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  • Connor Ewens

Let's Review: Wrestling Shows I've Missed in 2024 (so far...)

With me so focused on my Wrestlemania Rebooking series I ended up not watching a whole lot of wrestling in-between except for clips on Youtube. Fear not, I have shortlisted 8 shows that I wanted to check out across 5 different promotions. My analysis will remain short and sweet, I will share a few thoughts and give my overall star rating on the match. Which shows will live up to the hype and which shows should I have left in the wrestling bin? Let's find out. Let's review.


WWE


Elimination Chamber: Perth, February 24th 2024

Finally WWE went to Australia and just had a good show, not relying on nostalgia and big names. This only had 4 matches and then 1 promo, which feels a bit weak but it featured 2 chamber matches as well as a long Grayson Waller effect segment. The crowd seemed to have a great time. The Kabuki Warriors defeated Indi Hartwell and Candace LeRae to retain their Tag Championship's on the Pre-show. I didn't watch it.

Women's Elimination Chamber- ***3/4

The winner of the match will face the winner of tonight's main event at Wrestlemania for the Women's World Championship. Participants are Becky Lynch, Liv Morgan, Raquel Rodriguez, Bianca Belair, Tiffany Stratton and Naomi. This was a great match heavily focused on in-ring work rather than a story. We had nice interactions between former tag partners Liv and Raquel, as well as action between Lynch and Morgan who both felt like they needed to face Rhea at Mania. The real star here though, was Tiffany Stratton who is really breaking out on the main roster. She got a loud reaction from the Aussie crowd. She got her spot with an awesome swanton from the top of the pod. All the women worked really hard. It was nearly a 4 star, but I think the 3-way between Bianca, Liv and Becky had some quiet moments because it went a little long. Becky winning and facing Rhea was very predictable since they had heavily teased the match months prior, but the match was still a good match.

Judgment Day (c) defeat New Catch Republic for Undisputed Tag Titles- ****

It was great to see Tyler Bate and Pete Dunne get 15+ minutes on PPV. They proved their worth here competing in a banger match against the tag team champions. The match was paced excellently and with same nail biting near falls in the final third. NCR come close, but Dominik Mysterio is out there helping his team. After he is ejected, the Republic come close once again with Double Birminghammer but the pin is broken up. That was their best shot, as a South of Heaven chokeslam by Priest then a Coup de Grace by Balor secures the win. Awesome match. It'll be nearly an hour until match number 3 as we have lots of ads and a big promo.

Grayson Waller Effect

Waller shares a 'Shoey' with MMA fighter Tai Tuivasa who is front row. Seth Rollins says he is nearly medically cleared to compete whilst Cody Rhodes challenges The Rock to a match. He says he won't be alone fighting the Bloodline this time. Austin Theory mocks them by imitating the Rock, so Rollins and Rhodes hit him with their finishers whilst Waller sits back and doesn't get involved. It was a fine segment, more for the crowd than for us at home.

Men's Elimination Chamber- ***3/4

I think this match was equally as good as the women's one. The women had a better match in-ring, but this match had better storytelling and set up for Wrestlemania. Drew McIntyre, LA Knight, Logan Paul, Kevin Owens, Randy Orton and Bobby Lashley compete to face Seth Rollins for the Heavyweight Championship. We saw Lashley and McIntyre reignite their feud from 3 years ago which was cool. LA Knight built some momentum, however his rival AJ Styles invaded the match and attacked him with a chair, costing him his match and building their feud nicely. Owens continued his feud with Logan before being eliminated by Randy. Logan goes to eliminate Randy with the brass knuckles but he spends too much time gloating and eats an RKO. With Orton and McIntyre remaining, Logan hasn't left the cage yet and uses the knucks to get some revenge on Orton and aiding Drew's victory. The action was still very good but it was more about setting up future matches. The path to 3 Wrestlemania matches were clearly laid out here and it was pretty exciting.

Rhea Ripley (c) defeats Nia Jax, Women's World Championship- ***1/2

Damn this match was a lot better than I expected. The fans were of course solidly behind their native Rhea who was almost certainly going to win. However, they still wrestled an engaging match and there were a few moments where I thought they were going to do the unthinkable. I've been a big fan of Nia's work recently, she has been a great character and she has really improved in the ring. She and Nia wrestle a very good powerhouse match, the Riptide finish was legit impressive. Ripley gets to celebrate with her family in her home country to close the show.

