Monday, January 29, 2018

Kick Ass Wrestling Weekend: HOH, New Japan, NXT, & The Royal Rumble

Friday through Sunday was a great weekend of five wrestling events I took in, he's a breakdown of my Kick Ass Wrestling Weekend!

House of Hardcore 37 
January 26, 2018
2300 Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

I watched this live on Twitch TV and the event featured the first round of the HOH Twitch Television Championship.  All the matches except for the tag match were first round matches, even the triple threat.  Second round is March 24th back at the 2300 Arena.

Swoggle pinned Spirit Squad: Mikey
Swoggle got the quick roll up for the surprise pin

Spirit Squad: Kenny pinned Lisa Marie Varon
Kenny's opening promo was very sexist

Bull James defeated Eddie Kingston

Alex Reynolds pinned Super Crazy

Crazy Steve pinned Maxwell Jacob Friedman
MJF is great where ever he goes!

Kevin Kross defeated Little Guido

Dan Maff pinned Ace Romero
Decent match, glad to see Ace on the card and getting some big exposure.  

Hardcore Rules: Tommy Dreamer & Billy Gunn with Bully Ray defeated NWA World Champion: Nick Aldis & Joey Mercury with Shane Douglas
They had some guy in a suit who said he was a federal commissioner and that HOH was under investigation so this wouldn't be a hardcore match to anger the crowd.  Aldis and Mercury jumped Dreamer and Gunn and they laid out the ref.  The suit then took of his shirt revealing he referee shirt and said he lied it would be hardcore.  Eventually the Sandman came out and beat people up.  Blue Meanie also made an appearance.  Meh

Austin Aries pinned Matt Riddle
This was the best match of the night, they went to a time limit draw, then did five more minutes that went to a draw, then did five more minutes and when the ref turned his back Aries kicked Riddle in the dick and nailed the brainbuster for the pin.  Really great match, great story it was awesome.

Triple Threat: Willie Mack defeated Matt Cross and Luchasaurus

Brian Cage defeated Sami Callihan
Another great match as they two guys really laid it into each other for a great main event to close out the show.

I watched this on the Twitch website on my tablet at work.  The production quality and commentary was fantastic.  I love the age we live in where wrestling around the work is so accessible to the fans live as it happens.

NJPW: New Beginning in Sapporo Night 1
January 27, 2018
Hokkaido Perfectural Sports Center, Sapporo, Japan

I watched this at work on my tablet at 430am when the live broadcast started.  Again, what a world!

Michael Elgin vs. Katsuya Kitamura

Big ole hoss fight with the guys just laying into each other with stiff shots with high impacts suplexs and body slams. As a young lion Kitamura is in a seven match trial series.  Elgin got the win with a buckle bomb followed by a sit out powerbomb.  Great match!

Jushin Thunder Liger, Kushida, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Manabu Nakanishi, & Tiger Mask IV vs. Suzuki Gun: Takashi Iizuka, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, El Desperado, Taichi & Taka Michinoku

Solid match with a lot of action in and outside of the ring.  Suzuki Gun jumpstarted the match like they always do.  Taichi continued trying to remove the mask of Jushin Thunder Liger.  Finish came when Kushida submitted Taka with hover-board arm lock.

Satoshi Kojima was supposed to be in this match but and ACL injury took him out of it, Nakanishi took his place.

Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano vs. Bullet Club: Yujiro Takahashi & Chase Owens

Takahashi started with Ishii laying in solid shots that Ishii no sold as Chase Owens kept encouraging Takahashi to hit him harder. Decent match I'm not a fan of Yano and don't care for his antics.  Finish came when Ishii pinned Owens with the vertical door brainbuster

In storyline Chase Owens wants a five count after hitting the package piledriver.  I wonder if this is a New Japan thing or if he'll be doing that in March when he comes to Limitless Wrestling in Maine.

