Monday, November 30, 2020

WWE Monday Night Raw Review (kind of) - November 30th, 2020

I don’t watch much WWE these days. Little to no TV stuff, an occasional NXT viewing and I tune in for atleast a little bit of every PPV if not the whole thing. However, I saw Styles/Riddle/Lee advertised for the show tonight and decided to give it a watch.

I’ve had this happen a few times where I see a match I expect to be good and decide to try to watch, but most times I’m bored before the match even starts or left disappointed. Tonight was the first time that didn’t happen in god only knows when.

That’s not to say tonight’s show was amazing, hell, I didn’t even watch the whole thing. However, I did catch three of the matches and a segment or two. And what I did catch was good enough that I wanted to write this little review/article up about them. 

Randy Orton opened the show as a guest on Alexa Bliss’ Moment of Bliss. I immediately sighed as I have no interest in 2014 Orton/Wyatt rehash. However, this segment honestly kept my interest. Orton continues to be awesome in 2020 and hooked me as soon as he started cutting his promo on the similarities he has with the Fiend and his past with Wyatt. Orton says he found Wyatt’s weakness and now he has to find The Fiend’s and he thinks he has... it’s Alexa. Vintage Orton stuff. Lights go out and Fiend shows up. Orton has Bliss in his arms and tosses him back to the Fiend and backs away. As Orton walks up the ramp, he says “who’s laughing now?” — now, I enjoyed this segment. I highly doubt it will make me excited about this feud going forward, but I normally wouldn’t even care to give this the time of day so I’d say that’s a win. 

Jeff Hardy vs. Elias - Symphony of Destruction Match 

This match followed the opening segment. A Hardy/Elias feud is something nightmares are made of, but this match was super fun for TV. Hardy’s swanton off the top turnbuckle to the floor crashing Elias through a table was a sick finish and honestly pretty scary as Hardy’s head landed on the corner of the steel steps. 

Match rating - ***

Cedric Alexander (w/ MVP & Shelton Benjamin) vs. Xavier Woods (w/ Kofi Kingston

So much talent surrounding this match, it’s just a travesty it’s been so misused, mainly in reference to the Hurt Business because New Day are the goats. None the less, this was a hot little singles match. Both guys got their shit in and it was a breeze to watch. Cedric wins and leaves to celebrate on his own which was... weird. MVP and Shelton look confused.

Match rating - **1/2 

AJ Styles vs. Keith Lee vs. Riddle - #1 Contender’s Triple Threat Match 

First off, why the fuck is Matt Riddle now just known as “Riddle?” Okay.. now to the good shit aka this match. It isn’t a PPV caliber MOTY contender that it probably could’ve been given more time and drama considering the talent involved, but it’s pretty damn suffice. We get spurts of what made Riddle & Lee’s matches on the indies so special. Styles has some awesome striking exchanges with Riddle and is the perfect sly heel and provided a great dynamic for two big time baby faces like Lee & Riddle. Also, the backstage segment between Riddle & Styles before this match was a lot of fun too. Anyways, after a bunch of action, Styles pins Riddle to win and will go on to TLC to face Drew McIntyre for the WWE Championship! 

Match rating - ***1/4

Drew McIntyre & Sheamus vs. The Miz & John Morrison 

And with the result of the triple threat, I had a feeling we’d see AJ pop up during this main event so I made sure to tune back in for it and I’m sure glad I did. To begin, this match was a lot better than I expected. They isolated Sheamus and Miz & Morrison had some awesome new offense I hadn’t seen them use before. They build towards an EPIC Drew McIntyre hot tag. He really does feel like the main event guy WWE has built him as even without a crowd. Just great shit, AJ interferes and lays out Drew with a flying forearm and... tries to get Miz to cash in his briefcase?!?!? This is brilliant. Not AT ALL what I expected from this match or aftermath. I expected a simple AJ interference spot however WWE actually threw us something exciting as it felt like Miz may cash in which always generates that buzz feeling especially since the WWE Title did change hands on TV a few weeks ago thus making it more believable that it could happen again. This also builds AJ even moreso as the coward heel who sees Miz as an easier opponent than big Drew. It’s beneficial for both parties and I love it. Having Omos carry AJ out to “save Drew from getting embarrassed” was the icing on the cake. This match is gonna rule. 

Really sorta refreshing show here? I left thinking hm.. I’ll tune into TLC for sure and this time I’ll actually have some backstory because I normally just catch up day of the PPV’s. Not sure if I’ll tune in next week, probably depends on what matches are announced, but this was a pretty enjoyable Monday night and they have a lot of promising stuff in the works, let’s hope it continues and delivers. 

