Event:G1 Climax 23 - Day 4 Date: August 4, 2013 Venue: Bodymaker Colosseum in Osaka, Japan Attendance: ~6,700
IWGP Heavyweight Champion: Kazuchika Okada IWGP Intercontinental Champion: Shinsuke Nakamura IWGP Tag Team Champions: Tencozy (Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima) IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion: Prince Devitt IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions: Forever Hooligans (Alex Koslov & Rocky Romero) NEVER Openweight Champion: Masato Tanaka
So the set-up of these tournaments is round robin so everyone faces each other in their blocks and whoever has the most points in each block at the end faces each other in the finals. This day is right in the middle though so just block matches for it.
Yujiro Takahashi is out first and has these Japanese thots wearing next to nothing come out with him and the cameraman gets super close shots of them shaking their asses Yano comes out with a chair and some DVD that he’s plugging.
G1 Climax 23 Block B: Toru Yano  vs Yujiro Takahashi 
Takahashi takes out Yano as he’s entering the ring and hits him with a suicide dive early so they brawl outside the ring and Yano sends Takahashi into the rail and they show the thots from earlier laughing and clapping for it hoes ain’t loyal. Once this gets into the ring it kinda sucks, I’m glad it was kept short. These two might be the weakest in the tournament so at least they’re not bringing down anyone else’s matches tonight. Yano is just way too over the top and Takahashi just does all the basic heel dirty moves. Yano ends up getting near fall after sending Takahashi into an exposed turnbuckle twice, but then the ref has to stop him from going for a low blow multiple times so Takahashi sends him into the ref and tries to use Yano’s chair but he misses terribly and Yano throws it back at him to do the Eddie spot and as the ref is taking the chair away he low blows Takahashi twice and rolls him up for the win. This felt like a parody of wrestling or some shit smh.
G1 Climax 23 Block B: Hiroyoshi Tenzan  vs Karl Anderson 
Oh yay this feels like more of a wrestling match. Anderson gets in Tenzan’s head early stealing his spots and playing the crowd really well so they pop huge when Tenzan takes him down. Anderson resorts to biting Tenzan and as the ref’s warning him he fucking bites the ref’s head too and he goes down in the fetal position how’s that not a DQ bruh. This is pretty basic for the most part, Anderson fighting dirty and Tenzan trying to comeback with striking. Tenzan finally ends up having a nice little comeback with some power moves and gets an Anaconda Vice in but Anderson quickly gets to the ropes, this is starting to pick up some now. Anderson gets caught talking shit again but out of nowhere hits his TKO but it only gets a two count. He goes for the regular Gun Stun cutter but Tenzan reverses into the Anaconda Vice GREAT SPOT Anderson fights to his feet but Tenzan slams him down holding onto the vice the whole time! This time Anderson is close enough to barely get his foot on the ropes though. Tenzan hits this weak ass slam before going for a moonsault so Anderson is able to avoid it and sells the arm but can’t hit the Gun Stun with it so he gets caught with a headbutt instead. Tenzan goes for the Anaconda Vice Slam again but ANDERSON COUNTERS INTO THE GUN STUN FOR THE WIN First half was boring but the last half was fire, especially those last few sequences.
G1 Climax 23 Block B: Shelton X Benjamin  (w/ TAKA Michinoku) vs Yuji Nagata 
Nagata looks old af here but Benjamin doesn’t give a fuck and meets him on the turnbuckle for the super belly to belly suplex to start the match Benjamin keeps taking it to him hitting this sick knee strike followed by a Blockbuster for the second super close two count in like 1 minute. Benjamin stays in control for awhile, little TAKA gets involved a little too while the ref is distracted. Nagata finally recovers enough to take his shirt off and then wins a nice striking battle with Benjamin selling amazingly making Nagata’s offense look crazy good. Nagata locks on a crossface at one point but Benjamin has this cool counter into an ankle lock for like two seconds before Nagata kicks him out. These dudes start both looking gassed already smh so the striking and stuff looks way weak now. They trade ankle locks and crossfaces again before Nagata tries to win it with a backdrop driver and then a big martial arts kick, but Benjamin catches it and goes back to the ankle lock and then uses his Team Angle teachings to grapevine it this time and Nagata is forced to tap. Started off hot, kinda fell off towards the end but overall still a pretty good match for the 8-9 minutes it lasted.
G1 Climax 23 Block A: Davey Boy Smith Jr.  (w/ TAKA Michinoku) vs Satoshi Kojima 
Man this is a blast, Smith has improved so much and he uses his power here to take control early but Kojima is able to weather it and send him to the outside to fuck him up and ends up hitting an apron DDT TAKA ends up providing just enough of a distraction for Smith to comeback though and his offense is a lot more fun than I would have expected plus at one point he says “FUCK YEAH” and flips off the crowd Kojima is able to come back after a flash DDT going back to the head and FUCK the crowd is super loud now for him as he takes out TAKA and gets a two count with a diving elbow. He starts murdering Smith with strikes but Smith is able to fight back using his strength with a powerslam then locks on the Sharpshooter Kojima fights to the ropes but Smith signals for the end and goes for his sit-out powerbomb, but Kojima fights out into a cutter, great sequence there. Kojima hits a huge brainbuster but it only gets a two count but then TAKA distracts him again to allow Smith to hit a crazy Tiger Suplex for two. They have this big lariat battle and awesome strike sequence until Smith hits Kojima with a big knee and then his sit-out powerbomb for the win. Really good match, felt like the most complete one from bell-to-bell so far.
G1 Climax 23 Block A: Katsuyori Shibata  vs Tomohiro Ishii 
BRO THEY JUST COME AT EACH OTHER SO FUCKING HARD TO START THIS This fucking rules, they just trade strike after strike, it gets a little dumb when they each get down to one knee and invite the other to chop or kick them like some dick measuring contest to show how tough they are, but ya know I can believe that’s something they’d actually do and I’ve seen guys irl trade slaps to see who can take it so it’s whatever. Ishii ends up getting hurt from that and Shibata just starts MURDERING him with elbows and kicks HOLY FUCK! An MMA ref would have easily called this and this ref looks like he’s thinking about it but Ishii waves him off. Ishii comes back and we actually get wrestling moves for just a little bit instead of pure striking...doesn’t last long though but fuck it they’re kicking so goddamn hard. Shibata is able to lock on a boston crab as the pace slows down a bit as he switches between a couple different submissions. Ishii looks half dead but he asks for more strikes and fuck Shibata’s look so fucking deadly, they each hit a few more big ones that almost KO the other and you can tell they’re getting tired now from how fucking fast this pace has been They both just like die after a couple headbutts so they can get somewhat of a breather that continues when Shibata locks on a sleeper and Ishii just starts spitting up everywhere smh if this dude throws up They go back to the crazy striking exchanges that are kinda just no-sell fests except both dude’s stumbling around like they have concussions during it so there’s some semblance of selling. Ishii is able to hit a brainbuster after two brutal lariats to get the win. WOW That lasted 12 minutes but IDK how they even kept it up for that long, I’m glad I don’t rate matches bc that broke all the pro wrestling rules I’ve ever known but holy fuck I can’t lie and say I wasn’t entertained, dude’s just went out there and killed each other, fucking crazy match.
I guess we’re halfway or something bc the announcer leads us into an ad break, I’m just gonna skip forward, but I did see TNA referenced for some reason, think it was a TV channel advertising their programming. We finally get to the next match after like 20 minutes. Crowd may have needed a breather after that last one anyway tbh
G1 Climax 23 Block A: Hirooki Goto  vs Lance Archer  (w/ TAKA Michinoku)
Archer wearing his tag belt on his crotch like MNM used to Pretty fast-paced opening with strikes and counters, typical stuff with Archer using his power and Goto trying to wrestle the Japanese style, but Archer is able to slow it down with some pretty basic heel work outside the ring, he has not improved nearly as much as Davey Boy Smith Jr., I blame his tramp stamp tat At one point he says “You’re a piece of shit” to someone in the crowd nvm he rules even with the tramp stamp. His heel work is actually pretty good even if it’s basic, and Goto’s attempted comebacks that he stuffs make this pretty enjoyable, at least more than I expected bc I’m not a big Goto fan either really. Goto’s got a busted lip but makes the mistake of trying to use power moves when he’s making a comeback so Archer wins out on that and busts out some cool offense I didn’t know he had in him. At one point he hits a Full Nelson Slam and Goto kicks at one Crowd gets super hot for Goto after he kicks out of a big powerbomb, and he reverses and iconoclasm attempt into this really fucking cool pinning combination where he had the legs all wrapped up for the win. Pretty good stuff despite my feelings on these guys, Archer did impress me here too, I think the Japanese style is really good at hiding guys weaknesses that they had in America...or maybe he’s just improved. Def a more standard match after the craziness of the last one, but that’s probably the last match like that bc all the bigger names are coming up now.
G1 Climax 23 Block B: Minoru Suzuki  vs Tetsuya Naito 
Suzuki’s theme song is so fire and the crowd sings along with part of it once he gets in the ring We start with some nice chain wrestling here, Suzuki really the GOAT for not starting with pseudo-MMA stuff like other matches tonight despite being a former fighter, he’s up there for my favorite Japanese wrestler of all time for sure. Naito starts disrespecting him with slaps but Suzuki just laughs at him and tries to break his leg with a kneebar over the ropes Then he does the same thing over the guardrail He keeps working on the leg outside of the ring then gets back in and does some stretches while the ref counts dude’s in his bag tonight Back in the ring Naito can’t really do shit bc Suzuki is still killing his leg which is AWESOME bc Suzuki is just no-selling his weak slaps to the face and cranking on a kneebar. Suzuki gets Naito to slap him like 20 times then just lays him out with one He gets way too cocky though and this allows Naito to comeback...too bad he barely sells his knee even though it’s WRAPPED His comeback and offense is a lot of fun though, pretty cool story with Suzuki getting way too cocky to allow it as well. It doesn’t last too long though bc Suzuki goes right back to the knee and Naito has a hilarious expression of fear when it happens. After they work that for awhile, Suzuki just starts toying with Naito again and he can’t get shit going without Suzuki being two steps ahead, really good shit. Naito fades out in a sleeper but Suzuki gets over confident again and breaks it to go for the Gotch-Style Piledriver but Naito is able to fight out of it a couple times before making another cool comeback where he almost sells the knee a few times, but not really. He ends up hitting a Phoenix Splash out of nowhere for the win smh, that was great until the ending but maybe I’m biased bc I love Suzuki.
G1 Climax 23 Block A: Hiroshi Tanahashi  (w/ Captain New Japan) vs Prince Devitt  (w/ Bad Luck Fale)
Devitt comes out with a guitar and says he’s the real rock and roller and has Bad Luck Fale carry him to the ring on his shoulders Tanahashi gets Captain New Japan to do the same for him and Devitt looks PISSED Devitt hits him with a cheap guitar shot to start and then wears his entrance jacket to get some heat with the crowd. They start brawling with some decent hate to it until both cornermen get involved, tripping each guy up. They end up outside the ring and Devitt hits this AWESOME double foot stomp off the guard rail onto Tanahashi who was laying across two chairs Devitt working heel is hilarious to me, it’s not really that bad though and Tanahashi is so over as a face that it works for the most part, he even mocks Tanahashi’s air guitar abdominal stretch spot. Tanahashi is able to avoid another diving double stomp and mounts a fun comeback They go back and forth for a bit until Tanahashi is able to take out both Devitt and Fale with a dive that a little forced. We get a ref bump where Devitt kicks him right in the face so Fale comes in with a chair to take out Tanahashi, so Captain New Japan has to try and help but he sucks so Fale takes him out then drops Tanahashi with a Samoan Drop. Devitt kills Tanahashi with the chair, then hits the diving stomp using the chair but Tanahashi still kicks out Tanahashi fights back with a Sling Blade and we get some fun back and forth that sees Devitt sent into an exposed turnbuckle and Tanahashi hitting a Sky High Flow to Devitt’s back, but then Fale stops the second attempt and him grabbing Tanahashi isn’t a DQ for some reason. Da Cap gets involved again so they start brawling as Devitt gets his knees up for the next Sky High Flow, and Karl Anderson comes in out of nowhere with a Gun Stun and Devitt hits that DDT he does that has a number name that I can’t remember (1917? idk) for the win. Clusterfuck booking for sure, but if that’s the only match on the card like that I can fuck with it, it was pretty entertaining throughout.
