Thursday, May 11, 2023

Ruthless Aggression Era Project: WWE SummerSlam 2003 Review - August 24th, 2003

WWE SummerSlam 2003
August 24th, 2003
Phoenix, Arizona

World Heavyweight Champion: Triple H (since 12/15/02)
Intercontinental Champion: Christian (since 8/10/03)
World Tag Team Champions: La Resistance (since 6/15/03)
WWE Women's Champion: Molly Holly (since 7/28/03)
WWE Champion: Kurt Angle (since 7/27/03)
WWE United States Champion: Eddie Guerrero (since 7/27/03)
WWE Tag Team Champions: Shelton Benjamin & Charlie Haas (since 7/3/03)
WWE Cruserweight Champion: Rey Mysterio (since 6/5/03)

Commentators - Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler, Michael Cole, & Tazz

The show opens with Lillian Garcia singing the national anthem. She kills it.

Opening video package is amazing. Maybe my favorite of the year? Although.. it sort of doesn’t fit the Summerslam vibe, it was very dark. But so so so good so I can’t complain. 

Jim Ross & Jerry Lawler welcome us. The 2nd ever Elimination Chamber match is tonight. Cole & Tazz speak for a minute then they send it to the Spanish announce team. 

1) La Resistance (Sylvan Grenier & Rene Dupree) (c) vs. The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D-Von) - World Tag Team Championship Match

Sunday, April 16, 2023

AEW: Dynamite Review - April 12th, 2023

AEW Dynamite
April 12th, 2023 
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 

AEW World Champion: MJF (since 11/19/22)
AEW World Tag Team Champions: FTR (since 4/5/23)
AEW Women’s World Champion: Jamie Hayter (since 11/19/22)
AEW TNT Champion: Powerhouse Hobbs (since 3/8/23)
AEW International Champion: Orange Cassidy (since 10/12/22)
AEW TBS Champion: Jade Cargill (since 1/5/22)

Commentators - Excalibur, Tony Schiavone, & Taz

1) Swerve Strickland vs. Darby Allin 

Any time these two lock up, it’s a blast. It’s their second meeting in AEW, with their first coming almost an exact year prior to this on the 27th of April last year. That match was in the Owen Hart Memorial Tournament. This was a lot more fun than their match last year. That one wasn’t bad by any means, this just had some extra juice to it with Swerve being fairly fresh off his heel turn. Plus, they threw in some way crazier spots like the reverserana off the apron to the floor. Great match to kick off the show. Darby catches Swerve with the last supper flash pin thing for the three count. 

Match rating - ***1/2

After the match, MJF comes down and we get another long winded 10 minute talking segment. Darby shows some good fire and thankfully Sting shows up to save the whole thing with his pom poms. It’s also worth noting that they showed Jack Perry watching the match on a screen backstage earlier. 

2) Powerhouse Hobbs (w/ QT Marshall & Aaron Solo) (c) vs. Silas Young - AEW TNT Title Match

This was exactly what it should have been. Less than 2 minutes, a full on squash. Hobbs destroys Silas and retains his championship. Let’s fuckjng go. 

After the match, cameras cut to the parking lot where Wardlow destroys Hobbs’ precious car that he arrived to the building in earlier. Wardlow breaks the windows out then takes a forklift to it and it is god damn hilarious and great. Hobbs is pissed and tries powerbomb Silas Young off the stage through a table, but Wardlow's music hits to make the save and he delivers a powerbomb to Aaron Solow off the stage. 

In a pre-tape, Jay White and Juice Robinson declare themselves as BULLET CLUB GOLD and that they are gonna take over AEW. 

3) Orange Cassidy (c) vs. Buddy Matthews (w/ Julia Hart) - AEW International Championship Match

Buddy comes out to motherfucking Eyes Adjust by Twitching Tongues. I am not a fan of the King of 205 Live Kenny Omega cosplayer, but between that entrance and his performance here, he’s gaining some points. This was much better than I ever anticipated. They worked the injured hand of OC story very well while still hitting all their spots and having some cool exchanges. The finishing stretch was more than just false finishes as they once again played off the injured hand of OC with it affecting certain things he would try or execute. This was just a great TV match. OC retains with a flash pin of sorts. I doubt we see a Buddy singles match this good for another 6-12 months unless they put him in there with Danielson or something. 

Match rating - ***3/4

Back from commercial and after the match, the Best Friends and Orange Cassidy are backstage with Renee Paquette. OC is fresh off his title defense and has his arm iced. Best Friends challenge Aussie Open to a match for the IWGP Tag Titles on Rampage this week.

Ethan Page is in the ring when we return to the arena. He wants to know why Matt Hardy did what he did last week. Hardy & Isaiah Kassidy walk down and Big Bill & Lee Moriarty show up. HOOK is here for the save, but the numbers are still too much especially with Big Bill in there and I'll be god damned if it ain't JEFF FUCKIN HARDY making his return to clean house. WOW! Jeff is back and nails the swanton and we are in business bayyybeee.

Before the next match, Kenny Omega speaks in a pre-tape from home. He addresses the Blackpool Combat Club and everything they’ve done to he & The Bucks. Kenny says it’s gonna be worse than blood for blood when the Elite get their hands on BCC. 

