Red's Pro-Wrestling Digest #9

Matches:

  1. Dragon Lee vs Rey Horus ***1/2
  2. ROH Tag Titles: OGK(c) vs Briscoes ****1/4
  3. ROH World Title: Lethal vs Gresham ****
  4. Cole vs Atlas **3/4
  5. HOOK vs Solo ES
  6. No DQ: 2point0, Garcia vs Kingston, PnP ***1/4
  7. TNT Title (Interim): Dustin vs Guevara ***1/4
  8. AEW Women's Title: Baker(c) vs Riho ***1/4
  9. Hardy vs Penta NR
  10. Punk vs Wardlow **1/4
  11. TNT Title (Interim): Guevara(c) vs Garcia ***
  12. Deeb vs Shida NR
  13. Cole vs Trent? ***
  14. Spears vs Everett NR
  15. AEW Tag Titles: Jurassic Express(c) vs Dark Order ***3/4
  16. GHC National Title: Kenou(c) vs Kaito ****1/4
  17. GHC Heavyweight Title: Nakajima(c) vs Go ****3/4
  18. Kongo vs Marufuji, Harada, Masa, Ohara, Inamura ***3/4
  19. Kaito vs Go ****
  20. Pokotan vs Brookes C***1/2
  21. Ultimo Dragon, Dragon Kid vs Ohara, Kotoge ***
  22. GHC National Title: Kenou(c) vs Harada ***1/2
  23. Go, Kaito, Masa, Inaba, Inamura vs M's Alliance, Sugiura-gun ****
  24. LIJ vs Kongo ****1/4
  25. Tanahashi, Okada vs Kaito, Muto ****1/4
  26. Perros del Mal de Japon vs Kongo NR
  27. Kongo vs Hao, Harada NR
  28. GHC Heavyweight Title: Nakajima(c) vs Masa ****
  29. Hao vs Nio NR
  30. GHC Jr Tag Titles: Kotoge, Ohara(c) vs Stinger NR
  31. GHC National Title: Kenou(c) vs Funaki NR

Thoughts:

MONDAY

Hey, I am closing out 2021 with this one. I will return for eventual spotlight posts and once I have time to watch the last two events of the year from PWG, but I'll be moving forward now otherwise.

Up first, note that I planned on watching the full Final Battle event but eventually decided to just pick it apart in the name of time.

Dragon Lee and Rey Horus was a quick spotefest, showcasing some lucha libre on the card and gave DL a nice spotlight win over his buddy. Dragon Lee is a dude that, if not for his familial demands, would be a much bigger deal. I respect his position, though.

The World Tag Team Championship contest was a franticly paced battle that just felt right given the circumstances. The Briscoes won in the end. Truly fantastic stuff here with both teams going all in. I loved it and strongly recommend this one. FTR came out post.

Braun and Deonna were involved on the show for those keeping track that might have missed it and many workers appeared to show respect in recorded packages throughout.

The event closed with Gresham against Lethal in a makeshift title match, with Bandido out due to another bout of COVID. This worked well though, like the tag match before it, given the circumstances, and saw Gresham win the strap. He has been defending it in other feds since. I am hoping that Ring of Honor will see belts defended across the world in the same way moving forward. So far, IMPACT and GCW have been the main homes for such things but it'd be cool to see a full open door thing. Back to the match though, and I'll be clear that this was a great contest and worked very well to spotlight Jon and, not just an end, but a beginning, too. They worked hard for the spot and the locker room clearing out for the endstretch was a nice tough. In all, it really was a fantastic chapter to the book of ROH and an emotional contest well worth seeing.

This was, as I told folks before they even announced the Mania week return, not the end of Ring of Honor. It was the end of an era, as the event tagline suggested, though. I've heard that, when they return in their new form, we'll see the Pure and Television straps killed off. The former is especially depressing news, but it is what it is. Props to the brand for their late 2020-2021 run, though. That was some good shit while it lasted.

