WWE Wrestlemania 34

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Wrestlemania 34 was a shit show with a sweet set. The only good or interesting thing that happened is that Shinsuke Nakamura turned heel after he failed to become WWE Champion against A.J. Styles. Most of the matches were lackluster or just flat out bad. The best was Styles v. Nakamura, but even that massively failed to live up to anything these two have done in the past. Felt like WWE has nothing but contempt for their fans. NXT is the only good thing WWE has going. Fuck this show. Fuck WWE.

PPV RATING: D-

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NXT TakeOver: New Orleans

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

NXT NORTH AMERICAN CHAMPIONSHIP LADDER MATCH
Adam Cole def. Ricochet, Lars Sullivan, Velveteen Dream, Killian Dain, and EC3

MY PREDICTION: Dream (0-1)
HARTKNIGHT‘S PREDICTION: Dream (0-1)

★★★★½


NXT WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Shayna Baszler def. Ember Moon (c)

MY PREDICTION: Baszler (1-1)
HARTKNIGHT’S PREDICTION: Baszler (1-1)

★★★½


NXT TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP TRIPLE THREAT MATCH
Undisputed Era (Kyle O’Reilly, Adam Cole) (c) def. Authors of Pain (Akam, Rezar), and Pete Dunne & Roderick Strong

MY PREDICTION: Undisputed Era (2-1)
HARTKNIGHT’S PREDICTION: Undisputed Era (2-1)

★★★★½


NXT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Aleister Black def. Andrade “Cien” Almas (c)

MY PREDICTION: Black (3-1)
HARTKNIGHT’S PREDICTION: Almas (2-2)

★★★★


UNSANCTIONED SINGLES MATCH
Johnny Gargano def. Tommaso Ciampa

MY PREDICTION: Gargano (4-1)
HARTKNIGHT’S PREDICTION: Gargano (3-2)

★★★★★


TakeOver: New Orleans was a wonderful show with my favorite moments being the heel turn of Roderick Strong helping and joining Undisputed Era and when Gargano had second thoughts about stabbing Ciampa with a broken crutch yet still turned around and used Ciampa’s knee brace for his submission win.

Recommended matches: NXT North American Championship match, NXT Tag Team Championship match, and Gargano v. Ciampa

PPV RATING: A

NJPW Sakura Genesis 2018

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NJPW Sakura Genesis 2018 (match rating scale is out of 5 stars)
“(c)” = incumbent champions

TAG TEAM MATCH
The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson, Nick Jackson) def. Bullet Club (Christopher Daniels, Kazarian, Scorpio Sky)

MY PREDICTION: Young Bucks (1-0)
HARTKNIGHT‘S PREDICTION: Young Bucks (1-0)

★★¾


TAG TEAM MATCH
Chaos (Tomohiro Ishii, Toru Yano) def. Suzuki-gun (Taichi, Takashi Iizuka)

MY PREDICTION: Chaos (2-0)
HARTKNIGHT’S PREDICTION: Chaos (2-0)

★¼


NEVER OPENWEIGHT 6-MAN TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale, Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa) (c) def. Michael Elgin, Ryusuke Taguchi, Togi Makabe

MY PREDICTION: Bullet Club (3-0)
HARTKNIGHT’S PREDICTION: Elgin, Taguchi, Makabe (2-1)

★★★


6-MAN TAG TEAM MATCH
Taguchi Japan (Hiroshi Tanahashi, David Finlay, Juice Robinson) def. Chaos (Hirooki Goto, Yoshi-Hashi, Jay White)

MY PREDICTION: Taguchi Japan (4-0)
HARTKNIGHT’S PREDICTION: Chaos (2-2)

★★¾


6-MAN TAG TEAM MATCH
Suzuki-gun (Minoru Suzuki, Davey Boy Smith Jr., Lance Archer) def. Los Ingobernables de Japon (Tetsuya Naito, Evil, Sanada)

MY PREDICTION: Suzuki-gun (5-0)
HARTKNIGHT’S PREDICTION: L.I.J. (2-3)