4) Jon Moxley & Claudio Castagnoli vs. Michael Nakazawa & Brandon Cutler 

Buddy.. this was everything I needed it. Before the match, we got replays of Mox busting Don Callis wide open and here we see he & Claudio jump Nak & Cutler before the bell. They get more in than you’d expect, and they both bleed. It’s just good, good shit. Claudio & Mox win obviously and they continue the assault on a bloody Brandon Cutler after the bell with help from Wheeler Yuta. 

Match rating - ***

As Yuta, Mox & Claudio are destroying the boys some more, KENNY OMEGA’s MUSIC HITS. Man oh man. I came unglued for this. Kenny is bouncing around at the top of the ramp like The Rock. Mox gets on the apron and jumps to the floor telling him to come on. These two haven’t touched in like 2 years. Meanwhile, THE YOUNG BUCKS SLIDE IN THE RJNG FROM BEHIND AND DOUBLE SUPERKICK CLAUDIO AND YUTA. I’m fuckjng screaming. Bucks & Kenny corner Moxley. They bring out a tool box and Kenny breaks out a screwdriver as a throwback to what Bryan Danielson did to Hangman Page last week. Mox literally tells Kenny to bring it on and says he doesn’t have the balls to do it. Kenny goes to and CLAUDIO & YUTA PULL HIM OUT TO SAVE HIM. Love when them boys bail out like chicken shits too. Mox & Claudio throw beers from the crowd at the Bucks in the ring as they retreat. Kenny runs down to the railing with a chair. The crowd is molten and so am I. I loved this. 

5) Riho & Skye Blue vs. Toni Storm & Ruby Soho 

From that insane segment and match to RIHOOO. I’m a happy motherfucker right now. This match is a blast. I can’t remember much of the specifics of it because I was busy buzzing, but it was a breeze to watch and Riho working under with the up&comer Skye Blue as her partner was the perfect little pairing to go up against the rudo unit of Storm & Soho. 

Match rating - ***

We get another awesome run in segment after the match where Jamie Hayter makes the save as the Outcasts spray paint Riho. But the numbers are still too much and DMD BRITT BAKER HITS THE RING FOR THE BIG POP AND SAVE. She cleans everyone out on the ramp/at ringside and it rules. This last 45 minutes has been stellar television, bud. 

6) Keith Lee vs. Chris Jericho 

The way this match was set up was pretty cool. And on paper, it’s sort of cool, I guess? In reality, it’s a whole lot of whatever. Definitely the weakest match on the show even though I enjoy both of these guys in certain environments. This was far from their worst respectable efforts, though. It just wasn’t much more than fine. Swerve Strickland causes a distraction and Jericho is able to get the cheap victory when all is said and done. I guess we are headed back toward that story now and rightfully so since it never got a proper finale. 

Match rating - **1/2

After the match, the JAS jump Keith Lee and Adam Cole comes down to make the save and help Lee to the back. Cole does the same little bit that Jericho did the other week and refuses to acknowledge him aside from looking back at out of the corner of his eye ever so slightly. This closes the show. 

Friday, April 7, 2023

AEW: Dynamite Review - April 5th, 2023

AEW Dynamite 
April 5th, 2023
Long Island, New York

AEW World Champion: MJF (since 11/19/22)
AEW World Tag Team Champions: The Gunn Club (since 2/8/23)
AEW Women’s World Champion: Jamie Hayter (since 11/19/22)
AEW TNT Champion: Powerhouse Hobbs (since 3/8/23)
AEW International Champion: Orange Cassidy (since 10/12/22)
AEW TBS Champion: Jade Cargill (since 1/5/22)

Commentators - Excalibur, Tony Schiavone, & Taz

1) Juice Robinson vs. Ricky Starks

I’m gonna be completely honest, I saw that this was up first and continued working on some music, only to turn around and see Jay White in the damn ring helping Juice assault Starks. Everyone knows I’m drained on anything Bullet Club related and Juice in AEW does nothing for me, and I’m top of that I’m not necessarily a massive Jay White fan. HOWEVER, a surprise Jay White debut instead of a 12 minute Juice match on dynamite? I’ll get riled up over that. Awesome, unique way to start the show that definitely breaks the formula that AEW normally uses. Jay & Juice too sweet and commentators are openly referring to this as Bullet Club which is interesting to me considering White is no longer under contract to NJPW and neither is Juice.

Backstage, Chris Jericho has an interview about Adam Cole. Keith Lee walks up and says he’s had battles with Adam Cole in the past, but he has respect for him. Jericho doesn’t and he challenges him to a match next week to teach him a lesson in respect. 

2) House of Black (Malakai Black, Brody King, & Buddy Matthews) (c) (w/ Julia Hart) vs. Best Friends (Orange Cassidy, Chuck Taylor, & Trent?) - AEW Trios Title Match 

Decent little match here. They don’t run too long and we get signature OC/Best Friends stuff which Dynamite wouldn’t feel the same without. These two teams on paper are the perfect foil for one another gimmick wise. In ring, it’s fine. They run through stuff, the best part for me is Brody King. The way they built toward Trent hitting a piledriver on him was great. Buddy pins Chuck in the end to retain.

Match rating - **3/4

In a pre-tape, Christian Cage is staring at us as Luchasaurus walks up out of some smoke with some crazy new mask on.

