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Showing posts from December 29, 2019

Select Match Reviews: New Year Yen

Matches  from DDT New Year Special 01/03 : 1.Shunma vs MAO ***1/2 2.Tanaka vs Brookes ***1/2 3.Endo, T-Hawk vs ALL OUT ***1/2 4.KO-D Tag Titles: DAMNATION(c) vs Nautilus **** Thoughts: Opening up 2020 with some fun in a way that only DDT can provide, these pulls from New Year Special were just what I wanted them to be. I have no doubt that DDT will likely once again be one of my top sources of action this year and, when they handle their minor shows with such pizzaz, it should be no surprise why. Sure, I'll still likely skip most of the comedy attractions and bottom of the card matches, but the rest is hardcore underrated and this roster is top notch! Anyway, the first pull had perhaps the weakest ref bump I've seen in years, but the lego spots after more than made up for it even if it inevitably felt like a needless bump in the end. The whole thing was pure fun and worth seeing. MAO said Bailey would return when his visa issues are resolved and will try to climb the

Note on 2020 Wrestling Coverage

By now, I hope it's obvious that if something is recommended to me regardless of where it's from, there's a good chance I'll check it out. The only real exclusion of the blog is WWE products, which I no longer am watching at all after WWE unceremoniously dropped the trend of showing TakeOver events on Hulu. I have no desire to pay Vince a penny, let alone ten bucks a month. So, that said, while I am going to continue searching and seeking out the best of the best, I did want to make my ambitions clear. My intended main sources of wrestling in 2020 are the following, separated by region for fancy convenience because I'm cool like that. United States AEW and IMPACT will likely be the top ones for me, though I will check in on ROH when they aren't fucking up royally, and of course any indie match that I pick up on or just catches my eye (especially from PWG, PCW Ultra, Defy, etc). Mexico No changes here, really. AAA gets first nod and priority. CMLL has dr

AEW Dynamite: Homecoming 01/01 Review

Matches: 1.Cody vs Darby ****1/4 2.AEW Women's Title: Riho(c) vs Baker vs Nyla vs Shida ***3/4 3.Moxley vs Trent ***1/4 4.Guevara vs Dustin **1/2 5.The Elite vs Lucha Bros, PAC ***3/4 Thoughts: This is a great way to bring in 2020. Last year was one of the best in terms of pro wrestling excellence, and I have no doubt that this one will hold a lot of weight, too. The arena here has quickly become one of my favorites, as I love the layout and general tone on display when AEW performs here. Having Taz on commentary for the night was a nice bonus. The opener was fantastic, and the exact way to kick off the year. I wouldn't have minded another draw, but this was more than fair and Darby again came off looking like a star. Outside of an iffy armbar transition, I have very little to nitpick. Even the heel teases from Allin were nice as were most of his technical, targeting tactics. The usage of Arn also felt like a true revival of the proper manager role. Go out of your

Red's Best of MMA 2019 + Awards

So, most of my mma consumption is sourced from ONE. As a result, this is essentially my favorite fights and fighters from that company, but with a touch of Bellator added in for good measure. I mean, they did house my favorite fight of the year. They'd also be on the list far more if so many of their fights that I watched didn't end so quickly. BEST FIGHTS ****1/2 -Girtz/Saad ( bellator ) **** -Daichi/Tang ( one ) -Kingad/Ikeda ( one ) -Ariel/Amir ( one ) ***3/4 -Thanki/Akiyama ( one ) -Xiong/Lee ( one ) -Xiong/Lee ( one ) -Sam-A/Haggerty ( one ) -Pacio/Saruta ( one ) -Sumter/Felix ( bellator ) -Aung La/Vera ( one ) ***1/2 -Pacio/Saruta ( one ) -Stamp/Todd ( one ) -Belingon/Fernandes ( one ) -Aoki/Lee ( one ) -Lineker/Gafurov ( one ) -Bandejas/Archuleta ( bellator ) -Stamp/Alma ( one ) AWARDS Best Male Fighter: Joshua Pacio Pacio lost the Strawweight Championship to start the year against an impromptu opponent by split decision, but reclaimed t

RED'S 2019 YEAR-END WRESTLING AWARDS

All year I've kept a close eye on anything that looked interesting and kept track of it all. Now, it's time to reveal the best of the best utilizing my recommendations  to mathematically determine the winners of the first ever Red's Year-End Wrestling Awards! MAIN AWARDS BEST MATCH  OF 2019: Dustin vs Cody (AEW Double or Nothing) ***** It is very, very, very rare that I give out five stars to a match. I save this rating only for things in wrestling I sincerely consider to be perfect, and I sincerely consider this one perfect. This was poetry disguised as a wrestling match! Honorable Mention(s): -Gargano/Cole 04/05 (nxt) ****3/4 -Okada/Ospreay 07/20 (njpw) ****3/4 -Okada/SANADA 08/03 (njpw) ****3/4 -Ishii/SHINGO 08/08 (njpw) ****3/4 -Devlin/Starr 10/26 (ott) ****3/4 BEST MALE  WRESTLER OF 2019: Will Ospreay Ospreay was put in a unique position this year, working his ass off not only as the face of the IWGP Junior Heavyweight division, but also stepping up big

