Saturday, November 24, 2018

JIMBO'S QUARTERLY RASSLIN ROUNDUP (Q3 2018 EDITION!)

Are you ready for a whirlwind recap of the best, the worst and the most random pro wrestling matches of the last three months? Hold on to your Hulkamania t-shirts, folks — it's time to rumble.


By: Jimbo X
The Internet Is In America on Voat

It's truly another golden age for the pro rasslin,' and with so many promotions out there puttin' on so many matches on a nigh daily basis, it can get a little confusing differentiating the cream from the crap. Thus, we here at The Internet Is In America has decided to help many a brother out by publishing our own quarterly, DVDVR-inspired rundown of random matches from across the full spectrum of professional wrestling, be it the bigs like the WWE and New Japan or the indies established and developing in the U.S., Japan and Mexico.

Throughout the year we're going to review eight matches in-depth from every month across four quarterly installments. In case you missed it, you can find the compendiums for quarter one (Jan-March) and quarter two (April-June) right here and here. As far as the match selections are concerned, we'll be taking a good, long gander at all sorts of bouts, including the critically praised, snowflake showered New Japan super main events, the best the WWE has to offer, CMLL and AAA's marquee offerings, whatever the fuck All Japan, NOAH and the rest of the Nippon B-leaguers are up to and the most noteworthy (and bizarre) indie outings from the U.S., Japan, Mexico, Canada and wherever they hell else the masses have a penchant for men in their underwear pretending to kill one another for five dollars a ticket.

But enough jibber-jabber ... let's head down to the ring and get this shit started proper, why don't we?


The art of professional wrestling, at its most graceful.

July 2018

July 04, 2018
Daisuke Masaoka & Violento Jack  vs. Jun Kasai & Kenji Fukimoto (FREEDOMS/Jun Kasai Produce Series Opener 2018 )

FREEDOMS has the weirdest goddamn commentary set-up. There's match audio is muted and there's these three people in a video window box at the bottom of the screen just casually discussing what's going on, like it was MST3K or something. Yes, Jun still looks homeless and his tag team partner is the world's fattest black metal wannabe. Violento Jack is a dead wearing half a lucha libre match and Fukimoto is a guy that looks like he weighs about 100 pounds less than his tag team partner. Anyway, it doesn't take long for the scuffling to begin, as Jun and his partner immediately Pearl Harbor their opponents with the championship belts. We're less than a minute in and we already have brawling in the crowd, complete with Kasai and Jack making one another eat an exit placard. Daisuke and Kenji do some facsimile of professional wrestling in the middle of the ring, but I'm not entirely sure if that's what they are trying to do Now Daisuke is stabbing Kenji with ... what is that, a cheese grater? A piece of metal with a nail sticking out of it? The video is so grainy it's impossible to tell. Jack slams Masaoka on a chair for a two-count. Fukimoto gets tagged in (yeah, how about that, a NO DQ bout where the tag rule is ACTUALLY enforced) and Violento hits a tilt-a-whirl tossing Kasai into his tag team partner. Or actually, it might be the other way around. Kenji's wearing a crimson mask already. Jack gets tagged in and clobbers Jun just for the hell of it. He waffles Daisuke with a hard chest slap. Kenji starts to fight back and eventually back body drops Violento through a bundle of light tubes. Then Kasai clothesline the fuck out of Daisuke and Fukimoto missile dropkicks Kasai right in the chest. He follows suit with a flying boot to the face, but it's only worth a two count. Wow, that motherfucker sure loves to clap a lot, don't he? Kasai jabs Kenji in the forehead with a fork and piledrives him. Daisuke is tagged back in and facepalms Fukimoto to the mat and his him with a sitout powerbomb. He kicks out. Violento with a gorilla press slam into a gut-buster, which Fukimoto follows up with a shining wizard. Jack has a chair in the middle of the ring, and now Fukimoto's got one. At this point we have four sitting aides and a giant sheet of glass strategically laid out in the middle of the ring. Fukimoto looks for the lethal superplex. Masaoka, of course, counters and powerbombs Kenji right through the glassware. Kasia turns Violento inside out with a lariat then he gets into a headbutt battle with Kenji. This is so retarded it's actually kinda' cool. Kasai lands an Angel Wings variation, but Kenji kicks out. Jun with a scop slam and now he's got ... a fucking meat cleaver. He slices open Daisuke's chest (for real) and hits his patented top rope frog splash. But Jack breaks up the pin. Then Violento package piledrives Daisuke off the apron and Kasai German suplexes Fukimoto out of his boots. He grabs the meat cleaver again and this time Jun SLICES OPEN HIS OWN CHEST. Jack runs in to make the save and he package piledrives Kasai. Fukimoto lands an Angel Wings on Kasia, but Jun kicks out. Oh fuck, do we actually have a good match on our hands now? And as soon as I say that, Fukimoto goes up top, hits a botched knees-first missile dropkick and that's what earns 'em the three-count. Jeez, talk about an anticlimactic finish! Oh well ... at least Kasai had his ratty-ass ponytail sliced off in the post-match to kinda' salvage the lame-ass finale. Sorta'.

My Rating: ***

The Verdict? A better than average garbage match bloodbath, complete with some shockingly decent WRESTLING towards the end of the contest. It’s your typical guilty-pleasure Japaeheeno junkyard brawl-a-thon featuring all the splendid gore and senseless head trauma that hasn’t been fashionable in the States’ wrestling scene since 1999 … based on that description alone, you already know whether or not you need to see this.

July 21, 2018
Tomohiro Ishii vs. Hirooki Goto (NJPW G1 Climax 28 Day 6)

Alright, so Ishii is the bald one and Goto is the one who looks like Eddie Guerrero's illegitimate Japanese love child. Which hell, might be the case, considering how much time Ed spend in Nippon back in the early '90s. So we've got these two fat, sweaty motherfuckers just running into each other and it's pretty great. Now they're slugging it out with forearm shots galore and Goto finally dops Ishii with a shoulder charge. Ishii lands a MANLY fat man power slam off the ropes and Goto rolls around on the canvas like a fish on hot pavement. Now it's time for chops a' plenty. Goto hits Ishii with some decent looking titty slaps and then Ishii drops his ass with a huge fucking karate chop. Then Ishii screams "Who's the CHARMPION" and Goto waffles him with a clothesline in the corner, then a spinning back wheel kick. He lands a Saito suplex, but Ishii kicks out at two. Goto kicks Ishii's left nipple off and he ain't done punting his sternum yet. Then Ishii stops selling 'em, gets up and drops Goto with a single forearm shot to the chest. Time for a deluge of chops and elbows in the corner. Goto goes down following a fat shoulder block. Goto with some clubbbing blows to the back of Ishii's head. Ishii lands a German suplex but Goto no sells it and KICKS THE FUCK out of Ishii while he's running off the ropes. Goto locks in a sleeper. Ishii flips him over his shoulders and Goto lands a couple of thick clotheslines. But Ishii ain't going down that easy. He lariats Goto back, and the exchange goes back and forth until they put each other down with a double clothesline. It takes them about a minute to get back to their feet, as Goto immediately locks in another sleeper. Then Ishii starts elbowing Goto's face a billion times and Goto crumples after another clothesline in the corner. Ishii goes up top for a superplex. He lands it, but Goto kicks out at two. Goto with a funky spinning fireman's carry into a Go-2-Sleep, Eat-My-Knee-like manuever. Goto lands another clothesline and follows it up with a reverse GTR. Then there are a million billion counters that concludes with Ishii landing a Saito suplex. They charge at each like rhinoceri again and Goto swats away Ishii's enzuigiri, only for Ishii to riposte with one of the FATTEST clotheslines in the history of humanity. Goto kicks out, Ishii goes for a brainbuster, Goto counters with  flapjack and Ishii kicks out at two. Goto gets back to his feet first. He drops Ishii with a boot to the sternum then they take turns headbutting each other 'til Ishii lands the enzuigir and the diving lariat ... only for Goto to kick out at two. Then Ishii lands a vertical brainbuster, and THAT's the match, folks.

My Rating: *** 3/4

The Verdict: A really fun meat-fest that felt kinda' like the Brock Lesnar/Bill Goldberg match (you know, the GOOD one.) It was just two big, bulky motherfuckers hitting each other with power move after move and it was glorious. Still, I've definitely seen much better hoss-a-thons in my day, and all those people on the Webz calling this shindig a five snowflake affair are literally retarded. A good, old-fashioned slobberknocker, to be sure, but you're positively daffy if you think this thing is anywhere close to being a MOTY contender.

July 22, 2018
Eddie Edwards vs. Tommy Dreamer (IMPACT Slammiversary  XVI)

This is a "House of Hardcore" match, because don't you DARE think about saying the "E" word during this match, fellas. Edwards looks like the Miz, and Tommy Dreamer, while about 40 pounds heavier than he was a decade ago, doesn't look too bad for his age. Oh, but goddamn at the size of that bald spot, though. So apparently, they're feuding because Tommy Dreamer is fucking Eddie Edwards' wife. Man, she most be a ho if she'd fuck an ECW Original. It doesn't take Dreamer long to find a cookie sheet and a metal garbage can. Edwards eats metal running off the ropes and the fans chant "E-C-Dub." Dreamer with a reverse neckbreaker on the ropes. Dreamer is thrown into the metal ring post. Now Eddie has a staple gun. Dreamer grabs the gun and staples Eddie on an aborted sunset flip attempt. "Oh my Jesus," Cyrus quips. Yeah, he needs to work on his catchphrase there. Edward is bleeding from the forehead. A dude gives Dreamer an ECW replica belt and he clocks Edwards with it. Hell, that's the longest Dreamer's held on to a title in years. Edwards hits a suicide dive and crotches Dreamer on the guardrail. Edwards retrieves a Singapore cane. Or is it a kendo stick? Eh, like there's a difference. Dreamer hits a jaw jacker out of nowhere and then Dreamer does his best Sandman impersonation for a while. Tommy goes up top and Eddie clocks him in the knee with the cane. Dreamer sets Eddie up for a Spicolli Driver ... and he actually LANDS it on the stack of chairs below. Alas, Eddie kicks out at two. Now Dreamer's pulling out a table. And lighter fluid. Hmm ... I wonder what his plans here are? Anyway, Edwards low blows Dreamer before he can light the furniture ablaze and plants him with a DDT. Then he shining wizards that motherfucker with a chair, and that's what gets him the three.

My Rating: ***

The Verdict? Nowhere near as bad as I anticipated. Obviously, Tommy Dreamer can just barely go these days, but he definitely brought his A … well, B- game … to this one. We all know Eddie Edwards deserves better, but for what it is (and isn’t) this ain’t too shabby of a PG-deathmatch at all.

