Red's Pro-Wrestling Digest #83: More from El Lindaman's reign + other great GLEAT stuff that I missed
- CIMA, SHINGO vs BULK Orchestra ***1/2
- G-Rex Title: El Lindaman(c) vs Izuchi ****
- Kento vs Izuchi ***3/4
- G-∞ Titles 1st Decision, Tournament Finals: #STRONGHEARTS vs BULK Orchestra ***1/4
- G-Rex Title: El Lindaman(c) vs DOUKI ****
- G-Rex Title: El Lindaman(c) vs Ito ***3/4
- G-∞ Titles: BULK Orchestra(c) vs #STRONGHEARTS vs Black Gen. ****
- G-Rex Title: El Lindaman(c) vs Ishida ****1/4
I'll be reviewing the Ver. EX in a different edition of the Digest. That show needs some solo love.
I've really found myself increasingly having an internal conflict, minor or not, because GLEAT has got me looking out the side of my eye more than I would like. How dare this company of freelancers and CIMA's boys be this fucking good! They're using UWF rules, have women's wrestling on the cards, and feature loads of gems and they have the audacity to make me feel like I need to spend time on it all.
We start with the motherfucking, god-level dragon ace, SHINGO, teaming up with fellow former Dragongate legend and highly respected vet, CIMA, to take on BULK Orchestra. I love that damn name for a faction. Big Japan worm, Kawakami, and former R.E.D. unit member in Dragongate, KAZMA, made up the duo representing BULK. That's a crude summary, as there was a lot of history in this one, but admittedly I don't want to bore readers with a damn text book worth of content on something that is likely that niche.
Oh, that reminds me of something I realized recently that I had forgotten to announce. That's thanks to the horrors of 2022.
I have a new book coming out. This one is actually about pro-wrestling instead of...more controversial things. Stay tuned for more info.
Anyway, the tag match wasn't a forest fire but it was a decent campfire that felt comforting in a a way. They worked a decent pace and put in for something that was actually pretty good, though admittedly far below what could have been done here.
That's enough sometimes and I consider this a legit crowd pleaser match for any old Dragon Gate fans.
Next, we have El Lindaman defending the G-Rex Championship like the little Asian Taz that he is against Go Shiozaki Junior, Tetsuya Izuchi. The latter is only 22 but is putting on performances you'd expect from talents five years older or so and is certainly going to be a big part in GLEAT's continued rise in popularity. The two sub-30 year old talents delivered big on this stage and made the STI brand look like a place folks would want to work for. Quality shit!
I guess Izuchi got a reward for his performance in that last one because the next pull saw him taking on All Japan ace, Kento Miyahara. This match even happening should be seen as a big deal for this company and for this rising star, just to be very clear. Now, admittedly you could tell this was meant to be more of a test of sorts and the visual size difference mixed with choice of style were something I bet some fans could dislike but, even with that and Kento showing only a fraction of his talents, this still landed well. In fact, it felt like they were trying at times to sell Izuchi as a legit big star which, following his title challenge, seemed pretty wise.
Elevating talent the fun way!
A great singles match that I didn't know I wanted before but certainly want a rematch of soon.
Next, also from Ver. 31, the company crowned their inaugural tag champs.
I was pretty hopeful for this one, but sadly it underdelivered a tad. I'm also a bit torn on the outcome especially considering the lesser team won. Fairly good, with the closing stretch being the best section, but nothing more. Sadly.
The last pull from that show featured El Lindaman putting the G-Rex strap on the line against just a bad boy, DOUKI. The latter has done well with opportunities like this for a while, like his match against Taichi or the one with Ospreay from a few years ago or so, and he indeed did it again here, coming off calculating at times and like a more than capable a performer in general throughout. Ultimo rarely trains someone that ends up sucking, to be fair.
The champ was high quality, once again, too.
A fantastic main event and a solid name to add to Yuga's list!
In so many ways, DG has continued to evolve and adapt while maintaining a heart and soul that's continued to survive throughout. GLEAT feels a lot like a different fork of evolution, one more conservative in a few ways. from that lineage. It's really fucking fun.
Next, former Wrestle-1 star, Ito Takanori, got a shot at that same belt and they had him work from over top. The champ looked like a firestarter when he'd get some shit in, as a result, so it's fair to say that the layout worked rather well.
Simple, effective, great overall.
Next, we close with two from Ver. 4.
The infinity belts were on the line in the first, with three teams hoping to walk away victorious. Energetic with a nice pacing and loads of near fall drama, these six men put in for a fantastic battle that really did well to elevate the belts right before they closed the door on 2022.
Last, El Lindaman had one more in him and it was a battle against former DG star, Kaito Ishida. There's been interesting occurrences in Dragongate for a while and the latter's move to GLEAT is certainly one of them. He's certainly being pushed here, especially considering what happened already with him in 2023, which is a nice sight considering the dude really is very good. This served as a showcase for both talents, providing a nice bit of evidence that they were capable of more than DG was willing to allow.
Considering the nature of DG, that's saying something.
El Lindaman is the first G-Rex Champion, which is the top prize of young promotion GLEAT. Through 2022, he truly ran with it and proved that he wasn't just handed the belt because of his ties with CIMA. The defenses felt legit like big matches and helped elevate not only his own stock, but that of his coworkers and the brand that put their trust in him. This set and a few past looks at the guy displayed a true fighting spirit that deserves to be applauded. The 2022 awards edition of the Pro-Wrestling Digest will be out soon and I have a spoiler. The MVP award will sadly not be going to El Lindama. That said, the dude rocked it so hard last year that he got a strong look by the time I had completed this set.
I sincerely and strongly recommend fans that frequent this site to go and watch some of these. GLEAT is full of gems and are quickly becoming a top promotion in Japan thanks to work ethic and audacity and it's been a sincere treat to witness. Don't miss out!
If you need free, legal links to any of the content shoot me a message at 315-330-6840 or to firstname.lastname@example.org. I'll respond as quickly as possible!