- NXT UK Women's Title: Satomura(c) vs Blair ***1/2
- WWE Intercontinental Title: Nakamura(c) vs Zayn ***1/4
- Enofe vs Kushida **1/2
- Ace vs Blake vs Laredo Kid ****
- Sabin vs King ***1/4
- Bullet Club vs VBD ***1/2
- Finn, Ciampa vs Dirty Dawgs ***
- RK-Bro vs KO, Rollins ***1/4
- Dolph vs Ciampa ***3/4
- Go vs Marufuji ****1/4
- Go vs Kenou ****1/2
- AAA Mega Title: Vikingo(c) vs Superstar ***3/4
- Soberano Jr vs Cavernario ***3/4
- Reyes del Aire Cibernetico ****
- Mistico vs Ultimo Guerrero ***3/4
- NWA World Historic Welterweight Title: Volador Jr(c) vs Fugaz ****
- 2/3 Falls: Templario, Mistico vs Ultimo Guerrero, Atlantis Jr ***
- 2/3 Falls: Mistico, Templario vs Volador Jr, Averno ***1/2
- Soma vs El Lindaman ***1/2
- TNT Title: Guevara(c) vs Andrade ***1/2
We're back again for another edition. For those wondering what TK's big announcement is, I'm hearing he might have finally gotten something moving with the HBO streaming service. I also know there were rumblings about that AEW might be tied to the G1 this year. The latter perhaps even in the form of some tournament matches appearing on AEW television. A supershow has still be mentioned occasionally, too. If you look back, and I apologize if this sounds like a brag, but I have been right far more than I've been wrong about things. I just don't do clickbait crap, but I do have decent sources as well as more common sense than a lot of the others in the game.
Anyway, note that I am listing out the pull list for the digest well in advance this time to try something a bit different. Let me know what you think.
Check Out Full Reviews of Stuff I've Posted This Week...
1. The rematch between Blair and Satomura was honestly really good until the injury stopped things in their tracks. I'm hopeful that we get another chapter soon.
2. This IC defense was good, but the flow was a bit off and the finish was super weak. I'm happy to see Sami get a strap, though not at the expense of Naka, but this should have been so much better than it was.
3. I went ahead and checked out the main event of the debut of NXT: Level Up. The new brand, replacing 205, is clearly (along with NXT proper) in an awkward, ill-defined stage of transitioning into what they want it to be. That's fair, of course. I wish I could trust the vision to believe this will play out, but for now it just came off as feeding Kushida to a dude that has a long way to go on a brand that might not mean anything in a year. In a vacuum, this was fine. It was the 9th recorded match for Edris though and, to his credit, he clearly has a lot of potential.
4. Blake Christian, Laredo Kid, and Ace Austin (with Fulton) killed it! This three-way spotfest sprint was balls to the wall action and a perfect display of what X-Division done right looks like. Make time for time one for sure!
The Foundation will be expanding soon, according to a little bird I've heard, for those that care about such things.
5. Anyway, King versus Sabin was a fairly good match as the Honor No More versus Team IMPACT! saga continued. I enjoyed the match and the post, with Maria telling the house team they might not be okay trusting each other.
6. The main event from the episode was better than expected and a very good trios match in general. I have to say, this angle and the Honor No More program have made this brand arguably the most entertaining US wrestling series right now.
Now, for some Raw.
7. The Ciampa/Dolph angle took the stage in this tag match. There was a WALTER name slip on the commentary team which played for a funny moment. The contest was enjoyable for what it was and fairly good in general, though a better finish and end stretch in general would have elevated it a tad.
I didn't watch the segment, but I see that Edge has issued an open challenge. Interesting.
8. Orton and the dude that said he needs pot to keep himself from beating his kids lost to Owens and Seth in my other Raw pull, which was also a good match. I like the pairing of KO and Rollins, even if the direction is rather clear. The four worked well together and it was honestly just a solid outing and a strong main event for TV.
9. Dolph and Ciampa's match was fantastic, but featured a shit finish with Roode, dressed as a camera man, attacking the former NXT Champ to set up the finish which knocked it down a tad. Bron made the post-match save and set up a tag match for the following week. Despite not enjoying the way they closed the match out, this really was enjoyable television and far closer to the type of chaos WWE should embrace more often.
After, as a digital exclusive, Ciampa spoke the the audience and cut a decent, fan friendly promo.
