Friday, July 31, 2015

NJPW: G1 Climax 25 Day 1 & 2 Review

Before anyone points it out, yes, I'm behind. With that being said, I'm formatting these reviews differently as I'm not going to be watching every show in full. It's just too much at this point. I'm essentially going through and watching anything I've been recommended or something that interests me. That's basically the job of a review anyway so I don't think this will alter the effectiveness of this post, especially since I'm only skipping two out of five matches on each night. None the less, here we go!

Day 1: Block A

Hiryoshi Tenzan defeated Doc Gallows

Tetsuya Naito defeated Bad Luck Fale

Togi Makabe vs. Toru Yano
I have no clue why I took the time to watch this. I was originally gonna try to watch everything on the shows, but changed to the format I detailed above. I watched this prior to getting recommendations and boy, this was pretty much a waste. Chair & ref bumps and some brawling in the crowd. It went under 10 minutes and wasn't anything to talk about. While this felt like crap to me, someone going back trying to watch the good stuff, I feel like this would've been a nice change of pace for someone watching the show as a whole. Makabe came out on top here.

Match rating - **

AJ Styles vs. Katsuyori Shibata
When the top matches were announced for this year's G1, this one truly stood out. Based off how awesome of a match AJ Styles had with Minoru Suzuki last year, I felt like this could be just as good. From the get go, things felt pretty epic. Styles is on the run of his career and Shibata is someone I've been high on lately. Those two things made for a super enjoyable contest. There were several things I loved about this, the first being Styles having Shibata in the corner only for him to raise up and get right in his face. Styles struck him with an elbow and Shibata jumped right back into his face. They began talking trash and Styles threw another strike. It's still crazy to me how AJ has adapted from junior heavyweight to throwing down with the toughest dudes in Japan and not seeming out of place. They also did some good limb work here with the leg of Shibata being targeted a bit after he went for a kick and nailed the post. Styles would go back to it a few times including going for the calf killer when Shibata got himself out of a Styles Clash attempt. This one only lasted just over 10 minutes, but it was great while it lasted and made me want a rematch between the two. I feel like they could tear the house completely down in a main event slot. In the end, AJ gets the win with a Bloody Sunday followed by a Styles Clash.

Match rating - ***1/2

Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kota Ibushi

Thursday, July 30, 2015

WWE Smackdown Review - July 30th, 2015

WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins starts the show by running down all of his accomplishments starting with him making Cena bring back The Authority last fall. He eventually make his way to the fact that he broke Cena's nose on Raw. He continues to brag about it despite "you tapped out" chants filling the arena. Cesaro's music hits and out struts the Swiss Superman. He points out that Rollins DID tap out and the WWE Champ refutes that claim. We end up with the promoted main event on our hands to kick off the show as Cesaro says he's going to make Rollins tap right now.

1) Seth Rollins vs. Cesaro

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Beyond Wrestling: Life Sucks & Then You Die Review

Beyond released two of their most recent events on DVD & MP4 last week and sadly, I only had the money for one at the time. It was extremely tough to choose which one to get because both cards are loaded. I nearly opted to go with The Real Thing because it came first, but for as awesome as that card looked, I wanted to see this show even more. SO, that leads us here. I apologize for not going order however I do plan to go back and watch The Real Thing before the end of the year so no worries. I'll probably pick it up with Americanrana.

Anyway, the show kicks off with Team Tremendous in the ring and Death By Elbow, Chris Hero & JT Dunn, on commentary.

1) Team Tremendous vs. The Kingdom (Matt Taven & Michael Bennett)
There's been a lot of talk in Beyond recently about "the best tag team in the world". That is actually what catapulted this match into fruition. Taven & Bennett get a mixed reaction that soon turns to mostly boos as their antics & remarks were not applaudable in the least. This was pretty much your basic solid tag team opener. The Kingdom got some good heat and Team Tremendous looked well despite coming out on the losing end. Things started off slow only to pick up a lot near the end. Taven & Bennett pick up the cheap victory thanks to a distraction by Maria Kanellis.
Team Tremendous appear to have some troubles post match as Dan storms away from Bill. Meanwhile, The Kingdom targets Hero & Dunn who are up on the balcony for commentary. Nice start to the show overall.

