Saturday, March 27, 2021

Random Match Review: Bandido vs. Flamita vs. Rey Horus - ROH: 19th Anniversary Show - March 26th, 2021

Bandido vs. Flamita vs. Rey Horus - ROH: 19th Anniversary Show - 3/26/21

Hello all, I am continually losing the energy & time to watch and review full shows hence the more occurrences of these random match review columns. Last night, I was laying in bed and Mike told me this was happening and despite having little interest in ROH right now, this on paper was undoubtedly worth tuning in for. So, I turned it on and boy, am I glad I did.

Despite being a less talked about scale, all three of these men haven't missed a beat as they showed the fuck OUT here. Apparently, they lost a trios title match earlier in the night and that led us to this three way later in the same night which sounds like some WWE shit except they actually got time to work this and proceeded to have an amazing, must see spot fest.

There isn't really many words that can do a match like this justice nor is it really worth trying to dissect. I will say, though, what made it special is the amount of shit they did that I've never seen before. A crossbody into a poisonrana? Yeah, think on that one and try to figure it out without watching.

Just go watch this match and thank me later. This fucking ruled and I'm going four on it. Bandido wins and should be the next ROH World Champion.

Match rating - ****

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

AEW: Dynamite Review - March 24th, 2021

AEW Dynamite
March 24th, 2021 
Daily’s Place - Jacksonville, FL 

Commentary - Excalibur, Jim Ross & Tony Schiavone

1) Kenny Omega vs. Matt Sydal (w/ Mike Sydal)

This stemmed from Dark where Tony Khan made appearance to make this match since Kenny kept interfering in Sydal matches. If Sydal wins this, he gets an AEW World Title match. These two had a good match at PWG’s Battle of Los Angeles back in 2014 and this was about on the same level, just a little more compact. Solid TV work with some great spots and exchanges down the stretch. Honestly a little more than I expected from it with some spots we haven’t seen the two do in prior meetings so yeah. Sydal fights from underneath even through the closing stretch and the struggle is enjoyable. Good pop for some of the reversals but in the end, Omega wins with one winged angel. The layout of this match was excellent and the execution was perfect. Missed the first minute or two of this so I may go back and re-watch later.

Match rating - ***1/2

Later tonight, John Silver challenges Darby Allin for the TNT Title.

With that in mind, Dark Order is backstage preparing and they make a comedic skit out of dodging each other doing the coffin drop. Hangman Page walks up and wishes him luck. He’s in competition himself, next. 

2) Hangman Adam Page vs. Cezar Bononi 

Sunday, March 21, 2021

New Japan Cup 2021 Finals Review: Shingo Takagi vs. Will Ospreay - March 21st, 2021


This is the New Japan Cup finals, I was hoping for. Not necessarily this particular match, but one that didn't involve EVIL or SANADA. However, it being these two who had an all timer in the 2019 BOSJ tournament final certainly is a valid dream scenario and once the entrances began, I realized how perfect of a final this actually is.

These two redefined what it means to be a junior in 2019, then upped their game and joined the heavyweight division. Their BOSJ 2019 final was subsequently held as a five star classic pretty much across the board. This led to a lot of hype to their re-match in the G1 Climax last year. Now, admittedly, I was watching a ton (probably too much) wrestling at the time, so maybe I was burned out, but to me, it wasn't quite the follow up I hoped for. Sure, I went ****1/4 on it because it was still an awesome contest, but I think my brain was hoping for another close to ***** match like their Best of the Super Juniors final. So, that probably played a factor too. With my slight disappointment in their G1 match, despite it still being great (I hate rating something 4+ then complaining), I wasn't SUUUUPER wound up about this. Plus, it's hard for me to enjoy a lot of what Ospreay does these days.

Once the entrances came and the staredown began, though, this felt special. It felt like the perfect next chapter in the rivalry between these two. From a junior tournament final to an openweight/more heavyweight tournament final. It felt like natural progression for both men's careers and another chance to prove themselves, and boy did they ever.

Despite me not enjoying a lot of modern day Ospreay, his match with Zack Sabre Jr. earlier in this tournament did hit the mark for me. A nasty bloody, broken nose added to a naturally great match thanks to their history and chemistry. I went ****1/4 on the battle, Big Dave went even higher going the full five for it. So, check that match out when you get the chance. None the less, that gave this match and Ospreay's final two matches in the tournament a little bit more urgency because we physically saw the damage he's taken. Not only from the injury, but also the high quality contests he had along the way.

You can say the same for Shingo too, who not only had a fantastic string of matches in this tournament, but his entire year has been nuts with two MOTY contenders against Jeff Cobb and Hiroshi Tanahashi in January and February respectively, and now, this, an insane run to the finals of the New Japan Cup. This has taken a toll on the Dragon who entered this match a taped up and injured back, almost a sure target for the villanious Ospreay. 

