Red's Pro-Wrestling Digest #4

Hey, it's me again, back for the fourth installment of the Pro-Wrestling Digest. It's a work in progress series of course, but I am hopeful that y'all appreciate the change up. It's been much easier on me, for sure.

MONDAY

So, let's start with AEW, post-Full Gear.

I'm watching Dynamite utilizing the YT uploads, starting with the Moment of the Week videos, countdown style.

#5 Butcher & Blade vs CHAOS (Orange, Ishii)

What fucking reality are we living in that this even happened? Ishii teaming with Orange Cassidy to take on Butcher and Blade on American TV, with Matt Hardy and Rocky (and Bunny) at ringside? Wrestling is fucking weird, people. This was a fun novelty tag match. Ishii was Ishii and him teaming with Cassidy was fun. It was also a bit Looney Tunes and overbooked. I have enjoyed the Best Friends/HFO feud as a midcard angle, flawed as it's been, and think CHAOS being added in should be entertaining. It wont elevate it much, though, as the best matches we could get from the addition of dudes like Ishii wont happen in this program.

Rating: **3/4


#4 Dante Martin, Lio Rush vs The Acclaimed

Not enough aired here to rate, but it came off pretty well in the video. Martin and Rush are a fun duo and The Acclaimed are good enough. I have no idea how long they'll keep Dante and Lio together, but I'm for it in the short term at least. I still think Martin needs a better finish.

Team Taz came out after to remind fans of the offer. Nothing happened other than Dante looking over at Rush and seeming conflicted.

Rating: NR


#3 TNT Title: Sammy Guevara(c) vs Jay Lethal

So, this was borderline great stuff for sure. Sammy is doing well in this reign so far and Lethal stepped up here like he tends to do in big matches. They both went for it and it paid off. I have no idea what they'll do with Jay, but personally I'd add him to Team Taz when Dante turns them down. Have Lethal and Martin feud after. Check this one out for sure.

Rating: ***1/2


#2 Was a segment with Punk and MJF. The promos between Eddie and Punk rocked and this is a great follow up. Honestly, I am torn a bit but I think at this point, since they're pulling the trigger on this angle now, but I say they should have MJF actually beat Punk. This started with MJF cutting yet another strong promo before Punk's music hit. The first track on Racid's Wolves is Maxwell Murder, by the way. CM Punk said nothing, allowing the chorus of fans to do it instead. He laughed off MJF trying to shake his hand and introduce himself and walked off to end the upload. Good shit.


There were actually two videos marked as being #1 this week. Both are focused on Page, though.

First, we had Page being introduced by Dark Order to a big pop. Second saw Danielson come out and have a moment with the new champ. I honestly really appreciated this and I love the intensity oozing off of Bryan.


Next, from Dynamite, I checked out this...

Bryan Danielson vs Evil Uno

This worked perfect as a follow up to the previous watch and saw The American Dragon defeat Evil Uno by ref stoppage. I really loved this short video. It was too short to rate, but I can already tell that I am going to love watching Danielson work through Dark Order. I also love that we're going to be seeing the return of "you're going to get your fucking head kicked in" and I hope we get the five count shit, too.

Rating: NR


I closed Dynamite out with the next TBS Title Tournament match.


Nyla Rose vs Hikaru Shida

Not enough aired to rate. Rose moved ahead, winning with a stretch muffler, with Deeb providing a bit of assistance. I'm pretty sure we're getting Jade beating Rose in the finals (Jade beat Red Velvet on Rampage later in the week to move forward). Deeb and Shida should make for a fun downcard feud. This was all okay.

Rating: NR


Speaking of Rampage, I checked out two from the latest edition. I used YT again.


Billy Gunn vs Darby Allin

I wasn't going to watch this, but it got some controversy online that I had seen and I figured I'd go ahead and just pull the trigger. To put it bluntly, fuck this. Darby does work better as an underdog, but to have him get tossed around by Gunn, who has literally always been an easily forgotten name, is bullshit. To have Gunn kick out of the finish at one and then bounce back after the bell quickly enough to take out Sting is bullshit. This isn't good heat. It's WTF heat. It's okay to occasionally have Darby just beat a fucker, especially a dude like Gunn. I have no idea what they are thinking with the way they've been using him and his family this year, but this is another chapter that has me thinking even WWE could've done better. That's pretty sad.

Rating: *1/4


Adam Cole, Bobby Fish vs Jurassic Express

Hey look, Undisputed ERA are back together. My idea for Cole is to have him fill the gap for Kenny, essentially taking the leader spot right now. Have him also as the leader of the reunited Undisputed ERA when Kyle comes soon. There would of course be tensions. Have an eliminator tournament with the finals being Bucks/reDRagon. Cole makes his choice, siding with Fish and Kyle. Steen comes out to side with the Bucks. Have a big six-man feud. Anyway, this was good enough. Fish was fed to the wolves (Tarzan and the dinosaurs) to end things as Matt, Nick, and Adam watched on from the stage.

Rating: **3/4


That's it for AEW right now. I'll be back later today for more stuff and throughout the week I'll update the post to add more and more so keep checking back.


