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Showing posts from June 30, 2019

Red's Top Factions of 2019

Let's add one more category, this time looking at the best factions/units (4+ members) of the year. Remember that this is tied in directly to the match quality they've been putting out, specifically when teaming up. Honorable Mentions: ALL OUT, Undisputed Era, Tribe Vanguard, MaxiMuM, Inner Circle 10. Suzuki-gun Minoru and Sabre have been a fun duo this year, but you can't count out the rest of the group, either. One of NJPW's top units, these lovable assholes will fuck up anything in their way to get the job done. 9. Bullet Club While the ELITE did leave, BC is 4 Life and the faction is still rolling strong. White had a run as IWGP Heavyweight Champ and remains a central part of the top card in NJPW, KENTA joined in one of the best angles of the year, and the rest of the group continues to do well. Never count out BizCliz. 8. Villain Enterprises Scurll, PCO, King, and now Flip. They've been booked strong and they're always entertaining. Arguably, V

Select Match Reviews: Uncharted

Match from Beyond Wrestling Uncharted Territory #11 1.Janela vs Stratlander ***3/4 Thoughts: I haven't seen much of Beyond's new series, but I always keep a corner eye on the promotion and this one was highly recommended to me by Lucha Central's Eric Mutter. So, let's take a look. Kris is relatively new to me, but cagematch has her already over 50 matches for the year so I respect her before the bell even rung. That respect grew drastically as the contest went along. Her and Joey went all in her, turning this into the best intergender match I think I've seen this year, building from a decent tech affair into two big door bumps and a sick finish. Great match. Go out of your way to check this one out, and thank you, Mutter, for the recommendation.

G1 Climax Preview

This year's G1 Climax will run from July 6th until August 12th, kicking off in Dallas, Texas. Let's start by looking at the blocks and diving in a tad. BLOCK A -Tanahashi -Okada -Sabre -Ospreay -KENTA -Kota -SANADA -Fale -EVIL -Archer Thoughts: No offense to Block B, but this is stacked with dream matches and is the biggest part of the reason why I think this might be the best G1 tournament ever. Just look at the matches we are guaranteed to get here. The weakest link is Fale and Archer, and even they tend to show up nicely during this time of the year. Hell, Lance versus Ospreay should be great again, at the very least. My pick to win here is Okada, simply because he's the go-to guy for a big match, is the current IWGP Heavyweight Champ, and is a safe bet. My dark horse is Kota Ibushi, whom they might be wanting to reward to sticking around and for proving his dedication to the brand lately. BLOCK B -Naito -White -SHINGO -Moxley -Ishii -Goto -C

Dragon Gate Cutting Edge #26 Review

Matches: 1.King of Gate Semifinal: Kzy vs Ben-K **** Thoughts: Ben-K and Kzy put on a fantastic show here, showcasing the Dragon Gate spirit perfectly as we head to the finals of this year's King of Gate series. Ben-K is the future of the promotion and I can't wait to see how this year's Kobe show turns out. Speaking of, we close with the latest in the Ultimo Dragon drama. If you understand the significance of this move, you'll understand why this made one of the best episodes of wrestling this year into one of the best ever. Yoshino asked the legend to compete at Kobe. After hesitation from Ultimo, the entire locker room came out to reaffirm the desire of the roster. Ultimo agreed, saying he'd be coming in his ring gear. The match, celebrating 20 years of Dragon Gate, will be Ultimo Dragon, Yoshino, and Dragon Kid taking on Mochizuki, Sugawara, and Kondo. One of the best wrestling displays on TV this year mixed with one of the biggest moments in DG his

Select Match Reviews: Birds Fighting

Match from New Japan Southern Showdown in Melbourne 1.IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title: Ospreay(c) vs Eagles **** Thoughts: I could've done without the in-fighting stuff, but really it didn't take much away from the match itself and it helped the overall story and drama of the match so it's fine. Honestly, this was just a fantastic display of the modern junior style that had the crowd hooked and played to the location of the contest perfectly. I remember recently asking Eagles if he was still in Bullet Club or if he was just added temporarily as a one-off. This was while he had been gone for a while and there was news of Phantasmo joining. I got some cheap replies from Chase Owens trying to invalidate my inquiry which he backed down from after I pointed out other cases of this happening with BC in the past. Since returning, they've teased dissension and Eagles is now flying the CHAOS banner. Funny how things work out. Anyway, go watch this and know that it's