I just wrote four paragraphs only on the backstory of this one, so if you needed any other reason to check out this match before I even dive into the contest itself - there it is. I mention all this backstory because it was all touched on and conveyed throughout this match and in perfect fashion.

The first 10-20 minutes of a New Japan match can make it or break it for me. They tend to have a formula that can become excessive. That formula being every main event/title match/tournament final having to go 30+ minutes. This can make some of these matches feel like a snooze fest until the final 10 minute or so stretch. That was not the case here.

The first few minutes see a fast paced flurry of big move attempts and some flippy exchanges, showcasing each man's familiarity with the other. They've been here before. They were junior heavyweight rivals and standard bearers. They can't just go for spots. They are too smart for that, so onward they moved.

Shingo targets the previously broken nose of Ospreay and Ospreay targets the worn out body and taped up back of the MOTY candidate machine Shingo Takagi. 

The next 15 minutes sees these two take it quite slow for the most part, but it is never uninteresting. Shingo sends Ospreay face first into the turnbuckle and to the ring apron. Moments that made me wince as nose injuries have always made me cringe and seeing Ospreay's get smashed a week prior to this has me on the edge of my seat every time it's touched. Ospreay plays the heel perfectly shoving Bea into the way of Shingo, and even sending Shingo over to where his cohorts Cobb & Great O' Khan are sitting further establishing Shingo as the outnumbered babyface. Ospreay using these simple heel tactics and targeting the taped back of Shingo more than held up his end of this portion of the match.

I also have to mention the staredown between Shingo & Ibushi as Shingo rose to his feet to try and make the 20 count after receiving an Oscutter on the floor. GIVE ME THAT MATCH. 

The final 10 minutes or so sees things get turned up a notch with Ospreay realizing he's going to have to bust it all out to defeat Shingo. We get an insane reversal out of the pumping bomber into an Oscutter, the aforementioned Oscutter on the floor, a 450 splash through a fucking table and SHINGO STILL GETS UP AND KICKS OUT. Ospreay is worn down and can't get Shingo up for Stormbreaker so sits him up for hidden blade, but an exhausted Shingo collapses. Ospreay opts for Kawada kicks which invigorates a new life into the Dragon who throws fiery elbows to the face of Ospreay in the corner. Elbows which the crowd hangs on with every thrust, clapping along as Shingo tries to make his comeback.

Although, the audience couldn't verbally cheer or boo due to COVID safety regulations, you knew who they were behind here and the subtle display of that with the loud clapping made feel almost more special to me than if they could yell and shout. It made the short lived Shingo comeback attempts feel... genuine. 

Shingo fights out of this exchange and nails Ospreay with Made in Japan for a hot two count false finish, but he has just taken too much punishment and can't keep up with Ospreay's energetic flurries despite fighting hard in these final few minutes. Ospreay final lands the hidden blade followed by somehow hoisting up Takagi for Stormbreaker and getting the three count.

This was an incredible match and New Japan Cup final, even if the outcome isn't what I wanted to happen or thought should happen. The post-match was the worst thing about this and completely distasteful and I'm sure I don't even have to explain why. Ospreay is the last person who should be doing this sort of thing and why was it necessary heading into a title match with Ibushi that was set up perfectly via Ospreay winning this tournament and stating why he needed Ibushi's titles more than anything in the post match promo/staredown? I don't get it.

I have a feeling we may see Ospreay take the titles from Ibushi so he can take the heat that's been received from many fans in regards to Ibushi unifying the titles. That's the only way I can see this making sense, but what do I know? We'll see what happens.

One thing I do know is this match ruled. Shingo with another amazing match added to his repertoire and looking strong in defeat as always. Truly the best wrestler in the world right now and I'm blown away that he can continue having such high quality matches on this consistent of a basis.

What a way to start my Sunday morning.

Match rating - ****3/4

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

AEW: Dynamite - St Patrick’s Day Slam Review - March 17th, 2021

AEW Dynamite
St Patrick’s Day Slam
March 17th, 2021

Commentators - Excalibur, Jim Ross, & Tony Schiavone 

I’ve missed the last two weeks review wise. Just didn’t have time or energy to review while watching BUT WE BACK. 

Show opens with MJF, Wardlow, FTR, Shawn Spears & Tully Blanchard arriving earlier today on a private jet. Damn, I understand mixed thoughts on the reveal / angle from last week but they looked GOOD here. 

