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Showing posts from December 22, 2019

ONE Championship: Top 10 Bouts of the Year Part 1 Review

Feature Card: 1.ONE Women's Atomweight Title: Lee(c) vs Xiong ***3/4 2.ONE Strawweight Title: Saruta(c) vs Pacio ***3/4 3.Lineker vs Gafurov ***1/2 4.Kingad vs Ikeda **** Thoughts: ONE gifted us three special uploads featuring their picks for top ten fights on the year, starting with #'1 10-7. As the title implies, everything here was either very good, great, or fantastic. Really, just different levels of awesome. In 90 minutes, ONE provides us with some of the best action you'll see anywhere. I strongly recommend watching this if you consider yourself a fan of the sport. Overall Rating: 85/100%

WRESTLE-1 TV #142 Thoughts

We return to normal formatting this week, with this episode featuring highlights from the 12/26 event. Note that when my blog awards come out that this series won't win (or get the honorable mention) for best wrestling series. That said, I sincerely love the program and look forward to it almost every week. Wrestle-1 is one of my favorite companies, even if that's not always reflected in the recommendations or awards here, and I applaud them for making this series so damn entertaining all year. Here's  the card for this episode, for those wanting to keep track. Zayne continues to look impressive and standout, getting the pin in the opener. More Minoru Tanaka in W1 by the way, please! Andy vowed to reclaim the Cruiserweight belt. The follow up looked okay, but largely forgettable despite the talent involved. Some things were set up by it, at least. Doi challenging Irie for his OWE Championship was the most promising thing to happen here but Kono seemingly taking up K

ONE Feature: Stamp Fairtex Has A Lot More To Offer Review

Feature Card: 1.ONE Muay Thai Atomweight Title: Stamp vs Todd ***1/2 Thoughts: I've said that the reason I gravitated toward ONE when I became disenfranchised years ago with UFC was the way they present their fighters and their company. It's why I continue to watch their weekly series as often as I do and why I am growing to love mma all over again, too. They have a respectable roster, and features like these just help you see them in a special way. One of the stars I've grown to enjoy the most this year is Stamp. Since I can't seem to sleep tonight, when I saw ONE had released a special feature on here I figured I'd hit play (especially since the last two episodes of their program were highlight reels). We not only get the personal stuff, as ONE also gave us lengthy action. Stamp and Todd met back in February to crown a champion. The bout was featured in a June episode  of ONE Championship Weekly, where I gave it a three star rating. It started in the 4

FREE THE DELETE #6 Thoughts

Ryzin and Matt do battle around the compound, with rocks smashed across heads, a trash can thrashing, ball being kicked, chair shots, and even a headlock for the purists! Ever see a man croak, "die" as they bash a demon's head into turnbuckles? You have now! The numbers game became a part of the equation but it was nothing a taser from a trusty ally couldn't defend against. Alas, Matt failed to claim victory regardless as he crashed and burned in the finale of this installment. Woken Matt Hardy is DELETED! Take one episode of Free the Delete as released, do not mix with alcohol.

Select Match Reviews: Last Minute Impact Roundup

Match from IMPACT 10/25: 1.IMPACT World Title, Cage: Cage(c) vs Sami **** Match from IMPACT 11/19: 2.#1 Contender's Gauntlet: Tessa vs Cage vs Daga vs Elgin vs Moose vs Swann ***1/2 Thoughts: People aren't giving IMPACT Wrestling enough credit. After officially killing off the TNA brand, they've been one of the best sources of weekly wrestling in the world and are one of the best US companies as well. They're essentially what ROH should be right now and I'm hopeful that 2020 is another step up for them. Both of these were enjoyable and I'm glad I had one last chance to catch some of their content before closing the door on 2019. Check them out to see the fall of a machine at the hands of Sami and the rise of Tessa as we head to their next encounter.

Select Match Review: UltraLight

Match from PCW Ultra Mutiny #24 (Into the Void event 10/18): 1.PCW UltraLight Title: Jake Atlas(c) vs Daga ***3/4 Thoughts: PCW Ultra gave us a late Christmas present and one last gem to close the year. The format of their show needs work, but it was still a nice surprise in 2019 and I applaud them for the move. Hopefully, I can make an announcement soon that's related. This match was sincerely great and a nice showcase for both, as Daga and the champ came off looking strong. This strikes me as another one of those, "best match no one saw" style defenses so give it a click. I bet you might like it even more than I did! Oh, and why not call it the EqualiDDT?

