Tuesday, August 25, 2015

WWE Monday Night Raw Review - August 24th, 2015

The show begins with a clip from earlier in the day of Triple H & the WWE World Heavyweight & new United States champion, Seth Rollins at WWE Headquarters. I somehow totally forgot that HHH promised him a statue last week if he won. That's what they discuss here and Haitch promises to give him one and that it will be revelaed tonight.

In the arena, Brock Lesnar & Paul Heyman hit the ring in stride like always. Heyman does his usual awesome schtick except this time he's the pissed off advocate. Heyman gets to the point and says that Brock wants Taker. Not at Mania, not at Royal Rumble, not at Survivor Series, not at Night of Champions -- NOW! Brock is bouncing ready for Taker to come out as Heyman tosses the mic and backs into the corner. And out walks... Bo Dallas. This is going to be absolutely great. Lesnar already has a smirk on his face as Bo skips down. After a short spill, Brock floors Bo and nails him with 5 suplexes before teasing leaving only for Heyman & the crowd coax him back into the ring to nail Bo with an F5. This was good fun. On the surface, that is. When you think about the long term picture though, it looks like we're gonna get anywhere from a several week or month(s) long absence of this story before they bring it up again. I don't like it. The finish at SummerSlam was good for what they were trying to accomplish, but I don't think anyone wants to see what they were trying to accomplish and that's the biggest problem. If Taker is back, I'm sure people want to see him face other new talent aside from Brock. The same goes for Brock as well. He's only faced two new opponents in first time matches since returning whereas he's had multiple meetings with Taker, Triple H, & John Cena, - all people we've seen him face before during his first run. Sigh. Looks like we're in for Round 3 of Taker/Brock. YAAAAY. It doesn't bother me all that much though because I've come to realize that it is what it is.

1) New Day (Big E & Kofi Kingston) (w/ Xavier Woods) vs. Lucha Dragons (Sin Cara & Kalisto)

Saturday, August 22, 2015

WWE SummerSlam Preview & Predictions

2015 SummerSlam Preview & Predictions

Weeks ago, I really wasn't hyped for SummerSlam and as the weeks went by, I honestly never gave it much thought. However, this week on Raw when they ran down the card, I realized how loaded it is. There's legitamitely a little bit of everything there and with the 4 hour timeslot, this could be an all time great PPV. I truly believe it. I'm not putting faith in it due to WWE's track record, but on paper, it looks awesome.

Aside from the sporatic Raw review, I haven't published a whole lot of thoughts on the upcoming show which is something I plan to do here along with my predictions. I'm actually looking forward to discussing things so let's get right into it.

1) Prime Time Players (c) vs. The New Day vs. Lucha Dragons vs. Los Matadores - WWE Tag Team Title Match
I pray that this opens the show. These four teams have lit up the tag team divsion in the past two months, never failing to deliver in action on Raw & Smackdown. When you look at this on face value if you haven't watched in a while, you probably think this looks somewhat dull. I mean, after all, Los Matadores have never been popular. PTP broke up, jobbed indivdually, and are now back together. Then you have Lucha Dragons who are exciting, but yet to break through that bubble and The New Day is three guys who didn't do anything extremely relevant or memorable before banding together. With all that being said, the tag division easily could have fallen with The Usos being out of competition due to Jimmy's injury. Instead, these four teams stepped up and were given time by management to develop into quite possibly the best runs of their careers. New Day has been killing it all year since becoming a full fledged heel team, PTP's charisma and almost regular commentary appearances have earned them their place since becoming champions, the Lucha Dragons wow the crowd, and Los Matadores have been able to show their skills for once with El Torito adding a little fun to things by screwing with Xavier Woods. The innovation that all these teams have shown over the past two months in their various contests really makes me excited for this. I hope it gets around 10-12 minutes and is essentially an opening sprint. I don't want it 100mph the whole time because that would be just a spotfest. I do want to see a number of spots though and I think we will. This is what perfect openers are made of, in my opinion. The first 15 minutes of a show are crucial and having these four teams giving their best effort and go all out would undoubtedly get the crowd fired up and hooked on the rest of the show.

Friday, August 21, 2015

NJPW on AXS - Destruction in Kobe 2014 Part 1 Review - August 14th, 2015

I'm playing catch up this week. While I did catch part of last week's NJPW on AXS, I didn't see the entire show. Thankfully, it replays just before this week's episode so I'm able to catch it in full and give my thoughts on it for your viewing pleasure.