July 22, 2018
Ortiz and Santana vs. Homicide and Hernandez (IMPACT Slammiversary XVI)

This is a "5150 street fight" for the tag team titles. So Homicide and Hernandez, the original LAX, are now called the O.G.z. and their manager is some dude named King. Meanwhile, Konnan is running the *new* LAX with these two dudes named Santana and Ortiz, who both wear Day of the Dead corpse paint. Hernandez goes for the Border Toss but he gets double clotheslined out of the ring. Stereo planchas on opposite sides of the ring for LAX. Hernandez and Homicide take it to LAX with metal trash can lids. Now Homicide has a chain, and he's choking Ortiz with it. Hernandez takes out LAX with a flying body splash to the outside. Homicide El Kabongs Ortiz with a garbage can. Now Homicide has a can of fucking Drano. Santana hits Homicide with an over-head belly to belly and Santana chases him down. Hernandez back body drops Ortiz into the ring off the ramp. Hernandez with a powerbomb on Santana, then Ortiz goes buck wild with a trash can lid. Now he's grabbing a ladder. Santana says "fuck you" and hits Hernandez with a moonsault. LAX hits a powerbomb stunner tandem combo on Homicide, but Hernandez yanks the ref out of the ring before he can register the three-count. Hernandez shoulder tackles Santana out of the ring and Homicide somersaults through a table on the outside, taking Ortiz with him. Then Ortiz hits a Death Valley Driver through ANOTHER table then Hernandez Border Tosses Ortiz through yet ANOTHER table. Santana lands a super kick on Hernandez and a rolling senton on the follow through. Now Homicide and Santana are having a haymaker exchange and Homicide goes for the GRINGO KILLER, only for Konnan's fat ass to distract Homicide before he can land his finisher. Santana grabs hold of some thumbtacks, body slams Homicide and hits him with a fat-as-fuck frog splash to officially pick up the pinfall.

My Rating: *** 1/2

The Verdict? A really fun match, for sure. There was a little bit of a slowdown towards the end, but on the whole this kept a pretty decent pace and the ultra-violence spots were relatively well-executed. It doesn’t come close to matching the insanity of Lucha Underground’s more visceral brawls, but it certainly didn’t disappoint this connoisseur of Latinos beating the shit out of each other, either.

July 22, 2018
Pentagon Jr. vs. Sami Callihan (IMPACT Slammiversary  XVI)

This is a hair vs. mask match, which doesn't really make a whole lot of sense since Sami doesn't seem to have *that* much hair to begin with. Callihan looks like Road Dogg, if Road Dogg was a meth-head who really wished he was in The shield. Pentagon, meanwhile, is literally what would happen if you put La Parka and Hayabusa into the telepod from "The Fly." Literally half the people in the crowd look retarded, and that's not me trying to be funny, it's literally half special needs students in attendance tonight. It doesn't take long for these two fuckers to start kicking each other in the head hard and that makes me guffaw plenty. Sami asks Pentagon to give him his best shot so he slaps his sternum at about 30 miles per hour. Now we've got some brawling on the outside. Sami with thumbs to the eyes, and then he cracks a (gimmicked) beer bottle over Pentagon's noggin. Time for another exchanging of slaps. Sami whacks Pentagon with a chair on an aborted plancha attempt and he uses the free time to sock his protective vest back on. He starts throwing plunder all over the ring and flips off the crowd. Eventually, he pulls out two railroad spikes and Cyrus says he's literally going to try to KILL Pentagon with them. Sami slobbers all over the camera while he carves Pentagon up like a Mexican turkey. Then he ties Pentagon to the top rope with his own mask. Huh. Never seen that one before. Pentagon with a backcracker, then he grabs the railroad spikes. Time for Pentagon to get his bloody revenge now, including a spot where he drives a nail into Sami's forehead using a baseball bat. Now they both have spikes and are stabbing each other in the forehead like it was Frye/Takayama and something. Man, this is so delightfully sleazy. Now the fans are chanting "This is IMPACT," which even by TNA standards, is a pretty stupid cheer. Now they've set up two chairs in the middle of the ring and exchanging slaps. Now it's time for a good old fashioned chair-swinging dual. Eh, it's not as good as the old Awesome/Tanaka classics, but it's alright. Now they're doing the "fight forever" chant. Goddamn, this is just cringey. Pentagon connects on another backcracker, but Sami kicks out. Pentagon waffles Callihan with a chair and then he makes Sami's stablemates eat steel, too. Sami throws powder into Pentagon's eyes and he bitch slaps the ref on accident. LOL, he thinks the ref is Sami so he breaks his arm with an arm wrench. "You fucked up!" the crowd chants. OK, that's actually kinda' funny. Pentagon lands the Pentagon Driver, but the ref is still squirming around in agony so he can't make the three count. Sami with a pulling piledriver on a chair, and here comes the replacement ref. Just a two-count. Sami sets up four chairs now and Pentagon hits Sami with a package piledriver on the quarter of seating aides. Sami kicks out so Pentagon kicks him in the face a couple of times. Pentagon snaps Sami's arm with his arm wrench, and one more package piledriver is all it takes to get him the three-count. Of course, Callihan's goons come out before Pentagon to shave his foe bald. He chases him down and he and his brother Fenix take turns kicking Callihan so they can give him a non-consensual crewcut.

My Rating: ****

The Verdict? This is one of the better "less is more" scumbag garbage fest matches I've seen in awhile. Yeah, you it had a lot of the standard tropes, but the focus here wasn’t on the grandiloquence of the violence, but the sheer intensity. This is one of those matches that just plain hurts to watch, and these two fellas certainly know how to make audiences just feel the brutality. It ain’t exactly on par with your usual La Parka bloodbath, but for a U.S. lucha-deathmatch, it’s downright tremendous.

July 22, 2018
Austin Aries vs. Moose (IMPACT Slammiversary  XVI)

So what the fuck DO they call this company nowadays? TNA? Impact? TNA Impact? What the fuck ever. Anyway, one of the commentators is Cyrus the Virus and I'm pretty sure they're hosting this show inside a bowling alley somewhere. I have no idea who Moose is, but apparently his gimmick is that he's black, he wears red and he used to play pro football. Hey, what do you know, he used to play for the Falcons, for real. LOL, Aries literally looks like he's half Moose's height and weight. Also, some black dude who plays for the Blue Jays is holding the belt during the wrestler introductions and literally NOBODY in the crowd appears to weigh less than 300 pounds. Aries with leg kicks early and Moose just picks him up like a baby. Cyrus says Moose has a 100 pound weight advantage, and for once, I think a wrestling announcer ISN'T exaggerating. Aries with a "tight" Japanese arm drag and he slaps the taste of out Moose's mouth. This leads to Moose chopping the hell out of Aries in the corner, and Austin bumps like an absolute motherfucker. Aries is flipped backfirst into the guardrail. Of course, he crashes and burns on the world's fattest plancha over the guardrail. There's Aries with a flying axehandle to the outside. "A lack of oxygen makes cowards out of the best of men," Cyrus comments. Fuck, just IMAGINE how unlistenable a card would be if it was him and Ranallo calling the action. Aries chop Moose some more, but he no sells all of them. Then Moose head butts Aries halfway across the ring, then he does his best Kenta Kobashi "rapid fire" chops impersonation, and I'll tell you ... that is one shitty Kenta Kobashi impersonation. Aries with a hurricanrana off the top rope, then Moose snake eyes Aries and drops him with a Sky High (which he calls the "Go To Hell.") Of course, Austin kicks out. Aries does this twisty crucifix bomb thingy, then he tries to plancha through the top ropes and Moose just fucking ELBOWS him right in the face. OK, that was just plain GREAT. Moose with a twisty clothesline; Aries counters with a DDT and THE LAST CHANCERY in the middle of the ring. Moose makes it to the ropes to end the submission attempt. They exchange forearm shots and headbutts on the apron. Austin lands a brainbuster on the edge of the apron, and he takes a breather in the middle of the ring, hoping against hope for a countout. Oops, nevermind, he just planchaed that motherfucker. Now Moose swings Aries' head into the guardrail a couple of times, but they look like absolute shit. Thankfully, his big boot on the follow-through looked substantially better. Aries with a nut shot behind the ref's back, and then Moose hits a brainbuster of his own. There's the spear. But Aries grabs hold of the bottom rope to break the pin attempt. Now Aries is heading up the ramp. Moose grabs him and gorilla press slams him into the front row. He drags Austin back into the ring and Moose hits him with another big boot. He goes for a flying splash and Aries easily avoids contact. Aries with a discus forearm to the back of Moose's head, followed by a dropkick and a brainbuster on the show floor. Moose just barely beats the countout. Aries grabs the championship belt and the black dude from the Blue Jays yanks it away from him. Moose goes for a schoolboy (just like Michael Jackson would have), but Aries kicks out and hits one more brainbuster for the victory.

My Rating: *** 1/2

The Verdict? A really good match, but it's hardly anything I'd consider MOTY-worth ... or even MOTN-caliber, to be honest with you fam. It’s pretty perplexing why TNA/Impact/Whatever The Fuck It’s Called choose this as the main event for their marquee show of the year. Not to say this is bad by any stretch, because it’s actually quite good, but it just didn’t feel like a REAL promotion-defining heavyweight contest. As an extended time-limit TV title defense, this is great; but as the single most important bout of a promotion’s calendar year, though, you can’t help but walk away mildly unenthused by the total product.

July 25, 2018
Aleister Black vs. Tommaso Ciampa (WWE NXT)

Ciampa, as always, comes out to no music so the neckbeards can boo him and shower him with shitty chants. And Aleister Black, of course, is kickboxing Eurotrash Undertaker. With their crappy beards, both these motherfuckers look like they could be in Mumford and Sons or something. Ciamp works the arm early. Black lands a single leg sweep and he starts working Ciampa's knees. Some pretty good chain wrestling to begin here. Black misses on a shoulder block and Ciampa almost wins it with an opportunistic Oklahoma roll. Black works a facelock. He goes for a small package. Just a two. Ciampa with a Judo toss and another armlock. Ciamp plops down on his ass to avoid a kick, then he rolls to the outside for a breather. Now we've got some outside brawling, with Black kicking the SHIT out of Ciampa. Back in the ring and Black punts Ciampa right in the sternum and we all chortle. Black does a backflip off the ropes for no reason whatsoever, then sits Indian style in the middle of the ring waving at Ciampa, who is still licking his wounds on the entrance ramp. Black boots Ciampa again, then Ciampa tosses Black over the top rope and lawn darts his ass into the metal steps. Then he sits on the steps and waves at Black. LOL, I love taunting, in pro wrestling and everywhere else. Ciampa works a chinlock and a backbreaker. Time for an abdominal stretch, with Ciampa using the rope for leverage. Black goes for a German suplex but his back gives out on him. That allows Ciampa to lock in a Texas Cloverleaf. Haven't seen that one in a while. Black escapes, but the slave owner doesn't try to track him down. Oh, wait, wrong kind of "black" there, my bad. Black with more kicks galore. He punts Ciampa off the top rope then they knock each other down with simultaneous shoulder blocks. Ciampa with a sliding baseball kick and a flying moonsault off the top rope. No, not the turnbuckle bad, I mean a straight up lionsault off the top rope, nigga. But it only gets him a two-count. Ciampa goes for that rope-assisted DDT but Black is like "fuck that, I'm just going to knee you a million more times instead." Black continues to kick the dog shit out of Ciampa in the corner. Ciampa yanks Black off the apron and lands a flying DDT off the top rope. Two count only. Ciampa hits a lariat. That's only good for a two, as well. And there's Black with a jumping knee on the rebound. TWO COUNT. LOL at Ciampa's gimmick being he's a millennial snowflake with a victimization complex. Black hits more stiff-looking kicks and he FINALLY lands that German Suplex. But of course, Ciampa kicks out. Black goes for a moonsault to the outside and Ciampa throws him into a cameraman. Ciampa reaches under the ring for a foreign object. He strikes Black with the crutch, but Aleister kicks out. Ciampa goes for the draping DDT. Ciampa gets backdropped to the outside and THEN Black lands the flying senton to the outside ... only for Ciampa to hit the draping DDT as soon as he reenters the ring! But you guessed it, such was only worthy of a two-count. Ciampa starts peeling back the foam padding at ringside to reveal the concrete floor below. He feigns DDTing Black on it, but Black inadvertently shoves Ciampa into the ref. Black lands the Black Mass, but of course, there's nobody there to record the pinfall. Ciampa claws Black's eyes and Mauro calls him "a vile creature." Ciampa tries to waffle Black with the NXT title, but here comes JOHNNY GARGANO to clock him! Except Gargano misses and winds up belting Black with the, uh, belt, which in turn allows Ciampa to hit Black with his Angel Wings variation for the three-count ... and the title change.

