Sunday, March 8, 2015

Miscellaneous Match Reviews

Throughout the weeks/months, I watch various matches that may not be part of a particular show or DVD that I'm viewing. Instead of just watching them, I've decided to start putting them together and reviewing them in an article like this for your viewing pleasure. So, please feel free to give me your feedback on this new concept. I've been trying out a lot of new things on the blog and I'd love to hear your thoughts. None the less, let's get into my first Miscellaneous Match Reviews post!

Prince Devitt & Rysuke Taguchi vs. Eddie Edwards & KENTA - NOAH - 7/10/10
The first match comes from NOAH in Japan in 2010. It features some names you may recognize as Devitt is currently in WWE NXT as Finn Balor along with KENTA who competes under the name Hideo Itami. Also in this match is Eddie Edwards who is currently in TNA as one half of The Wolves. When I saw all the names involved in this match, I decided to watch it immediately. There are multiple dream matches encompassed inside this one match so I was excited to see it. I was also interested to see how the team of Edwards/KENTA would fair against the highly accomplished duo of Apollo 55 in Prince Devitt & Rysuke Tagachi. I'm not sure how often Edwards & KENTA teamed in NOAH at this time, but they did a good job of working together and were able to hang in there with Devitt & Taguchi. At the beginning of this review, I mentioned there being several dream matches being encompassed in this tag match and while we got to see some of those guys mix it up like Devitt & KENTA and Devitt & Eddie, this came off as more of a tag team exhibition. That's not a negative though because it was very good for what it was. Both teams got the opportunity showcase all their manuevers and it was cool to just watch them work. The experience of Taguchi & Devitt ended up being the determining factor as they picked up the victory. Good tag team match.

Match rating - ***1/4

El Generico vs. Jigsaw - CHIKARA: High Noon 2011

In light of my recent CHIKARA binge and the fact that I just finished up the Best of 2011 DVD set, I figured it would be a great time to take a look at this match. I ran across it on YouTube and given the history these two men have in the form of the classic four way also involving Kota Ibushi & Nick Jackson of The Young Bucks at King of Trios 2009, I was really looking forward to this. However, my hopes of a MOTY candidate were crushed when I found that this was only a pre-show match that hadn't previously been released. Despite that, I went ahead with watching it anyway because these guys never fail to entertain me. As expected with an opener like this, it didn't have much of a story and was mainly just both guys getting the crowd hyped which is something they do very well. Both guys hit dives, arm drags, and the stuff like that which they are known for here. The crowd was eating it all up and so was I. Generico went for a helluva kick, but was met with a superkick followed by a double stomp from the top rope from Jigsaw which put him away in around 8 minutes. Fun little exhibition. This would be nice for someone who's never seen either guy compete although I'd obviously recommend checking out the aforementioned four way over this match any day. So, this is entertaining and did it's job on this particular evening, but it's not anything worth going out of your way to see.

Match rating - **3/4

PAC (Adrian Neville) vs. Prince Devitt (Finn Balor) - NJPW: Best of the Super Juniors XIX
Many people find it hard to believe that I've never seen this match before considering I'm such a mark for PAC, but it's fairly easy to understand considering I only began watching New Japan in late last year. I heard this was the match that ended up getting PAC signed to WWE which led me to be even more excited about it. Plus it's on one of NJPW's most popular shows of the year, the Best of Super Juniors tournament so I figured it would live up to expectations. So, right out of the gate I'll answer that question, yes, it certainly lived up to expectations. These guys are just so flawless in their in-ring work and it's perfectly showcased here. They executed everything very well and seemingly with ease, which is even more impressive. I really don't know how to describe how awesome this match was because it was just so much fun. There were multiple moments that will leave you in awe such as PAC's flipping corkscrew moonsault thing off the top rope to the floor onto Devitt. It seems like every time I watch a PAC match, he breaks out something new that blows my mind and that was the case here. He really pulled out the big stuff in this one. Another exchange that I loved saw both men stop dive attempts by each other and nail a dropkick. It was a unique way to build up to the dive as Devitt would finally end up hitting it and he did so in amazing fashion by flipping over the rope. The longer this one went, the more the crowd got into it as you will be able to tell just by listening to them throughout the match. I thought this was a really good showcase for both guys and definitely a match I'm going to look back on in the future. It's easy to see why WWE chose to sign PAC after this because he did what he's been doing for years here - displaying why he is the best highflyer in the world. As for Devitt, he looked just as good and while I'm not as familiar with him as PAC, this match definitely made me even more of a fan. Awesome stuff here, definitely check it out.