After covering the entire 24th Annual G1 Climax, the folks at NJPW on AXS are continuing by moving onto the next event of the 2014 calendar year, Destruction in Kobe. It's the signature event for New Japan which follows up the insanity that is the G1 Climax.

On this episode, we see the first of what will be three weeks of coverage of this big event. The main event of this hour is the Junior Heavyweight Title Match with KUSHIDA defending against Ryusuke Taguchi. But first....

1) Minoru Suzuki & Toru Yano vs. Kazushi Sakuraba & Takashi Iizuka
We start off coverage of last year's Destruction in Kobe event with highlights from these tag team match that is truly a mixed bag. You have shooters like Suzuki & Sakuraba and guys who have become known as clowns, pretty much, thanks to their antics in the form of Yano & Iizuka. This match was one of those which was clipped due to time constraints and I can't say that I mind because while I'm a huge Suzuki mark, this was nothing more than a throwaway contest on the undercard. They covered all the parts in the match that were worth seeing and gave us a good overview of all that took place in this 11 minute contest, though. Chairs were brought into play several times and in the end, Iizuka brought in the iron glove only to be rolled up by Yano with a half nelson cradle for the victory at 11:34.

Match rating - **

2) AJ Styles & Tama Tonga vs. Kota Ibushi & Tetsuya Naito

A Look At The Weekend Ahead - ROH/NJPW shows, NXT Live with Jushin Liger, SummerSlam Extravaganza + more

This weekend is yet another HUGE one for pro wrestling. Across the country there are a number of events going down that are well worthy of note. Most of it centers in Brooklyn, New York this weekend where WWE is going head to head with ROH as WWE hosts NXT Takeover on Saturday Night while ROH hosts Field of Honor featuring NJPW stars on the same night. That's not all though. GFW is also running a TV Taping this weekend in Las Vegas, Nevada with a number of tournament matches taking place. With all that in mind, I decided to put together a list of everything happening this weekend so everyone interested would have a place to reference. I also am doing this to point out how HOT wrestling is right now. It blows my mind sometimes.

TONIGHT, August 21st:

ROH - The Aftershock Tour '15

Jay Lethal (c) vs. Roderick Strong - ROH World Championship Match
The rematch from their 1 Hour Time Limit Draw last month

Adam Cole vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
First time ever dream match

KUSHIDA vs. Matt Sydal
Dream match between arguably the best two junior heavyweights in pro wres today.

The Addiction (Christopher Daniels & Kazarian) vs. The Young Bucks - ROH World Tag Team Title Match

The Briscoes & Hirooki Goto vs. RPG Vice & Kazuchika Okada
Trios action with the IWGP Intercontinental Champion & IWGP Heavyweight Champion on opposing teams.

Cedric Alexander vs. Dalton Castle

Michael Elgin vs. Silas Young
Michael Elgin's ROH return after his run in the G1 Climax

+ more featuring ACH, War Machine, The Kingdom, & ReDragon

Global Force Wrestling "AMPED" TV Taping - Las Vegas, Nevada

NEX*GEN Title Tourney: Andrew Everett vs. TJ Perkins

Thursday, August 20, 2015

ROH TV Review - August 19th, 2015

1) Silas Young vs. Dalton Castle
It's honestly kind of weird how perfect of a match these two are for each other. It never even crossed my mind when I first saw Castle, but thankfully ROH saw it & capitalized because it's been giving a bright spot to an otherwise pretty dull ROH undercard. Despite that, this was actually the most disappointing match up of their feud thus far. It just never clicked or picked up any steam like it has in the past. The best way to describe it is as your average match from both guys which isn't horrible, just not something that will leave you talking. Castle gets the win after some distraction from The Boys.

Match rating - **1/2

Kevin Kelly has Bobby Fish at ringside for an interview on his victory in the TV Title tournament and what the future holds for ReDragon. Fish makes a bold claim in that Jay Lethal won't be TV Champ when he faces him because he thinks Lethal will lose it to Hanson. This brings a furious Jay Lethal down to ringside. He & Fish get into a yelling match as Kevin speeds onto the next segment which is a video package hyping the Field of Honor shows this weekend!

Monday, August 17, 2015

WWE Monday Night Raw Review - August 17th, 2015

The Authority opened the show essentially to just plug SummerSlam. They run down the top three matches and aside from a minor miscue, this was an amazingly well done segment. I honestly had forgotten about some matches on the card and this reminded me how loaded things really are. I think the 4 hour timeslot will work well for this. Hopefully each match gets a fair amount time as it appears they will.