Pre-Bullet Club celebrate after and Devitt says “I do not give one FUCK”
G1 Climax 23 Block A: Kazuchika Okada  (w/ Gedo) vs Togi Makabe 
Gedo straight up living vicariously through Okada bc he wanted to be him so bad Kinda the same formula as the Suzuki/Naito match from earlier where they start with chain wrestling then go to the strike exchanges, faster pace though. Makabe wins the battle in the ring but Okada slips to the outside and is able to slam Makabe into the rail a few times and starts working over the back that Makabe has taped up. Back in the ring, Okada working over the back some more is pretty fun, just weird that he works so heelish but the crowd is totally behind him, he’s pretty good at it though, way more believable at being the cocky guy at this point in his career than previously. Makabe is able to comeback with some power moves, but they take a toll on his back which he sells pretty well. This is good shit with Makabe landing some sick strikes but Okada still saying in it going at the back and hitting his stuff too. Okada fucks up trying to make this a striking battle though and Makabe has some great offense including a super close near fall off a Powerbomb. The crowd is chanting huge for Makabe now as he goes for a Spider German in but Okada his blocking it so he just fucking SLAMS OKADA’S FACE INTO THE POST HARD AS SHIT AND THEN HITS IT Okada barely moves out of the way from the diving knee drop after, great fucking sequence. They go back and forth with counters again with Makabe getting the better of it and he ends up countering the Rainmaker into a Dragon Suplex for the CLOSEST FUCKING NEAR FALL He lands the diving knee strike this time and wins, wow I knew Okada couldn’t win every match in this tournament but that’s not one I thought he’d lose, really fucking good match though.
G1 Climax 23 Block B: Kota Ibushi  vs Shinsuke Nakamura 
Their Wrestle Kingdom rematch was MOTY in like 2015 so I’ve seen that but the announcers were non-stop talking about this match and how everyone was looking forward to the rematch bc of it. Not really a fan of how it starts off with leg kicks and stuff but it picks up really soon and Nakamura’s unorthodox offense really gets to Ibushi bc he doesn’t know what to do against it so Nakamura looks like he’s bout to wash him and does a good job keeping Ibushi grounded at the start. Ibushi tries to get some space but Nakamura is able to avoid the high flying and ends up sending him over the guardrail with a big knee and just keeps wrecking him with knees in and out of the ring, using other shit like the ring post as well, and stuffing a few comebacks as well while just looking like he’s toying with Ibushi. Ibushi finally gets some space and starts doing his awesome high flying offense, dude might be god-tier of flippy shit. Nakamura tries to stay in it with his strikes, but Ibushi sends him out of the ring and hits this crazy springboard corkscrew spinning flippy dive to the outside He gets caught on the top rope though back in the ring and Nakamura again comes at him with the sick knee strikes, they’re like his whole offense more than Jinder “knee strikes” Mahal but Ibushi selling em like crazy. Ibushi has a comeback stuffed with a backstabber (another knee strike) and then he works a rear naked choke for a bit, switching it up. Ibushi ends up dodging the Kinshasa and they have this really cool counter exchange with some big moves mixed in and fuck Ibushi’s offense is just insane with the standing Phoenix Splash, a springboard top rope hurricanrana and even a fucking sit-out Last Ride He goes for a diving Phoenix Splash but Nakamura gets the knees up and hits the Kinshasa but can’t capitalize bc he’s so hurt so no pin attempt They have this hate-filled strike exchange where Ibushi says FUCK SLAPS and straight up starts punching the shit out of Nakamura’s face He gets a really close near fall after a solid roundhouse kick, but Nakamura fights back and hits a couple of his weird ass missile dropkicks and a shining wizard but Ibushi kicks out at ONE WHAT but then he tries to get up like he was gonna no sell it and just fucking Flair Flops onto his face bc he dead so Nakamura is able to hit another Kinshasa as he’s trying to get back up and gets the win. REALLY FUCKING GOOD MATCH If you don’t like Japanese wrestling much this probably won’t be too high for you but I fucks with it, definitely not surprised that style doesn’t translate to America very well for Shinsuke though but I can enjoy this for sure. The Wrestle Kingdom match was probably better but it’s been awhile since I reviewed it so I’m not really sure.
Nakamura gets a mic after the show but I don’t understand what he says then we go to the post-show press conference where Nakamura is still out of breath but once again I don’t speak Japanese so IDK what he says or what questions were asked, but the IWGP IC title looks awesome still. The announcers talk for awhile after and show highlights of the last match and an updated look at the tournament scorecards but everything is in Japanese so it does nothing for me lol. Then we get some highlights of the whole show including Takahashi’s thots shaking their asses with another close up of that before the show ends.
Overall a really fun show for it to have just been block singles matches, they got the shitty one out of the way early and the rest of the early ones were all pretty solid and the last few were a lot of fun.
Event: Battleground Date: October 6, 2013 Venue: First Niagara Center in Buffalo, New York Attendance: ~11,700 Commentators: Jerry Lawler, John Bradshaw Layfield, & Michael Cole
WWE Champion: Vacant World Heavyweight Champion: Alberto Del Rio WWE Intercontinental Champion: Curtis Axel WWE United States Champion: Dean Ambrose WWE Tag Team Champions: The Shield (Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins) WWE Divas Champion: AJ Lee World Heavyweight Championship Mr. Money in the Bank: Damien Sandow
Making an executive decision here to not review any kickoff shows for any of the future PPVs since they’ve started by this point, main cards only. Opening promo shows the Punk/Ryback feud plus Authority hilariousness including Big Show crying But HYPE for Rhodes Brothers vs Shield Also this Authority/Bryan fuckery ugh and Orton turning back to his “sadistic” side.
Starting out with the WHC match and LOL At Ricardo Rodriguez siding with RVD, I completely forgot about that Del Rio just ain’t the same without his personal ring announcer though. Ricardo gives RVD a cool introduction so Del Rio has Lilian Garcia introduce him in Spanish.
Hardcore Match for the World Heavyweight Championship: Alberto Del Rio (c) vs Rob Van Dam (w/ Ricardo Rodriguez)
Cole points out a “Cash it in Sandow” sign in the crowd...spoiler alert he won’t. Anyway they go outside early so RVD can do his ECW stuff since he’s HARDCORE and a chair gets introduced and RVD keeps taunting after every move smh. They go back and forth with control but this is moving pretty slow, but the crowd is super hot for RVD especially ones he brings out a ladder. The ladder gets used while set up in the corner a bit as the crowd starts a “we want tables” chant. Del Rio’s offense is way better than RVD’s with or without the ladder. Del Rio introduces a trash can next and dents it way too easily over RVD’s back before RVD is able to kick it into Del Rio’s face. RVD sets Del Rio on the ladder so he can hit a split-legged moonsault off it for the first two count of the match so far. He tries the same with Rolling Thunder but Del Rio rolls out so RVD hits the ladder and Del Rio locks on the Cross Armbreaker but Ricardo comes in with a bucket to break it up Del Rio throws out RVD and starts shit talking Ricardo who just beats him with the bucket again until Del Rio slams him into the barricade and takes him out with a kick to the face RVD recovers though and hits a fucking frog splash off the apron onto the ladder which he kicked on top of Del Rio, nice spot for sure. The crowd chants for tables again but RVD gets the chair Del Rio had wedged into the corner but never used and goes for the Van Terminator but Del Rio moved out of the way. Del Rio ends up hitting a drop toe hold sending RVD into the chair and then locks on the cross armbreaker with the arm wrapped in the chair so RVD has to tap Kinda underwhelming but also not bad at all, good choice of an opener bc it got the crowd into it but it def didn’t need 16 minutes, had a couple good spots and I fucks with the finish though.
Zeb Colter is backstage with Cesaro and Jack Swagger and talks some great shit about Buffalo and their “growing hispanic illegal population” and also those dirty maple syrup chugging Canadians sneaking across the border He makes some buffalo wing jokes about Santino and Great Khali before saying WE THE PEOPLE! They show a great shot of Niagara Falls outside the arena, before it’s ruined by Khali’s entrance accompanied by Hornswoggle but at least JBL makes FAT jokes about Hornswoggle.
The Great Khali & Santino Marella (w/ Hornswoggle) vs The Real Americans (Antonio Cesaro & Jack Swagger) (w/ Zeb Colter)
Santino one of my favorite comedy guys ngl but fuck Cesaro deserves better than this shit, even Swagger does. Swagger outwrestles Santino early easily and Santino tries a kip-up but fucks it up Santino introduces the cobra after fucking out wrestling Swagger somehow and then Hornswoggle tries to hit him with his mini cobra so Swagger rips it in half. Cesaro ends up taking off Santino’s cobra and throwing it into the crowd before they start isolating him in the corner. Santino again outwrestles Swagger to get the hot tag to Khali who takes forever to get to the ring Cesaro bumps his ass off for Khali’s shitty offense at least and Swagger has to save the match after Cesaro gets hit with the brain chop so Swagger gets one for his troubles and Santino hits a dive to the outside of the ring on him Cesaro goes at Khali’s knee and the crowd POPS HUGE FOR THE SWING ON KHALI Cesaro pins him after and they get the win, wait the swing won a match Even though that was better than I expected, it still had absolutely no business being on PPV but da swing was top notch, may have even made it worth it.
October is breast cancer awareness month so we get some superstars and divas talking about Susan G. Komen and that explains why everything has been pink tonight, kinda liked the pink middle rope but I think it would have been cooler if all three ropes were pink for the month.
Replay of Curtis Axel/R-Truth on Raw last week where Punk’s music played to distract Axel so Punk got the win and now he gets a IC Title shot up next. Another replay plays during Truth’s entrance showing Ryback and Axel laying out Truth on SmackDown a few days later.
WWE Intercontinental Championship: Curtis Axel (c) (w/ Paul Heyman) vs R-Truth
This is about what you’d expect which means it’s not that good but better than the last match at least. R-Truth takes the advantage with the same offense he’s been doing for 20 years but Axel outsmarts him and sends him into the barricade. Man Axel used to be so much better in the ring, not like he was great or anything but he’s so trash now compared to this. Truth has a decent comeback but the crowd gives no fucks at all bc they start cheering for JBL and King instead of anything happening in the match. Truth gets caught in the corner and Axel hits his facebuster thing for the win. Heyman’s facial expressions easily the best part of that match and don’t worry Truth, you’ll get another title in 5 and a half years
Replay of the Ziggler/Sandow kickoff match where Sandow injured his leg and loses to take away any chance of him cashing in during the WHC match earlier.
WWE Divas Championship: AJ Lee (c) (w/ Tamina Snuka) vs Brie Bella (w/ Nikki Bella)
Typical pre-revolution divas match, I’ve seen worse but this is just meh strikes and whatever, Brie introduces some new offense here, learning from fiance already, but AJ sends her into the ring post pretty early and goes into her heel work, focusing on the arm which is pretty nice but the crowd was already out of this from the last match so they’re just dead now until Brie starts a comeback but AJ “snaps” bc she’s crazy and goes back to the arm. Brie makes another comeback and all I can hear is Nikkie yelling “Come on Brie” during it. But out of nowhere Tamina just starts choking out Nikki outside of the ring so Brie gets distracted and AJ rolls her up for the win That really wasn’t all that bad but fuck that finish.
Promo package for the only match worth watching on this PPV airs for the Rhodes Brothers vs Shield Goldust wearing face paint while wearing a suit still gets me Also RIP Dusty The stipulation is the Rhodes Brothers get their jobs back if they win but if they lose they stay fired and Dusty loses his job as trainer for NXT. Dusty says he’s gonna be in his sons’ corner and “I’ll be your huckleberry all night long”
Young Renee Young is backstage with the Rhodes family and Dusty cuts another great promo, Goldust’s is nice too, Cody’s ain’t bad either bc he says he’d be lucky if he had half Dusty’s charisma and half of Goldust’s in-ring skills, dude burying himself But man I fucking LOVE Goldust in character with the rest of his family and them just accepting him as the weirdo he is.
