NXT UK TakeOver: Blackpool

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NXT UK TakeOver: Blackpool (match rating scale is out of 5 stars)
“(c)” = incumbent champions

NXT UK TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Zack Gibson & James Drake def. Moustache Mountain (Tyle Bate, Trent Seven)

★★½


SINGLES MATCH
Finn Bálor def. Jordan Devlin

(Finn Bálor replaced Travis Banks)

★★★★


NO DISQUALIFICATION MATCH
Dave Mastiff def. Eddie Dennis

★★★


NXT UK WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Toni Storm def. Rhea Ripley (c)

★★


WWE UNITED KINGDOM CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Pete Dunne (c) def. Joe Coffey

★½


This was the first TakeOver PPV for NXT UK and it did not deliver. The crowd really cheered most of event as if it was as good as the main NXT TakeOvers. It’s cute and nice to want things. Every other performance of Tyler Bate, Trent Seven, and Pete Dunne I’ve seen was eons better than what they did here. The tag team title match started and stayed too slow for too long, but eventually got into gear and ended up being okay. Mastiff/Dennis was pretty decent. Women’s title match was eh. UK title match spent so much time at such a slow pace with way too many false finishes and was way too long. The only very good match was the one that had one of the two competitors replaced with a WWE main roster guy that’s criminally underused, Finn Bálor. This change lends credence to the idea that the NXT UK roster is not ready for prime time (baby) as the whole show indicated. That’s especially sad considering Moustache Mountain and Pete Dunne were in some of my absolute favorite matches of 2018 so I’m don’t know why those two matches were as lackluster as they were.

Recommended matches: Bálor v. Devlin

PPV RATING: C-

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NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 13

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NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 13 (match rating scale is out of 5 stars)
“(c)” = incumbent champions

NEVER OPENWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Will Ospreay def. Kota Ibushi (c)

MY PREDICTION: Ibushi (0-1)
★★★★½


IWGP JR. HEAVYWEIGHT TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP 3-WAY MATCH
Shingo Takagi & Bushi def. Roppongi 3K (Sho, Yoh) and El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru (c)

MY PREDICTION: Takagi & Bushi (1-1)
★★★


RPW BRITISH HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Zack Sabre Jr. def. Tomohiro Ishii (c)

MY PREDICTION: ZSJ (2-1)
★★★★


IWGP TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP 3-WAY MATCH
Evil & Sanada def. Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa) (c) and The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson, Nick Jackson)

MY PREDICTION: G.O.D. (2-2)
★★★★


IWGP UNITED STATES CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Juice Robinson def. Cody (c)

MY PREDICTION: Robinson (3-2)
★★★½


IWGP JR. HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Taiji Ishimori def. Kushida (c)

MY PREDICTION: Ishimori (4-2)
★★★½


SINGLES MATCH
Jay White def. Kazuchika Okada

MY PREDICTION: Okada (4-3)
★★★★


IWGP INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP NO DISQUALIFICATION MATCH
Tetsuya Naito def. Chris Jericho (c)

MY PREDICTION: Naito (5-3)
★★★★½


IWGP HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Hiroshi Tanahashi def. Kenny Omega (c)

MY PREDICTION: Omega (5-4)
★★★★★


Wrestle Kingdom 13 feels like a bit of a letdown compared to last year’s WK12. A number of matches weren’t quite as good as I had hoped and many of them were pretty short too. Having said that I can’t hate on the show at all as there wasn’t a bad match on the show. After watching my first year of New Japan Pro Wrestling, it’s hard not to have such high expectations for this show. But hey, I’d rather be slightly let down by a great show not being superb rather than watching a bad show. New Japan in 2019 is starting out with a completely new set of champions and looks set out to be quite different than 2018 was. It’ll definitely be interesting going forward!

Recommended matches: IWGP Intercontinental Championship match and the IWGP Heavyweight Championship match

PPV RATING: A

usagi704’s GAME OF THE YEAR 2018 Awards

RULES FOR GAMES TO BE CONSIDERED FOR NOMINATION
(List of games eligible for this year’s awards)
– THE GAME MUST HAVE BEEN PLAYED FOR THE FIRST TIME THIS YEAR
– THE GAME DOES NOT HAVE TO HAVE BEEN ORIGINALLY RELEASED THIS YEAR

My 10 Favorite Games Played in 2018

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Everybody’s Golf (PlayStation 4)
– Most Surprisingly Good Game

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Yakuza: Kiwami 2 (PlayStation 4)
– Best Story

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Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon (PlayStation 4 / PS Vita)

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Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise (PlayStation 4)

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Dragon Ball FighterZ (PlayStation 4)

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Yakuza 6: The Song of Life (PlayStation 4)
– Best Character (Kazuma Kiryu)

