Wednesday, January 27, 2021

AEW: Dynamite Review - January 27th, 2021

AEW: Dynamite
January 27th, 2021
Daily's Place - Jacksonville, FL

Commentators - Excalibur, Jim Ross, & Tony Schiavone

1) Lance Archer vs. Eddie Kingston 

Archer sends Jake Roberts to the back before the match. I guess he wants to go this one alone. They start with chops and strikes. Living up to the hoss fight build up heading into the match. Before long, Archer takes control and dominates for a while. He even gets cocky and pulls Eddie’s shoulders off the mat before what looked like a definite three count. It bites him, though, as Butcher & Blade soon drag Jake Roberts out on the stage. This provides enough of a distraction for Bunny to slip some sort of weapon onto King’s hand. Back fist using it and damn, Eddie steals one and I love it !! Decent little match, loved the finish though.

Match rating - **1/2

Pre-taped interview from Jon Moxley saying he is unsure of what will happen in the trios match at Beach Break next week, but he is ready for gang warfare.

Sting & Darby Allin are in an abandoned building. Sting wants to get to know Team Taz a little better since they are gonna be “married” in a street fight at Revolution. Sting says they’ve called he & Darby hoodlums but they aren’t except.. Darby is. Darby agrees and smashes his skateboard into the window and he says Sting is one too. Sting bashes the windows with his bat. 

2) Chris Jericho & MJF vs. The Varsity Blondes (Brian Pillman Jr. & Griff Garrison) 

Friday, January 22, 2021

Ruthless Aggression Era Project: WWE Royal Rumble 2003 Review - January 19th, 2003

WWE: Royal Rumble 2003
January 19th, 2003
Boston, MA

WWE Champion - Kurt Angle (since 12/15/02)
World Heavyweight Champion - Triple H (since 12/15/02)
World Tag Team Champions - William Regal & Lance Storm (since 1/6/03)
WWE Tag Team Champions - Los Guerreros (Eddie & Chavo Guerrero) (since 11/17/02)
WWE Cruserweight Champion - Billy Kidman (since 11/17/02)
WWE Women's Champion - Victoria (since 11/17/02)

Commentary - Michael Cole, Tazz, Jim Ross, & Jerry "The King" Lawler

1) The Big Show (w/ Paul Heyman) vs. Brock Lesnar

Another fun one between these two and it actually got time to develop. The feats of strength by Brock aren't quite as pop-worthy as we've seen it a few times now, but it still rules and he looks like a complete maniac. Brock wins and gets his revenge on Show. 

Match rating - **1/2

Backstage interview with Chris Jericho. He's still talking about how he was screwed out of picking the #1 entry spot in the Rumble, but he's still gonna win the whole thing tonight. 

Nathan Jones hype video, he's coming soon. 

2) William Regal & Lance Storm (c) vs. The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D-Von) - World Tag Team Championship Match

2003 has seen a hot potato game played with the Raw tag titles and it continues here. Crowd is hot for Bubba & D-Von as always and the heat for Regal & Storm is there.. as always. Fun back and forth between these two teams, nothing crazy though. Morley interferes, Regal & Storm try to use their infamous brass knucks only for it to backfire when Bubba gets a hold of them and BAM, Morley is out. D-Von hits Storm with them behind the ref's back and 1..2..3.. wE HAVE NEW TAG CHAMPS. Now.. this is a feel good moment. Bubba & D-Von got humilated by Bischoff the other week, but uhh... let's not pretend Book & Goldust are the real feel good team here and should have never even lost these belts, to be fair.

Match rating - **1/4

3) Torrie Wilson vs. Dawn Marie

Ruthless Aggression Era Project: WWE Smackdown Review - January 16th, 2003

WWE Smackdown 
January 16th, 2003 
East Rutherford, New Jersey

WWE Champion - Kurt Angle (since 12/15/02)
WWE Tag Team Champions - Los Guerreros (Eddie & Chavo Guerrero) (since 11/17/02)
WWE Cruserweight Champion - Billy Kidman (since 11/17/02)

Commentators Michael Cole & Tazz 

Smackdown begins with the news that Al Wilson has.... died. What in the fuck. This is the most bizarre kayfabe death. So yeah. He “died” from a heart attack after they fucked too many times last week in their honeymoon suite and Dawn Marie is in a chair with sad music playing telling us about it and says she will host a.. public... viewing... tonight .. I’m at a loss for words 

TONIGHT: Edge & Chris Benoit vs. Kurt Angle, Shelton Benjamin & Charlie Haas 

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Ruthless Aggression Era Project: WWE Monday Night Raw Review - January 13th, 2003

WWE Monday Night Raw
January 13th, 2003
Mohegan Sun

World Heavyweight Champion - Triple H (since 12/15/02)
World Tag Team Champions - Lance Storm & William Regal (since 1/6/03)
WWE Women's Champion - Victoria (since 11/17/02)
Commentary - Jim Ross & Jerry "The King" Lawler

In the parking garage, Scott Steiner yells at Eric Bischoff and says he wants a match with him tonight and he's not waiting for the Royal Rumble. Bischoff says he has to wait and tonight they will have a.. bench press contest. Steiner is tired of playing games and refuses to promise that it won't end in physicality. 

1) Victoria (c) (w/ Steven Richards) vs. Trish Stratus vs. Jacqueline - Hardcore Rules Match for the Women's Championship

Yikes. First terrible match of 2003 here and I was hoping for the best, but this was a big disjointed mess :( thankfully it doesn't go long and Victoria retains thanks to help from Steven Richards. After the match, Steven & Victoria go on the attack and The Hurricane makes the save.

Match rating - *

Backstage, The Dudley Boys run up on Eric Bischoff & Sean Morley. Morley steps in when they get in Bischoff's face so Bubba & D-Von start beating his ass YESSSS. Wild shit, security detains The Dudley's per Bischoff. Bischoff says they are fired, then re-thinks it when Bubba mentions going to Smackdown so Eric just suspends them without pay.