3) Jamie Hayter (c) (w/ Britt Baker) vs. Riho - AEW Women’s World Championship Match

This will always be a great match. Jamie is the best women’s wrestler in the world and Riho is the Rey Mysterio of AEW. Everyone loves her and she’s phenomenal fighting from underneath, especially against a brute like Jamie. It was a little tough because both women are babyface now, but it was still a very good back & forth match and easily the best match on this show. Jamie retains after a couple of ripcord lariats. 

Match rating - ***1/2

The Outcasts are backstage after Jamie’s celebration. Ruby Soho says that she better not get too comfortable with that title because one of the three is coming for it soon. Saraya plugs their shirt and Renee sends it back to the ring. 

BACK ON THE STAGE AND MATT MENARD & ANGELO PARKER ARE HERE. After we find out what makes Daddy Magic’s nipples hard, The Acclaimed interrupts. Amazing reaction for them. Ang & Menard are still trying to get The Acclaimed to join JAS so they got them an 8 man tag together for Rampage. They do the scissor me bit and yeahhhh! 

It’s MJF DAY. They show clips of him earlier in the day getting the key to Long Island. We cut back to the arena and MJF comes out and does a full fledged performance with a band backing him. I thought we were gonna get out easy and only get singing from him instead of a long winded promo, but I was wrong. The singing was lowkey so much better. He tells a story about some teacher who doubted his wrestling dream and calls her a stupid bitch. He says any kid out there watching should know they can do anything in life if they work hard, but the one thing no one can do is be MJF. On his way back up the ramp, Jungle Boy is disguised as a member of the band. He attacks MJF and they get pulled apart as Sammy Guevara comes out for the next match.

4) Sammy Guevara vs. Komander 

Guevara poses with MJF’s World Championship at the top of the ramp before coming to the ring. He’s coming off a victory over Konosuke Takeshita on Rampage. An unfortunate occurrence followed by another unfortunate occurrence here as he defeats Komander in a match that was very much a Sammy match. They do stuff, most of it doesn’t make sense, but Komander isn’t able to fully go off so it’s less fun than most of his matches as this is more about him bumping around for Guevara. Darby Allin is in the rafters looking on and the cameras show him. They’re hyping up this pillars four way very well, even though I’m not sold on it as a PPV main event level match. Guevara wins with his finisher thing. 

Match rating - **1/2 

4) HOOK vs. Ethan Page (w/ Matt Hardy) - FTW Title Match

HOOK is HOOK and is cool. He retains in under two minutes and for some reason they are running this back again on Rampage on Friday. 

Backstage or in a pre-tape, Nigel McGuinness & Tony Khan with some help from Adam Cole announce the return of All In with AEW’s debut in the UK at WEMBLEY FUCKING STADIUM ON AUGUST 27th. Unbelievable. 

5) Jon Moxley, Claudio Castagnoli, & Wheeler Yuta (w/ Bryan Danielson) vs. SOME JOBBERS

Minute or so long squash and it rocks. BCC stands tall and Danielson cuts a promo on why he realigned with BCC and how much he loves each of his stablemates.. even Yuta who is in his words “a little shit” .. Danielson goes on to say there are no other real professionals in AEW and no other real wrestlers in the building besides them. HANGMAN PAGE COMES DOWN TO CHALLENGE THIS AND GOES RIGHT INTO THE FIRING SQUAD. Mox, Claudio, & Yuta beat him down. Danielson screams that he’s an amateur. Danielson says he has no friends and is not a pro wrestler. God damn this rules. Danielson then pulls out a screwdriver and jams it into the face/eye of Page. Crazy ass segment and this heel BCC run continues to deliver. 

6) The Gunn Club (c) vs. FTR - AEW World Tag Team Title Match 

This was just a bad.. bad match. Thank god the Gunn’s title reign is over and thank god FTR finally has those titles back, but good grief, this sucked. FTR gave them way more than they deserved. I was unable to bite on any of the nearfalls. It just felt clunky and full of good ideas with bad, not smooth execution. Whatever. It’s over. FTR wins like we all hoped and assumed. Get the Gunn’s off my tv for the next.. however long. FTR celebrates to close the show and are joined by Mark Briscoe <3