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Tetris Effect (PlayStation 4)
– Best Visuals
– Best Music

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Dante’s Inferno (PlayStation 3)

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E.X. Troopers (PlayStation 3)

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SNK 40th Anniversary Collection (Switch)


Dishonorable Mentions

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Bionic Commando Rearmed 2 (PlayStation 3)
– Most Disappointing Game

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Sword Coast Legends (PlayStation 4)
– Worst Game

Best of Pro Wrestling 2018

BEST WRESTLING SHOWS OF 2018
10. NJPW Strong Style Evolved
9. NXT TakeOver: WarGames II
8. NJPW Fighting Spirit Unleashed
7. NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn 4
6. NJPW Sakura Genesis
5. NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia
4. NXT TakeOver: New Orleans
3. NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 12
2. NXT TakeOver: Chicago II
1. NJPW Dominion 6.9 in Osaka-jo Hall

BEST WRESTLERS OF 2018
10. Velveteen Dream

NXT NORTH AMERICAN CHAMPIONSHIP LADDER MATCH @ NXT TakeOver: New Orleans
Adam Cole v. Ricochet v. Lars Sullivan v. Velveteen Dream v. Killian Dain v. EC3

@ NXT TakeOver: Chicago II
Ricochet v. Velveteen Dream

@ NXT 9.5.2018
Velveteen Dream v. Johnny Gargano

NXT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH @ NXT TakeOver: WarGames II
Tommaso Ciampa (c) v. Velveteen Dream

9. Tomohiro Ishii (NEVER 6-Man Tag Team Champion, RPW British Heavyweight Champion)

@ NJPW G1 Climax 28 [Day 10]
Kota Ibushi v. Tomohiro Ishii

@ NJPW G1 Climax 28 [Day 14]
Tomohiro Ishii v. Kenny Omega

@ NJPW Road to Destruction 9.7.2018
Golden Lovers (Kenny Omega, Kota Ibushi) v. Will Ospreay & Tomohiro Ishii

@ NJPW Fighting Spirit Unleashed
Golden Lovers (Kenny Omega, Kota Ibushi) v. Kazuchika Okada & Tomohiro Ishii

8. Kazuchika Okada (IWGP Heavyweight Champion)

IWGP HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH @ NJPW Wrestling Dontaku 2018 [Day 2]
Kazuchika Okada (c) v. Hiroshi Tanahashi

IWGP HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP BEST OF 3 FALLS, NO TIME LIMIT MATCH @ NJPW Dominion 6.9 in Osaka-Jo Hall
Kenny Omega v. Kazuchika Okada (c)

@ NJPW G1 Climax 28 [Day 17]
Hiroshi Tanahashi v. Kazuchika Okada

@ NJPW Fighting Spirit Unleashed
Golden Lovers (Kenny Omega, Kota Ibushi) v. Kazuchika Okada & Tomohiro Ishii

7. Johnny Gargano

NXT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH @ NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia
Andrade “Cien” Almas (c) v. Johnny Gargano

@ NXT TakeOver: New Orleans
Johnny Gargano v. Tommaso Ciampa

STREET FIGHT MATCH @ NXT TakeOver: Chicago II
Tommaso Ciampa v. Johnny Gargano

@ NXT 9.5.2018
Velveteen Dream v. Johnny Gargano

6. Roderick Strong (2-time NXT Tag Team Champion) & 5. Kyle O’Reilly (2-time NXT Tag Team Champion)

@ NXT 5.16.2018
Pete Dunne, Oney Lorcan, Danny Burch v. Undisputed Era (Adam Cole, Kyle O’Reilly, Roderick Strong)

NXT TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH @ NXT TakeOver: Chicago II
Undisputed Era (Kyle O’Reilly, Roderick Strong) (c) v. Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch

NXT TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH @ NXT 7.11.2018
Undisputed Era (Kyle O’Reilly, Roderick Strong) v. Moustache Mountain (Tyler Bate, Trent Seven) (c)

NXT TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH @ NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn 4
Undisputed Era (Kyle O’Reilly, Roderick Strong) (c) v. Moustache Mountain (Tyler Bate, Trent Seven)

WARGAMES MATCH @ NXT TakeOver: WarGames II
Pete Dunne, Ricochet, and War Raiders (Hanson, Rowe) v. Undisputed Era (Adam Cole, Bobby Fish, Kyle O’Reilly, Roderick Strong)

4. Hiromu Takahashi (IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion)

IWGP JR. HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH @ NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 12
Will Ospreay v. Marty Scurll (c) v. Kushida v. Hiromu Takahashi

IWGP JR. HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH @ NJPW The New Beginning in Osaka
Will Ospreay (c) v. Hiromu Takahashi