NEVER Openweight Six-Man Tag Team Champions: Bullet Club: Bad Luck Fale, Tama Tonga, & Tanga Loa vs. Henare, Ryusuke Taguchi, & Togi Makabe

Another decent match with fast paced action.  Tama Tonga is so good, I can't imagine he won't be a stand out singles star at some point. He's been wrestling for ten years, eight in New Japan, and with his ability and charisma you can't hold him down.  Finish came with Tama submitted Henare with the Dream Catcher also known as a Twister which is a sideways body bend with a leg trap and neck crank.

After the match Fale kicked the time keeper/bell ringer.  Fale has a history of attacking the ring announcers with hilarious effect. 

Bullet Club: Cody, Marty Scurll, & Hangman Page vs. Kota Ibushi, Juice Robinson, & David Finlay

Yet another great match that was bell to bell action.  Once the match settled in Juice Robinson took the heat Ricky Morton style for  his team for a long time before making the hot tag to Kota Ibushi right after Cody tagged in.  Crowd popped big as these two continue their feud, however, they were smart and only gave us a couple minutes before they both tagged out.

Great series of moves where the guys kept hitting moves on their own teammate.  Finish came when it was Hangman and Finlay in the ring who hit the Rite of Passage for the pin.

At one point Marty has Ibushi on his shoulders and Cody hit a springboard dropkick on Ibushi who flipped over landing on his feet.

Tetsuya Naito & Hiromu Takahashi vs. Yoshi Hashi & IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion: Will Osprey

On his entrance Naito chased Don Callis off and then spat upon him.  I'm sure this is to continue Naito vs. Jericho feud.  Even though Callis was attacked by Jericho they are both Winnipeg natives.

Naito & Hiromu jumped the match before the bell going the the floor.  After a few minutes Osprey and Naito finally start in the ring, but it's not long before it's Hiromu and Osprey in ring while Naito attacked Hashi outside the ring.

Referee didn't seem to have much control as guys would trade in and out of the ring with or without a tag.  LIJ worked over Osprey's left knee most of the match.  Finish came when Naito kicked Osprey in the dick, then he ate a kick from Hiromu and was rolled up by Naito.

I'm really looking forward to Osprey defending his championship against Hiromu next month in Osaka.  Post match Hashi attacked Naito and the two fought to the back building their singles match in Osaka.

IWGP Champion: Kazuchika Okada, Hirooki Goto, & Gedo vs. Sanada, Evil, & Bushi

Match opened with Okada and Sanada, surprised me as with their pending title match next month in Osaka I figured they'd hold off them having contact.  Action stayed mostly in the ring but they did hit the floor a couple more times.  We actually got a lot of Okada and Sanada giving us a nice preview of next month. Finish came when Okada submitted Bushi with a cobra clutch.

Post match Okada cut a promo on Sanada and then attacked him in the aisle bring him back to the ring.  Okada hit a jumping tombstone piledriver and then he took some Okada dollars and shoved them in Sanada's mouth then locked in the cobra clutch.  I thought Sanada was the heel in this.

Bullet Club: US Champion: Kenny Omega & IWGP Jr Tag Team Champions: The Young Bucks: Nick & Matt Jackson vs. "Switchblade" Jay White and Roppongi 3K: Sho & Yoh with Rocky Romero

Not a five star classic, but a wicked fun match.  Typical match from the Elite where the match was essentially a tornado match.  Surprisingly The Elite dominated the majority of the match.  Finish came when The Elite hit the assisted Indytaker on Yoh.

Post match Jay White hit bladerunner on Omega while the Bucks were celebrating.

IWGP Intercontinental Champion: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Minoru Suzuki

This match was friggin tremendous!  Suzuki was relentless in his attack on Tanahashi's knee from bell to bell.  Even when he hit the Gotch Piledrive he wanted the submission and went back to the knee bar.  Eventually red shoes stopped the match as Tanahashi showed true heart and wouldn't submit.  We have a new Intercontinental Champion!

Seriously go spend the $9.22 and get New Japan World to watch not only this match but WrestleKingdom 12.

NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia
January 27, 2018
Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

I love the Paul Heyman narrated opening!  That man is gold!