Overall

A very fun show that drags in the middle due to a long promo segment, but all 4 matches are very enjoyable. MOTN- Judgement Day vs New Catch Republic


NXT: Stand & Deliver, April 6th 2024

I couldn't be arsed to get up early to see NXT in the morning, I watched half of it live on my phone before I went to go drinking. I have since rewatched the full show back at home. They broke an attendance record for this event, the largest crowd for an NXT show which is pretty awesome. Joe Gacy defeated Shawn Spears on the pre-show in a good match. A surprising result to some, but I imagine that Spears is transitioning into a player-coach kind of role. Later in the show we see highly sought after free agent Giulia in the crowd, alongside founder and former producer at Stardom, Rossy Ogawa. Awesome to see this, with all of the appearances at other shows recently I think that WWE are planning something big. They've been backstage at TNA and GCW shows, now Rossy Ogawa who is setting up his own Japanese promotion soon. Giulia under the right coaching will be a star in WWE. Also on this stacked show we have the announcement of the Women's North American Championship, WWE's first midcard women's title. Will we see one for the main roster soon too? Hopefully.

Wolf Dogs (c) defeat Nathan Frazer & Axiom, Tag Titles- ****

Holy shit what a way to kick off Stand & Deliver! I knew this would be at least good but damn this was awesome. This might well be Baron Corbin's best match in his career. Just over 10 minutes and they work a great pace, constantly working sequences but never feeling rushed or too much. Bron Breakker's explosive power in the ring is so damn impressive, we will see him break the ring ropes one day I know it. Frazer and Axiom looked great in here too, all 4 men had special chemistry together. I fully expected a title change here but Bron and Baron successfully retain which was a huge shock. They had a rematch on the following NXT and the titles changed hands there instead.

Oba Femi (c) defeats Dijak & Josh Briggs, North American Title- ****1/2

Shawn Michaels saw what AEW did with a Meat Match and said "let me have a go." Possibly, HBK did it better because hot DAMN this was fucking awesome. These 3 goliaths went out and beat the shit out of each other. Lots of big power moves, crazy feats of strength and big meaty men slapping meat. There is so many big man spots here to call I cannot list them all. It was fucking crazy. Femi is quickly establishing himself as a future star and we already know what Dijak is capable. However, Briggs really made a name for himself here and I'm so happy for him. It was his coming out party. I was almost certain Dijak was walking out of here with the win, especially when he hit that Feast Your Eyes on Briggs, but Femi had something to say about that. He dragged him off and nailed him with a powerbomb on Briggs and he pinned Briggs to retain. Amazing, I want to see singles rematches soon please.

Thea Hail, Fallon Henley & Kelani Jordan defeat Jacy Jayne, Izzy Dame & Kiana James- ***

The Chase U & Jacy Jayne story has been a good one for the past 6+ months and here Thea finally gets a little bit of revenge on Jacy, though not very much. This was a good match, all 6 women worked real hard. I was most impressed by Fallon Henley who looked great. Thea and Jacy were the best workers here, Thea won the match for her team making Izzy tap out. We barely saw Jayne and Hail interact so I am sure their feud is going to continue throughout the year.

Roxanne Perez defeats Lyra Valkyria, Women's Title- ***3/4

I've been a huge fan of Perez's new character recently, she has an edge to her that I think she so desperately needed to avoid going stale. She has been pissed and wants to reclaim the title she never lost. This match is great with some great wrestling psychology with Perez working the arm throughout. Valkyria hangs in the match though and is able to push Perez to the limit. Perez goes for the crossface over and over again throughout the match, gunning for that submission win and eventually she does. A Pop Rox and a Crossface earns Roxanne the win and becoming only the third woman to win the NXT Women's championship more than once. I think better pacing earlier on could have boosted this into 4 star territory.

Ilja Dragunov (c) defeats Tony D'Angelo, NXT Title- ***3/4

I like D'Angelo, he is a very entertaining character and a good wrestler. I seriously do not buy him as a main eventer or a world champion. I'm a huge fan of Dragunov so I always enjoy his matches and this was another good one. Tony worked the hand early on which felt less impactful following a match that did something very similar, but they dropped that angle about half way through. The story throughout was that the D'Angelo family tried to help Tony cheat to win, but the Don wanted to do it on his own and clean. He took Ilja to the limit, but the Mad Russian is an unstoppable champion and eventually nails Tony with multiple H-bomb forearms to retain. Very good match, only hampered by a weak start and the unlikeliness of Tony being in this spot on the card.

Trick Williams defeats Carmelo Hayes- ***

First of all, this was the first ever all black main event of an NXT PLE and the first all black male main event of any WWE PLE since Booker T vs The Rock at Summerslam 2001. That's crazy and awesome. The match was good, they told a good story and worked a solid match. Here is my issue. Carmelo Hayes looks, sounds, and wrestles like a star. He has some real main event potential. Trick Williams looks and sounds like a star, but he is pretty below average in the ring right now. He has so much charisma and I don't think he is a bad wrestler but he is not the most exciting to watch. He has some great moves like his big boot, but he isn't capable of putting on great singles matches. Still, both men worked real hard and he got a huge win in front of his home crowd. We can expect a rematch in the near future.

Overall

This show peaked real early, the two opening matches were phenomenal and I hoped it was setting the tone for the night but unfortunately we never reached those heights again. Not a bad match on the card though, a great show on the whole.