Sunday, November 29, 2020

NJPW: Best of the Super Juniors Night Six Review - November 29th, 2020

NJPW Best of the Super Juniors 27
Night Six 
November 29th, 2020 

1) Tomoaki Honma & Satoshi Kojima vs. Yuji Nagata & Gabriel Kidd 

Not much to write home about here, same basic formula as all the other nights. Kidd starts here and Nagata gets the hot tag. Kidd & Kojima fiery finishing run, Kojima finishes him with a lariat. 

Match rating - **

2) Ryusuke Taguchi (4 pts) vs. Yuya Uemura (0 pts) - Best of the Super Juniors Tournament Match 

Well damn, I did not expect to enjoy this as much as I did, but it honestly rocked. So many reversals & moments where it felt like Uemura was gonna pull off the upset over the veteran and finally earn some points in his inaugural BOSJ run. Uemura even locked in the ankle lock on Taguchi at one point which was sick. Another banging opener from Uemura and maybe my favorite Taguchi match from this tournament?

Match rating - ***

3) El Desperado (6 pts) vs. DOUKI (0 pts) - Best of the Super Juniors Tournament Match 

Steep history in Mexico for both of these gentleman so naturally they start with Lucha holds and stuff. Despy quickly starts going to the leg of DOUKI with that stretch muffler type hold he loves to use. Even going straight into it out of a spine buster. It’s not long before they go into some big shit including a risky spot on the apron and DOUKI BOMMMBBBB to the floor. DOUKI hits the daybreaker DDT for a near fall only to get caught in multiple submissions back in the ring that force him to tap. Damn this was getting good and I didn’t want it to end!

Match rating - ***1/2

4) Master Wato (8 pts) vs. SHO (6 pts) - Best of the Super Juniors Tournament Match 

This match turned out to be pretty strike heavy, especially early, which surprised me. SHO dominates this early portion for the most part before Wato hits a head scissors and a dive getting some offense going. SHO takes back over though and works the arm, putting him in the cross arm breaker and forcing a rope break. Wato hits his crucifix bomb for a near fall before things really turn into a slugfest again. I really enjoyed this match, it was verrrry vintage SHO and subsequently he gets the win and moves to 8 points! 

Match rating - ***1/4

5) Taiji Ishimori (8 pts) vs. BUSHI (6 pts) - Best of the Super Juniors Tournament Match 

AEW: Dynamite Review - November 11th, 2020

AEW: Dynamite 
November 11th, 2020

Team Taz opens the show. Ricky Starks looks like a fucking goat as usual. God I love him. Taz points out that Darby Allin is up in the stands watching things. He tells him to keep his "narrow ass" in the seat and puts over the importance of Cage/Sydal which is next. 

1) Brian Cage (w/ Taz & Ricky Starks) vs. Matt Sydal

Thursday, November 26, 2020

NJPW: Best of the Super Juniors 27 Night Five Review - November 25th, 2020

NJPW: Best of the Super Juniors 2020 Night Five
November 25th, 2020

Yes, I skipped last night's World Tag League show. I'm just too fired up to not get into this night of BOSJ action after such a fun show on two nights prior. Also no gif's this time as I'm watching on my TV :/ 

1) Tomoaki Honma & Satoshi Kojima vs. Yuji Nagata & Gabriel Kidd

MAN. Gabe Kidd really got some shit in here and it was awesome. He fired off with everything he had against the vets and looked to have really stunned Honma at one point. Kojima secures the win for his team with a lariat when all is said and done, but this was a step up from their last few openers.

Match rating - **1/2

2) Hiromu Takahashi (6 pts) vs. Yuya Uemura (0 pts) - Best of the Super Juniors Tournament Match

Now this is awesome. Uemura has had solid/good matches with everyone so far so you KNEW he would kill it with the ace of the junior division aaaaand.. he did. Possibly the best tournament singles opener of the tournament so far? Takahashi really gave Uemura a lot and we got a near fall or two that made an upset feel possible despite it being pretty much a given and Kevin Kelly essentially saying that during their entrances which kind of annoyed me. Way to kill the vibe, buck. Anyways, yeah this was great. Takahashi forces Uemura to tap for the victory.

Match rating - ***1/2

3) DOUKI (0 pts) vs. Master Wato (6 pts) - Best of the Super Juniors Tournament Match

Ruthless Aggression Era Project: WWE Smackdown Review - November 28th, 2002 (Thanksgiving Edition)

WWE Smackdown
November 28th, 2002
Columbia, South Carolina 




Ruthless Aggression Era Project: WWE Raw Review - November 25th, 2002

WWE Raw Review
November 25th, 2002
Charleston, South Carolina


1) Chris Jericho & Christian (c) vs. The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D-Von) - World Tag Team Championship Match 

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

NJPW: Best of the Super Juniors 2020 Night Four Review - November 23rd, 2020

NJPW BOSJ 27 Night Four
November 23rd, 2020

We're now in what some call the dull stretch of the BOSJ as they are running in their smaller house venues. None the less.. we are here and let's get into it.

