Monday, September 28, 2015

Fave Five 9/21/15-9/27/15

1) Shinsuke Nakamura: The biggest news coming out of the two Destruction shows this week was that Shinsuke Nakamura is once against the IWGP Intercontinental Champion. He's become synonymous with that belt and is the main reason that it has been elevated to the level that it has. Earlier this year, he lost it to Hirooki Goto before also losing the rematch at Dominion in July. During the G1 Climax however, he defeated Goto, earning him another shot. Nakamura was able to hit a big time Boma Ye and entered his fifth reign with the belt. You have to figure that he will carry it into WK10 and co-headline alongside the Tanahashi/Okada main event against a big name. I'm hoping for Styles/Nakamura in the Tokyo Dome.

2) reDRagon: I firmly believe that the best tag team in professional wrestling is none other than reDRagon. reDRagon went 2-0 during the NJPW Destruction shows. On Destruction in Okayama, they defeated Mascara Dorada and Jushin Thunder Liger in what was a bit of a warmup match. It was a decent match but was just setting them up for the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Title defense in Kobe. They faced the Time Splitters. I went in expecting the Time Splitters to win considering KUSHIDA had just dropped the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title in Okayama, but reDRagon retained in a really fun match. It wasn't on the level of their best work (Power Struggle last year), but it was still good and capped a strong week for Kyle O'Reilly and Bobby Fish in Japan.

3) Togi Makabe: The first Destruction show this week was the one in Okayama. The main event of the show was for the NEVER Openweight Championship, held by Togi Makabe. I badly wanted Kota Ibushi to win the title here but it was not to be. Despite this, they delivered a strong main event and showed that they deserved a headlining spot. The match was hard hitting and damn good, with Makabe having to alter his finisher slightly to win since Kota had him well scouted. I've gone on record in saying that I'm not the biggest fan of Togi. Maybe it's because I'm only just now brancing out and watching his past stuff, but in 2015, I haven't been wowed. This was my favorite match I've ever seen of his. Makabe's team may have lost at Destruction in Kobe, but his main event win was enough to crack the top three.

                              4) Ethan Carter III: The one thing about TNA or Impact Wrestling that I still really love is Ethan Carter III. He has been the single best thing about the company in 2015 and even further back than that. This week, he defeated Rokstar Spud to retain the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. These two had a classic earlier this year in a Hair vs. Hair match, in a star making match for Rockstar, only for TNA to fumble that opportunity. Their rematch this week wasn't on that level, but was still a solid match. EC3 has been having one of the best years in all of wrestling but it often goes overlooked, by myself included, because of the company he works for.

5) Matt Sydal: This may come as a surprising pick for number five this week. With Kenny Omega winning the Jr. Heavyweight Title, Hiroshi Tanahashi picking up a big win over Bad Luck Fale, the Bullet Club retaining their belts and a big win for Tetsuya Naito all this week, this was a tough choice. In the end, I went with Matt Sydal. Sydal made his New Japan debut at the Destruction shows. First, in Okayama, he teamed with Tanahashi in a fun win over Fale and Tama Tonga. That in itself is a pretty nice rub for your debut. He was featured in the Jr. Heavyweight Title match later on and challenged by Kenny Omega to be the next challenger. Then, in Kobe, Sydal pinned Omega in a six man tag and is next in line to challenge for the belt.