Pro-Wrestling Digest #2

I'm further switching up the format, moving forward with a new direction for the site.

I'll just post what wrestling I watch in general and see how that goes.

Monday night I caught up on a narrowed down July group of matches that I had watched.

First up, I checked out a STRONGHEARTS match from the debut of GLEAT.


Kaz Hayashi, Soma Watanabe, Keiichi Sato vs #STRONGHEARTS

Issei picking up the victory here felt like a big deal and the entire match was a nice paced, fantastic six-man tag team battle. I really appreciated this and am excited for GLEAT, despite the awful name.

Rating: ****


Next, some championship action from Ring of Honor.


Ring of Honor World Heavyweight Title: Rush(c) vs Bandido

This is the one that saw Rush drop the belt and his (alleged) diva act begin. I saw a comic recently joking that the awful ROH news recently caused the former champ to have a miracle moment. It felt a lot like something I'd see in IWRG, honestly.

So, the match was fantastic. I liked the intensity and the build, but I didn't care as much for the finish. It felt very much like a political finish (it was) and the post-match attack from LFI felt about as good as the Moose/Alexander thing from IMPACT recently.

Rating: ****


GHC World Heavyweight Title: Naomichi Marufuji(c) vs Takashi Sugiura

This one rocked. Marufuji is like Tanahashi in that he can still perform ace level shit even in old age. Naomichi rocked and Takashi continues to put in major, badass performance time and time again. This is a near-MOTYC and a nice little Summer gem.

Rating: ****1/4


IWGP World Heavyweight Title: SHINGO(c) vs Hiroshi Tanahashi

This one, from the Grand Slam in Tokyo Dome gig, was a fucking epic. A MOTYC. A near-classic. Tanahashi continues to be an ageless wonder and SHINGO remains the best wrestler not named Omega, Kento, or Mayu. With a tone that sung close to a strong drama, this built and built and was just an awesome display.

Rating: ****3/4


Pete Dunne vs Ilja Dragunov

To close the evening, we have Dunne and Ilja from NXT #467. Not enough aired here to rate, but it felt like a good preview for a match later on my pull list. The aired content had decent work but I didn't care for the finish. I'm not big on shit finishes and I also find it beyond iffy for Ilja to drop a match, even with the distraction, right before a big title shot.

The post-match was good.

Rating: NR


I then watched THIS stream of AAA's TripleMania on Wednesday, having taken Tuesday off. Check out my review of the event HERE

Next, time to move on to Summerslam content.

Up first, we had Edge and Rollins in singles action followed by Cena versus Reigns. My review of the two should be up this evening and, with luck, my thoughts on the Ilja/WALTER battle, too.


Edge vs Seth Rollins

Yeah, this one, from Summerslam, fucking rocked. The pacing was fantastic, the drama was top notch, and the work from both men was a cherry placed right on top of badass mountain. Edge is wrestling his best matches of his career right now, clearly, and Seth really stepped up big to match his energy. Strongly recommended.

Rating: ****1/2


I took a pause between this and the other Summerslam match to watch AEW Dynamite live. Check out my LIVE REVIEW HERE!


WWE Universal Title: Roman Reigns(c) vs John Cena

Speaking of dudes performing at high levels despite being late in their careers, we have Cena returning and putting in for a fantastic title match with Roman to close the show. The outcome wasn't truly in question at any point, but they made it work regardless and it came off very well. The post-match return of Brock was an okay way to top it all off. Not too shabby.

Rating: ****


WWE United States Title: Damian Priest(c) vs Drew McIntyre vs Sheamus

I jumped ahead a tad before crashing for the night. It just felt light enough to close the night on a chill note. That's not to say this wasn't a hard hitting affair, though. Just not something as heavy in tone as what I am expecting from the WALTER/Ilja match. Drew rocked, Sheamus was good, and Priest came off well. Very good throwaway defense.

Rating: ***1/2


That's it for tonight. I should be back tomorrow for more of this, plus the next dWo entry.

Jump ahead, and it's Thursday night. I watched the Edge/Rollins rematch first.


Edge vs Seth Rollins

So, I see that a lot of people seem to consider this as being on par with the Summerslam match. Personally, I thought it was very good and I liked the storytelling, but I don't think it was anywhere near that level. To each their own? I appreciated the drama and action and recommend it, even if I don't think it clicked as well as #1.

Rating: ***1/2


Keeping with WWE, at the request of my kiddos before bed, I jumped to a a few matches from Raw back in September.


WWE Title: Lashley(c) vs Randy Orton & WWE Title: Lashley(c) vs Big E

For this, I just watched the linked video which was about three minutes long. Neither were long enough to rate, but it was all fine. The first part was about a minute long and saw Orton attacking MVP but then he ate a spear from the champ and was pinned. He beat down Riddle after and then it jumped ahead and the champ was limping all of the sudden. Big E's tunes hit, he runs out, a few seconds later we have a new champ. It didn't show that part, jumping ahead to him holding the belt, by the way. Like I said, it was fine and I'm happy to see Big E as champ. I'll leave it at that.