My Rating: *** 3/4

The Verdict? Very, very fun stuff, but a mild step down from some the best stuff NXT has put on so far this year. Black and Ciampi gel pretty well, but it’s clear they don’t have the best chemistry together; still, the booking here was superb, and they certainly got the most out of a bout clearly designed to be nothing more than a disposable transitional title change. As expected … some very, very good stuff right here.

July 29, 2018
Kento Miyahara vs. Zeus (AJPW Summer Action Series 2018 - Tag 11)

In true All Japan fashion, the build-up for this one has been preposterously long — as in, damn near three years in the making. Kento come out first, looking like the Dollar Tree version of Okada like he always does. There's a whole bunch of banners with kanji written on them heralding the arrival of the challenger, Zeus ... who, of course, is NOT to be confused with the cross-eyed black dude from "No Holds Barred" who was also that one dude on the ship in "The Dark Knight" that threw the bomb detonator overboard. By the way, I can't possibly be the only person thinking "holy fuck, it's Dee-Bo from Friday during that entire segment," can I? Oh, yeah, the match. Almost forgot. Anyway, Zeus gets yellow streamers during the introduction while Kento gets, like, three or four red ones. So I take it Zeus is the local favorite, eh? By the way, Zeus has such a great look. He literally looks like Batista fucked Antonio Inoki and a rhinoceros gave birth to their lovechild. Standard collar and elbow tie-up to begin, with all the expected titty slappage up against the ropes. We get another lock-up and another skirmish up against the ropes. This time Zeus chops the fuck out of Kento instead of giving him a clean break. Time for a standstill, for dramatic effect. They exchange arm wrenches for a while and Zeus clobbers Kento with a back elbow smash only to eat a shoulder block on the rebound. Zeus kips up and Kento kicks him in the fuckin' face hard. Zeus tosses Kento in the ringside barrier, then Kento returns the favor and face punts that Japanese nigga' over the guardrail. He goes for another running punt and this time Zeus grabs his leg and drops him knee first on the guardrail. Now they're walking up the entrance ramp, which is adorned with a red carpet. How regal. Then Zeus starts clapping like a homosexual YMCA instructor and Kento drops him with a DDT. By the way, the Japanese term for "DDT" is "DDT," surprisingly. Now Kento is headbutting the FUCK out of Zeus on his way back to the ring. Seriously, it sounds like somebody's thwacking a pumpkin with a cement block everytime their foreheads connect. Kento with another punt and a running bulldog variation off the apron to make Zeus eat guardrail. Kento lands a couple more headlocks, now he's trying to pull Zeus' head THROUGH the ringpost and the ref has to yank on his hair to get him to stop. And we're finally back in the ring. Kento with a diving baseball kick to the back of Zeus' head while he's draped over the top rope like yesterday's laundry. Zeus with chops, Kento with more headbutts, then Zeus spinebusts Kento like a motherfucker. Zeus with a running clothesline in the corner and an over the shoulder release suplex. Kento with dropkicks galore, only for Zeus to waylay him with a clothesline. Then Zeus does a really fat plancha to the outside and they both kind of writhe around on the concrete floor for a bit before Zeus gets back up, tries to brainbust Kento off the the apron, gets kicked in the face hard and ultimately winds up swallowing a knee to the jaw a million times harsher looking than any "V-Trigger" Kenny Omega's thrown in his life. Kento lands a suplex on the show floor (it's mat covered, so it's not THAT big of a deal, I guess) and he struggles to beat the countout. He rolls back in and, of course, Kento is laying in wait with another knee to the face. Zeus no-sells the German and Zeus kills his ass dead with a THICK lariat. Both men are back to their feet and Zeus is throwing some heavy-ass chops and every time he hits him, Kento staggers around like Fred Sanford having "the big one." Kento stomps on Zeus' head while he's down, which is a big "no-no" in Japanese culture so of course all the Japs start booing him. Kento lands a brainbuster, but Zeus kicks out. Zeus rolls out a leg lock and Kento struggles to make the rope break. Kento escapes and he makes Zeus eat another knee, and there's his stalling German suplex finisher. Of course, Zeus kicks out. Kento goes for a mulligan and Zeus responds with a head kick and a lariat. Kento kicks out. Zeus lands a chokeslam and Kento kicks out of that, too. Zeus lands a Jackhammer variation and yep, Kento kicks out of that shit, as well. Now Zeus is climbing the top rope. Kento ducks the clothesline and botches a running knee to the back of Zeus' head. Zeus totally no sells another knee to the face, then Kento hits another stalling German. Zeus kicks out. Kento lands three hard knees to the head but Zeus kicks out. Zeus lands a head kick and turns Kento inside out with a lariat. Kickout. And then he lands one more Jackhammer to get the pinfall and the Championship strap.

My Rating: **** 1/4

The Verdict: A very good, old-school, slower-paced match that really emphasized the "power" aspect of Japanese heavyweight wrestling over the faster tempoed shit you'd see out of New Japan. It takes some time to get going, but when it revs up, the ride doesn’t slow down one iota; outstanding, heavy-hitting action from what may very well be the single most underrated promotion on the planet right now.

And to think: had Vince McMahon not dug up and shit all over the bloated corpse of ECW, we probably never would've gotten this ...

August 2018

August 05, 2018
Kazuchika Okada vs. EVIL (NJPW G1 Climax 28 Night 14)

Holy shit, Okada has a haircut just like James Holmes now. That is NOT a good look, dude. EVIL working a headlock early. This is like a battle of the shitty hair dye jobs. EVIL takes Okada off his feet with back to back clotheslines. Okada counters with that over the shoulder neckbreaker thingy. Fuck, Okada looks like such a midcarder with that 'do, there's no way anybody could sell that shit as the face of the company. EVIL slings Okada into the guard rail and grabs a chair. He drapes it around Okada's neck and launches him into the turnpost. EVIL works an arm wrench and goes for a pin. Just a two. EVIL with some fat ass chops in the corner, and now he's working a chin lock. To his credit, he does a pretty good job of making a rather mundane move look intense as fuck. EVIL with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker, and Okada kicks out. Okada with a flash DDT and both men are flat on their backs. Okada kips up and hits EVIL with a series of forearm smashes. Okada with a flapjack and EVIL kicks out. Okada appropriates white culture with several European uppercuts. EVIL lands a Senton  and tosses Okada onto the guardrail below. EVIL lugs Okada up the guardrail and Okada DDTS him on a Darkness Falls counter. Okada takes a running start for a shotgun dropkick and EVIL rolls downhill like a barrel. Okada hits another shotgun dropkick in the ring ... and then another one off the top rope. EVIL grapevines the leg so Okada can't hit the Tombstone. EVIL with a Yakuza kick and he uses the ref as a prop to deliver a "Magic Killer" on Okada. OK, that was a cool spot, not going to lie. EVIL with a clothesline in the corner and he lands Darkness Falls. Okada, of course, kicks out. EVIL lands a mean discus punch and hits Okada with his OWN variation of the Rainmaker. Okada kicks out at 2.9999. EVIL lands a half-nelson suplex and another lariat — Okada kicks out this time at 2.999999999. EVIL goes for an STO, Okada counters with a Rainmaker, EVIL counters that with a Rainmaker and Okada FINALLY breaks the reversal chain with an STO of his own. But it's only good enough for a two count. Okada with another dropkick, a Tombstone piledriver and EVIL counters with a lariat. EVIL goes for the STO, Okada hits a spinning Rainmaker and then a normal Rainmaker and THAT's what gets him the three-count.

My Score: *** 3/4

The Verdict: It's not as good as the match they had post-G1 last year, but this was still very entertaining. Even with Ronald McDonald school shooter hair, Okada proves he’s quite possibly the most reliable heavyweight attraction in the world right now — and you have to wonder how long ‘til they put that belt around his waist again, just to appease the Japaaheeno-nationalists.

August 11, 2018
Kenny Omega vs. Kota Ibushi (NJPW G1 Climax 28 Night 18)

The Internet's favorite homosexual spot-festers FINALLY collide in a New Japan ring. Who'd thunk these two guys — who 10 years ago, we're hitting each other with Street Fighter II moves and doing moonsaults and shit off vending machines in DDT — would be two of the biggest stars in Japaheeno 'rasslin just a decade later? Omega with a shoulder block early and Ibushi kips up. Kota lands a dropkick and Omega chops him. Kenny Omega looks like what would happen if DDP and Jerry Lynn butt-sexed a child into existence. Kota goes for a springboard twisty thing and Omega launches Kota into the guardrail. Omega lands a running bulldog off the ropes, but it's only worth a two. Hey, did you know Kota is the only person to EVER kick out of the One Winged Angel? Well, now you know. Kota kicks Omega's back and Kenny starts slapping him. Kota with a powerslam into a springboard moonsault ... too bad Kenny had his knees up. Omega does the "You Can't Escape" roll and goes for a moonsault of his own. Of course, Kota gets his knees up, too. They exchange Frankensteiners and Omega looks for a Snapdragon on the apron. Then he threatens a flying OWA, only to modify it into a package Tombstone piledriver. Omega goes for a dropkick, but he misses by a couple of feet. He lands that neckbreaker-to-the-knee thing but Kota kicks out of that, too. Omega with a back chop and a knee to the back of the neck. Omega with a stalling German (as opposed to a German Stalin) and Kota kicks out of that, too. V-Trigger, but the J-Driller is blocked. Omega with an implant DDT. Kenny lands a suicide dive to the outside. Kota lands a Pele kick while Omega is on the top rope, and Kota lands a Frankensteiner. Just a two. Kota lands a beautiful moonsault to the outside. Omega threatens the OWA and Kota puts Kenny down with a knee to the solar plexus and a double knee moonsault stomp. OK, that was cool looking. Kota lands another Pele and Kenny hits the V-Trigger. Omega looking for the Snapdragon and he lands a spinning backwheel kick. And there's a V-Trigger in the corner. Both men teetering on the top rope. Omega goes for a top rope Snapdragon, but Kota lands on his feet. Kenny with a V-Trigger, then Kota lands a series of Germans before turning Kenny inside out with a lariat. Kota lands the Last Ride, but Omega kicks out. Kota lands the Kamigoye, but Omega kicks out of that, too. Ibushi "maintains wrist control" while clocking Omega in the face over and over. Boy, their striking is just plain shitty-looking. Omega with a V-Trigger and Ibushi with a titty-slap. Omega with ANOTHER V-Trigger and Ibushi head kicks him on the rebound. Kota goes for the Phoenix Splash but Omega rolls out of the way. Omega with a V-Trigger to the back of the head and the J-Driller. Or is that J-Driver? Not that it matters, 'cause Kota kicks out of it anyway. Omega with another V-Trigger and Kenny goes for the OWA. He can't land it so he just drops Ibushi on his head in sort of a reverse piledriver. Hey what do you know, there's ANOTHER V-Trigger and ANOTHER OWA attempt. Omega starts crawling up the top rope. Ibushi feeds Omega some elbows, then he double stomps Kenny's head like he was a goomba in Super Mario Bros. Ibushi with a Tiger Driver off the top rope, but Omega kicks out of that, too. KAMIGOYE, MOTHERFUCKER, and that gets Ibushi the three-count.