TNA


No Surrender, February 23rd 2024

Following TNA's fantastic Hard to Kill show, we have a couple of TNA+ exclusive shows to build up towards their next PPV, Rebellion. There were 3 pre-show matches that I didn't watch. Joe Hendry defeated Deaner, I'm happy with that. The Rascalz defeated Speedball Mountain, not happy with that. The System defeated the Intergalactic Jet Setters, which is fine.

Eric Young defeats Frankie Kazarian- **1/2

This was to determine a number 1 contender for Moose at Sacrifice. Both of these guys are veterans of the business and they can still go out and work good matches, but I don't think this was a good opening match. This felt like the equivalent of the 253rd John Cena vs Randy Orton match. This felt like a normal match, which it shouldn't have been since Kaz has been ambushing and trash-talking him. Young kicks out of Kaz's finisher and shortly after traps him in a crucifix pin for a fluke win. IO didn't really like the finish too much. Kazarian got his heat back by murdering the referee that counted the 3.

ABC (c) defeats Grizzled Young Vets, Tag Titles- ***1/2

This was the final match in a best of 3 series between these 2 teams. The other 2 matches were very good and so was this one. I'm a huge fan of both of these teams, ABC have proved to be great as both faces and heels. GYV might be the best tag team in TNA right now. I think the Vets should have won here, but it was ABC who walked out still champions. This was still a very good tag match with great wrestling. The match got more and more intense and the crowd were super hot. I hope the Liverpudlians have earned some deserved new fans over there recent run.

PCO defeats Kon via DQ- *

Well, this sucked. They awkwardly brawled for 3 minutes until Kon hit him with a chair. This was more about the angle after the match, where Kon decimated PCO with the chair but PCO withstands the offence and screams at Kon who steps away. The angle was fine, the match sucked ass though and this could have been saved as a TV segment.

MK Ultra defeats Decay (c), Knockouts Tag Titles- **1/2

The women's tag division is barely being held together at this point, Decay are a nostalgia act and MK Ultra are, well, great wrestlers. This match is kept pretty simple, MK Ultra dominate the match mostly and eventually win back the tag championships, only a month after losing them. The match was fine, I'm glad MK Ultra won the titles back from Decay. They need to really bolster their women's division now because there are some clear holes in what was once TNA's most consistent division.

Josh Alexander defeats Simon Gotch- ***1/2

Alexander has quickly became one of my favourite wrestlers, there are very reasonable comparisons drawn to Kurt Angle. His match here is far from his best, but I still really enjoyed this. This is the first I've seen of Gotch since his firing from WWE around the mid-late 2010s, so I looked forward to seeing how he had progressed. The answer? Not very much. He was always a good wrestler, and he still is but he hadn't became anything bigger or better than he once was. This was a competitive wrestling contest which Alexander won which was the right call.

Moose (c) defeats Alex Shelley, No Surrender Rules for TNA Title- ***1/2

A lot to break down here so lets start with the stip. Each man has their allies in their corner holding a towel. The only way for the match to end is for the cornermen to throw in the towel on behalf of their ally to save them form anymore punishment. Anything goes, however if any of the cornermen interfere that counts as a forfeit and the match will end. It is actually quite a cool concept if it can be executed properly. For the most part, it was. The match was a very good one, Moose and Shelley went out and beat the shit out of each other and the selling was spot on. Both men and their corners really sold the brutality and teased a throwing of the towel. The issue here though is that the match often played second to the outsiders reacting to the match and holding the towel. Also, the System have only really been together for like 3 months so I don't really buy them being super invested in this emotionally, whereas at least Kushida has known Shelley for over a decade. The finish was a good idea but poorly executed. Moose wrapped a chain around his shoulder and speared Shelley 3 times in a row, he tells Kushida he can go all night. Shelley keeps getting to his feet so Kushida throws in the towel to end the match. I would have had Moose keep going and have to drag Shelley up to his feet, I think that would have more weight. I understand that they're going to cause tensions here as Shelley is destined to turn heel now, but it could have been executed better. A good match though, I think they can make something special with this match type some day.

Jordynne Grace (c) defeats Gisele Shaw, Knockouts Title- ***

There isn't much else to add except this was just a good match. Grace is on top of her game right now, Gisele Shaw carried herself very well but the result was never in doubt. Ash be Elegance was announced and attended at ringside which seems to be her thing currently. Grace gets a strong win with the Juggernaut driver to retain. I see her holding the title for a very long time.

Mustafa Ali defeats Chris Sabin (c), X-Division Title- ***3/4

The first time an X-Division title match has solely main evented a TNA PPV since 2005. I'm glad Ali got this spot, he definitely earned it. He and Sabin had an awesome match with a great story that has been built since Ali's debut. He wants to make the X-Division great again, and boy I think he can. He has been portrayed as a big deal and winning the title in his first match seals the deal. This was great, a deserving show closer and an exciting booking decision for the future of TNA. Ali nails an awesome sunset flip and follows up with a 450 to win. He looks genuinely so happy. A great way to close the show.