Rhodes family come out to Dusty’s theme
Cody Rhodes & Goldust (w/ Dusty Rhodes) vs The Shield (Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins) (w/ Dean Ambrose)
Still rules, Rhodes brothers come out on fire and Shield’s gotta regroup early, man I forgot how much I loved this early tag team of Reigns and Rollins while Ambrose was just fucking around not defending his US title. Shield tries to target Dusty but his sons come to his aid and Dusty takes his damn belt of ready for a fight Crowd is super hot and Rhodes and Goldust are just on their fucking game tonight. Shield ends up getting the best of Cody though bc he’s obviously the weak link so the match slows down for a bit after that great action to start, and the crowd pops huge everytime Cody tries a comeback and starts a “we want Goldust” chant Cody hits a moonsault and gets the hot tag to Goldust and IT FUCKING RULES Goldust busts out all his old shit and some new stuff too before he ends up getting sent out of the ring pretty hard to end that awesome hot tag sequence. Goldust barely makes it back in the ring at a count of 9, but Shield is in full control on him now. Goldust comes back after a few minutes and it’s Cody’s turn for an awesome hot tag and he hits a fucking Muscle Buster It breaks down with all four guys in the ring for a bit and Dean tries to get involved too but the distraction allows Rollins to take out Cody so Dusty hits Ambrose with the metal end of his belt and a bionic elbow Goldust takes out Reigns outside of the ring and Cody hits the Cross Rhodes for the win and a HUGE FUCKING POP Awesome shit bro, if that was the main event it would have made up for all the shit before it but too bad there’s still more left. They didn’t even play any music after the win for awhile but the didn’t need to bc the crowd was so fucking loud.
After the match a bunch of current roster guys plus some legends come out to celebrate with the Rhodes Family, more good shit.
We go to the pre-show panel of Josh Matthews, The Miz, Titus O’neil and Tensai what a fuckin’ panel. Miz is a face I’m pretty sure bc he’s all aboard the Rhodes hype train, man he used to suck as a face. Tensai mentions how no championship has changed hands tonight but by the end of the night we have to see a new WWE Champion...spoiler alert, we don’t
Brad Maddox is backstage on the phone looking stressed af telling Stephanie that the Rhodes won. Vickie comes in and he tells her that Triple H and Steph had to leave so he needs Vickie’s help bc there’s gonna be hell to pay if they don’t make sure the rest of the night goes smoothly. Vickie just laughs and says it’s all on Maddox and leaves him alone.
Bray Wyatt (w/ Erick Rowan & Luke Harper) vs Kofi Kingston
Oh shit back when I was a fan of Wyatt and Kofi was going nowhere in the company, how things have changed. This is like a slightly extended Wyatt NXT squash, no clue why it was booked on a PPV, but Wyatt’s antics were still pretty fun here even though his actual offense sucks. Crowd is cheering for Wyatt like the whole time, at least they aren’t dead or cheering for the announcers. Kingston makes a decent comeback but misses Trouble in Paradise and Wyatt just throws his body into Kingston all Husky Harris-like Wyatt spider walks towards Kingston and he looks scared af but he’s able to send Wyatt outside the ring and hits a dive onto all three members of the Family and the crowd starts an “ECW” chant for some dumb reason. Kingston keeps fighting in the ring until Wyatt reverses and SOS attempt into Sister Abigail for the win, ending was cool at least but that was probably even worse than the Khali match.
Afterwards, Rowan and Harper take out Kingston again as Wyatt says there is no right or wrong, all that is left are the ones trying to force feed us on their ideas of purity, but in time there will be none left bc one by one they will fall. FOLLOW THE BUZZARDS!
We get a replay of Cesaro swinging Khali again since that’s one of the higher points of this show before a video package showing how Ryback became the new Paul Heyman guy and started this feud with Punk. Heyman and Ryback were actually pretty hilarious together.
CM Punk vs Ryback (w/ Paul Heyman)
Crowd is super hot for Punk but also can’t help but chant “Goldberg” toward Ryback. The second Punk gets any offense in, Ryback goes out of the ring towards Heyman and just says “what do I do?” Heyman tells him to stand up to bullies so he runs back in, gets hit a couple more times and slides back out but Punk meets him with a suicide dive this time and then slams him in the post before going back in the ring. Crowd starts a “you can’t wrestle” chant as Ryback starts throwing Punk around and the camera zooms in real close to his face as he says “I don’t care” Ryback’s offense is boring as shit though and it’s not made any better by Cole and JBL arguing on commentary. He just keeps doing basic power stuff and stops a few comeback attempts while the crowd keeps chanting “Goldberg” and fucking finally Punk comes back after hitting some sick elbows in a ground and pound after countering a submission and has a fun comeback until Heyman gets a mic and calls himself the best in the world bc he pinned CM Punk and Punk’s dumbass just stares at him until Ryback attacks him and kills him with a Powerbomb for two. Heyman tells him to do it again but Punk counters this time and hits a roundhouse kick and starts hitting his usual comeback stuff, including a Macho Man elbow that he takes FOREVER to hit but Ryback doesn’t move or anything. Punk hits a few more corner knees while staring at Heyman before countering another Powerbomb into a Hurricanrana, but Ryback counters the GTS into a powerslam, that sequence wasn’t bad at all. Heyman ends up pulling out a kendo stick but the ref sees him before he can use it so Punk hits a low blow and gets the pin after that fuck that finish, fuck most of that match but it did have a couple high points even though it was mostly boring.
Back to the kickoff panel where they talk about the last match and hype up the main event. All three pick Daniel Bryan to win including Miz
Replay of the Night of Champions match where Bryan wins but Scott Armstrong counted bc The Authority is playing 4D chess here and HHH ends up vacating the title. Steph tells Orton she wants the old heartless Orton back so he destroys Miz in front of his mom was Mr. Miz not there bc he’s never been proud of his son yet? Also last week on Raw Orton was destroying Bryan so Brie comes out but doesn’t do shit but watch as he DDTs Bryan on the floor and RKOs him through the announce table.
WWE Championship: Daniel Bryan vs Randy Orton
Crowd is super hot for Bryan, and they start out with some pretty basic technical and chain wrestling which Bryan is great at and y’all all know Orton’s got a mean headlock so it’s nice stuff. It’s moving pretty slow but Cole’s over here putting over Bryan having a detached retina and wrestling with an eyepatch when he was younger Bryan busts out some decent submission work, but it just doesn’t go anywhere before he’s back to doing strikes which get all the “YES!” pops. They mostly just go back and forth but idk it’s just like they aren’t really doing much, a few good spots here or there but nothing is really clicking for me. I wasn’t really a big fan of this era Orton, but he’s not lazy or anything during this match, it’s just like both guys are doing random stuff for a bit and then it’s the other guys turn to, but none of it is bad or anything so this is just kinda weird. Finally picks up when Bryan does his usual comeback and hits a suicide dive to the outside, crowd still being hot is helping this out a lot as well. They brawl on the outside for a bit but the damn ref started counting too fast so that doesn’t last long unfortunately. Bryan ends up catching a diving Bryan into an awesome powerbomb and busts out a Boston crab, pretty cool spot there but this crab kinda sucks tbh. Back outside the ring Orton starts getting vicious using the ring post and barricade before hitting a superplex like daddy Orton back inside. Crowd gets Bryan back into it with a pretty fun strike exchange that he wins but Orton dumps him back outside pretty hard and starts stripping the Spanish announce table but Bryan is able to fight out of a powerbomb attempt and break up the ref’s count after sending Orton into the steps and then hitting a crazy crossbody from the top rope to the outside. Bryan connects with a diving headbutt back inside for the closest near fall so far. Bryan picks up the pace and this is way better than earlier plus the crowd is crazy hot for every move and kick he lands until Orton kills the momentum with a suplex, good shit now. Really good sequence where Bryan locks in the Yes Lock after countering an RKO but then fucking Big Show’s music hits and he sprints down the ring as fast as he can and throws the ref out Show looks distraught bc he’s only doing this to keep his job bc of his terrible feud with The Authority and then KOs Bryan. Brad Maddox brings out Scott Armstrong to count Orton’s pin but Show KOs Armstrong instead and Orton starts calling him stupid before Show KOs him too
Match got 24 minutes just for that fucking no contest ending smh fuck that, last half was a lot better than the weird first half but then it was just fucked up by the no contest, I will say that the crowd was still hot for it at the end which kinda helps I guess. Only watch Shield/Rhodes from this show unless you hate yourself smh Big Show out here taunting on a turnbuckle to end a PPV in 2013
Event:Battleground Date: July 20, 2014 Venue: Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa, Florida Attendance: ~12,000 Commentators: Jerry Lawler, John “Bradshaw” Layfield, & Michael Cole
WWE World Heavyweight Champion: John Cena WWE Intercontinental Champion: Vacant WWE United States Champion: Sheamus WWE Tag Team Champions: The Usos (Jey & Jimmy Uso) WWE Divas Champion: AJ Lee Mr. Money in the Bank: Seth Rollins
Opening video package show The Authority’s feud with Cena and booking him into a Fatal 4-Way match for his title tonight and teasing that if he survive it “there’s always a plan B” talking about Rollins potential cashing in MITB.
2-out-of-3 Falls Match for the WWE Tag Team Championship: The Usos (Jey & Jimmy Uso) (c) vs The Wyatt Family (Erick Rowan & Luke Harper)
Bold of them to open with probably the best match on the card from what I remember, getting some WCW vibes First fall is fine, nothing crazy but the crowd is pretty hot for both teams. Wyatt’s take control early with their power and the Usos try to comeback with their speed but out of nowhere Harper hits a big boot right after Jimmy gets a hot tag for the first fall it was a pretty sick big boot at least but ugh that would never get a three count in a regular match. Wyatt Family up 1-0. I think JBL is actually worse at getting Harper and Rowan’s names right than The Usos smh. Second fall ain’t shit, Jey gets a roll-up really quick to tie it up. Tied 1-1. Third fall is way better, like they waited to start the match for it and shit really starts going now with a super hot crowd. Usos finally able to get some advantage and just start flying around, really fun stuff. Then it switches momentum and it’s Harper’s turn to start flying, third fall blowing the first two out of the water Usos almost win with another roll-up after Harper got caught trying another suicide dive but he comes back with a sit-out powerbomb for a nice near fall. Both Wyatt’s miss diving moves but Harper is able to kick out of Jey’s Splash and the crowd is going WILD Rowan then ends up DOUBLE SUPERPLEXING BOTH USOS BRUH Harper ends up hitting the discus clothesline after a great sequence but Jimm ends up saving the match this fucking rules bro. Usos end up hitting their double splash for the win, first two falls were meh but BRO THAT THIRD FALL Nothing topping that on this show.
Video package showing the Ambrose/Rollins feud after Rollins turned on The Shield and hyping up the Rollins/Ambrose match that’s supposed to be next.
Backstage a young buzz cut Tom Phillips is backstage with Rollins and he says he’s smiling bc tonight is the night he finally finishes off Ambrose and tonight Ambrose is going to get everything he bargained for and when Rollins is finished with him then his eyes are going to be glued to the main event tonight bc we may be looking at the next WWE World- but then Ambrose attacks him out of nowhere and he’s gotta be pulled off by officials and Triple H comes out and throws Ambrose out of the building and says he doesn’t want to see him back in here….so no Ambrose/Rollins match tonight
Paige comes out for her match instead and we get a replay of her beating AJ a few months ago in her debut match on Raw. Then during AJ’s entrance we get a replay of AJ basically doing the same thing a couple months later to win it back.
WWE Divas Championship: AJ Lee (c) vs Paige
They’re acting all fake friendly to start this which is dumb af but the crowd just starts chanting “CM Punk” bc of AJ It starts out okay, Paige has some real nice strikes but this goddamn commentary is fucking atrocious by the time it goes into a more rest-hold formula, at least the crowd has gotten into this by now even though it hasn’t been much of anything yet. Crowd doesn’t stay in it long and this fake friendly stuff hurts Paige bc it’s dumb af then she hilariously botches a spear through the ropes Then she tries a sunset flip powerbomb off the top rope that was almost botched too but it mostly connected but then she just starts looking all concerned about her “friend” again so AJ comes back STUPID FUCKING SHIT! AJ counters into the Black Widow and Paige has these death screams going on in it she fights out though and hits the Paige Turner but AJ kicks out oh shit, crowd back into it. Paige again frustrated bc she’s friends with AJ again or something and goes into the PTO and they fuck up some pinning combinations until AJ hits the Shining Wizard for the win. That was a fuckin’ mess, the couple botches wouldn’t have hurt near as bad if they weren’t doing that stupid fake friendship shit throughout.