1) Tomoaki Honma & Satoshi Kojima vs. Yuji Nagata & Gabriel Kidd

These matches are getting slightly repetitive, but it's still harmless run of the mill stuff. Kojima pins Kidd with a lariat. Not nearly as much urgency or drama as some of the prior meetings, it just felt like a foregone conclusion that Honma & Kojima were winning. 

Match rating - *3/4

2) Taiji Ishimori (4 pts) vs. Yuya Uemura (0 pts) - Best of the Super Juniors Tournament Match

Huge match and opener here for Uemura. The entire tournament is huge for him, but this may be the biggest match of all against the current junior champion. They start working holds on the mat and grappling for an advantage. Ishimori starts working the arm and goes heavy on it from there for a while. This turns into a fucking great match. Uemura sells the arm so well, even when he's locking in the crab on Ishimori as he's only able to do a single crab instead of a full. Ishimori was so vicious and precise in his work on Uemura's arm, hitting a nasty shoulder breaker at one point. Uemura fires up and hits some AWESOME stiff slaps to the face of the champion and is filled with desperation the whole match. God, this was so much fun. Ishimori's tourney has been boring aside from the night one match against Hiromu, but this.. this rocked and I didn't want it to end as quickly as it did, but booking wise it made sense. Yuya is still young, but spurts like this show that the future is bright. 

Match rating - ***1/4

3) BUSHI (2 pts) vs. Robbie Eagles (4 pts) - Best of the Super Juniors Tournament Match

Sunday, November 22, 2020

NJPW: World Tag League 2020 Night Four Review - November 22nd, 2020

NJPW World Tag League Night Four
November 22nd, 2020 

After a day off, the gods are back at it again with the fourth evening of World Tag League action. #njwtl 

1) Tomoaki Honma & Satoshi Kojima vs. Yuji Nagata & Yota Tsuji

Kojima & Nagata tear into each other to start. Tsuji gets in and goes IN ON THE VEterans. His exchange with Kojima fucking ruled and they actually had some back and forth. Unfortunately the flurry isn’t sustainable nor enough to finish off the legend and Tsuji eats another lariat and it puts him away like it did a few nights ago. 

Match rating - **1/2 

2) Bad Luck Fale & Chase Owens (Bullet Club) (0 pts) vs. Shingo Takagi & SANADA (LIJ) (4 pts) - World Tag League Tournament Match 

NJPW: Best of the Super Juniors 2020 Night Three Review - November 20th, 2020

NJPW: BOSJ 2020 Night Three
November 20th, 2020

1) Tomoaki Honma & Satoshi Kojima vs. Yuji Nagata & Gabriel Kidd

This was about the same as the first meeting between these two teams mixed with the formula of last night’s match. Kidd eats the same lariat Tsuji ate from Kojima that turned him inside out and that’s the finish here as well. 

Match rating - **

2) El Desperado (2 pts) vs. Yuya Uemura (0 pts) Best of the Super Juniors Tournament Match 

I’m excited at this on paper. Uemura is in the biggest run of matches of his life as he found himself being entered into the BOSJ for the first time as a young lion as a replacement for... El Desperado’s tag team partner and fellow junior tag team champion Yoshinobu Kanemaru. I also am on a new appreciation kick for Despy after his match with Hiromu and looking into the history so yeah. Uemura doesn’t charge Despy at the bell like he has all his opponents so far. They go back and forth, Despy throws Uemura to the floor and into the railing and gains a short advantage, but this entire match was pretty much a constant momentum shift. Uemura locks in the crab for a false finish. Despy looked desperate, no pun intended, and the crowd bit on it. Despy really gave Uemura more than anyone else in the tourney has here and it was a super solid showing. In the end, Uemura is working the arm and Despy pokes him in the eyes and gets him in a crucifix backslide pin for the three count.

Match rating - **3/4

3) Taiji Ishimori (2 pts) vs. DOUKI (0 pts) - Best of the Super Juniors Tournament Match 

Biiiig match for DOUKI here as he is facing the current Junior champion in Taiji Ishimori. DOUKI charges the champion at the bell and hits a DDT on the floor, but still ends up fighting from underneath in the early going of this contest. DOUKI hits a crazy ass looking move that I gif’d above and starts trying to mount a comeback. They trade pinning combinations and DOUKI tries to bring his bat in, Ishimori hits it with the belt and hits his finisher to win. Alright match, every Ishimori match besides the opener against Hiromu has just felt dull so far. 