Match rating - *3/4

Friday, February 3, 2023

The Top 100 Matches of 2022 - Pro Wrestling Truth Year End Awards

  1. Jon Moxley, Bryan Danielson, Eddie Kingston, Santana & Ortiz vs. Chris Jericho, Daniel Garcia, Jake Hager, Matt Menard, & Angelo Parker - AEW 5/29 - *****
  2. “Hangman” Adam Page (c) vs. Bryan Danielson - AEW Title Match - AEW 1/5 - *****
  3. El Desperado vs. Jun Kasai - JTO: TakaTaichiDespeMania 9/12 - *****
  4. FTR (c) vs. The Briscoes - Dog Collar Match - ROH 12/11 - *****
  5. FTR (c) vs. The Briscoes - ROH World Tag Title Match - ROH 7/23 - ****3/4
  6. Jon Moxley vs. Wheeler Yuta - AEW 4/8 - ****3/4
  7. The Briscoes (c) vs. FTR - ROH Tag Title Match - ROH 4/1 - ****3/4
  8. Kenny Omega & The Young Bucks vs. Death Triangle - AEW 11/18 - ****3/4
  9. CM Punk vs. MJF - Dog Collar Match - AEW 3/6 - ****3/4
  10. Kazuchika Okada vs. JONAH - NJPW 8/7 - ****3/4
  11. FTR (c) vs. The Young Bucks - ROH & AAA Tag Title Match - AEW 4/6 - ****3/4
  12. Kazusada Higuchi (c) vs. Konosuke Takeshita - KO-D Title Match - DDT: Who’s Gonna Top? 9/25 - ****1/2
  13. Jon Moxley (c) vs. CM Punk - AEW World Title Match - AEW 9/4 - ****1/2
  14. Bryan Danielson vs. Daniel Garcia - AEW 7/27 - ****1/2
  15. Swerve Strickland & Keith Lee vs. The Acclaimed - AEW 9/4 - ****1/2
  16. Eddie Kingston vs. Chris Jericho - AEW 3/6 - ****1/2
  17. Jon Moxley vs. Biff Busick - GCW 3/31 - ****1/2
  18. Chris Jericho vs. Tomohiro Ishii - AEW 11/23 - ****1/2
  19. The Young Bucks & Kenny Omega vs. Hangman Page, John Silver, & Alex Reynolds - AEW 9/4 - ****1/2
  20. Kazuchika Okada vs. Will Ospreay - NJPW 8/18 - ****1/2
  21. FTR vs. The Briscoes - ROH 12/10 - ****1/2
  22. The Young Bucks & Kenny Omega vs. Will Ospreay & Aussie Open - AEW 8/31 - ****1/2
  23. The Briscoes (c) vs. John Wayne Murdoch & Alex Colon vs. Los Macizos vs. Effy & Allie Katch vs. Second Gear Crew - War Games - GCW 9/3 - ****1/2
  24. Bryan Danielson vs. Daniel Garcia - 2/3 Falls Match - AEW 8/17 - ****1/2
  25. Hangman Page vs. CM Punk - AEW 5/29 - ****1/2
  26. Shingo Takagi vs. Zack Sabre Jr - NJPW 3/26 - ****1/2
  27. Kazusada Higuchi vs. Naomi Yoshimura - King of DDT Finals - DDT 7/2 - ****1/2
  28. Bryan Danielson vs. Jon Moxley - AEW 3/6 - ****1/2 
  29. Jon Moxley (c) vs. Chris Jericho - AEW 8/10 - ****1/2
  30. Jon Moxley, Eddie Kingston, Wheeler Yuta, Claudio Castagnoli, Santana & Ortiz vs. Chris Jericho, Daniel Garcia, Sammy Guevara, Angelo Parker, & Matt Menard - Blood & Guts Match - AEW 6/29 - ****1/2
  31. Jon Moxley vs. Will Ospreay - NJPW 4/16 - ****1/2
  32. Mike Bailey vs. Masha Slamovich - GCW 5/21 - ****1/2
  33. Kazuchika Okada (c) vs. Jay White - IWGP Title Match - NJPW 6/12 - ****1/2
  34. Shingo Takagi (c) vs. Kazuchika Okada - IWGP Title Match - NJPW 1/4 - ****1/2
  35. Jungle Boy vs. Luchasaurus - Steel Cage Match - AEW 11/18 - ****1/4
  36. CM Punk & Jon Moxley vs. FTR - AEW 2/9 - ****1/4
  37. Toni Storm vs. Jamie Hayter - AEW 11/18 - ****1/4
  38. CM Punk vs. MJF - AEW 2/2 - ****1/4
  39. Zack Sabre Jr vs. KENTA - NJPW 7/17 - ****1/4
  40. Dax Harwood vs. Will Ospreay - AEW 6/15 - ****1/4
  41. Jon Moxley vs. Daniel Garcia - AEW 6/1 - ****1/4
  42. The Acclaimed (c) vs. FTR - AEW 12/7 - ****1/4
  43. Kenny Omega & The Young Bucks vs. Death Triangle - AEW 11/23 - ****1/4
  44. Bryan Danielson vs. Sammy Guevara - AEW 11/9 - ****1/4
  45. Jon Moxley vs. Konosuke Takeshita - AEW 7/13 - ****1/4
  46. Jon Moxley vs. El Desperado - NJPW 7/30 - ****1/4
  47. Jon Moxley & Claudio Castagnoli vs. Top Flight - AEW 12/28 - ****1/4 
  48. Minoru Suzuki & DOUKI vs. Jun Kasai & Tomoaki Honma - JTO 12/23 - ****1/4 