My Score: ****

The Verdict: A really good match with an especially well-done ending. Of course, it’s nowhere near as good as Meltzer’s retarded ass wants you to believe, but as long as you go into this one expecting a solid — but not exactly mind-blowing — spotfest, you’re unlikely to be disappointed.

August 12, 2018
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kota Ibushi (NJPW G1 Climax 28 Final Night 19)

You know the drill — whoever wins this one gets to main event at the big Jan. 04 Dome Show. Both of these guys have just the snazziest emo haircuts, I tell you what. Tanahashi working an armdrag early. He gets him in a bodylock and it literally looks like he's trying to fuck his back. These guys sure are taking their sweet time getting things going. Hiroshi with a headlock. For some reason, the announcers are talking about Tanahashi being agnostic. What the fuck is this, the Reddit stream of the bout? Ibushi momentarily puts Tanahashi done with a kick to the midsection. Now Hiroshi is working a "triangle scorpion lock," but Kota gets to the ropes. Ibushi catches Tanahashi with a flying kick off the ropes. Ibushi with a moonsault off the middle rope, but it's only good enough for a two-count. An opportunistic Kota lands a ghastly double stomp RIGHT on Tanahashi's face. So naturally, this makes Tanahashi REALLY angry, so he chops him a couple of times and hits him with ... uh, a dragon screw? That's kind of anticlimactic, but whatever. Hiroshi lands another dropkick and Kota rolls to the outside. Tanahashi reverses an attempted lawn dart into a Sling Blade. Hiroshi with a drop kick in the corner. Now they're feeding each other elbow shots. Tanahashi skins the cat, only to get wheelbarrow driver by Kota. OK, that looked dangerous and awesome as fuck. Now Tanahashi has a cloverleaf locked in. Kota gets to the ropes, but then Hiroshi dragon screws Kota right out of the ring. Tanahashi lands the flying crossbody on the arena floor. Ibushi sends Tanahashi rolling to the outside via a Frankensteiner, and he follows suit with a moonsault to the outside. Ibushi with a missile dropkick off the top rope, then he hits Tanahashi with a flash hurricanrana. Just a two count. Ibushi with a bridging German, but Tanahashi kicks out at two. Ibushi punches Tanahashi HARD in the sternum and starts slapping him like a bitch. Then Tanahashi gets up and starts slapping Kota. Now it's a full on slapfest and it looks ... well, pretty much like the EXACT opposite of that legendary Kobashi/Kensuke chop exchange. Anyway, that bullshit ends with Kota landing a clothesline outta' nowhere that leaves both motherfuckers on their backs. Now it's time for another extended striking sequence. Hiroshi hits the Sling Blade, but Kota kicks out. Hiroshi lands the straight-jacket German suplex but Kota kicks out of that, too. Hiroshi goes up top, but Ibushi gets his knees up on the flying splash. Ibushi lands a moonsault-into-a-double-knee stomp on Hiroshi's stomach and that makes Kevin Kelly take the Lord's name in vain. Ibushi lands the dreaded lawn dart and then Kota starts punting him in the back. Kota then German suplexes Tanahashi off the top rope, but Hiroshi kicks out at two on the follow-up power bomb. Tanahashi kicks out of another German and Hiroshi lands a twisting neckbreaker ... then another. Ibushi kicks out of the dragon suplex and Hiroshi goes up top again. Tanahashi FINALLY lands the splash, and then he goes up for TWO more of 'em. And Ibushi ain't kicking out of that shit, as Tanahashi OFFICIALLY becomes the winner of this year's G1 tourney.

My Score: ****

The Verdict: A fun bout, but these two have had WAY better matches against one another in the past. As always, the Meltz overrated this one to the moon and back, but don’t let that lead you to believe it isn’t a very good match well worth going out of your way to see, because it is. It’s not the best G1 finale in recent memory, but it’s undeniably an entertaining match that gives you everything you could want out of a tourney finale — let’s just hope the main event come January 4 is substantially better.

August 18, 2018
Tommaso Ciampa vs. Johnny Gargano (NXT TakeOver Brooklyn IV)

This is a "last man standing" match. You know the shtick by now. Everytime a dude scores a pinfall, his opponent has 10 seconds to get back up or he loses. Yeah, it's a pretty stupid concept for a gimmick match, but for some reason it seems to have produced an inordinately high number of quality matches, so let's keep our fingers crossed. As soon as Gargano's music stops the fans boo the ever-loving shit out of Ciampa, who per tradition, comes to the ring sans music of any kind. Also, I think Gargano is wearing a half Spider-Man, half Venom jacket, which is cool as all fuck. Gargano Pearl Harbors Ciampa during his introduction and the fisticuffs, they are flying furiously. Gargano with a gay version of the classic Lou Thes press. Then he starts bitch punching Tommaso in the corner like a, well, bitch. LOL at Mauro saying this is a better rivalry than Ali vs. Frazier. I mean, I know you have to plug for the evil empire, but goddamn, even being a corporate shill has its upper limits. Now Gargano is throwing Ciampa into the barricade over and over. Now Gargano is peeling the rubber padding off the show floor. Wait, why is the referee administering a 10 count? I thought this shit was falls count anywhere? Ciampa claws Gargano's eyes and the fans chant "EC-Dub" because none of these assholes actually watched ECW when it was actually a thing. Gargano with a cannonball to the outside and then Ciampa lands that hanging neckbreaker/piledriver thing (they call that an "air raid crash?") through the announce table. Ciampa drags Gargano back into the ring and then he starts kneeing him in the face a billion times. Gargano whacks Ciampa in the leg with a steel chair, and now he's cracking him over the back with it. Remember, as long as he doesn't conk him over the head it's still kosher! So wait a minute, the guys don't have to make pinfalls BEFORE the 1o-count officially begins anymore? When the fuck did that "rule" change take place. Ciamp puts Gargano in a sleeperhold. So Gargano fights it off for like, two minutes, before breaking free and lawndarting Ciampa into the second turnbuckle. He goes outside and sets up a table. Maybe they'll have a tea party? No, not the kind where you find numerous ways to call Obama a "nigger," they kind where you actually break out the fine China? Oh never mind, they're not doing that. Ciampa hits several German suplexes, then he grabs the chair. Time for Gargano to eat metal. He hits Gargano with three Project Ciampas in a row (that's a powerbomb into a lungblower combo, and it looks gnarly) and then he just sits there in the chair waiting for Gargano to get to his feet. Then he fucking superkicks Ciampa right at the ref's nine-count and we ALL mark out. Now they're just slugging it out. Gargano goes for a flying headbutt through the second rope, but Ciampa catches him with a knee to the head. They do a fucking amazing series with clotheslines and German suplexes galore and the fisticuffs continue. Gargano FINALLY drops Ciampa with a lariat and the fans cheer like motherfuckers. Gargano goes for another cannonball but Ciampa moves out of the way. Then he fucking ANGEL WINGS Gargano face first on a set of metal stairs. That was a fucking world class spot right there. Gargano just BARELY beats the nine count and Ciampa is just standing there looking like "fuck I gotta' do to drop dis' nigga?" You might want to note the two tables stacked on top of one another at ringside. Something tells me that won't be the last time we see that unique furniture arrangement. Ciampa tosses Gargano into the metal steps one more time and then he starts peeling back the foam ring padding like he did at their last match. So we've got exposed wood, and Gargano blasts Ciampa with a fire extinguisher. c02 MOTHERFUCKAH. Gargano pulls out a crutch and he starts whacking Ciampa like a fuckin' wop pinata and it's great. And Gargano manages to DDT Ciampa on the "unforgiving wood," per Mauro. "You deserve it!" the fans chant. Gargano beats the nine count and Gargano planchas his ass twice. Gargano goes to superkick Ciampa and he accidentally boots a production member (and it looks real as fuck, too) and that gives Ciampa ample time to slam Gargano's head into a ringside monitor THEN use a chair to knee him through the guardrail. THEN he starts throwing chairs and table fragments and even the knocked out cameraman ATOP Gargano so he can't stand up. This is the most fucking brilliantly booked WWE match in YEARS. Gargano emerges from the pile of rubble and Ciampa says "fuck this shit" and breaks out the handcuffs. They both tease dropping each other through the double-stacked table, and Gargano finally manages to superkick Ciampa off the apron and through the furniture like an Italian bowling ball. Even better, he literally uses the crutch Gargano whupped his ass with to beat the 10-count. Gargano kicks the crutch out from under Ciampa's arms and he chases his ass up the ramp. Johnny locks in the Gargano Lock and Ciampa starts tapping, but of course, it don't count in a match of this type. Gargano handcuffs Ciampa to the set and he bangs Tommaso's head against the steel grating. He makes Ciampa eat a couple superkicks and Gargano starts screaming "you did this!" because that's a flashback to their last match and shit. Gargano pulls his knee pad down, takes a running start and makes Ciampa eat patella. But he also overshoots his target and slams leg first into a giant ass speaker. He rolls around on the floor in pain, and Ciampa simply rolls off the stage and plops down feet first to escape the 10 count. Gargano can't get to his feet, so Ciampa, much to marks' disdain, retains the NXT Championship.

My Score: **** 1/2

The Verdict? As of mid-August, this HAS to be my runaway pick for MOTY so far. The first two bouts were very, very good, but this was the first one in the feud that I felt TRULY transcended into all-time great territory. There's just so many great things about this match that I don't know where to start. All I can say is that you NEED to see this match folks … it’s a fuckin’ classic in every sense of the word.

August 18, 2018
Takashi Sugiura vs. Go Shiozaki (NOAH vs. Kawasaki Festival 2018)

Takashi is the GHC champion, and no, that does not stand for "Giant Horse Cock," even though you never know. We get the customary streamers during the introductions and there's a collar and elbow tie-up to begin. Takashi gets his left titty slapped in the corner and then he kicks Go right in the fucking head and that makes Shiozaki REALLY mad so he starts chopping the fuck out of him EVEN HARDER. The champ rolls to the outside for an invisible smoke break and Go chops Takashi like a mother fucker on an otherwise "clean" break. Takashi whiffs on a running boot and Go LARIAT-OS that motherfucker for committing the unforgivable sin of ineffective striking. Go drops Sugiura sternum first on the guardrail, then he does it again before hitting Takashi with a SICK running knee to the noggin while he's draped over the mat apron.Back in the ring and Go continues to chop Takashi like he was an onion on a cutting board. NOW Takashi lands that running boot, and Go sails about ten feet off the apron into the adjacent guardrail. Alright, time for Takashi to punt Go one more time, this time sending that Japanese motherfucker flying over the guardrail somewhere into the fourth or fifth row. Back in the ring and Takashi is on the offensive with elbows galore. Go rattles off a few chops but Takashi doesn't really sell them. And right on cue, Sugiura drops Shiozaki with a big boot. Takashi locks in a chinlock, but Go makes it to the ropes. Go lands a flying shoulder block and a subsequent dropkick puts Takashi flat on his back. But Takashi gets back up and he and Go take turns elbow each other in the face and slapping each others' nipples off. Now Go is working this weird cradle dragon sleeper, but Sugiura shakes him off. There's Go with another running knee to the right nostril. Takashi lands a superplex. Sugiura locks in a Boston Crab, but Go, of course, gets the rope break. But only after it takes him, like five minutes to get there. Go hits a brainbuster outta' nowhere. Go sends Sugiura reeling to the outside and wipes his ass out (well, not literally, that would be gross as hell) with a flying body splash. I'd give the form about an 8, and the actual landing about a 7. Go powerbombs Takashi into the ringpost and then he hits him with a crucifix powerbomb modified into a flapjack at the last second. Yeah, it's hard to describe, but trust me, it looked awesome. Just a two count. Sugiura Germans Shiozaki into the corner post. Now Takashi is just elbowing the fuck outta' Go in the corner and it's hilarious. And there's the rushing knee to the schnoz, followed by a release German and another vicious knee right to the sternum. But Go kicks out. Shiozaki hits a Russian leg sweep off the top rope (I don't know a better way to describe it) and then he lands the GO FLASHER but Takashi kicks out. Shiozaki goes back to spamming the chops and he sticks a BEAUTIFUL moonsault off the top rope. But hey, what do you know, he injures himself more than he hurts Takashi, and that allows the champ to get back to his feet and start a strikin' war with him. So Go goes backs to his wheelhouse — that means get ready for a fuck-ton of chops — and the take turns German-ing each other. Then they start headbutting and slapping each other and you have to hear the coconut like-thud that emanates throughout the building when Go finally drops Takashi with his noggin-knocker. Takashi hits Go with a closed fist, which is a big no-no and the ref calls a timeout. Go tries to land the knockout clothesline, but Sugiura turns him inside out with a lariat of his own. Go kicks out at two. Takashi lands a high angle slam, but Go kicks out of that, too. So Takashi goes up top and lands a high angle suplex off the top rope and THAT's what earns him the three-count.