What a badass way to close 2021.


Check out my 2022 Pull List HERE. I'll update it weekly.


Time to move forward, so lets start by killing off the AEW YouTube Channel content I have listed. You know, the company that makes diehard fans act like qanon'ers that connect dots and look for threads everywhere.

Up first, some Rampage goodness.

It's nice seeing Atlas in the ring again. Wrestling is an itch. Sadly, he seemingly hyperextended his knee near the end of his match with Cole and couldn't even take the finish. His updates seem promising. It was fine for what it was and I'm sure we'll see JA back soon enough. The dude is a fun worker and well respected. CHAOS ran them off after.

I pulled this next one because I am enjoying the rise of HOOK. The dude has a great buzz but needs to be paced properly right now. I hope they have the patience to do this right. I'm sure they do. He continues to impress. The match was okay but largely worthwhile for the reasons I've mentioned versus quality alone.

The main event of the episode saw Kingston, Santana, and Ortiz best 2point0 and Garcia. It was a chaotic brawl that wouldn't have felt out of place on an episode of Hardcore TV. I enjoyed it, for sure.

Next up, Battle of the Belts.

For the sake of the story, and to see a rematch, I actually wanted Dustin to win against Sammy. Oh well. This was fairly good and had some fun spots, but a lot of nitpicks, too. Guevara now has a paper belt under Cody returns.

Riho has finally fallen to Baker. It was a bit overbooked and a tad rough around the edges, but good stuff overall. My kid loved it, but she's a big fan of both. The slow burn tensions between Hayter and the champ continue.

For last week's Dynamite, I first did the top 5 video uploads, starting with Penta versus Matt. What ran was about a minute, followed by the arrival of Brody King and his alignment with Black during a spot that also featured Penta and the Varsity Blonds. Hart tried to call off the faces while they attacked Black, perhaps continuing to foreshadow a switch that I've mentioned previously here on RW+B.

On the next one, Wardlow beat the fuck out of Punk with powerbombs. MJF stopped a three count because he wanted Wardlow to destroy CM. A desperate rollup finished this off. It was 14 minutes long, but the YT video was half of that. It worked for story reasons and protected Wardlow while pushing forward his momentum, but wasn't good as a standalone match based off of quality alone. The Wardlow turn is coming very soon, unlike Hayter's.

Next, video three, saw Page on the mic and getting interrupted by Lambert. I didn't watch the spot, but apparently he and Jericho had a moment recently that upset some of the roster. I haven't enjoyed Dan's work in AEW. He acts like someone's drunk uncle and I don't need that on my TV. He didn't win me over here. A returning Archer ended the segment, which was fun. For a throwaway rival, it'll work. I can do without the mic game on this one, but the match(es) will be good.

Sammy's first defense of the paper belt is next. I really enjoy Garcia, even if he is constantly just there to eat pins after a good performance. Drama with Kingston, Jericho, and 2point0 added some content here for those that want that kind of thing. The finish was a bit off, but worked well enough. The match underdelivered a bit to me, but was largely enjoyable. Jericho cleared house with a bat after as he and Eddie shared words.

The last of the top 5's started with Cole in the ring with reDRagon. The Young Bucks, with Matt back from COVID, interrupted as tensions continue. Both teams want the tag straps. Cole continues to be a fifth wheel but urged on the friendly competition. He promotes the five as a unit itself instead of two trio groups, for those that care. The Best Friends came out and a brawl followed, with Cole hitting Orange with a low blow. When Kris tried to step up, Baker took her out and aligned with her man. I'd love to see her group and Cole and crew as a massive power faction for a few months. Watch this segment HERE.

In other vids from Dynamite, PAC got a package about his fucked up eyesight. 

I didn't watch it, but I see that Dante bested Hobbs in the next chapter of the former's drama with Taz's unit.

