NJPW Dominion 6.9 in Osaka-Jo Hall (2019)

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NJPW Dominion 6.9 in Osaka-Jo Hall (match rating scale is out of 5 stars)
“(c)” = incumbent champions

SINGLES MATCH
Jon Moxley def. Shota Umino

MY PREDICTION: Moxley (1-0)

★★


SINGLES MATCH
Shingo Takagi def. Satoshi Kojima

MY PREDICTION: Takagi (2-0)

★★½


TAG TEAM MATCH
Jushin Thunder Liger & Yoshi-Hashi def. Minoru Suzuki & Zack Sabre Jr.

MY PREDICTION: Suzuki & ZSJ (2-1)

★★½


6-MAN TAG TEAM MATCH
Hiroshi Tanahashi, Juice Robinson, and Ryusuke Taguchi def. Jay White, Taiji Ishimori, and Chase Owens

MY PREDICTION: Tanahashi, Robinson, Taguchi (3-1)

★★½


NEVER OPENWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Tomohiro Ishii def. Taichi (c)

MY PREDICTION: Ishii (4-1)

★★★


IWGP TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa) def. Evil & Sanada

MY PREDICTION: G.O.D. (5-1)

★★★


IWGP JR. HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Will Ospreay def. Dragon Lee (c)

MY PREDICTION: Ospreay (6-1)

★★★★★


IWGP INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Tetsuya Naito def. Kota Ibushi (c)

MY PREDICTION: Ibushi (6-2)

★★★★


IWGP HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Kazuchika Okada (c) def. Chris Jericho

MY PREDICTION: Okada (7-2)

★★★★


2018’s Dominion show was off the hook so it comes as no surprise that this year’s edition doesn’t match it at all. The final three matches could have all been stellar, but only one was. Dragon Lee v. Will Ospreay was incredible featuring the most insane topé suicida I’ve ever seen performed by Dragon Lee! Definitely the match to watch! Overall, Dominion for 2019 is a fairly solid show, but pretty disappointing for it being New Japan’s second biggest show of the year. Also: Three big entries announced for the G1 Climax tournament–Jon Moxley, Shingo Takagi, and Kenta (formerly Hideo Itami in WWE)

Recommended matches: IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship match
PPV RATING: B

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NJPW Best of the Super Jr. 26

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NJPW Best of the Super Jr. 26 (match rating scale is out of 5 stars)
“(c)” = incumbent champions

6-MAN TAG TEAM MATCH
Dragon Lee, Titán, and Shota Umino def. Ren Narita, Bandido, and Jonathan Gresham

MY PREDICTION: Lee, Titán, Umino (1-0)
★★★


6-MAN TAG TEAM MATCH
El Phantasmo, Taiji Ishimori, and Robbie Eagles def. Roppongi 3K (Sho, Yoh) & Ryusuke Taguchi

MY PREDICTION: Phantasmo, Ishimori, Eagles (2-0)
★★½


10-MAN TAG TEAM MATCH
Yoshi-Hashi, Tomohiro Ishii, Toru Yano, Jushin Thunder Liger, Tiger Mask def. Taichi, Minoru Suzuki, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, Zack Sabre Jr., Douki

MY PREDICTION: Taichi, Suzuki, Kanemaru, ZSJ, Douki (2-1)
★★½


8-MAN TAG TEAM MATCH
Evil, Sanada, Tetsuya Naito, Bushi def. Kota Ibushi, Tomoaki Honma, Togi Makabe, and Toa Henare

MY PREDICTION: Evil, Sanada, Naito, Bushi (3-1)
★★★


TAG TEAM MATCH
Kazuchika Okada & Rocky Romero def. Marty Scurll & Brody King

MY PREDICTION: Okada, Romero (4-1)
★★★


SINGLES MATCH
Jay White def. Hiroshi Tanahashi

MY PREDICTION: Tanahashi (4-2)
★★★★


IWGP U.S. HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Jon Moxley def. Juice Robinson (c)

MY PREDICTION: Moxley (5-2)
★★★★½


BEST OF THE SUPER JR. 26 FINAL MATCH
Will Ospreay def. Shingo Takagi

MY PREDICTION: Takagi (5-3)
★★★★★


I was into the undercard tag matches more than usual and got to see Titán for the first time since I didn’t watch any other BOSJ tournament matches and he really stood out to me. I look forward to him appearing in to New Japan again on future tours! The three big singles matches all delivered. I did not expect Tanahashi to lose his return match, especially not in a clean fashion. Moxley’s first ever match post-WWE was really good and Juice Robinson performed much better than usual. Ospreay and Shingo had an absolute barn burner and is my match of the year so far. Absolutely check out the final two matches if nothing else!