My Score: *** 3/4

The Verdict? Eh, it was a really fun outing with a lot of stiff striking and some meaty-looking power moves, but truth be told, it wasn't anything TRULY spectacular, especially compared to the banner stuff we've already seen out of NOAH so far this year. Still, I admired the pure man-meat madness of it all; if you’re tired of the soy-tastic sojourns coming out of New Japan, this is precisely the testosterone-addled tussling you’re looking for.

August 19, 2018
AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe (WWE SummerSlam)

Well, these guys certainly don't have a history with one another or anything. If these smarky-ass fans don't start a "T-N-A" chant within the first minute of this match, I'm demanding a refund, even though I'm technically illegally streaming this motherfucker. So the gimmick here is that AJ's family is at ringside and Joe has been doing all sorts of creepy shit to them in the weeks leading up to the bout. And there's the "TNA" chant. God, that warms the cockles of my heart. Collar and elbow tie-up to begin. Joe shoves Styles in the corner and takes a breather on the apron. Styles with a headlock takedown. Joe tries to counter, but AJ keeps a lock on the hold. Joe makes Styles do a full 360 with a monstrous shoulder charge. AJ with a leg kick. Then an even harder one. Samoa Joe retires to the corner to be fat some more. Joe takes AJ off his feet with a leg kick, then Joe starts jabbing the fuck out of him. AJ finally drops Joe with a dropkick. Styles with a snapmare and a boot to the back. Joe fires back with some sickening chops. AJ clips Joe's knee. This is a very slow-paced match so far. Joe rolls to the outside. Styles baseball slides his boots into his face and Joe kicks Styles legs out from underneath him so he takes a faceplant on the edge of the apron. Ouchy. Joe with a face-first suplex. Styles bails to the outside and Joe hits him with a flying fatman plancha. Joe tries to squeeze off Styles' head and Joe turns him inside out with a NASTY lariat. Styles kicks out. Joe locks in a headlock of his own. Eww, and now he's slobbering all in AJ's hair. Now that's just damn nasty. Styles with some short shots to the ribs and a fat right hand finally drops Joe. Styles flies over the top rope with an opportunistic forearm smash. He gets another fast flurry in and drops Joe with a wheelhouse kick and a splash in the corner. Styles lands a reverse DDT with a flip off the turnbuckle pad. Joe kicks out, obviously. LOL, this show is brought to you by Cricket Wireless, 'cause you know you're poor as shit. AJ sets Joe up on the top turnbuckle. Joe headbutts him off and hits him with the single fattest and flabbiest flying knee in the recorded history of humanity. Joe with an inverted atomic drop, a boot and a senton. AJ kicks out, just barely. AJ manages to pick up Joe's fat ass and drop him for a neckbreaker on the knee, but he doesn't bother going for the pin. He misses the Phenomenal Forearm and Joe catches him with a powerslam. AJ kicks out. Styles goes for a crucifix. Joe rolls through, but AJ manages to catch him and land the Styles Clash. Yet Joe kicks out again. Both men slow getting up. Styles with jabs and forearms galore in the corner. Joe returns fire with slaps, then AJ hits the Pele ... only for Joe to fucking Rock Bottom the SHIT out of AJ in the corner. AJ goes for the Calf Crusher. He's got it. Then Joe starts slamming AJ's head to the mat like that one time Brock Lesnar did and THERE'S THE COQUINA CLUTCH MOTHERFUCKERS. AJ gets his foot on the rope. Looks like Joe is going for the muscle buster. Joe then fucking roundhouse kicks AJ off the top rope. Time for AJ to eat metal steps. Joe grabs the microphone and tells Styles' daughter he's going to be her new daddy. AJ gores Joe off the announce table, throws a couple of camera people out of the way, grabs a chair and clobbers Joe something good. Of course, that also gets him disqualified, but this man is bloodied and besmirched and that fucking Samoan DESERVES it. The fans chant "who's your daddy?" as Styles gets one more free shot on Joe's big fat back. AJ goes out and tends to his family, the crowd cheers and he leaves the arena with the WWE belt in tow.

My Score: ****

The Verdict? A very solid, well-paced match that really felt more like a preview of an even better match ahead than an attempt to be a legit MOTY contender. Basically, this thing felt like a VERY slowed down version of their epic TNA battles, and that's not exactly a bad thing. As a taste of things to come (hopefully), this match certainly did it’s job and then some.

August 25, 2018
Joe Lider, Murder Clown and Pagano vs. El Texano Jr. Las Mascara and Rey Escorpion (AAA TripleMania XXVI)

Hey, we've got Vampiro on English language commentary duties. Lucky us. Los Mercenarios are your rank and file Mexican hood rats, while the other team consists of a fat punk rock clown, an even fatter dude in a goblin mask and this one regular looking fat dude without a mask. Oh, and they all have a bucket of plunder with them. CULTURAL ENRICHMENT, GUYS. Los Mercenarios triple team the really fat guy and Vampiro calls one of the fans "that little bastard kid" in the crowd. A whole buncha' chairs get set up in the middle of the ring and the super fat guy gets Twin Towered off the top rope. These Hispanic niggas' are juicin' already. Murder Clown gets clobbered with a chair and power bombed into a ladder. Actually, I take it back, Vampiro is pretty fucking great on the mic. Yep, the light tubes are out, and apparently a fan in the crowd got their face sliced up good. Goddamn, I am loving everything about this. Lider lands a Death Valley Driver, and it's easily one of the fattest things I've ever seen in my life. Murder Clown goes for a moonsault with a lighttube cradled in his arms but his adversary rolls out of the way. Then Murder Clown gets a buncha' chop sticks shoved into his forehead and Pagano knees a buncha' light tubes into El Texano, Jr.'s back. OK, is Pagano the really fat dude, or is that Joe Lider? Murder Clown lands a rolling senton to the outside and Vampiro wonders aloud if his parents bought him GI Joe action figures and coloring books as a child. Then the really, really fat dude lands a rolling senton to the outside. This is fucking art right here, and fuck anybody who disagrees. We've got tables in the fray. Now Vampiro is talking about the wrestlers slowly being poisoned by the mercury in the light tubes. OK, so Murder Clown is the obscenely fat dude. He puts one of the Mexi-Shield dudes through a table and Vampiro starts whistling circus music and we all LOL. OK, so Pagano is the clown guy. He just landed a running neckbreaker on a garbage can on ... well, one of those other guys. AND HERE COMES THE SHOPPING CART OF DOOM, complete with Vampiro making a reference to Supermarket Sweep, of all things. PAGANO JUST GOT POWERBOMBED INTO THE SHOPPING CART. Now Pagano is slapping dudes with a flattened garbage can ... and he just got WAFFLED by a dude swinging a bundle of light tubes like Mark McGuire. Now Rey and Pagano are brawling in the crowd. Now Pagano is setting a table on fire. Well, he put a burning T-shirt on it, anyway. And Lider just T-Bone plexed Rey THROUGH the fire and they just roll around in it for five seconds. THAT IS INSANE. Now Texano is breaking out a FLAMING ROPE.  He whips Lider with it like Simon Belmont and yep, that's what give us the three-count.

My Score: **** 1/4

The Verdict: Holy fuck, was that a HOOT AND A HALF. Just 20 minutes of pure fucking bedlam, with shopping carts and fires and tables and Vampiro handing out some sage parenting advice every now and then. This is easily one of 2018’s biggest hidden gems — bullshit yourself about “muh ring psychology” all you want, THIS is the kinda’ brain-dead trainwreck that makes Meskin ‘rasslin the finest cultural contribution from the Hispanic community, and it’s not even close.

August 25, 2018
L.A. Park vs. Psycho Clown vs. Hijo Del Fantasma vs. Pentagon Jr. (AAA TripleMania XXVI)