Overall

A pretty enjoyable show that was missing a banger match really, but it was consistently good. PCO vs Kon was the only L on this show, even the women's tag was alright. The table is being set for Sacrifice as well as Rebellion in the future.


Sacrifice, March 8th 2024

On the pre-show for this show; Bhupinder Gujjar defeats Deaner, Crazzy Steve defends the Digital Media title against Joe Hendry and Speedball Mountain defeats The Rascalz. We are live from Canada and we have a few Canadians wrestling on the card for this event.

Nic Nemeth defeats Steve Maclin- ****

An absolute banger of a match to kick off the show. Arguably, this should have main evented, because nothing topped this all night. Nemeth is the IWGP Global champion and he is having a mini career renaissance as of late. Maclin is a good worker too. These two worked an excellent match, the best Maclin match I've seen and the best Nemeth match I've seen in YEARS. A well crafted rivalry with the right winner. TNA need to keep Nemeth around as much as possible.

The System defeats ABC (c), Tag Titles- ***1/2

Commentary hyped ABC's reign as being the longest in the last 2 years, but unfortunately it came to an end here tonight. It makes sense, The System are a new faction that they are really trying to get over, though I think they should really add a younger member who can get over alongside the 3 veterans. Eddie Edwards and Brian Myers defeat Chris Bey and Ace Austin in a predictably good match. ABC are incapable of having bad matches at the moment. The roster cut into the Boston Knee Party was a nice finish to the match. Now all members of the System hold gold, excluding Alisha Edwards of course.

Kon vs PCO, No DQ- **

Well it was better than their previous match so that is once thing. This was just a mindless brawl mostly with some weapon bashing in there, PCO took some ugly bumps and kept getting up like the monster he is. I expected them to put over Kon as another monster in TNA but PCO gets the win again. This was fine, inoffensive.

Spitfire defeats MK Ultra (c), Knockouts Tag Titles- 3/4*

Yikes, this was a huge miss. I can break down everything that happened quickly. MK attack Spitfire during their entrances and absolutely decimate them. Dani Luna is taken out with a Snow Plow but Jody Threat is still willing to fight MK Ultra on her own. She takes a beating briefly whilst MK Ultra argue for some unknown reason. After Killer Kelly tags in, Luna pulls Masha Slamovich out of the ring. This distraction allows Threat to roll up Kelly for a flash pin and the win. The match lasted about 3 minutes, the segment just over 5. I disliked this a lot. MK Ultra look very weak after losing in a couple minutes after a vicious pre-match beatdown. Once again the titles have changed hands after only a month. Spitfire don't look like worthy champions. Then, Slamovich shoved Kelly down post-match and walked away, seemingly teasing their split. I prefer they wrestled as singles, but this would leave us with literally two women's tag teams. Make more TNA! What are you doing?! You're usually so reliable with women's booking but I guess that may have been a Scott D'Amore thing. Very bad segment.

Hammerstone defeats Josh Alexander- ***3/4

These two had an awesome match at Hard to Kill, this is the rematch with Hammerstone now officially signed for TNA. Whilst their first match was a better in-ring contest, this was more engaging because of a clear face-heel dynamic. Hammerstone still had plenty of fan support, right until the closing stages when Hammerstone capitalised on a ref bump to kick Alexander right in his meat and potatoes. He sets him up for the Nightmare Pendulum and defeats Alexander. This was great, good storytelling and I am very much looking forward for their third match at Rebellion.

Mustafa Ali & Grizzled Young Vets defeat Time Machine- ***1/2

If you put 6 great wrestlers in a 6-man tag match you are bound to get a very enjoyable match. The match was great but it was the storytelling that was special. Alex Shelley is still very pissed off about losing his match with Moose the previous month and he blames Kushida clearly. He is reluctant to team up with his life-long friends. The issues go even deeper here when we see a miscommunication after Shelley blind tags himself in. Sabin accidentally wipes his best friend out with a boot, leading to both GYV and Ali hitting their finishers on Shelley to win. No fallout or heel turn just yet, but it is definitely on the horizon.

Jordynne Grace (c) defeats Xia Brookside and Tasha Steelz, Knockouts Title- ***

Another good women's title defence for Grace here. There is a lack of any story going on here, which feels like a theme for the women ever since D'Amore was fired. The only story going on is unrelated to the match. Ash by Elegance appeared to watch at ringside again, but this time disaster strikes! Xia throws Tasha into Ash, spilling champagne all over her! E-C-Dub! E-C-Dub! I'm unfairly taking the piss. Not for a second did Grace look like she was losing here, she was very dominant and often fought both of them 2-on-1. Brookside and Tasha both worked well, but they stood little chance of winning here. I hope they make some good plans for the women's division, they need it more than ever.