Top 10+ Matches of December 2019

****1/2 -Nakajima vs Go ****1/4 -Nomura, Lee vs Kento, Yuma -HARASHIMA vs Tanaka **** -Omega vs Dragon Lee -Vikingo vs Taurus vs Puma King -Lee, Nomura vs Suwama, Shuji -Lucky Kid vs Ohno -Maravilla vs Mami -Blue Demon vs LA Park -Cara Noir vs Ilja -Ben-K vs Doi -Eita,Minoura,Kzy vs Ben-K,HYO,Kagetora vs YAMATO,Horiguchi,Gamme vs Fuji,Santa Maria,Ichikawa -Ospreay,Ishii vs Hiromu,EVIL -Mayu vs Kagetsu -Tanaka vs Endo

NOAH Sugiura-gun Produce: All Dogs Gather! Bark At Korakuen Review

Matches: 1.Kenou vs Chikara **1/4 2.The Tough vs KAZMA, Kinya *** 3.AXIZ vs Kaito, Taniguchi ***3/4 4.Elimination: Harada vs HAYATA vs Tadasuke vs YO-HEY **3/4 5.Ultimo, Ohara, Shiro vs Tokyo Gurentai **1/2 6.Doktor Marufuji Jr vs Hijo del Wagner Jr ***1/4 7.Hideki, Fujita vs Sakuraba, Sugiura ***1/2 8.Sugiura-gun vs Kongoh ***1/2 Thoughts: Sugiura and his boys put on one last shindig for NOAH as we come to a close of 2019. Since I love NOAH and fear Sugiura, let's take a look at the whole event (the last time I'll be doing that this year)! The opener was okay, but completely skippable and admittedly a bit of a waste of Kenou's talent. Kenou agreed that Chikara was worse than a trainee here. Match two was better and a good overall tag but still nothing major. Luckily, the trend was stopped abruptly with number three, as AXIZ once again proved how fucking great they are. The Go/Kaito build continues. The concept was there in the elimination match as was

Select Match Reviews: Last Minute DDT Roundup

Match from D-Ou Grand Prix in Harajuku Tag 2 12/15: 1.Tanaka vs HARASHIMA ****1/4 Match from D-Ou Grand Prix The Final 12/28: 2.Takeshita vs Brookes vs Daisuke vs HARASHIMA ***3/4 3.Finals: Tanaka vs Endo **** Thoughts: Time to close 2019 on DDT, who've become one of my top sources for wrestling this year. Tanaka is still a fucking workhorse, as he continues to show us time and time again, and he stepped up big in these two, taking a draw in an awesome match with the current top dog of DDT and then taking down a former champ in a fantastic contest in the finals. Both very entertaining, both worth seeing. Mix in the great four way, and you simply have a nice bonus match full of big names to go along with them. With the big schedule announced, I'm giving DDT Universe another shot as it looks like my account being hacked was due to a different situation so in a month or so if no issues take place I'll mention it so you may consider doing the same.

Select Match Reviews: New Year Stars

Matches from STARDOM Year-End Climax: 1.Artist of STARDOM Titles: Queen's Quest(c) vs STARS ***1/2 2.Hazuki vs Tora *** 3.Giulia vs Kimura ***1/2 4.Wonder of STARDOM Title: Hoshiki(c) vs Konami ***1/2 5.World of STARDOM Title: Mayu(c) vs Kagetsu **** Thoughts: STARDOM's final show of the year provided several noteworthy encounters. Between the chaotic entertainment of the Artist defense, the good yet bittersweet Hazuki retirement match, the very good, semi-shoot, brutal draw between Kimura and Giulia, and two big defenses, this was just another example of why STARDOM is the true queen of women's professional wrestling. I was a tad surprised at the layout of the Arisa match, but it was still very good. Mayu's defense was MOTN and I have no doubt could easily be female wrestler of the year in 2020. Fantastic way to cap 2019. Thank you, STARDOM, for such an amazing year and readers please, consider checking out anything rated ***1/2 and above (or just watching

AEW Dark 12/31 Now Online

I'm not posting a review this time around, basically since everything here has already been reviewed in the blog. That said, this special edition, best of  Dynamite 2019 edition of Dark is a must-see for anyone who missed these. Here's the episode card: 1.Cody vs Guevara (Dynamite 10/02) 2.Omega vs PAC (Dynamite 11/27) 3.Private Party vs Young Bucks (Dynamite 10/09) 4.AEW Women's Title: Riho vs Nyla Rose (Dynamite 10/02) 5.AEW Tag Titles, Tournament Finals: SCU vs Lucha Bros (Dynamite 10/30) 6.Moxley vs Darby (Dynamite 11/20) So, if you missed out for whatever reason, here's a chance to fix that mistake and catch some of the best in-ring content from the first year of AEW Dynamite!

