This news gave me new life.
This news gave me new life.
Just finished Strong Style Evolved. Ho boy that main event.
I need to get my hands on it still, since I haven’t switched back to the NJPW sub, being near Wrestlemania and all. But I’m super excited to watch it, some of the gifs on Twitter are insane.
Welp, I no longer need to watch Wrestlemania or Infinity War.
I don’t usually rush to watch New Japan shows right after they air, but I had some time today and nothing much to do, plus I’m a huge Zack Sabre Jr fan, so I watched Sakura Genesis. It was a fantastic show, and the last two matches were completely different, but definite contenders for match of the year in their own way. Will Ospreay and Marty Scurll had a completely insane match with one of the most terrifying spots I’ve ever seen, but thankfully both are okay. Okada and ZSJ had a great match as well that was based around Zack’s classic British style vs Okada’s lucha submission training and striking. Rocky Romero added a lot on English commentary. I can’t recommend the show enough.
I don’t know, that bump Ospreay took made me cringe and wince and took me completely out of it, he needs to tone it down or I don’t see his career lasting too long.
Yeah, that Spanish Fly was rather gruesome and hardly a safe maneuver. I love Opsreay but some of the risks he takes are really unnecessary.
We officially have a new “wrestling isn’t real” video to share
Mania Weekend is fast approaching and there are a bunch of great matches coming up. I don’t follow NXT weekly so I was kind of blindsided that Ciampa vs. Gargano is already this weekend. TakeOver in general will of course be great, particularly with Almas vs. Black and the six-man ladder match on the card as well. Then there is Supercard of Honor with Scurll vs. Castle and Omega vs. Cody. And of course Mania itself with Asuka vs. Charlotte and Styles vs. Nakamura.
The Louisiana Boxing and Wrestling Commission has banned the usage of piledrivers, which will of course impact some of the events this weekend. Because Wrestling is of course a silly thing, this happened:
I came back from pax and got some of Takeover in.
Holy shit that ladder Match.
Watching NXT TakeOver: New Orleans. I love ladder matches and this one was just fantastic. I’m particularly impressed with Lars Sullivan, but that is mostly because I had the least expectations because of the “Big Hoss” type wrestlers are rarely good in ladder matches, but his one-upsmanship with Killian Dain was a nice addition. Also credit to the always impressive Ricochet to be a good sport with the “dwarf tossing” spot. That giant elbow by Velveteen Dream was also crazy.
The women’s championship match was also fine, though I don’t like Baszler. After the last match the result was predictable. What was not predictable was the end of the Tag-team triple threat match. Seems more like a swerve for the sake of a swerve, but given that Bobby Fish is out for what appears to be another 5 months, I guess it’s out of necessity. Still wish they found a different solution to that issue, plus the Logo of the Undisputed Era no longer makes sense.
The NXT Championship match between Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas and Aleister Black was also very good, though probably the most conventional match of the night with the heel manager constantly interfering. At least that told a good story with how the match ended.
And then there is the Unsanctioned Grudge match between Johnny Gargano and Tomaso Ciampa. Strong choice for Ciampa to not have an entrance theme. Just walks out and bathes in a chorus of boos and chants of “You suck”, “asshole” and “fuck you Ciampa”. That match was pretty brutal, though I’ve seen worse. Fitting blow-off for their feud. But even with Gargano “reinstated” to NXT, I think he’s moving up to the main roster come Monday or tuesday. Also think AOP and Ember Moon will as well.
I mean, predictable results have always been one of NXT’s faults, but that’s unavoidable considering the nature of a developmental brand.
Wrestlemania, eh. As pretty much every year, Mania is full of hype, delivering on which is just about impossible, so it isn’t exactly unexpected that it didn’t deliver, just kind of disappointing. And at 14 matches and 7 hours (6 if you take off the non-match time of the kickoff show) this whole thing is just entirely too long. In the end it turned out that the best match of the night was the opener between Rollins, Balor and The Miz. Good for them but jeez that’s not good planning.