Moose (c) defeats Eric Young, TNA Title- **3/4

This match was fine, but it was a long and slow main event match that didn't excite me all that much. Everything felt very basic, they told a simple story of Young wanting to win one more world championship in front of his home crowd. Moose winning was never in doubt and I think the predictability hurt this one too. There was little build, little story and little interest in this one too. This was an unfortunately weak way to end the night, considering how good the show started.

Overall

A very mixed bag of a show, the show opened in a great way and got a bit shaky as the night went on. Some good matches worth watching for sure, but not one of TNA's best shows. MOTN- Nic Nemeth vs Steve Maclin.


AEW/ROH


Revolution, March 3rd 2024

This show will see the retirement of the icon, Sting. The show comes from the iconic Greensboro Coliseum, the exact arena where Sting defeated Ric Flair for the NWA world championship at the first Clash of the Champions in 1988. After some criticism of their previous events I'm looking forward to seeing this show which has been viewed quite positively. On the pre-show, the Bang-Bang Scissor Gang defeated Team Jarrett in a 12-man tag, then Kris Statlander & Willow Nightingale defeated Julia Hart & Skye Blue. I didn't watch either match.

Christian Cage (c) defeats Daniel Garcia, TNT Title- ***1/2

Christian remains one of my favourite things about AEW, one of the few consistently great things in the company. I think Garcia is a great wrestler too, I'm glad he has distanced himself from Jericho. This followed a simple formula of Garcia fighting against the numbers and that is all it had to be. Garcia was pretty over and performed really well. Christian, at over 50 years old, is on one of the greatest runs of his entire career which is just awesome. He plays to his strengths and elevates anyone in the ring with him. There was a few very close near falls that really got me, but of course it is wrestling's favourite daddy who retains his title. Great opener.

Eddie Kingston (c) defeats Bryan Danielson, Continental Crown Title- ***1/2

Kingston holds the Continental Title, the NJPW Strong Title and the ROH World Title. Who are you, Ultimo Dragon? I love Kingston, great talker and he can definitely wrestle, but some of his strikes in this match looked so shit. Flailing like a pre-schooler. I loved McGuiness continuing his feud with Bryan whilst on commentary. So this was a very good match because of course, Danielson is in there. I did not like how this match ended up. For easily 75% minimum of this match, Bryan absolutely pummelled Kingston all over and couldn't put him away. It made Kingston look resilient, all good. Then, Kingston fires up with some offence and puts Bryan away with one powerbomb? When the bell rang, Kingston looked absolutely gassed whilst Bryan looked like he had another 40 minutes left in him. I dunno, this made Bryan look weak to me. Still an enjoyable match, maybe Kingston should have won but I would like to see Bryan be positioned stronger than this.

Wardlow wins the All Star 8-Man Scramble, AEW World Title No.1 contender- **

I understand giving everyone a spot, but why are Magnus and Dante Martin here? Surely they have absolutely zero chance of a victory here. I guess the fans have forgotten about Jericho's controversy and are happy to cheer him again, unlike the last PPV. This was supposed to be a Meat Mania match but it was pulled for some reason. We got the meat spot still though, whilst the other 4 men just stood around doing nothing. They could have just made it a 4-way meat match, but then they added lots of other moving parts and dramatically brought down the quality of the match. People just stood around waiting for their spots, little to no selling, Martin botching his dive. On a positive, the small meat man stuff we got was cool, the tandem Lionsault was cool also. This was a weak match though, not worthy of determining a contender for your top championship.

Roderick Strong defeats Orange Cassidy (c), International Title- ***

I knew it would happen eventually, but I am starting to get sick of Orange. I think he is a solid wrestler and a fun character, but like most things in wrestling he has been overused and his shtick is becoming stale to me. This was a very one sided beating, Strong just dissecting Orange and tearing apart his back. The injured back has been a common story in the past Orange matches, so this wasn't very new but Strong is the master of the backbreaker. Strong winning was absolutely the right call. This was carried by Strong, I was happy to see him win and he finally ended Orange's long run as champion. Seeing Kyle O'Reilly return was fucking awesome. He refuses to the shirt of the Undisputed Kingdom and whispers something to Roddy. It'll be interesting to see where this goes, I hope they push him well.

Blackpool Combat Club defeats FTR- ****3/4

I loved the BCC tribute to the Road Warriors. Moxley was able to resist doing some stupid hardcore shit and we got an absolute banger of a tag match here. FTR are my favourite tag team in the world. This was epic, just a masterclass in tag team wrestling. In was really surprised to see the BCC get the win here, but fair enough I guess. Doesn't really make much sense considering they are lining up FTR for a Tag Title match at Dynasty. All 4 men absolutely killed it, best match tonight so far easily.

