Monday, May 2, 2016

Fave Five 4/25/16-5/1/16

1) Dragon Azteca Jr., Prince Puma and Rey Mysterio Jr.: This week, the finals of the Trios Tournament took place. Four teams competed for the titles, including the champions Ivelisse and Son of Havoc (Angelico was injured so they went alone). The trio of Dragon Azteca Jr., Prince Puma and Rey Mysterio Jr. won a blast of a main event to win the titles and become the third set of champions in Lucha Underground history. Puma, Mysterio and Azteca are pretty much a dream team in Lucha Underground thanks to Azteca and Puma's aztec histories, as well as Mysterio being pretty much the Godfather of Lucha in the US. The other teams involved were the Crew and Joey Ryan, and the combination of Fenix, PJ Black and Jack Evans.

2) Roman Reigns: It was quite the busy week for the WWE World Heavyweight Champion, Roman Reigns. He main evented all three major WWE shows this week. On Raw, he bested Alberto Del Rio in a decent match before moving onto Smackdown, where he defeated the WWE Intercontinental Champion the Miz. All of this while dealing with the arrival of Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson, who targeted him on several occasions. Then, at Payback, he headlined with AJ Styles in a very strong match that got bogged down by classic overbooking. Styles technically beat Reigns by both countout and disqualifications before overcoming all of the odds, including Gallows and Anderson, who retain his title after a Spear. It was probably the or fourth best singles match I've ever seen Reigns have.

3) Kenny Omega: Usually, New Japan's "Road to" shows are just used to build up the upcoming major events and tend to feature lots of multi-man tag matches. While that was still the case here, an earthquake cancelled the Wrestling Hinokui show and forced some important matches to be moved to this week's "Road to" event on April 27th. The main event saw Kenny Omega make his first defense of the IWGP Intercontinental Title against Michael Elgin. Their match featured some hardcore elements that you don't often see in NJPW and it as a welcome change. Omega was able to defeat Elgin in a great match before being challenged by Hiroshi Tanahashi. Omega attacked and stood over him on a ladder before saying that he doesn't feel like facing Tanahashi again. It was a great showing for a guy that has really grown on me in 2016.

4) Michael Bennett: I still disagree with their decision to join TNA, but Mike Bennett & Maria have done well. Maria recently took control of the Knockouts division, making this list even. Bennett has been booked as a big deal and this week, picked up his biggest win ever. He defeated Ethan Carter III at TNA's Sacrifice show. Not only was it major to defeat a former TNA Champion, but he became the first person to pin Carter in TNA history. Mind you, Carter has been with the company for over two years, so this was a massive pinfall victory. I suspect the plan is to build to Bennett/Galloway for the TNA Title, which isn't the worst way to go. Expect to see Bennett on this list a bit more before the year ends.

5) AJ Styles: This week, AJ Styles took part in the highest profile match of his WWE career so far. Well first, he bested Sheamus on Raw in a pretty solid first time ever match. The bigger news obviously was that Styles, just three or so months into his run, main evented against Roman Reigns for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. While Styles ultimately lost, he did technically defeat Reigns via countout and disqualification before the match was restarted twice. Styles put on one hell of a performance and it was his best PPV match since coming to the WWE. Styles was also already granted a rematch at Extreme Rules in three weeks.