Backstage Orton is in the basement or something looking for Kane Kane shows up and says in his most monotone voice “you made an unwise decision coming here Randy.” Orton apologizes for last Monday and expects Kane to apologize back for punching him but Kane ain’t having it. Orton keeps sucking up and says they need to make sure Roman Reigns and John Cena can’t leave with the titles and Kane assures him that the winner of the match tonight is “standing right here.” Dude sounding like a video game character when voice acting in them first became a thing.
Renee Young is with the rest of the kickoff panel, Booker T, Alex Riley, and Christian. Christian and Booker shit on Riley for not winning any titles Renee asks for predictions for the main event and Riley says Reigns which gets a pop from the crowd bc they haven’t turned on him yet. Christian picks Cena and Booker picks Orton, sorry Kane.
Replay of Rusev/Lana and Zeb/Swagger confronting each other on Raw last week where Lana slaps Zeb and Swagger gets caught in the Patriot Lock.
Lana and Rusev are out next and Lana cuts her usual 2014 promo about American propaganda and Russian excellency that gets some great heat. Swagger and Zeb get an awesome “We the people” pop bc nothing gets people over more in wrestling than waving an American flag. Zeb tries to cut a promo and calls them Natasha and Boris BRUH I was just reading an old Iron Man comic from like the 60s the other day and that was the names of the two Russian villains Anyway Lana slaps him and Rusev and Swagger start the match.
Jack Swagger (w/ Zeb Colter) vs Rusev (w/ Lana)
Swagger goes for the Patriot Lock early so Rusev has to regroup to the outside then they end up just trading some basic strikes until Swagger goes for it again and Rusev goes back out but this time Swagger meets him to stop that shit and then Rusev ends up getting some nice offense inside the ring, working of the back to soften Swagger up for the Accolade I presume, but then he switches to a fucking nerve hold ugh. Crowd gets Swagger into it to fight out of that basic ass hold but Rusev comes back at him with strikes and talking shit in Russian. Swagger finally gets smart and stomps on Rusev’s barefoot but Rusev launches him over the top rope and just keeps punching Swagger off the apron until he gets PISSED and makes hilarious angry faces before starting a fun comeback, best part of the match so far for sure. Rusev finally stops it with a sick kick to the face, but Swagger catches the Machka Kick into a Patriot Lock and they work it for a bit until Rusev gets a rope break and crawls all the way out of the ring so Swagger follows and locks it in outside of the ring as the crowd starts counting and Rusev reverses, sending Swagger into the post and Rusev barely makes it in at 9 so Swagger gets counted out. Finish was cool, most of this was meh stuff though.
After the match Lana tells Rusev to crush so he sends Swagger back into the ring and hobbles on his injured ankle to locks in the Accolade. Also during that match Triple H tweeted that Dean Ambrose would not be allowed back into the arena after his attack earlier.
Backstage Stardust is rambling about the cosmos and destiny and Goldust shows up talking about them having to find the cosmic key or some shit and Stardust says tonight they watch the stars and very soon we are going to hear the names Goldust and Stardust, wow so much has changed in less than a year.
Seth Rollins comes out even though his match seems to be canceled and we get a replay of Ambrose’s attack earlier and getting thrown out of the building. The ref announces this like a match is still happening so the announcers act all confused but Rollins says that since his opponent has been ejected from the building, he’s come out to accept his victory via forfeit Justin Roberts announces Rollins as the winner and the ref raises his hand, probably better than the last two matches tbh.
BUT WAIT Ambrose is back and attacks Rollins on the ramp and starts beating him up in the crowd before sending him on top of the Spanish announce table. Security pulls Ambrose off but he breaks away and keeps brawling with Rollins despite security constantly pulling him off. Triple H comes out and finally gets them to take Ambrose away and they literally carry him by his feet out but this time Rollins jumps on Ambrose as the crowd is chanting “let them fight” but they finally get some order, that was entertaining...a match would have been more entertaining though. King and JBL the absolute worse on commentary once again too.
Video package of the Bray Wyatt/Chris Jericho feud airs showing Jericho returning and being targeted by The Wyatt Family. Wyatt’s promos during this were pretty awesome bringing up the Save Us Y2J stuff.
Bray Wyatt (w/ Erick Rowan & Luke Harper) vs Chris Jericho
Wyatt’s got a sick looking black eye. They got back and forth mostly just striking at the beginning, Wyatt also steals Paige’s “This is my house!” gimmick, and the crowd is pretty split between these two so far. Rowan and Harper get involved as Jericho goes for the Walls of Jericho early on which gives Wyatt the advantage, but not for long before Jericho sends him outside and hits a dive off the top rope onto all three Wyatt Family members. The ref catches Harper getting involved so he send both Harper and Rowan backstage which gets the crowd to pop nicely and Wyatt has this hilarious facial expression for it before sending Jericho off the apron into a cameraman. They keep going back and forth in the ring without anyone having a real prolonged advantage, some decent offense by both guys, but nothing really worth noting. Wyatt gets frustrated after he can’t get the three count after an apron DDT bc his foot was under the bottom rope so he had to reposition to cover, and they start countering finishers now. Wyatt gets a near fall after a running body block but then out of nowhere he walks right into a Codebreaker for the win Solid match, got decent time at 15 minutes even though it wasn’t anything special but that finish felt really flat even with Wyatt getting his win back later in the feud.
Backstage Seth Rollins looks to be leaving the arena and tells the security guys that he’s fine and sends them off before getting paranoid and looking around the parking lot like he heard something when Ambrose fucking comes out from the trunk of Seth’s car they brawl in the parking lot before Rollins is able to get in the car and drives away with his trunk still open This arena got the WOAT security where's J&J
Bad New Barrett had to vacate the Intercontinental Championship, so we get a battle royale for it up next. Everyone gets short entrances including Big E with his awesome old theme and the current United States Champion, Sheamus and Sandow dressed as fucking Gilligan or something. Barrett comes out after everyone else with his arm in a sling and he’s got some BAD NEWS for whoever wins bc whoever wins will be like an old couple retiring in Florida bc at first it’ll be great but it’s just delaying the inevitable bc he’s gonna come back to take his title when he’s healthy.
Battle Royal for the WWE Intercontinental Championship: Alberto Del Rio vs Big E vs Bo Dallas vs Cesaro vs Curtis Axel vs Damien Sandow vs Diego vs Dolph Ziggler vs The Great Khali vs Heath Slater vs Kofi Kingston vs The Miz vs R-Truth vs Ryback vs Sheamus vs Sin Cara vs Titus O’Neil vs Xavier Woods vs Zack Ryder
Pretty basic battle royal, everyone tries to eliminate Khali early but it doesn’t work and he throws out a few guys early before Sheamus hits him with a Brogue Kick and everyone throws him over. Ziggler looks like he’s gonna spend most of this match as usual. Miz is an absolute genius bc he goes under the bottom rope and just starts chilling Sheamus and Ryback end up in a standoff since they’ve easily been the most dominate two guys so far until Sheamus Brogue Kicks him out, good shit. Miz comes back in out of nowhere to try and takeout Sheamus but ends up going back under the bottom rope GENIUS! Dallas eliminates O’Neil and does his awesome victory lap after before he gets taken down but not eliminated. Kingston and Cesaro have an awesome spot where they each almost get eliminated. Miz sneaks back in to try and eliminate Ziggler but gets taken down instantly and back under the rope Cesaro fucking belly-to-belly suplexes Big E to eliminate him and then Kingston almost gets eliminated but gets caught by Big E on his shoulders but Cesaro fuckin’ dead lifts suplexes him back in the ring Cesaro finally eliminates him with a suplex but fuckin’ Heat Slater eliminates Cesaro right after Last four are Dallas, Sheamus, Ziggler and Miz still on the outside. Dallas gets eliminated pretty quick and Sheamus/Ziggler go at it, botch a couple moves but not awkwardly, just painfully. Sheamus almost gets eliminated but only one foot touched so they both end up on the apron but then Ziggler superkicks him to eliminate him but then Miz comes from behind and eliminates Ziggler to win That was lowkey one of the better battle royals I’ve seen. S/o Miz for laying on the floor for 90% of the match and then winning.
Video package for the main event airs, showing HHH punishing Cena for not joining them and booking him in a fatal 4-way match.
WWE World Heavyweight Championship: John Cena (c) vs Kane vs Randy Orton vs Roman Reigns
Kane and Orton get like no reactions, Cena gets his usual love/hate and Reigns gets a nice pop like the crowd ain’t gonna turn on him in less than a year Kane/Reigns pair up while Cena/Orton end up out of the ring with Cena getting sent in the steps early. Kane and Orton are able to work as a team at first and Kane seems content with letting Orton take the pinfalls. That formula continues until Reigns is able to take out Kane outside and Cena dumps out Orton so we get a Reigns/Cena standoff but Kane and Orton take them out before anything happens. Orton gets pissed when Kane attempts a pinfall so they get in each other’s face as I think the crowd was chanting “Daniel Bryan” but they go on to “Yes!” chants as Orton and Kane start fighting each other. We get a tower of doom spot bc there’s 4 guys in this match and then another Cena/Reigns tease but it doesn’t happen bc Orton comes in and hits a draping DDT on both guys at one time but Kane breaks up the pin this time. Cena and Reigns lock on dueling submissions on Orton at one point before Kane breaks it up and Cena hits him with an AA but Kane rolls out of the ring after so Cena locks on the STF on Orton and Orton is about to tap but Reigns does the spot where he grabs his arm so he can’t Reigns and Cena finally go at it, was def worth the wait bc it’s good shit. Reigns hits the spear and LOL Cena was looking for Kane to make sure he didn’t need to kick out but Kane broke it up in time. Reigns continues being the MVP hitting a drive by on all three guys before spearing Orton through the barricade Reigns spears Kane and Cena barely breaks it up in time and then hits an AA on Kane before Reigns makes the save this time. Reigns gets hit with an AA so Kane has to make the save, some really good near falls here. Kane chokeslams Cena and Reigns but Reigns kicks at two and Kane is PISSED Kane signals for the Tombstone but Reigns hits another spear but fuckin’ Orton had to come back in to break it up, he hits an RKO on Reigns but Cena comes in and hits an AA on Orton on top of Kane and pins Kane for the win. Great ending, pretty good match overall too.
Cena leaves super quick so no tease of Rollins cashing in but dude already drove off anyway lmao
PPV started great and ended pretty good as well, stuff in between wasn’t really good but this was one of the better worst shows I’ve reviewed and way better than last year’s Battleground easily.
Event: G1 Climax 24 - Night 7 Date: August 1, 2014 Venue: Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan Attendance: 2,015
IWGP Heavyweight Champion: AJ Styles IWGP Intercontinental Champion: Bad Luck Fale IWGP Tag Team Champions: Bullet Club (Doc Gallows & Karl Anderson) IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion: KUSHIDA IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions: Time Splitters (Alex Shelley & KUSHIDA) NEVER Openweight Champion: Yujiro Takahashi
S/o @The EC. Another G1 Climax like last year, same format and a lot of the same participants but with the notable addition of AJ Styles. Really tiny arena too, I didn’t think Korakuen was this small they got like no entrance area. Also Jushin liger is on commentary with two other guys but I only knew that from the mask since I don’t speak Japanese. Also this is broken up into each match on NJPW World instead of the full show but that’s not really a problem bc these don’t really have anything in between the matches anyway, which is nice bc it’s just a night of wrestling.