TONIGHT: Batista vs. Rob Van Dam vs. Chris Jericho vs. Kane in an Over the Top Rope Challenge

2) Test & Maven (w/ Stacy Keibler) vs. D-Lo Brown & Christopher Nowinski 

Ruthless Aggression Era Project: WWE Smackdown Review - January 9th, 2003

WWE Smackdown 
January 9th, 2003
Tucson, Arizona 

WWE Champion - Kurt Angle (since 12/15/02)
WWE Tag Team Champions - Los Guerreros (Eddie & Chavo Guerrero) (since  11/17/02)
WWE Cruserweight Champion - Billy Kidman (since 11/17/02)

Commentators - Michael Cole & Tazz 

TONIGHT: Brock Lesnar vs. A-Train

1) The Big Show (w/ Paul Heyman) vs. Rikishi 

Big Show is on the cover of the.. Raw.. magazine. Not even gonna ask questions because it seems to be a trend of someone from one brand being on the other brands magazine cover which pretty much makes no god damn sense. Anyway. Rikishi gives Show some fight cause yanno he’s big and stuff too. Show mainly dominates though and wins with the chokeslam. 

Match rating - **

Post match, Heyman says by the end of the night, he & Show will teach Lesnar a lesson. 

OMG tonight Haas & Benjamin are in singles action. It’s Haas/Edge and.. Benjamin/Benoit AW HELL YEAH 

2) John Cena (w/ B-2) vs. Chavo Guerrero (w/ Eddie Guerrero) 

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

AEW: Dynamite Review - January 20th, 2021

AEW Dynamite
January 20th, 2021
Jacksonville, FL

Commentators - Excalibur, Jim Ross, & Tony Schiavone

The show kicks off with a birthday celebration for -1 also known as Brodie Lee Jr, the son of the late Brodie Lee. The Dark Order has him a cake and leads the crowd in singing "Happy Birthday" to him. In the midst of this feel good moment, out comes Dr. Luther and Serpentico. Luther says this place is turning into a daycare and asks Brodie Jr if he really thinks he looks stupid. The crowd cheers. Luther says Dark Order are the stupid looking ones and that the Chaos Project doesn't like them or children. Luther says they are gonna ruin his birthday which breaks into a brawl. Jack Evans & Angelico join in to help the Chaos Project which brings out HANGMAN PAGE WITH A HUGE DIVE OFF THE STAGE ONTO EVERYONE. 

1) Hangman Page, John Silver, Alex Reynolds & Colt Cabana vs. Jack Evans, Angelico, Luther, & Serpentico 

Ruthless Aggression Era Project: WWE Raw Review - January 6th, 2003

WWE Monday Night Raw
January 6th, 2003
Phoenix, Arizona

World Heavyweight Champion - Triple H (since 12/15/02)
World Tag Team Champions - Booker T & Goldust (since 12/15/02)
WWE Women's Champion - Victoria (since 11/17/02)
Commentary - Jim Ross & Jerry "The King" Lawler

Pose Down Challenge between Triple H & Scott Steiner... wow that's a lot to unpack 

The Dudley Boys show up to start the show only for Eric Bischoff and Val big dumbass Venis or... SEAN MORLEY rather, to ruin the party. Bischoff says it's the first Raw of 2003 and we are gonna start the new year with a new attitude. They show replays from 12/23 Raw where JR & King overcame the odds and beat Regal & Storm thanks to the Dudley's. I thought he was gonna pick on JR & King again, but he's here to punish Bubba & D-Von with a handicap No Disqualification Match. 

1) The Dudley Boys (Bubba Ray & D-Von Dudley) vs. Batista, Jamal, Rosey, & Rico (w/ Ric Flair) - No Disqualification Match

Ruthless Aggression Era Project: WWE Smackdown Review - January 2nd, 2003

WWE: Smackdown 
January 2nd, 2003
Albuquerque, New Mexico

WWE Champion - Kurt Angle (since 12/15/02)
WWE Tag Team Champions - Los Guerreros (Eddie & Chavo Guerrero) (since 11/17/02)
WWE Cruserweight Champion - Billy Kidman (since 11/17/02)

Commentators Michael Cole & Tazz 

WE MADE IT! 2002 is finished and 2003 begins. Didn’t even think I’d make it this far so I am pretty excited. Trying to be more detailed this year with updated champions list and commentator list for each show. 

TONIGHT: Brock Lesnar returns + Dawn Marie & Al Wilson... get married. I hoped we could leave that in 2002 but I guess I’m not so lucky! 

1) John Cena (w/ B-2) vs. Rikishi 

Random Match Review: Chris Sabin & James Storm vs. Private Party - Impact Wrestling: January 19th, 2021

It’s been quite a while since I’ve done a single match review as a post, but I can’t quite stomach a full episode of Impact, even with the newfound AEW partnership. However, I happened to see on Twitter as I was scrolling that Private Party and Matt Hardy showed up and it peaked my interest. This a #1 Contender’s Match to determine who will challenge Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows for the Impact Wrestling World Tag Team Titles. I was interested what was going to happen following the six man tag at Hard to Kill and I can honestly say I couldn’t have predicted this being the next move. It’s not monumental, but I feel like we will get more out of it in the long run than the Omega/Good Brothers stuff as Private Party is a team that needs this outside experience. It comes at perfect timing too because there’s nothing really going for them in AEW right now so having the opportunity to send them over to another televised company with plenty of seasoned stars is such a great thing. It's almost reminiscent of the days where promoters would send certain wrestlers to certain other territories or overseas to Japan or England to do a tour and get new experience. This, as crazy as it may sound, makes me feel more positive about the AEW/Impact Wrestling relationship than the Omega/Good Brothers stuff, simply for the fact that Omega and his associates are already made stars. So, to me, bringing your big star to a company that is arguably not anywhere near as popular than him doesn't really do much for AEW. BUT doing this? It can do a lot for AEW as Private Party can come back after a few months or however long this tenure is and be more ready to take that next step up as a team and possibly get a chance at being tag team champions. 

That, along with the different ways you can incorporate them jumping ship into a storyline on Dynamite makes this something I'm pretty stoked about. Now comes this match. And to me, it's the perfect example of why this works. Chris Sabin and James Storm are two of the most decorated tag team wrestlers from the mid-2000's who both still have plenty to offer as competitors. Storm, in particular here, really stood out to me. I haven't seen him wrestle nor being excited about him wrestling in quite some time, but he looked awesome and very agile here. As I was saying, though, the knowledge that Private Party can get from working two guys of this caliber in tag team wrestling goes without saying. The match itself is simple, but because of all these reasons, I really enjoyed. Private Party got their stuff in and Sabin & Storm more than kept up with the speedy up & comers in a contest that was pretty competitive. They didn't burn the house down, but it was a super fun match that also probably benefited from two things:

1) the new commentary team of D-Lo Brown & Matt Striker, because god knows Josh Matthews made this show so hard to watch without feeling like a complete dork. Striker isn't THAT much better, but it's still better than what they had before.

