Tag Archives: Wrestling

WWE No Mercy 2017

WWE No Mercy 2017 Review

Apollo Crews (w/ Titus O’Neil) vs. Elias “I Lost My Last Name in Vegas” Sampson: **
Just an okay match. Crews is a far better worker, but shows little charisma since the performance center did away with that for him in NXT. Sampson has charisma and is dislikable as a heel, but still has a lot of work to do in the ring. Elias wins after a few minutes with a Fisherman’s Neckbreaker.

The Miz (w/ Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel) vs. Jason Jordan – WWE Intercontinental Championship: ***1/4
Really solid match here from these two. Miz continues to be one of the best midcard acts WWE has, and one of the few they get right. Great promos, average in ring, but there’s nothing wrong with that. After some heelish chicanery, Miz wins with a Skull Crushing Finale. Jordan’s promo afterwards was weird. It did him no favours, unless they’re turning him heel. He was booed quite a bit in this match.

Bray Wyatt vs. Finn Balor: ***1/2
Not a bad match here at all. Balor and Wyatt showed some good chemistry, and they made the right call with Balor going over here. However, this further kills Bray’s already dead momentum even more. Hard to believe he was champ before WrestleMania. Let’s hope Balor moves onto better top of the card feud now, and Bray can take a little time off before bringing him back to give him some momentum, because he should be a main event draw.

The Bar (Cesaro & Sheamus) vs. Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins – WWE Raw Tag Team Championship: ****1/4
This match was awesome. I thought the action was really great, and all four guys delivered in a big way. Amazingly, while Sheamus has been known to cause injuries, he did not cause the one in this match. Cesaro flew face first into the ring post and lost at least two of his front teeth (might want to request those for Christmas). Cesaro somehow not only continued, but got better while bleeding everywhere. How this man is not a world champion, I will never know. Awesome match. Go watch it right now.

Bayley vs. Nia Jax vs. Emma vs. Sasha Banks vs. Alexa Bliss – Fatal 5-Way Match for the WWE Raw Women’s Championship: ***3/4
Very solid women’s match here. As for workers in the ring, I think Bayley, Sasha, and Emma are far ahead of both Nia & Alexa, but Alexa knows how to be exactly where she needs to be to make the spots work. The other 4 women helped cover Nia’s weaknesses by making her look like the monster she is supposed to be in the ring. Great stuff from all 5 here. There was a really nasty bump that Nia took to the outside, almost killing herself. I hope she’s okay.

Roman Reigns vs. John Cena: ****1/4
Another awesome match here. Cena was wildly over, as predicted, and Reigns did a great job playing into. The only major criticism I can come up with is Cena hitting so many AA’s that Roman kicked out of. The story that they were going for was that Roman can take Cena’s best shot, but Roman’s best shot, the Spear, can beat Cena at any moment, as it only took one to pin Cena. I think it would have been better with no finishers hit until the Spear, giving Roman the big win with only one finish, and still protecting Cena’s. With that being said, this was absolutely fantastic. If it’s just a one off match, the right guy won.

Enzo Amore vs. Neville – WWE Cruiserweight Championship: NO.
No. No. No no. No no no. No.

Braun Stroman vs. Brock Lesnar (w/ Paul Heyman) – WWE Universal Championship: **3/4
This was really underwhelming. If it came before Cena/Roman, it may have been received better. This further illustrates WWE’s probably with the main roster PPVs lately. The undercard is usually great, but the main events have fallen flat. Rearranging the matches a bit would have made this much better. Brock is awesome. So is Braun. There should have been way more destruction in this one. I expected Braun and Brock to literally (yes, literally. You telling me they can’t gimmick an LED light?) eat the stage and just destroy everything. Alas, it under delivered in a major way.

SHOW RATING: ***1/2
Not a bad show by any standard, just underwhelming because of the way it ended. Put Roman/Cena in the main event, and Brock/Braun earlier, and this show would have gone down as one of WWE’s best this year, I think. After the table spots in Roman/Cena, the lack of destruction in Brock/Braun just seemed strange. If they wanted to top Roman/Cena (which they should have), there should have been a lot more damage to the ringside area. Again, a stage spot would have been awesome. The ring imploding. The announcers fleeing for their lives. The refs trying to pick up the carnage that is the guy who rings the bell. I don’t know. Something beyond what we got. It would have been so simple too. Still, not a horrible show, just underwhelming, which honestly describes most of WWE’s Pay-Per-Views since the second brand split, which was exactly my fear when they announced it.