Recommended matches: IWGP U.S. Championship match and BOSJ 26 Final

PPV RATING: B+

NXT TakeOver: XXV

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

SINGLES MATCH
Matt Riddle def. Roderick Strong

MY PREDICTION: Riddle (1-0)

★★★★


NXT TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP LADDER MATCH
Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins, Montez Ford) def. The Undisputed Era (Kyle O’Reilly, Bobby Fish), Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch, and The Forgotten Sons (Wesley Blake, Steve Cutler)

MY PREDICTION: Undisputed Era (1-1)

★★★★½


NXT NORTH AMERICAN CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Velveteen Dream (c) def. Tyler Breeze

MY PREDICTION: Dream (2-1)

★★★½


NXT WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Shayna Baszler (c) def. Io Shirai

MY PREDICTION: Shirai (2-2)

★★★


NXT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Adam Cole def. Johnny Gargano (c)

MY PREDICTION: Cole (3-2)

★★★★★


The lack of much of any build up for multiple matches on this card partly led this TakeOver to being a bit lesser than usual. Despite that the event was still an excellent watch with two particular standout matches.

Recommended matches: NXT Championship and NXT Tag Team Championship ladder matches

PPV RATING: B+

AEW Double or Nothing

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AEW Double or Nothing (match rating scale is out of 5 stars)
“(c)” = incumbent champions

CASINO BATTLE ROYALE
Winner: Hangman Page


SINGLES MATCH
Kip Sabian def. Sammy Guevara

★★½


6-MAN TAG TEAM MATCH
SoCal Uncensored (Christopher Daniel, Frankie Kazarian, Scorpio Sky) def. Strong Hearts (Cima, T-Hawk, El Lindaman)

★★★★½


FATAL 4-WAY MATCH
Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D. def. Nyla Rose, Kylie Rae, and Awesome Kong

★★½


TAG TEAM MATCH
Best Friends (Trent Beretta, Chuck Taylor) def. Angélico & Jack Evans

★★★½


6-WOMAN TAG TEAM MATCH
Hikaru Shida, Riho Abe, and Ryo Mizunami def. Aja Kong, Yuka Sakazaki, and Emi Sakura

★★


SINGLES MATCH
Cody def. Dustin Rhodes

★★★★½


AAA WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson, Nick Jackson) (c) def. The Lucha Bros. (Pentagón Jr., Rey Fénix)

★★★★★


SINGLES MATCH
Chris Jericho def. Kenny Omega

★★★★½


For the first official outing for All Elite Wrestling, this show was fantastic and out did 2018’s All In easily. The first two matches listed here were on the pre-show and those were thankfully not indicative of the main card’s quality. The Casino Battle Royale was particularly awful. I already heavily dislike battle royales outside of the Royal Rumble style and this one exemplified why. It seemed very disorganized and poorly choreographed. Outside of one or two nice spots it wasn’t worth watching. I usually never rate or cover pre-show matches here, but I felt this was an exception worth making. I may or may not do so for future AEW shows. My frown turned upside-down once the main card’s opening match started. I was very impressed by all involved, especially the OWE contingent. I liked T-Hawk and El Lindaman the most. The fatal 4-way women’s match was a little too slow for me with few standout moments, but it was decent nonetheless. I had a similar feeling for Best Friends v. Angélico/Evans, but it was somewhat better. The 6-woman tag match was excellent with Ryo Mizunami and Aja Kong standing out to me the most. Cody v. Dustin was great match made better by the drama and emotion of the story. Also, blood and lots of it. If you love lots of flips and high spots, then the Young Bucks v. Lucha Bros. match is for you. Sure, there were already a lot of that stuff in other matches on the card, but this one was a concentrated dose of high spots and flips! This shit gets me going and I won’t apologize for it. The main event was an excellent redux of Jericho v. Omega from Wrestle Kingdom 12. I thought the WK12 match was slightly better, but this was still fantastic stuff. Also, a surprise Jon Moxley (aka, Dean Ambrose) appeared post main event.

Recommended matches: Cody v. Dustin, Young Bucks v. Lucha Bros., and Jericho v. Omega

PPV RATING: A-

G1 Supercard

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ROH NJPW G1 Supercard (match rating scale is out of 5 stars)
“(c)” = incumbent champions

NEVER OPENWEIGHT & ROH WORLD TV CHAMPIONSHIP WINNER TAKES ALL MATCH
Jeff Cobb (c) def. Will Ospreay (c)

MY PREDICTION: Ospreay (0-1)
★★★


SINGLES MATCH
Rush def. Dalton Castle

MY PREDICTION: Rush (1-1)
½


WOMEN OF HONOR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Kelly Klein def. Mayu Iwatani (c)

MY PREDICTION: Iwatani (1-2)


STREET FIGHT MATCH
Flip Gordon & Lifeblood (Juice Robinson, Mark Haskins) def. Bully Ray, Shane Taylor, and Silas Young

MY PREDICTION: Gordon & Lifeblood (2-2)


IWGP JR. HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP 3-WAY MATCH
Dragon Lee def. Taiji Ishimori (c) and Bandido

MY PREDICTION: Ishimori (2-3)
★★½


IWGP HEAVYWEIGHT & ROH WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP 4-WAY WINNER TAKES ALL MATCH
Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa) (c) def. Villain Enterprises (PCO, Brody King) (c), Evil & Sanada, The Briscoe Brothers (Mark Briscoe, Jay Briscoe)

MY PREDICTION: G.O.D. (3-3)
★★★


RPW BRITISH HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Zack Sabre Jr. (c) def. Hiroshi Tanahashi

