Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Lucha Underground 5/25/16 Review

The opening video shows how we have new Trios Champions in Rey Mysterio, Prince Puma and Dragon Azteca Jr. We also see Chavo Guerrero steal Cage's medallion and win the Gift of the Gods Title because of help from Cage.

We see Pentagon Jr trying to leave Vampiro, saying he's ready. Vampiro disagrees and Pentagon tells him to try and stop him. Vampiro doesn't want him to ever question him again. Pentagon slips free of him and has no fear. Vampiro tells him that he can go to the Temple, but he's not ready to face the monster yet.

Joey Ryan def. Mascarita Sagrada w/ Famous B and Brenda in 3:17
Famous B did Mascarita's ring intro again. Joey Ryan attacked during that because he's such a scumbag. Famous B hilariously offered his card to Ryan in the middle of the match, but Brenda slapped it away. Joey had some fun by acting like he wasn't strong enough to lift Mascarita and then flexing after hitting a body slam. Famous B also gave his card to the referee. Mascarita kicked Joey low, but his dick of steel allowed him to no sell it. Ryan got a dirty win. This was fine for what it was, as it was meant to be good comedy fun and it mostly was. **

Famous B helped Mascarita up after the match and gave him words of encouragement.

After a break, we see Taya looking in a mirror. She says that she doesn't see someone who needs improvements. She sees confidence and dominance when looking in the mirror. 

Now we see King Cuerno, complete with badass cowboy hat, talking about Mil Muertes sitting atop the Temple like eh ran the jungle. He has Mil trapped in a glass coffin as he says this, proclaiming to be the true king of the jungle. This dude is so badass that he has Mil Muertes as a goddamn trophy.

Gift of the Gods Championship: Cage def. Chavo Guerrero (c) in 7:56
Matt Striker tried putting Chavo over as one of the best pound for pound wrestlers in the world at one time, only for Vampiro to shit all over that theory. They played into the big man/little man dynamic, which was interesting considering the smaller guy is the heel. The crowd was into all of it and popped for the right things. Chavo picked up a few near falls that most people probably didn't expect. I know I didn't. Cage came close on a sick discus lariat but the veteran Chavo got his foot on the bottom rope. Chavo got off a sunset flip bomb from the top and got a near fall on a frog splash. He channeled Eddie and tried Three Amigos, but Cage stopped him and won with the screwdriver. That was much better than I expected and easily the best thing Chavo has ever done in Lucha Underground. ***

HOLY SHIT! Cage instantly announces that he is cashing in his Gift of the Gods Title shot against Matanza next week! MONSTER VS. MACHINE!

Still to come, Fenix, PJ Black and Jack Evans get a shot at the Trios Titles.

Backstage, Taya leads PJ Black and Jack Evans towards a surprise. She reveals it to be Fenix, knocked out. Evans is upset because they have a title match tonight. Johnny Mundo shows up and says that they have a new partner as he'll be replacing Fenix. They all play air guitar before leaving.

Joey Ryan is rummaging through Dario Cueto's office, looking for evidence since Dario and "his hot ninja" aren't there. Cortez Castro shows up and doesn't want him to do this but decides to help. They find a lot of money but Mr. Cisco shows up. He's pissed they didn't invite him to rob El Jefe and goes to snitch. Coretz stops him after Joey pulls a gun and has him freeze. Cortez arrests Cisco, who looks stunned and hurt.

Trios Championships: Jack Evans, Johnny Mundo and PJ Black w/ Taya def. Dragon Azteca Jr., Prince Puma and Rey Mysterio Jr. (c) in 11:29
Like pretty much all Trios Title matches, this was a fair amount of fun. The dynamic between the champions, Azteca, Mysterio and Puma, is always great, but this was more about the challengers. They play the dick heels so well and did so here better than ever. I don't know if I've ever seen as many low blows as we saw here. Evans and Black hit as many as possible, but Puma kicked out and gave hope that things were going to turn around. Taya also got involved and used a steel chair to help the titles change hands. This was good fun, but may have had a bit too much of extra shenanigans for me. ***1/2.

Overall: 6.5/10. I don't think there's been a bad episode this season. This one wasn't among the best, but still proved to be fun. We got two title changes in two solid matches and even teh short opener was entertaining. There was forward movement on the Cortez/Ryan angle and a great King Cuerno segment.

If you do want to check out Lucha Underground, which you absolutely should, and don't get El Rey Network (like me), you can sign up for the streaming service Fubo.TV. It's a great way to support the company and channel while streaming the show online. You can sign up and get Lucha Underground right here with!