Match rating - **3/4

2) Colt Cabana vs. Joey Ryan vs. Johnny Cockstrong - Elimination Match - No DICKSqualifcation Rules

Sunday, July 26, 2015

BJW: Sekimoto vs. Okabayashi Review - 7/20/15

After months of wanting to watch more of the beast that is Daisuke Sekimoto, I finally got around to it this week. Sekimoto is a mainstay in promotions such as Big Japan Pro Wrestling and DDT. He can do deathmatchs however he also does straight up strong style encounters that represent the greatest side of puroresu. He's been making waves this year in particular and is many people's dark horse pick for Wrestler of the Year and his performances reflect that as he's currently in the Top 5 of our Elite 80 Rankings here at Pro Wrestling Truth.

Sekimoto has had a number of fabulous singles contest this year against the likes of Ishikawa and others, but he also has had produced a ton of great tag bouts. Some of which, I'm planning to watch and possibly review after this. His partner in many of those contests is none other than his opponent in the bout I'm about to discuss, Yuji Okabayashi.

Together they are Strong BJ. They're the current KO-D Tag Team Champions in DDT and just a month ago took the BJW Tag Team Champions, Kohei Sato & Shuji Ishikawa to a 30 minute time limit draw. They've been teaming together off and on since around 2011, but here they are opponents with one of the biggest prizes in Big Japan on the line.

Both men make their entrances and the introductions begin. Okabayashi looks focused as streamers rain down on him during his introduction. There's the feel of a title change in the air at the start of this contest during that moment. I haven't seen anything that led up to this so I honestly had no clue who would win. In that particular setting however, that was the first time I got sort of an indication as to where this was going. From the start, it felt like Okabyashi's night.

As I said before, this is almost completely fresh viewing to me considering I've only seen these men compete a handful of times. This will make for an interesting review going forward because you'll not only get my thoughts on the match itself, I'll also be esentially giving my first impressions of both gentleman. I have a comparison to make although that's going to be saved for later on so back to the match itself.

I got a true taste of what I was in for as the two locked up in a vicious manner that left Okabayashi's nose bloodied. We're only seconds into this thing! It wasn't the most brutal lock up I've ever seen despite certainly leaving it's mark. Stand offs between the two heavyweights came early AND often during this contest. It seemed like neither man could take the other down and one thing I've always loved about puroresu became embodied during this contest as both guys just beat the shit out of each other, for lack of a better word. It was stiff, it was hard hitting, and in a phrase, it was the "most real" example of wrestling you'll find.

The initial feeling I got of it being Okabayashi's night looked to continue as he would end up taking control of this contest by purely holding nothing back. The big man found himself in the air for a crossbody to the outside after a short brawl with the champion that began when he cut off a dive attempt with a chop to the chest. Sekimoto just couldn't seem to get anything going which almost led me to believe we would see him fire back. The period of time that Okabayashi had control took away any sort of idea I had about who would win, once again.

I say this as if Okabayashi controlled alot of the match when really it was an extremely competitive contest. It just felt like the challenger was one step ahead of the champion for much of the time despite the two remaining neck & neck for the majority of the match.

The inability of either man to gain a distinct edge over the other led to an absolutely awesome final stretch. Sekimoto & Okabayashi were nearly 15 minutes deep into this battle and they were still trading shoudler blocks & lariats that couldn't knock the other down and by the time they finally did the trick, no one could capitalize on it because both men fell to the mat in exhaustion. Elbows, slaps, kicks, strikes of all kind made contact in the most brutal manner possible. Not to mention the back drop drivers and german suplexes we saw here.

All the spots/hard hits, I guess you could say, weren't the only thing great about this match. It was really well done as a whole in the sense that they wouldn't just do things for no reason. For instance, Sekimoto rammed Okabayashi's head into the post outside. When he got control in the ring, he had him in headlocks, he hit a back drop driver, etc. He kept working the head/neck area. For Okabayashi, the back was clearly his target as he nailed Sekimoto with a powerbomb in the corner at one point and then immediately applied a boston crab like manuever in the center of the ring.

I just really enjoyed this match. I've been watching alot of US indies as of lately whether it be PWG or CHIKARA, but there's really nothing in the US that can provide what matches like this can. It's what makes puro a one of a kind brand. The closest thing that I can compare this to that happened this year was the Ishii/Honma match from NJPW and while I gave that match a higher rating than I'm giving this one, I'd say this was easily the more brutal of the two.