Match rating - ****1/4

TDMK (Shane Haste & Mikey Nicholls) vs. Masato Tanaka & Takashi Siguir - NOAH - 4/26/14
What led me to watch this match was the fact that I'm planning to watch their encounter from earlier this year in which Haste & Nicholls won the GHC Junior Tag Titles. I heard that match was awesome, but when I found it they had a previous encounter, I figured it'd be cool to watch it first so I could compare the two once I watched their more recent bout. That leads us here. This was my first time seeing TDMK although I have seen them compete individually before during their very brief stints in PWG. I remember being particulary impressed by Mikey, who had a very fun opening match with Scott Lost at PWG's "It's It What Is It?" event in March 2008. It ended up being his first and last time in Reseda which led me to search him up because I had no clue why he wasn't booked more. This is when I discovered TDMK. None the less, I was interested to see how both he & Haste had improved since all those years ago. Plus ECW legend Masato Tanaka is here so this should be fun. It became clear to me early on that TDMK were playing the heels as they took every shortcut they possibly could. After some attempts at isolating a member by both teams, Haste & Nicholls earned the advantage by resorting to the aforementioned cheap tactics as they took Takashi to the outside and slammed his leg into the railing. This was followed up by more work on it in the ring and a chair dropped/kicked on it in the crowd. Takashi was finally able to make the tag to Tanaka and he came in with an array of bodyslams along with a cool DDT/Stunner combination on both members of TDMK. The closing sequence here featured one or two close falls and several cool striking exchanges. Another highlight for me was Takashi hitting several bridging german suplexes. I'm personally a mark for those type of manuevers so it may not do as much for you as it did for me. Haste & Nicholls end up picking up the win with an angle slam looking manuever that dropped Takashi on the back of his head. This was a solid little tag match although it's not anything worth going out of your way to see. I'm really interested to see how they built off this in their more recent encounter from January of 2015. Be on the look out for my review of that soon, it'll most likely be in one of these "Miscellaneous Match Reviews" articles.

Match rating - ***

Trevor Lee vs. Rich Swann - CWF Mid Atlantic - 7/19/14
First off, if you didn't already know, CWF Mid Atlantic has a ton of free matches on their YouTube channel so if you're a fan of Trevor Lee, Andrew Everett, or Cedric Alexander, I'd definitely recommend giving it a look because this promotion is part of their stomping grounds. The trio from North Carolina have been making waves across their board since their debut in PWG that took place almost a year ago and this is one of the promotions they cut their teeth in and still wrestle in today. This particular match pits Trevor Lee against veteran high flyer Rich Swann. It was easy to see that Trevor was the heel as he was jawing with a fan before the match even began and soon started talking trash to Swann as well. Trevor took the aggresive yet subtle approach to this encounter by trying to ground Swann with a headlock as well as with a series of deadlift side throws/suplexes which he followed up with by bearhugging the mid section of Swann. It wasn't completely one sided though because Rich got several flurries in early on although the turning point came with Swann diving off the apron to take down Trevor's ringside friend Chet Sterling which in turn allowed Trevor to nail Swann with his signature apron kick. After being dominated by Trevor for awhile, Swann began making his comeback and we got several nice exchanges that featured some cool counters and alot of kicks. In the end, Trevor nails Swann with a vicious knee to the head out of nowhere for the victory. Fun match here. If you like both of these guys, I'd say it's a bout worth a look if you're looking for something to watch.

Match rating - ***

Thanks for reading and be sure to follow me on Twitter @EthanPWT along with this blog @ThePWTruth! I've already got another column like this in the works with matches from NOAH, NJPW, & Chikara. So, be on the look out for that in the next few weeks. In the meantime, I've compiled a list with links to all the matches I reviewed in this article as they are all on YouTube.

Devitt & Taguchi vs. Edwards & KENTA -
Generico vs. Jigsaw -
Devitt vs. PAC -
TDMK vs. Tanaka & Sigiur -
Lee vs. Swann -

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