@ NJPW Best of the Super Jr. 25 [Day 4]
El Desperado v. Hiromu Takahashi

FINAL @ NJPW Best of the Super Jr. 25
Hiromu Takahashi v. Taiji Ishimori

IWGP JR. HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH @ NJPW Dominion 6.9 in Osaka-Jo Hall
Hiromu Takahashi v. Will Ospreay (c)

3. Will Ospreay (IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion)

IWGP JR. HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH @ NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 12
Will Ospreay v. Marty Scurll (c) v. Kushida v. Hiromu Takahashi

IWGP JR. HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH @ NJPW The New Beginning in Osaka
Will Ospreay (c) v. Hiromu Takahashi

IWGP JR. HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH @ NJPW Sakura Genesis 2018
Will Ospreay (c) v. Marty Scurll

IWGP JR. HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH @ NJPW Wrestling Dontaku 2018 [Day 2]
Will Ospreay (c) v. Kushida

IWGP JR. HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH @ NJPW Dominion 6.9 in Osaka-Jo Hall
Hiromu Takahashi v. Will Ospreay (c)

@ NJPW Road to Destruction 9.7.2018
Golden Lovers (Kenny Omega, Kota Ibushi) v. Will Ospreay & Tomohiro Ishii

@ NJPW Road to Tokyo Dome [Day 2]
Golden Lovers (Kenny Omega, Kota Ibushi) v. Hiroshi Tanahashi & Will Ospreay

2. Kota Ibushi (NEVER Openweight Champion)

@ NJPW Honor Rising: Japan 2018 [Day 2]
Golden Lovers (Kota Ibushi, Kenny Omega) v. Cody & Marty Scurll

@ NJPW Strong Style Evolved
Golden Lovers (Kota Ibushi, Kenny Omega) v. The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson, Nick Jackson)

@ NJPW G1 Climax 28 [Day 8]
Sanada v. Kota Ibushi

@ NJPW G1 Climax 28 [Day 10]
Kota Ibushi v. Tomohiro Ishii

FINAL @ NJPW G1 Climax 28
Hiroshi Tanahashi v. Kota Ibushi

@ NJPW Road to Destruction 9.7.2018
Golden Lovers (Kenny Omega, Kota Ibushi) v. Will Ospreay & Tomohiro Ishii

@ NJPW Fighting Spirit Unleashed
Golden Lovers (Kenny Omega, Kota Ibushi) v. Kazuchika Okada & Tomohiro Ishii

@ NJPW Road to Tokyo Dome [Day 2]
Golden Lovers (Kenny Omega, Kota Ibushi) v. Hiroshi Tanahashi & Will Ospreay

1. Kenny Omega (IWGP Heavyweight Champion, IWGP United States Champion)

IWGP UNITED STATES CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH @ NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 12
Kenny Omega (c) v. Chris Jericho

IWGP UNITED STATES CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH @ NJPW The New Beginning in Sapporo [Day 2]
Jay White v. Kenny Omega (c)

@ NJPW Honor Rising: Japan 2018 [Day 2]
Golden Lovers (Kota Ibushi, Kenny Omega) v. Cody & Marty Scurll

@ NJPW Strong Style Evolved
Golden Lovers (Kota Ibushi, Kenny Omega) v. The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson, Nick Jackson)

IWGP HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP BEST OF 3 FALLS, NO TIME LIMIT MATCH @ NJPW Dominion 6.9 in Osaka-Jo Hall
Kenny Omega v. Kazuchika Okada (c)

@ NJPW G1 Climax 28 [Day 2]
Kenny Omega v. Tetsuya Naito

@ NJPW G1 Climax 28 [Day 10]
Kenny Omega v. Sanada

@ NJPW G1 Climax 28 [Day 14]
Tomohiro Ishii v. Kenny Omega

@ NJPW Road to Destruction 9.7.2018
Golden Lovers (Kenny Omega, Kota Ibushi) v. Will Ospreay & Tomohiro Ishii

@ NJPW Fighting Spirit Unleashed
Golden Lovers (Kenny Omega, Kota Ibushi) v. Kazuchika Okada & Tomohiro Ishii

@ NJPW Road to Tokyo Dome [Day 2]
Golden Lovers (Kenny Omega, Kota Ibushi) v. Hiroshi Tanahashi & Will Ospreay

NXT TakeOver: WarGames II (2018)

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NXT TakeOver: WarGames II (match rating scale is out of 5 stars)
“(c)” = incumbent champions

SINGLES MATCH
Matt Riddle def. Kassius Ohno

MY PREDICTION: Riddle (1-0)
HARTKNIGHT’S PREDICTION: Riddle (1-0)