2) AEW Owner Tony Khan showing up at ringside with the legend Jerry Lynn, who sported an AEW collared shirt. This added some suspense to the contest - why are they here? Did they know Private Party & Matt Hardy were showing up tonight? Are they going to get involved?

And to answer that question, they did. It looked like Private Party was done for, when all of a sudden, Jerry Lynn jumps the rail and holds the foot of Sabin who was on the top rope, this allows Private Party to hit GIN AND JUICE for the three count and to become the new #1 contenders for the Impact Wrestling Tag Team Titles. 

Post match, the champions, the Good Brothers - Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows come out and we get a decent staredown before it breaks into a sort of weak brawl to close the show involving all three teams. I get what they were going for, but closing the show in the middle of this didn't come across very well.

Match Rating - ***

Monday, January 18, 2021

WWE: NXT UK Review - January 14th, 2021

January 14th, 2021

Commentary - Nigel McGuinness & Andy Shepard

Tonight, WALTER and A-Kid face off for the NXT UK Championship. WALTER is easily the best champion under the WWE banner right now as his reign and this titles entirety has been protected super well with only 3 reigns taking place over the past 3 years or so. A-Kid is the newcomer getting his first title shot, and having seen him in big matches before I know he will deliver and I am very excited. 

1) Joe Coffey vs. Ed Harvey 

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Ruthless Aggression Era Project: WWE Smackdown Review - December 26th, 2002

WWE Smackdown
December 26th, 2002
Tulsa, Oklahoma

Replays air of all the shenanigans last week with Angle joining up with Heyman and Big Show and assaulting Brock Lesnar.
The main event tonight is supposed to be Kurt Angle vs. Big Show for the WWE Title, but Stephanie McMahon comes out to start the show and says it will not be due to an attack Brock Lesnar made on Kurt Angle after Smackdown went off the air last week. Steph says Angle may be out of action until the Royal Rumble. This brings out Big Show who tries to intimidate her into making him the opponent for Angle at Royal Rumble. Instead she makes Show vs. Chris Benoit tonight in a #1 Contender's Match. Show says Benoit can't beat him unless he brings him down to his size which is impossible. Benoit kicks Show in the nuts and walks off laughing.

1) Bill Demott vs. Crash

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

AEW Dynamite: New Year's Smash Night Two Review - January 13th, 2021

AEW: Dynamite
New Year's Smash
January 13th, 2021

Commentators - Excalibur, Tony Schiavone, & Jim Ross

1) Eddie Kingston (The Butcher & The Blade) vs. PAC (w/ Penta El Cero M & Rey Fenix)

It's pretty wild that this kicks off the show. This is a 8-10 minute match, but it bangs. PAC & King go full speed the whole time. Dives, chops, kicks, and head drops. The good shit! PAC wins with a black arrow after a great sprint.

Match rating - ***1/4

Post-match, PAC locks Eddie in a submission after the bell which lures Penta & Fenix in, then comes Butcher & Blade. I'm praying to god we don't get a WWE style impromptu trios match and we don't :) instead Lance Archer comes out and runs Eddie & Butcher & Blade off then gets in PAC's face telling him "you better get on the same page" or something. Are they gonna feud orrrrr?

2) Miro (w/ Kip Sabian & Penelope Ford) vs. Chuck Taylor (w/ Orange Cassidy)

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

2021 Match Rating Archive/MOTY Tracker

You know the drill! Everything ***1/4+  aka stuff that's worth a look is here. From good little matches to the ****1/2+ MOTY contenders. Prior editions can be found here:

2020 Match Rating Archive

2019 Match Rating Archive

2018 Match Rating Archive

2017 Match Rating Archive (very unfinished, still rewatching 2017 stuff) 


Suwama & Shuji Ishikawa (c) vs. Yuma Aoyogi & Kento Miyahara - AJPW: New Year Wars Night One - 1/2/21 - ****1/4

Suwama (c) vs. Yuma Aoyogi - All Japan Triple Crown Title Match - AJPW: New Year Wars Night Two - 1/3/21 - ****1/2

Drew McIntyre (c) vs. Keith Lee - WWE Championship Match - WWE: Raw - 1/4/21 - ***1/4

Zack Sabre Jr & Taichi (c) vs. Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa - IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Title Match - NJPW: Wrestle Kingdom 15 - 1/4/21 - ***1/4

Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Great O' Khan - NJPW: Wrestle Kingdom 15 - 1/4/21 - ***1/2

Kazuchika Okada vs. Will Ospreay - NJPW: Wrestle Kingdom 15 - 1/4/21 - ****1/2

Tetsuya Naito (c) vs. Kota Ibushi - IWGP Heavyweight & IC Title Match - NJPW: Wrestle Kingdom 15 - 1/4/21 - ****1/4

SANADA vs. EVIL - NJPW: Wrestle Kingdom 15 Night Two - 1/5/21 - ***1/2

Shingo Takagi (c) vs. Jeff Cobb - NEVER Openweight Title Match - NJPW: Wrestle Kingdom 15 Night Two - 1/5/21 - ****3/4

Taiji Ishimori (c) vs. Hiromu Takahashi - IWGP Jr Heavyweight Title Match - NJPW: Wrestle Kingdom 15 Night Two - 1/5/21 - ****1/4

Kota Ibushi (c) vs. Jay White - IWGP Heavyweight & IC Title Match - NJPW: Wrestle Kingdom 15 Night Two - 1/5/21 - ****

Wardlow vs. Jake Hager - AEW: Dynamite (New Year's Smash) - 1/6/21 - ***1/2

Kenny Omega (c) vs. Rey Fenix - AEW World Championship Match - AEW: Dynamite (New Year's Smash) - 1/6/21 - ****1/2

Damian Priest vs. Karrion Kross - WWE: NXT New Year's Evil - 1/6/21 - ***1/4

Rhea Ripley vs. Raquel Gonzalez - Last Woman Standing Match - WWE: NXT New Year's Evil - 1/6/21 - ***3/4

Finn Balor (c) vs. Kyle O'Reilly - NXT Championship Match - WWE: NXT New Year's Evil - 1/6/21 - ***1/2

Jordan Devlin (c) vs. Ben Carter - NXT UK Cruserweight Title Match - WWE: NXT UK - 1/7/21 - ***1/2

Monday, January 11, 2021

Ruthless Aggression Era Project: WWE Monday Night Raw Review - December 23rd, 2002


December 23rd, 2002

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 

TONIGHT: Jericho/Christian vs. Book/Goldust for the tag titles plus a "Santa’s Little Helpers" Divas Match 

1) Rob Van Dam & Kane vs. Jamal & Rosey (w/ Rico)

“He got his chestnuts roasted over the open fire years ago...” -Jerry Lawler on Kane 

Ruthless Aggression Era Project: WWE Smackdown Review - December 19th, 2002

WWE Smackdown
December 19th, 2002
Tampa, Florida 

Replays of Angle winning the World Title from Big Show at Armageddon. 