Tag Team Champions: The Undisputed Era: Bobby Fish & Kyle O'Reilly vs. Authors of Pain: Akam & Rezar with Paul Ellering

Fantastic hard hitting match with RedDragon working Akam's left leg with unique punishment and repeated knee bars.  The weakened knee came into effect as the supercollider finish was hampered by it and cost AOP the match.  O'Reilly pinned Akam with a rollup to retain the titles.  

A couple other things I really liked in the match: O'Reilly using jujitsu to keep Akam on the ground when he had him in the triangle choke, O'Reilly taking that bump from the apron to the floor after being pinballed by AOP, Fish grabbing the tag rope before taking the tag from O'Reilly.

War Machine shown at ringside and they called them War Machine: Hanson and Rowe, nice! 

Kassius Ohno vs. Velveteen Dream

In the pre-show Velveteen Dream guaranteed a 30 second or faster knock out.  I wasn't a fan of the Velveteen Dream at first but he has grown on me. I loved that the fans were counting to 30 from the time the bell rang, and the pop and Velveteen Dream dropped him!  Two blown spots in a row by Dream, the DDT and DVD I was a bit concerned by the bumps Ohno took on both.  Finish came when Dream hit his purple rain elbow drop by jumping off the ring post covering, which was impressive.

Women's Champion: Ember Moon vs. Shayna Baszler

Match was ok, I'm not an Ember Moon fan,  I enjoyed Baszler tearing her arm apart.  I hated the medical staff coming out to check on Ember.  I enjoyed the finishing sequence of the arm bar and Moon twisting and turning, Baszler pulling her away from the ropes and then moon getting that jackknife pin out of know where.  Loved Baszler choking out Moon on the ramp after the match.  I gotta give Moon credit she sold the hell out of that choke including coughing up all the spit.

They show Trevor "Ricochet" Mann in the audience, big pop for him.

Extreme Rules Match: Aleister Black vs. Adam Cole

I'm glad they didn't come to the ring with trash can full of weapons or have them outside the ring laying around.  Cole's reaction after Black threw is kendo stick down was hilarious.  I'm noticing some blood on Cole, his lower back and right upper leg, not sure how it happened.  Looks like Cole cut his hand.

I've never seen someone thrown on a ladder like Black did Cole from that Electric Chair position.  Great friggin match, the death valley driver on the two chairs back to back was sick!  I've never seen that before.  Fish and O'Reilly getting involved was not a surprise, I liked Sanity running in and stopping them, makes sense.  The double knees through the table was great!  Finish came when Cole yelled at Black that he was going to hit him with a chair and Black hit Black Mass and got the pin.

They showed EC 3 at ringside and the way he did it was awesome!  Standing back to profile to the camera and slowly turning around.  Big Pop!

NXT Champion: Andrade "Cien" Alams with Zelina Vega vs. Johnny Gargano

Almas out first, I liked that he wore his old Lucha mask out.  Great counters and reversals in this match.  Gargano's bump on the floor missing the rolling dive was stiff, landed right infront oh his wife and mom too.

Match started slow and really built and built towards the finish.  Fantastic false finishes that had the crowd on their feet.  I don't know how I feel, I wanted Gargano to win and with Almas retaining, I don't know, it was a  great friggin match that they both can be proud of.  They killed it for over thirty minutes.

Post match Ciampa attacked Gargano hitting him with his crutch.

NJPW: New Beginning in Sapporo Night 2
January 28, 2018
Hokkaido Perfectural Sports Center, Sapporo, Japan

Juice Robinson vs. Katsuya Kitamura

Another good showing for Kitamura, not as good as yesterday.  Juice is so much better since his days as CJ Parker.  Juice got the win with Pulp Friction.

Jushin Thunder Liger, Tiger Mask IV, Ryusuke Taguchi, & Shota Umino vs. Yoshinobu Kanemaru, Taichi, El Desperado, Yoshinobu Kanemura & Taka Michinoku

Solid eight man tag with Suzuki Gun getting jumped by the faces to start the match.  Lots of action in and out of the ring with Taichi getting the pin on Umino after a thrust kick.

Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano vs. Yujiro Takahashi & Leo Tonga

Ishii is a powerhouse his pitbull nickname fits him.  Same crap from Yano, with the referee distracted he hit Leo Tonga in the dick and then rolled him up after Ishii clotheslined him for the win. 

Bullet Club: Bad Luck Fale, Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa, & Chase Owens vs. Togi Makabe, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Manabu Nakanishi, & Tomoyuki Oka

Another solid and dominating performance by Bullet Club.  Finish came when Owens pinned Oka after a package piledriver.

Henare & Michael Elgin vs. Minoru Suzuki & Takashi Iizuka

Henare replaced the injured Tanahashi, which is huge in storyline that he was too injured after losing to Suzuki last night.  Suzuki and Iizuka dominated the match with Suzuki just beating Henare down severly.  Finish came when Suzuki first applied the sleeper on Henare then hit the Gotch Piledriver and submitted him with the knee bar.

Post Match Suzuki Gun was laying a beating on Henare when Makabe made the save chasing them all off.  Look for Makabe to challenge Suzuki for his Intercontinental Championship soon.

Bullet Club: Cody, Marty Scurll, & Hangman Page vs Kota Ibushi, David Finlay, & Kushida

A hell of a good match!  Hangman is so frigging talented and does thinks you wouldn't expect at all considering his size and wrestling style.  Hangman pinned Kushida with Rites of Passage 

IWGP Champion: Kazuchika Okada, Hirooki Goto, Yoshi-Hashi, Will Osprey, & Gedo vs. Sanada, Evil, Bushi, Hiromu Takahashi, & Tetsuya Naito

Great ten man tag of guys who will wrestle in singles matches next month.  We got to see previews off all of those matches.  This match though was used to build Sanada as a credible threat to Okada and they did it.  Sanada submitted Gedo with Skull End

IWGP Jr Tag Team Champions: The Young Bucks: Nick & Matt Jackson vs. Roppongi 3K: Sho & Yoh with Rocky Romero

Fantastic match that was just as if not better than WrestleKingdom.  Matt injured his back early and sold the hell out of it through the match.  He sell job was just tremendous.  His back played into the finish when Yoh pinned Matt with a small package for R3K to take the championships.

IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion: Kenny Omega vs. "Switchblade" Jay White

It was good match, but it wasn't great.  I'm a big fan of Jay White and this match and his victory of it for the United States Championship was supposed to elevate him to the next level and White just wasn't there.  At no fault to Omega who worked his ass off for 30 minutes trying to put him there, but it just didn't work.  Also the post match incidents really over shadowed the match itself.

Hangman Page came out and challenged White, Omega pushed Hangman aside and presented White with the title.  White left as Cody and Marty came in, there was a lot of pushing and yelling and when Matt tried to calm Kenny he accidentally viciously threw him to the mat.  The Young Bucks left to the back.  Omega and Cody seemingly made up and as Omega was leaving Cody attacked him with Cross Rhoades.  Hangman and Marty came back in the ring with Hangman holding Omega and Cody ready to level him with a chair while Marty was trying to talk him out of it.  Ibushi made the save and chased them out of the ring.

Ibushi then extended a hand to Omega who refused it standing himself up on his own, after both men showed they were crying the embraced each other much to the enjoyment of the crowd and then someone set off the confetti canons, signaling the reunion of the Golden☆Lovers.  Ibushi and Omega teamed under this name for five years, 2009 - 2015 in DDT Pro and NJPW wining Tag Team Championships in both promotions.

WWE: The Royal Rumble
January 28, 2018
Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


Kalisto, Lince Dorado, & Gran Metalik vs. TJP, Gentleman Jack Gallagher, & Drew Gulak

This was meh, I think I could have gotten into it more had it been lucha lubre rules.  Finish came when Kalisto pinned TJP.

The Revival: Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder vs. Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson

This was much better than their match this past Monday at the Raw 25th Anniversary.  The Revival are the best tag team in WWE in my opinion right nowcan't wait for them to win tag team gold. Revival got the win working over Gallows knee and then chop blocking it for the roll up.  Looking forward to their next match as this isn't over.