This was the kind of match that I feel like you could show a non-fan and convert them or atleast cause them to respect the world of pro wrestling. Considering most people who are adamantly anti-wrestling are that way because "it's fake", a match like this would undoubtedly leave their jaw dropped, in my opinion. Even as a fan who appreciates the hell out of every facet of wrestling, matches like these that feel real are a joy to watch because everyone loves to get lost in a bout like this at times.

None the less, in the end, it was a fucking insane powerbomb that would finally finish this match off and Yuji Okabayashi pinned Daisuke Sekimoto to the mat for the three count to become the new BJW Strong World Heavyweight Champion. What a match!

Earlier on, I made the point of a comparison I had in mind that I'd mention later and that comparison was to Kenta Kobashi & Mitsaharu Misawa. Those are the two guys who made me get into puro and for the first time since, I've discovered two men here that remind me of them. I'm not saying they are on that status/level yet because I'm still new to Sekimoto and extremely new to Okabayashi, but the point is that they won me over and I'm going to be watching their work every time I get the chance.

For the past 6 months or so, I've been really into the Junior Heavyweight and American styles of wrestling. Probably because that's what is most readily available for me to watch although it's obviously something I enjoy. Checking out this contest today really gave me the itch to get into more strong style so luckily I have a few more matches downloaded to check out.

But with all that being said, I'd highly recommend giving this a watch. For more experienced puro watchers, this may seem like just a really great contest because from what I've heard Sekimoto AND Okabayashi had singles matches with Shuji Ishikawa that were even better than this. However, for people who may be new to this side of wrestling or possibly haven't watched it in a while, you'll probably enjoy the hell out of this just like I did. So, whatever category you fall under, this is a match that is definitely worth your time.

Match rating - ****1/4

Monday, July 20, 2015

WWE Monday Night Raw Review - July 20th, 2015

So, Battleground was last night and it certainly left people talking. I, for one, haven't seen the PPV and honestly, there's nothing from it that peaks my interest enough to go back and watch it since Taker's return will likely be replayed on this show. Speaking of that, Taker's return is the hot topic coming out of the PPV and if you haven't seen my tweets on the matter, I figure I should share my thoughts on it.

I've PERSONALLY never been a big Undertaker fan. Despite that, I completely understand his legendary status and drawing power. On top of that, I more than understand why many people consider him one of their all time favorites. With that being said, things like this don't typically get on my nerves and this didn't either. That doesn't mean I was a fan of it and left me saying "Wow, that was the perfect route to go!" because in fact, I thought the opposite. Brock broke the streak over a year ago. Taker has been back since then at WrestleMania & he WON. What's the big beef now? This angle would have been much more sense last summer. However, breaking down this story isn't the only reason I question this decision. It's no secret that Undertaker hasn't been 100% in several years and that the last time he & Lesnar wrestled, the match took a toll on him. Therefore, why would WWE put him in such jeopardy again?

I'm sure they took precautions to make sure it was medically safe for him to compete and that it took a lot of discussion to decide to go this way. I mean, WWE aren't idiots. They do care. It was shown at Mania last year when Vince rode with Taker to the hospital. None the less, despite all that, you can't say there isn't a bigger risk than normal given Taker's age and past episodes. While it's good that I, as a fan, worry about that. It's really not my job to. I'm supposed to just watch the product for entertainment so I guess that's something I shouldn't get hung up on, but I can't help but to do so.

Anyways, I'm interested to see if WWE can do something to get me excited about a match that I have virtually no interest in. I'm also curious if it will be a singles contest or a triple threat with Rollins involved. There's many different ways it could go. That question, along with that of whether or not WWE will continue strongly booking newly made stars like Owens, Cesaro, & Rusev in light of this new hot topic in the form of Undertaker returning, will be answered tonight, hopefully so let's get into this edition of Monday Night Raw.

The Undertaker addresses Brock Lesnar

Saturday, July 18, 2015

WWE Battleground 2015 Predictions

1) Bad News Barrett vs. R-Truth
I have to give props to BNB for doing his best to build this match on Smackdown. For the first time in this entire atrocious set of matches, I feel somewhat invested. Barrett said he's tired of Truth dampering on the King of the Ring and he's gonna put an end to it here. This will either be a nice little competitive match or a complete squash. Either way, Barrett walks out on top and hopefully onto something better.

