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Showing posts from February 24, 2019

Red's Top Wrestling Promotions of 2019

Keeping with the theme started by the best matches , best in-ring workers , and best teams lists, here's the wrestling brands/feds (WWE's 205 and NXT brands are counted separate) that have been pumping out the best material so far. Keep in mind that the previously mentioned lists do directly influence the order and that match quality and consistency in general are the main factors. Honorable Mentions: Impact, wXw, PROGRESS, STARDOM, WWE 205Live 9. ROH Yea, they've fucked up a lot lately. That said, the way I watch wrestling is to their benefit and they've put out just enough quality wrestling this year to earn a spot. 9. AJPW Kento's defenses, the rise of Jake Lee and Nomura, the Violent Giants, Zeus, etc etc etc. All Japan is sincerely a thrill right now and one of Japan's best! 8. CMLL The oldest promotion in the world fucked up big with several recent moves, but they remain a key source of lucha libre as always and have a roster that, when properl

Rayne Returns to Impact

After the announcement of her departure from Ring of Honor, it has been revealed that Madison Rayne is returning home to Impact Wrestling. This apparently stems from some of her ideas being rejected by ROH and negotiations in general falling apart.

Red's Top Teams of 2019

So, like the best workers list , let's go ahead and take a look at the top ten teams/trios. The rankings are directly related to the rate of quality matches, using the best matches list  and a special system for putting them in order. Honorable Mentions: ALL OUT, Violent Giants, Minoru + Sabre, EVIL + SANADA, Sugiura-gun 10. SCU The inaugural AEW Tag Champs shocked many by winning and have been a key part of the stacked tag division! Beating the Bucks to close 2019 was interesting and they are a good team working like a great team of late. 9. AXIZ NOAH has sincerely rocked in 2019, and AXIZ is a major reason. Go and Naka gel so well, always providing for excitement. 8. O'Reilly, Fish, Strong Undisputed Era is one hell of a group and my favorite part of NXT when I still watched. The sheer amount of talent in the group makes them worth mentioning, even if not for the decent catalog. 7. Haskins, Bandido, Hotsauce Lifeblood hasn't been booked nearly as strongly

Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters Review

I love kaiju flicks. The giant monsters, the destruction, the insane plots. And, of course, Godzilla remains one of the true kings of the genre even after all of these years. This time around, we get the giant lizard in anime form. So, let's get the bad out of the way first. The biggest issue was character development, or lack thereof. I grew to like the protagonist, Haruo, but there just wasn't enough here to really grow attached to anyone. Perhaps this is fixed in the sequels, but it's hard to avoid mentioning here. It almost felt like watching over someone's shoulder as they play videogames, but leaving after they beat the mini-boss. This is the first film in a trilogy, as I just referenced. As a result, it ends on a major cliff hanger which makes this hard to recommend as a standalone viewing experience. That's not a major issue, but I know that can put some people off. Personally, I loved the setup they used at the end, but that's just me. Now, f

Select Match Reviews: WWE Matches of the Week

Matches from WWE Week of 02/25/19 1.Intercontinental Title: Finn Balor(c) vs Lio Rush *** 2.US Title: R-Truth(c) vs Mysterio vs Andrade ***1/4 3.Owens,Kofi vs Bryan,Rowan *** 4.Nese vs Kalisto ***1/2 5.Gulak vs Kendrick *** 6.WALTER vs Ohno ***1/4 7.UK Tag Titles: GYV(c) vs Burch,Lorcan ***1/2 8.NXT Women's: Shayna(c) vs Mia Yim *** Thoughts: Much more this week than usual. That's a good thing. I might not be a huge WWE fan, but I always give respect where it's due. Let's start with our Raw match of the week. I'm not a huge fan of Lio Rush, someone who last I knew was still considered part of the cruiserweight division, even lasting a minute against Finn, but this was a good match either way. I try not to care about the booking so much these days. I know stuff like this does make me worry more about the rumors of 205 being cancelled, though. Don't rush to see it, but it was fun for what it was and didn't overstay its welcome. I see

Red's Top Wrestlers of 2019

The following is related closely to my top matches list , as well as my posted reviews in general. Basically, the more a talent appears on the list the more likely they'll end up here. There's more to it, but why bore you with details. I also included five honorable mentions but would like to note that Takeshita just missed the bubble! Honorable Mentions: Tanahashi, Sabre, WALTER, Naito, Omega 10. Bandido The hot property is walking out of 2019 as PWG Champ, is one of the bright spots in ROH, and has simply stepped up big in every match and opportunity he gets. 9. SHINGO I considered him the ace of Dragon Gate and have counted SHINGO as one of my top five personal talents for years, so seeing his run this year in New Japan has been a sight to see.  I can only hope that 2020 is even bigger. 8. Kento The ace of All Japan has made every title defense worth seeing and even steps up rather big in lesser matches, too. I always look forward to seeing more of his work and am

