Saturday, January 18, 2020

Select Match Reviews: Jigsaw

Match from SAW Don't KROSS the Boss 01/03:
1.Takeda vs Kirk ***3/4

Thoughts:
This was pure violence and a great death match in general. I've said that Takeda seemed a bit in a rut last year and was hopeful he'd return to full, glorious form in 2020 and, if this is a sign of anything, it looks like he's going to do just that!

Check this out!

WRESTLE-1 TV #145 Review

Episode Card:
1.Andy Wu, Hijo Pantera, Seiki vs Tonsho, Fujimura, MAZADA +
2.Cyrus vs Ryuki +
3.Enfants Terribles (Ashino, Kuma) vs Seigo, Yoshitatsu ++
4.Kono, Kodama vs Alejandro, Ito ++
5.Tanaka vs Pegaso Iluminar ++
6.Strong Hearts (Lindaman, T-Hawk) vs Ganseki, Kaz ++
7.Soya vs Kondo +
8.OWE Openweight Title: Irie(c) vs Doi ++
9.W1 Title: Inaba(c) vs Nakajima +++

Thoughts:
A reminder that I'm testing out a special system for W1's TV series, with a range from + to +++ for the matches. A simplified ranking system, essentially, largely for my own benefit but hopefully to you people reading these, too. Matches hitting +++ are likely to get select match review coverage later.

Expected issues between partners cost Andy, Pantera, and Seiki a win in the opener and then Cyrus squashed Ryuki. After the Enfants match, they requested more of Yoshitatsu and claimed this was their year! Kono may or may not have joined the heel unit.

The latest Iluminar trial match saw Tanaka versus Pegaso as they continue to establish the latter fully and determine where he'll land on the cards. I'm pretty sold on him, personally.

The Soya/Kondo outing ended in a no contest after Ito ran in and beat them down, including the ref, and took chairs to Soya's arm. Lindaman also met some violence after Ito claimed he was back with a vengeance and seeking to make complacent vets and uninspired youths pay for their arrogance. He might get the WAR he wants...

Irie defended the OWE belt in a fun looking semi.

The big news here, and the best looking match in my opinion, saw my dream come true as the kicky bastard, Nakajima, took out Inaba and won W1's top prize. He was a complete dick during and after, putting down the ring, the company, and calling out someone to do something about it.

Ashino answered and set a match for 02/12. Holy shit.

The post-match segment in general was amazing.

W1 TV has ups and downs. This was an up. Click play!

Select Match Reviews: Don't Call Me Junior, Junior

Match from Pro Wrestling NOAH Global Jr League 01/12:
1.Harada vs Minoru ****

Thoughts:
Following the two successful shows kicking off 2020, NOAH moved on to their Global Jr League tour. Of the series, this one was one I was looking forward to most when I peaked at the tournament layout as I'm a huge fan of both of these dudes.

The both brought the heat here, working hard on the way to a well used TLD and told a good story while doing so. In all, this was a fantastic match and another example of modern NOAH's excellence.

Friday, January 17, 2020

NWA Powerrr #10 + 11 Reviews

EPISODE 10
Matches:
1.Dice vs CW vs Rinauro NR
2.Rock 'n' Roll Express vs Mosley, Sims NR
3.Wildcards vs Dawsons NR
4.No DQ: Eli Drake vs Anderson ***

Thoughts:
I was reminded, semi-annoyingly, that Powerrr was in their "second season". I originally was considering watching all the 2020 content, or at least doing so as long as I continued having fun, but my brain is telling me I need to be a completionist and, well, who am I to fight with myself?

I'm putting it in as one post, at least.

The thing with NWA's flagship is that I'm finally clicking with it, despite it being a contradiction to what I typically seek out and generally enjoy. I suppose I love W1's show, despite it not matching with my usual preferences, but it's still a paradox of sorts, reminding me that in-ring quality is important but not the only thing that makes a show enjoyable. WWE products, especially their top two brands, have gotten further and further away from being something I can enjoy watching because, not only do the episodes and specials contain very few worthwhile matches, but the segments and promos lack very little entertainment value. That's not even speaking to the moral issue with supporting the company. NWA Powerrr might not be providing much in the way of recommendation worthy content, with actually only one match last year making the list at all, but I like the presentation, the promos have been pretty good, and I'm clicking with the product right now in general. Again, I have no idea how long it'll last, because MLW has me cold right now after a short hot streak, but I'm leaning in while I'm having fun.

This first episode here was the fallout from Into the Fire. They spent the first three minutes looking at tweets, reactions, etc from that special, which was an interesting way to do things, I suppose.

Using this to focus on Scurll was not only a good idea, it was the best way to do things in general to build off of the buzz.

I didn't love the Stevens stuff, as usual. His gimmick does little for me, his promo work is okay but I just never connect much with him, and it doesn't help that I dislike basically his entire in-ring catalog, too. I don't love everything about AEW either, in fairness. I like Colt a lot more but he didn't save that segment and it just felt far too long. Question Mark is...okay.

I liked the women's stuff.

Nearly 20 minutes in and we get our first match. Any other show and I'd be questioning why the hell they made that call. Somehow, here, I was okay with it. Again...paradox. Dice needs to stop saying, "outlandish" every fucking few seconds, but I don't remember seeing him do it in later episodes so maybe someone told him to shut the fuck up. This was pretty iffy, largely thanks to Dice, but was only two minutes, at least. His post-match promo was pretty fucking annoying, too.

Thank the goddess for the Dawsons, who gave an interesting studio moment.

MARTY's moment followed. Jump about 23 minutes in to see it if that's all of what you want out of this. Great stuff, and I actually really want Marty to be the one to dethrone Aldis.

These commercials are perfectly insane.