The new WWE Champion Kurt Angle opens the show. He immediately calls Brock Lesnar to the 
ring to thank him for the help at Armageddon in fending off Heyman. Angle then offers Brock the dream match everyone wants to see - Angle vs Lesnar for the WWE Title!!! It’s cool seeing how this feud series started having only seen their individual big matches. Angle says he can have his title shot next week because tonight he has a scheduled match against Chris Benoit. 

Big Show threatens Paul Heyman to fix what happened at Armageddon and literally his him by the face pushed up against the lockers. Damn I bet Paul is regretting ever aligning with Big Show. It made zero sense on any front anyway. 

1) Eddie Guerrero (w/ Chavo Guerrero) vs. Billy Kidman 

Ruthless Aggression Era Project: WWE Monday Night Raw Review - December 16th, 2002

WWE Monday Night Raw 

December 16th, 2002

Orlando, FL

Commentary - Jim Ross & Jerry Lawler

1) Victoria & Steven Richards vs. Trish Stratus & Test (w/ Stacy Keibler) 

Sunday, January 10, 2021

WWE: 205 Live Review - January 8th, 2021

WWE: 205 Live
January 8th, 2021

Commentary - Nigel McGuinness & Vic Joseph

1) Ashante Adonis vs. Ariya Davari

Simple little match here. Davari is the veteran heel. He works the leg of Adonis and Adonis sells it well all match. Davari gets a good false finish out of a figure four, but Adonis reverses it and ends up hitting his super kick style finisher "long kiss goodnight" for the win.

Match rating - **1/4

William Regal appears onscreen to announce that 205 Live is included in the NXT Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Tournament and matches start next week!

2) Curt Stallion & August Grey vs. The Bollywood Boys 

Decent little match to get both teams more established heading into the tag team tourney. Stallion & Grey looked great together and hit some wild stuff near the end of this match, I'm excited to see what they do in the tournament. And subsequently, they get the victory here!

Match rating - **1/2

WWE: 205 Live Review - January 1st, 2021

WWE: 205 Live
January 1st, 2021

Commentators - Nigel McGuinness & Vic Joseph

WHOA, hello! Here's my every 4 months or so 205 Live Review. It all began just because the six man tag main event peaked my interest so let's just review the whole thing it's only two friggin matches. 

Mansoor competes to open the show, but first! Cameras followed him back to Saudia Arabia on his trip home for the holidays. 

1) Jake Atlas vs. Mansoor

I love Jake Atlas. This was a super well worked match. Atlas targeted the neck of Mansoor and Mansoor targeted the leg/knee of Atlas. They kept focus on both of those things all match and kept me into it from bell to bell so I'd say that's a win. Atlas hits a big brainbuster for a two count and goes to the second rope only to eat a dragon screw from Mansoor followed by a pinning combo with the leg wrapped up for the three count. 

Match rating - **3/4

2) Curt Stallion & Ever-rise vs. Ariya Davari & The Bollywood Boys

This was a fuckin hoot! I just saw a six man tag and figured it'd be worth a look and it sure was. Everrise is the former 3.0, a Canadian team that I used to watch on the Indies years ago so seeing them again was a blast, as was this match as a whole. These guys showed they deserve some opportunities on NXT for sure. With Everrise and The Bollywood Boys being in the upcoming Dusty Cup, it also built some excitement for that. Stallion & Everrise win a super fun trios contest. Nothing to write home about, but for something on this show to actually feel like it has some life to it is a feat in itself.

Match rating - ***

Friday, January 8, 2021

WWE: NXT UK Review - January 7th, 2020

January 7th, 2021 

Commentators - Nigel McGuinness & Andy Shepherd 

1) Piper Niven vs. Jinni - #1 Contenders Match 

The winner of this gets a shot at Kay Lee Ray’s NXT UK Women’s Championship. Niven is the fan favorite and Jinni is the heel. They do a good job of establishing that even to a relatively new viewer. This honestly was a pretty good little match. Joseph Connors comes out and helps Jinni score the cheap victory. Poor Piper :( 

Match rating - **1/4 

Aoife Valkyrie video package airs 

Video package for Tyler Bate. He talks about dealing with his loss in the Heritage Cup and what he’s learned. Grad well is seen watching the video and isn’t impressed, they will face off next week. 

They do this sit down interview segment to introduce Ben Carter to the roster. Apparently it’s called SUPERNOVA SESSIONS and Noam Dar is the host. Dear lord. I’m new to watching actual whole episodes of NXT UK so don’t hate. Ben Carter sent shockwaves through wrestling with his appearance and match on AEW Dark and before AEW could even jump to sign him, WWE struck first and brought Ben to NXT UK. Here, Dar pronounces his name wrong and does a bunch of jokey shit. Carter says he’s here to face the best the wrestling world has to offer. Cruserweight champion Jordan Devlin shows up and Ben Carter somehow gets himself into a title match TONIGHT! Let’s go!!

2) Dave Mastiff vs. Saxon Huxley 

NJPW: New Year’s Dash 2021 Review - January 6th, 2021

NJPW: New Years Dash 
January 6th, 2021
Tokyo City Hall 

Time to see what’s next for New Japan in 2021! 

1) Yuji Nagata vs. Gabriel Kidd

Thursday, January 7, 2021

WWE: NXT New Years Evil Review - January 6th, 2021

NXT New Year’s Evil 
January 6th, 2021 

Dexter Lumis opens the show in an empty dark arena. He finds the power and cuts it on and the arena lights up and we get into our opening music and introduction stuff. He's the host for tonight.