Ranking the My Chemical Romance Albums

I'll admit that I didn't expect my first album ranking entry here to be about MCR, but with all of these younger people calling Gerard Way the "guy who made that new super hero show on Netflix", I just had to. I thought Sandra being called "that Bird Box chick" made me feel old, but this is a new low. Anyway, if you've never listened to their post-hardcore music (or even if you are their biggest fan), here are my rankings for their catalog. I've included a track from each for those who are new to the group. My Chemical Romance was: Gerard Way-Vocals Ray Toro-Lead Guitar Mikey Way-Bass Guitar Frankie Iero-Second Guitar Bob Bryar-drums (note that they had a few other drummers, but this is the "core" lineup) 4. I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love The first MCR album, Bullets was a force of music and the launching platform for the band. While this is their least polished album, it is still full of hits and set the

Impact Announces Major X-Divison Match

Impact has announced a major X-Division title defense for their upcoming United We Stand show, with champion, Rich Swann, taking on the amazing YAMATO. If you are not a member of FITE, join now using this link to get a special gift for signing up. Oh, and don't forget about this deal to get this show, and many more, for over half off.

New Japan Women's Division?

Below is a report from the WON.  WON: NJPW is interested in promoting women's wrestling, but it would be a separate company with its own shows; Bushiroad executives were at Stardom shows last weekend.

Kenny Wants Styles

The following is from a recent interview with Kenny Omega and Tokyo Sports. “AJ Styles [would be my dream WWE match].” He also added: “But, for example, you have wrestlers saying, ‘I want to go to Wrestlemania.’ The WrestleMania for me was Tokyo Dome. My biggest dream has already come true. From now on, I want to concentrate on not only myself but wrestling overall. I do not want to imitate what I did in [New Japan]. I want to show my favorite professional wrestling to the world and I will in AEW. Of course I love Japan. I still live here and I like wrestling in Japan. But I could not do much more in New Japan now.“

AAF Power Rankings After Week Three

8. Atlanta (0-3) The basement dwelling trolls of the Alliance. Atlanta might not win at all this year. I wonder if the whole franchise will even last past the opening season at this rate? 7. Memphis (0-3) Can Mettenberger be the answer? Memphis looked decent behind the QB, but still needs a lot of help. The upcoming game versus San Diego will be a huge test. 6. Salt Lake (1-2) Average at best, Salt Lake does have some sparks here and there. Don't expect to see them much higher than this spot as the season moves along, though. 5. San Antonio (1-2) San Antonio might have looked like a contender after week one, but have since fallen hard down the rankings. They were largely exposed against San Diego, and the Commanders have a huge test against the Iron coming up. Terrible timing. 4. San Diego (2-1) The Fleet showed up big, getting revenge for their opening week failure against San Antonio by outplaying them in nearly every aspect. Behind a good, all around unit, the

Select Match Reviews: Dragon in the Rainbow Room

Match from Dragon Gate Open the Truth Gate Night Ten 1.MaxiMuM vs RED ***1/4 Thoughts: I love KBS Hall. It is simply one of the best looking venues in the business. The shows are never very important, but they are fun filler. This was a perfectly fine house show outing, and a good match in general. Consider it if you are craving Dragon Gate or if you've never seen a show at the Hall.

Why You Should Be Watching Pluto TV

The truth is, there are a lot of streaming services out there. Netflix, Hulu, Prime. Hell, wrestling fans have over a dozen that are just focused on select promotions. But, one that I see being overlooked a lot is actually one of the best. And it's FREE. Pluto TV launched five years ago, and is loaded with premium content. Themed channels are one of the biggest perks, and there is something for just about anyone here. Like anime? Check. How about classic action flicks? Perhaps Mystery Science Theater? In all, not counting the on demand options, Pluto offers hundreds of options. The commercial breaks are shorter than what you get on tv, too. Pluto works on multiple devices, including PS4. Go give it a try.

Select Match Reviews: Bringing Back Honor to ROH

Match from ROH TV # 388 1.Lifeblood vs Lethal,Cobb,Gresham,Castle,Flip ***1/2 Thoughts: New Japan's sub service doesn't want to work on my netbook, and my laptop is fucked right now, so Honor Rising will have to wait. Until then, I wanted to check out the official in-ring debut of the Lifeblood faction. The commercial breaks took away a bit of steam here, which is always an issue with tv stuff that is given time, but it was still a very entertaining contest. They set the tone for future plots and matches, too. If you are someone who hasn't checked out Ring of Honor in a while, I think you really need to change that.