Who I think will win - Bad News Barrett

2) Prime Time Players (Titus O'Neil & Darren Young) vs. The New Day (Big E, Kofi Kingston, & Xavier Woods) - WWE Tag Team Title Match
This is hard to call. When predicting matches, I think of not only what I think they will do, I also think of what they should do and/or what I would do. New Day is so good and getting such a remarkable response that I almost feel like they should get the titles back. I mean, after all, there's more money in the babyfaces chasing the belts. The bad thing is, there's likely only one more match left for PTP in the top tier if that takes place SO, for the sake of PTP, I think they'll keep the belts here in some fashion. Maybe have New Day pull the switch like they did a few PPV's ago and instead have it backfire on them. This calls for another match between the two teams. You can do that at SummerSlam and throw another team in the mix to keep things fresh. In that match, have New Day finally win the belts back. I want PTP have a good reign and I feel like it's too soon for them to drop the belts.

Who I think will win - Prime Time Players 

3) Randy Orton vs. Sheamus 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

WWE Smackdown Review - July 16th, 2015

This is the first time I've watched and/or reviewed Smackdown in MONTHS. What made me choose this week to break that streak? Well, Cesaro & Rusev tore it down with Kevin Owens in a triple threat match on Raw and they have a match here tonight so I HAD to see it so I figured I may as well attempt to make it through the entire episode despite it being quite hard sometimes. So that's the question that will be answered by the time this look at tonight's episode of Smackdown is over - was it worth the time?

I tuned in a few minutes late, but Reigns & Wyatt are having an exchange to start the show. Wyatt is on the screen delivering his part well. As I've said in Raw reviews for weeks now, I'm not into Wyatt at all the moment. Despite that, he's extremely talented and this feud with Reigns has been slightly better than his others although it still lacks true reason behind it. As for Reigns, he was alright here. The crowd was clearly behind him which is all that matters, I guess. I just still feel like his promo game comes across as too fake/scripted. It has improved, I just think it has a long way to go before getting where it needs to/can be.

1) Lucha Dragons (Sin Cara & Kalisto) vs. The New Day (Big E & Kofi Kingston)

Monday, July 13, 2015

WWE Monday Night Raw Review - July 13th, 2015

Paul Heyman and BRRRRROCK Lesnar start the show once again. You won't find me complaining about that! Heyman kills it like usual and is introducing Brock as the new WWE Champion that he will be after Battleground only to be interrupted by Seth Rollins' music. Rollins & Kane stomp out and discuss Brock Lesnar's actions on Raw last week from a distance. Rollins vows to burn down Suplex City at Battleground to which LESNAR responds with "I can take you to suplex city right now, bitch!" OOOOHHH! Kane tells everyone to settle down and says he wants order in the contract signing later on. Heyman interrupts and mocks Kane a bit before saying nothing will happen unless Rollins breaks the 11th commandment again. Good cliffhanger although we all know it's gonna break down regardless.

1) Randy Orton & Ryback vs. Sheamus & Big Show

Saturday, July 11, 2015

ROH TV Review - July 15th, 2015

1) Adam Page vs. Matt Sydal
The Decade has admittingly lost some steam in 2015 however they would prove to gain it back here. Not only did Page put on a GREAT match with Sydal, he also made a huge statement afterwards. I'm getting ahead of myself so let's head back to the start of this thing. Page hit a flurry of stuff early on including his signature shooting star press off the apron which allowed him to maintain an advantage over Sydal. Page begans basically just tossing and throwing Sydal around in the ring. Page goes for an overhead toss again, but Sydal reversed somehow and planted Page's head into the mat. Sydal's comeback begins with leg lariats and kicks. Page sends Sydal into the ropes and pops him up, SYDAL COUNTERS WITH THE METEORA IN MID AIR FOR A NEARFALL! Sydal goes up for the shooting star press and Page floats to the outside. Sydal climbs down and goes for a dive, Page slingshots himself over the top rope, LARIAAAATTT! Page turned Sydal inside OUT! Page gets a nearfall off of it only to fall to the Shooting Star Press soon after.

Match rating - ***1/4

After the match, The Decade's assault on Sydal begins. ACH runs in only to get beaten on as well. They bring chairs in the ring and Page spikes Sydal headfirst into a pile of chairs! Brutal spot that brought a lot of much needed attention back on Adam Page. He faces ACH in a No DQ Match at Death Before Dishonor.