Rating: NR


I saw THIS next, with "you deserve it" chants being thrown at Big E. Good stuff. He called out Bloodline and got 'em, with a nice standoff to end the stream. 


Bloodline vs The New Day

This one I also watched via the YT highlight video. Too short to rate, but I enjoyed it. I have no idea why a DQ wasn't called, though. It all set up the episode main event which, when coupled with the previous segment, is more advanced than what I tend to expect from WWE these days even with the iffy stuff. Lashley came off golden.

Rating: NR


Big E vs Roman Reigns vs Lashley

It was 20 minutes but didn't feel like it. Hard work from all three and a nice use of the gimmick. Big dog stuff with al three coming off well. What's not to like (other than the typical trash camera work).

Rating: ***3/4


Why not cap off the WWE stuff tonight?


Ladder Match: Seth Rollins vs Kevin Owens vs Finn Balor vs Rey Mysterio

This was a great ladder match. Good spots, some drama and story work. I have basically no complaints. It won't considered anywhere near the elite of ladder matches, but that's fine. Props.

Rating: ***3/4


Next I watched NXT TakeOver 36 before bed. Read my review of the full show HERE.

A lot happened this weekend. I made time Sunday morning for some CMLL, though. Most of the pull list will roll over to next week and I'll add stuff to it.


Copa Independencia Semi-Final #1

Participants: Volador Jr, Gemelo Diablo I, Audaz, Cacerbero, Dragon Rojo Jr, Guerrero Maya Jr, Hechicero, Mephisto, Star Jr, Mistico, Valiente, Ultimo Guerrero

I'm a sucker for a good cibernetico. This was a fantastic cibernetico. It's my favorite match gimmick and one of the few things modern CMLL does well. Even Volador stepped up here. Strongly recommended!

Rating: ****


Copa Independencia Semi-Final #2

Participants: Gran Guerrero, Angel de Oro, Dark Panther, Terrible, Atlantis Jr, Euforia, Gemelo Diablo II, Fugaz, Negro Casas, Stuka Jr, Rey Cometa, Virus

I don't think this one hit the same level as the other semi, but it was still pretty good overall. Once again, everyone stepped up decently enough and there were numerous highlights worth seeing. It just didn't click the same way. Worth checking out, but prioritize the other first.

Rating: ***1/2


Copa Independencia Finals: Volador Jr vs Gran Guerrero

It's clearly that time of the year (when this took place, at least) because Volador actually worked semi-hard. He and Gran Guerrero put in for a great battle. Strong pacing helped the 20 minutes feel like 10. Check out the highlight reel linked above at the very least.

Rating: ***3/4


Hair vs Hair Apuesta: Cavernario vs Felino

I don't tend to care much about crowd response, but it's notable that the reaction was tame here. They did the best they could given the circumstances, but it ran only about ten minutes long and was an unannounced single fall match. Instead of a big show apuesta, this felt like a throwaway lightning match that happened to feature a hair cut after. Almost good, but a huge disappointment overall.

Rating: **3/4


The kids woke up and wanted to watch a bit of AEW. I'll make time for Full Gear hopefully tomorrow.


Jungle Boy vs Bobby Fish

While I'd argue this one was just inches outside of recommendation levels, I still appreciated the work and storytelling on display. Jungle was the right dude to get the win and the post is perhaps the most important part of the entire thing. Fish could've sold a touch longer but that's my only tiny nitpick. Drama!

Rating: **1/4


I skipped the Dante match, but I did catch Team Taz offering him a spot on the team. Interesting development. I hope he declines, personally. I'm pretty sure he will.


Lumberjack: Orange Cassidy vs Matt Hardy

This was overbooked chaos, but it was entertaining as well. The match gimmick rarely provides for something must-see, but I appreciated this for what it was. The finish felt off, even with Matt's later Twitter explanation, but didn't really hurt the rating much. In all, an okay next chapter to the ongoing angle.

Rating: **1/2


That's it for this week. Thanks for reading and expect #3 to start tomorrow, alongside the overdo next entry into the dWo series.


PULL LIST

  • Suwama vs Ashino
  • SHINGO vs Ishii
  • Naito vs Sabre Jr.
  • Tanahashi vs Okada
  • SHINGO vs Sabre Jr.
  • Kota vs Ishii
  • Kota vs SHINGO
  • CMLL Cibernetico Grand Prix Women's
  • Vikingo, Laredo vs Lucha Bros.
  • CMLL Aniversario
  • KENTA vs Sabre Jr.
  • Ito vs Miyu
  • Nomura vs Sekimoto
  • Cobb vs Okada
  • Sugiura vs Mochizuki
  • Nakajima vs Tanaka

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