G1 Climax 24 Block A: Satoshi Kojima  vs Shelton X Benjamin  (w/ TAKA Michinoku)
Kojima is a current NWA Tag Team Champion so he’s got his belt with him. Nice chain wrestling to start off, Benjamin gets the better of it and after a couple minutes they end up outside the ring where Benjamin keeps taking it to Kojima, dude really wrecking him so far whether it be brawling or wrestling. Benjamin keeps dominating for a bit until Kojima comes back and starts hitting a shit ton of chops in the corner that Benjamin sells so hilariously They brawl outside some more with Kojima getting the advantage this time, hitting a DDT on the mat. Real nice strike battle in the ring that Benjamin was losing ‘til he goes back to the wrestling with some rolling germans. They go back and forth some more, Kojima with strikes and Benjamin with wrestling, Kojima gets locked in the Ankle Lock for a bit that he keeps selling afterwards so that’s cool. More good back and forth action until Kojima counters Paydirt and hits a huge lariat for the win. Pretty good opener to start off the show.
G1 Climax 24 Block B: Lance Archer  (w/ TAKA Michinoku) vs Toru Yano 
Archer spits water all over the crowd during his entrance but ugh what a terrible matchup. Yano does his usual comedy cheating spots that aren’t that funny, no wonder he consistently has the worst match on these cards. Neither of these guys can carry the other, but Archer beating up Yano ain’t the worst thing I’ve seen in a wrestling ring. Archer almost takes out the ref by accident so Yano does the Eddie spot with a chair and as the ref is taking it away from Archer, hits a low blow and a roll-up for a near fall. Yano tries to use the chair right in front of the ref but Archer punches it into his face and hits his Inverted Crucifix Bomb for the win. Glad that was kept short bc it could have been a lot worse.
G1 Climax 24 Block B: Karl Anderson  vs Yujiro Takahashi 
Anderson says this place sold out in minutes bc of him Takahashi doesn’t have any thots with him this time Kinda basic stuff here from two guys that also normally need to be carried a bit, Anderson is better than Takahashi so he carries this as best as he can to an okay brawl. They go back and forth most of the match with some solid action here and there, wish Anderson could work a crowd like this in the US, think he may have carried over worse than Nakamura to the USA. The exchanges get better throughout, nothing really blowing me away but it’s just decent stuff. Anderson goes for a couple Gun Stuns late but Takahashi does a good job avoiding them until Anderson finally hits one after getting out of a Fireman’s Carry for the win. Just solid stuff, not really good or bad but def not anything to bring down a card, if it’s a forgettable match then the rest of the card is probably pretty good.
They’re Bullet Club buddies so Anderson helps Takahashi up afterwards and they give each other the Wolfpac high five.
G1 Climax 24 Block A: Davey Boy Smith Jr.  (w/ TAKA Michinoku) vs Doc Gallows 
Gallows with this face paint Pretty solid for two Americans that are tag regulars, especially with one of them being Gallows. Typical power stuff to start with Smith once again looking fire, he ends up hitting this awesome delayed vertical suplex bc he STRONG AF! Gallows takes control outside of the ring and literally takes a chair that a fan was sitting in even though there was an empty one right beside him for some reason it’s not a DQ when he throws it on Smith, maybe it’s like the old SmackDown games where if you pressed the button to throw the weapon instead of hit your opponent you wouldn’t get DQ’d Gallows has some pretty basic and boring offense back in the ring but the crowd keeps trying to get Smith back into it which is cool and when he gets back on offense it’s way better. One weird botch where it looks like they weren’t sure what move Smith was doing off a rope rebound happens but Smith goes right to work with more strikes so it didn’t really hurt anything, camera angle helped too. Gallows gets a couple near falls off some bigger moves late bc they start hitting dual lariats on each other until Smith is able to lock in the Sharpshooter, it’s kinda shitting bc Gallows is fat but he taps regardless. Slightly better than I expected, thanks Davey.
G1 Climax 24 Block B: Hirooki Goto  vs Hiroyoshi Tenzan 
Tenzan is the other half of the NWA Tag Team Champions so he’s got his belt with him too. This is a lot of fun, just action packed through out with striking and suplexes and stuffed mixed in. Goto ends up with the advantage after the opening sequence and just takes it to Tenzan but the crowd is hot for Tenzan the whole time and he kinda mini-hulks up from it but Goto just takes him right back down. Tenzan finally makes his comeback, kinda underwhelming tbh but the hot crowd helps a lot. Gets a lot more fun when they start going back and forth again and Tenzan is able to lock in the Anaconda Vice for a bit for a huge pop. They have another awesome counter exchange before Goto hits a fireman’s carry into his knee, great stuff. Tenzan sells it like he’s dying but Goto can’t cover in time bc of all the punishment he’s taken so he only gets a two count when he does. Awesome strike exchange ensues where Goto wins with a headbutt right on Tenzan’s fuckin’ ear. Tenzan counters a shining wizard and hits a couple headbutts of his own but both guys look concussed from them Tenzan hits this cool scoop slam driver that I think the commentator calls “DDD” but it only gets a two count so Tenzan ends up hitting an Anaconda Vice slam and keeps the vice locked in until Goto taps out. Great stuff throughout that, they didn’t spam a lot of big moves or anything but kept the crowd hooked and me entertained. I’m loving how guys just go all out in these 10 or so minute matches.
G1 Climax 24 Block A: Bad Luck Fale  vs Tomoaki Honma 
Honma got a little New Jack forehead going on. Classic speed vs power stuff here, Fale got the most basic offense ever but the crowd is super hot for Honma and he bumps around nice making Fale look strong as shit. He’s able to send Fale outside onto the rail and I think a fan got their hand smashed between it and Fale Honma goes up op and just falls on him head first bc headbutts are his thing, he never goes for Fale’s head though so I don’t have to complain about a Samoan selling headbutts. Honma’s offense is a lot of fun, but he fucks up trying for a suplex so Fale just slams him and starts wrecking him with power shit again. He goes for a crucifix bomb but Honma rolls out into a sunset flip for an AWESOME hot near fall. It takes three lariats but Honma finally brings Fale down with a huge pop from the crowd. He misses his weird diving headbutt though and just goes head first straight into the mat dude gotta have CTE. Fale kills him with a lariat and then a Samoan Spike that Honma jumped for like a chokeslam for some reason for a two count. Fale then goes for the Crucifix Bomb again except it’s not really a bomb, he just fucking throws Honma across the ring and dude lands HARD on his head and Fale gets the win Good booking to keep that short, way better than the earlier shorter matches as well even with Fale’s limited offense. They replay that sick bump at the end and I think Honma’s knee even came down on his face, dude def has CTE They literally scrape him off the mat and some poor skinny dude has to carry him to the back in a fuckin’ piggy back ride.
G1 Climax 24 Block B: Tetsuya Naito  vs Togi Makabe 
Naito is way more over at this point and he’s improved a good bit too with some nice fast-paced offense, but he still makes some younger mistakes that let Makabe take control early, sending him into the ring post. Naito’s bumping around really well for Makabe who keeps the pace pretty slow working the crowd which makes Naito’s comeback hella fun. His offense is really good stuff, he just flies around not letting Makabe get any space until Makabe is finally able to close in on him and kill him with some strikes. They kinda just trade the momentum back and forth but this is a way better speed vs power match-up than Fale/Honma. They have this strike battle where Naito looks like he’s doing no damage while just eating elbows until Makabe kills him with a lariat Makabe hits a big falling powerbomb but Naito kicks out at two so he hits a rolling death valley driver this time but Naito still kicks out so Makabe is starting to get desperate and goes to lift him onto the top rope but Naito fights back and they have this cool counter exchange before Makabe goes up top again for the Spider German Suplex and does the spot where he slams Naito’s face on the post again like he did to Okada but Naito still holds on so he does it again before hitting the german and a diving knee strike for the win Great match.
G1 Climax 24 Block B: AJ Styles  vs Minoru Suzuki  (w/ TAKA Michinoku)
So this was MOTY for 2014 and I reviewed it earlier, but I’m hyped bc I love both these guys and this was a great match the first time I saw it. Crowd singing along to Suzuki’s theme is still Awesome hate-filled start, Styles out performs Suzuki in the ring so Suzuki tries to go outside and send Styles into the rail but he hits the Phenomenal Forearm off of it instead Styles stays in control but Suzuki is disrespecting his strikes so hard so Styles has to go with more traditional wrestling moves. Suzuki reverses a second Phenomenal Forearm and locks in an armbar through the ropes, good fuckin’ shit. Suzuki’s brawling is fuckin’ awesome, they go into the crowd and he tries to break Styles’s arm through a chair and then just looks content to take the count out victory in the ring but Styles is back in before 20 so Suzuki goes back to work on the arm with some GREAT offense with equally great selling from Styles. Styles has this awesome desperate attempt to fight out where he ends up hitting a suplex into the corner and he remembers to sell the arm while he’s on offense Ref takes bump and my boy TAKA is in the ring INSTANTLY stomping on Styles but Gallows and Anderson come out and kill him so Smith Jr and Archer come out to even it up and they brawl out of the arena leaving us with Suzuki and Styles NICE! Ref’s back up and they have an awesome strike battle that Suzuki wins bc he’s fuckin’ killer with his strikes so Styles has to use his quickness and counters to avoid them. He does this taunt at one point where he does a gun point to Suzuki’s head but Suzuki just grabs his fingers and tries to break it Suzuki then has another awesome counter of a Phenomenal Forearm into an arm bar where he’s bending the fingers back even more Styles fights out of the Gotch-Style Piledriver and somehow goes for the Styles Clash awesomely but Suzuki counters that into an Ankle Lock BRUH They go back and forth in ankle locks until Suzuki blocks one from Styles into an armbar/finger breaker that he then turns into a triangle but STYLES STANDS UP IN IT AND TURNS IT INTO A STYLES CLASH He can’t make the cover afterwards though and they end up meeting in the middle of the ring for a chop battle where Suzuki is just fuckin’ killing him again bc Styles is still selling the arm so he hits a pele kick instead and then another Styles clash for the win GREAT FUCKING MATCH BRO
G1 Climax 24 Block A: Katsuyori Shibata  vs Yuji Nagata 
Shibata’s theme song ain’t have to go this hard bruh. Slow feeling out process and chain wrestling to start before Shibata shows some disrespect to old man Nagata so Nagata starts wrecking him with strikes including a big boot over the guard rail, but that doesn’t last long as they end up trading sick elbows outside while the referee is counting and they both almost get counted out before rushing inside the ring before 20 It slows down a bit in the ring with some night mat wrestling before Shibata’s dumbass starts disrespecting Nagata again with slaps smh dude gets wrecked every time he pisses the old man off. They trade some really nice strikes with Nagata getting the edge mostly, plus his look way stronger anyway but it still goes back and forth until both guys end up dead on the mat. Shibata’s youth comes into play bc he recovers quicker and is able to take advantage, but Nagata has all the counters and they end up trading a couple suplex variations. Nagata ends up locking in a Fujwara Armbar and does the fuckin’ Undertaker eye thing like he’s having an orgasm almost breaking this dude’s arm Shibata fights out and they trade some more suplexes which I love bc I’m a slut for some suplexes. Nagata just starts eating some strikes which are way weaker at this point in the match until he just lays out Shibata with a slap They continue trading strikes and I think Nagata laughs at one point before he ends up hitting a sick backdrop driver but only gets two so he fuckin’ does it again and Shibata dead so he wins this time Another great match, hard to follow Styles/Suzuki though.
G1 Climax 24 Block A: Shinsuke Nakamura  vs Tomohiro Ishii 
Shockingly this doesn’t start with kicks or brawling, but they actually lock up. Ishii gets pissed at Nakamura’s taunting though and it breaks down after with some nice exchanges and counters. Ishii’s got a counter for a lot of Nakamura’s usual stuff, so he has to switch it up which makes this a lot of fun. Ishii comes back and has a lot of fun offense too, hard hitting shit with some power moves mixed in as well. Nakamura ends up countering a suplex attempt and drops Ishii hard as shit on his head with a back suplex, but then he goes to do his corner taunt and Ishii meets him with a dropkick right to the face right when he drops down Nakamura skips it the next time he has a chance and goes right for the Kinshasa but get MURDERED WITH A FUCKIN’ LARIAT FROM HELL Neither guy can keep the advantage for that long bc of the counters but both of their offense is really fuckin’ good and the counters to switch momentum are fun af. Ishii hits a few more killer lariats but it isn’t enough to put Nakamura away even though he gets a few really close near falls. Nakamura comes back with a back stabber and then a finally Kinshasa to the back of the head but he can’t capitalize to make the cover. They meet in the middle of the ring and start trading some strikes again that looks like Ishii’s are doing way more damage until that dirty Nakamura uses a closed fist and then hits a Kinshasa but ISHII KICKS AT ONE He’s dead though and barely manages to get up so Nakamura hits a diving Kinshasa this time but it only gets a two count BRUH dude’s getting super desperate now and goes for a third but Ishii counters into a headbutt but Nakamura rebounds off the ropes with one last Kinshasa for the win. Great fucking shit, the no-selling at the end didn’t even bother me all that much bc Ishii kicking at one and then still selling afterwards like it was pure adrenaline is pretty cool, wish Nakamura had more offense so he didn’t have to do the same move 4 different times at the end though, but Ishii’s strikes fuckin’ rule.