Wrestlers on the Road Ordering Room Service with Omega & Nakazawa Thoughts

I haven't had the chance to watch any of these yet, but this is getting some attention and features three of my favorites, so... They covered a lot of ground here. The Too Sweet ban, Bullet Club, Twitter followers, Pro Wrestling Tees, how they met each other, their departures from New Japan and ROH, and much, much more. There's even a Dragon Gate call out and Naka kind of just sits there while the other dudes reminiscence, and is my spirit animal as a result. I don't want to ruin anything, but I urge fans of these guys to watch this one! Absolutely one of the most compelling wrestling related releases I've seen all year and it's likely I start checking these out more often.

ONE Championship Weekly 12/26 Review

Episode Card: 1.Jomary vs Radzuan NR From 07/12/19 ONE: Masters of Destiny 2.Folayang vs Alverez NR From 04/02/19 ONE: Dawn of Heroes 3.Demetrius vs Yuya NR From 03/31/19 ONE: A New Era 4.Nakahara vs Tonon NR From 05/17/19 ONE: Enter the Dragon 5.Lapicus vs Wiratchai NR From 05/17/19 ONE: Enter the Dragon 6.ONE Lightweight Title: Folayang(c) vs Aoki NR From 03/31/19 ONE: A New Era 7.Ayaka vs Balin NR From 02/22/19 ONE: Call to Greatness 8.Amir vs Ariel NR From 02/22/19 ONE: Call to Greatness 9.Imanari vs Kwon NR From 02/22/19 ONE: Call to Greatness Thoughts: ONE closes 2019 with their final episode of the year. Note that I applaud them for having one of the most active YouTube channels in general. Last week was focused on best knockouts while this week we got the best submission victories of the year. Like last week, there wasn't enough meat to review much of this and the format didn't allow for those high quality, personal video features, bu

Select Match Reviews: What Are You Doing in Canada?

Match from SMASH #118 (Tell All Your Friends event 03/24): 1.Cage vs Bailey ***1/2 Thoughts: Watching that ECCW match made me want one last Canadian contest for the year, and this seemed like a good choice. Luckily, this was indeed a good one. Pretty good, in fact. It played out about how you'd expect given the size and style difference, but sometimes predictability can be okay. Consider this if you don't have better things on the back burner.

Select Match Reviews: Somewhere in Canada

Match from ECCW Ballroom Brawl E11even Night One 01/11: 1.Chase Owens vs Rey Horus ***3/4 Thoughts: Finishing up the calendar year, I realized I had seen very little content from Canada so here's the last pull from the Great White North. Watching Chase matches always leaves me wishing NWA Smoky Mountain was still a thing, by the way. Innovate hasn't been nearly as good. This was a battle of underrated talents and a great match in general. I fear this will be ignored by too many largely because they simply didn't know it even existed. Check it out to avoid being part of that crowd. I think all I have left is a few things from the DDTverse, maybe something NOAH related, and maybe one more thing from SMASH. My award posts will be out soon, too. Thanks for everyone who's visited the blog this year!

Select Match Reviews: Addicted to You

Match from PROGRESS Chapter 99: With a Flake, Please: 1.2/3 Falls: Ilja Dragunov vs Cara Noir **** Thoughts: With this, the third in an ongoing series between the two, I must say this has been an extremely fun rivalry. Going to the well this often this quick is a bit surprising, but PROGRESS needs to elevate guys fast and the fans have taken to Noir quickly. The dude is awesome, so that's not too surprising. This was heavy in dramatic, cinematic storytelling mixed with strong in-ring activity capping the story (for now) on a high note and I strongly recommend it for those who want to see one of the best PROGRESS matches of the year.