So this is a fatal four way, but with a twist. It's in a cage, and after the first two guys have escaped, the last two remaining in the ring have to duke it out in a singles match and whoever loses that has to unmask. So yes, all this shit is needlessly complicated, but by golly, that's how we prefer our Meskin 'rasslin, ain't it? So L.A. Park comes to the ring (and it's a huge, serpentine ramp, at that) wheeling Pierroth around like an assisted-living Mucha Lucha character. And, of course, L.A. Park comes out to "Bad To The Bone," which has to be the most fitting theme music for anybody ever. Then Psycho Clown comes out wearing these giant foam fingers that shoot fog out of them. He gets a pretty mixed reaction from the crowd, complete with this one kid smacking him in the head with a balloon, which has to be one of the 10 funniest things I've seen this afternoon. Oh fuck, these foam fingers shoot REAL fire out of them, too. Now that's ONE souvenir I'd love to take home ... a motherfuckin' flamethrower in the shape of oversized Ronnie James Dio hands. The ring and the cage are both in the traditional Mexican octagon shape. The doors are locked, but thankfully, there's already a buncha' plunder already in the ring, including a table and a garbage can. The first minute is exactly the out-there clusterfuck you'd imagine it to be, and the super-hectic camera work doesn't make it any easier to follow the action. We get our first major spot of the bout when Fantasmo does a Jimmy Snuka splash off the top of the cage and splatters everybody. And I chortle heartily knowing the Mexican term for "Sliced Bread #2" is indeed "Sliced Bread #2." Fantasmo clocks Pentagon with a chair and starts ripping on his mask. Then Psycho Clown clocks him with a garbage can. And THAT is our cue for L.A. Park to grab a chair and fucking' waffle that motherfucker. Holy shit, NOBODY pummels motherfuckers with furniture like L.A. Park, and that's LA VERDAD. No Park is BITING Psycho Clown's forehead and punching the big gory bite mark with his fist. Pentagon and Psycho Clown take Park and Fantasma down with stereo chair shots. Fantasma is bleeding heavily from his wrist, so much so that it might actually constitute a suicide attempt. Psycho Clown superplexes Park through a table and the camera TOTALLY misses Pentagon piledriving Fantasmo through a buncha' chairs. Clown makes Pentagon eat cookie sheet, then they both punch each other while straddled atop the cage. Pentagon hits Clown with a fireball and he makes his way down the cage while some fine ass latinas eating Red Vines cheer him on. And with Pentagon on the show floor, that makes it a temporary three-for-all. Fantasmo and Park take turns stomping on Clown and then Fantasmo (who, yes, is wearing the very same mask Billy Zane donned in "The Phantom" chops Park a couple of times. Clown takes Park out of the equation with an arm drag (of all things) and escapes the cage. So that means it's OFFICIALLY a mascara contra mascara contest between Park and Fantasmo now. The cage lifts from the ring and the battle, it TIS ON. Fantasmo hits a suicide tope that almost drives Park through the front row barrier. The crowd is just MOLTEN for this shit. Fantasma rips Park's mask off, and that's normally a DQ, but since it's an anything goes match, well, there ain't shit the ref can do about it. You have GOT to see all of the fans in the crowd screaming like crazy. This is like Memphis circa 1985. Fantasmo lawn darts Park into the second row and this really fat dude with a beer cup gives the cameraman the devil horns salute. Also, I think the ref is in cahoots with Fantasmo, but since I don't grasp the complexities of the Spanish language beyond the fact they think ink pens are feminine, I really can't confirm anything 100 percent. The crooked ref gets a few free shots on Park and then Fantasmo frog splashes Park through the Spanish announce table, or, in this case, anyway, the just plain announce table. Give the cameraman some props, he is doing a WONDERFUL job of panning in on all the concerned gawking of the marks in the audience. Now Parka's forehead is busted WIDE open. Fantasma hits him with a flying clothesline, but Park still manages to beat the fast count. Park with a fat boot and the world's chubbiest tope as a follow-up. These fans fucking ADORE L.A. Park and don't want him to lose - like, you can really feel the emotion and it makes the match 20 times more engrossing. Now they're slapping each other, but it's the manly kind of slaps, not the cringey effeminate kind you see in New Japan matches. Now Park is trying to yank off Fantasmo's mask, then he punches the heel reef because goddamnit, HE CAN. Now he's got a flat screen TV monitor, and yep, Fantasmo is about to get his channels scrambled. Then Park fucking launches Fantasmo like a skee ball into the fourth row (he LITERALLY does a full 360 rotation) and then Park fuckin' clobbers him with a plastic seating implement (you fuckers TRY to find me a good synonym for chair and I'll use it.) Park's got a ladder, and now Fantasmo's got some new dental problems. Time for another slap exchange. About three-quarters of Fantasma's face is visible now. He drops Park with a fat-ass clothesline, but Park kicks out. Park hits a powerslam. But thanks to an intentional slow count, Fantasma kicks out. Fantasma counters with a DDT, and the way the announcer says it is really fuckin' cool ("DAY-DAY-TAY!") Parka hits a spinning heel kick, and Fantasma easily kicks out at two. Park hits a reverse suplex, but somehow Fantasma is able to float over after the impact for an opportunistic two-count. Fantasma goes for a Samoan drop and when that fails, he simply kicks Park in his big skeletal testicles. The crooked ref holds Park's arm back so he can't strike Fantasma, and then Fantasma accidentally clocks the ref. Naturally, this leads to Park wiping both men out with a flying tope to the outside. We really need a proper name for that, by the way — might I suggest "the flying chalupa?" Park yanks Fantasma's mask off and he just kind of lays there hiding his face. Then Park takes off his own mask and rolls around on the ground when the heel ref gets back in the ring and then they do these slapstick sequence where he keeps raising their hands as the victor. Park finally gets tired of the ref's shit and then Fantasma accidentally hits the official with a body splash and then Fantasmo kicks Park in the balls again. Park goes for a molasses slow school boy and the ref tries to fast count Fantasma because he pushed him earlier. Park lands a flipping powerbomb, but the ref is still corrupt as shit and won't count it. And while Fantasma argues with the ref, Parka seizes the opportunity and fucking SPEARS Fantasma out of his shoes. The ref quickly makes the three count, and that means Fantasma must officially UNMASK before the public. Even better, his daddy has to come ringside to watch it, so you know he's feeling all kinds of shame right now. Park flips off the ref and his fingers literally look like Vienna sausages and we all have a nice chuckle. It looks like Fantasma's son is in the ring, too. So we go through the whole customary ritual, with Fantasma cutting a promo and kissing the canvas while this FINE chica with huge glasses and red puffy lips cries in the crowd. In the post-match, Park hugs Fantasma and says some shit to his dad. I think he asked him where the color pencils are, but then again everything I learned in Spanish I learned in the third grade. But wait a minute ... it's DR. WAGNER, wearing a fur coat and rocking a really bad eye makeup job! Anyway, he challenges Park to a hair vs. mask match ... at NEXT year's TripleMania. Well, at least we have that to look forward to in 2019, I suppose.

My Rating: **** 1/4

The Verdict? Shit, that was fun as fuck and the nuclear crowd made it all the more enjoyable. Obviously, all of the shtick with the crooked ref made the match drag a bit, but overall that was an absolute blast from start to finish. Like all other non-retards on the planet, I would’ve preferred getting that Park/Rush hair vs. mask match that we were promised earlier in the year, but as a last-second bait-and-switch main event, I’ve gotta’ say … this is still pretty goddamned excellent.

Fun fact: the briefcase is actually filled with nothing but penis enlargement pills.

September 2018

September 01, 2018
Kenny Omega vs. Pentagon, Jr. (All In)

Pentagon does the whole "zero fear" shtick and Kenny Omega gives him a very homoerotic-looking slap and the action, it ‘tis on. We get a buncha leapfrogs and karate kicks early, and Omega rolls to the outside. Pentagon, who is dressed just like Scorpion from "Mortal Kombat," lands a sweet-looking backcracker. Omega with a hurricanrana, and Pentagon ripostes with a sling blade — some people call it a kaiser blade, but I call it a sling blade — and a flying tope to the outside. Pentagon pounds on Omega on the show floor some more and they exchange shitty Ric Flair chops. Pentagon hits a power slam and the announcers talk about how only about 15 luchadors have ever become breakout crossover stars. Pentagon with a clothesline in the corner. Omega does the barrel roll thing but Pentagon gets his knees up on a moonsault attempt. Omega hits a tornado DDT and follows suit with a springboard crossbody to the outside. Omega with a missile dropkick off the top rope and a suplex-into-a-neckbreaker combo. Pentagon kicks out at two."He has zero fear, but he has to know he's in jeopardy," one of the announcers states. Omega with a discus elbow to the jaw and a snap dragon suplex. Omega goes for the One Winged Angel and Pentagon counters with a lung blower. Omega with a shitty-looking lariat and Death Valley Driver. Pentagon kicks out. I know this should go without saying, but holy shit, there is SO MUCH SOY in the audience for this one. Omega with a V Trigger to the back of Pentagon's head. Omega appears to be looking for an avalanche brainbuster. Pentagon escapes and karate kicks Omega off the top rope. And there's the patented double stomp. Of course, Kenny kicks out. Man, I hate how they keep referring to Pentagon as weighing "95 kilos." This is America god-damn-it, none of that metric system bull shit. Omega with another V-Trigger, then another. Omega with a crappy looking powerbomb and another V-Trigger. Omega goes for the One Winged Angel again, but Pentagon sneaks out. He lands a pump handle piledriver, but Omega kicks out. Omega with some more gay man slaps and a boot to the noggin. Pentagon says something about Omega's mama and then he lands the package piledriver — rather retardedly, dubbed the Fear Factor — on the edge of the ring apron. Pentagon lands another double stomp off the top rope, but Omega kicks out. The fans start chanting "All In" and Omega hits a package piledriver of his own. Omega with ANOTHER V-Trigger and another OWA attempt. Pentagon goes for his armbreaker finish and he lands another package piledriver. Hey, what do you know, Omega kicks out of that, too. Omega with another V-Trigger, a reverse hurricanrana, another V-Trigger and there's the OWA for the pinfall.

My Score: ***

The Verdict: Yeah, I'm not buying the hype on this one. Individually, I think both of these guys have had some great matches, but their distinctive styles just don't gel here much at all. As expected, the whole thing plays out like a Mortal Kombat match, with each men hitting their high spots with little-to-no-time for transitions or selling. It moves along at a brisk pace and it never gets boring, but at the same time the format is very predictable. Like an old metal band doing their greatest hits 20 years after their prime, there's some glimmers of greatness here and there — but for the most part, this just feels like a warmover of stuff we've seen a million times before, only executed a million times better.

September 01, 2018
Hideo Itami vs. Naomichi Marufuji (NOAH Naomichi Marufuji 20th Anniversary Show)

Yep, it's KENTA's big return to Japan after doing Jack fucking Shit in the WWE over the last two or three years. As expected, he gets a pretty big pop, but it's not as big as the reaction Marufuji receives, despite the fact he's unironically sporting the same haircut as the bad guy from The Fifth Element in real life. They get right in each other's faces before the announcements and it's tense as fuck. And also kinda' homoerotic, but really, when are things NOT in the world of Japanese 'rasslin? The two pose with flowers and these two skanks for a quick photo. KENTA is showered with yellow streamers, and a couple of red and blue ones because I guess Party City was out of them before the show. Marufuji gets a shower of Hulk Hogan colored streamers, which, of course, means he probably says the "n"-word a lot, too. Damn, the fans are pumped for this one to get underway. Collar and elbow tie-up to begin, and Marufuji allows Itami the dramatic, slow-burn clean break. Both men whiff on some high kicks and things come to a standstill so the crowd can clap and whatnot. Itami works an arm wrench and I'm disappointed his britches are black with a spicy mustard brown streak instead of the classical bumblebee Kawada yellow one. Marufuji slaps Itami's left nipple in the corner. Fuck, that dude has some HARD sounding slaps. Itami hits a diving guillotine leg drop off the top rope. He follows suit with a textbook neckbreaker and Marufuji kicks out at two. Itami works the chinlock, then he kicks the fuck out of Marufuji's spine. Now he's ramming Marufuji in the corner. He grapevins the leg and locks in a facelock. Marufuji makes it to the ropes. Itami goes up top for another diving knee drop, but he totally misses it and Marufuji sells it anyway. Obviously ... that's just a two-count, kids. Itami working the leg scissors, aka, the old "smell the bottom of my balls" submission. Marufuji gets another rope break. Marufuji breaks out a cartwheel and dropkicks Itami right on the right nostril. Time for slaps and chops galore. Marufuji drops Itami with a clothesline and then they take turns booting each other in the face. I'm not 100 percent certain, but I think the announcer may have said something about a "Jewish Eskimo." Itami goes for a tornado DDT, but Marufuji shakes him off so he just power slams that motherfucker and locks in an STF. By the way, that stands for "stepover-toehold-facelock," as our kindly play-by-play announcers reminded us. Marufuji firing back with retaliatory elbows. Then Itami throws him into the corner, but his head misses the post by a couple of feet but Naomichi sells it anyway. Itami with a running boot and it's time for some outside brawling. Itami launches Marufuji into the guardrail a couple of times and Marufuji dumps his foe right in the lap of some bitch wearing a kimono. Itami with a diving clothesline off the top rope, but Marufuji kicks out. They take turns doing those gay-ass Kawada mini kicks and then Fuji fucking ROCKS Itami with a superkick. Itami goes for a running missile drop kick in the corner but misses. Marufuji tries to piledrive Itami on the edge of the apron but he botches THE FUCK out of it. I don't know if he slipped or what, but Itami's neck had to have been fucked up something fierce for real. Hideo takes his sweet time getting back into the ring, then Fuji comes out to retrieve him and Itami clotheslines him over the guardrail. Fuji dropkicks Itami while he's perched on the top rope and there's the flipping Rock Bottom thingy. Itami feigns doing the Go-2-Sleep, but Fuji kicks him the face. I mean he RATTLES him with a spinning kick right out of Virtua Fighter or something and it is beautiful. Itami with a running boot, Fuji with an avalanche splash in the corner and another Mortal Kombat kick. Fuji its Sliced Bread No. 2 but Itami kicks out. Itami goes for a flying triangle choke and convert it into a modified facelock. Itami with a running knee, but Marufuji kicks out. Itami drops Fuji with a thick-ass lariat. Itami with a springboard dropkick and a diving missile dropkick into the corner, and this time he DEFINITELY connects. KENTA goes for the double stomp off the top, and even though KENTA CLEARLY doesn't even touch Fuji, Naomichi sells it anyway. GO 2 SLEEP MOTHERFUCKER! But Fuji kicks out. Naomichi lands a jumping knee out of nowhere and now both men are splayed out on the canvas like roadkill. Fuji jacks KENTA's jaw with another knee to the face but he kicks out at two. This is one of those rare matches that's intense as fuck, but not exactly good, if that makes any sense. Itami works another facelock and Fuji gets his foot on the ropes. Itami with a sitout powerbomb and a million billion kicks, but nothing's really putting Fuji down for the count. LOL, Itami botches the first G2S attempt and he has to do it again and he fucks it up and only hits Marufuji in the titty. Fuji fires back with three knees to the schnoz and another Mortal Kombat combo but Itami STILL kicks out. Fuji knees Itami in the back of the head and that looked, well, pretty, hurty.Then Marufuji botches the fucking Pole Shift to FINALLY get the three-count.