Before lunch I made time for a four-way from SmackDown.

Ricochet vs Sheamus vs Cesaro vs Jinder Mahal

The kids really liked this one. Jinder was kept to a minimum in the video, Cesaro got to swing, Ricochet got in some aerial shit, and Sheamus was a good bruiser as always. Too short to rate, but fun for what it was, especially when you accept WWE as a circus version of the art. I'm torn on if I'll be watching anything from Survivor Series, which used to be a favorite event of mine. I'll think on it.

Rating: NR

I checked out two episodes of NXT UK to end the day. I watched on the bird app. 

HEREis the review for the first. HERE is the review for the second.


TUESDAY

I won't be updating today. Just a heads up.


WEDNESDAY

I skipped Tuesday because it was one of my kid's birthdays and that takes priority over everything else.


Royal Road Finals: Shotaro Ashino vs Suwama

This could have been better, despite Suwama's age he's still fucking awesome. Ashino is just the dude that should be getting classics from the legend and yet they keep hitting around this level. Great, but it should have been unforgettable.

Rating: ***3/4


Righteous vs The Foundation

This felt a bit tacky at times and never hit those next levels for me. I honestly was underwhelmed. Ring of Honor really is going to go out on a depressing note, aren't they...

Rating: ***


Jonathan Gresham vs Brody King

This was great. I guess there is still some spark in Ring of Honor right now, afterall. Gresham is going to be the biggest name that goes ignored by the big companies for far too long, isn't he?

Rating: ***3/4


ROH TV Title: Dragon Lee(c) vs Dalton Castle

Rollercoaster shit right here. You know, Castle was rewarded for his dedication to Ring of Honor with a win over a dude that hates to take L's and looks to ride out as a champion for this historic company. He also said the tapings after The Announcement, as it will forever be titled going forward here at RW+B, felt like a waste of time. You can tell. This was good overall, but felt phoned in regardless.

Rating: ***


Atlantis Jr, Volador Jr vs United Empire

This was legit great. Atlantis Jr really has turned into a solid worker and Volador was fine here. Cobb and TJP brought a fun energy that I appreciated. It all translated well and the campy post-match promo was even okay. Props.

Rating: ***3/4


I checked out the lastest of Dragongate's Cutting Edge Battle!!. Check out the review HERE.


THURSDAY

Happy Thanksgiving, to those that celebrate it. Have a badass day to the rest of y'all.


Check out my review of the first episode of NJPW XTRA HERE.


I watched this promo as soon as I could, having missed it live. The TV I have requires the physical remote to turn the channel and I couldn't find the fucking thing. Oh well, this fucking rocked. Two masters of the mic, selling a match to perfection. Hell, they used WWE canon better than WWE has in years. I'd add that the buzz around it didn't do justice so if you missed this epic segment, fix that shit now!


Hey, HERE is my review for the second episode of NJPW XTRA.


Jamie Hayter vs Thunder Rosa

A fine TV match with a protected finish and seeds for future drama. Rosa moves on. Not too shabby and the crowd rocked.

Rating: ***


Colt Cabana vs Bryan Danielson

This worked for what it was, as the next chapter in Bryan's rampage through Dark Order. It was a good enough match.

Rating: ***

After that match, Tony interviewed Bryan in the ring. I dug the tooth spot especially and am enjoying this arc. Adam Page joined Danielson in the ring and the two shared a bit of drama. I honestly thought it was a bit early for this, but I get it. I really am hoping they keep this going for a while. Slow burn it.


I also watched THIS which saw Dante Martin actually sign on with Team Taz. I am surprised they went that direction, but am curious to see what they do next.


Death Triangle, Cody Rhodes vs Malakai Black, Andrade el Idolo, FTR

This was the main event of the latest Dynamite. Crowd-pleasing, spotfest entertainment and a fun atomico overall. Dynamite MOTN this week. That crowd was fucking awesome at times, especially in regards to Cody.

Rating: ***1/2


After the episode went off-air, Andrade attacked Cody.


Zack Sabre Jr vs Tetsuya Naito

Naito and Sabre is a nice reminder that, no matter how cold New Japan is, they're still stacked with talent capable of epics. You can't unbutter a roll, people. Naito is one of the best wrestlers ever and Sabre can be excellent when he's motivated. They stepped up huge here and made for one of the best matches of the year. On the first night of a major tournament. I respect that!

Rating: ****3/4


New Japan has three main issues right now:

  1. The booking choices the past two years have been increasingly questionable at times.
  2. The rise of AEW, and drop of NJPW that many believe has happened, has taken away some eyes.
  3. They've been attacking people that try to help promote the shows, especially those doing so with gifs, on social media.

It's tragic really. I feel that they aren't even the best overall promotion in Japan these days and not that long ago I considered them the best in the world.


FRIDAY

I had no time to watch any wrestling on Friday.


SATURDAY

Saturday morning, I went ahead and watched the three Survivor Series matches that seemed interesting.