  49. Mike Bailey (c) vs. Trey Miguel - Impact 7/1 - ****1/4
  50. John Wayne Murdoch vs. Matt Tremont - GCW 8/13 - ****1/4
  51. El Lindaman (c) vs. Shigehiro Irie - GLEAT 5/18 - ****1/4
  52. Bryan Danielson vs. Hangman Page - AEW 9/7 - ****1/4
  53. Alex Colon (c) vs. Rina Yamashita - Ultraviolent Title Match - GCW 8/13 - ****1/4
  54. El Desperado & DOUKI vs. Tomoaki Honma & Jun Kasai - JTO 5/6 - ****1/4
  55. Rina Yamashita & Toru Suguira vs. Los Macizos - GCW 6/5 - ****1/4
  56. El Lindaman (c) vs. DOUKI - GLEAT 8/24 - ****1/4
  57. Z-brats vs. Kung Fu Masters - Dragon Gate 7/30 - ****1/4
  58. Eddie Kingston vs. Tomohiro Ishii - NJPW 5/14 - ****1/4
  59. Jon Moxley vs. Tom Lawlor - Defy 4/30 - ****1/4
  60. Jon Moxley vs. Tony Deppen - GCW 6/18 - ****1/4
  61. The Young Bucks (c) vs. Keith Lee & Swerve Strickland vs. Ricky Starks & Powerhouse Hobbs - AEW 7/13 - ****1/4
  62. Drew Parker vs. Cole Radrick - GCW 6/4 - ****1/4
  63. Will Ospreay vs. Tetsuya Naito - NJPW 8/17 - ****1/4
  64. Britt Baker (c) vs. Thunder Rosa - Steel Cage Match for AEW Women’s Title - AEW 3/16 - ****1/4
  65. Hangman Page vs. Konosuke Takeshita - AEW 5/18 - ****1/4 
  66. Malakai Black, Brody King, & Buddy Matthews vs. PAC, Penta El Zero Miedo, & Erick Redbeard - AEW 3/6 - ****1/4
  67. The Young Bucks & Kenny Omega vs. Andrade El Idolo, Dragon Lee, & RUSH - AEW 8/17 - ****1/4
  68. Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus (c) vs. The Young Bucks vs. ReDragon - AEW 3/6 - ****1/4
  69. Shingo Takagi vs. Tomohiro Ishii - NJPW 3/7 - ****1/4
  70. Kazuchika Okada vs. El Desperado - NJPW 3/2 - ****1/4
  71. Hiromu Takahashi vs. El Desperado - NJPW 6/3 - ****1/4
  72. Zack Sabre Jr vs. Will Ospreay - NJPW 3/21 - ****1/4
  73. Eddie Kingston vs. Jun Akiyama - AEW 11/18 - ****
  74. Rey Fenix vs. Dante Martin - AEW 5/4 - ****
  75. Gringo Loco, Abismo Negro Jr, & Flamita vs. Laredo Kid, Rey Horus, & ASF - GCW 4/1 - ****
  76. Eddie Kingston vs. Tomohiro Ishii - AEW 9/4 - ****
  77. Kazusada Higuchi (c) vs. Yukio Sakaguchi - DDT 10/22 - ****
  78. Jon Moxley vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi - AEW 6/26 - ****
  79. Eddie Kingston, Wheeler Yuta, & Shota Umino vs. Minoru Suzuki, Chris Jericho, & Sammy Guevara - AEW/NJPW 6/26 - ****
  80. Jon Moxley & Wheeler Yuta vs. Best Friends - AEW 7/20 - ****
  81. Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Jon Moxley vs. Will Ospreay vs. Juice Robinson - NJPW 5/14 - ****
  82. Wheeler Yuta (c) vs. Daniel Garcia - ROH Pure Title Match - ROH 7/23 - ****
  83. Minoru Suzuki vs. Tomohiro Ishii - NJPW 4/16 - ****
  84. Jon Moxley vs. Kyle O’Reilly - AEW 6/8 - ****
  85. Cody Rhodes (c) vs. Sammy Guevara (c) - Ladder Match for TNT Title - AEW 1/26 - ****
  86. Brody King vs. Darby Allin - AEW 7/20 - ****
  87. Dragon Lee vs. RUSH - ROH 7/23 - ****
  88. Jon Moxley (c) vs. CM Punk (c) - AEW 8/24 - ****
  89. T-Hawk vs. El Lindaman - GLEAT 2/22 - ****
  90. Cole Radrick (c) vs. Mike Bailey - Unsanctioned Pro 4/3 - ****
  91. CM Punk vs. Dustin Rhodes - AEW 4/20 - ****
  92. Will Ospreay vs. Orange Cassidy - AEW 6/26 - ****
  93. Cole Radrick (c) vs. Colby Corino - GCW 8/19
  94. Sawyer Wreck vs. Joey Janela - GCW 6/5 - ****
  95. The Young Bucks vs. Rey Fenix & Penta Oscuro - AEW 6/3 - ****
  96. Bryan Danielson vs. Hangman Adam Page - AEW 9/7 - ****
  97. David Finlay vs. Juice Robinson - NJPW 7/26 - ****
  98. AJ Gray vs. Mike Bailey vs. Cole Radrick vs. Nick Wayne vs. Jordan Oliver vs. Jimmy Lloyd - GCW 6/5 - ****
  99. Kyle O’Reilly vs. Rey Fenix - AEW 5/18 - ****
  100. Eddie Kingston vs. SLADE - Beyond 8/21 - ****