NJPW Best of the Super Juniors Night Four Review

NJPW Best of the Super Juniors Night Four
May 24th, 2016 | Yonezawa Municipal Gymnasium in Yonezawa, Yamagata, Japan

Another single camera night where only the tournament matches are posted on NJPW World. At least two of the matches set, the final two, really intrigue me and this has potential to be an improvement on the first B Block showing on night two. This was also a smaller show than most as, from what I read, there were less than 1,000 in attendance.

B Block: Volador Jr. [2] def. Tiger Mask IV [0] in 9:47
Back on night two, both guys suffered losses. Volador to Beretta and Tiger Mask to Ricochet. They got off to a rather quick start here, with both men showing off their athleticism before Tiger Mask took Volador down to the mat. Volador nailed a nice front flip to the outside, being the first to go high risk. This was before removing his mask and following with an Asai moonsault. Once it returned to the ring, they had some more back and forth. Tiger Mask got in a submission but Volador made it to the ropes. Volador then got on a roll, hitting a superkick, backstabber and then winning with his Depredador Estrada submission. Entertaining start to the show as both guys worked hard and worked a crisp match. Better than the night two opener. ***

B Block: Jushin Thunder Liger [4] def. Chase Owens [2] in 7:12
This time around, Chase Owens showed up with Yujiro Takahashi, ensuring that we see the two least important Bullet Club members at the same time. Owens pulled off the upset by besting Will Ospreay on night two, while Liger beat Bobby Fish. I love Liger’s theme by the way. Liger was all about stretching Owens, almost instantly putting him in the surfboard. Owens had a small advantage in the power department it seemed and was sure to taunt and flex for the crowd. Liger tripped him up for his troubles and looked to teach him a lesson. There was a great countout tease where Takahashi held Liger’s legs but he beat the count at 19. Owens used underhanded tactics and interference to gain control. Liger blocked a package piledriver and won with a crucifix pin. After the match, Owens hit the package piledriver and Liger was stretchered out. It looked to be an angle. I thought the match was fine and glad we got some old school heeling from Owens. **¾

B Block: Ricochet [4] def. ROH World Television Champion Bobby Fish [0] in 12:30
On night two, Ricochet defeated Tiger Mask IV, while Bobby Fish fell to Liger. This is the match I was most looking forward to on the first two B Block shows. The crowd was firmly behind Ricochet and he gave them what they wanted with a sweet moonsault to the outside early. Ricochet’s offense is so fluid and innovative that Bobby was overwhelmed by it at times. As the match progressed, we got some impressive looks strikes from both guys, but especially Ricochet. Fish recently went toe to toe with Tomohiro Ishii, so it was more of a surprise to see this style from Ricochet. Fish hit the falcon arrow for two and transitioned right into a heel hook. Ricochet escaped and, after a vicious knee strike, won with the Benadryller. About as solid a match as you can find as there were no dead spots, lots of good work and it was really enjoyable. I do wish Fish targeted the leg more, since that makes perfect sense against someone like Ricochet. While it was very good, it never quite crossed into great territory. ***½

B Block: Beretta [4] def. Will Ospreay [0] in 11:55
For your recap, Beretta won against Volador on night two, while Ospreay was upset by Chase Owens. Both guys are members of the Chaos stable. There were some friendly moments early on where they one upped one another and patted each other on the head after. It felt like they were really hammering home the fact that Beretta was the more experienced competitor as he seemed to have an answer for everything young Ospreay tried. Beretta was better in that role than I expected, doing little things to capitalize on every opening. It felt like Ospreay got a bit too cocky at times and it would always cost him. After some great back and forth, he fell to the Dudebuster. They shook hands after the bell since they are stablemates after all. I thought that these guys showed really good chemistry and had the best match since KUSHIDA/O’Reilly on night one. Hopefully, Ospreay starts picking up wins now. ***¾

Overall: 7/10. Another night of action and another solid outing from all eight performers. I found this to be better than the first B Block show two nights earlier. Owens/Liger was decent, Volador and Tiger Mask had a good showing and Ricochet vs. Bobby Fish was really good, albeit a slight disappointment. Beretta and Ospreay is the one to watch on this card though.

Kyle O'Reilly4 (2-0)Berreta4 (2-0)
Rocky Romero4 (2-0)Jushin Thunder Liger4 (2-0)
Ryusuke Taguchi4 (2-0)Ricochet4 (2-0)
Gedo2 (1-1)Chase Owens2 (1-1)
Matt Sydal2 (1-1)Volador Jr.2 (1-1)
KUSHIDA0 (0-2)Will Ospreay0 (0-2)
BUSHI0 (0-2)Bobby Fish0 (0-2)
David Finlay Jr0 (0-2)Tiger Mask IV0 (0-2)