★★★¾


3-WAY IWGP JUNIOR HEAVYWEIGHT TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Suzuki-gun (El Desperado, Yoshinobu Kanemaru) (c) def. Los Ingobernables de Japon (Bushi, Hiromu Takahashi) and Roppongi 3K (Sho and Yoh)

MY PREDICTION: Suzuki-gun (6-0)
HARTKNIGHT’S PREDICTION: Roppongi 3K (2-4)

★★¾


IWGP JUNIOR HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Will Ospreay (c) def. Marty Scurll

MY PREDICTION: Ospreay (7-0)
HARTKNIGHT’S PREDICTION: Ospreay (3-4)

★★★★★


TAG TEAM MATCH
Bullet Club (Cody, Hangman Page) def. Golden☆Lovers (Kenny Omega, Kota Ibushi)

MY PREDICTION: Bullet Club (8-0)
HARTKNIGHT’S PREDICTION: Golden☆Lovers (3-5)

★★★★¼


IWGP HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Kazuchika Okada (c) def. Zack Sabre Jr.

MY PREDICTION: Okada (9-0)
HARTKNIGHT’S PREDICTION: Okada (4-5)

★★★★


Sakura Genesis 2018 was a great show that I enjoyed a little more than Strong Style Evolved.

Recommended matches: Bullet Club v. Golden☆Lovers  and Will Ospreay v. Marty Scurll.
PPV RATING: A-

NJPW Strong Style Evolved

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NJPW Strong Style Evolved (match rating scale is out of 5 stars)
“(c)” = incumbent champions

SIX-MAN TAG TEAM MATCH
Roppongi 3K (Sho, Yoh, Rocky Romero) def. SoCal Uncensored (Christopher Daniels, Kazarian, Scorpio Sky)

MY PREDICTION: Roppongi 3K

★★¼


TAG TEAM MATCH
Taguchi Japan (Juice Robinson, David Finlay) def. Chaos (Hirooki Goto, Gedo)

MY PREDICTION: Taguchi Japan

★★¾


TAG TEAM MATCH
Killer Elite Squad (Lance Archer, Davey Boy Smith Jr.) def. Chaos (Toru Yano, Chuckie T.)

MY PREDICTION: K.E.S.

★★


TAG TEAM MATCH
Bullet Club (Cody, Marty Scurll) def. Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa)

MY PREDICTION: Bullet Club

★★★


EIGHT-MAN TAG TEAM MATCH
Los Ingobernables de Japon (Tetsuya Naito, Bushi, Hiromu Takahashi, Sanada) def. Taguchi Japan (Ryusuke Taguchi, Kushida, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Dragon Lee)

MY PREDICTION: L.I.J.

★★★½


SINGLES MATCH
Will Ospreay def. Jyushin Thunder Liger

MY PREDICTION: Ospreay

★★★¾


TAG TEAM MATCH
Suzuki-gun (Minoru Suzuki, Zack Sabre Jr.) def. Chaos (Kazuchika Okada, Tomohiro Ishii)

MY PREDICTION: Suzuki-gun

★★★★


IWGP UNITED STATES HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Jay White (c) def. Hangman Page

MY PREDICTION: White

★★★★


TAG TEAM MATCH
Golden☆Lovers (Kenny Omega, Kota Ibushi) def. The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson, Nick Jackson)

MY PREDICTION: Golden☆Lovers

★★★★¾


Strong Style Evolved was a very entertaining show overall. I still think New Japan has too many tag matches on all their cards which makes their shows feel too similar from one to the next. Jim Ross and Josh Barnett filled in for the usual English duo of Kevin Kelly and Don Callis. I prefer the latter.

Recommended matches: Golden☆Lovers v. Young Bucks and Suzuki-gun v. Chaos.
PPV RATING: B+

WWE Royal Rumble 2018

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Royal Rumble 2018 (match rating scale is out of 4 stars)
“(c)” = incumbent champions

HANDICAP MATCH FOR THE WWE CHAMPIONSHIP
AJ Styles (c) def. Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn

MY PREDICTION: Styles
★★


2-OUT-OF-3-FALLS MATCH FOR THE WWE SMACKDOWN TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
The Usos (Jey Uso & Jimmy Uso) (c) def. Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin

MY PREDICTION: Gable & Benjamin
★★★


MEN’S ROYAL RUMBLE MATCH
Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura

I was on the edge of my seat rooting for Shinsuke during the final four. Nakuamura v. AJ Styles at Wrestlemania is gonna be hot!