Thursday, January 26, 2023

2023 Match Rating Archive / MOTY Tracker

Y'all know the deal. My lists for 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022 can be found here!


Will Ospreay (c) vs. Kenny Omega - IWGP US Heavyweight Title Match - NJPW: Wrestle Kingdom - 1/4/23 - ***3/4

Yuka Sakazaki (c) vs. Miyu Yamashita - Princess of Princess Championship Match - TJPW: TJPW ‘23 - 1/4/23 - ***1/2

El Lindaman (c) vs. Kaito Ishida - G-Rex Title Match - GLEAT: Ver. 5 - 1/8/23 - ****

Jon Moxley vs. Hangman Page - AEW: Dynamite - 1/11/23 - ****

Jungle Boy & Hook vs. Lee Moriarty & Big Bill - AEW: Dynamite - 1/11/23 - ***1/4 

Bryan Danielson vs. Konosuke Takeshita - AEW: Dynamite - 1/11/23 - ****

Death Triangle vs. The Young Bucks & Kenny Omega - Best of 7 Series Final - AEW: Dynamite - 1/11/23 - ***3/4 

The Young Bucks vs. Top Flight - AEW: Dynamite - 1/18/23 - ****

Bryan Danielson vs. Bandido - AEW: Dynamite - 1/18/23 - ****1/4

Darby Allin (c) vs. KUSHIDA - TNT Title Match - AEW: Dynamite - 1/18/23 - ***3/4

Darby Allin, Sting, & The Great Muta vs. Naomichi Marufuji, AKIRA, & Hakushi - NOAH: Great Muta Final Bye Bye - 1/22/23 - ***3/4

Bryan Danielson vs. Brian Cage - AEW: Dynamite - 1/25/23 - ***1/2

Mark Briscoe vs. Jay Lethal - AEW: Dynamite - 1/25/23 - ***3/4  

Hangman Page vs. Wheeler Yuta - AEW: Rampage - 1/27/23 - ***3/4

Jamie Hayter vs. Emi Sakura - AEW: Rampage - 1/27/23 - ****

Kazusada Higuchi (c) vs. Yuji Hino - KO-D Openweight Title Match - DDT: Sweet Dreams - 1/29/23 - ****


Jon Moxley vs. Hangman Page - AEW: Dynamite - 2/1/23 - ****1/2

Bryan Danielson vs. Timothy Thatcher - AEW: Dynamite - 2/1/23 - ***3/4

Samoa Joe vs. Darby Allin - AEW: Dynamite - 2/1/23 - ****1/2

TJP & Francesco Akira (c) vs. DOUKI & Yoshinobu Kanemaru - IWGP Jr Heavyweight Title Match - NJPW: New Beginning - 2/4/23 - ***3/4

MJF vs. Konosuke Takeshita - AEW: Dynamite - 2/8/23 - ***1/2

Bryan Danielson vs. RUSH - AEW: Dynamite - 2/8/23 - ****1/2

Kenny Omega & The Young Bucks (c) vs. AR Fox & Top Flight - AEW Trios Title Match - AEW: Dynamite - 2/8/23 - ****1/4

Jon Moxley & Claudio Castagnoli vs. RUSH & Preston Vance - Texas Tornado Match - AEW: Dynamite - 2/15/23 - ***1/4

Eddie Kingston vs. Jay White - Loser Leaves NJPW - NJPW: Battle in the Valley - 2/18/23 - ****

Orange Cassidy (c) vs. Wheeler Yuta - All Atlantic Title Match - AEW: Dynamite - 2/22/23 - ****

Titan vs. Soberano Jr. - NJPW/CMLL: Fantasticamania - 2/27/23 - ****


Riho vs. Emi Sakura - AEW: Rampage - 3/3/23 - ***1/2

Jack Perry vs. Christian Cage - Final Burial Match - AEW: Revolution - 3/5/23 - ****

The Young Bucks & Kenny Omega (c) vs. House of Black (Brody King, Malakai Black, & Buddy Matthews) - Trios Title Match - AEW: Revolution - 3/5/23 - ****1/2

Jon Moxley vs. Hangman Page - Texas Death Match - AEW: Revolution - 3/5/23 - *****

MJF (c) vs. Bryan Danielson - Iron Man Match for AEW World Championship - AEW: Revolution - 3/5/23 - ****1/2

Hirooki Goto & Yoshi Hashi (c) vs. Kazuchika Okada & Hiroshi Tanahashi - IWGP Heavyweight Tag Title Match - NJPW: 51st Anniv Show - 3/6/23 - ****

Jon Moxley, Claudio Castagnoli, & Wheeler Yuta vs. Hangman Page, Evil Uno, & Stu Grayson - AEW: Dynamite - 3/15/23 - ****

Orange Cassidy (c) vs. Jeff Jarrett - AEW International Title Match - AEW: Dynamite - 3/15/23 - ***1/4

House of Black (c) vs. The Elite vs. Jericho Appreciation Society - Trios Title Match - AEW: Dynamite - 3/15/23 - ****

Miu Watanabe (c) vs. Rika Tatsumi - International Princess Title Match - TJPW: Grand Princess ‘23 - 3/18/23 - ***1/2

Yuka Sakazaki (c) vs. Mizuki - Princess of Princess Title Match - TJPW: Grand Princess '23 - 3/18/23 - ****1/4

Masha Slamovich (c) vs. Mike Bailey - GCW Title Match - GCW: Worst Enemy - 3/19/23 - ****

Kenny Omega (c) vs. Jeff Cobb - IWGP US Title Match - AEW: Dynamite - 3/29/23 - ***3/4