Select Match Reviews: Getting Dirty in Naucalpan

Matches from IWRG 06/23 1.Bisoferia, Canibal, Galactus vs Aguila Oriental, Dranzer, Rey Halcon Jr. *** 2.Angel Estrella Jr., Chef Benito, Fireman vs Guero Palma, Guerrero 2000, Kanon **3/4 3.Torneo FILL: IWRG vs MexaWrestling ***1/4 4.Dragon Bane, Hijo Canis Lupus vs Los Traumas *** Thoughts: +Lucha didn't include everything from this show that I wanted to see so I'm using the above video for the last two matches and this channel for the earlier two. Just a heads up. The first pull was a nice trios clash that played the hits nicely in sprint form. Good stuff and a nice way to check out random, smaller names that you likely don't see very often. The second was pretty decent, but it just lacked in too many categories to be anything major. For a random, throwaway six-man, it was still nice. Time for Mexa vs IWRG, which can be viewed in the above video starting around the sixteen minute mark. Like usual, the quality dips a bit depending on who's in the ring,

Select Match Reviews: Destiny Shines Bright

Matches from STARDOM Shining Destiny 1.Artists of STARDOM Title: Tokyo Cyber Squad(c) vs Oedo Tai ***1/4 2.Goddesses of STARDOM Title: Queen's Quest(c) vs Oedo Tai *** 3.Wonder of STARDOM Title: Arisa(c) vs Tam ****1/4 Thoughts: The first two pulls were good contests, though they weren't really to the quality I was hoping for. The first had an awesome finish and some good stuff mixed throughout, but failed to ever really break out of second gear for very long. The tag was about the same, with the worst workers in both contests getting more time than they should have. Both good, neither must-see. The main attraction here is Arisa's defense of the Wonder of STARDOM Championship, though. It more than lived up to my expectations. Arisa Hoshiki has more than won me over with this reign, even if I think Momo is still a far superior worker, and I not only loved this latest defense but find myself wanting more. That's the best thing a champion can do, and she is

Select Match Reviews: Fantaastik Tag

Match from NOAH Global Junior Tag League 06/13 1.GHC Tag Titles: AXIZ(c) vs Sugiura, KAZMA **** Thoughts: Hard work and great storytelling on display here. Both teams looked amazing once again, and this more than lived up to the hype. So far, this is the second match between the two teams that's earned a high spot on my recommendation list  and I am looking forward to seeing the rematch. Fantastic stuff. Check this one out!

Dragon Gate Cutting Edge #25 Review

Matches: 1.King of Gate Semifinal: KAI vs Eita ***1/2 Thoughts: Cutting Edge remains one of the easiest to watch weekly wrestling shows and this was no exception. KAI and Eita worked a spectacle style brawl that turned out to be very entertaining and the right guy won. I stopped watching for a bit while they finished catching up on Dead or Alive, and they've done that now so expect the coverage of Cutting Edge to return. Check this one out. Overall Rating: 75/100%

Select Match Reviews: For the Benefit of Metaleon

Matches from PALL: Lucha X Metaleon 1.Generacion Dorada vs Generacion Milenials **3/4 2.IWRG Rey del Ring Title: Demonio Infernal(c) vs Aramis ***1/4 Thoughts: Following the injury during this tournament, PALL jumped in like they supposed to and held this gig as a benefit show. These two matches were recommended to me from the evening of action, so let's take a look. Up first, we have a 10-man clusterfuck which starts about 37 minutes in on the video above. For a list of participants, check the bottom of this post. It was pretty solid stuff, but some pacing issues and an injury scare hold back the quality a tad. More good than bad, still. The attendance is smaller than you'd want for a show like this. The last pull here was for the IWRG Rey del Ring strap, which is one of the many unneeded belts that IWRG promotes. Aramis and Demonio worked hard and put in for a fairly good title match here. While neither of these matches were required viewing, this was far f

Select Match Reviews: Gun Ban

Matches from New Japan Kizuna Road 06/17 1.Elimination: CHAOS vs Suzuki-gun ***3/4 Thoughts: This was laid out very well, telling multiple stories at once while delivering exciting action. With the G1 coming up, this succeeded in being exactly what it needed to be. Check this out if you want a last minute prep before the big meal.