1) Damian Priest vs. Karrion Kross (w/ Scarlett) 

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

AEW Dynamite - New Years Smash Night One Review - January 6th, 2021

AEW Dynamite
New Years Smash Night One
January 6th, 2021 

Commentators - Excalibur, Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, & Chris Jericho 

1) The Young Bucks, Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian vs. Jack Evans, Angelico, & The Acclaimed

Perrrrrfect way to kick off 2021 and this show. The Acclaimed does a rap and it’s actually funny, The Bucks are riled up and so is the crowd. The action here almost never slows down and it shouldn’t have. Just super fast paced stuff with a crazy spot or two down the stretch. Daniels ends up with a slightly scraped/bloody nose, but he, Kazarian & The Bucks come out on top. 

Match rating - ***

Post match, Daniels & Kazarian confirm the rumors that if they lose another tag match they will stop teaming together, however, they want The Bucks one on one so they can not only become champs, but also beat the best tag team in the world. Bucks & SCU shake hands so I guess that’s happening sometime soon down the line? I’m up for it! Bucks/Daniels & Kazarian is always a good match and with these high stakes? I think they’ll deliver something great.

UP NEXT: Jon Moxley returns! 

Awesome Moxley promo aaaaaas usual. It is very weird seeing him without the World Title. He says he isn’t gonna bitch & moan and he isn’t gonna attack Kenny tonight because he has a championship match with Fenix, someone who has been fighting for this chance for over a decade. He says he will get even with Kenny and then some, and Kenny will realize he screwed over the wrong guy.

Backstage it’s CHUCK AND ORANGE. Trent is out for 4-5 months with a torn pec :( Miro interrupts and offers for Chuck to be his young boy basically. Chuck responds with a counter offer of “How about I beat your big goofy ass in the center of the ring next week?” And I DIEEEEEDD LMAO. So that match is set for next week and I’m stoked.  

2) Wardlow vs. Jake Hager 

Our Lord and Savior Wardlow has done it again. He pulled a banger out of Jake Hager in a match that has been somewhat anticipated since MJF & Wardlow joined Inner Circle and Wardlow & Hager kept staring at each other. Wardlow showed here yet again that he has potential to be a successful singles star with his power and agility setting this match apart from being a plodding big man match. Just great shit. And he hit Hager with the F-10 for a clean pin????? Nuts!

Match rating - ***1/4

Private Party is backstage and Snoop Dogg walks up. Matt Hardy joins and presents them with their contracts to I guess be managed or whatever by him. 

TNT Title Match Weigh In

Team Taz looks sick as always. Ricky Starks is such a legend. Darby is out next. Taz makes a big deal about Cage having to weigh in first. Cage weighs in at 270 and Darby at 170. A 100 pound difference. Darby gets the mic and cuts a rare promo in ring. He says this match has been building 27 years because he’s been dealing with shit from people like them all his life. Darby says we all know how this ends so let’s get to the fun part and gets his skateboard ready for an assault. Before the numbers can take control, lights go out and Sting shows up. Sting saves Darby once again. As they all stand in the snow and Team Taz flees to the stage. Taz drives the build for next week home in saying he’s tired of Sting and he’s tired of Darby and next week, Cage is taking the TNT title from him “you rotten son of a bitch.” Darby feels so.... larger than life right now. Sting by his side also helps big time. I’m just ready to see what this relationship is and maybe see something from Sting besides these walk out appearances he’s been doing each week. 

Replays of Dark last night, where Marko and Brodie Lee Jr. had a confrontation. Jurassic Express is up for an interview and FTR interrupts to make fun of them and Stunt in particular. This leads to FTR vs. Marko/Jungle Boy being made for next week!

3) Cody Rhodes (w/ Snoop Dogg) vs. Matt Sydal 

Happy to see Matt getting a big TV match here against Cody. It isn’t bad once they shook the cobwebs out in the early going. Sydal hit a nice shooting star press and Cody had to hit two cross rhodes to put him away. 

Match rating - **1/2

Post match, Luther & Serpentico attack Cody and Sydal. I guess cause Cody threw Sydal onto them at ringside during the match. They fight back and set Serpentico up for a shooting star, but Snoop Dogg stops them and HITS A SPLASH OFF THE TOP ROPE DEAR LORD LMAO. 

4) Hikaru Shida (c) vs. Abadon - AEW Women’s World Title Match 

This was so weird and sorta bad. Abadon is a character I’ve been neutral on, but them doing a bit where she crawls under the ring and bites Shida’s neck... man. This didn’t feel like some AEW shit at all. I’m disappointed because if you discount that, the match wasn’t too bad, still though, there could be so much more done with the women’s division than this. Shida retains. 

Match rating - **

Next week, Tay Conti challenges Serena Deeb for the NWA Women’s Title. Conti cuts a promo with Anna Jay, John Silver, & Alex Reynolds and says they will be at ringside with her. 
Also next week: Chuck Taylor faces Miro, PAC faces Eddie Kingston (!!!!!), and The Inner Circle announces their New Year Resolutions. 

5) Kenny Omega (c) vs. Rey Fenix - AEW World Championship Match 

Omega and Fenix really had to go out and set the bar insanely fucking high for 2021 didn’t they? What a fucking match. This is my favorite match of the year so far even if I rated two matches from Wrestle Kingdom slightly higher. Fenix should be at the top of the card all the time and Omega did what he does best and delivered another epic match. Just crazy and brutal from bell to bell. Omega retains with a one winged angel after 20 minutes of insanity. 

Match rating - ****1/2 

After the match, we get yet another moment that I doubt can be topped this year as Omega & Callis show Fenix that Eddie Kingston & Butcher & Blade are assaulting PAC & Penta backstage. Omega says he’s gonna end Fenix’s career when JON MOXLEY HITS THE RING WITH A BARBED WIRE BAT. He nails Omega BUT HERE COME KARL ANDERSON AMD LUKE GALLOWS. THE IMPACT WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS IN AEW. WhATTTYS. They destroy Moxley. The roster tries to fight back and jump the rails but they fight them all off in badass fashion aND GALLOWS POWERBOMBS A MOTHERFUCKER THROUGH A TABLE! This is insanity. And if it isn’t great enough... here comes The Young Bucks. They try to calm down Anderson, Gallows & Omega until Pillman Jr and someone else from ringside grab Omega and SUPERKICKKKKLKK FUCKKKKKK. Omega, Anderson, & Gallows too sweet each other and wait and THE BUCKS JOIN IN. WHAT A MOMENT TO CLOSE THIS SHOW HOLY HELLLL. 

So much to unpack here. So many people involved. AEW NAILED their first show of the year and there is so many different ways they could go from here, I can't wait to see how it all unfolds!