Toni Storm (c) defeats Deonna Purrazzo, Women's Title- **1/2

Damn they did my girl Deonna so dirty. She came in to AEW after being Impact Wrestling's best female wrestler for 4 years and she comes in and looks like shit against 'Timeless' Toni. She barely got the time to showcase how good she really is. I gotta respect that Toni has crafted a phenomenal gimmick but they need to find a way to translate it into good matches. Also if AEW gave their women 15+ minutes to actually wrestle on PPV maybe they good structure a better match too? Just a thought. This match was just average, I also feel like all Toni matches end the same now. Purrazzo should have won here, or don't put her immediately in the title picture. I feel like this would translate better if it was for the TBS title.

Will Ospreay defeats Konosuke Takeshita- ***3/4

I must be the only man who just doesn't understand the hype about Takeshite. Yes, he is phenomenally athletic but there is nothing about his character that I care about. He also cannot sell for shit. This was as expected a crazy spot fest with little psychology or selling. For that reason alone, I cannot rate it as high as everyone else does. I can be forgiving, but when you're running around 100mph after dangerously big moves then I'm going to be pissed off. This match is everything Jim Cornette hates. I respect the work rate too much to rate it too low either. This was an insanely high-octane back and forth contest. I was enjoying myself right until Takeshita kicked out at 1. Why the fuck? The kick out at 1 spot can be done really well, but that was absolutely unnecessary. That really took me out of this. There is plenty of praise out there for this match, go read them if you want a more glowing review of this.

Samoa Joe (c) defeats Adam Page & Swerve Strickland, AEW Title- ****1/2

Damn this match blew me away. I knew it was going to be good, but not only did we get an amazing match but some fantastic storytelling. Joe constantly being there to break the pin, Adam Page willing to do anything to not only win but also prevent Swerve from winning. Swerve wanting to win his world championship the right way. This was everything I wanted out of this match. I look forward to Swerve finally getting the win at Dynasty.

Sting & Darby Allin defeat Young Bucks, Tag Titles- ****

They had Ric Flair and Ricky Steamboat out there, they had legends and family in the crowd. This was a special moment. I've grown tired of the Bucks but I admit that their new EVP gimmick is working for me. Sting got an amazing promo and entrance cataloguing his legendary career. Sting's sons are dressed as Wolfpac Sting and Surfer Sting and are ringside which is cool. All 4 men worked their asses off for a crazy good main event. 60 year old Sting taking stage suplexes through a table. Young Bucks went super heel by attacking old grandpa's Flair and Steamboat. Sting looked like an unstoppable legend in this one, he did the kick out of 1 spot and it worked unlike Takeshita earlier. Unfortunately this match has one serious drawback for me. Darby Allin's fucking stupid spot jumping through glass on top of 6 chairs. It was so unnecessary and it wiped him out for the rest of the match. It didn't add anything or make sense. If anything, it actually taints it by being the one main thing people are going to remember from this match. Still, it was a great main event and a lovely send off. Sting does a goodbye promo which is cut off because the feed ends lol.

Overall

Mostly good, 3 awesome matches and a beautifully violent send-off to one of wrestling's greatest legends. Thank you Sting. MOTN- BCC vs FTR


Supercard of Honor, April 5th 2024

Does anyone else forget about ROH like all of the time? I forget they exist until they're name dropped or brought up by AEW or by a friend. This match took place in Philly over Wrestlemania weekend. On the pre-show; The Premier Athletes defeated Rhett Tyrus, Tony Deppen and Adam Priest, Beast Mortos defeated Blake Christian, Griff Garrison & Cole Carter defeated the Spanish Announce Project, then Mariah May defeated Momo Kohgo. Not a single one of those matches sound intriguing to me.

Kyle Fletcher (c) defeats Lee Johnson, TV Title- ***1/2

I can't believe Lee Johnson is still around. Super athletic, but he has about as much charisma as Apollo Crews did when he first landed on the WWE main roster. I don't really know what the deal is with Fletcher's look, but it looks cool. I miss Aussie Open. This was a very good opener from an in-ring standpoint, I just felt like I didn't have a reason to care much, even when Lee showed his resilience. Very good wrestling, a fun way to start the show.

Empress Nexus Venus & Mai Seira defeat Queen's Quest & Tam Nakano- ***3/4

Well they might as well make the most out of what stars STARDOM have left before Rossy Ogawa takes them all to his new promotion. This was a showcase match for the ladies of STARDOM and it was very enjoyable indeed. Nakano, AZM and Kamitani are the ones I am very familiar with and I always enjoy seeing them in action. I was surprised to see them lose, but I'm not super up to date with STARDOM so maybe this does make sense.

Undipsuted Kingdom (c) defeat The Infantry, Tag Titles- **1/2

This was fine, about as good as I was expecting. None of these guys are particularly over so the crowd was quiet. All 4 men are averagely good, nothing special. Having Wardlow come out to help the Kingdom retain feels like more of a way to pop the crowd rather than benefit the match. Kingdom looked weak needing him and the Infantry really shouldn't need protecting. Also the referee doing a terrible job at officiating the match. From counting, to not being there for the pin, to missing the interference. A flat ending to an average tag match.