1) Cody Rhodes vs. Penta El Cero Miedo 

What a match to kick off the show with! This got set up from last week where Penta took a cheap shot at Cody bringing his yet to be born child into the verbal exchange. Not to mention all the brutality Penta put Cody through in the Revolution ladder match. So yeah, only 2 weeks of build, but the intensity is here as Penta dives onto Cody during his entrance and the action gets going on a high level. This really ruled as they kept that pace the entire time. Cody busted out a fucking step up hurricanrana off the top rope which was nuts. They went at a fever pitch for like 10 minutes before Penta went to target Cody’s injured shoulder/arm and got rolled up for his troubles for a quick pinfall. Not quite the way I wanted this to go, but it was very fun while it lasted. 

Match rating - ***

Awesome attack on Cody by Penta post match so this is definitely continuing. Dustin Rhodes, Billy Gunn and all his kids came out for the save. Penta mocks them and as he is leaving on the stage, QT Marshall comes in late to ask if Cody’s okay. This furthers his slow heel turn, but it just reminded me of the same angle they ran with the Good Brothers and the Bucks the other week which felt kinda lazy and I don’t give a fuck about QT anyway. 

Backstage, AEW World Tag Team Champions The Young Bucks are interviewed. Don Callis walks up and tells them to look in the mirror and let him know if they really see the same Nick & Matt that they were in New Japan. Callis says they aren’t Elite anymore etc. The Bucks look to really be pondering what Don is saying. 

2) Jade Cargill vs. Dani Jordyn 

First singles match for Jade. They lock up, Jordyn goes for a standing switch, but eats a damn kick moments later that floors her. German suplex with a nip up to follow. Oh yeah.. Jade is looking amazing here and she finishes Jordyn as I’m typing this. Fantastic squash. 

MJF and all his new cohorts are out next. Tully starts off the promo and it’s great then MJF knocks it out of the damn park explaining the name of their group - The Pinnacle. He runs down/introduces each member and explains his goal was always to destroy the Inner Circle. He says the Pinnacle will run AEW for years to come and they take what they want when they want and that starts with Jericho’s locker room tonight. 

3) Jungle Boy, Luchasarus, Marko Stunt, & Bear Country vs. Matt Hardy, Private Party, The Butcher & The Blade

I really was dreading this more than anything else on the show because Matt Hardy "signing" random people has run it's course with me. However, this was a load of fun. Jurassic Express continue to impress and show why they are all stars in their own right. Luchasarus had some shining moments here and even Bear Country looked strong. Butcher & Luchasarus tearing into each other was probably my favorite though. No complaints here, this was a little blast.

Match rating - **3/4

Christian Cage is backstage. He says he is here for the AEW Title, but he knows he has to prove himself first. Cage says he will do exactly as his shirt says and outwork everyone, cementing his legacy in the process. LETS GOOOO. Just listened to his podcast with Renee Paquette and I highly recommend giving it a listen, he basically paraphrased here what he said on there. 

4) Jon Moxley & Eddie Kingston vs. Karl Anderson & Doc Gallows

Some may say I’m overrating this but I LOVED it. The pre match attack made me question if this would actually happen, but it did and it built perfectly for the isolation of Eddie for the entire first half of the contest. This just felt like a real fight with so many heavy blows and no nonsense exchanges from start to finish. It never felt fake or forced, it felt like the best form of a pro wrestling brawl and I don’t think you could’ve asked for anything more from these guys. Just fantastic stuff. Mox recovers on the floor while King fights from underneath building to the big hot tag for Moxley when he finally makes it to the apron. Shit breaks down and it’s just great. Mox gets a flurry but then fights from underneath himself. Anderson & Gallows still toy with him slapping his face around, fiery babyface Mox slaps him back hard before taking more punishment. This match was filled with a lot of great little moments like that. Anyway, King tries to break up the assault and gets thrown to the floor and into the railing by Gallows. This allows enough of a break, though for Moxley to catch Anderson in a pinning combo for the victory. 

Match rating - ***3/4

To cap this off, we get more awesome post match stuff. Good Brothers continue beating down Moxley and Kenny Omega’s music hits and he joins them. Omega sits down in a chair BUT KINGSTON WIPES HIM OUT FROM BEHIND. Anderson & Gallows take care of Kingston snapping his leg with a chair per orders of Omega. Then they set Moxley up in a similar predicament, but the chair is set up around his neck instead. OH NO. BUT THE YOUNG BUCKS ARE HERE. Gallows was up top to drop the leg on Mox so that woulda been BAD. Bucks argue with their partners / former partners IDK. Well I got my answer, as The Bucks reluctantly refuse to “too sweet” their former Bullet Club brethren. Kenny gets in their face and rips off the shirt which commemorated when they all too sweeted on Dynamite months ago. In the midst of all this, Moxley recovers and charges for Omega, Callis, and the Good Brothers with the chair. They retreat as the Bucks watch on. I loved this segment and the icing on the cake was Eddie at ringside asking refs to “put him in the ring with Mox” and that sent chills down my arm. The loyalty and emotion of Eddie Kingston is truly something else. Fuck the faulty pyro, King and Mox are an amazing tandem and this whole match & segment proved it. 