Killer Kelly vs. Marina Schafir - GCW: Bloodsport 9 - 3/30/23 - ***1/4

Kota Ibushi vs. Mike Bailey - GCW: Bloodsport 9 - 3/30/23 - ****1/4

Jon Moxley vs. Alex Coughlin - GCW: Bloodsport 9 - 3/30/23 - ***1/4

Timothy Thatcher vs. Josh Barnett - GCW: Bloodsport 9 - 3/30/23 - ****

Konosuke Takeshita vs. Yuki Ueno - DDT goes Hollywood - 3/30/23 - ***1/2

Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Mike Bailey - IMPACT/NJPW: Multiverse - 3/30/23 - ***1/4

Wasteland War Party vs. Miu Watanabe & Shoko Nakajima - TJPW Live in LA - 3/31/23 - ***1/2

Miyu Yamashita & Maki Itoh (c) vs. Yuka Sakazaki & Mizuki - TJPW Live in LA - 3/31/23 - **** 

El Hijo Del Vikingo (c) vs. Komander - AAA Mega Championship Match - ROH: Supercard of Honor - 3/31/23 - ****1/2

Athena (c) vs. Yuka Sakazaki - ROH Women's Title Match - ROH: Supercard of Honor - 3/31/23 - ***1/4 

Samoa Joe (c) vs. Mark Briscoe - ROH TV Title Match - ROH: Supercard of Honor - 3/31/23 - ****

Lucha Bros vs. Top Flight vs. The Kingdom vs. RUSH & Dralistico vs. Aussie Open - Reach for the Sky Ladder Match for the ROH World Tag Team Title Match - ROH: Supercard of Honor - 3/31/23 - ****

Claudio Castagnoli (c) vs. Eddie Kingston - ROH World Championship Match - ROH: Supercard of Honor - 3/31/23 - ****3/4

Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley (c) vs. East West Express (Jordan Oliver & Nick Wayne) - GCW Tag Team Title Match - GCW: Joey Janela's Spring Break 7 - 3/31/23 - ***1/2

BUSSY (Effy & Allie Katch) vs. Maki Death Kill (Nick Gage & Maki Itoh) - GCW: Joey Janela's Spring Break 7 - 3/31/23 - ***3/4

Kota Ibushi vs. Joey Janela - GCW: Joey Janela's Spring Break 7 - 3/31/23 - ***1/4


Charlotte Flair (c) vs. Rhea Ripley - WWE Women's Championship Match - WWE: WrestleMania 39 - 4/1/23 - ****1/2

The Usos (c) vs. Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn - WWE Tag Team Title Match - WWE: WrestleMania 39 - 4/1/23 - ****3/4

Gunther (c) vs. Sheamus vs. Drew McIntyre - Intercontinental Title Match - WWE: WrestleMania 39 - 4/2/23 - ****1/4

Jamie Hayter (c) vs. Riho - AEW Women's World Championship Match - AEW: Dynamite - 4/5/23 - ***1/2

Mercedes Mone (c) vs. AZM vs. Hazuki - IWGP Women’s Title Match - NJPW: Sakura Genesis - 4/8/23 - ****

Zack Sabre Jr (c) vs. Shota Umino - NJPW TV Championship Match - NJPW: Sakura Genesis - 4/8/23 - ****

Bishamon (Hirooki Goto & Yoshi Hashi) (c) vs. Aussie Open (Mark Davis & Kyle Fletcher) - IWGP Tag Title Match - NJPW: Sakura Genesis - 4/8/23 - ****1/4

Hiromu Takahashi (c) vs. Robbie Eagles - IWGP Jr Heavyweight Title Match - NJPW: Sakura Genesis - 4/8/23 - ***3/4 

Kazuchika Okada (c) vs. SANADA - IWGP World Title Match - NJPW: Sakura Genesis - 4/8/23 - ****1/4 

Swerve Strickland vs. Darby Allin - AEW: Dynamite - 4/12/23 - ***1/2

Orange Cassidy (c) vs. Buddy Matthews - AEW International Title Match - AEW: Dynamite -  4/12/23 - ***3/4

RUSH & LA Park vs. Blue Demon Jr. & DMT Azul - AAA: Triplemania XXXI - 4/16/23 - ***1/2

El Hijo Del Vikingo (c) vs. Komander vs. Swerve Strickland vs. Rich Swann - AAA Mega Championship Match - AAA: Triplemania XXXI - 4/16/23 - ***1/4

Britt Baker & Jamie Hayter vs. Toni Storm & Ruby Soho - AEW: Dynamite - 4/19/23 - ***1/2

Jay White vs. Komander - AEW: Dynamite - 4/19/23 - ***1/4

Tony Deppen vs. Bryan Keith - GCW: Into the Light - 4/21/23 - ***1/4

Mike Bailey vs. Alex Zayne - GCW: Into the Light - 4/21/23 - ***1/2

El Hijo Del Vikingo (c) vs. Komander - AAA Mega Championship Match - GCW: Into the Light - 4/21/23 - ***1/2

AZM & Mei Suruga vs. Starlight Kid & Mei Seira - STARDOM: All Star Grand Queendom - 4/23/23 - ***3/4

Utami Hayashishita & Miyu Amasaki vs. Fuwa-chan & Hazuki - STARDOM: All Star Grand Queendom - 4/23/23 - ***3/4