Select Match Reviews: Baseball, Comic Books, & Wrestling

Match from Aniversario: Scotch Mist 1.Apuesta: Dasher vs Boomer **** Thoughts: Since their return, CHIKARA just hasn't been the same. I've enjoyed a match or two, sure, but I used to be hooked on their content and that's just not true these days. In fact, before this, only two matches even made my recommendation list. Alas, not everything lasts forever and CHIKARA's aura has indeed diminished despite housing some of true gems on their roster. The Legion of Rot, the Colony, Ophidian, Dasher, Angelosetti... so much talent. Well, the good news is I found one last match from them this year that not only is going to be added to the list, but also that I truly loved in general. Who'd have thought that one of the best apuestas of 2019 would come from CHIKARA! This reminded me of the CHIKARA I used to go out of my to watch, with fantastic story work mixed alongside top notch action. If they can get back to this more often, I'm sure I'll be watching regularl

Select Match Reviews: Fight Club Flyers

Match from FCP Dream Tag Invitational Night Two 04/20: 1.Ospreay vs Fenix ****1/4 Thoughts: How I missed this previously I have no idea, but I'm happy I realized before I skipped it completely. I rarely watch anything from FCP, but I always will seek out matches from these two. The top flyers in the game put on an amazing display of innovative athleticism here and you'd be doing yourself a disservice if you didn't hit play right now!

Select Match Reviews: NJPW Road to Tokyo Dome Roundup

Matches from 12/19: 1.Kota, Tanahashi vs Naito, SHINGO ***1/2 2.Ospreay, Eagles vs Hiromu, BUSHI ***3/4 Matches from 12/20: 3.Naito, EVIL, Hiromu, BUSHI vs Okada, Ospreay, Eagles, YOSHI-HASHI ***1/2 Matches from 12/21: 4.Ospreay, Ishii vs Hiromu, EVIL **** 5.Liger, Tanahashi, Kota vs Okada, Romero, YOSHI-HASHI ***1/4 Thoughts: The first match on the list had a good energy and was borderline great. The amount of tape on Naito's legs worries me a bit but he seems more than ready to go in a couple of weeks. The flashpin finish was a nice touch, too. The second was one of my favorite moments of the year as it was the in-ring return of Hiromu. To make things even better, this also rocked! The Birds of Prey being planted into signs on opposite sides of the building at the same time was one of those weird things I tend to love, too. Big moment, great match. The finish was a legit surprise too, even if it was slightly diminished due to it being a tad rough. The post-match ad

Select Match Reviews: Return of the Doi

Match  from Dragon Gate Fantastic Gate 12/18: 1.DoiDarts: Eita, Minoura, Kzy vs Ben-K, HYO, Kagetora vs YAMATO, Horiguchi, Gamma vs Fuji, Santa Maria, Ichikawa **** Thoughts: I love when this gimmick is used, I love how Dragon Gate utilizes matches to expand and generally progress plots alongside their brand of comedy and action, and I love how spirited Dragon Gate has felt this year. The post-match angle was huge, too. In all, I feel watching this one is the best way to close watching 2019 Dragon Gate as I begin to finish up catching up on my last few pulls. I was pleasantly surprised by how they stepped up big this year and am more than eager to see what 2020 holds. Check this one out and look forward to my final updates to the best of the year section.

AEW Rankings + Thoughts (Dec Week 4)

We return to regular scheduled format this week in regards to rankings releases, though not to really anything that could be considered a surprise. MEN'S Champion: Jericho 1.Mox 2.Omega 3.PAC 4.Cody 5.MJF Thoughts: No changes here, but expect the Jericho/Mox angle to start taking center stage as we start the new year next week and head toward the next ppv. Omega is mainly in a story with Page right now and likely heading toward a match with him at the show. Cody is dealing with a lot of different angles, being pulled in different directions. MJF is one of those directions. WOMEN'S Champion: Riho 1.Stratlander 2.Baker 3.Shida 4.Nyla 5.Emi Thoughts: The rise of Kris has been fun and the division is starting to gel much better. Baker is hit or miss, still. Shida I feel lost the #1 contender's match because they wanted to avoid another all-joshi defense right now. Nyla and Emi round out the bottom of the top five with the former looking poised to remain a f

AEW Dark 12/24 Review

Matches: 1.Guevara vs Cutler **3/4 2.TH2 vs Best Friends vs Private Party vs PnP ***1/2 3.Spears vs Janela **3/4 Thoughts: This Christmas Eve edition of AEW was rather entertaining even if nothing was truly must-see. The opener was solid, the square-tag was pretty good and showcased their depth at the division, we got more from the PAC angle from last week's Dynamite, and the main event was inoffensive fun. The Orange moments were highlights for sure, too and the entire episode went down fast and easy like basically everything from AEW. Even Jesus seemed happy! Overall Rating: 65/100%