1) Sheamus & Kevin Owens vs. Cesaro & Randy Orton
Cesaro & Orton back teaming had me hype from the get go. That swing into the RKO spot from a few weeks ago was epic. PLUS Cesaro and Sheamus are in the same match so that's bound to be awesome and... it was! Cesaro was extra over on this night with a great ovation that just got louder as the match went on. Not to mention all the Cesaro section signs perfectly placed in front of the hard cam with people going nuts. Everyone looked good here with Sheamus & Cesaro's exchange near the end being the highlight. Cesaro went for the Chris Hero spring in the ropes to the apron thing and got caught, JUST like Hero did in NOAH. I think it's time they stop doing that considering how tall they are and how rough it typically looks. Despite that, Big Kev did his best to cover it up by grabbing his leg and the commentators followed suit with the same story. Orton got in unbeknownst to Sheamus and nailed him with an RKO after an awkward attempt at one on KO. The final few moments were a little awkward as mentioned, but the good outweighed the bad here. Super fun stuff.

Match rating - ***

Undertaker is advertised as next. Well, he was next in a pre-filmed segment that was your typical "Deadman speaks" stuff. Short and to the point so I can't complain.

2) Roman Reigns vs. Luke Harper

Friday, August 14, 2015

TNA Impact Wrestling Review - August 12th, 2015

I haven't watched an episode of Impact Wrestling since the initial hype of Jarrett & GFW invading began. Whenever that was. I honestly don't even rememeber. I didn't leave that episode extremely disappointed however I wasn't excited either. It just felt like ah, it's gonna a pretty average thing. After a month or two away, it turns out I haven't missed much aside from last week where Aries & Spud and EC3 & Matt Hardy had two great singles contests. Thankfully, they showed highlights from them on tonight's show.

I'm mainly tuning in tonight to see Trevor Lee. This is his first time getting national TV exposure and it's in a match that essentially a dream contest as he is opposing The Wolves alongside Brian Myers. The entire line up tonight looks decent though. It's "TNA vs GFW" and it's now.

Jeff Jarrett starts things off and talks about the premise of tonight's show. He's soon interrupted by Eric Young! OH BOY! EY has really been one of the high points of TNA in the past two years. From his world title reign to the heel turn, he's delivered. He goes nuts yelling at Jarrett here which I found great. Jarrett fires back and places EY in the King of the Mountain match later in the night. Jarrett goes to leave and EY attacks him which leads to the GFW talent hitting the ring to make the save. Sonjay Dutt, Trevor Lee, Brian Myers, Chris Mortzedky (Masters), & PJ Black are those men. EY retreats and TNA talent, surprisingly considering his character, come out to back him up and a huge brawl breaks out before we go to commercial.

1) Awesome Kong vs. Lei'D Tapa
Kong is great. I've never had any real opinion on Tapa so I didn't know about this one. It turned out to be pretty fun. I got interested in it then they went to the outside and I saw where this was going. DQ finish. Bummer. Fun while it lasted, let's hope they're building to something bigger.

Match rating - **1/4

2) Bobby Lashley vs. Jesse Godderz

Saturday, August 8, 2015

NJPW on AXS - G1 Climax 24 Day 12 Finals Review - August 7th, 2015

So, NJPW & AXS decided to grace us with two episodes of puroresu action this week and I couldn't be more hyped. They've been covering the entire 2014 G1 Climax Tournament over the past month or two and that leads us here to the final day of competition. You've got four big matches including the final contest itself to determine the 2014 G1 Climax Champion. It's the biggest tournament, arguably, in wrestling today and we're about to find out the winner and see some of the best athletes in the world fight for it - what's not to love?

1) Karl Anderson vs. Tomohiro Ishii
This match was the one on the show which got clipped due to time although they certainly chose the best parts to highlight here. Ishii ends up with bloody nose that will make you cringe and Anderson takes advantage of it. Ishii wouldn't stay down though. Seeing him headbutt Anderson with that bloody nose was crazy! They trade some counters before the Bullet Club makes their present felt by pulling the ref out of the ring before Ishii could get the three count. After a short struggle once things got settled back down, Anderson counters into a gun stun on Ishii for the win.

