Red's Pro-Wrestling Digest #11

MATCHES

  1. Penta vs Yuta ***1/2
  2. Penta vs Serpentico ***
  3. Sugiura vs Go ****
  4. Moxley vs Yuta ***1/4
  5. Kings of The Black Throne vs Death Triangle ***1/2
  6. CM Punk vs MJF ****1/2
  7. MSK vs Jacket Time ***1/2
  8. Bey vs Something ***1/2
  9. Sabin vs PCO ***1/4
  10. NXT UK Women's Title: Satomura(c) vs Blair ***3/4
  11. WALTER vs Frazer ****1/4
  12. NXT UK Heritage Cup Title: Noam(c) vs A-Kid ****
  13. NXT UK Title, Empty Arena: Ilja(c) vs Devlin ****1/2
  14. Diamond Mine vs Imperium ***1/4
  15. Breakker, Ciampa vs Legado del Fantasma NR
  16. Princess of Princess Title: Miyu(c) vs Mizuki ****
  17. DOUKI vs Taichi ***1/2
  18. ROH World Title, Pure Rules: Gresham(c) vs Alexander ***1/2
  19. Warrior Wrestling Title: Ospreay(c) vs Cage ****
  20. IMPACT Digital Media Title: Grace(c) vs Cardona **1/4

DIGEST

Hey, it's a new week and a new edition of the Pro-Wrestling Digest! Each edition showcases matches I pull and events I check out. I save the drama and false reporting for the clickbait sites that are a plague on the industry.

There are a handful of people on the AEW roster that I don't think have, for whatever reason, had much of a chance to showcase their true ceilings on TV. Yuta is one of those workers. He's had some sparks on TV, but he truly is far better than he has shown in TK's rings. I'd argue he had his best AEW match last week, though it was sadly on YouTube. Dark can be a super fun series but it's not watched as much as Dynamite or Rampage. 

Oh well. 

With Fenix still rehabbing, Penta is getting to have fun in throwaway singles matches which make up the first two pulls of this week's Digest set.

1. This first one was a borderline great sprint and pure entertainment. Penta was clearly having fun and Sylverhawk matched the energy nicely. Check this one out if you have a moment.

2. Next up, we had Penta against another such roster member. I'd rank Wheeler above Serpentico, but still consider the masked man better than many think. That said, this wasn't as good as the Yuta match and I cannot recommend it on quality alone. Don't get me wrong, though. This was good. It just stayed at a certain level and never kicked past it. That's fine and you'll likely still have fun watching it, but don't feel bad skipping it if you make that choice.

Oh, if you're interested you can check out my reviews of the following, too:

Those are things I watched in full and wrote about.

3. Go's return to action has been highly enjoyable and I am eager to see what direction they go with it all. Noteworthy is that every singles match he's had during this period had seen him fail. First, against his former partner, Nakajima, with the strap on the line. Next he lost to Kaito. Now, Takashi. What's next? That aside, this one was fantastic work. Are they capable of more? Sure. But fuck this rocked and it'll hit the 2022 recommendation list either way. Check it out.

A few bits of random shit I saw, but apparently Takeshita wants to return to AEW soon. If he gets bigger roles, I am all in because there are a number of dream matches I want to see. Apparently the last time he went, he didn't even tell DDT at first.

Oh, and Shane is being completely scapegoated for the Rumble situation and has been cut from the squad. This, of course, ignores that the company is always a trainwreck. I know the dude can be a bit of a diva and all, but he can't be blamed exclusively for something like that. It's like how the mainstream media is attacking Rogan because they aren't as trusted as some dipshit with a podcast. Rumors suggest he might appear, like Eric did, as a one off or so in AEW. I give it less than a 20 percent chance, but WWE is clearly fearful of it happening. Like, shitting themselves levels.

Dynamite pull time. All, except for Punk/MJF, were watched via official AEW YouTube channel uploads.

4. First, I watched Mox versus his makeshift opponent, Yuta. If you can't tell by what I said above, I'm excited Wheeler got the spot. It was a fairly good match, too. Mox looks perhaps better than ever, by the way. If it had been perhaps a bit more competitive I could've rated it higher, but that's fine. Danhausen's involvement was entertaining.

After, this happened...

I've been pretty intrigued by this little ongoing build up that they've been teasing for a few weeks. This next chapter came off super well, with Dragon trying to set up a partnership with the former AEW World Heavyweight Champion. Danielson also mocked Page, Luchasaurus, and Guevara and said they should take the young dudes under their wing. I've been wanting a Catchpoint/Foundation unit with Bryan as the head of it and this was a starting point for something in that vain.

My prediction? Mox declines. Bryan starts a pure based unit. Mox starts a violent one. They feud.

Next up, we had the latest chapter in the ongoing Page/Archer rivalry.

They have a Texas death match next week, which should be fun. Their segment had Page calling out Lance. Some clunky talk followed before a big brawl to sell the match sparked. Good shit, especially the chokeslam and table spot. I was already sold, but this really could be far better than many are expecting it to be.

I watched a moment of the Brandi/Dan segment, because I heard it was so bad it had to be seen, but decided I didn't hate myself enough to finish it. If you are worst of than myself, HERE.

5. Black and King are a fun fucking team so it's nice to see them back together and in an AEW ring on TV. They came off well here, but honestly PAC and Penta were the stars. The match was borderline great on its own but also worked well as a building block to keep the angle going. Props.

6. This one was a MOTYC, with an old school style tone. They leaned into this one and made it fucking work. Not only the best MJF match I think I've seen, but one of my favorite Punk matches, too. That's saying something. The storytelling, drama, and action were top shelf and I strongly recommend you watch the full version. If you can't, AEW added another part that runs before the one linked above which can be found HERE.