Match rating - **3/4

4) Master Wato (4 pts) vs. Ryusuke Taguchi (2 pts) - Best of the Super Juniors Tournament Match 

Friday, November 20, 2020

NJPW: World Tag League 2020 Night Three Review - November 19th, 2020

NJPW World Tag League 2020 Night Three
November 19th, 2020 

1) Tomoaki Honma & Satoshi Kojima vs. Yuji Nagata & Yota Tsuji 

Last night, Gabriel Kidd got his shot teaming with Nagata against the veterans. Tonight, Tsuji gets the honors. Nagata & Honma start off like last night but go into limb work instead of strikes... at first atleast. Things break down and yeah. Tsuji & Kojima in next. This has a similar formula to last night’s opener. They even do the same finish with a Kojima lariat ending things. Was gonna go ** on this, but Tsuji’s selling of the lariat is worth an extra quarter star DEAR LORD. Check gif for reference. 

Match rating - **1/4

2) Great O’ Khan & Jeff Cobb (The Empire) (2 pts) vs. Bad Luck Fale & Chase Owens (Bullet Club) (0 pts) - World Tag League Tournament Match 

Well, Owens & Fale do an attack during Khan & Cobb’s entrance which is easily the most exciting thing they’ve done in this tournament so far. Fale starts working over Khan in the ring at this point and I think about how there’s no way BC is winning this. Especially since the new Empire duo is just coming off a loss to Goto & Yoshi which I don’t think anyone expected. Anyway, Cobb gets in and gets things back under control by throwing Chase Owens around like a rag doll. They really just kinda went for it in this match as it’s over just as it starts. Cobb & GOK are MAD after their loss last night and just jobbed out Fale & Chase. 

Match rating - **1/4

3) Juice Robinson & David Finlay (2 pts) vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi & Toa Henare (0 pts) - World Tag League Tournament Match 

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

NJPW: Best of the Super Juniors 2020 Night Two Review - November 18th, 2020

November 18th, 2020 

1) Tomoaki Honma & Satoshi Kojima vs. Yuji Nagata & Gabriel Kidd 

Finally something a little different for these openers! 3 legends have been thrown in the mix with young lion Gabriel Kidd. Nagata & Kojima start with a heated exchange before Kidd gets in and goes at it with Honma before getting isolated by the veterans. Really fun match here with Kojima putting Kidd away with a vicious lariat. 

Match rating - **1/2

2) Yuya Uemura (0 pts) vs. BUSHI (0 pts) - Best of the Super Juniors Tournament Match 

I was honestly shocked they gave Uemura as much as they did here. He charges BUSHI at the bell and gets a couple of pin attempts for near falls. BUSHI fights back and locks Uemura in a crab and I honestly thought it was done there, but Uemura gets the ropes. They go back & forth for a few minutes before BUSHI puts him away to get his first 2 points of the tournament. Good showing for Uemura as he got a lot more time than he did on Night One and this had some fun drama down the stretch.  

Match rating - **1/2 

3) Robbie Eagles (2 pts) vs. Master Wato (2 pts) - Best of the Super Juniors Tournament Match 

They start out working holds on the mat and go into arm drags and shit that leads to a stalemate. Wato ends up getting the advantage and drops some elbows to the back of Eagles’ head. Eagles uses his speed to get out of that and flies around for a bit. This turned out to be quite the aerial showcase with several spots that made me wince. This tourney is my first time really seeing Wato and he has been a lot of fun so far. God these two really tore it up. Wato gets what I see as a big win over Eagles here following an excellent counter to Eagles’ 630 as Wato put his knees up and Eagles ate it full force then Wato hit from the top rope, what I’m assuming is his finisher which was a little to crazy for me to try and call some sort of cancun tornado flippy thing. 

Match rating - ***1/4 

4) SHO (2 pts) vs. DOUKI (0 pts) - Best of the Super Juniors Tournament Match 

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

NJPW: World Tag League 2020 Night Two Review - November 16th, 2020

NJPW World Tag League Night Two
November 16th, 2020 

1) Gabriel Kidd vs. Yota Tsuji - Young Lions Match 

These were part of the young lions class that opened up every G1 show so they’ve met A LOT. This isn’t much different than their other meetings, but also is pretty meaningless albeit harmless. Idk. Stuff happens and Kidd dominates most of it. Tsuji fights from under then catches Kidd in the crab for the submission victory. Excited for Honma & Kojima to get involved and mix it up with them on Wednesday. 