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NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 11 Review

Wrestle Kingdom 11
January 4, 2017
Tokyo, Japan
Commentators: Kevin Kelly & Steve Corino

The New Japan Rumble – Victory by pinfall, submission, or over the top rope elimination

The first man to enter the Rumble is Michael Elgin. In my opinion, he’s the favourite to win it. The second person to enter is Billy Gunn! Billy Gunn does not look 53 years old. Continue reading NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 11 Review

NJPW G1 Climax 26 – An Introduction to NJPW (Part Two)

In my previous article, I introduced the NJPW G1 Climax and wrote about how the tournament would work, including running down the competitors in the A Block. My purpose in doing so was to introduce people to the all the major players and stories that led up to the tournament this year. If you are considering watching the G1 Climax this year, I recommend you read my first article, and then return to this one in order to get the full picture of all the competitors.

One of the things I neglected to mention in my previous article was how the winner of each block is determined. As I previously mentioned, the tournament is done as a round robin, but what I forgot to mention was how many points the winner gets. It’s rather simple: The winner gets two points, the loser gets none. If the match goes to a draw, each person gets one point. If at the end of the tournament two people are tied for the lead in their block, the person who won the match between the two advances to the finals.

Now with that out of the way, here are the competitors in the B Block:

B Block

Michael Elgin

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The Canadian born Michael Elgin has won championships all over the world. His first major title was the Ring of Honor Championship, a promotion that he still makes appearances for, though not as frequently as he once did. Until last year, it seemed that Michael Elgin’s career was on a bit of a downturn. Everything changed at last year’s G1 Climax. It seemed like Elgin finally found where he fit in, and was soon thereafter signed to a full time contract with New Japan Pro Wrestling. During his time in New Japan, Elgin has forged a bond with company Ace, Hiroshi Tanahashi, and the two have formed a successful tag team. Elgin had his biggest win when he replaced an injured Tanahashi (who was out with shoulder surgery) in New Japan’s first ever ladder match against Kenny Omega for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship. In a match that many critics loved, Elgin defeated Omega and is now the current IWGP Intercontinental Champion. The former holder of the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship has now risen far above expectations – Can he win the G1 and go on to unify the Heavyweight Championship with the Intercontinental, something that has never happened before? Also, what will happen when he faces off against Omega again in this block?

EVIL

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The “King of Darkness” EVIL has recently returned to New Japan Pro Wrestling after an excursion to America where he worked in several promotions, primarily in Ring of Honor. EVIL made an immediate impact by joining Los Ingobernables de Japón and helping Tetsuya Naito. Aside from having an awesome name, EVIL actually hasn’t made much of an impact in New Japan as of yet. This is his first G1 appearance, and it will be interesting to see what happens when he has to face the leader of his stable, as they are both in the same block.

Tomoaki Honma

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Tomoaki Honma is an interesting character. This man can only be described as a lovable underdog, as he has lost far more matches in NJPW than he has won. His first appearance in the G1 Climax came in 2014 when he replaced an injured Kota Ibushi (now in WWE and participating in the Cruiserweight Classic), and lost all 10 matches he was participating in. As Honma joined the ranks for the G1 Climax for 2015, it looked like it was going to be much of the same, losing his first 7 matches. As each loss happened, you could see the pain on Honma’s face, even to the point where there were tears in his eyes. Finally, in a match against Tomohiro Ishii, Honma finally got his first win in the G1 Climax, finishing with a W/L in the G1 of 1-18. Honma finally achieved a championship when he and his tag partner Togi Makabe won the IWGP Tag Team Championships from Karl Anderson & Doc Gallows (The Bullet Club). Will Honma be able to get some more wins this year?

Katsuhiko Nakajima

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Katsuhiko Nakajima began wrestling at a young age (14!), and despite being only 28 years old, is a veteran of Japanese wrestling. Nakajima has made appearances for New Japan before in the past, but has primarily been involved in Pro Wrestling NOAH, NJPW’s sister company. This marks the first time that Nakajima is making a G1 appearance, and he will be looking to make an impact. The multi-time Junior Heavyweight Champion (in both NOAH and AJPW) will definitely leave his mark on the tournament.

