a really enjoyable tag match even with the bs near the end. Great stuff. I don't care much for the next challengers, though but I will say Joey adding seaweed to his lollipop is new.

Main event time. I'm happy either way, as Endo has grown on me and Takeshita has become on of my top ten favorite workers right now. For context, this is DDT's Tanahashi vs Okada with a Kota vs Naito level of sick spots. Expectations were high and they delivered. Both worked their asses off and the ace of DDT is champ once again. MOTYC level stuff and something I strongly recommend readers here to check out.

Brookes came out to remind him that his title match was in six days.

While the comedy stuff still isn't always up my alley, DDT did more than enough here to keep me hooked. This was a long show, yet I never truly lost interest. I'll likely skip a lot of the comedy stuff on the shows in the future, but I'll be keeping a closer eye on the rest of the card going forward. I will also likely still watch a street event from time to time because, while it is honestly comedy, it is also entertaining in a different kind of way and I appreciate the pool and zoo shows for helping distract me these past few days. DDT has surpassed my expectations and won me over fully for the first time and I hope you give them a chance, too.

Overall Ratings: 80/100%