After the match Nakamura helps Ishii up and the crowd cheers them both after the battle they had. Nakamura cuts a promo in Japanese afterwards for like a minute or so, probably just thanking the crowd for coming out or something idk, dude’s over af though.
Great card, idk if it’s better than the one I reviewed for 2013 or not, I’d probably say yes at the moment. Styles/Suzuki def should have closed the show though but Nakamura/Ishii was probably the second-best match so not a bad choice either.
Event: Wrestle Kingdom 9 in Tokyo Dome Date: January 4, 2015 Venue: Tokyo Dome in Tokyo Japan Attendance: ~36,000 Commentators: Jim Ross & Matt Striker
IWGP Heavyweight Champion: Hiroshi Tanahashi IWGP intercontinental Champion: Shinsuke Nakamura IWGP Tag Team Champions: Bullet Club (Doc Gallows & Karl Anderson) IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion: Ryusuke Taguchi IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions: reDRagon (Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly) NEVER Openweight Champion: Tomohiro Ishii
JR and Matt Striker are calling this show for the first time in English presented by Global Force Wrestling, hard as shit to find btw since it isn’t on NJPW World but I wanted commentary I could understand even if they were calling it pretty blindly, plus I like both guys.
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship: reDRagon (Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly) (c) vs Forever Hooligans (Alex Koslov & Rocky Romero) vs Time Splitters (Alex Shelley & KUSHIDA) vs The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson)
Shitty four corners gimmick, but I don’t expect there to be only two guys in the ring very much of this match. Gimmick gets in the way at first but all the action is really solid and fast-paced like you’d expect, all the teams look great and I’m a fan of all four even though the Bucks piss me off all the time, they’re still fucking awesome in the ring. Bucks really shine with their double team until Nick accidentally kicks tf out of Matt Romero starts going fucking crazy clotheslining everyone at one point before him and Koslov start hitting some double team, good shit. They really do a good job letting everyone get their shit in early without any breaks in the action, just nonstop fun. Striker tries to decide who the legal men are in the match like that shit matters bc they all start doing dives to the outside They start to hit some bigger double team moves and we get a couple near falls from it, more great shit, some really innovative spots too. Bucks hit a Meltzer Driver at one point which is a fucking insane move, but it gets broken up and the awesomeness continues. reDRagon end up hitting their Facing the Dragon double team move which fuckin’ rules and Shelley barely can’t get there in time to break it up, great opener, I fucks with that a lot.
WOAT Bullet Club team ever of Jeff Jarrett, Bad Luck Fale, and Yujiro Takahashi come out next but it’s to Jarrett’s awesome TNA theme Jarrett’s also got his wife and Scott D’Amore with him along with, of course, his guitar. Takahashi has a thot with him but she doesn’t shake her ass.
Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale, Jeff Jarrett, & Yujiro Takahashi) (w/ Karen Jarrett & Scott D’Amore) vs Tencozy (Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima) & Tomoaki Honma
Karen fucking pushes Honma and the Bullet Club attack team Japan to start this This ain’t that bad mostly bc it’s kept short to hide all the many weaknesses of this Bullet Club team, and they just play basic cocky heels which makes the faces offense a lot of fun bc the crowd is so hot for them. JR makes fun of Honma always missing headbutts I’m telling y’all dude gotta have CTE and JR agrees Karen distracts the ref but Honma ducks a guitar shot so Jarrett ends up killing Takahashi. Tencozy hits a 3D and the crowd pops HUGE bc Honma actually hits his diving headbutt for the win I mean that wasn’t really good, but it was kept short thankfully and had some hilarious spots so it’s fine as long as it’s the weakest or at least one of the weaker matches on the show.
So the story of this next 8-man is Takashi Iizuka turned on his partner Toru Yano (good move) to join Suzuki-Gun so Yano went out and got some guys from Pro Wretling NOAH to join him but two of them are these Aussie fucks that didn’t do shit in NXT for years
Naomichi Marufuji, TMDK (Mikey Nicholls & Shane Haste), & Toru Yano vs Suzuki-gun (Davey Boy Smith Jr., Lance Archer, Shelton X Benjamin, & Takashi Iizuka) (w/ TAKA Michinoku)
Just another multi-man match to get everyone on the card I’m assuming and it’s another skippable one like the last one. Yano still does all his usual shit that sucks, but Benjamin still rules and TMDK actually look pretty good here too. This goes by really fast and they don’t really do many tags bc everyone is just coming and going which is fine. Archer fucking murders one of the Aussies with a crazy sky high chokeslam at one point. Marufuji is easily the best guy on his team, wish he would have worked with Benjamin for longer. TAKA distracts the ref but Iizuka misses with his gauntlet thing so he ends up choking Marufuji with something before TMDK come in with some double team and Marufuji pins Iizuka after a big knee lift. Yeah that might be the worst match on the card, even shorter than the last and with more people, could have cut half the guys in it and gave it 8 minutes and it would have been way better.
UWFi Rules: Kazushi Sakuraba vs Minoru Suzuki
So the only way to win this is by KO, submission, or referee stoppage which means it’s basically a worked MMA fight with two LEGIT fucking fighters so fuck yeah JR brings up Sakuraba being the Gracie Hunter and that 90 minute fight I reviewed in this thread against Royce, nice giving me a sense of continuity. Amazing mat work to start off, both guys going for submissions early with Suzuki doing his rope assisted armbar before saying fuck this and taking it outside and up the ramp where they just start brawling on it as the ref tries so hard to get them back in the ring but they just look at him like he’s stupid He finally gets Sakuraba to break a Kimura on the ramp and get back in the ring but the damage looks to be done to Suzuki’s arm. Back in the ring, Sakuraba goes at Suzuki’s arm with strikes until the ref starts the 10 count for Suzuki to get to his feet, he makes it and then are able to hit some sick palm strikes to come back, but he’s basically fighting one-armed so Sakuraba tries to finish with an armbar but Suzuki gets to the ropes. The ref breaking this up for the 10 counts is kind of annoying but I’m loving Suzuki’s selling here. Suzuki has an awesome comeback and locks on a rear naked choke that Sakuraba tries his best to fight out of but Sakuraba ends up passing out so the ref calls it. That was really fucking cool, weird for sure but I fucks with it, only complaint is that it was more UFC rules and no 10 count for knockdowns, but Suzuki’s arm selling was fucking awesome.
They shake hands after the match to a huge pop, good shit. JR and Striker also did a great job putting over that match with these guys histories at fighting and wrestling. Suzuki also rips off the ice pack he had on his arm as he’s walking up the ramp
Togi Makabe is out next for his match and comes out to a variation of “Immigrant Song”
NEVER Openweight Championship: Tomohiro Ishii (c) vs Togi Makabe
Hard hitting shit to start out like you’d expect, lots of strikes and throws, dude’s just beating the fuck out of each other. Ishii ends up hitting a stiff strike to the throat and I don’t think Makabe is selling bc that shit looked like it hurt. They just keep trading strikes and man Ishii’s are just on another level so Makabe has to switch it up with some suplexes bc he was about to get wrecked. Ishii comes back though bc Makabe doesn’t stop with the strikes and they got next to no effect on Ishii, especially compared to his own. Ishii fucking deadlifts Makabe for a superplex before hitting a big powerbomb for a two count, really great offense from Ishii. Makabe kinda mirrors Ishii’s offense when he’s in control, they have really similar movesets so his shit is fun too, lots of hard suplexes including this one SICK german where Ishii lands hard on his taped up shoulder. Makabe tries to go for his Spider German, but Ishii fights out only for Makabe to hit a ROLLING DEATH VALLEY DRIVER FROM THE TOP ROPE oh wait it was the middle rope but STILL! More super hard strikes and Ishii does his kick at one off a sick lariat before coming back with one of his own, fucking awesome back and forth. Striker keeps trying to get JR to say LARIATOOO but he just sticks with clothesline Makabe does a good job going at the wrapped shoulder during these strike exchanges but it really isn’t sold much but Ishii never sells any strikes anyway and they start busting out the big shit towards the end getting a few near falls. Ishii starts killing it with elbows again but then they just start trading headbutts and the crowd is going wild as shit as Makabe hits a sick fucking lariat, bruh they’re killing each other. Makabe comes off tope with a diving knee drop for the win, shame he didn’t do the spider german before it this time but GREAT FUCKING MATCH also glad I get to hear that “Immigrant Song” cover again.
Ishii can barely even fuckin’ walk backstage as Makabe celebrates with his knew belt.
We get a video package hyping up NJPW’s upcoming events for 2015, first real break between matches so far and I know JR could use a breather lmao
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: Ryusuke Taguchi vs Kenny Omega (w/ Matt & Nick Jackson)
Damn forgot about Omega being a junior. They both play mind games to start before getting into some lucha stuff, really fast-paced with a lot of counters and it’s all pretty good. The Young Bucks get involved so Omega uses the cold spray to spray it in Taguchi’s eyes and then this dude sprays it in his trunks smh. Omega has some nice heel offense, a little too over the top, but the Bucks are hilarious yelling shit at the ref from outside the ring. Omega does this terrible chainsaw thing before grinding his arm stubble on Taguchi’s head smh who told him that was a good idea for a spot. Tacuchi starts to make a comeback but the Bucks get involved again so he sends Omega on top of them and then hits a sweet dive to the outside on top of all three Bullet Club members. Taguchi’s comeback offense is awesome, and he even starts to go for the Three Amigos but only gets two of them in before Omega fights back and they do some more fun lucha stuff, and go back and forth with some counters and bigger moves, best stuff of the match so far for sure. Taguchi ends up telegraphing a dive pretty bad so Omega counters it with a sick dropkick as he comes off the top rope and then a huge gutwrench powerbomb for a two count, great shit. Another great counter exchange until Taguchi goes for an Ankle Lock but the Bucks get involved again only for Omega to accidentally take out Matt with a knee. Omega counters an Olympic Slam attempt and then hits a sick snap german suplex and another sick running knee before hitting the One-Winged Angel for the win, fucking love that move. Really good match, not as good as the last couple but still another good notch for this show. It’s gonna be cool to watch Omega’s rise during this project.
IWGP Tag Team Championship: Bullet Club (Doc Gallows & Karl Anderson) (c) (w/ Amber O’Neal & Tama Tonga) vs Meiyu Tag (Hirooki Goto & Katsuyori Shibata)
JR says he’s happy that the champions are coming out last AS IT ALWAYS SHOULD BE Both teams try some double team early but it doesn’t work out for the challengers so Bullet Club takes control and they isolate Goto really well, nice heel work, especially from Anderson. Amber O’Neil even gets involved on the outside with a slap before Goto starts his comeback against Gallows and takes him down with a lariat after three tries and tags in Shibata to a huge pop, but Gallows stuffs his hot tag really quick. Shibata has some really good fast-paced stuff and some nice kicks, but Anderson gets involved and then all four guys end up in the ring with Meiyi Tag getting some awesome double team. Gallows and Anderson end up getting in some of themselves for a near fall and I think al four guys have been in the ring forever now, but it’s been pretty entertaining. Goto finally sends Anderson to the outside and Anderson misses the Gun stuff a few times before getting caught with some double team right when Gallows comes back in and hits the Gallows Pole for a near fall. Gallows dumbass goes to the top rope for some reason, so he gets caught, Anderson gets taken out and the challengers hit a fireman’s carry into a kick combo before Shibata hits his penalty kick for the win. Really solid stuff, only got 9 minutes, but it definitely didn’t need to be longer.