Himeka vs. Maika - STARDOM: All Star Grand Queendom - 4/23/23 - ****

Roderick Strong vs. Chris Jericho - Falls Count Anywhere Match - AEW: Dynamite - 5/17/23 - ****

RUSH vs. Jack Perry - AEW: Dynamite - 5/17/23 - ****

Jon Moxley, Bryan Danielson, Claudio Castagnoli & Wheeler Yuta vs. Kenny Omega, Hangman Page, & The Young Bucks - Anarchy in the Arena II - AEW: Double or Nothing - 5/28/23 - ***3/4

Sunday, August 21, 2022

Random Match Review: Kazusada Higuchi (c) vs. Tetsuya Endo - KO-D Openweight Title Match - DDT: Peter Pan (August 20th, 2022)

This year, subscribing to Wrestle Universe and having access to DDT, NOAH, and TJPW shows as they happen and after they happen has been one of my best investments. Long gone are the days of scrambling for daily motion and google drive links. 

With that in mind, I’ve been able to keep up with these promotions, particularly DDT, like never before. In the process of that, Kazusada Higuchi has become one of my favorite people to watch. 

I looked back through some of my match rating archive lists and found that I had watch stuff of his several years back and gave favorable ratings, but this year and being to view DDT and his work less sporadically turned me into a full fledged fan. It was perfect timing for that to happen as well, to be honest. 

The lead in to this match was both traumatic and triumphant. On one side, you have Higuchi. A guy who’s been waiting for that moment to step up and grab the proverbial brass ring, so to speak. He capitalized on Endo getting concussed by Katsuhiko Nakajima at Cyber Fight Festival and made his way to the finals of the King of DDT tournament in July. There, he defeated his now partner, Naomi Yoshimura, to become the new KO-D champion and achieve his ultimate destiny. 

Now, a few months have passed and Endo is cleared to compete so naturally he wants the title back that he had to vacate. The story truly wrote itself. It wasn’t quite so predictable, though. This match would determine if Higuchi was just a transitional champion or if they are really going to go with him. An emotional story on both sides of the ring with both men having a lot on the line. 

They exhibit this story well. Higuchi comes out and looks like an absolute beast of a champion. He carries the DDT flag to the ring and waves it around. This guy truly has stepped into this role with both feet and has not disappointed. 

As the match begins, it becomes clear that they are going to keep Higuchi strong as Endo struggles to even get the least bit of momentum. He does string together some nice pieces of offense that stun Higuchi, but that’s all they are. They stun him. They don’t shift the momentum or turn the tide. Whether it was the sasuke special or the multiple german suplex reversals. You get glimpses of hope, but largely, Higuchi has his number and delivers an epic performance. 

The finish to the match sees Endo laying on the mat and Higuchi challenge him to stand. He tells the ref to stop counting and tries to fire Endo up, but also murder him at the same time. Some of the stiffest lariats you’ll see all year come out of this exchange and we get one last fighting spirit fire up from Endo before the former champion is finally put down with the Brain Claw.

Higuchi retains after a fantastic match. But things aren’t over here. Higuchi is handed the championship by the living legend Kenta Kobashi and is asked who he wants to defend against on September 25th. The answer is simple… Konosuke Takeshita. 

This is Takeshita’s first event back since his US excursion and he slowly walks to the ring and comes face to face with Higuchi. Takeshita’s response to this challenge? Simple. “Let’s fight.” 

September 25th, it will happen. Higuchi and Takeshita are 1-1-1 against each other in the three matches they’ve had over the past few years, but the stakes have never been this high and I can’t wait. See y’all then. 

Match rating - ****

Sunday, August 14, 2022

WCW Monday Nitro Review - June 3rd, 1996

WCW Nitro 
June 3rd, 1996 
Asheville, North Carolina

WCW World Champion: The Giant (since 4/29/96)
WCW US Champion: Konnan (since 1/29/96)
WCW Tag Team Champions: Sting & Lex Luger (since 1/22/96)
WCW TV Champion: Lex Luger (since 3/6/96)
WCW Cruserweight Champion: Dean Malenko (since 5/18/96) 

Commentators - Tony Schiavone & Larry Zbyszko (Hour One) and Eric Bischoff & Bobby Heenan (Hour Two) (ugh)  

The Shark opens the show on the ramp to discuss the hair shaving he suffered last week at the hands of Big Bubba. Mean Gene Okerlund hosts the interview. Shark says he’s not a Shark.. he’s a man and his name is John Tenta and he’s gonna destroy Big Bubba and make him feel how he felt last week! AW HELL. Tenta charges the ring and we are underway. 

1) John Tenta vs. Big Bubba (w/ Jimmy Hart)

Tenta hits a body slam and some stuff starting off on fire. Bubba flees the ring when Tenta pulls out some scissors. This leads to a countout victory for Tenta. 

Awesome backstage interview segment between The Steiners and Sting/Luger, they clash tonight and I can't wait. 

2) High Voltage (Ruckus & Chaos) vs. Faces of Fear (The Barbarian & Meng)

This is the WCW debut for High Voltage. Faces of Fear fucking destroy them. Barbarian hits Ruckus with a belly to belly off the top turnbuckle and considering size of them both, it’s nuts. Mafia Kick from Meng gets them the win. 

Match rating - **

3) Craig Pittman (w/ Teddy Long) vs. Disco Inferno