Rock 'n' Roll got a sprint squash. It was what it was, the fans were happy, and the champs got a mark in the win column. The promo after was solid but ended in a funny manner.

The Dawsons returned, just to be driven off once again. The suspense is (not) killing me. Jokes aside, I dig this episode spanning angle so far and the match we got out of it, while too short to rate, was strong and the best thing on the show so far.

Santa chants.

The reveal for the tournament poll was well done. Nikita even got a spotlight and the Aldis promo was enjoyable as always. Dude knows how to work the mic and the crowd!

Marty got a sitdown with Stu, which was a nice touch but perhaps one that could've been saved for the next episode to pace this out. Having the hindsight to have seen three 2020 episodes past this one prior to clicking play, I can confirm this would've been a smart move but I suppose hindsight IS...2020...

I'll see my way out...

Okay, I'm back. But yea, they could have shaved about ten or fifteen minutes off and spread it around if they had wanted.

Eli Drake's fucked up voice, to sell the Anderson attack, was smart. The main event follow up was a fun walk-and-brawl and one of my favorite NWA matches I've seen since their revival. Right outside of recommendation levels, sure, but entertaining either way and the live fans ate it up, too.

May I say, and I apologize if it comes off as fat shaming, but Anderson looks a tad unhealthy right now and I'd like to see him drop a few lbs. I actually like the dude and just think it'd be better for him and his career.

After the main event, Strictly Business officially formed. I've seen the highlights on later episodes, but this was just really well done and a strong way to close the episode.

The matches ranged, with only the main truly being good, but the entire package once again shined. This was a loaded episode, full of content and came off as the busiest one I've seen so far. The Scurll angle was the hottest part, but I enjoyed the women's stuff, the Dawsons/Wildcards stuff, Aldis' promo, the main event, and the close to the episode. In all, I had a lot of fun and suggest fans on the edge to check this one out.

Overall Rating: 70/100%

EPISODE 11
Matches:
1.Starks vs Kingston **3/4
2.Storm vs Isaacs NR
3.Melina, Thunder, Belle vs Kay, Vox, ODB **3/4
4.Question Mark vs Colt

Thoughts:
The sitdown with Scurll and Stu from last week, the one I said should have been saved for this episode, was used in part during the countdown for this one. A look at episode 10's big close were also shown.

The TV Title Tournament was a big focus this time around, but first we got news that Murdoch had signed, we saw Dice chat for a moment for whatever reason, and then The Pope arrived! Take Dice out and the rest would have been okay. It's surprising that he's being used largely as a manager, though, as the Pope has a cult following that would be better fed with an in-ring role.

The opening match was pretty decent and well worked, though I could've used a touch more meat to call it truly good.

Royce and Mae chat, the Wildcard member gets cocky, James Storm appears and eventually runs him off. That's perhaps the happiest I've seen a crowd for a countout ever. Props to Strom?

Those goddamn Hotspots commercials are insane and I love them.

Eli Drake had some fun, and a lot to drink, and got the crowd hot. Tennessee Santa must have been happy knowing his team finally got a bowl game. Entertaining stuff to say the least.

Aldis crashed the party with his buddies and had a moment with the Express. Solid.

The women's match was short, like most things on Powerrr, but fun and I would've liked a few more minutes, actually. They have a decent division.

Tim Storm got in a nice studio spot and then we closed the episode with Question Mark and Colt in a TV Tournament outing.

Two solid matches, Pope, and a few good promos. Not the strongest episode, but a decent one. Your experience may vary.

I may be MIA a bit the next few days. Just a heads up in case I'm correct about how things play out.

Overall Rating: 60/100%

Select Match Reviews: SNL ROH

Image result for roh saturday night at center stage 2020
Matches from ROH Saturday Night at Center Stage 01/11:
1.ROH TV Title: Dragon Lee(c) vs Everett ***1/2
2.ROH Six-man Titles: Villain Enterprises(c) vs MexaSquad ***3/4

Thoughts:
I'm dying to see a return to form for this once great company this year. The roster is still stacked, but the way they're using them has driven them to mid-run TNA levels of mockery from the IWC and many of the complaints hold merit. It's sad to see such a prestigious brand at this level, having driven off even some of their true diehards with their bullshit but they're always seemingly sooooooo close to getting back on track.

So, let's start by mentioning it looks like Marty is sticking around. The company pulled their heads out of their asses and recognized they needed to step up. Reports suggest his new booking role is first felt on this event. Take that as you'd like.

The first pull saw Dragon Lee successfully defend against one of the most underrated flyers of this generation. It was nice seeing Everett again as I haven't seen much of him in a while. They worked very well together, though the champ shined brightest to no one's surprise, and it was a very good defense. I'm hoping Andrew gets a contract.

The last pull from this gig had a surprising outcome, as VE was set to defend their belts on the next ROH show against Rush's unit. Instead, Bandido and crew were given the nod here which was a nice move, reminding us that not everything in wrestling, even at this level on the cards, needs to be completely predictable. They played to the team's strengths well here, and even featured a well done flash pin (which seems to be popular already this year in wrestling) and I appreciated the pacing. It all worked together, providing for a great contest in general, with both pulls hitting recommendation levels.

Is Lifeblood just Haskins and Hotsauce right now? Was I right on my Final Battle review? At least Villain Enterprises looks like it will remain a thing, which I questioned a lot last year.

I skipped the rest, but heard the main event, especially the Aldis spot, got some love from some fans.

The product on display here was a good sign as was the crowd which came off decently. Mix in the apparent reunion with NWA and any other praise mentioned above and I'm officially cautiously optimistic about 2020 ROH. That's the best thing I can say about this watch. I just hope it equates to a true change for the company. The roster deserves better as do the fans.

Give it a click it you're in that mood.