My Score: *** 1/4

The Verdict: Man, I REALLY wanted to like this one more than I did, but from a technical standpoint, it was just way too sloppy. I mean, NOBODY in the bout could stick their own fucking finishers clean and the bout featured some of the most glaring "daylight" I've seen in a modern wrestling product. The heat and storytelling was definitely there, but pure emotion alone can't carry a match; it was fun for one final run, but it's a stretch and a half to say it was anywhere NEAR approaching greatness.

September 05, 2018
Johnny Gargano vs. Velveteen Dream (NXT)

I'm telling ya, Velveteen Dream is the best gimmick character the E's thought of since Goldust. He comes out wearing a "Johnny Failure" shirt and humping the canvas. LOL, everybody in the crowd is taller than Gargano. Headlocks and takedowns galore from Dream to begin the bout. Gargano sprawls and he works modified guillotine until Dream crawls his way to the ropes. Both men vertical again and Gargano hits Dream with a NASTY forearm smash. Time for some outside brawlin'. Gargano with a ton of chops as he grabs Dream by his greasy ass afro. Dream goes on the offensive as the fans chant "Johnny Wrestling" and "Johnny Failure" simultaneously. Gargano with more knife edge chops, then Dream Flair flops him into the corner and hits a neckbreaker. Dream with the dreaded balls to the back hump attack in the corner. Dream with a camel clutch into a sleeper hold. Now it's a slap fest, and a fairly effeminate one at that. Gargano with a Nightmare on Helms Street variation and a hurricanrana. Gargano with a slingshot spear on the rebound, but it only nets him a two. Gargano superkicks Dream off the apron and knocks him down with a sweet cannonball roll. Gargano with a corner forearm and Dream hits the Fame-Asser. Just a two. Dream gets rolled up and he and Gargano exchange near falls. Dream with a boot to the face and Gargano turns Dream inside out with a clothesline. The fans chant "this is awesome" because they REALLY need to get out more. The two exchange strikes on the edge of the apron. Dream pushes Gargano knee first into the ring steps and hits that funky twisting DDT, but Gargano kicks out. The way the fans chant "NXT", it kinda' sounds like "LSD." Just an observation I wanted to share with you. Dream mule kicks Gargano to prevent the spear, but he misses on the elbow drop, allowing Gargano to make a flowing leap through the ropes to the outside. He locks in the Gargano Escape outside the ring and Dream taps. Of course, it only counts if it's in the ring. Dream just barely beats the 10-count. Gargano goes for the hangman's DDT, but he says "fuck it" and just super kicks him instead. Gargano threatens to DDT Dream on the show floor but the ref manages to talk him out of it. Dream keeps calling Johnny a "disappointment" and Gargano takes a running knee at him and he scoops him up for the Dream Valley Driver outta' nowhere for the pin. Oh, that sneaky African-American.

My Score: *** 1/2

The Verdict: Another fun TV match that’s better than 90 percent of the shit the ‘E puts on its PPVs. Granted, some of the spots were predictable and I saw the “twist” ending coming from a mile away, but there’s not much else to complain about — this is just simplistic, straight-forward pro wrestling bliss in its miniature Snickers bar form.

September 06, 2018
Rey Fenix vs. Low Ki (Major League Wrestling Fusion, Episode 24)

Hey, Low Ki has done away with that ridiculous tuxedo attire. And now has has some hot evil Hispanic bitch in his corner. Upgrades all around. Fuck, Low Ki looks like Wanderlei Silva circa 2002. Anyway, Fenix is being cornered by Konnan and he's co-tag champs with, uh somebody, probably another Mexican. LOL at Low Ki being the company's "heavyweight" champion even though he only weighs 170 pounds. Maybe they said "Light Heavyweight," huh? Tony Schiavone is doing commentary, and it's equal parts nostalgia and cringe-inducing. Low-Ki come out with open palm strikes and Fenix easily dodges them. Ki kicks Fenix in the head and Fenix needs a needlessly twist armdrag off the top rope, followed by a barrel roll to the outside. This makes the fans chant "holy shit," because obviously, they don't get out much. Fenix with a superkick on the outside and you've got to see this one fatass in the front row in a Balor Club is For Everyone rainbow shirt. Just ... ugh. Fenix with another superkick and Ki hits him with a dropkick to the stomach. Now Ki is breaking out the sternum punts. Tony S. says Ki's "backleg frontkicks" are as lethal as any strikes you'll see in Major League Wrestling. Ki chops Fenix over the  front row barrier. PS: Ki's valet is really fucking hot, and I wouldn't mind crossing here border, if you catch my drift. And by border, I really mean her vagina. Anyway, Ki scoop slams Fenix on the concrete floor and then he drags him back into the ring and elbows him in the noggin. Now that no good sonofabitch is trying to yank off Fenix's mask! LOL, Konnan looks like Stephen Bannon now, and that's ironic for a whole buncha reasons. Fenix starts getting his wind back, only for Ki to momentarily halt the putsch with a double stomp. Fenix kicks out. Then Ki catapults Fenix into the metal ring post, right in front of Konnan because he's dastardly, that's why. Now Fenix is juicing. That, or he just bit into a cherry Gusher. Ki goes back to ripping at the mask, and then he starts rubbing Fenix's blood all over him. Eww, that's damn nasty. LOL at the other announcer saying he's afraid all that plasma is going to make the floor slippery. Back in the ring and Fenix is throwing desperation slaps at Ki. Low Ki punts Fenix in the face and calls his valet a bitch for no discernible reason whatsoever. Now Low Ki is playing with Fenix's blood again. Then Ki starts kicking the shit out of him. Like, hard and stuff. Time for  a test of strength spot, of all things. Fenix lands a hurricanrana off the top rope, which Tony S., naturally, calls a Frankensteiner. Fenix hits a spinning heel kick in the corner and a handspring stunner, but Ki kicks out at two. Fenix goes for a muscle buster variation but Ki counters his way out. He mule stomps Fenix halfway across the ring and Fenix catches him with a running uppercut. Ki sells it by hocking a loogie 40 feet across the arena. Fenix with another hurricanrana, but at the last second Low Ki escapes and hits a double stomp. Fenix, of course, kicks out. Fenix goes for a flash pinfall, bu Ki kicks out. Both men go up top and Fenix hits the dreaded "Spanish Fly" (aka, that flippy reverse Rock Bottom thing that Super Crazy used to do.) Fenix with a reverse 'rana, but Low Ki no sells out. That one bitch yanks Fenix's mask off, and that gives Ki ample time to climb up top and hit the double stomp to end the match for good.

My Score: *** 1/2

The Verdict: A fun TV match, and proof enough that these guys could probably put on a classic with a good 30-40 minutes to work with. The ending felt a little forced, though, but considering it IS a made-for-television (err, YouTube?) product, I suppose I can let such an offense slide … this time, anyway.

September 12, 2018
Jun Kasai, Masato Tanaka and Super Crazy vs. FUJITA, MAZADA and NOSAWA Rongai (J-Stage TV)

This has to be the most random ass trios match in the history of professional wrestling. In case you were wondering, Super Crazy now looks like an obese Richard Ramirez and Masato Tanaka more or less looks the same as he did in 1999, only with a WAY more pronounced bald spot. Crazy shows off some funky arm drags early and even lands a halfway impressive basement dropkick. Kasai gets tagged in and FUJITA and NOSAWA (who are bleach blond late '90s skaters, I think) and then Tanaka clotheslines the fuck out of both of them. Crazy goes up top and lands a moonsault to the outside, and it actually looks pretty good. Kasai drags MAZADA (I think) into the crowd and slams his head into a metal structure. Then MAZADA (I think) returns the favor. On the other side of the arena Crazy and one of the other ones are doing pretty much the same thing. FUJITA (like fuck I know who any of these people are) puts Crazy in a camel clutch while the other two Juggalos grab one of those ridiculously skinny Japanese buffet tables out from under the ring. Anyway, one of the heels gets trapped on it and Kasai body splashes that motherfucker like a motherfucker. Kasai uses his boot to choke the short-haired one and the dude with long dark hair tosses him off the top rope. Now Kasai's getting double teamed. He blades while the bad guys pull out a couple of chairs. Oh holy shit, that one guy can't even PRETEND to swing the metal. Fuck that guy hard. So Kasai has his forehead grinded in the corner and he finally eats a halfway decent looking chairshot. Kasai makes his comeback and clotheslines everybody in the ring, and then Super Crazy re-enters the fray and starts breaking out the dropkicks and spinning elbow drops. Then Tanaka fucking elbows everybody and gets beat down for his efforts. Then the heels run a (clothesline) train on him then he eats a shitty botched super powerbomb and kicks out at two. Time for Kasai to eat some more crappy chair shots and then he goddamn WAFFLES the guy that can't throw a chair shot worth a shit and then Kasai hits his patented frog splash, but the rest of the bad guys break up the pin attempt. Fuck, I should NOT be enjoying this is much as I am. And, of course, Super Crazy finishes it all with a top rope moonsault, and then after the bell everybody hugs because, apparently, that's how they do things in Japan-land.

My Score: ** 1/2

The Verdict: A so-so match, but that's pretty much what was to be expected. Pretty much the only reason to go out of your way to see this one is so you can witness Super Crazy weighing almost 300 pounds and looking like a homeless meth addict BUT still being able to hit some of the cleanest looking moonsault spots in the ‘biz. Goddamn, do I love that motherfucker ...