US Open Challenge: United States Champion: Bobby Roode vs. Mo Jo Rawley

I was disappointed with Mojo being the challenger this is a SmackDown level challenger not a PPV, even a PPV pre-show challenger.  Roode for the win when Mojo botched a tornado Glorious DDT.

Best part of the Pre-Show was when Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn were doing the twitter Q & A, shitting on the fans stupid questions and completely ignoring, save when they insulted, Rosenberg.

Main Card

Handicap Match: WWE Champion: AJ Styles vs. Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn

Fantastic match which shouldn't surprise anyone considering who is in the match.  They made this two on 1 match make sense with Owens nagging injury from SmackDown and quick pin of the non-legal Owens continues the idea that the referees keep screwing them.  Well done.   

2/3 Falls: SmackDown Tag Team Champions: The Usos: Jimmy & Jey vs. Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin

Fantastic first fall, lost of false finishes, I mean just a really good tag team match and I was surprised the first fall took so long because of how WWE usually books these matches.  Fist fall came when the Usos double superkicked Gable and then one of the Usos splashed him. 

The start of the second fall with Benjamin and Gable laying waste to them and just heeling it up big time was great.  Second fall came not to long after when the got a quick roll up on Benjamin.  I never saw it coming and never would have predicted it.  Well done.

Men's Royal Rumble Match

I'm not going into too great of detail but this was the best Royal Rumble match in years!  I truly enjoyed Heath Slater being layed out by a half dozen guys as they came to the ring and when he was thrown in my Sheamus and then got Heath got the quick clothesline elimination of Sheamus was awesome.  The surprise NXT entrants of Almas and Adam Cole was cool and they stayed into there for a good amount of time. Hurricane was decent, I even appreciate Rey Mysterio, not at first but the fact that he stayed right in there and he physically looked good.  I wonder if he's back or if this is a one off.

I really enjoyed the match beginning to end and was elated that my pick Shinsuke Nakamura got the win.  This is HUGE for a Japanese wrestler to win the Rumble.  So excited they told us straight away that he wanted AJ Styles at WrestleMania, they NEED to be the main event. 

Raw Tag Team Champions: Seth Rollins & Jason Jordan vs. The Bar: Sheamus & Cesaro

This was some weak ass shit.  The Bar won the belts.  

Triple Threat: Universal Champion: Brock Lesnar vs. Braun Strowman vs. Kane

This is is what I expected short but very hard hitting, you like when Strowman kneed Lesnar in the face a little too hard and Lesnar punched him in the side of the head exceptionally hard.  Finish came when Strowman was on the floor outside the ring and Kane took an F5 getting pinned.  

Women's Royal Rumble Match

I was glad to see that the match that was give a lot of attention for it's historical purposes was last.  While not as good as the men's match it was still very good.  Some great nostalgia with ladies of the past including Molly Holly, Beth Phoenix, Lita, and Trish Stratus.  One of the things that I was not impressed with was how much time some of them spent on the floor, like Sasha Banks, it was excessive.  When Kairi Sane came out the place really popped and she brought some excitement including two big diving Insane Elbows.

Once again my pick Asuka won the match last eliminating Nikki Bella albeit with a really weak looking leg kick while both were on the apron. 

Post match both Charlotte and Alexa Bliss came in the ring, but before anything else could happen "Rowdy" Ronda Rousey came out wearing Hot Rod's leather jacket, had to be, and the spelling on her name was in the same style as Hot Rod including the ringer shirt.

It was a really good PPV, beat Rumble show in years. 

Thanks for reading, please leave a comment, read my other posts, and like my blogs Facebook page and while you're at it check out my weekly podcast Podcast of 1,000 Holds on the Nerdy Legion Podcast Network. 

Later Readers!

1 comment:

  1. I get what you're saying about Almas, but this match and the last Takevoer, is him finally living up to the hype from when he came in.

    It was a great weekend of shows!