1.Endo vs Higuchi (05/02) ***3/4
2.Soya vs Sugiura (05/03) ****
3.Street Fight: Omega, Matt vs Inner Circle (05/06) ***1/2
4.Hardcore: Shunma vs Brookes (05/09) ***3/4
5.McIntyre vs Rollins (05/10) ***3/4
6.Jungle Boy vs MJF (05/23) ****
7.Moxley vs Brodie (05/23) ***1/2
8.Stadium Stampede: The Elite, Matt vs Inner Circle (05/23) ****1/2
9.Thatcher vs Riddle (05/27) ****
10.#DAMNHEARTS vs DISASTER BOX (05/30) ***3/4
This month features a wide range from across the globe. A reminder that promotions deserve condemnation for reckless behavior and that all the matches here are from companies that should have done better for the workers. I support the talent and not the logos of billionaires. I've changed the direction of my cynicism to fully point in the right direction now in my opinion. Remember, for example, that Khan might be a fan, but he's also just a rich trust fund baby that is recklessly endangering his action figures.
Up first, Endo and Higuchi which was a great match. Endo in particular continues to impress the hell out of me.
In the two spot, former W1 standout, Soya, took on the ageless Sugiura. I am very thankful that the big names of that now dead promotion are finding news homes at least. If you love hoss battles, this is well worth seeing. Someone get Soya a mouth guard for next time. Riveter sighting!
Matt and Kenny versus Sammy and Jericho was wild, fun, and entertaining. JR's commentary was pretty bad here. The golf cart moment alone made this worth seeing, but the entire thing was pretty good in general. I could've done without the heavy doses of interference of course, though. It served well as a primer for the big match to come...
There was a minor botch in the Shumna/Brookes hardcore match but the entire thing was an easily consumable treat and a great gimmick bout.
McIntyre and Seth put in for a great, competitive battle. Pure entertainment with solid near falls. Props to Drew for the push. Well deserved.
Three matches from Double or Nothing follow, starting with MJF and Jungle Boy. I didn't expect anything with MJF to make the list to be honest. Great talker, but only good as a worker in my opinion. That said, this rocked! Seriously. Tight action, good pacing, with the right amount of drama. Who the fuck thought the active casino graphic on the tron was a good idea, though?
Mox defending against Brodie was a fun brawl. Jon's desperation building through to the finish was worked nicely and the finish itself worked in a way that put both men over decently. Thumbs up.
The other Double or Nothing outing was the Stadium Stampede clash that I remember getting pretty strong reviews. I guess AEW saved the best for this show during May. JR was iffy again here and I have to call out the pool moment which was pre-taped and aired days after the drowning death of Shad. Regardless of Matt's gimmick stuff, it was tacky and distasteful and should have been edited out. Khan truly should own that but instead he is just bragging that the show was better than Mania as if that's a high bar. Despite that, everything here exceeded my expectations and was one hell of a dose of fun! Simply put, this was one of my favorite things I've seen all year and a MOTYC. The bar scene in particular was amazing. The last few minutes could have used a production touch up.
Riddle and Thatcher worked a shoot appearance gimmick match next. I'm glad someone finally signed Thatcher. A reminder, but I try to call out bullshit and here's a big dose of bullshit from Riddle. Seriously, the dude is a great worker but a fucking awful person. Anyway, this was fantastic stuff. I'd actually love to see the gimmick return. How long before Thatcher rejoins with his buds alongside Imperium? Or would he just become a background character?
Closing the month, the union of DAMNATION and #STRONGHEARTS members took on DISASTER BOX in a great six-man. With so much high caliber talent in one match, of course it was worth seeing!
Thanks as always for reading. Remember, go buy some merch from your favorite talent this month, as direct as possible. The June post will be up ASAP.
RIP Csonka. RIP Casey. Thank y'all for being amazing members of the community and I sincerely hope there is an afterlife.