Monday, October 17, 2016

Fave Five 10/10/16-10/16/16

1) Kazuchika Okada: I'm in no way a fan of the guy, but Kazuchika Okada deserves the top spot this week. The first show of the week was NJPW's King of Pro Wrestling, which has had some fantastic Heavyweight Title matches throughout its history. While Okada's defense this week wasn't on par with the incredible 2012 and 2013 main events, it was the third best. He and Naomichi Marufuji told a great story and put on my second favorite IWGP Heavyweight Title match this year (only behind Naito/Ishii). Okada has been one step behind Marufuji since losing to him back on the first night of the G1 Climax. Okada was able to finally get one over on Marufuji and defeated him to retain the title.

2) Katsuyori Shibata: Okada vs. Marufuji was arguably the match of the week but one is neck and neck with it.  That would be the NEVER Openweight Title match between Katsuyori Shibata and Kyle O'Reilly. O'Reilly recently moved up to the heavyweight division and this was his first real test there. O'Reilly bested Shibata at ROH's Field of Honor event (the match aired on ROH TV this past week) and was also trying to get some revenge for his partner, Bobby Fish, who lost to Shibata last month. O'Reilly and Shibata had just the kind of match I was hoping for. They played to their strengths and in the end, Shibata was able to retain the title. Outside of a month and a half, he's had a hold on the NEVER Title throughout all of 2016.

3) Chris Hero: Unfortunately, I wasn't able to see any of the shows yet, but Evolve 70 and 71 were this week. Chris Hero has arguably been the MVP of Evolve in 2016 and it seemed to continue here. At Evolve 70, Hero defeated Drew Gulak in a match that has gotten some pretty high praise. On Evolve 71 though, Hero was part of the main event and bested Evolve's hottest star, Matt Riddle, in a match that got even more positive things said about it. Any way you look at it, Chris Hero is not just one of the best performers of 2016, he's one of the best on the planet.

4) Pentagon Dark: Lucha Underground season three has been fun, but has gotten off to a slow, rocky start. One of the things that I haven't liked is that a certain Pentagon Jr. has seemed to be a bit lost so far. They don't really seem to have much planned for him right now. However, he took a big step forward this week. In a triple threat match against Rey Mysterio Jr. and Chavo Guerrero Jr., Pentagon Dark came out on top. Not only that, but he pinned Mysterio to avenge a loss from the season premiere. it made Pentagon only the second man in Lucha Underground to pin Mysterio, joining the champion, Matanza Cueto.