I finished with the Deeb/Shida vid. Sadly, for now, their angle is over and HS is off to Japan. The heel attacked before the bell and then destroyed the former champ to send her off. I see Deeb sadly being fed to the TBS Champ soon.

On the latest Rampage, Beretta tested Cole but eventually lost. Adam had a bit of help. Note another thread for those keeping track of teases being dropped. Also, Kris and Baker continued as the two resume their past program with new layers. Good stuff overall.

The Acclaimed dropped a diss track music video if you're into that kind of thing.

Spears took out Andrew Everett quickly next. It was nice seeing him back in the ring. The Chairman of AEW took a mic next to call out Punk while American Eagle Lesnar watched. It was okay.

The new AEW Tag Team Champions faced Dark Order's Beaver Boys next. It was great. The best thing the company has aired in a few weeks actually and one of their best of the year so far in general. The champs came off super well in their first defense and the challengers looked great in defeat. Worth checking out.

Lethal got involved in Team Taz business. Jay has been used...interestingly so far. HERE is the spot. His match with Starks should be fun.

Hey look, I'm caught up on AEW now. I got some shit to do but will likely be back for more from the pull list in a bit. NOAH is up next, then New Japan, then the crossover event.

Oh, and it seems Cody is a...free agent. Take that as you will. It'll be a story for his show most likely and nothing more.

I also read that DDT's parent company is looking to expand aggressively in the eyes of this side of the globe and wants to do so with the help of AEW. I am super excited about this news.

I was pretty exhausted today after having a lot on my plate, but I did indeed manage to find time for a few NOAH matches. 

Rejoice!

Up first, Kaito and Kenou's latest, which ended in ref stoppage. Kaito's story over the years has been highly enjoyable, but Kenou was the right person to win here and he continued his reign of terror to do so. Fantastic stuff.

Next, Go attempted to reclaim the top prize of the company from former partner, Nakajima. It was a near-perfect masterpiece of violence. Go's most recent run at the top was one of the best reigns ever, but Naka, like his unit-mate, was the right man to go ahead and he did so in spectacular fashion. Currently, this is my MOTY.

Naka needed a follow up opponent, right?

He got one in the form of Masa, which makes for an interesting story and a very promising match. We got there thanks to a great clusterfuck tag team contest that saw the big man manhandle the champ and pin him clean. Worth seeing as a match and as a building block.

Following their big L's, Kaito and Go worked a singles match against each other in my next pull, meant to establish positioning. The younger Kaito stepped up and moved ahead, fixing his fall and enabling a quick bounce back while creating a hill for Shiozaki to climb. I'm super excited to see what's next and recommend this one as a fantastic standalone as well.

I'm done for today. Check back tomorrow for more NOAH and maybe some New Japan if time allows.


TUESDAY

The kids saw an image on my YouTube this morning that they wanted to see. It was a comedy match between Pokotan and Brookes. If you're unaware, and to keep it basic and short, Pokotan wears a suit that makes him look like a seal style Pokemon with a big ass head. This was actually good shit despite what you might be thinking. Entertaining, which counts most, and I've actually made a new rating system for such things. Joining the standard stars, NR, and ES codes, I now have comedy ratings. If you see a set of stars with a capital "C" attached, well...

Kenou and Harada was a fun one. Props to Harada for stepping up and making this Jr vs Hw come off well.

The ten-man was good shit, too. I loved that it called back to one of Go's best matches of his recent reign, too. In fact, there were a few seed pickups in this one and it worked as not just a callback clusterfuck, but also a road forward. It's not just must-see based off a quality alone, but I recommend it to folks as attached as myself (or more) to NOAH in general.

The NOAH content I've covered thus far today can be found in digest form HERE if you want to watch it.

I'm done for today. A quick note, but Gunther? Seriously? Look up the full name they trademarked and who else had that name...


WEDNESDAY

Today I watched the first night of WK 16. Read my review HERE. That's it for Wednesday.