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Ruthless Aggression Era Project: WWE Armageddon 2002 Review - December 15th, 2002

WWE: Armageddon 2002 
December 15th, 2002
Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Awesome opening video package

1) Chris Jericho & Christian (c) vs. Booker T & Goldust vs. The Dudleys vs. William Regal & Lance Storm - World Tag Team Championship Match 

Ruthless Aggression Era Project: WWE Smackdown Review - December 12th, 2002

WWE Smackdown
December 12th, 2002
Atlanta, GA
Replays of last week’s Torrie Wilson and Dawn Marie thing open the show. Dawn is basically trying to seduce Torrie into sleeping with her and she won’t marry her father if she does.. “Your father isn’t the only Wilson I’m interested in...” 

TONIGHT: Edge & Kurt Angle vs. Big Show & Albert + Scott Steiner signs with Smackdown 

1) Rikishi vs. B-2 (w/ John Cena) 

Ruthless Aggression Era Project: WWE Monday Night Raw Review - December 9th, 2002

December 9th, 2002
University of Tennessee 

General Manger Eric Bischoff & Chief Sean Morley are in the ring to start the show. They announce that Shawn & Triple H's World Heavyweight Title Match at Armageddon will now be a 2/3 Falls Match with the first match being a street fight, the second match being a steel cage match, and if neccessary, the third match will be a ladder match! Shawn & Hunter watch on from the titan tron as this announcement is made.

1) Booker T & Goldust vs. William Regal & Lance Storm

NJPW: Wrestle Kingdom 15 Night Two Review - January 5th, 2021

NJPW: Wrestle Kingdom 15 Night Two 
January 5th, 2021 
Tokyo Dome - Tokyo, Japan

After last night, we saw Ibushi achieve greatness, but can he remain there? Less than 24 hours after winning the big one and becoming double champion, he faces a man who earned this opportunity by beating him - Jay White. 

1) Toru Yano vs. BUSHI vs. Bad Luck Fale vs. Chase Owens - KOPW 2021 Match 

Well this is a thing. It happens and critique aside it’s harmless. Fale & Owens argue over who’s gonna get the fall on BUSHI and Yano capitalize to retain.. or regain his trophy??? However that works. 

Match rating - **

2) El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru (c) vs. Ryusuke Taguchi & Master Wato - IWGP Jr Heavyweight Tag Team Title Match 

DESPYYYYYYY. He is reunited with Kanemaru here after he was out with injury and missed BOSJ. They looked good here. Taguchi & Wato as a team is whatever, but they held up their end here and this was a fun little match. Desperado & Kanemaru retain. 

Match rating - **3/4

3) Shingo Takagi (c) vs. Jeff Cobb - NEVER Openweight Championship Match 

This was insane. I was left disappointed by the G1 Climax meeting between these two. It was good however I knew there was more in them and holy hell they laid it all out here and then some. Cobb seemed a lot more motivated, everything he did felt more motivated than anything he’s done in NJPW besides the second half of his G1 run which was also great. This is his best NJPW match undoubtedly and possibly the best match in his career. Just two big boys beating the everloving hell out of each other. We even got some verbal exchanges from Cobb which we don’t get normally as he yelled “COME ON SHINGO” as they were trading blows. Cobb gets his nose busted open near the end which just adds to the drama. Shingo puts him away with Last of the Dragon after one hell of a battle. Wow. Good luck to everyone following this! 

Match rating - ****3/4 

4) EVIL (w/ Dick Togo) vs. SANADA 

I dreaded this match, but they really pulled off a great contest all things considered. There wasn’t any lagging and although it went longer than I hoped or expected, the time flew by and they made the most of the time they had. The Dick Togo stuff didn’t overstay it’s welcome and the table bump was fun. Several awesome near falls and such, in the end, SANADA gets a big win over his former stablemate. 

Match rating - ***1/2

5) Taiji Ishimori (c) vs. Hiromu Takahashi - IWGP Jr Heavyweight Title Match 

These two just can’t have a bad match. The stakes here are much higher than their BOSJ match so you know they had to turn it up. Not only is the title on the line, but it’s also the first time the Junior title has semi-main evented WK. Hiromu is coming off a disappointed match against El Phantasmo but let’s forget about that because this match fucking ruled. They made this feel special and really tore into each other. Ishimori targeted the arm and shoulder in route to his various submission locks that he likes to use. By the end of it, they are tearing into each other with stiff elbow shots and strikes that really look like they are flattening Hiromu at one point. Takahashi, however, overcomes and for the second year in a row becomes the IWGP Jr Heavyweight Champion at Wrestle Kingdom. 

Match rating - ****1/4

6) Kota Ibushi (c) vs. Jay White - IWGP Heavyweight/IC Title Match 

Alright it’s time. Night two main event. The go home show. The big one. THE main event. The story is perfect. Ibushi fell short last year. White fell short last year. Ibushi recooped and won the G1. White coaxed Ibushi into a match with the title shot briefcase on the line and won. Taking away the spark of Ibushi’s history making G1 victory. Naito still wanted Ibushi on Night One. Ibushi beats Naito and becomes double champion despite the odds. Now, he meets the man who tried to take it all away from him. The biggest heel in the company, Jay White. So with all that said, this has the makings of a classic. A five star contest, but for me, it fell short. The story was there, the action was there at points, but 48 minutes? It felt like there was no need for this to go almost an hour and I think they only did it to set a record which was previously held by Okada/Omega and MAYBE that’ll be used in an Omega/Ibushi feud down the line and if so hell yes, but the fact remains it dragged and felt unnecessary for me. I liked a lot of what they did here however pushing Jay White into an Okada style epic? That isn’t how I feel like Jay White can perform best. It’s not even Ibushi’s forte but he can manage. So yeah, I watched this around 6am this morning. Literally woke up and thought I wonder if WK is still on, as I normally watch these shows the day after. Turned it on and caught the final 20-25 minutes. And that? That was great. When I heard the call that the match had been going 35-40 minutes I was like wOW. This is either an all time classic, or a match that coulda been shaved down to 30. It was the latter as I found myself bored in the early going in my full rewatch. The idea was good, but drawn out. That’s not to say this is a BAD match though. Because it isn’t. I squealed in my bed at the near falls watching the final 20 live. These two can go and they did and I was on the edge of my seat. I just feel like they could’ve accomplished the same thing in different fashion and far less time. I was so ecstatic when Ibushi won, it was the perfect feel good moment to end this set of shows. I just can’t help but feel this fell short in comparison to all the amazing WK main events in recent years.  