Becky Lynch vs Charlotte Flair

It was ugly, but I really appreciated the intensity level they brought which made it feel almost like a worked shoot in several sections. Fantastic stuff, though I admittedly would've preferred the politics have been put aside and a cleaner finish to have been utilized.

Rating: ****


Men's Survivor Series Match: Team Raw vs Team SD

The commentary on this show in general was trash, even by WWE standards. This was also very tone deaf at times. While good, thanks to sparks throughout, I can't say this was anything more than a disapointment.

Rating: ***1/4


Roman Reigns vs Big E

Big E should've won this as he had more to gain. It would've also not been that big of a hit for Roman and would've instead allowed for some new character development. Alas, here we are. I thought it was honestly great, at least. There are many things to nitpick about, but there's still more than enough here to make it recommendation levels, in my opinion. Both are pretty damn good in their roles.

Rating: ***3/4


The Rock not appearing, instead posting about a sandwich, is tragically hilarious. Big E really should have won that match.


SUNDAY

So, Nakamura is IC Champion???


WWE Intercontinental Title: Apollo Crews(c) vs Shinsuke Nakamura 

I love Nakamura, even if he's spent much of the last few years phoning it in. I dig Nation, too. This was honestly a good match and I enjoyed seeing Shinsuke win.

Rating: ***


WWE Intercontinental Title: Shinsuke Nakamura(c) vs Apollo Crews

The rematch came off as an okay follow up with a decent energy, but was for sure a TV match through and through. I wish I could be excited for this reign, but a look at Cagematch confirms that they have done basically nothing with him in the two months since this match occurred. He apparently lost a match to Corbin and lost a tag match with Corbin on the other team. A month ago. I see no follow up matches listed for that angle. I then see he lost a tag match against Los Lotharios this month and rebounded with a win against Angel the next week. Add in a DQ finish to a brand vs brand Survivor Series pre-show contest, and you have a very uninspiring start to a championship reign, folks.

This is one of the reasons why so many have stopped watching WWE.

Rating: NR


The kiddos wanted more so I checked out some of the latest stuff from the WWE YouTube channel that caught our eyes.


On Raw, Seth Rollins and Finn Balor had some drama. The former drilled the latter with a curb stomp to end the segment. Decent stuff, but the brawl moments aren't something WWE tends to have trouble with. It's usually the follow up moments. It is dorky to have Balor interrupt Seth but to have Rollins walking out the victor of the moment.


Oh god, they kept the Red Notice crossover going and somehow it ended with Theory getting a title shot?


WWE Title: Big E(c) vs Austin Theory

Rollins and Owens argued at ringside, causing a distraction finish with the champ retaining. Big E stood tall to end the segment, with Owens running away and Seth eating a finisher. Unmistakably TV content.

Rating: NR


Tommaso Ciampa vs Grayson Waller

I mean, Ciampa tossed around a dude that I don't think even deserved the match. The champ at least seemed to be having fun.

Rating: NR


NXT North American Title: Carmelo Hayes(c) vs Pete Dunne vs Johnny Gargano

The video was short, but this was an entertaining spotfest three-way. Hayes seems like a decent enough champ. I hadn't seen much of his pre-WWE work, but I see what they're doing (for now) and, yeah...it's okay. Too bad the title is cursed.

Rating: NR


After, a giant brawl to set up WarGames occurred. I see they're doing the ECW New Breed angle in NXT. It's HERE if you're interested.


From the blue brand, I saw a video saying Toni storm got piefaced by Flair with a day old pie. We didn't watch it.


We finished this WWE set with a PROMO from Roman Reigns. Honestly, it didn't feel that different from what he was doing months ago. Good, but where's the real development?


No DQ: Bandido vs Demonic Flamita

Borderline great stuff with some fun spots and a decent tone. Not their best, but worth watching regardless.

Rating: ***1/2


That's it this time. Good night and have a good one.


PULL LIST

  • SHINGO vs Ishii
  • Tanahashi vs Okada
  • SHINGO vs Sabre Jr.
  • Kota vs Ishii
  • Kota vs SHINGO
  • Vikingo, Laredo vs Lucha Bros.
  • KENTA vs Sabre Jr.
  • Nomura vs Sekimoto
  • Cobb vs Okada
  • Nakajima vs Tanaka
  • We are STARDOM!! #97-99
  • Sugiura vs Mochizuki
  • Kenou vs Mochizuki
  • White vs Ishii
  • Okada vs Matthews
  • Toxin vs Tonalli
  • Toxin, Aster boy, Legendario vs. Dick Angelo 3G, Puma de Oro, Tonalli, TLC
  • Baby Star, Sol vs Kenji, Rey Halcon
  • Silver Star vs. Komander
  • El Desperado vs Hiromu
  • DDT YouTube Content
  • PWG Mystery Vortex
  • Dunne vs Gargano vs Hayes
  • Rampage: Black Friday Content
  • Ito, Miyu vs Mizuki, Yuka
  • Hiromu vs Ishimori
  • Edwards vs Cardona vs Morrissey
  • Alexander vs Suzuki
  • Turning Point pulls
  • CMLL Leyenda de Azul content

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