Billie Starkz defeats Queen Aminata, Vacant Women's TV Title- ***1/4

Fucking hell as if Tony Khan didn't have enough championships to think about, he created another one. It is great the women have more titles to go for I guess. So the biggest talking point is obviously the finish. Starkz fakes a serious neck injury and manages to swerve Aminata to win the championship. People out here calling it genius and an amazing shock finish. First, I agree it was a shock and it was somewhat clever. It doesn't fully make sense though. Why would they begin to walk to the back, but the match wouldn't have been called off by the referee? The match should have ended because that is what usually would have happened. So no, it is not genius but it is pretty clever. Second, I am not a fan of faking serious injuries. I didn't like when Danielson did it, and I didn't like this. It is different to faking an arm or a leg injury. Neck and head injuries are really serious, and if you plan a fake neck injury, what happens if you suffer a legit neck injury during? It all feels a little iffy to me. Still, it was a memorable finish and it definitely adds to the Billie Starkz character which I am a fan of. She deserves the win. This was a good match.

Bullet Club Gold (c) defeats Minoru Suzuki & Monstersauce, 6-man Titles- ***

This was an impromptu match, Minoru Suzuki received a huge pop when he came out. This was a good match, Bullet Club Gold have been very entertaining for the past few months and it is always nice to see Suzuki wrestle. Hearing Suzuki call Austin Gunn and Ass Boy was something special. The faces kicked ass, but the Bang Bang Gang were always going to retain here. The Acclaimed come out and attack the BCG, getting a small measure of revenge.

Dalton Castle defeats Johnny TV, Fight Without Honor- 1/2*

This was so fucking boring for the longest time. Just a slow ass kicking by Johnny and it sucked mostly. The first time anything caught my attention was seeing Taya Valkyrie use a leaf blower to blow Dalton away. Seriously, that happened. Then we had a series of boys being thrown at Johnny which was all kinds of stupid, also poorly timed considering AEW/ROH released the Boys. Why the fuck is Paul Walter Hauser here? He just stands around acting all weird and camp. I didn't even realise this was supposed to be a comedy match until I read reviews, because none of this was funny. A contender for worst match of the year here I think. I cannot believe this was over 20 minutes long.

Athena (c) defeats Hikaru Shida, Women's Title- ****1/4

This is the match I was most hyped for and I am so happy it reached my expectations. Two of the greatest women's wrestlers signed by TK. I think the only reason this match isn't rated higher is because of the absolute ass match we saw beforehand absolutely killing the crowd. Once again, Athena steals the show with a fantastic effort. Shida deserves her flowers too. Athena doubted her ability to beat Shida but she eventually proves everyone and herself that she is the most dominant champion in women's wrestling.

Mark Briscoe defeats Eddie Kingston, ROH Title- ***3/4

During this match, commentary say that if a chair is brought into the ring, your opponent using it is perfectly legal. That doesn't sound right at all. This was a violent, bloody war in honour of Mark's deceased brother. 11 years to the day when the late Jay Briscoe won his first ROH World championship, his brother Mark finally reaches the pinnacle. The match was very good, but I think not having clear heel/face dynamics really took away from this. Mark and Eddie are friends on and off screen, so it feels hard to see them go to war like this. Mark should have taken the title off of a prick heel, Claudio would have been perfect at the time. Still, this was awesome and a lovely way to close the show.

Overall

Some good stuff here, the Women's world title was the clear stand-out match tonight but there is plenty of stuff for everyone on this card. That Fight Without Honor match was the fucking pits though holy hell. Weirdly, the feud with most significant amount of build with the worst match on the show. MOTN- Hikaru Shida vs Athena.


NJPW


Sakura Genesis, April 6th 2024

I've written a lot about wrestling so far, I really don't have much left in me in terms of analysis here so I might just show my ratings for most of these New Japan matches unless I have something I feel is worth mentioning. Mainly because this show is very mid. I might have more to say about the next event that took place quite recently. Tomohiro Ishii, Toru Yano & Oleg Boltin defeats Ayato Yoshida, Chicharito Shoki & Takuro Niki on the pre-show. Apparently it was okay.

TMDK defeats El Desperado & Ryusuke Taguchi- ***

Los Ingobernables de Japon defeat Bullet Club- *1/2

We really shouldn't be watching Gedo wrestle anymore in 2024. I don't see how this benefited anyone.

Just 5 Guys defeat United Empire- **

Crazy how SANADA no longer feels like a main eventer since losing the title.

BC War Dogs (c) defeat Catch 22 & Intergalactic Jet Setters, Jr. Heavyweight Tag Titles- ****

Finally we get an exciting match, can always rely on 3-way Jr Tag action on a New Japan PPV. A fast paced spot fest that rewarded the crowd which have remained vocal throughout the weak start to the show. I absolutely loved TJP's half-painted face look. I hope they have a story with the Aswang slowly taking him over. It ain't very New Japan, but I think it would be cool.