Next up is another TONY SCHIAVONE INTERVIEWS STING segment. I rolled my eyes when I saw that on Instagram earlier, but this turned out to be very good. Darby Allin is out also. He says he wants to be a fighting champion now that he's done with Team Taz and he wants to do it in honor of the greatest TNT Champion of all time. BRODIEEEE <3 :'( - Darby then extends a challenge to any member of the Dark Order for a chance at his title next week. Lance Archer interrupts next and is rude and shit. He & Jake talk some shit to Sting. At least we got a little more than last week's awkward interruption. It was pretty funny and interesting. THEN Taz comes out to join the party with TEAM TAZ. Brian Cage interrupts him though, showing the dissension in the group. He says he wants to talk for himself tonight and tells Sting that he respects him and that Ricky Starks was wrong - he is still The Icon. Team Taz argues and Sting & Darby leave. LOOOOTS accomplished here. Good shit. 

5) Fenix vs. Angelico 

Fine little cool down match here. Honestly was so blown up after the last few segments/matches that I didn't pay a whole lot of attention. Angelico is the stronger of his team in singles (that are sprints, anything more is a no-no) and Rey Fenix is wrestler of the year so far, so yeah. They gave us a good breather and threw in some crazy shit near the end. Fenix wins when all is said and done.

Match rating - **1/2

Miro and Kip Sabian segment is up next. Pre-taped thing. Don't really care, but they accepted Chuck & Orange's rematch challenge, I think? 

6) Britt Baker vs. Thunder Rosa - Lights Out Unsanctioned Match

This is one of those matches where I truly do not know where to start or how to even properly review. I expected this to probably be good, but the truth is, my interest was so little in it that I forgot it was even on the show around mid-way when I was trying to remember what the main event was. Now, here I am, contemplating going five stars on it. This was that special and for so many reasons. For one, this is the first time that two women main evented AEW Dynamite on TNT in a singles match and it's not even for the Women's World Championship. In a company where the women's wrestling hasn't been treated like many had hoped.. this is a big deal and these women absolutely knocked it out of the park and then some. In a day and age where the women have began getting more opportunity and recognition across the world of wrestling - Britt Baker and Thunder Rosa raised the bar. This match will be looked back on as the standard for the women's division in AEW for the entirety of the promotion's existence and in my opinion, it will be looked back on as a match that changed women's wrestling as a whole all over again. I, for one, have never seen a women's match this brutal, this intense, and this bloody. It wasn't just a trash brawl, though. It wasn't sloppy. It was battle. It was the perfect grudge match in pro wrestling and one of the best women's matches of all time. The best in AEW history? Obviously. But I'm stamping it as one of the best of all time, too. These women raised the bar, stole the show, and showed any doubters that they CAN draw. They CAN main event and they ARE main event, top of the line stars. Enough of me, talking it up, though.. go watch this match. If you missed it live, I feel bad because as I watched, it felt so special as it happened. The unpredictability of what was next had me on the edge of my seat and just when I thought they wouldn't go further, they did. Thumbtacks, ladders, tables, the whole nine yards. This fucking ruled. Five stars. And oh yeah, the outcome. Thunder Rosa pretty much almost killed Britt with a spot off the apron through a table and subsequently wins.. amazing.

Match rating - *****

Final thoughts: Another episode of Dynamite that definitely ranks in the Top 5 eps of all time and that's saying something because there's been a lot of them. The main event is must see and everything else is quality pro wrestling TV. I felt like this was on the way to one of the best ep's of Dynamite yet before the main event even happened and then it turned out to be a five star, insane match, so yeah. Watch this show. I love you, AEW <3 

Monday, March 15, 2021

AEW: Revolution PPV Review - March 7th, 2021

AEW: Revolution 

March 7th, 2021

Daily’s Place - Jacksonville, FL

Commentary - Excalibur, Jim Ross, & Tony Schiavone

The Buy In/Pre-Show: 

1) Thunder Rosa & Riho vs. Britt Baker & Maki Itoh 

Rebel is injured so she can’t compete which led to Britt having a surprise partner which turns out to be... MAKI ITOHHHHHHH. Wow that’s actually a real shocker and I am very excited to see her here. This did go a little long, but it was largely enjoyable and I'm happy they are making the most of Riho & Itoh in the states.

Match rating - **1/2


2) The Young Bucks (c) vs. Chris Jericho & MJF - AEW World Tag Team Title Match