Monday, November 7, 2016

Fave Five 10/31/16-11/6/16

1) EVIL: The most important show during the week was NJPW's Power Struggle. There were two title changes but the biggest one saw EVIL dethrone Katsuyori Shibata for the NEVER Openweight Championship. It came as a surprise to many. Shibata has had a stranglehold on the title in 2016 outside of the first three days of the year and a month and a half from early May until mid-June. Many thought that Shibata was going to carry the title into Wrestle Kingdom 11, which is what I would have done with it to be honest. Regardless, EVIl bested Shibata after using chairs and his STO to win the title for the first time. That was his second win over Shibata this year, beating him during the G1 Climax also. It marks the first title victory for EVIL. EVERYTHING IS EVIL!

2) KUSHIDA: For the past year and a half, KUSHIDA has easily been the ace and top guy of the juniors division. He is, hands down, the best performer among them and consistently puts on top notch matches. While Power Struggle didn't see one of his best outings, he still managed to defeat BUSHI and capture his fourth IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship. He also gained revenge since BUSHI put him on the shelf (kayfabe) a few weeks back. He was then challenged by the returning Hiromu Takahashi (formerly known as Kamaitachi), setting up a fresh challenger for him at the Tokyo Dome in a few months.

3) Bobby Fish: While the show is not yet available on demand, Bobby Fish did accomplish something impressive this week. He won Ring of Honor's annual Survival of the Fittest tournament. On night one, Fish defeated Kenny King to qualify for the main event of night two. There, he overcame Dalton Castle, Lio Rush, Punishment Martinez, Jax Dane and the Panther to win it all. Granted, I don't know much on the last three names but still. This event has been won by the likes of Chris Hero, Seth Rollins, Daniel Bryan, Roderick Strong and many others, so it is a pretty cool notch in Fish's belt.

4) Tetsuya Naito: The hottest thing NJPW remains Tetsuya Naito despite some of the booking flaws with him. With no Heavyweight Title match, no Kazuchika Okada singles match and a relative unknown in Japan against him, Naito at the top of the card still managed to sell out Power Struggle. Unfortunately, his match with Jay Lethal was very lackluster. I can't really blame Naito though. The guy has been on absolute fire all year long, having great matches nearly every time out. Lethal hasn't impressed in Japan, having several decent to good matches. This match went too long and had little heat. Naito retained and was challenged after the match by Hiroshi Tanahashi, setting up an Intercontinental Title match in the Tokyo Dome. It should go on last and main event the show. Naito deserves that.

5) Eddie Edwards: Eddie Edwards retained his TNA Championship against Lashley this week.