YOSHI-HASHI

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Making his pro debut in 2008, YOSHI-HASHI hasn’t actually made a major impact in New Japan Pro Wrestling. YOSHI-HASHI has slowly been working his way up the card in New Japan, but has yet to win any major titles. However, YOSHI-HASHI has a huge distaste for Los Ingobernables de Japón, and has engaged in a feud with them over the last few months along with his CHAOS stablemates. Don’t be surprised to see YOSHI-HASHI go to war with EVIL and Tetsuya Naito this year, as that will likely be some of the more personal matches in the G1 Climax this year.

Toru Yano

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Toru Yano is a character. It is really they only appropriate way to describe him. While he is not a particularly good wrestler, that doesn’t mean he isn’t worth watching. Yano is a member of CHAOS, and is always attempting to sell DVDs and merchandise in order to make some money. His entrance video even includes the prices. Not only is he always trying to sell merchandise, but he abides by a philosophy in all his matches: Always cheat. The amazing thing about it is that the crowd loves him. He is the perfect comedy character that will always get a laugh, and is one of the few that will draw cheers from the audience when he goes to remove the turnbuckle padding or while smacking people with chairs. Don’t be surprised if he points to the audience to distract the referee and then hits a low blow in order to roll up his opponent for the win. Yano probably won’t win many matches, but they’ll all be fun. I can’t wait to see what he does with Shibata.

Yuji Nagata

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If you have been a long time wrestling fan, you likely know the name Yuji Nagata. He has worked for New Japan Pro Wrestling for many years, and even had a brief time in WCW. Nagata is a living legend, and at 48 years old is still a fantastic wrestler capable of producing awesome matches. It might be easier to list the championships Nagata hasn’t won, rather than the ones that he has, but the list is impressive. He has won the IWGP Heavyweight Championship twice, the IWGP Tag Team Championship twice, and most recently the NEVER Openweight Championship when he defeated Shibata. He has also been the GHC Heavyweight Champion for Pro Wrestling NOAH, and has previously won the G1 Climax. Nagata is making his 18th appearance in the G1 Climax, and stands as the only man who has won the three major tournaments in Japan – The Champion Carnival for AJPW, the Global League Tournament for NOAH, and of course, the G1 Climax. Expect the match he has with Shibata to be hard hitting and one of the highlights of the tournament.

Kenny Omega

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“The Cleaner” Kenny Omega recently made the jump from Junior Heavyweight to Heavyweight in New Japan Pro Wrestling after destroying AJ Styles and kicking him out of The Bullet Club to replace him as leader. Omega went on to defeat Hiroshi Tanahashi for the vacant IWGP Intercontinental Championship before going on to lose it to Michael Elgin. This marks Omega’s first appearance in the G1 Climax, and you can expect to see some great matches out of him, especially with Michael Elgin. One of the intriguing stories in the tournament will be the clear struggle for power between The Bullet Club and Los Ingobernables de Japón. When Naito and Omega clash, you can expect that to be a fantastic match. Throw CHAOS into the mix, and the story of which stable will dominate New Japan becomes even more interesting.

Katsuyori Shibata

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Katsuyori Shibata is one of the most interesting stories in wrestling. He started off in New Japan Pro Wrestling in 1999, but left the promotion in 2005 in order to become a freelancer. He made his MMA debut in 2004 and continued that career when he became a freelancer. Shibata’s MMA career was not spectacular, as he finished with a 4-11-1 record, but don’t take that to mean the man isn’t tough. Shibata made his return to NJPW in 2012 and was still largely seen as an outsider who betrayed the company and has been attempting to earn respect since then. Shibata had his first singles title win last January at Wrestle Kingdom 10 when he won the NEVER Openweight Championship from Ishii. Shibata lost the title to Yuji Nagata, but managed to regain it recently and is the current NEVER Openweight Champion. Can Shibata finally cast off the rejection of his past and earn a IWGP Heavyweight Championship match at Wrestle Kingdom 11? Is this finally Shibata’s time? Going in, he’s definitely one of the favourites to win.