Bishamon defeats Bullet Club (c), Tag Titles- ***

I like how New Japan quickly realised putting the titles on KENTA and Chase Owens was a bad idea, so quickly went back to the safe bet of putting them back on Bishamon. Good call, but man the IWGP tag scene is in bits right now. They need to establish more serious contenders.

SHO (c) defeats YOH, Jr Heavyweight Title- N/A

Unfortunate injury here. YOH suffers a shoulder injury within the first 2 minutes of the match and it is called off. Hopefully he recovers in good time.

Jon Moxley & Shota Umino defeat House of Torture- **3/4

News flash wrestling fans. You can like CM Punk, like Jack Perry and criticise Tony Khan all at once you know? Punk was right but Perry is a scapegoat for Tony Khan's failures as a boss. Perry is getting people talking about him, good and bad, which could be a good thing. I think eventually he does need to move on from taking shots at someone in a different company. Putting him in House of Torture is a terrible idea though, they absolutely suck. Surprisingly this match was rather disappointing. Interesting we saw almost no interactions between Moxley and Perry.

Shingo Takagi defeats EVIL (c), Openweight Title- **1/2

Logically impaired and overbooked to fuck, but I cannot deny it was a little bit of fine. It was fine, not as bad as most EVIL matches.

Tetsuya Naito (c) defeats Yota Tsuji, World Title- ****

Tsuji won the New Japan cup to face his fellow LiJ member. They went for a long epic feel for the match. It was nice to watch a match that isn't a ridiculous fast pace and focus more on psychology, selling and story. Something that can be criticised for this style of wrestling often. Tsuji is a future star, but the result was predictable since Naito vs Moxley was already announced for Windy City Riot.

Overall

A weak show really, only 2 matches on here I would recommend checking out but I don't think they save this from being mediocre. New Japan feels like they are on a constant downhill slope and they need to make some serious changes to prevent being in the position they were in the early 2000s. MOTN- Naito vs Tsuji.


Windy City Riot, April 12th 2024

The buy-in saw Matt Vandagriff defeat Zane Jay in a STRONG Survivor match. Also, Alex Windsor & Trish Adora defeated Mina Shirakawa & Viva Van.

Ren Narita defeats Minoru Suzuki- **1/2

Battle between former mentor and protégé. The same as every other Suzuki match.

Stephanie Vaquer (c) defeats AZM, STRONG Women's Title- ***1/2

Vaquer is also the current CMLL Women's & Women's Tag champion. I'll be paying more attention to her. This was an awesome 10 minute match.

TMDK wins a 4 Corner Tag, STRONG Tag Titles- **3/4

TMDK defeated reigning champions Guerrillas of Destiny, West Coast Wrecking Crew & Fred Rosser & Tom Lawlor. The best parts was when TMDK or WCWC were involved. Rosser & Lawlor shouldn't have been in here.

Shota Umino defeats Jack Perry- ***3/4

I know I just said Perry needs to eventually lay off the Punk hype, but man that was a pretty hype entrance in front of the Chicago crowd. He even got cheers for it. Again, proof you can like two opposing wrestlers. Perry has improved massively as a character and a wrestler since last summer. Perry's Punk obsession ended up costing him the match which is great storytelling, even if it is exactly what WWE are doing with Drew.

Mustafa Ali defeats Hiromu Takahashi- **3/4

Hiromu losing here made him look like an idiot. He spent far too much time playing around with a plushie and did not take Ali seriously. I think this is a case of two amazing wrestlers not having good chemistry, because this is considered disappointing.

Bullet Club defeat Eddie Kingston, Homicide & United Empire, Riot Rules- **1/4

Messy, disjointed, hard to follow and somehow even boring which is the last word you want to hear in a no DQ match. They probably should have just ran Kidd vs Kingston here instead.

Zack Sabre Jr defeats Matt Riddle (c), NJPW TV Title- ****

I could watch ZSJ wrestle all day. Unsure whether Riddle no sold the finish or not, but I definitely think you should be a bit less jovial after losing a championship.

Nic Nemeth defeats Tomohiro Ishii- ****

Nemeth is physically incapable of having a bad match.

Jon Moxley defeats Tetsuya Naito (c), IWGP World Title- ****1/4

Shock result, at least to me. We went 5 days without a member of the Shield holding a title. I predict he loses it at Forbidden Door. Great match, Moxley bleeds of course but this time he actually did at a time which elevated the match, not making the whole thing goofy. Naito is past his best but he can still go.

Overall

Pretty awesome show, 3 back to back bangers at the end and the undercard is mostly very good.


That was a lot, but I believe I am caught up now. I have a blog post covering my time in Philadelphia for Wrestlemania which will include my review too, that should be dropping sometime this week. The next PPVs I have on my list to watch is TNA Rebellion and AEW Dynasty. Keep an eye on my socials too, because I have a new project announcement coming very soon. I'll see you then!








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