7. MSK and Jacket Time's tournament tag match was pretty good stuff. I didn't realize they had teamed up Jiro and KUSHIDA, but I shouldn't be shocked I guess. They were really fun and at least they have something to do, even if it is falling in the first round. MSK remain talented and entertaining, too. One of the better NXT things of the year so far.

8. I swear that Bey is eating more L's since joining Bullet Club than he did before. Still, he is a hard fucking worker and Something has been growing on me a bit, too. They worked well together here and this was a pretty good TV match. After, GOD attacked Something. Speedball tried to make a save, but White put a quick end to that. GOD called out the Good Brothers to end the segment.

9. The next chapter in the Honor No More vs IMPACT! angle saw Sabin versus PCO. It was honestly a good one, even with the shit finish, because it served as a nice "start" to the in-ring section of the story. PCO was a reckless monster, Sabin was Sabin, and they paced it out nicely. Thumbs up shit. PCO rightfully picked up the win, with some help, and then a bunch of home boys ran off the invaders. I enjoyed this and am liking the way this is playing out so far.

Next, I checked out some of the content from January NXT UK episodes on Peacock. A reminder, but if you miss the old days of NXT, before they went on TV and crashed and burned against Dynamite, you should likely check out NXT UK. Note that most of these were taped in 2021, but didn't air until January.

10. Meiko is such an awesome worker and I dig her holding the division strap. I also feel Blair is a perfect opponent for her, based on who makes up the rest of the roster, since she has a long history of fun joshi matches herself. This was the first time they've met and it was a strong first chapter in what I bet will become a nice extended rivalry. A great championship, TV main event, with a finish that worked nicely to set up a rematch. Blair also attacked after.

11. This one is the final match from WALTER before he left the brand and had his name changed to match one of Vince's heroes. Here, he faced off against The man formerly known as Ben Carter. I'm pretty damn happy with how this turned out. I could make an argument that Frazer should have gotten the win considering WALTER was on his way out, but he got that awesome Jeff Hardy/Undertaker style fighting spirit moment and that's a rub in its own way. They worked a tight, well paced piece here and it lived up to my expectations nicely enough. I'm hopeful that Frazer gets booked strong moving forward now and recommend this one to fans for sure.

David and Goliath WALTER matches are so satisfactory yet simple to pull off.

12. The Heritage Cup defense was fantastic shit, too. A-Kid is such an awesome worker and he forced Noam Dar to step up here for sure. Quality action, drama, and a nice bit of story in general. I fear a lot of these NXT UK matches that are truly worthwhile might slip past people's radar. Hopefully I am wrong.

13. Speaking of, Ilja and Devlin's empty arena match was fucking awesome. I know many might never want to see another empty arena match ever again, but damn this was fucking awesome. I strongly recommend fans check out this crazy battle as soon as they can. I am very eager to see Ilja's reign continue and consider the dude one of the best champs in the business right now. Highly recommended!

14. This six-man was fairly good chaos. The Creed Brothers have potential, by the way. It's in no way a must-see, but if you want to check out a building block opener with a brisk pace that features WAL..Gunther, than it might be worth considering.

15. I watched the YT version of this one and there wasn't enough to rate, but this came off decently. LdF are always fun but this new team up of Ciampa and Bron has a lot of potential and I am intrigued to see where they take it.

16. Miyu, one of the aces of joshi, is one of my favorite workers and I tend to seek out her biggest contests. This one was yet another fantastic addition to her bloated catalog of excellence, though perhaps a hair below what it could have been. Not everything landed the way it could've and the pacing could have been a touch better, but it's still an easy recommendation for sure!

17. The main event of the latest JTO show was interesting, for sure. Maybe there is more to it, but it felt like they just tossed two dudes together that are big to the brand and saw what would happen. It was pretty good, but rough around the edges. It also felt like JTO and both workers were trying to give an epic but just couldn't pull it off. Worth checking out, but nothing to run at.
 
18. The Terminus main event was my next pull, pitting Gresham and Alexander together in a pure rules match for the Ring of Honor World Heavyweight Championship. I'm very excited to watch what happens with the new brand and am a huge fan of the core. That, of course, includes Jon and Josh. Sadly, this pure rules match, which should have been amazing, underdelivered, though. It was pretty good, but never hit that next level for whatever reason and barely even hit recommendation levels at all. Maybe next time.

19. Ospreay and Cage's match in Warrior was fantastic. Two dipshits that rock at what they do. It's a shame that Cage and AEW never found the right groove, but there are other dudes that can fill his spot and elevate it at least. Will is one of the best workers in the world and made a four star match look easily, as he does, and The Machine held up his half of the bargain, too. Don't let this one miss your list.

Speaking of Ospreay, he and Omega are beefing on Twitter again with stupid drama shit. Honestly a lot of folks were supporting Kenny in this, but I think he came off as a bit of a cunt in the exchange that I saw.

AEW is promoting someone is coming through the forbidden door next week, but that the person is also a free agent and that they might be pissing off their old company. It's worded weird, but strikes me as they might have found a way to bring in Jeff Hardy sooner than he should have been able to. They've been teasing him and it's obvious he was going there, too, but I have no idea how they could pull it off. A bud of mine said maybe it's Ali, but I don't think that's possible at all.

R.E.D. has undergone a change. They're now...sigh...Z-Brats.

20. Cardona won gold, using heel tactics to put away Jordynne. It was fine.

I'll check out more from IMPACT when I have a bit more time. I'll drop a review of the latest Rampage and that'll be it for the weekend from me.

Thanks, as always, to anyone that read this.