Cool celebration by the new champs afterwards as JR puts over them winning the titles great, crowd is loving it too.
During AJ Styles’s entrance JR puts over Styles and how feared the Styles Clash has become in Japan and how Styles is one of the only Americans to hold the IWGP Heavyweight Championship along with Stan Hansen, Vader, Bob Sapp…and fuckin’ Scott Norton
AJ Styles vs Tetsuya Naito
Styles attacks Naito during his entrance and goes for an early Styles Clash, so this just starts out with some hate and nice counter wrestling with a fast pace and a ton of strikes, they quickly end up outside where Naito is able to take control with a diving dropkick off the apron. Naito’s offense is a ton of fun with Styles bumping around, but Styles is able to turn it around and starts isolating Naito’s leg, good shit. Naito sells the leg really well but still manages to make his comeback with a sweet Tornado DDT off the ropes. They have some really good counter exchanges before Styles is able to hit a Phenomenal Forearm that landed with a sick thud, and Naito’s leg prevents him from being able finish any of his comeback attempts, really good shit from both guys. Naito ends up hitting a German Suplex but can’t bridge bc of the leg, great fucking selling. He’s able to make a pretty nice comeback despite of the leg but makes the mistake of going up top and Styles stops him before locking in a Calf Crusher going back to the leg Naito fights back and gets a second wind which means he stops selling the leg to hit his suplexes, but Styles stuffs him pretty quick with a bloody Sunday DDT and then goes for the Styles Clash for the first time but Naito just fucking throws him all the way over the ropes to the floor Both guys end up on the top rope and Naito goes for a super hurricanrana, but AJ CATCHES HIM AND HITS A STYLES CLASH FROM THE MIDLE ROPE FOR THE WIN Awesome finish, match was fire too.
IC Title match up next is the first one to get a video package for it, some weird dubstep stuff. We get some Nakamura highlights followed by Ibushi coming down and attacking him after a match to set up this G1 Climax rematch. This was also the WON Newsletter 2015 MOTY so I reviewed it earlier as well. Nakamura comes out wearing some statue of liberty style head thing during his entrance
IWGP Intercontinental Championship: Shinsuke Nakamura (c) vs Kota Ibushi
Psuedo-MMA stuff to start, better than when they did it at the G1 I’ll say, they move onto a counter exchange that’s really fun followed by Ibushi mocking Nakamura’s good vibrations and getting cocky with some taunting. This just pisses off Nakamura and he just starts killing Ibushi with kicks and his usual knee strikes. Nakamura plays more mind games while at the same time really wearing down Ibushi, mostly going at the head with strikes and holds. Ibushi tries to come back but Nakamura just shrugs off his strike attemps so Ibushi has to use his speed and lucha stuff instead and his high flying stuff fuckin’ rules. He ends up getting caught coming off a springboard with a sick kick from Nakamura and he continues from earlier with his offense, some of the best stuff I’ve seen from him tbh, but Ibushi is quickly able to make a comeback with more high flying stuff that’s just so much fun to watch when it comes out of nowhere. Ibushi ends up getting some nice near falls off a sick roundhouse kick and a sit-out last ride. He goes for the Phoenix Splash next but Nakamura dodges and hits a Kinshasa right after great sequence but Nakamura can’t cover afterwards. Nakamura then goes crazy, fucking kicking the shit out of Ibushi’s head but Ibushi just smiles when the ref finally gets him to stop They trade some closed fists which the crowd goes nuts for until Nakamura blocks one and rolls it into an armbar, GREAT SHIT! Ibushi counters out with some straight kicks to the fuckin’ face smh so disrespectful. But it continues when Ibushi hits a Kinshasa on Nakamura for a two count They have another strike battle with Nakamura just killing him but Ibushi counters a Kinshasa attempt with just a straight standing double stomp, really fucking cool shit. Ibushi then fuckin’ deadlift half and half suplexes Nakamura from the apron for a close af two count Ibushi tries to go for the Phoenix-Plex but Nakamura counter with some big headbutts and then some sick elbows to the back of the head before a diving Kinshasa, then a Michonoku Driver and one last Kinshasa for the win. GREAT FUCKIN’ MATCH Probably the best of Nakamura’s career, at least the best that I’ve seen for sure.
Nakamura gets on the mic after and the crowd loves whatever he says, looks like he’s putting over Ibushi. JR puts over both the guys really hard too, says it’s an honor to spend his birthday calling this show WAIT dude went to Japan for his birthday instead of spending it in Oklahoma
Video package for the Tanahashi/Okada match plays, don’t think I’ve seen this one since it wasn’t MOTY.
IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Hiroshi Tanahashi (c) (w/ Captain New Japan) vs Kazuchika Okada (w/ Gedo)
Crowd is insanely hot before this one even gets started. Slow paced to start with some nice mat work and good counter wrestling, makes sense bc I think this gets around 30 minutes. What I’d consider the opening sequence gets a good bit of time, but it’s all solid and entertaining. Okada is the first to throw some strikes and then it breaks down into a brawl with some great strikes between the two of them. They end up outside and Okada hits a sick draping DDT over the rail, then tries to commit murder with a Tombstone on the ramp, but Tanahashi fights out only for Okada to hit a huge fireman’s carry into a suplex and Tanahashi hits HARD on his back. Back in the ring, Okada’s offense fucking rules, mostly working over the upper back and neck area, but they also trade some real nice counters as well. Okada does a great job keeping the pace slow and stopping any Tanahashi from making his comebacks, landing this sick shotgun dropkick at one point before Tanahashi is able to counter a fireman’s carry into kind of a sling blade move and finally gets a little momentum going, but Okada is able to avoid High Fly Flow, and Okada realizes he needs to end this soon before Tanahashi gets on offense again, so he starts hitting a lot of his signature stuff, awesome camera work when he does the Rainmaker pose as well. Tanahashi counters though and starts targeting Okada’s knee with a dragon screw. They end up back out of the ring and Okada is sent over the rail but TANAHASHI GETS ON THE TOP ROPE AND HITS A HIGH FLY FLOW OVER THE RAIL HOLY FUCK Back in the ring they have this awesome sequence of counters that Tanahashi gets the better of, but Okada rolls through a High Fly Flow INTO A TOMBSTONE, reversed by Tanahashi who HITS HIS OWN TOMBSTONE GREAT SEQUENCE BRO Tanahashi continues and hits two High Fly Flows, but Okada kicks out! Tanahashi starts switching it up and mocks the Rainmaker pose but he can’t hit it and Okada is able to hit his own Rainmaker but Tanahashi becomes the first person to ever kick out of the Rainmaker (don’t fact check me on that, I think they said it was never kicked out of earlier) They go back to trading strikes, much slower this time bc they’re so late in the match before countering some big moves again and getting right in each other’s face where Tanahashi just slaps the fuck out of Okada before getting some crazy near falls off some sick suplexes. Okada finally hits his AWESOME dropkick and BRO JR FUCKING MARKS OUT Tanahashi counter another rainmaker and goes back to Dragon Screws and then a High Fly Flow while Okada’s leg was still wrapped around the rope, another Dragon Screw and two more High Fly Flows end it. GREAT FUCKING MATCH I haven’t seen them in awhile but I don’t think it’s better than their Invasion Attack match and probably not Wrestle Kingdom 10 (watching that soon so we’ll see) either, but still amazing bc these two’s chemistry is just insane and they do a good job switching things up so these matches don’t just feel like the same stuff when they’ve had so many at this point.
Tanahashi gets on the mic afterwards while Okada is leaving, probably thanks Okada for the great match or something and probably thanks the fans for coming to the show as well. Crowd is super hot as Tanahashi works them a little more bc they don’t want him to leave and he makes a guy “hand” him his air guitar before playing it Striker says that what Tanahashi said to Okada after the match was that he has a long way from being the ace of New Japan, damn I thought it was respectful
Great show, almost every match more than delivered and the ones that didn’t were really short so they didn’t bring it down much at all. JR and Striker’s commentary was really nice imo, you could tell JR didn’t know a whole lot about some of the guys but it just felt like he was enjoying what he was watching so much.
Event: Triplemania XXIII Date: August 9, 2015 Venue: Arena Ciudad de Mexico in Mexico City, Mexico Attendance: ~18,000 Commentators: Hugo Savinovich & Matt Striker
AAA Mega Champion: El Patron Alberto AAA Latin American Champion: Chessman AAA World Tag Team Champions: Los Perros del Mal (Joe Lider & Pentagon Jr.) AAA World Trios Champions: Los Hell Brothers (Averno, Chessman, & Cibernetico) AAA Cruiserweight Champion: El Hijo del Fantasma AAA Reina de Reinas Champion: Taya AAA World Mixed Tag Team Champions: La Sociedad (Pentagon Jr. & Sexy Star) AAA World Mini-Estrella Champion: Dinastia
Like Wrestle Kingdom 9, this is the first time TripleMania has had live English commentary, but I know they end up having terrible audio problems throughout the show, so we’ll see how bad it actually is. Some guy is in the ring and introduces the English and Spanish commentators before leading us into a video package showing AAA’s history and the match card, audio for it already fucking up so they flash “audio difficulties” at the bottom of the screen for the first and probably not the last time. Also they got a 6-sided ring.
Relevos Atomicos de Locura match: Daga, Mamba, Mini Psycho Clown, & Sexy Star vs Dinastia, Drago, Goya Kong, & Pimpinela Escarlata
So the rules of this are basically just a regular 8-man tag match, but each team has one male, one female, one mini, and one exotico (drag) wrestler on it, intergender rules though so anyone can wrestle anyone. Commentary finally starts working right when this match starts, audio still fucked up though. Also, it’s under lucha rules where there doesn’t need to be tags, which I’ve never liked. The action is mostly solid, they just let everyone get their shit in and like everyone is in the ring for most of it. The comedy stuff they try really falls flat though, Drago and the minis are really carrying this as best as they can. Star is alright too but the others suck. Pimpinela ends up locking in a weird submission on Star for the win, no bells in AAA apparently according to Hugo on commentary, they use whistles instead.
After the match Matt Striker lets one of the drag guys kiss him on the cheek and says “I’m into it” BRUH
They bring out a really old referee named Pepe Tropicasas bc this show is all about honoring history and he’s been a part of AAA since the beginning and tonight he refs his last match. Audio gets messed up again and you can only hear Hugo as he tries to explain that the next match is honoring the legacy of Los Villanos and that this is Villano III’s last match. Psycho Circus have a fuckin’ awesome entrance with a lot of circus performers juggling and shit. One of Los Villanos gets on the mic and explains why two of them are allowed to wear their masks for this one last match to the crowd.
Los Psycho Circus (Monster Clown, Murder Clown, & Psycho Clown) vs Los Villanos (Villano III, IV, & V)
Oh god this is the match I previously called the worst wrestling match of all time earlier in this thread so I’m gonna make a drink and see if it holds up to that. They got two refs in the ring probably bc Pepe is too old to actually call the match so he’s just there as a prop. Yeah this still fucking sucks, might as well be a tornado match bc no one stays out of the ring very long, and everyone looks like they’re moving in slow motion. Villanos try and rip one of the clown’s mask smh just triple teaming like crazy too except it all sucks. Basically they take out one Clown and another comes right in to get triple teamed, and it’s literally some of the worst offense I’ve ever seen. Clowns finally comeback and their offense is at least a little better but it pretty much sucks too, just ain’t as bad as Los Villanos’. Striker says he’s getting a buzzing in his ear and hopes we aren’t getting that at home…we are, also can’t hear Hugo anymore either. They almost a Villano, but stop and just taunt instead until Los Villanos get back in the ring but two of the Clown introduce some metal sheets and they hit a tower of doom spot after using them. Old ass Villanos end up hitting some WOAT suicide dives before Psycho Clown brings in a chair to use on Villano III, but salutes him instead decides to be respectful now and not use the chair. Psycho hits a diving splash but STOPS HIS OWN PIN bc he’s showing respect or some bullshit Psycho wants Villano IV in bc that’s where the hate is and the refs hold back Villano III, and V for some reason to let them fight and IV ends up getting the win after like a regular kick. BRO FUCK THIS TRASH, worse than Jenna/Sharmell, worse than Hogan/Warrior, worse than Kaitlyn/Maxine, worst fucking match OF ALL TIME!