Select Match Review: Champions, Challengers, & Princesses

Match from TJP Final Battle 12/27: 1.2/3 Falls: Yuka, Rika, Miu, Maki vs Miyu, Tenma, Aino, Noa ***3/4 Thoughts: In preparation for their big January schedule, TJP uploaded this last minute present showcasing the champs and contenders in an best of two falls, atomicos battle and honestly, it rocked! I have a few more reviews going live tonight, but don't let this slip through the cracks and miss your gaze!

Select Fight Review: Seriously, The Last One

Fight from ONE Legendary Quest 06/15: 1.ONE Muay Thai Atomweight Title: Stamp(c) vs Alma ***1/2 Thoughts: Correction, this is the last fight I'm watching this year. Seriously, I mean it this time... Stamp has won me over this year due to her confidence and ability, coupled with her contagious enthusiasm. This one was competitive and spirited, with Stamp eventually overcoming her opponent and winning by unanimous decision. Very good stuff.

Select Fight Review: One More Fight

Fight from ONE Masters of Fate 11/08/19: 1.ONE Strawweight Title: Pacio(c) Catalan ***3/4 Thoughts: I wanted to close things out with one last fight from Pacio before I decided my MMA favorites for 2019. Pacio, someone I'm considering calling my male fighter of the year, regained the ONE Strawweight Championship from Saruta in April and then put the belt on the line one more time against "The Challenger" here. The technique here alone was outstanding, and I applaud his heart. Great fight!

ONE Championship: Top 10 Bouts of the Year Part 3 Review

Feature Card: 1.Ariel vs Amir **** 2.ONE Light Heavyweight Title: Aung La(c) vs Vera ***3/4 3.ONE Women's Strawweight Title: Xiong(c) vs Lee ***3/4 Thoughts: The first fight, and number three in the top ten list rundown, was featured in the most recent Championship Weekly episode (though only the last moments). The full fight was well worth the time, though. No glass jaws here, ladies, gents, and non-binaries. Fantastic stuff. If you missed the second on that 12/19 episode, it too is worth seeing. That one was started in the second, with this presentation continuing the theme of showing the full fight, instead. As a result, I'm taking the ***1/2 rating and bumping it up a tad as the entire thing made for a slightly better viewing experience. This was Vera's only fight this year, by the way. Hopefully next year he'll be back and ready to defend his own belt. The fight ONE picked as their number one for 2019 was also showcased on the 12/19 edition. I gave that

ONE Championship: Top 10 Bouts of the Year Part 2 Review

Feature Card: 1.Thani vs Akiyama ***3/4 2.Folayang vs Alvarez NR 3.Daichi vs Ting **** Thoughts: This time around we get three fights. The first started with shades of the last Hager bout but built nicely into a truly great battle. The second was short but exciting, and was also shown in the most recent episode of ONE Championship Weekly, for the record. Number three closed things with dramatic resilience and absolute bombs and was one of the funnest fights I've seen all year. Overall Rating: 90/100%

AEW Road to Jacksonville Thoughts

Smart choice in bringing back this feature this week leading into the first Dynamite episode of 2020. One of the best production teams in the game started this eight minute video teasing the Mox/Jericho angle before leading into an announcement that Sammy Guevara will face Dustin on the installment. We close with a tease of the Cody vs Darby rematch, and it's worth mentioning the first match being added to YouTube for those who missed it. Watch it here . Good preview for Dynamite this week.

Select Fight Reviews: Last Minute Bellator Roundup

There are a few fights that missed my gaze this year that I wanted to rewind on, so let's dig in and finish the year out. Note that many of these were flashes with only two even being long enough to rate. In 2020 I'll try to catch more of the big fights and moments, for the record. 1. Bandejas vs Archuleta  ***1/2 Bellator 214 Solid work for the first two rounds and a chaotic third. Very good fight overall. 2. Hager vs Kiser  NR Bellator 214 Hager's Bellator debut was a strong one, with a first round submission victory that was so short I didn't even give it a rating. Domination. 3. Sumter vs Felix  ***3/4 Bellator 216 This was a roller coaster and nearly ended several times. Determination and desperation were on full display! Great stuff. 4. Hager vs Jones  NR Bellator 221 Dominance continued, though not without controversy. Someone once said that brings in cash, though... Again, too short to rate, but Hager is quickly becoming my favorite Bellator att

PCW Ultra MUTINY #23 Review

Matches: 1.Young Guns Scramble: CLAS vs Chhun vs Dom vs Vandagriff vs Ty vs Damian ***1/2 2.Hammerstone vs Schaff ***1/4 Thoughts: I consider Mutiny to be a solid show with solid core roster members but there are a few issues. I was asked what I'd suggest changing personally, so I figured I'd go the extra mile and do, well...this! Now, I had originally skipped this one completely largely for time reasons. I've checked out a lot from this series since it premiered but not every week and rarely a full episode. This is partially because of the way I watch and review wrestling these days, with AEW, Dragon Gate's Cutting Edge Battle, and WRESTLE-1 TV being the only wrestling programs I tend to watch fully on the regular. Mutiny is, as I said, solid but it rarely has hooked me enough to invest enough time to make it part of that limited group. I like the short backstage promo the episode began with, but I think the last time I remember mention of Hammerstone's