September 14, 2018
Rush and Cavernario vs. Volador, Jr. and Matt Taven (CMLL 85th Anniversario)

So this is a hair vs. hair tag bout, and Rush and the Caveman are already double teaming Matt Taven. By the way, Volador is the one dressed like Venom, in case you were wondering. Rush beats up on Taven on the outside as Cavernario leaps off the Titantron stage to body splash Volador, Jr.  For some reason, the suits at CMLL thought this was way better than a hair vs. mask single bout between La Parka and Rush. Volador and Taven take out their foes with stereo planchas to the outside. Cavernario scores the first fall with this weird sort of knee breaker dropkick variation. Yeah, I know that doesn't make any sense, but I can't think of a better way to describe it. So the Rudos (who appear to be more over with the fans than the faces) take a breather as Rush showboats on front of the announce cubicle. Yeah, they don't have a rinside desk, they have a metal box somewhere in the 23rd row, for whatever reason. OK, el segunda caida time-o. Everybody drop kicks everybody and Rush feigns hitting Taven with a flying dropkick but instead does the Naito model pose in the middle of the ring for no real reason. Volador with a springboard elbow to take out the heels and then he Frankensteiners that caveman motherfucker off the top rope. Taven pins him with a body splash and Volador hits a backcracker to score the second fall. So, apparently, you have to pin BOTH men for the caidas to count here. OK, makes sense, sorta', but not really. Alright, let's pan on all the fat people in the audience for a while. OK, back to the action for our third and final fall. Taven slaps Rush a couple of times and Rush (remember, you have to pronounce it like ROOSH) slaps his nipples in riposte. Taven with a spinning neckbreaker and the fans boo him. Volador with tilt a whirl headscissors on the caveman and Taven hits a single leg dropkick on Rush for a two count. Rush belly to back slams Taven into the corner but can only net a two on the follow-up pin attempt. Taven with a needlessly twisty DDT variation on the cave man and the cave man responds with a dropkick and then he powerbombs Volador into the turnbuckle. Cavernario with a trap DDT, but Volador kicks out at dos. Cavernario with a cool looking backbreaker variation, but Volador kicks out of that, too. Volador counters the Caveman's Edge attempt into a hurricanrana, and Rush dropkicks him to break up the would've been pinfall. Rush with a splash in the corner and a fat clothesline. Tavern gets the tag and he kicks Cavernario right in the face ... which, for some reason, makes him do the worm. Rush and Cavernario with dueling suicide dives to the outside. I think I liked Rush's better. Rush pours a beer (or a soda?) on himself to celebrate, robbing a fan of at least two or three hard-earned pesos. Back in the ring it's Taven vs. Cavernario. Taven flies to the outside with a moonsault and Volador wipes the Caveman out with a BEAUTIFUL springboard moonsault of his own. Volador hurancanranas Cavernario off the top and Rush eats a knee from Taven. Taven goes up top and lands a body splash, but Rush kicks out. OK, this is pretty fun stuff right here. The rudos go for stereo pin attempts, but the good guys (who aren't over with the crowd) kick out. Taven and Rush brawl on the outside as Cavernario lands a flying headbutt. That makes it Volador vs. Rush one-on-one, more or less. Volador drops Rush with  super kick and and Taven clotheslines his foes into the first row. Time for Volador to fly. You have got to see this fat dude who looks like George Zimmerman recording the whole thing on his smartphone and laughing his ass off. It's great. Now it's time for a Taven plancha, for no real reason whatsoever. Cavernario with a backcracker submission and Taven TAPS. But somebody's still gotta' pin Volador for it to count. So Volador hits Cavernario with running Canadian ... er, Mexican Destroyer off the ropes to pin the cave man, so that means it's literally a one-on-one match between Volador and Rush now. Volador spears Rush in mid-air and hits him with a lung blower. Taven "accidentally" head kicks Volador, allowing Rush to hit a modified piledriver for the win. Wait a minute, you mean to tell me Taven was a no-good turncoat the whole time? That sorry honky motherfucker. Anyway, the confetti falls and the trio keep beating the shit out of Volador, Jr. because, hell, why not? And Volador obliges the match stipulations and lops off his own locks post-match ... and yeah, the new do isn't exactly what I'd call an upgrade, ya'll.

My Score: *** 3/4

The Verdict: A very entertaining bout powered by an especially strong third fall. I went in pretty skeptical, but this one exceeded my expectations in just about every way. The horrendous production values aside, this is a very well done spectacle bout, and even the post-match antics weren’t THAT bad. If you need something on in the background for your next six-chalupa run at the Bell, this match is pretty much perfect for the occasion.

September 16, 2018
AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe (WWE Hell In A Cell)

Their match at SummerSlam was good, but nowhere close to being as awesome as their stuff in TNA. Let's see if they're able to bring back some of that old six-sided magic this evening. Styles comes out the aggressor early and Joe bullies him into the corner. Now he's rocking AJ with some heavy jabs and fat kicks to the chest. AJ with a countering drop kick and Joe rolls to the outside. AJ with a running knee to the noggin. Then he slams Joe's head on the announcer's desk and hits him with a sliding baseball kick. AJ goes for the Phenomenal Forearm and Joe rolls to the outside. AJ goes for a plancha and Joe kicks him right in the head while he's airborne. Joe with another running boot to the face, then he slams AJ teeth-first into the metal stairs. Joe with more jabs and chops in the middle of the ring. Joe with a leg sweep, which looks really funny because he's so fat. Joe with a running knee in the corner. He headbutts Joe's gut in the corner and kicks his legs. Joe with a Samoan Splash in the corner and a NASTY enzuigiri on the follow through. And there's the patented Samoa Joe barrel roll plancha to the outside. Now Joe is trying to crush AJ's skull like he was Jason Voorhees or something. Joe takes AJ off his feet with a, well, spin. Which works, because remember, he's fat. Joe's working a facelock again and Styles gets the rope. Both men go up top and Joe threatens a superplex. AJ snakes his way out and drives Joe face first into the turnbuckle pad. Now both men are flat on their backs. AJ with spinning back fists, a splash in the corner and a forearm coming off the ropes. Joe kicks out at two. AJ with a moonsault into a reverse DDT. Joe kicks out of that, too. Styles goes for a springboard moonsault but Joe gets his knees up. Joe hits him with a powerbomb, a high angle crab and a STF in one crisp move. Classic Joe right there. Styles gets to the ropes. Joe with more jabs and forearms in the corner. Styles hits Joe with that fireman's carry spinout thing (a rackbomb?) but Joe kicks out at two. AJ hits a 450 off the ropes, but Joe kicks out of that, too. Styles goes for the Styles Clash and Joe counters with a sickening clothesline. AJ kicks out. Styles is bleeding from the mouth. Joe is looking for the Muscle Buster. AJ counters, but he can't land the Styles Clash. Joe with another enzuigiri. He gears up for another lariat and AJ hits the Pele. Styles can't land the Phenomenal Forearm as Joe converts it into the Coquina Clutch ... but AJ rolls over Joe while he has it locked in to score the flash pinfall! Of course, Joe is a good sport after this and tries to steal AJ's belt, only for Styles to Pele kick that fat motherfucker one time for good measure.

My Score: ****

The Verdict: Another very good bout between the two, although they've obviously had WAY better outings in TNA. I’d say this is about equal to their match at SummerSlam, though this one STILL feels more like it’s a preview for the “real match” as opposed to the main course itself. All I can say is when that match happens, it better fucking deliver, or else we may NEVER hear the end of the bitchin’ and bellyachin’ from the IWC ...

September 23, 2018
Kazuchika Okada vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi (New Japan Destruction in Kobe)

God damn, do I HATE Okada's red dye job. That shit make him look like the Red Rooster and it's completely unbefitting a main eventer. Sorry, but it's true. Tanahashi comes out toting the Jan. 4 briefcase, and if I'm not mistaken, the right to headline the Tokyo Dome show is on the line in this matchup. A whole buncha wrist locks to begin, and now Okada is working the ankle. Tanahashi with a headlock and Okada gets a clean break. But Okada doesn't return the favor and socks Tanahashi good when he's hung out to dry on the ropes. We get a shitty version of Frye/Takayama and Tanahashi drops Okada with, of all things, a standard hip toss. Okada rolls to the outside to hold his knee and grimace in pain for a while. And Tanahashi sends him right back to the concrete floor with a dropkick and a plancha. But LOL, Tanahashi hurts his knee, too. Okada takes Tanahashi's knees out with a low-ass dropkick. Now Okada is grinding his boot into Tanahashi's injured knee and the fans boo because the Japs like to virtue signal, too. Now Okada's grapevining th leg around the rope and twisting it, that no good dirty motherfucker. Tanahashi misses on a splash and Okada works a knee bar. Tanahashi punches Okada in the tummy a couple of times and Okada no sells it before kicking Tanahashi on his injured knee. Then Hiroshi hits a dragon whip leg screw, which has to be the most ridiculous name for anything in history. Tanahashi with back to back somersault sentons but Okada, of course, kicks out. Okada with a flying elbow off the ropes, followed by a DDT. Tanahashi kicks out. It looks like Okada tried to Alabama Slam Tanahashi, only for Hiroshi to counter his way into a downstairs dropkick. Okada recovers and hits that neckbreaker thingy he does and they both sell their knee injuries by writhing around on the mat for a while. Okada with another shotgun dropkick and a ton of elbows in the corner. He almost dropkicks Tanahashi off the top rope, but he hangs on. The fans boo Okada as he rattles off some free shots to Tanahashi's injured patella. The ring crew untangles Tanahashi from the ropes and Okada automatically lands a kneebreaker and locks in the figure four. It takes him a while, but Hiroshi eventually makes it to the ropes. Tanahashi rolls to the outside and Tombstones Okada on the concrete floor. Well, the padding ATOP the concrete floor, anyway. Rather then win by countout, Tanahashi decides to give Okada a flying splash to the outside, because ... well, I'm sure he has his reasons, I suppose. So the countout clock begins anew and Tanahashi slings Okada back into the ring. Tanahashi hits the Twist and Shout and a Sling Blade, but Okada kicks out. Hiroshi goes up top again, but Okada gets his knees up on the frog splash attempt. Tanahashi goes for a Tombstone, but Okada reverses it, then Tanahashi reverses THAT and they just punch each other for a while. Okada with several European uppercuts, and Tanahashi is more than happy to return the favor. Tanahashi gets a sunset flip and hits an inverted dragon screw. Okada lands a dropkick but Tanahashi counters the Rainmaker and slaps the taste out of his mouth before he can hit him. Then he counters ANOTHER Rainmaker attempt with a Sling Blade. He goes up top, and this time he connects on the frog splash. But LOLOOPS, he hurt his knee so he can't make the cover right away and that gives Okada ample time to kick out. Hiroshi goes up top again and Okada catches him with a mid-air dropkick. Okada hits a Tombstone, but his knee gives way, too, so he can't make the immediate pinfall either. It takes a couple of reversals, but Okada finally hits a spinning Rainmaker. He drags Tanahashi up by his britches and goes for another Rainmaker, but Tanahashi counters with a dragon suplex. Okada kicks out at 2.9999999999. Tanahashi goes up top and Okada hits him with a desperation dropkick. Okada is threatening a SUPER Tombstone piledriver now. Tanahashi fights out of it, of course, but that doesn't stop Okada from at least attempting a superplex. But yeah, Tanahashi fights out of that, too, and hits Okada with a flying crossbody. Tanahashi goes up top again and he lands another High Fly Flow. Fuck it, he's going up top for one more splash and yep, that wins him the bout.

My Score: ****

The Verdict: Another good — but not exactly great — entry in the long running Okada/Tanahashi feud. If I had to go with one, I’d pick their bout from earlier this year as the slightly superior outing, but even then THAT match still ain’t shit compared to what they were doing a couple of years back. If you’re expecting a true MOTY contender, you’ll likely be disappointed, but if you enter the fray just wanting some solid-ass ‘rasslin, though, this one ought to cure what ails ‘ya … yes, regardless of Okada’s stupid, STUPID dye job.

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