2) Silas Young vs. Will Ferrara

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

WWE Monday Night Raw Review - July 7th, 2015

Cena & Cesaro tear the house down yet again. (Photo credit:

Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman start the show. It's HYPE! After what happened the last time Brock was on Raw, I'm expecting a major beatdown tonight. Heyman gets on the mic and makes absolute magic like usual. "Brock Lesnar is the Lord thy God. Hallowed by his name." Only Paul Heyman. Heyman says that Lesnar will win the title at Battleground however the suplexes and violence starts tonight. BUHROOOOOCKKK LEESSSNNNARRRR! Exit beast and advocate.

1) The Big Show vs. Ryback

Monday, July 6, 2015

June 2015 - Month In Review

WWE Star of the Month - John Cena
 2015 has been one of the best years in John Cena's career. He's been as consistent as ever and has raised the prestige of the United States Championship tremendously. Surprisingly, this is his first time winning the WWE Star of the Month award this year. In June, there was no one better in WWE than John Cena. He continued his awesome feud with Kevin Owens and regained a victory over him after falling in defeat last month. The rivalry between the two has arguably been the only thing worth watching in WWE during the last two months which can be supported by the fact that Owens won this award last month and Cena took it this month. Beyond, the match with Owens that some are calling a MOTY candidate, Cena had one of the best TV matches of the year on Raw on June 29th with Cesaro which solidified his place as the WWE Superstar of the Month. If you had to rewatch one person's performance in WWE this month, it'd have to be John Cena.

Tag Team of the Month - The Young Bucks:
The reigning IWGP Tag Team Champions had another stellar month that helped them pull even further ahead in the tag team rankings for this year. They teamed up with AJ Styles yet again for an insane six man tag live on PPV for ROH against The Kingdom. They also made their return home to PWG after a few months away and reclaimed their throne by defeating Trevor Lee & Andrew Everett to become the new PWG Tag Team Champions. They did so with help from Roderick Strong which led to an unforgettable moment that has to be seen to be believed as Super Dragon returned and helped The Bucks & Roddy destroy everyone from Candice LeRae & Joey Ryan to Excalibur & Rick Knox to Biff Busick & Mike Bailey.
Mount Rushmore 2.0 was born this month and my mind is still blown from reading of what took place. I completely marked out when I saw the video as it's something I never expected to see. Super Dragon is in the best shape he's been in in a long time, Roderick Strong is in the midst of the best year of his career, and The Young Bucks are well, The Young Bucks. It's arguably the four best in PWG history barring Kevin Steen & El Generico who have moved onto other things. I loved how they meshed the angle from Steen Wolf in 2011 with the 2013 Battle of Los Angeles Mount Rushmore angle. It was a controversial, shocking occurence that left everyone talking just like nearly everything The Young Bucks are involved in these days.

Independent Wrestler of the Month - Roderick Strong

Sunday, July 5, 2015

ROH TV Review - July 8th, 2015

I was super busy this past week and thus was unable to review the most recent episode of ROH TV that featured a phenomenal match between Adam Cole & AJ Styles. However, to make up for that, I'm here with an early review of the episode of ROH TV that will air on Destination America this Thursday.

Since I wasn't able to cover it last week, I'll start this review with a bit of a discussion about last week's show. Namely, the epic Cole/Styles match. It was the second meeting between the two and it was somehow even better than their first encounter from last year's All Star Extravaganza event. Highlights include Styles hitting a bloody sunday on Cole on the ring apron, an amazing strike exchange where Cole ducked the paylay kick, and the finish where Styles hit Cole with TWO piledrivers. It was a sure fire MOTY candidate and a must see encounter from the first night of ROH & NJPW's War of the Worlds event.

That leads us to this week. The first episode of ROH TV filmed after the much talked about Best in the World PPV event where Jay Lethal solidified himself as the best in the world by being the first man to defeat Jay Briscoe in two years and becoming the ROH World Champion in the process. On this show, we will hear from him plus there's a huge six man tag main event with ReDragon & Michael Elgin going up against Adam Cole, Matt Taven, & Michael Bennett of the Kingdom. The night starts off on a less serious note as Dalton Castle makes his way to the ring!