Red's Pro-Wrestling Digest #88: GLEAT Ver. EX full event review

Matches

  1. UWF Rules: Tanaka vs Nasu ***
  2. UWF Rules: Sekine, Sato vs Ito, Yu ***
  3. UWF Rules: Iwata, Inaba vs Maya, Miyagi ***1/2
  4. Bandido, Komander vs Kaz, Soma ***3/4
  5. Check, Lee vs CIMA, Tonsho ***1/4
  6. Ishida vs Izuchi ****1/4
  7. #STRONGHEARTS vs KAZMA, Irie, Honma ***1/4
  8. No DQ: Kasai, Takeda vs BULK Orchestra ***3/4

Thoughts

I'm going old school format again for this one. I really enjoyed the GLEAT content that I watched last year and figured I'd go and check out this full event. It looked pretty damn good.

The UWF section was good, giving us a Minoru Tanaka win to kick things off (always a nice thing), a bloated but largely good tag that went to a 20-minute time limit draw, and a pretty good women's tag that topped the bunch off on a high note.

I'd really like a rematch of that last one, actually.

Next, Komander and Bandido brought some lucha libre to GLEAT when they faced vet Kaz and youngster Soma in tag team action. The masked men were fun, as expected, and Komander in particular was given a lot of spotlight here. He's really done well to elevate his stock value lately. Great stuff overall.

Fairly good tag team content followed. A bit of comedy and Jake Lee on autopilot kept the tone chill, but it still largely worked. This would occur before Lee split from All Japan.

My MOTN followed and saw Ishida, having just split from DG, facing off against Izuchi in a fantastic battle with a shit load of fighting spirit. The latter has been moved up a bit in GLEAT and this provided an excellent launching point for the former in debut (whom they were planning a set of rocket boots for backstage). High quality content and the stage made this junior heavyweight match feel like a heavyweight one.

The semi saw Honma in action! Fairly good with in-fighting between KAZMA and Irie being a factor. Kayfabe unit drama with Irie and his pals on the other side of the ring also occurred but were resolved in post. Fun stuff.

We close with a hardcore tag team match featuring Big Muscle Boys Incorporated aka, BULK Orchestra, getting some color as they'd face the death gods of Takeda and Kasai. Great stuff overall and perhaps a decent option for fans that can't handle the gore level of Big Japan and FREEDOMS but still want a touch of that chaos.

So, I officially close my coverage of GLEAT from 2022 now and I ended it on a high note. This show was truly entertaining and everything was, at the very least, good. They blend the shoot themed UWF rules with touches of lucharesu and more standard puro on the same card. They give joshi workers a stage too, which is a big deal, and have no problem bringing in dudes like Crazy Monkey and Crazy Kid to main event an event.

Easily one of my favorite sources of professional wrestling last year and I am eager to see what they have planned for 2023.

Overall Rating: 80/100%