Unfortunately the most disappointing thing was Nakamura vs. Styles. It was still a good match, but far from on par with their match at Wrestle Kindom 10. It was kind of saved by the post-match events. After some hugging and tenderness (no other words to describe it really) similar to their fist-bump after their WK match, Nakamura takes a knee in front of styles and presents him the title. Styles takes it and is savagely low-blowed by Nakamura who continues to recklessly assault him. Now this is good audience subversion and should result in a rematch.
Also good semi-subversion was the result of Bryan & Shane vs. Owens & Zayn. Of course everybody wanted Bryan to get the victory in his return at 'Mania, but as WWE viewers we have been trained to expect Owens & Zayn to win since “their jobs are on the line”. At least that could result in some interesting developments.
The Undertaker vs. Cena match was rather unexpected in Cena being squashed, but ultimately pointless as of this point. I mean, this is not what people wanted when they thought of “John Cena vs. The Undertaker”.
The rest of the card played out one of two ways: Either it was rather predictable (Bludgeon Brothers, Nia Jax, Rousey & Angle) or the WWE tried to subvert expectations for no real purpose or reason other than to do so. I guess Charlotte beating Asuka was necessary because I can see nobody else even on the level of Asuka’s prestige, but I would have expected that to come at a rematch perhaps at SummerSlam. At least it’s better than throwing away Charlotte’s PPV win-streak at a B-PPV last year.
Far worse is the result of the Women’s battle royal. Finally we see some character development with Bayley taking initiative and eliminating Sasha Banks, only for her immediately be punished again. What could have been a step in the right direction, allowing Bayley to shed some of her naiveté only results in her looking like a fool regardless.
Jinder Mahal being U.S. champion also makes absolutely no sense. I hope they put Balor on Smackdown and put the title on him.
And finally there is Reigns vs. Lesnar. A gruesome match with a bloody idiotic outcome. Everybody is sick of Lesnar at this point and everybody already knows that they want to stick the title on Reigns at some point so just tear it off like a band-aid and do it already. At least then we can move on. Instead a pretty bad title reign by a disinterested part-timer continues despite them allowing Reigns to kick out of FIVE(!) F5s. Fucking FIVE! Braun Strowman and Samoa Joe were all dispatched with one, and they beat Reigns.
I was fine with Asuka losing, but having her tap out was the worst way, it makes it seem like she gave up. I would’ve had her be pinned or be knocked out or anything. Hopefully they don’t rusev her and make her weak now that her streak is over.
As for Mania as a whole, I was so fucking mad once it ended, but now that it’s behind me I see that it can potentially set up a lot of cool stuff, especially with the eventual NXT call ups today and tomorrow. Then again that’s always the fucking cycle with mania and I always fall for it hook line and sinker.
Raw today was 10 times better than Wrestlemania.
Welcome to at least the last 3 years.
RAW and SD this week were very interesting, but mostly it is just people being “awestruck” due to call-ups (Ember Moon, No Way Jose, AOP to RAW, The Iconic Duo to SD), and returns (Bobby Lashley, Samoa Joe and to a degree Daniel Bryan). The one thing that actually has a big impact is Carmella finally cashing in and taking the title off of Charlotte, as well as Paige being new SD GM.
Also notably absent was Asuka. Next week there will be a “Superstar Shakeup” with a bunch of people being moved between brands, which I guess means that some of the people who weren’t showcased in an impending or continuing feud on the two episodes this week. Could see Rusev, Bobby Roode, Asuka, and Braun Strowman switching.
Also, the Saudi Arabia network special “The Greatest Royal Rumble” is shaping up, and there are some pretty interesting things on the card, but also some WTF things like The Undertaker vs. Rusev (of all people) in a Casket match.
Holy moly, Meltzer gave both the Ladder match and Gargano vs. that bald motherfucker 5 stars.
Also, now it will be Chris Jericho vs. The Undertaker in that Casket match.