NXT WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP BEST OF 3 FALLS MATCH
Shayna Baszler (c) def. Kairi Sane

MY PREDICTION: Sane (1-1)
HARTKNIGHT’S PREDICTION: Baszler (2-0)
★★★


SINGLES MATCH
Aleister Black def. Johnny Gargano

MY PREDICTION: Gargano (1-2)
HARTKNIGHT’S PREDICTION: Black (3-0)
★★★★


NXT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Tommaso Ciampa (c) def. Velveteen Dream

MY PREDICTION: Ciampa (2-2)
HARTKNIGHT’S PREDICTION: Ciampa (4-0)
★★★★★


WARGAMES MATCH
Pete Dunne, Ricochet, and War Raiders (Hanson, Rowe) def. Undisputed Era (Adam Cole, Bobby Fish, Kyle O’Reilly, Roderick Strong)

MY PREDICTION: Undisputed Era (2-3)
HARTKNIGHT’S PREDICTION: Undisputed Era (4-1)
★★★★½


Recommended matches: NXT Championship match and the WarGames match.

PPV RATING: B+

NJPW Power Struggle -Super Jr. Tag League 2018-

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NJPW Power Struggle -Super Jr. Tag League 2018- (match rating scale is out of 5 stars)
“(c)” = incumbent champions

8-MAN TAG TEAM MATCH
Ryusuke Taguchi, Chris Sabin, ACH, and Toa Henare def. Jyushin “Thunder” Liger, Tiger Mask, Volador Jr., and Soberano Jr.

MY PREDICTION: Taguchi, Sabin, ACH, Henare (1-0)

★★


6-MAN TAG TEAM MATCH
Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa) & Robbie Eagles def. Great Bash Heel (Tomoaki Honma, Togi Makabe) & Kushida

MY PREDICTION: G.O.D., Eagles (2-0)

★★★


TAG TEAM MATCH
Kazuchika Okada & Beretta def. Jay White & Bad Luck Fale

MY PREDICTION: White, Fale (2-1)

★½


TAG TEAM MATCH
Golden☆Lovers (Kenny Omega, Kota Ibushi) def. Hiroshi Tanahashi & David Finlay

MY PREDICTION: Golden☆Lovers (3-1)

★★★½


SUPER JR. TAG LEAGUE 3-WAY TAG TEAM FINAL MATCH
Roppongi 3K (Yoh, Sho) def. Shingo Takagi & Bushi and Yoshinobu Kanemaru & El Desperado

MY PREDICTION: Takagi, Bushi (3-2)

★★★½


NEVER OPENWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Hirooki Goto def. Taichi (c)

MY PREDICTION: Taichi (3-3)


RPW BRITISH HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Tomohiro Ishii (c) def. Minoru Suzuki

MY PREDICTION: Ishii (4-3)

★★★★½


SINGLES MATCH
Tetsuya Naito def. Zack Sabre Jr.

MY PREDICTION: Naito (5-3)

★★★½


IWGP INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Chris Jericho (c) def. Evil

MY PREDICTION: Evil (5-4)

★★★★½


Power Struggle ended New Japan’s year with a whimper instead of a bang. It was easily their weakest outing for a major show in 2018, but considering it was still middling overall and not bad, that’s still a step up from another major wrestling promotion I could name. Two definite worthwhile matches, but not much else worth watching.

Recommended matches: Ishii v. Suzuki and Jericho v. Evil
PPV RATING: C

WWE Evolution (2018)

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WWE Evolution (match rating scale is out of 5 stars)
“(c)” = incumbent champions

TAG TEAM MATCH
Trish Stratus & Lita def. Mickie James & Alicia Fox

MY PREDICTION: Stratus/Lita (1-0)

★★½


MAE YOUNG CLASSIC FINAL MATCH
Toni Storm def. Io Shirai

MY PREDICTION: Shirai (1-1)

★★★½


6-WOMAN TAG TEAM MATCH
Sasha Banks, Bayley, and Natalya def. Riott Squad (Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan, Sarah Logan)

MY PREDICTION: Riott Squad (1-2)

★★★½


NXT WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Shayna Baszler def. Kairi Sane (c)

MY PREDICTION: Sane (1-3)

★★★★


WWE SMACKDOWN WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP LAST WOMAN STANDING MATCH
Becky Lynch (c) def. Charlotte Flair

MY PREDICTION: Lynch (2-3)

★★★★½


WWE RAW WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Ronda Rousey (c) def. Nikki Bella

MY PREDICTION: Rousey (3-3)

★★★


Overall, WWE Evolution was a good and entertaining show for WWE’s first all-women’s PPV.

Recommended matches: Lynch v. Flair and Baszler v. Sane
PPV RATING: B