We are an intergender tag team of writers that cover wrestling. PPV reviews, TV recaps, Match of the Month articles, and anything else we can think of, all from the heart of deepest, darkest middle England.
Ian Marshall takes care of WWE PPV reviews, Match of the Month, and reviews of shows from other companies.
Leah Emilia Nash takes on the often unenviable task of reviewing WWE TV.
Night 14 is here and, as I explained a few days ago, an Okada victory in the main event will eliminate both EVIL & SANADA.
Block B Match - Toru Yano vs Tama Tonga
Both of these men are already eliminated so there is nothing to play for here. They fuck about for 3 minutes and Yano wins with the low blow/roll up combination. *
Block B Match - Satoshi Kojima vs SANADA
This was a really good match that finished just short of being great. SANADA spends the early portion acting like a dick to the veteran but he would regret that. SANADA tried to follow up the Skull End with a moonsault but Kojima escaped and hit with a big lariat. The crowd was spurring Kojima on and he no sold a dropkick before hitting another lariat, only for SANADA to kick out at 1. A third lariat followed though and Kojima finally got himself on the board. ***3/4
Block B Match - Michael Elgin vs Minoru Suzuki
This match was very much like any other Suzuki match in this tournament. They brawled on the outside, Suzuki-gun interfered and Suzuki attacked Elgin with a chair. The difference here was that Elgin was having none of that shit. He managed to fight them off and picked up the win. It was good enough. ***
Block B Match - Juice Robinson vs Kenny Omega
Well, I don't think many people would have picked Juice to win this in their predictions but win it he did. It was a really good match that played into the strengths of both men, with Omega playing the cocky main eventer to Juice's underdog babyface. In the end, just as Omega looked like he had the match fully in his control, Juice reversed the One Winged Angel into a roll up pin for the very surprising victory. It is exactly the kind of storytelling that I love from New Japan with Robinson proving that despite being out of the running he will continue to be a threat to anyone. This win should earn him a US Title shot in the future. ****1/4
Block B Match - Kazuchika Okada vs EVIL
So, the other day I said that EVIL didn't really feel like someone who would beat Kenny Omega, well I'm going to have to eat my words on that. This is because at the end of a fantastic main event EVIL hit the Everything Is EVIL and handed Okada his first defeat in a year. EVIL took the fight to the outside, cutting off Okada's barricade dive with a chair to the face and following that up with a Darkness Falls onto a pile of chairs. In the end though, as predicted, it was Okada's hubris that got the best of him as he tried to hit multiple Rainmakers instead of going for the pin. In the end it was a reversal of a Rainmaker into the Everything Is EVIL that scored EVIL the massive victory. ****1/2
Kazuchika Okada: 6-1 - 12 points
Kenny Omega: 5-2 - 10 points
EVIL: 5-2 - 10 points
SANADA: 4-3 - 8 points
Minoru Suzuki: 4-3 - 8 points
Toru Yano: 3-4 - 6 points (Unable to top Block)
Michael Elgin: 3-4 - 6 points (Unable to top Block)
Tama Tonga: 2-5 - 4 points (Unable to top Block)
Juice Robinson: 2-5 - 4 points (Unable to top Block)
Satoshi Kojima: 1-6 - 2 points (Unable to top Block)
Overall Grade - A
I thought this was an excellent show with a host of surprising outcomes. EVIL keeps his G1 hopes alive and in all likelihood has earned himself an IWGP Title match down the line. I look forward to it too.
There are very few times when I am happy to wake up at 6.30am but when Wrestle Kingdom is the incentive I am more than willing. This card is absolutely stacked so I expect one or two fantastic matches as a very minimum.
New Japan RumbleIt was slightly better than the standard New Japan Rumble as this one had a story. Chase Owens had a good showing before falling to the numbers of Suzuki-gun, and Masahito Kakihara won after beating cancer. Cheeseburger finishes second in back to back years. **1/2
IWGP Jr Heavyweight Tag Titles - Roppongi 3K vs Young BucksThis was a good way to kick off the main card. I had a couple of issues with the stream but I caught the most of it. Both teams had one member that was selling a back injury and they worked it well. It even played out in the finish as the Young Bucks won with a sharpshooter. I personally would have had 3K go over here to establish them as a force but the match itself was very good, it told a great story, the pacing was on point, and the …
We are into the meat of the list now, the best matches in what could well be the best year for matches. The first three parts of this list can be found here, here and here.
25. Kenny Omega vs Tomohiro Ishii (IWGP US Title) - NJPW G1 Special in USA Night 2 This was the final of the tournament to crown the first IWGP US champion and it was a hell of a way to establish the belt. It was the third match between these two in 2017, but only the second highest on this list, and all three of them are of the highest calibre.
24. Kenny Omega vs Michael Elgin - NJPW G1 Climax Night 8 This is exactly what you would expect from a New Japan main event. Hard hitting strikes, big moves and a fantastic finishing sequence. Elgin hits some brutal looking back drop drivers at the end. He also picks up the surprise win. This is a tremendous match.
23. Hiromu Takahashi vs Dragon Lee (IWGP Jr Heavyweight Title) - NJPW New Beginning in Osaka This match was absolutely fucking mental. The amount of crazy spots on s…
The New Day open the show ahead of Xavier Woods vs Jinder Mahal in the United States Championship tournament. They cut a promo that, once past the unneccessary and unfunny deliberate overpronunciation of "Maharaja", goes over well with the crowd, although even as faces it's a peculiarly jingoistic, patriotic promo for The New Day. I get that Jinder's gimmick is generic anti-American heel but The New Day are better than promos praising "the red, white and blue".
Xavier Woods vs Jinder Mahal
Jinder bosses the early proceedings with a big boot and a leg drop putting him firmly in control. He keeps Woods in a chinlock while Big E tries to rally Woods by wafting pancakes in his direction. Of course. Jinder continues to dominate the match, Xavier tries to rally but Mahal levels him with a clothesline. The Singh brothers try to get involved for some reason so Big E keeps them at bay by throwing pancakes at them. Xavier barely beats a countout and…