THURSDAY

I watched a bit from night two of WK16 and then the day got away from me. I might be able to finish the show tonight, but we'll see.


FRIDAY

Yup, I was not able to finish. I did today, though. HERE is my review.

Oh, and HERE is a review of a recent STRONG episode.

Next, two from the HUGE New Japan/NOAH show. I wanted to watch the whole event, but really just don't have time to do it. I also am unsure if I can see Go get dragged down to hell by EVIL.

The LIJ/Kongo match was awesome. I love both units and was very excited to see this play out. Tadasuke was surprisingly booked stronger than expected before he ate a pin from SHINGO. Perhaps that's actually why. All I know is this was fucking fantastic and I really hope we get more soon. Seriously. Soon!

The ramifications of the main event from a historical standpoint alone made it worth seeing. I've mentioned before, but watching Kaito since he returned from excursion has been a treat. The dude truly has a passion that oozes off of him and I get why he was picked for this spot. If you weren't a fan before, I bet you are now. Muto was used well in a way that didn't hurt the quality and the entire package came off very well, too. Thumbs up for sure for this one.

More super shows soon, please. We need more. I need more.

Props for the commentary on that last one, by the way.

Next, I wanted to watch Kyushu Pro Title: Kengo(c) vs Genkai vs GAINA. I even wrote it up and added the link, as you can see. The issue is that the video has weird timing added to it that was causing me to get nauseous. WWE can be very bad about that, but this was somehow worse even without the camera cuts. I tried reducing it a bit but it didn't help. Maybe I am crazy. I had pulled it because a reader had suggested I check it out. Sadly, I have to decline. 

Instead, I went to NOAH's YouTube channel.

First, Nio and Hao had some heat when they exchanged "accidental" blows during a trios match, foreshadowing tensions after the unit lost to LIJ. Later in the night, Hao went to the fed's new junior champ, Harada, and threw his Kongo allegiance aside to set up a new team. They then faced Nio and Aleja and won. The clip linked at the top (#27) doesn't include the finish, but does show the rest including part of the tag match.

I'll try to watch the Masa/Naka match tonight. If not, I'll try this weekend.


SATURDAY

Hey, I watched (and wrote) some stuff this morning.

Check out the review of the latest DG Cutting Edge Battle!! HERE.

Check out the TV Guide HERE.

Check out my review of this week's We are STARDOM!! HERE.

I then finally checked out the NOAH GHC Heavyweight Championship defense.

Masa besting Naka in a multiman was cool but I never expected a change of guard. That turned out to be a fair assessment, as I feel Masa will be NOAH's Ishii. He'll likely just hold tag straps over and over again, he's already at five reigns, and maybe will get a turn with the National belt. 

Anyone miss The Aggression, by the way?

The big man dominated, allowing for him to come off strong in defeat and for the champ to have that fun uphill battle theme here, too. Fantastic stuff overall and a strong showing from both. Recommended viewing for sure. Nakajima tossed out the trash post before being confronted by Fujita to set up the next defense. 

Next, I watched the closing moments of today's Nio and Hao match. It ended in a time limit draw. After, the Kongo traitor was taken out by his former partners. Harada eventually stopped the heels.

I then watched an upload showcasing the end of today's GHC Junior Tag match and the aftermath. Seiki holding gold is always a good thing in my opinion so even though there wasn't much here to talk about I am happy to see that at least.

Last up from the clip of NOAH's show today, Funaki dethroned Kenou for the National strap. The match was less than four minutes long and had a clean submission finish. I am in favor of surprises, but this just feels like a mistake right now.

After, Funaki showed a lot of respect to Kenou and Kongo. My Japanese is absolute trash but it appears that the new champ has joined the heel unit which is...wow. There's a lot going on here and I am not sure how I feel about it all right now.

I'm going to end here for the week and will be back soon for Digest 10.

Thanks for reading and I hope I helped you find something worth checking out.