Current Watch List:
- Alex Shelley vs. Jay White (NJPW)
- Yohei Komatsu vs. Kyle O’Reilly (NJPW)
- Young Bucks vs. Mascara Dorada & KUSHIDA (NJPW)
- Satoshi Kojima, Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Jushin Liger vs. Captain New Japan, Manabu Nakanishi & Tiger Mask (NJPW)
- Yuji Nagata, Togi Makabe, Tetsuya Naito & Tomoaki Honma vs. Shinsuke Nakamura, Tomohiro Ishii, Toru Yano & YOSHI-HASHI (NJPW)
- Kazuchika Okada & Gedo vs. Bad Luck Fale & Yujiro Takahashi (NJPW)
- Hiroshi Tanahashi, Hirooki Goto, Katsuyori Shibata & Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Karl Anderson, Doc Gallows, Tama Tonga & Kenny Omega (NJPW)
- Jeff Hardy vs. Abyss in a Monster’s Ball match (TNA)
- Bobby Roode vs. Austin Aries vs. MVP vs. Bobby Lashley (c) for the TNA World championship (TNA)
- Terrible (c) vs. Maximo for the CMLL Heavyweight championship (CMLL)
Alex Shelley vs. Jay White
White got in a little more than a native young lion would in his debut match. I would have to go back, but I fairly confident Yohei Komatsu was not getting near falls off of DDT’s in his debut. Liked the early stuff built around a headlock. Got a lot indie and uneven there towards the end but not too bad. White has good fire and solid fundamentals. There is definitely potential.
Yohei Komatsu vs. Kyle O’Reilly
Case in point, Komatsu probably got less from O’Reilly then White did from Shelley. That was especially true for the opening and body. Komatsu did get a fair amount of near falls down the stretch. The match was most Komatsu getting beat up before making his usual energetic comeback. His flying forearm always looks great. Some of his pinning combos got a nice reaction. O’Reilly looked okay – his usual self.
Young Bucks vs. Mascara Dorada & KUSHIDA
Fun match. A scaled back version of a Young Bucks tag which is neat to see since “scaled back” usually isn’t something they do. Dorada looked good and did most of the work for his team. In there with the Young Bucks, it is evident that in terms of offense is his just as spectacular and probably a bit more polished. He did a dive and the corner rope walk hurricanrana among other moves. KUSHIDA did not do much but he didn’t need to. Nothing great, but fun.
Satoshi Kojima, Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Jushin Liger vs. Captain New Japan, Manabu Nakanishi & Tiger Mask
The Liger & Tiger Mask section was good. I don’t expect their eventual singles match to be blow away but would be surprised if it is less than “good”. The rest was about what I expected. Nakanashi didn’t look good. Some of the shoulder tackles he and Tenzan threw came off really bad. It was a throwaway middle of the card trios, just like it looked on paper.
Yuji Nagata, Togi Makabe, Tetsuya Naito & Tomoaki Honma vs. Shinsuke Nakamura, Tomohiro Ishii, Toru Yano & YOSHI-HASHI
The Honma/Ishii segments were much better than the Ishii/Makabe segments but that’s not a surprise. Ishii is so much better when working with a guy that he is going to just trade and no-sell big blows with. The Nakamura/Nagata stuff was fine but nothing that got me overly excited for the impending singles match.
Kazuchika Okada & Gedo vs. Bad Luck Fale & Yujiro Takahashi
Okada worked well with Fale. Their interaction in the match and the match as a whole was much better than the New Year Dash tag. I know there is a perception that Okada is “stuck” with Fale but that’s a big pessimistic. Fale is not nearly as bad in-ring as I have seen suggested by some. He is also very protected so this isn’t a huge step down for Okada (he’s not feuding with Tama Tonga). If their interaction in this match – which had a poor man’s Sting/Vader dynamic to it – is any indication, their singles matches will be fine. Gedo was over which also helped get this match firmly into the “solid” range. Yujiro was useless (no surprise).
Hiroshi Tanahashi, Hirooki Goto, Katsuyori Shibata & Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Karl Anderson, Doc Gallows, Tama Tonga & Kenny Omega
Taguchi got a hair cut.
Probably went on too long but it was the main event so it was going to get time. Long heat segment on Taguchi before the hot tag and extended finishing run with everyone coming and going from the ring. Tanahashi used the Styles Clash on Tonga to set up the high fly flow. That was a nice touch. Tonga is Styles’ surrogate in these matches, so it was a nice way to hype his upcoming title defense versus Styles. Gallows looked the best on the heel team, as he continues to improve. I think Omega’s shtick is solid. All told, I probably like Bullet Club Omega better than happy-go-lucky Omega just because he is more toned down in this role, although I am not a huge fan of any version of Omega. Normal house show main event.
Jeff Hardy vs. Abyss
A Jeff Hardy no disqualification match which ensures at least two nutty bumps. The big bump from Jeff this time out was him wiping out through a ringside table on an attempt chair-assisted springboard plancha. Jeff has never half-assed a table bump in his life so this was as wild and impactful as you would expect. His other big bump was going hard shoulder first into a chair that was propped in the corner. Other than then the requisite insaneness by Hardy, it was more or less a typical TNA hardcore match. Abyss used tacks and the barbwire bat which – when used by Abyss – do not nearly have the impact that tacks and barbwire bats should have. There were a ton of mid-match run ins in an attempt to create an out-of-control atmosphere. The run-ins didn’t detract but they didn’t add to the match either. Jeff killing himself is always entertaining but there wasn’t much more.
Bobby Roode vs. Austin Aries vs. MVP vs. Bobby Lashley (c)
TNA World championship
Bland, typical TNA main event. The wrestling was all solid and there was not anything that I hated, but I can barely remember anything that happened (good or bad) two minutes after I finished watching. I’ll take indifference over hating a match so that’s something I guess. Aries looked the best of the four. He had a nice setup to the fish hook submission of his and took a hard spin bump on Lashley’s spear that ended the match. They did a triple team tower spot at one point which is beyond played at this point.
Terrible (c) vs. Maximo
CMLL World Heavyweight Championship
I thought this was a more consistent third fall away from being good (think in the *** Casas/Dorada range in terms of 2015 CMLL) but it was probably just a tick below that. I liked the first fall. The second fall was basically nothing as Terrible got a quick pin off of a power bomb to tie the match up at 1-1. The third fall had more than its fair share of moments, but also quite a bit nothingness. Maximo’s flying (lots of springboards and arm drags) was quality, but Terrible’s offense lack the bite it often has. They never really got to that peak part in the match in terms of near falls. The best near fall was the top rope arm drag from Maximo and that’s mainly because I thought “if that beat Casas, it should be Terrible”. Otherwise, they never got to that hot near fall point, which was sort of needed after the rest of the match was just “okay”. Solidly above average, but not what I was hoping.