TJP MERRY CHRISTMAS! Digest Thoughts

This will be my last post until after Christmas, so let's do it on a related note. Here's the card for this show and my thoughts on each: 1.Miyu vs Suzume Suzume was a spider monkey, Miyu looked good as usual. The former face of TJP won this one, but I had to check Cagematch for the results . 2.Shoko vs Tenma vs Neko Tails were tied up in this three-way. This actually looked pretty fun and the right person won. 3.Sakisama, Kiryu vs Yuna, Pom The highlights version that this was still wasn't enough to make it look good. Even at the short run this still felt like a waste of time. 4.Mizuki vs Noa This was a fun, spirited battle and I love that it ended in a draw. 5.Itoh vs Maiumi The little psycho acted like a little psycho. Entertaining but nothing major. 6.Rika, Miu vs Aino, Raku Came off as a rather standard, inoffensive tag match. No major feelings in either direction. 7.Yuka vs Mina This came off as the best thing on the card and I rather enjoyed t

ONE Championship Weekly 12/19 Review

Episode Card: 1.Timofey vs Alverez NR From 03/31/19 ONE: A New Era 2.ONE Strawweight Title: Saruta(c) vs Pacio NR From 04/12/19 ONE: Roots of Honor 3.ONE Women's Strawweight Title: Xiong(c) vs Lee NR From 03/31/19 ONE: A New Era 4.Cosmo vs Sage NR From 05/17/29 ONE: Enter the Dragon 5.ONE Lightweight Title: Aoki(c) vs Christian NR From 05/17/19 ONE: Enter the Dragon 6.ONE Featherweight Title: Nguyen(c) vs Jadamba NR From 04/12/19 ONE: Roots of Honor 7.Geje vs Yuya NR From 04/02/19 ONE: Dawn of Heroes 8.Kickboxing: Nattawut vs Giorgio NR From 08/16/19 ONE: Dreams of Gold 9.ONE Light Heavyweight Title: Aung La(c) vs Vera ***1/2 From 10/13/19 ONE: Century Part 2 Thoughts: I was talking with my brother-in-law about mma the other day, and he reminded me that my attempts to get him into sports peaked at mma and that was the only one he had shown real interest in during that span. At that time he was living with me as I helped him get on his feet. During the talks I

Being the Elite #184 Thoughts

Let me start by mentioning that the Bucks have left Twitter and the toxic nature of the site. I support their choice and understand it completely. Wrestling fans, Star Wars fans, Marvel fans. The toxicity of fandoms like these can be overwhelming and that poison is just unneeded. Unlike our current First Lady, who pretends to care about cyber bullying, I at least understand how serious the issue is and am just laughing at those who are responding to the Bucks leaving with even more misguided strikes. It's sad and pathetic. There's a difference between abject criticism and constructive criticism and the recognition that these are people instead of soulless entities. Now, this week centers around a Christmas party with SCU and the Young Bucks. Great stuff and I love that they referenced the infamous punches from Dynamite as well as the best Christmas film of all time. Naka and Roberts had a nice segment, complete with a Cena drop. The humor of this series alone makes me won

Select Match Reviews: Headbutt!

Match from Pro Wrestling NOAH Starting Over Tour 12/22: 1.Kongoh (Kenou, Masa, Inamura) vs Sugiura-gun (Sugiura, NOSAWA, Ohara) ***1/2 Thoughts: Masa and the GHC National Champion were the main attractions in this one, and a nasty headbutt early on split Sugiura open to set the tone for their upcoming singles encounter on January 4th. I'm pretty excited about the defense, but also found this to be a pretty good six-man hype up. Consider clicking play if you just can't wait for 2020.