Select Match Reviews: Attack on Titan

Match from CMLL Viernes 02/22/19 1.Cavenario vs Titan ****1/4 Thoughts: To celebrate CMLL's new tv deal (essentially taking over AAA's old spot), I figured they'd throw something fun together. The people in charge might not be the smartest, but they knew this was important. So, when I saw they announced a full 3 fall match between two of their top names, I was pretty excited. Barbaro, especially, tends to be one of the best workers in the world when properly motivated. Here, both of them showed up and put on an epic show. The first two falls felt like entertaining lightning matches, with the third bringing a whole different level of action. In all, this was one of the best matches of the year so far and something you really should check out.

Select Match Reviews: Defiantly Old School`

Match from Defiant Loaded episode 12 1.Defiant Title: Rampage(c) vs Nathan Cruz ***1/4 Thoughts: Defiant is, sadly, still a mixed bag. You have to wonder what long-term lasting power a brand and show like Loaded has, seeing as the fans rarely seem to even care, but they still pump out a fun contest from time to time. Here is the latest that hit my pull list. Nathan Cruz is actually an underrated worked, in my opinion, and here he put in a nice challenge against the powerhouse style champ. This came off like a very old school match with enough professionalism that it still worked in modern times, coming off like a meaningful title defense. I don't see this turning up on any MOTY lists, but I enjoyed it well enough. Consider checking it out if you prefer more classic style stuff.

Major FITE Deal Announced

FITE has announced a major deal, called FITE FEST . The deal includes 20 events from Wrestlemania Week for only $119.99. That is over half off of the whole value of this set. Remember to signup a new account and use this link to get a nice gift as a thank you. Here's what's included: Wednesday, April 3 8:30pm ET - WrestlePro Does Funny Money Thursday, April 4 4:00pm ET - Westside Extreme Wrestling 4:00pm ET - Destiny Wrestling 7:00pm ET - WrestleCon Supershow 8pm ET - DDT Pro Wrestling 11pm ET - IMPACT Wrestling - United We Stand 11:55pm ET - Kaiju Big Battel Friday, April 5 11:00am ET - WrestleCon US vs. The World 11am ET - SHIMMER 3:00pm ET - Rev Pro Wrestling 3:00pm ET - WWN Super Show - Mercury Rising 4:00pm ET - Stardom Japanese Women's Wrestling 8pm ET - Joey Ryan's Penis Party Saturday, April 6 11:00am ET - Pro Wrestling Revolver - Pancakes and Pile Drivers 2pm ET - MoreThanMania.com 2019 Wrap up Party 6:30pm ET - Drags and Dropkicks

YouTube Account Notice

My YouTube channel was hit with two strikes this week, leading me to setting everything to private until they fall off. In related news, I am still hard at work on the All Japan docu but I had a setback last week when my laptop was murdered, so it'll take a bit longer. It's a large project that I refuse to rush, either way. Thanks for the patience.

Select Match Reviews: Excitement in Japan

Matches from All Japan Excite Series Night Ten 1.Junior Battle of Glory Finals: Iwamoto vs Yoshioka ***1/2 2.AJPW World Tag Titles: Strong BJ(c) vs Sweeper ***1/2 3.Triple Crown Title: Kento(c) vs Suwama ****1/4 Thoughts: All Japan has a good habit of giving us some really great content, typically once a month or so. Here, we have three pulls worth your time. To start, we have the All Japan Junior Champion, Iwamoto, facing Yoshioka. It was a pretty good outing, and the champ winning cements him firmly as the top dog of the division. It'd be nice if this leads to the Strong Hearts fully coming in to All Japan soon. We follow this up with the latest Strong BJ defense, this time against Jake Lee and Sai. It's nice having Okabayashi back. Both teams put in for a pretty good defense, but not one that hit the levels I had expected. To close, we have the ace of All Japan taking on the great Suwama. It didn't hit MOTYC levels, but was a fantastic contest either way. I

LuFisto Makes Major Announcement of Future

Women's wrestling legend, LuFisto, has made the below announcement regarding her future. "This is a long one… Please bear with me. I didn’t think I would write all this tonight but, here we are… So last week, I fell down the stairs (idiot!) and I sprained my right knee. It was definitely nothing major when you think about it as I have seen a lot worst in the past 22 years. However, I didn’t expect that this little injury would reveal a bigger problem. In the past years, the same knee felt weird and sometimes weak but nothing alarming. I ignored aches and pains… Such behavior comes with being a professional wrestler from my generation. Yes, it makes me sound old (well, I just turned 39) but back in my days, when you were injured, you didn’t talk about it. Being the only girl around and wrestling the boys, it was even worst. I just couldn’t mention anything about being in pain. If I did, you can be sure I would hear things such as “just a girl; she don’t belong; l

NXT Signs Ilja + Four More

WWE has announced the addition of five new talents to their NXT brand. These include: -Ilja Dragunov -Jazzy Gabert -Kay Lee Ray -Primate -Oliver Carter

Cody to AAA + Other Lucha News

In keeping with the recently announced partnership between AEW and AAA, Cody has been announced to be appearing at the upcoming Rey de Reyes event. Due to his recent surgery, I'd expect it to be just a cameo appearance or a run in, interference spot at most. In related news, AAA also announced that Blue Demon Jr and Rey Wagner will main event this year's Triplemania show instead of Wager/Park. You can get Triplemania tickets here . CMLL has removed Pentagon and Fenix from their upcoming special. No reason was given. Alberto appeared at a CMLL show last night to promote an upcoming Combate Americas show.