Tetsuya Naito

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Tetsuya Naito is the man that I personally think is going to win the whole thing this year. Of course, I could be entirely wrong, but he will no doubt have a huge impact. Naito’s career was at a bit of a standstill in his early years, but after a tour of CMLL in 2015 he joined Los Ingobernables, and with it came a huge attitude change. When returning to NJPW for the G1 Climax last year, he returned with a new look and his new attitude was quickly displayed in his ruthlessness in the ring. He gained huge victories over AJ Styles and Hiroshi Tanahashi, but didn’t manage to win the tournament. Soon afterwards EVIL debuted to help him and Los Ingobernables de Japón was formed. Invasion Attack 2016 became one of the most important nights in his career when SANADA and EVIL helped him win the IWGP Heavyweight Championship from Okada. Okada did manage to regain it, but Naito finally won the championship that seemed destined to be his many years ago. Naito is making his 7th G1 appearance, and looks to be the favourite going in. There is a strong possibility of seeing Okada and Naito in the finals, and their feud is even more personal because of how much disrespect Naito showed for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship when he held it by swinging it around his head, throwing it in the air, and simply dropping it and leaving it on the ramp. His attitude of not caring about anything has become a great strength for him – will this year be his year?

So that is all the competitors for the G1 Climax! If you want to sign up for NJPW World to watch the events, you can do so here.

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NJPW G1 Climax 26 – An Introduction to NJPW (Part One)

I originally posted this at Cageside Seats – another place where you will be able to read my reviews and posts.

NJPW-Logo

In the world of professional wrestling, it is unquestionably true that in terms of size, WWE is king. However, outside the WWE, there is one giant that dominates much of the wrestling world and has stood the test of time as a promotion that produces quality wrestling. That company is arguably the second largest in the world – New Japan Pro Wrestling. Continue reading NJPW G1 Climax 26 – An Introduction to NJPW (Part One)

Wrestling Review Central Poll – What Would You Like to See?

Hello readers, if you would be kind enough to answer this poll, it will help in directing the reviews I focus on writing. Thanks!

Leave a comment bellow as well, and see if we can get a discussion started.

ROH Best in the World 2016

roh-696x358ROH Best in the World 2016
Concord, North Carolina
Commentators: Kevin Kelly & Nigel McGuinness

Kyle O’Reilly vs. Kamaitachi

Interestingly enough, in the tale of the tape it lists Kamaitachi as 5’7 and O’Reilly as 6’1, but they’re definitely around the same height. I’m guessing O’Reilly is billed as taller than he is.

It doesn’t take long for both of these guys to start striking each other. O’Reilly goes for an armbar early, but Kamaitachi gets to the ropes, and O’Reilly attempts to work over the arm, along with some great looking strikes in order to wear Kamaitachi down. Continue reading ROH Best in the World 2016

NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 10 Review

Wrestle Kingdom 10
January 4, 2016
Tokyo, Japan
Attendance – 25,204
Commentators: Kevin Kelly, Matt Striker, & Yoshi Tatsu

Wrestle Kingdom 10

All GIFS were found at Wrestling Giffer.

The Young Bucks (w/Cody Hall) vs. Roppongi Vice vs. Ricochet & Matt Sydal vs. ReDragon (c) – IWGP Junior Tag Team Championship Continue reading NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 10 Review

WWE Hell in a Cell 2015

HIACHell in a Cell 2015
October 25, 2015
Los Angeles, California
Attendance: 17,505
Commentators: Michael Cole, JBL, and Jerry Lawler

John Cena vs. ????? – WWE US Championship Open Challenge

John Cena opens the show, and says he isn’t going to talk long, and he’s going to call out his challenger. Continue reading WWE Hell in a Cell 2015

NXT – October 14, 2015

NXT – Episode 301
October 14, 2015
Full Sail University
Commentators: Rich Brennan, Corey Graves, and Byron Saxton

The show opens with Bayley coming out, and she begins celebrating with the audience after her historic win at NXT TakeOver: Respect. The crowd chants “Match of the Year” and Bayley talks about how the show was about more than just her and Sasha, but also respecting Dusty Rhodes. Bayley talks about how she always wanted to be in the main event, and the crowd chants “You Deserve It” and “Women’s Wrestling.” Bayley says she wants women’s wreslting to be respected, to a huge pop.