After the match, Villanos keep beating up Psycho Clown and Striker just now realizes we haven’t been able to hear Hugo for like 10 minutes. Villano III and V unmask after like they were supposed to and their family come out to celebrate with them and now the Clowns are all friendly with them again too. They honor III and Pepe with plaques but Hugo can’t translate bc we can’t hear him so I’m not sure what anyone is saying but if I had to guess it’d just be thanking the fans for their careers like all old guys do. Psycho Circus starts a Villano chant bc they’re all about that respect life now.
The ring announce is talking FOREVER while they lower the cage for the next match, but we still can’t hear Hugo so no idea what he’s saying. It also looks like the cage is draped in ads like a billboard while it’s being lowered Striker explains that you can enter and leave the cage however you’d like and the only way to win is by grabbing one of the Trios titles on top the cage and your team wins, kinda like an Ultimate X cage match. Some of these theme song choices for these guys are hilarious
Steel Cage Match for the AAA World Trios Championship: Los Hell Brothers (Averno, Chessman, & Cibernetico) vs Fenix & Los Gueros del Cielo (Angelico & Jack Evans) vs El Hijo del Fantasma, Pentagon Jr., & El Texano Jr.
Bruh there are 9 people inside a cage why tf are these dudes just standing around for more than half of it bc they’re just waiting for the next spot to start, fucking terrible. Also Angelico is wearing a fuckin’ Go Pro, they should have that footage as a camera shot Audio starts fucking up again, can’t hear Striker or the crowd, thinking the crowd might just be dead though. I can’t even tell who’s on teams with each other bc it’s always like 5 guys working together at a time. It gets better late in the match when guys can just lay on the mat after they get hit with spots instead of how they were just standing around at the beginning, and Fenix is the fuckin’ man for making this watchable with his offense. They do some typical Ultimate X spots, Jack Evans does Jack Evans stuff aka unnecessary flips, but better than most of this stuff. Fantasma and Chessman end up on top of the cage and Chessman gets sent off onto a table to the outside. Someone gets speared through this weird thing that I noticed was just set up in the ring and most guys end up on the cage at this point, Pentagon sends Angelico and Evans off of it outside of the ring. Fenix ends up hitting a nice moonsault off of the cage onto Pentagon as Fantasma and Averno start to make their way to the belts, but Angelico fucking jumps from one side of the cage onto the middle beam FUCK! Fantasma knocks off Angelico, but then him and Averno just fuckin’ stall for no reason until Averno throws him off and grabs a belt to win. That was a fucking mess bro, had like two cool spots and Fenix looked good for the very little offense he got.
They finally get Hugo’s sound back as we’re looking at replays of the match, apparently that’s the first time they’ve done an Ultimate X style cage match, it’s not a bad gimmick, I think it’s better than a regular Ultimate X, but the crawling across a middle thing is still meh, would prefer a plain old ladder match.
Sounds like Striker’s audio isn’t working now so we just got Hugo El Mesias has a super cool entrance, completely forgot about this dude after his short TNA run forever ago. Fake La Parka (It’s not the Chairman from WCW but some gimmick stealer instead smh) comes out to “Thriller” as Striker’s commentary starts working again. Blue Demon Jr. comes out to “Around the World” by Red Hot Chili Peppers, I think that’s the second song of theirs used tonight as a theme, must be popular in Mexico.
Blue Demon Jr. & La Parka vs Electro Shock & El Mesias
Damn Mesias has gotten really fat since his TNA days He and fake Parka brawl straight over the crowd rails, but it’s pretty bad, plus the video is all fucked up now too so I can barely tell what’s even happening. Shock comes in and his stuff is a little better, but still looks like they’re wrestling in slow motion. Mesias out here obviously calling spots too Demon probably has the best offense of anyone but it’s still bad and super choreographed, but at least him and Shock has some semblance of a real wrestling match that I haven’t seen since the first match on this show. Demon locks on his Sharpshooter variation where he grabs the arm and gets Shock to tap out, lol well at least that was kept short.
They honor Blue Demon Jr after the match, I think that was supposed to be a showcase for him mostly which I guess worked since he was the best guy in the ring, plus I get to listen to RHCP again so that’s cool. Electro Shock acts like he’s gonna interrupt the celebration but he decides against it and just flips off the fans instead Also we haven’t heard Hugo in forever again
Striker says this next segment is all about honor and respect and the host guy comes back out again, and I can very faintly hear Hugo try and translate but I can’t really understand him, Striker should just give him his headset for this Wait it’s actually so faint I’m probably only hearing it through Striker’s headset. I think this is like a hall of fame induction or something honoring Hector Garza who died from Lung Cancer a couple years before this. El Hijo de Perro Aguayo gets honored too, I think he’s also inducted in the HoF since he died earlier this year. They finally got the audio working fine now I think, but Hugo sucks at keeping up to translate so I still barely get what’s happening, but basically both those guys are now officially part of the AAA HOF.
Brian Cage comes out for his match next wearing a Trump shirt and swinging an American flag Alberto has an awesome mariachi band too as Striker embarrasses himself talking about Mexican/American politics and also says Alberto is all about respect Alberto is the Mega Champion, but it’s not on the line bc this is a hair vs hair match.
Luchas de Apuestas Hair vs Hair Match: Brian Cage (w/ El Hijo del Fantasma) vs El Patron Alberto (w/ Fenix)
Cage tries to attack Alberto with a chair to start the match but he avoids it and Striker says there’s no DQs as Alberto is fuckin’ killing Cage with the chair. This isn’t a bad match at all, easily the best of the night just a few minutes into it. Very strong face vs heel lines and both guys are pretty good at playing the crowd and working their stuff. Cage takes control after Alberto started off strong bc his power advantage comes into play, and he’s fighting super dirty with weapons, busting Alberto open early. Fantasma gets involved too and the ref is distracted but it’s no DQ anyway so idk why everyone is freaking out Cage’s offense starts to drag even with Fantasma getting involved too. Fenix comes in finally to even it up, he still rules but this is feeling like a tornado tag match instead of a singles match. Cage and Fantasma kill Fenix so maybe it’s gonna be a singles match now. Cage takes forever going for a springboard moonsault so Alberto starts his comeback, there’s smoke in the ring now idk if something’s on fire or what but it’s hard to get into this comeback when he’s taunting 90% of it. Cage introduces a table and Hugo freaks out bc it looks like the ref is helping Cage set it up Alberto gets sent into this board thing (not the table, but it breaks like one) for a near fall. Crowd is really fuckin’ dead but honestly that might just be audio issues bc Mexican fans are usually loud. The ref refuses to count for Alberto for some reason after he makes a comeback with a superkick, this dude get paid off or something? So Alberto starts attacking the ref and takes him out then looks pissed when there’s no ref to count. He goes for a super hurricanrana through the table, but Cage low blows him and hits a superbomb through the table as another ref comes running out and Alberto BARELY kicks out, the crowd looks like they’re going nuts but I still can’t hear them Cage starts killing Alberto with chair shots, but he hits a low blow, sends him face first into the chair and gets him to tap with the Cross Armbreaker for the win. Not bad at all, fucking dumb booking throughout that brings it down but most of the action was good.
Alberto gets on the mic afterwards, Hugo sucks at translating but I think he called Cage a pendejo Cage takes his head shaving like a man, doesn’t even look that mad as Striker says “How many people would like to shave Donald Trump’s head” bruh Cage tries to attack Alberto as soon as his head is shaved but Del Rio just lays him out with a powerbomb and drapes him in the American flag.
The director for Missions Impossible: Rogue Nation plugs his movie bc they have some kinda partnership with AAA which explains why their stage has a plane on it and the Mission Impossible theme plays during the Mysterio/Myzteziz video package…I fucks with the video package though.
Oh SHIT! Myzteziz comes out to the Mission Impossible theme and drops down from the rafters like Tom Cruise does in the first movie He has this cool two tone black and white mask and wrestling tights, I guess teasing that he might be a heel for this. The ring announcer talks about how he used to be Mistico, then became Sin Cara and now he’s Myzteziz. Mysterio comes out wearing some sweet all black gear complete with some black angel wings and a Batman style mask, way better than the shit he’s wearing in WWE now.
Myzteziz vs Rey Mysterio Jr.
Takes a bit to get started bc they decide to taunt first and Myzteziz looks pissed the crowd doesn’t like him as much. Pretty good lucha shit to start, they keep playing off the story of Myzteziz’s jealously as Mysterio gets the upper hand early so Myzteziz says fuck lucha shit and just starts going with some hard strikes and fucking with Mysterio’s mask so now the crowd is 100% behind Mysterio if they weren’t already. Outside, Myzteziz hits a powerbomb on the English announce table, but it bends instead of breaks which looks kinda painful, but Myzteziz gets a regular table set up outside of the ring as well and just continues with the strikes to stay in control. Mysterio makes an awesome comeback with his usual lucha shit that we all know, great contrast of styles here for sure. Myzteziz starts bleeding under his mask after getting sent into the ring post, so Mysterio slams him into it a few more times as payback from earlier but Myzteziz hits a crazy suplex from the apron onto the table he set up earlier and they both hit HARD AF Back in the ring, Mysterio is able to comeback with more fast lucha stuff that’s a lot of fun even if it’s a tad sloppy, but nothing I’d consider a botch. Mysterio starts going for the mask as well before getting a few nice near falls off flippy shit and pinning combinations. Myzteziz comes back with a nice flapjack-esque counter before hitting a really cool twisting senton for a close two count. They continue trading a few really awesome counters, Mysterio doing more finesse stuff, but Myzteziz hitting some bigger moves that look sick bc of how Mysterio is bumping. This ref slow af though, it takes him forever to get in position for these pins Myzteziz avoids the first 619 attempt of the match and THEN HITS HIS OWN THE DISRESPECT! He then hits a Frog Splash as well but it’s only a two count, damn that would have been a great finish. Mysterio comes back and locks on an armbar for a bit before he’s able to hit a 619, but then he botches a head scissors pinning combination that thankfully only got two bc that would have been a shitty finish. Mysterio again hits a tilt-a-whirl headscissors into an armbar that is reminiscent of Myzteziz’s WWE finish, and he gets the submission victory. Really fuckin’ good main event, can’t even say much bad about it other than a few minor sloppy parts.
Averno, Pentagon Jr. and Joe Lider run out after Mysterio leaves the ring and start attacking Myzteziz with a staple gun and ripping off Myzteziz’s mask before Mysterio finally comes in to make the save, but the numbers game catches up to him so he gets stapled too, but his mask too strong to be ripped They start replaying the main event highlights and Hugo keeps calling the 619 “Six Nineteen” before Mysterio and Myzteziz come back and take out the guys with double 619s and Myzteziz starts stapling Lider’s fucking chess with that gun, couldn’t pay me enough for that shit. Myzteziz goes for a dive on Averno outside but his foot gets caught and he hits HARD in front of him so Mysterio takes out Averno instead and they tease Mysterio and Myzteziz teaming again to challenge Pentagon and Lider for the tag titles.
Mysterio gets on the mic talking to Myzteziz, but Myzteziz just punches him out and says he doesn’t care if he gets booed or cheered and a new rudo has been born tonight. Hugo fucking sucks at translating again but this is a heel turn, even I can see that much. Konnan has came down to ringside with some other guys as Myzteziz says he wants a rematch where anything goes and he wants to embarrass Mysterio to show he should not be an idol. Myzteziz challenges him to a mask vs mask match before finishing breaking the announce table with another powerbomb. He keeps beating up Mysterio in the ring before taunting and I can actually hear the crowd booing now. They could have done this without those other guys running in I think, but still not a bad ending and the crowd looks genuinely upset with the heel turn so I’d call it a successful one. Konnan comes in the ring, but it cuts to the ending logos before anything happens, I think Myzteziz is saying something else but the PPV just ends lol.
Yeah that was one of the worst wrestling shows I’ve ever seen easily, main event was fire all things considered though, it just couldn’t make up for the rest of the show…I don’t think anything could have made up for that Villanos 6-man. Technical problems were annoying af, but they’re just on top of everything else at this point bc even if shit ran smooth, this show still would have been terrible.