Select Match Reviews: Bloody Anniversary

Match from IWRG 57th Aniversario de la Arena Naucalpan 12/15: 1.Blue Demon Jr vs LA Park **** Thoughts: Let me start by saying QEPD in regards to Mr. Niebla. Please, read this  for more info. Many people have already written about the subject and with a death in my family last night I'd like to refrain, especially when Cubs did a good job already and I always love to plug his stuff. Now, about the match... Walking in, a bloody brawl with some smoke and mirrors, mask tearing, and an iffy finish were not only expectations, they were certainties. The mask tearing began within the first minute. The blood began to flow within the first five. And it was indeed a giant circus act walk and brawl. Predictable? Of course. But was this bad? Not at all. I expected a large spectacle in my favorite lucha building and that's what I got. I also loved every fucking second. Take some time to enjoy this fantastic mess if any of this sounds like your cup of tea.

Red's Top 5 Michinoku Pro Matches

One of the most unique wrestling promotions in the world is also one of the most forgotten. I suppose this happens when the market is over-saturated, and I agree they haven't got the strongest roster these days, but let's at least take a moment to recognize the brilliance of these five Michinoku Pro gems. 5.Great Space War VII NR 12/13/12 We start with a comedy infused multi-man. I mean, it's just fun and a good way to start this list, too. Sekimoto as the Hulk with a head and body that don't match? Captain America, Iron Man, and Catwoman teaming up? Watch this one with an open mind and heart and you'll leave with a smile and while it isn't the best thing ever from a purist stance (I didn't even rate it due to the amount of comedy), it made the list for just being awesome in general and one of my favorite outputs from the fed. 4.Heat vs Tigers Mask ***3/4 08/31/12 This is one of my favorite sub-10-minute matches. As a huge fan of Minoru Tanaka, it

Select Match Reviews: Know When to Fold Em

Match from RecioStyle 12/19: 1.Apuesta: Payacumba vs Emperador ***1/2 Thoughts: I couldn't sleep, so here's a few posts, starting with... These two skinny ass kids start this mask versus mask match with solid aerial work before upping the violence considerably throughout three falls. At one point, during the third fall ringside brawling section, they got blood all over someone's white shirt. Indie lucha wager bouts can be pretty brutal and dramatic and, while this was rather tame still in comparison to the more memorable showings, I still found it to be very good and I applaud these two for the display.

Happy Holidays

I'll likely be MIA on here until after Christmas due to a personal family issue as well as the general, chaotic nature of the holidays. I hope everyone has a great few days and gets to enjoy some time with family if that's their thing.

Top 10+ Matches of November 2019

****1/2 1.Moxley vs Omega 11/09 (AEW) ****1/4 2.Kaito vs Kenou 11/02 (NOAH) 3.Nakajima, Go vs Masa, Inamura 11/02 (NOAH) 4.Arisa vs Nanae 11/02 (SEAdLINNNG) 5.KENTA vs Ishii 11/03 (NJPW) 6.Takeshita vs HARASHIMA 11/03 (DDT) 7.Okabayashi, Hino vs Sekimoto, WALTER 11/04 (BJW) **** 8.Sanson vs Star Jr 11/01 (CMLL) 9.Ospreay vs BUSHI 11/03 (NJPW) 10.Shoko vs Yuka 11/03 (TJP) 11.Susumu vs Ishida 11/04 (DG) 12.Ilja vs Starr 11/09 (wXw) 13.Jericho vs Cody 11/09 (AEW) 14.Kento, Yuma vs Suwama, Shuji 11/11 (AJPW) 15.Kento, Yuma vs Sekimoto, Bodyguard 11/21 (AJPW) 16.Sugiura vs Shuhei 11/26 (NOAH)

PWD YEAR-END AWARDS

Every year, my facebook group runs a few award polls and, well, this year is no different. So, here are the results of the 2019 PWD Year-End Awards! Note that I'll be publishing my own official awards for the blog in the coming days, too. #1 Match of the Year: Dustin vs Cody (AEW Double or Nothing) Spoiler alert, but this is also my MOTY. The raw emotion alone made this one of the most memorable matches of the year, but the work added to it made this one of my (and the voter's) favorites of all time. If you missed this one, fix that NOW! Honorable Mention: Ospreay vs SHINGO (New Japan BOSJ Finals) #2 Male Wrestler of the Year: Kento Miyahara I was pleasantly surprised when I saw the Triple Crown Champion had won this one. His title defenses are becoming the stuff of legend and his lesser matches can be gems in their own right. This kid is positioned strongly as the ace of All Japan with no real end in sight and I have no doubt he'll continue to be their star att