Match rating - *3/4

2) Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa) (Bullet Club) (0 pts) vs. Bad Luck Fale & Chase Owens (Bullet Club) (0 pts) World Tag League Tournament Match 

Sunday, November 15, 2020

NJPW: World Tag League/Best of Super Juniors 2020 Night One Review - November 15th, 2020

NJPW World Tag League/BOSJ Night One Double Header 
November 15th, 2020 

The pandemic set everything back a few months so New Japan is combining the World Tag League and Best of the Super Juniors into one tour and in smaller blocks. This is one of the few joint shows with both tournaments hosting matches on the same event and is the kickoff event for both.

1) Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano (CHAOS) vs. Bad Luck Fale & Chase Owens (Bullet Club) - World Tag League Tournament Match 

It’s been a whiiiiile since we’ve seen Fale & Owens and I can’t say I’ve necessarily missed them. Owens pie faces Ishii to start and gets knocked on his ass before the classic bullet club tactics allow he & Fale to isolate the stone pitbull. Ishii fires back and throws Owens with a suplex and gets Yano in. Yano & Fale work for a bit. We get a clever bit for the finish with Owens going to break up a pin, Yano moving and then jumping on top of both Owens & Fale for a quick three count. This was exactly what it should have been because if this had gone much longer it probably would’ve been a huge stinker, but for what it is here, it’s harmless. 

Match rating - **

Fale destroys Yano post match. 

2) Master Wato (w/ Hiryoshi Tenzan) vs. Yuya Uemura - Best of the Super Juniors Tournament Match

Saturday, November 14, 2020

NJPW: Power Struggle 2020 Review

NJPW Power Struggle 
November 7th, 2020 

The fall out from the G1 Climax 30 and the final big stop before NJPW's biggest event of the year that happens every January - Wrestle Kingdom.

1) Toru Yano (c) vs. Zack Sabre Jr - No Corner Pads Match for the KOPW Trophy 

Yano/Sabre is always fun. This stip is dumb and the KOPW thing is pretty much worthless aside from giving Yano something to do. Sabre has said if he wins this he will just throw the trophy in the trash. Some shenanigans early, but this is serious for the most part, Sabre works on the legs and keeps Yano grounded forcing him to wrestle. Yano hits a belly to belly for some separation but finds himself back in a hold moments later in the center of the ring. They roll to the floor and Zack has Yano in a leg lock across the railing and unbeknownst to Zack, Yano ties Zack’s laces to the railing and wins via countout. 

Match rating - **

2) Minoru Suzuki (c) vs. Shingo Takagi - NEVER Openweight Title Match 

AEW: Full Gear 2020 Review - November 7th, 2020

AEW Full Gear

November 7th, 2020

Jacksonville, FL

IT IS TIME. I am a few days late, scratch that, a week late thanks to work causing me to miss a small get together with my friends Mike & Donnie to watch this event live. None the less, I am just as fucking stoked despite seeing spoilers. And as a note, I also caught the main event live. 

Don Callis has joined Excalibur, Jim Ross, & Tony Schiavone on commentary for our opening match per request of Kenny Omega. 

1) Kenny Omega vs. Hangman Page - Finals of the AEW Title #1 Contender’s Tournament 

Alright. We all know I’m a mark for the Bullet Club turned Elite turned AEW EVP’s. Omega & Page’s title defense against The Young Bucks earlier this year earned a five star rating from me which is a testament to how invested I am into this story. Admittedly it felt like this stalled out in the build, however the video package and seeing the two in the same ring for this high stakes match brought back some of the urgency and most definitely brought back the feels. They get into a collar elbow tie up early and wrestle around the ropes and get into it pretty back & forth early. Page sends Omega into the railing but OMEGA JUMPS ONTO THE RAILING AND MOONSAULTS PAGE for my first gasp of the match. Next crazy moment is Page with a pop up powerbomb on the entrance way followed by one in the ring for a big near fall. A couple big moves later and Omega wins with the one winged angel. Dang. I was hoping for more than this, but I guess that’s my own fault for wanting another epic from this story. My only guess is maybe AEW saw this story stalling and decided not to try and make this a melodramatic contest. Well, great opener none the less. Omega wins and Page looks very depressed as he is helped to the back. 

Match rating - ***3/4

2) Orange Cassidy (w/ Chuck Taylor & Trent) vs. John Silver 

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

WWE: 205 Live Review - October 9th, 2020

WWE: 205 Live Review 
October 9th, 2020 

This is the 200th episode of 205 Live. 

1) Ariya Daivari vs. Jake Atlas