MY PREDICTION: Nakamura
★★★½


WWE RAW TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
The Bar (Cesaro & Sheamus) def. Seth Rollins & Jason Jordan (c)

MY PREDICTION: Rollins & Jordan
★★½


TRIPLE THREAT MATCH FOR THE WWE UNIVERSAL CHAMPIONSHIP
Brock Lesnar (c) def. Kane and Braun Strowman

MY PREDICTION: Lesnar
★★½


WOMEN’S ROYAL RUMBLE MATCH
Winner: Asuka

Part one of redeeming Asuka on the main roster is complete. Let’s go all the way!

MY PREDICTION: Asuka
★★★


Royal Rumble 2018 was a better show that I thought it would be. The Royal Rumble matches were the highlight which I didn’t expect and everything else lacked. Recommended matches: Both the men’s and women’s rumble matches delivered.
PPV RATING: B-

NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia

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NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia (match rating scale is out of 4 stars)
“(c)” = incumbent champions

NXT TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
The Undisputed Era (Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish) (c) def. The Authors of Pain (Akam & Rezar)

MY PREDICTION: Undisputed Era
★★★


SINGLES MATCH
Velveteen Dream def. Kassius Ohno

Despite being a mostly nothing match on paper that was thrown together at the last minute, Velveteen Dream, once again, elevated a PPV match by going out of his way to put more thought into his performance and attire than most.

MY PREDICTION: Dream
★★★


NXT WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Ember Moon (c) def. Shayna Baszler

MY PREDICTION: Moon
★★½


EXTREME RULES MATCH
Aleister Black def. Adam Cole

MY PREDICTION: Black
★★★


NXT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Andrade “Cien” Almas (c) def. Johnny Gargano

A 30+ minute show stealer and early match-of-the-year candidate. Almas/Gargano III was even better than their previous bouts!

MY PREDICTION: Almas
★★★★


TakeOver: Philadelphia was an excellent show, but just a smidge lower in my mind compared to any of the 2017 TakeOvers. Recommended match: Almas v. Gargano for the barn burner it is.
PPV RATING: A-

NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 12

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NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 12 thoughts (match rating scale is out of 4 stars)
“(c)” = incumbent champions

IWGP JUNIOR HEAVYWEIGHT TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson, Nick Jackson) def. Roppongi 3K (Sho, Yoh) (c)

★★★½


GAUNTLET MATCH FOR THE NEVER OPENWEIGHT 6-MAN TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
Chaos (Beretta, Tomohiro Ishii, Toru Yano) def. Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale, Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa) (c), Michael Elgin, War Machine (Hanson, Raymond Rowe), Suzuki-gun (Taichi, Takashi Iizuka, Zack Sabre Jr.), and Taguchi Japan (Juice Robinson, Ryusuke Taguchi, Togi Makabe)

★★


SINGLES MATCH
Kota Ibushi def. Cody

★★★


IWGP TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Los Ingobernables de Japon (Evil, Sanada) def. Killer Elite Squad (Davey Boy Smith Jr., Lance Archer) (c)

★★★


HAIR VS. HAIR MATCH FOR THE NEVER OPENWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
Hirooki Goto def. Minoru Suzuki (c)

★★★½


4-WAY MATCH FOR THE IWGP JUNIOR HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
Will Ospreay def. Marty Scurll (c), Kushida, Hiromu Takahashi

★★★★


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

★★★


NO DISQUALIFICATION MATCH FOR THE IWGP UNITED STATES HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
Kenny Omega (c) def. Chris Jericho

★★★★


IWGP HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Kazuchika Okada (c) def. Tetsuya Naito

★★★


Wrestle Kingdom 12 was a really entertaining show all around and as a newbie to NJPW, I had a good time watching it despite not having any history watching most of the wrestlers on the show.

Recommended matches: IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship match and IWGP U.S. Heavyweight Championship match.
PPV RATING: A