Monday, April 25, 2016

Fave Fave 4/18/16-4/24/16

1) Samoa Joe: In a mostly slow week for wrestling, Samoa Joe really stole headlines. On NXT's weekly show, he defeated Apollo Crews via submission. If I'm right, he joined only Finn Balor and Baron Corbin as guys that have beaten Crews. That was good but not enough to top the week. Then, on a house show in Lowell, Massachusetts, Samoa Joe pulled off the unthinkable and finally dethroned Finn Balor for the NXT Championship. He ended Balor's record reign in a huge surprise as this was the first time a title changed hands at an NXT live event. Joe came up short at the two most recent TakeOvers against Balor but became the only man to hold the NXT, TNA and ROH Titles in history.

2) SANADA: Formerly of TNA fame, SANADA recently joined Los Ingobernables de Japon at Invasion Attack. He helped Tetsuya Naito become IWGP Heavyweight Champion. This week, he got to step back into the ring at the Road to Wrestling Dontaku shows. SANADA wears a mask to the ring and carries a baseball bat, giving him a pretty cool look. On the first Road to Wrestling Dontaku show, SANADA was the sole survivor in a special elimination match, making YOSHI-HASHI submit to win. Then, one night later, he and BUSHI defeated Kazuchika Okada and Gedo when SANADA made Gedo submit. I still don't think he'll beat Okada at Wrestling Dontaku, but this was a very successful week for SANADA.

3) Hiroshi Tanahashi, Michael Elgin and Yoshitatsu: Like I said, this wasn't a week full of big moments. One of the few title matches that comes to mind was the NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Titles being defended at a Road to Wrestling Dontaku show. The titles only debuted in January but have already changed hands a ton. The trio of Hiroshi Tanahashi, Michael Elgin and Yoshitatsu won them at Invasion Attack from the Elite. This week, they retained them against Bad Luck Fale, Yujiro Takahashi and IWGP Intercontinental Champion Kenny Omega. All three men also participated in a special elimination match the next night, though Omega won that after pinning Tatsu.

4) AJ Styles: The number one contender for the WWE World Heavyweight Title had another pretty strong week. On Raw, he didn't wrestle, but he was part of a high profile angle when his NJPW buddies Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows appeared and attacked his Payback opponent, Roman Reigns, after Styles and Reigns traded words on the microphone. Then on Smackdown, Styles defended himself on MizTV, saying he had nothing to do with the attack. He then defeated the Miz in a very good TV match on Smackdown, picking up yet another win. The stuff with his former Bullet Club buddies is certainly making for interesting television, while he continues to win matches.

5) Maria Kanellis: Is this just an excuse to give the lovely Maria Kanellis a rare appearance on my blog? Actually, it's not. While I don't follow much Impact these days, I do know that Maria won a ladder match to take control of the Knockouts Division. While it isn't winning the Knockouts Title, she basically gets to play the old Brooke Hogan role and book them in whatever matches she wants. She could even gift herself a Knockouts Title shot. From what I saw, she didn't do much in the match and spent time hanging around on the outside but the win is really all that matters sometimes.