Saturday, May 28, 2022

GLEAT: Ver. 25 Review - May 18th, 2022

GLEAT Ver. 25
May 18th, 2022
Tokyo, Japan

Sorry this took so long to get done, guys. I got super behind on a lot of shit here in the last two weeks, but also.. this show got pulled from GLEAT’s YouTube which totally threw off my reviewing schedule and plans. Thankfully it’s been re-uploaded and I can now properly dive in to this huge event. 

It’s CIMA’s 25th Anniversary show. I’ve loved CIMA for nearly a decade now so this is required viewing to me, PLUS GLEAT is on fire right now so it’s pretty much a can’t miss event regardless especially with a loaded card like this. 

1) Minoru Tanaka, MUSASHI, & Soma Watanabe vs. Quiet Storm, Check Shimatani, & Masato Kamino 

This was a great little opener. MUSASHI & Kamino really laid into each other early. Things broke down and the finishing stretch was awesome. Lots of flash pin attempts and roll ups to throw in some added drama. The BULK Orchestra led trio of Storm, Shimatani, & Kamino secure the victory when all is said and done. 

Match rating - **3/4 

2) Yu Iizuka vs. Takanori Ito 

Yu’s theme is HARD. He is the smaller man, but charges Ito at the bell and man .. this fucking rules. 10 minutes of both guys throwing everything at one another with Iizuka being the little guy with loads of fire and Ito being the pissed big dude who really goes off once he’s woken up by a Iizuka’s early flurry. This just rocks and makes me want to see more of both guys. It’s largely strikes, but there’s a nasty chair shot near the finish before Ito finally puts Iizuka away with a bridging dragon suplex. 

Match rating - ***1/2

3) DASH Chisako vs. Michiko Miyagi 

The last GLEAT show I watched made me a full fledged fan of DASH so I’m stoked to see her featured here. They trade holds early before heading to the apron where Chisako hits Miyagi with a NASTY double stomp on the floor. This was largely Miyagi trying her best to survive DASH who is just a beast. Lots of no selling and fire ups from her. Miyagi threw a lot at her and clearly had the desire & desperation to win. This got the most out of the clap crowd in attendance as they were super invested in this down the stretch. Everything DASH hit was so snug and stuff. Three double stomps and a frog splash gets her the victory. A banger.

Match rating - ***1/2

4) Jack Cartwheel & STRONGHEARTS (T-Hawk & Issei Onitsuka) vs. 60 Seconds (Jun Tonsho, Keiichi Sato, & Tetsuya Izuchi)

The STRONGHEARTS guys put over Cartwheel before the match. It’s his debut here and the crowd is immediately wowed by his flips. So sweet of T-Hawk and Onitsuka to introduce him how they did. This is your standard crazy trios match and it rules. Early on, they build toward Jack getting in and he goes nuts, however, the tide soon turns as 60Seconds takes this opportunity to isolate the newcomer. After they cut off the ring for a bit, things explode again and we get a fantastic finishing stretch of crazy insane shit. Jack looks like a star and everyone else here killed it too. What a blast. Jack wins with the 630. 

Match rating - ***1/2

5) Hirooki Goto vs. Hayato Tamura 

This was your standard good Goto match. Had a tiny bit of extra spice to it considering he’s in a new environment. It’s still crazy to me that NJPW not only let Shingo work this show, but Goto as well. So cool and refreshing. This is about the only way you could get me to care about a Goto singles match in 2022, taking him out of that New Japan environment and throwing him against a fresh opponent. He runs all his usual stuff, some great strikes from both guys. Goto wins, but Tamura got a lot in and there were some nice nearfalls down the stretch. This show continues to not miss. 

Match rating - ***

It’s announced that on July 1st, YUJI NAGATA debuts in GLEAT agains Takanori Ito. OH MAN. That will fucking rule. 

6) CIMA & Shingo Takagi vs. BULK ORCHESTRA (Ryuichi Kawakami & KAZMA SAKAMOTO)

This isn’t the main event, but it’s what the whole show was built around. CIMA has been a pro for 25 years and he chose to bring someone from his Dragon Gate past in to team with him here against BO… Shingo Takagi. This was awesome. Kawakami & Sakamoto were great heels as they worked over CIMA for a good portion of the match. Shingo gets the hot tag and things really break down into one of those classic DG style finishing stretches. Just perfect pacing and a perfect dynamic. The best mix of great wrestling and nostalgia. After a bit of struggle, CIMA & Shingo get the win after CIMA nails a nasty meteora. I’m aching for more of this team after this and I also need a Shingo/Kawakami singles match. 

Match rating - ***3/4

7) El Lindaman (c) vs. Shigehiro Irie - G Rex Championship Match

This El Lindaman’s second defense of the G Rex Title and it’s against a fellow STRONGHEARTS member. He is the inaugural champion and effectively the top star in GLEAT. This defense is sandwiched in between El Lindaman’s BOSJ dates which is just nuts when you think about it. Especially considering how absolutely bonkers this match is. Irie is significantly larger and more powerful, but you never feel like Lindaman is any less of a competitor because of the fire and intensity he shows. He does take a beating, though. Especially in the first half of the match and even down the stretch, some of the strikes and throws that Irie lands on him are just BRUTAL. But moments like Lindaman kicking out at one and firing back with the same amount of stiffness that Irie threw at him make it impossible to not get behind him and believe. All in all, this is just a bombfest, but a fucking fantastic one with great selling, sympathy, & fire from Lindaman and Irie being very good in the big man challenger role. Awesome main event to cap off a great show. Lindaman’s title reign is only 3 matches deep, but it’s easily one of the best in all of wrestling in 2022 when you look at match quality. 

Match rating - ****1/4

This was a fantastic show with one must see match and everything else ranging from fun to great. It’s up for free on GLEAT’s YouTube just like every other GLEAT event so you have no excuse not to check it out! 

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