Monday, May 9, 2016

Fave Five 5/2/16-5/8/16

1) Tetsuya Naito: Tetsuya Naito continues to be the best thing going in pro wrestling right now. At NJPW's Wrestling Dontaku event on May 3rd, Naito headlined against Tomohiro Ishii. Ishii and Naito always have fantastic chemistry and it showed here again. They had one of the better matches so far in 2016. We got some Chaos and Los Ingobernables de Japon interference but it eventually came down to just the two of them and it was excellent. Tons of close calls and great work from both men. Naito struck with Destino and retained his title in his best match this year. Then, to add onto an already great week, Naito went out and defeated Kyle O'Reilly at ROH's Global Wars PPV. While that wasn't anywhere near as great, it was still good and a solid win for Naito.

2) Sexy Star: Other than Ishii vs. Naito, my favorite match this week was Lucha Underground's No Mas match. It was Lucha Underground's equivalent to an "I Quit" match and it pit Sexy Star against Mariposa. Sexy was kidnapped by Marty Martinez at the end of season one and tormented by him and his sister, Mariposa. Looking for revenge, Sexy was given this match by Dario Cueto. These two women went out and had a war. Not only was it big because two women were given the opportunity to main event, but they had the kind of match you don't see women have often. Sexy Star bled, Mariposa did some sick stuff and it all worked very well. I had a few minor grips with the match (the slow start and the finish itself) but it was damn great. Sexy Star made Mariposa say "no mas" to an armbar and got her biggest Lucha Underground win.

3) Bobby Fish: ROH's Global Wars Pay-Per-View was going pretty well until the final two matches and the actual ending to the show has caused me to take a break from following them as a company. One of the things they did right before all of that fuckery was the Television Title match. Bobby Fish and Tomohiro Ishii are two guys that I really like and their match was damn good. Fish was able to do what his rival Roderick Strong couldn't and that was beat Ishii. They billed it as a possible last chance at singles glory for the 39 year old and Fish prevailed. They had to get the belt off of Ishii since he's away so often and Fish is a great choice to take over.

            4) Yuji Nagata: At NJPW's Wrestling Dontaku, one of the best matches was for the NEVER Openweight Title. Katsuyori Shibata entered as champion in the midst of his "fuck the old guys" tour. He had beaten NJPW vets Hiroyoshi Tenzan and Satoshi Kojima in the past few months before setting up a clash with Yuji Nagata. Nagata beat Shibata in an awesome match in the G1 two years earlier. This wasn't quite on that level, but still ruled. Nagata pulled off what many, including myself, considered to be an upset and captured the title. A lot of us saw Shibata retaining. Nagata won and is already set up for a rematch at Dominion next month. This was the biggest win in years for Yuji.

5) War Machine: The best thing about ROH's Global Wars Pay-Per-View was the Tag Team Title match. War Machine entered as the reigning champions against ROH's greatest tag team ever, the Briscoes. Dem Boyz were looking for their record ninth reign and War Machine had never beaten them. The two teams waged war for about fifteen minutes and it was glorious. There were a few times that I thought the Briscoes would win it but War Machine was resilient and survived, including kicking out of a Jay Driller. They finally managed to get the monkey off of their back and beat the Briscoes when they pinned Mark following their finisher.