MLW FUSION Episode 46 Review

Matches 1.Swann vs Anoa'i **1/4 2.Warner vs Yuta **1/2 3.Aerostar vs Rey Horus **3/4 Thoughts: This whole set of episodes from the ECW Arena have been so disappointing that I almost wanted to stop watching weekly and just make the show a Select Match style review series going forward. I will say that if the next set isn't a major improvement, I might do just that. But first, let's see how this week turned out. We start with the next contest building Swann's turn. They worked a well enough contest, but it never felt like much of anything and came off more like filler. Next up we see the debut of Warner against the underrated Yuta. I miss the guy in CHIKARA. Sadly, this felt disjointed and didn't do a lot for me. I'm glad Yuta wasn't fed to the newcomer, but that's about the only thing I enjoyed here. The main event was decent enough, but nothing you need to run and see. Basically, the two worked on autopilot and gave a house show style lucha match. Contr

Congrats to Roman for Remission Announcement

I just wanted to take a second and give praise to Roman Reigns for getting to the remission stage with his cancer. The disease has taken many to the grave, including some loved ones of my own. He might be polarizing, but anyone with a soul can agree that this is great news.

Capitol Wrestling Episode 97 Review

1.World War IV: Team Capitol vs Team Entertainment ** Thoughts: A lot of cheap heel shit, a few set piece moments that didn't really hit the mark, and really just a 30 minute episode of wrestling in general that was the definition of average. Capitol has never blown me away, but I was hopeful that Sonny Kiss being involved and the gimmick attached might set up for an interesting view. Instead, I nearly drifted off to sleep. The only good news is that I marked off another promotion from the 100 list. Skip this one unless you are having issues going to sleep. Overall Rating: 45/100%

Five Lucha Underground Alternatives

With Lucha Underground looking to be flatlining, I know that a lot of fans are left unsure what they should be checking out to fill the void. While nothing is really the same as what we got from the Temple, here are a few alternatives you could check out. I added a video from each to further promote all five and their right to be on a list like this. IMPACT I know that the promotion formerly known as TNA is a bit of a black mark in the wrestling scene. A lot of the issues that drove away fans and made them a laughing stock for smarks was honestly their of their own doing. But, despite that, Impact has been turning out one of the most consistent wrestling shows on TV for a while now and is something I try to encourage old fans who left and the naysayers to give a shot once more. Do they deserve it? That's up to you, but they do feature some b-film style segments, some lucha and indie infused action, and several LU talents on their regular roster. That alone makes them worth addi

Select Match Reviews: To the Well Once More

Match from Impact 02/22/2019 1.Impact Tag Titles: Lucha Bros(c) vs LAX ***1/4 Thoughts: Yes, Impact is giving us another rematch already between the two pillars of their tag division. On one hand, the previous contests have all been enjoyable. On the other, it makes it seem like the division has no depth and wears out the matchup really fast seeing as they aren't really changing it up much or adding any extra stips as they go. Mix in several indie feds running the same contest, and you have an issue. This year, we've seen these four men in some form of matchup against each other seven times. That's just in 2019. It doesn't help that this one didn't hit the same level that the past encounters have, either. It was still good, but a step down in quality. Clearly, this was just meant to keep things going based off of the after-match attack from LAX guaranteeing at least one more defense. If you don't watch the indies, this issue is also likely less of one

Select Match Reviews: Queens on a Quest

Match from STARDOM Queen's Fes 2019 1.High Speed Title:Hazuki(c) vs AZM ***1/4 2.Goddesses Title:Queen's Quest(c) vs AMA ***3/4 Thoughts: STARDOM, arguably the best women's wrestling promotion in the world, returns with two worthwhile title defenses.  We start my pulls with Hazuki defending the High Speed belt against AZM. The champ was cocky here, once again forcing a challenger to step up to her level. They worked a fun, sprint of a title match that was fairly good. Our final pull from the show is the main event, seeing the tag straps on the line. I'm really glad that Iwatani now holds the WOH title, and give Ring of Honor major props for the move. I hope it's a nice, long reign. Anyway, Momo and Utami took on Mayu and Hoshiki here in a great, hard worked defense, with AMA looking good in defeat. They will win these belts eventually. Both of these were enjoyable. If you like joshi, especially, go ahead and check them out.