Match rating - ****

Post match, SANADA comes down and it looks like that’s the next program for the belt. I wish I could say I was excited for that. 

After the event, some headlines began to circulate about Jay White’s post show comments. White cut an AMAZING promo hinting toward a face turn and says “maybe I’d be better off somewhere else” which followed with headlines of New Year Dash being his last NJPW event... is White leaving the company? Is he just taking a break? What the hell does this mean?!? I don’t know, but he KILLED this post match promo and has me insanely excited for what’s next. The idea of him as a baby face coming off this promo.. MAN. I guess only time will tell.

Monday, January 4, 2021

NJPW: Wrestle Kingdom 15 Night One Review - January 4th, 2021

NJPW: Wrestle Kingdom 15 
Night One
January 4th, 2021
Tokyo, Japan - Tokyo Dome 

It’s that time of year y’all!!! And yes I know I haven’t done my 2020 year end stuff yet but it will be up in the next few days I promise! 

For now though, it’s WRESTLE KINGDOM TIME. First big wrestling show of 2021 and it’s two nights of loaded cards so let’s dive into it. 

Kevin Kelly immediately dedicates this broadcast to Brodie Lee :’( 

1) El Phantasmo (Bullet Club) vs. Hiromu Takahashi (LIJ) - Winner Faces Taiji Ishimori for the IWGP Jr Heavyweight Title On Night Two 

I’m half and half on Elp and as a SPOILER, Hiromu was my NJPW Wrestler of the Year for 2020 so let’s see how this goes. It’s BOSJ winner vs Super J Cup winner. Elp throws around the jacket he was awarded for winning the J Cup during his entrance and oof. I can’t think of a better kick off to the opener than Takahashi flying drop kicking Phantasmo through the railing as he tried to taunt Jushin Liger with the jacket he won in the J Cup saying “where’s Liger?” This triggers a hot start that sees Phantasmo hit Hiromu’s apron flapjack powerbomb on Hiromu himself and WOW. First gasp of the night there. So yeah hot start, but man it just never seemed to flow or click after that. They hit a lot of big stuff, but it felt like just that.. a bunch of big stuff. Only the moves/nearfalls in the last minute or two felt big or believable. Elp did call backs to former Bullet Club leaders nailing Hiromu with a Styles Clash and also going for a one winged angel. Hiromu kicked out of the clash and reversed the one winged angel and ends up with the victory moments later. There was some good moves/exchanges here, but as a whole it was super disjointed. Still a pretty fun time though. 

Match rating - **3/4

2) Dangerous Tekkers (Zack Sabre Jr. & Taichi) (w/ DOUKI) (Suzuki-gun) (c) vs. Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa) (Bullet Club) - IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Title Match 

AYYYYEEE DOUKI IS HERE!! GOD won the World Tag League which led them to this title opportunity. It’s heel v heel so it’s interesting to watch this play out. Both teams bring their A game and this turn out to a pretty good little tag match. They do a cool spot where the Tekkers do something outside of their normal repertoire and Zack yells “It’s the fucking Tokyo dome!” As he motivates Taichi to help him through the move, a powerbomb / suplex off the top rope that saw Zack sacrifice himself for the sake of the gold. It all proved to not be enough though as in the end, GoD wins their 7th tag team title using the iron glove as a weapon to get the cheap victory. 

Match rating - ***1/4


3) KENTA (c) vs. Satoshi Kojima - IWGP US Title Opportunity Briefcase Match 

Kojima is a last minute replacement for Juice Robinson. When Juice when out with injury, the veteran issued the challenge to KENTA and here we are. This really felt like a NOAH style match. KENTA played coward as always recently. He shoves Kojima into Tenzan at ringside at one point early. Kojima fights back and hits a damn DDT on KENTA on the ring apron for a short lived advantage. They got really stiff for a little while here and it was awesome. KENTA puts Kojima away with the Go to Sleep after a solid match. Jon Moxley is FINALLY next. KENTA has defended his briefcase over and over and now he finally seemingly is going to get his championship match. 

Match rating - ***

4) Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Great O Khan 

Alright this one caught me off guard. I wasn’t the least bit interested in this aside from it being a Tanahashi match, but GOK really had a great first big singles performance here. That is, if we forget the disappointing Okada match. None the less, yeah, this was real fun and both men looked great. The story of Tana fighting from underneath worked well and his comeback ruled. Tana wins with a high fly flow on the back then a normal version. 

Match rating - ***1/2

5) Kazuchika Okada vs. Will Ospreay (w/ Bea Priestly)

Well god damn. I truly did not expect this to rule so hard. This was prime Okada and subsequently it was also prime Ospreay.. but mostly Okada because when he’s on, he’s better than anyone on this planet. Every little thing he does feels big and he sold the disgust of the betrayal super well in this match. This felt like some WWF shit for a minute as we got a fucking table bump with Ospreay hitting a falcon arrow on Okada through the announce table. There were a lot more spots like that than you might expect here, but it undoubtedly added to the excitement and made for a few gasp worthy moments. This went 35 minutes or so, but it really didn’t feel like it. There were times were I thought the end would be near and it wouldn’t be and I’d wonder are they stretching this too far? Then they’d do something that proved it was worth it to continue. Ospreay busting out a tombstone, rainmaker and rainmaker pose of his own was an epic moment late in the match. Okada finally destroying Ospreay after being slapped in the face was the ultimate pinnacle to this rivalry. Okada is still the fucking man and he gets the W. This was very stiff and told an awesome story. Just top notch stuff. I loved it. 

Match rating - ****3/4

6) Tetsuya Naito (c) vs. Kota Ibushi - IWGP Heavyweight & Intercontinental Championship Match 

As an Ibushi fan for a little over 10 years, this match is the culmination of a decade of hard work. Ibushi has never been able to win the big one. He had his biggest chance of all stolen from him by Kenny Omega in 2015 before they reunited in 2017 which led to Ibushi accompanying his best friend as he achieved his dream of winning the IWGP Heavyweight Title. A bitter sweet moment for the Golden Star. Ever since that moment Ibushi has worked his way back into having this chance. He won the G1 in 2019 only to fall short against Okada at Wrestle Kingdom 14. He fought back all over again in 2020 with the mission of “becoming god” and clawed his way back to another G1 Climax victory which led us here. Ibushi & Naito have had a number of matches, mainly known as bombfests due to the insane amount of neck bumps they throw at one another. This had spurts of that was laid out more traditionally and not just as a spotfest. For that reason, it was a little less.. I don’t know, thrilling as prior bouts between the two despite the story being stronger than ever. So, yeah, that’s a good analysis on how this went. They wrestled a great spotfest that was pretty well spaced, but it didn’t exceed into epic level or even the level of Okada/Ospreay. Still- seeing Ibushi finally get this moment was amazing and something that is so well deserved I can’t help but be glowing with excitement. The finish was super strong and felt like Ibushi scrambling and fighting so hard as he felt this big victory at the grasp of his fingertips. 