TripleMania Card Announced, Omega and AEW Involved

I'll be writing up a lot more on the show as it nears, but it's worth making a post real quick letting anyone who missed it that the TripleMania card (subject to change) is out and is pretty stacked. Check it out: Mask vs Hair: Blue Demon Jr vs Dr Wagner Jr AAA vs AEW: Lucha Bros, Laredo Kid vs Omega, Young Bucks Psycho Clow, Cody, Cain Velasquez vs Texano, Taurus, ??? Reina de Reinas Title, TLC: Lady Shani vs Taya vs Tessa vs Faby vs Keyra vs Tormenta vs Hiedra Copa TripleMania participants: Parka, Pagano, OGTs, Puma King, Aerostar, Drago, more Vikingo, Myzteziz, Golden Magic vs PdN vs Pimpinela, Maximo, Mamba AAA Mixed Tag Titles: Nino, Mami vs Guevara, Bordeaux vs Maravilla, Villano III jr vs Australian Suicide, Vanilla

WWE RAW 07/01 Review

Matches: 1.Falls Count Anywhere: Braun vs Lashley **3/4 2.New Day vs Viking Raiders NR 3.New Day vs Joe, Viking Raiders *** 4.Lacey vs Natalya *3/4 5.2/3 Falls: Miz vs Elias **1/2 6.Seth, Becky vs Mike, Maria *1/2 7.WWE US Title: Ricochet(c) vs Styles **1/2 Thoughts: This is the first, full episode of Raw that I've seen since February, 2018. I am breaking the streak due to a desire to see how the first Heyman episode went for myself. Remember when 205 was trash until the right people took over? Now, I'm not saying Paul can make Raw must-see or anything, since Vince still ultimately controls the series, but I am saying I wanted to give the first episode a fair shake. Know that I'm watching this on Hulu as I just don't have time to watch live. This version is cut down to an hour and a half, so keep that in mind because they cut some of the fat in this format. So, the first major thing of note is that we're actually starting with action. Seeing clips of

Why PALL is Best for Business

If you follow lucha libre and English is your first language, there's a good chance you likely only watch AAA and/or CMLL. And honestly, that's a good start. But, it's worth noting that Mexico does feature a large amount of quality in the indie scene that deserves some love, too. Promotions are plenty, but one of the biggest is IWRG. Followers of this blog are presumably familiar with them at this point, but know that they are home to some of the best names in the genre. Also worth noting, though, is that their roster is largely a per-date situation with no set contracts. This is true of many of their contemporaries. Well, PALL is a governing body that represents a partnership between several of the biggest lucha indies working together for the betterment of not only their brands, but also for the benefit of the talent. This includes a way for the promotions to stop some of the old in-fighting and rivalries between companies as well as a more solidified roster to pul

Wrestling TV Roundup: June 2019 (Week 4) +BTE, More...

WEEK OF 06/23-06/30 I was split on adding an extra day here to ensure that June content didn't roll into July's week one post next week, and I decided that solution was more reasonable to me than the alternative. So, here's eight days worth of content that I checked out. Matches: 1.Jinetes del Aire, Flamita vs Daga, Chessman, Villano III Jr *** AAA Worldwide Once again, they were sooooo close to booking the entire Jinetes group together. The rudos side was even more randomly thrown together, though. The good news is the glue stuck together long enough for this to turn out good. Vikingo is way too good for someone so young. 2.Video Store Massacre: Starr vs Coyle **1/2 Defiant Loaded Defiant can be either a chore or good. Rarely is it bad or great, sticking largely in that little zone I mentioned. Still, they have some great roster members mixed in and get an occasional must-see match off even if the crowd tends to be sleeping during it. I clicked this to see a Sta

AEW Fyter Fest Review

Matches: 0a.AEW Tag Tournament Bye: SCU vs Best Friends vs Private Party ***1/4 0b.Allie vs Leva Bates *1/2 0c.Hardcore: Nakazawa vs Jebailey ** 1.CIMA vs Christopher Daniels *** 2.Riho vs Yuka vs Rose *** 3.Page vs Havoc vs MJF vs Jungle Boy ***1/4 4.Cody vs Darby Allin ***1/2 5.The Elite vs Lucha Bros, Laredo Kid ***3/4 6.Unsanctioned: Moxley vs Janela ***1/2 Thoughts: AEW's first "B-show" event was going to be important for a few reasons, one of which being the first display of how the company would book a lesser show.  I'd say they succeeded.  The buy in stuff was the weakest part, but that's forgivable. The opener was good and the hardcore match was entertaining if nothing else and much better than it had a right to be. The only truly "bad territory" thing here was the librarian section. I don't hate the gimmick like most of the internet seems to, but the whole thing this time was a mess and hurt everyone involv

Normal Functions to Resume

The vacation is over and I've made the LONG trip up to North Dakota. Blog activity should return back to normal this week. Today, AEW Fyter Fest is on the agenda. Last week's TV matches and recent New Japan roundups should come sometime after.