Alexa Bliss comes out with Blake & Murphy and she congratulates Bayley, or so it seems. When Bayley’s guard is down, Alexa steals her belt and Blake & Murphy stand in Bayley’s way to stop her from getting it back. The crowd chants “You’re not worthy!” which is hilarious. Alexa tells Bayley that she is going to take the belt from Bayley “for real” as she tosses it back to her. I like this direction they’re taking. Alexa is probably the best option to move forward with in this.

Next, we see William Regal offering congratulations to Finn Balor and Samoa Joe. Joe challenges Finn for the title in a very respectful way and Finn says yes, but Regal says it isn’t that easy. Tonight, on NXT, we will see a Battle Royal with the winner being the #1 contender. Joe doesn’t like it, but it looks like he doesn’t have much of a choice.

After we come back from the break, various wrestlers are claiming that they are going to win the Battle Royal.

The Vaudevillians vs. Angelo Dawkins and Sawyer Fulton

This wasn’t a bad tag team match. It severed two purposes, I think – the first is to remind the audience that while they didn’t win the Dusty Rhodes Classic, they are without a doubt, still the champs. The second is that it allows the audience to see them wrestling all comers.

This one doesn’t last too long, and ends with a Whirling Dervish relatively fast.

RATING: 1.5/5

The Mechanics are backstage, and they’re not impressed with The Vaudevillians. They point out that they beat the Vaudevillians in the Dusty Rhodes Classic, and they claim they are the #1 contenders for the NXT Tag Team Championship.

Nia Jax is up next!

Nia Jax vs. Evie

I think Nia Jax is going to win by death in this one. Nia doesn’t fit the typical look of what the WWE looks for in a women’s wresler, which immediately makes her stand out (and that’s a good thing). She looks like a decent talent, and the NXT audience had no problem chanting “Nia’s going to kill you” as she and Evie wrestle, which is a good sign that they’re buying into her already. She could be a star given some good booking, and thankfully NXT is good for that. Nia Jax wins with a Rock Bottom like move.

Next up is a video of various folks saying how important Bayley vs. Sasha Banks was. Very cool.

Eva Marie cuts a promo from Paris and talks about how she needed a vacation.

The #1 Contender’s Battle Royal

Battle Royals are always wild, so I’ll just write some notes and comments on it rather than indicating who was eliminated by who.

Samoa Joe is the man, and clearly everyone knows it as a few guys go right after him when the bell rings.

Apollo Crews gets the first 4 eliminations in the match, dominating everybody.

Tyler Breeze is crazy over with the NXT fans. Towards the end of the match, the crowd was pretty universal in his support, even with Samoa Joe in the ring. The poor guy can’t seem to catch a break. When Joe eliminated him, Joe got booed. Samoa Joe doesn’t get booed. Breeze actually gets revenge and eliminates Joe.

Baron Corbin stabs Rhino in the back and eliminates him. I wonder how that will play out.

Apollo Crews and Baron Corbin are your last two, and the crowd is in Crews corner, but even then, they chant “We want Tyler” several times. Crews wins and gets a good reaction from the audience, even though many were cheering for Tyler Breeze.

RATING: 2.5/5
Solid battle royal. They took the crowd around for the ride with the eliminations of Breeze and Joe and ultimately, I think they made the right call to have Crews win. Joe would have been great, but they’re going to build to Balor vs. Joe slowly, and this just plays into it.

RATING: 2/5
Nothing special in this episode, but most NXT episodes are like that. What it lacks in specialness is consistency. Everything they do is leading somewhere, and everything has a purpose. It isn’t the individual episodes of NXT that makes NXT great (even though some episodes are indeed great), but how every episode is going somewhere. As a viewer, you know there will be payoff to what you are watching. Raw fails at this most weeks.

Questions to Think About:

Who will step up and replace Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch, and Charlotte in the women’s division? It’s wide open now.

Do you think Apollo Crews was the right choice to win the Battle Royal?

Will Samoa Joe and Finn Balor ever face off, one on one, for the NXT Championship?