If you can't tell, I did not watch Elimination Chamber and I have no interest in doing so, either.
10. Go lost another as his failure rate remains at 100 for the year. His output has been must-see encounter after must-see encounter, too. Him and NM nailed it here and I once again find myself applauding the two. I appreciated the pacing and drama on display and highly recommend this contest.
11. Speaking on Go, his next L came at the hands of Kenou and it was yet another amazing display of fighting spirit. I am very attached to the angle here simply because Shiozaki is on full ACE level once again and I'd argue he's the best in the world at this moment. I am hopeful that the payoff is as awesome as the build. Note that Fujita just dethroned Naka for the top prize of NOAH so perhaps we get a rematch soon between the two. Go and Naka again would have been more favorable though, in my mind. Anyway, this arc has been a sight to see thus far and I recommend this one easily, as well!
Note that a rumor suggests that Muto and Fujita have taken over NOAH by force and are refusing to do any jobs. If true, that should make for an interesting road ahead. I hope it's false, though there seems to be a lot of weight to it.
On to a rainy AAA gig. A quick note, but I only pulled one because Konnan is fucking insane and is driving down the quality of one of the best rosters in the world.
12. Johnny <Insert Whatever Last Name He Wants Here> and Vikingo's Mega match was great shit, even with the slightly overbooked endstretch, and a true display of inhuman athleticism. Imagine an over the top spotfest in the pouring rain and then up it a notch or two.
How the fuck is CMLL pumping out more noteworthy content than AAA right now. Konnan, step up!
13. Soberano and Cavernario! Two of the best workers in the world, let alone Mexico, in singles action! While they certainly have far better matches in them, this was still a great throwaway that worked super well for the situation. I have a feeling this will be one of those fun little gems that get lost in the shuffle.
14. I'm a sucker for a good torneo cibernetico, believing that, when done right, they can be things of beauty. CMLL tends to do pretty well with them. It's like how WWE has mastered triple-threat, fatal four ways, and gauntlets to the point where they are typically well-oiled matches. Of course, at times, this means overproduced, too. Anyway, this one was fantastic though I have no doubt I am likely the high man on it. I appreciated the pacing in the first chunk, with breakneck speed action, and I appreciated the angle developed down the stretch which sets up a big apuesta later in the year. An easy recommendation for me, but I warn that mileage will indeed vary.
15. Mistico and Ultimo Guerrero worked a big name headliner and stepped up to make it feel like a big deal and I thought the entire thing was sincerely great. The only negative really is the post-match request for an apuesta. Such a match between the two would be worthy of a slot at the Aniversario but Mistico does this all of the time and it's just an added touch of drama that he uses. It's basically never something CMLL is aiming for, especially when delivered like it was here. Alas, I still recommend this one for fans looking for a fun TV battle of big names.
Cesaro is Claudio once again, by the way, after letting his contract quietly expire. Be very, very excited folks. Bryan is about to have a new friend.
16. Fugaz got Volador to step up out of his usual, phone-it-in setting and it made for a fantastic title match! Big move after big move, dramatic near falls, and a strong pacing throughout. Seriously, I know the idea of watching CMLL every week would be a chore (presuming you weren't seeking a way to cure insomnia) but their big matches are landing very well!
17. We went to Coliseo for this one. Basically, a house show match. It felt like one, but served as a fun outing regardless. Atlantis Jr really has grown a lot quickly and Templario is dangerously underrated.
18. I close the CMLL set with this one, which was a pretty good, borderline great even, tag match. Mistico and Templario are a solid team. Yeah, this was basic but super entertaining. Props.
Now, a quick trip to GLEAT.
19. El Lindaman and Soma put in for a very good tournament outing. Lindaman has been a very consistent worker for years and Soma is rather underrated, so it was cool seeing this one happen. I'll be watching the latest event in full soon, for those that might care about such things.
We close with AEW.
20. Sammy's defense against Andrade was pretty good. The pacing was solid and they kept it nice and tight, with only a tiny touch of roughness around the edges. I think, admittedly, that there are far better options for the belt than Guevara, but he'll do for now. I see him dropping to whomever wins the ladder match. Almas continues to just be there, though more so than folks like Lethal.
Darby and Sting helped make the save after.
I will consider watching Orange's match from Rampage and the contract signing on the next digest. Thanks for reading, as always!