MY PREDICTION: Z.S.J. (4-3)
★★★


IWGP INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Kota Ibushi def. Tetsuya Naito (c)

MY PREDICTION: Ibushi (5-3)
★★★½


ROH WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP 3-WAY LADDER MATCH
Matt Taven def. Jay Lethal (c) and Marty Scurll

MY PREDICTION: Taven (6-3)
★★


IWGP HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Kazuchika Okada def. Jay White (c)

MY PREDICTION: Okada (7-3)
★★★★


This whole event was a huge letdown. Admittedly, I don’t watch ROH, but considering they ran and produced the show, I lay the blame squarely on their shoulders for this being mostly crap. Even perennial New Japan stars like Ibushi and Naito didn’t deliver in their match anywhere near the level they did just weeks before this in the New Japan Cup tournament. Almost all the matches felt slow paced and even when they went long, generally felt like not much was done. A very underwhelming show almost entirely. ROH is a nothing outfit that would never have been able to do a show at Madison Square Garden without New Japan’s involvement, but NJPW could’ve easily done this show on their own. I wish they did because it would have been so much better. My message to New Japan Pro Wrestling: dump your association with Ring of Honor as soon as possible!

Recommended matches: Okada/White main event, I guess

PPV RATING: C-

NXT TakeOver: New York

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

NXT TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
War Raiders (Hanson, Rowe) (c) def. Aleister Black & Ricochet

MY & HARTKNIGHT’S PREDICTION: War Raiders (1-0)

★★★★½


NXT NORTH AMERICAN CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Velveteen Dream (c) def. Matt Riddle

MY & HARTKNIGHT’S PREDICTION: Dream (2-0)

★★★★½


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

MY & HARTKNIGHT’S PREDICTION: Walter (3-0)

★★★★½


NXT WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP FATAL 4-WAY MATCH
Shayna Baszler (c) def. Bianca Belair, Io Shirai, and Kairi Sane

MY & HARTKNIGHT’S PREDICTION: Belair (3-1)

★★★★


NXT CHAMPIONSHIP BEST OF 3 FALLS MATCH
Johnny Gargano def. Adam Cole

MY & HARTKNIGHT’S PREDICTION: Cole (3-2)

★★★★★


The big shows for NXT just never stop being amazing! You can never go wrong watching a TakeOver event. Kushida has finally been revealed as arriving to NXT which makes me very happy. Loved him in New Japan and I was hoping the rumors were true regarding him ending up in NXT.

Recommended matches: NXT Championship and WWE UK Championship matches

PPV RATING: A+

NJPW The New Beginning in Osaka (2019)

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NJPW The New Beginning in Osaka (match rating scale is out of 5 stars)
“(c)” = incumbent champions

6-MAN TAG TEAM MATCH
Tencozy (Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Satoshi Kojima) and Jushin “Thunder” Liger def. Takashi Iizuka, Minoru Suzuki, and Taka Michinoku by disqualification

MY PREDICTION: Iizuka, Suzuki, Michinoku (0-0-1)
★★½


TAG TEAM MATCH
Evil & Sanada def. Shota Umino & Ayato Yoshida

MY PREDICTION: Evil & Sanada (1-0-1)
★★


IWGP TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP 3-WAY MATCH
Tetsuya Naito, Shingo Takagi, and Bushi def. Taichi, El Desperado, Yoshinobu Kanemaru

MY PREDICTION: Naito, Takagi, Bushi (2-0-1)
★★★


TAG TEAM MATCH
Yujiro Takahashi & Chase Owens def. Tomoaki Honma & Yoshi-Hashi

MY PREDICTION: Takahashi, Owens (3-0-1)
★★½


TAG TEAM MATCH
Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa) def. Toru Yano & Togi Makabe

MY PREDICTION: G.O.D. (4-0-1)
★★★


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

MY PREDICTION: Ishimori (5-0-1)
★★★★


SINGLES MATCH
Kazuchika Okada def. Bad Luck Fale

MY PREDICTION: Okada (6-0-1)
★★★½


IWGP HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Jay White def. Hiroshi Tanahashi (c)

MY PREDICTION: Tanahashi (6-1-1)
★★★★


As the show’s title says, this is a new beginning and is more about setting up things than paying them off. With that in mind it was a good show overall. The undercard tag matches had my attention a little more than usual and am looking forward to the likely Tenzan/Iizuka happy ending later this month when Iizuka has his last match before he retires. Evil and Sanada had a solid match against two of the most promising young lions. Tachi lost his Intercontinental title match at New Beginning in Sapporo day 2, and now lost this 6-man tag match. So much for Taichi’s push, thankfully. Tama Tonga has, predictably, dropped the “good guy” shtick he had going since WK13 and thus stopped losing. Ishimori and Taguchi put on one of the best matches of the show in a good defense for Taiji. Lastly, we had the IWGP Heavyweight Championship change hands in the Switchblade Shock! I think this is the right way to go since Tanahashi retaining here wouldn’t have sown anything interesting going forward. Here’s to Switchblade’s new era!

Recommended matches: Ishimori/Taguchi and White/Tanahashi

PPV RATING: C+