Match rating - ***

2) Katsuyori Shibata vs. Hirooki Goto

Lucha Underground - Ultima Lucha (Part 2) Review - August 5th, 2015

It's been a great ride covering Lucha Underground's premiere season, but it's time for it to come to a close. It will do so in the form of what is being looked at as their WrestleMania, a two week, three hour event called Ultima Lucha. Last week, the first hour aired and saw the unlikely successful team of Angelico, Son of Havoc, & Ivelisse lose the trios titles and Mack & Cage tear the house down in a crazy Falls Count Anywhere match. This week, part 2 of Ultima Lucha airs and it's a two hour special featuring several big matches. I've missed several episodes of LU leading up to this, but I made sure to go out of my way to see this considering it's the season finale and the blow off to all the main feuds. The show is packed and that is displayed by the fact that the rematch from the LU MOTY thus far between Johnny Mundo and Alberto El Patron is opening the show.

1) Johnny Mundo vs. Alberto El Patron
As mentioned before, Mundo & El Patron had an amazing match earlier this year which ended up being the start of this feud. It's quite possibly my favorite LU match of the year as it completely blew away my expectations. With that mind, they had a lot to follow and I'd say they did a good job of it. This wasn't positioned to be the show stealer like their previous encounter was and I'd honestly say that was a great decision. Don't put these two in a position where they HAVE to follow up their last contest which was highly praised. Just let them go out and have the quality match you know they can and that's exactly what happened. The chemistry from the first encounter was there and the result was a match just as enjoyable. The action was crisp and kept me intrigued from start to finish. Plus, beyond that, Melina made her return to help Mundo win. It was in cheap fashion and more of a shock than a hype moment, but it was something that certainly added some drama to the match. Afterwards, Alberto gets his payback and throws Mundo through the door/window of Dario Cueto's office. He appeared to get busted open pretty bad.

Match rating - ***1/2

2) Pentagon Jr vs. Vampiro - Cero Miedo Match

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

ROH TV Review - August 6th, 2015

1) The Young Bucks & AJ Styles vs. War Machine (Hanson & Rowe)
The show gets off to a HOT start with this contest. It wasn't scheduled to be a handicap match however it kind of turned into that. The Bucks got a nice run to start off as they nailed superkicks and such. They start going through their stuff and Nick dives through the legs of his brother over the top rope onto Hanson & Rowe. He begins favoring his leg following the dive which leads to Matt going it alone as AJ Styles comes down to check on Nick. After "We Want AJ" chants began, he gets on the apron and asks for the tag and for some reason the ref allows it. AJ starts cleaning house. Nick ends up coming back as the injury was just a fake. Bucks & AJ pick up the win. This was different, but very enjoyable.

2) Cedric Alexander (w/ Veda Scott) vs. Romantic Touch

WWE Monday Night Raw Review - August 3rd, 2015

Seth Rollins opened the show sporting a shirt that appeared to be a parody of Cena's as it read "Never Shut Up" and was made in the same design as Cena's "Never Give Up" logo. The WWE Champion didn't mention it in his promo, surprisingly. He does what you'd expect and if you watched Smackdown, essentially the same thing he said there. Rollins brags about breaking Cena's nose and challenges him to a rematch for all the gold at SummerSlam. Oh boy. I wanted a match between the two, but not with the US Title on the line. Cena needs to keep that strap and Rollins needs to defend his title over Cena. I don't know what this will lead to. Anyway, it isn't long before Rollins decides to shift the focus from Cena to solely himself by taking a page out of the US Champion's book and issuing an open challenge for the WWE Title. At first, it appears like El Torito, of all people/things, is going to accept. I nearly turned my TV off then NEVILLE's MUSIC HITS! Here we go, boys!

1) Seth Rollins (c) vs. Neville - WWE World Heavyweight Title Match
Since it's become such a big buzz word in the recent year, I'll describe this match simply by saying - Neville connected and it was awesome. He didn't get that big of a pop to begin with, but once he started doing his stuff, the crowd was very receptive. Thanks to a few EXTREMELY close nearfalls, the WWE Universe (and myself) really got invested in this match. Rollins made Neville look amazing, as if he didn't look great enough on his own. It's just that some of the nearfalls here were so believable whether it be Neville rolling through the pedigree or the three count after the red arrow that meant nothing because Rollins' foot was on the ropes. Between those happenings and Neville breaking out things he's yet to do on the main roster like the reverserana and the top rope hurricanarana, the crowd was on FIRE which only added to what was already a great contest. In the end, a second red arrow attempt is missed and Rollins nails Neville with a fairly sloppy pedigree for the win. I miss the curb stomp SO much. Fantastic match, none the less. I can't think of a better way to start Raw than this.

Match rating - ****

2) The New Day & The Ascension vs. Lucha Dragons & Los Matadores