Match rating - ****1/4 

Overall, this was a very good first night of Wrestle Kingdom. Okada/Ospreay is match of the night & a match of the year contender and Ibushi besting Naito is a moment that fans will cherish forever. I'm excited at the prospect of what Ibushi/White may bring tonight though. Night Two is hours away as of this writing and I am anticipating something special with Ibushi, the beloved babyface coming off the biggest win of his career and White, the despicable, sly, cocky heel looking to ruin his fun time like he knows he can due to the fact that he beat him to even get this shot in the first place.

Sunday, January 3, 2021

NJPW: Best of the Super Juniors/World Tag League 2020 Finals - December 11th, 2020

NJPW: BOSJ/WTL 2020 Finals
December 11th, 2020

1) Taiji Ishimori, Bad Luck Fale & Chase Owens vs. SHO, Robbie Eagles & Toru Yano 

It’s Bullet Club vs. CHAOS here in this opener and it’s more fun than any Fale/Owens match from WTL. Honestly surprised me how enjoyable this was. Very action packed and compact with BC getting a dominant win and bullying Yano post match for trying to slam Fale. They break his KOPW trophy and his go pro :( 

Match rating - **3/4 

2) Will Ospreay, Jeff Cobb, & Great O’ Khan (w/ Bea Priestley) vs. Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi, & Toa Henare 

It’s the first time seeing the Empire all together in the same match. Okada calls out Ospreay to start and surprisingly gets him and we get a preview of January 4th to start which is cool. Since this the Empire’s first trios match it’s important they get an impressive showing and they definitely did. Henare looked like he may have Cobb beat, but he doesn’t and gets put away with Tour of the Islands. Another fun match that helped further build towards Wrestle Kingdom with GOK taking a chair to the leg of Tanahashi after an OsCutter from Ospreay. So not only are we getting Okada/Ospreay, but boy does it look like GOK/Tana is likely now too. 

Match rating - **1/2

3) EVIL & Yujiro Takahashi vs. Shingo Takagi & SANADA

Togo chokes out SANADA early and Shingo is in a 2 on 1 situation. This makes for an insane comeback from SANADA as he shows an urgency and intensity I’ve NEVER seen from him as he attacks EVIL and throws stiff blows to his former partners face. Meanwhile, this allows Shingo to destroy Yujiro for the win. Very short match, more about the brawl between SANADA and EVIL which carried on after the match and into the back.

Match rating - **1/4

Shingo is left alone in the ring and Jeff Cobb shows up. He takes the NEVER belt. Shingo tries to take it back and gets pulled into tour of the islands! Awesome spot. Cobb wants Shingo’s NEVER title as he poses over him with it after this assault. 

4) Kota Ibushi & Master Wato vs. Tetsuya Naito & BUSHI 

Wow, what a huge match for Wato to be in. And wow we are getting to see Naito & Ibushi link it up before WK. They are really pushing how dangerous those two are in the ring together by having a doctor at ringside even for this match and that scares me for what they will do at Wrestle Kingdom. This was the best of the opening matches on this show. Wato gets worn down by LIJ, Ibushi gets the hot tag and there’s an awesome finishing run. Wato does a corkscrew plancha onto Naito whilst Ibushi hits BUSHI with kamigoye for the win.

Match rating - ***

5) Guerillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa) vs. FinJuice (David Finlay & Juice Robinson) - World Tag League Tournament Finals

FinJuice are looking for their second tournament victory in a row. GoD has kinda been the story of the tournament, as expected, as they are trying to get the one thing that has always alluded them - the World Tag League Tournament victory/trophy. The match is about what you'd expect. They deliver some good action and there's some interference. Jado is thrown out early, but returns which allows for fellow Bullet Club member KENTA to SMACK Juice with the IWGP US Title briefcase which leads to the GoD victory & also busts Juice open OOF. That was nasty. GoD gets the victory they have been preaching about for a while. Fun stuff. 

Match rating - ***1/2

6) Hiromu Takahashi vs. El Desperado - Best of the Super Juniors 27 Tournament Finals 

If you would’ve told me this would be the finals match a few month ago, I’d probably be underwhelmed. As someone who has watched NJPW moderately for a couple years, I admit Desperado is not someone who ever caught my eye. I watched mostly all big events then just the standout matches, so I never saw much of him except a couple of Junior tag matches or some random BOSJ stuff from prior years. I really regret that because in this tournament that some people have called less star studded without the additions of many outside talent and the loss of Shingo & Ospreay to the heavyweight division, I feel a number of people who have been around a while got a chance to break out. And El Desperado is undoubtedly the one that not only broke out, but completely solidified himself as a top singles star in the Junior division. Great matches across the board and the history I’ve learned he has with Hiromu & DOUKI.. it’s just all so fucking good. And then we get here and holy shit almighty. This match is one of the best NJPW matches of the entire year and possibly my favorite one. As said before, Hiromu & Desperado have a steep history together as young lions. One I highly recommend looking into because it’s what makes this match so special. Hiromu has been a star for a while, Desperado has been on the back burner and he’s sick of it and will do anything to show Hiromu up on the biggest stage of all. These two throw absolute bombs and give each other everything they’ve got. The moment that turned this into an epic though was Hiromu ripping part of Despy’s mask off and Despy stands up and rips the rest of it off himself and they ABSOLUTELY TEAR INTO EACH OTHER. FUCK. These two went to war. Despy gets the Death Valley driver into the corner that has the turnbuckles exposed and it bruises and cuts his back/shoulder open. He’s bleeding in his front teeth. He fought like hell and refused to give up even after a timebomb. It takes two to put him away after the best match of his career and the best match of this tournament. Hiromu wins his second BOSJ. Epic match. Wow. 

Match rating - ****3/4