Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Lucha Underground "All Night Long...Again" Review

Yes! Lucha Underground is back! I've waited months for this. Having it on Netflix has been a nice way to kill this time, but not enough. 

There's just one match on tap for the return and it's going to take all night long!

Lucha Underground Championship All Night Long Match: Johnny Mundo (c) vs. The Mack
There's only been one previous All Night Long match. In season one, Prince Puma successfully defended the Lucha Underground Title against Johnny Mundo in one of the best matches in LU history (****1/4). It's an Anything Goes Ironman match that takes up the duration of an episode. Mundo used his speed advantage early, looking to tire out Mack. He did talk smack about the Mack not being built for a match like that. Mundo took the early 1-0 lead with the End of the World in under five minutes. Following a commercial break, the cocky Mundo went up 2-0 by using the ropes for leverage on a pin. Mack took that time to turn things up. His flurry of offense led to a sitout powerbomb that got him on the board, but he remained down 2-1. The next segment saw them trade stuff until Mundo nailed a corkscrew dive outside. He grabbed his leg and called the official over. Mack looked to take advantage, but Mundo needed to be checked on. It was all a ruse though, as Mundo was faking and used a low blow and DDT to take a 3-1 lead. THAT BASTARD! One of the better spots came when Mack tied Mundo the stretcher and slid him down the Temple stairs. Mack followed with a stunner and cut the lead to 3-2. Mundo tried running, just like he did against Puma in season one. PJ Black appeared to help his buddy Mundo. Things looked bleak for the Mack until Son of Havoc evened the odds. Mack was still out though, so Havoc knocked on Dario's office and was handed beers, which brought Mack back to life. The place erupted. Mundo and Black turned it around and Mundo made the band play a "victory song' for him. As he bragged, a member of the band jumped off the stage with a cross body. She revealed herself to be Sexy Star! Fueled, Mack tied it after a piledriver through a table. Things got hectic as the clocked near the end. The final three or so minutes were great. Mundo's top fan (Ricky Mandel) came out but was taken out by Sexy and Havoc. Mack hit a frog splash off a ladder and through a table but time expired before he could cover around 37:25. The match itself was great. Not on the level of Mundo/Puma, but it told a great story and the final stretch ruled. However, I didn't like the idea of a draw. There shouldn't be a time limit that ends minutes before the show because it's supposed to be all night long. Still, this was a ton of fun despite the finish. [***3/4]

Dario Cueto appeared, saying there are no ties in his Temple. Next week, they'll restart under sudden death rules.

Overall: 7.5/10. A really fun way for Lucha Underground to return. The match brought several existing storylines together in one entertaining match. I've said it before, but Lucha Underground does one match shows better than anyone. Somehow, this match, at ***3/4, is probably the worst of the bunch. I wasn't a fan of the finish and, though I don't like continuing things until next week, it gives people a reason to tune in.

Want to watch Lucha Underground, Raw and Smackdown and don't have cable? Try signing up for Stream USA, El Rey, NBA TV, SyFy and many other channels by getting right here!

NJPW Best of the Super Juniors XXIV Night Ten Review

NJPW Best of the Super Juniors XXIV Night Ten
May 28th, 2017 | New Sunpia Takasaki in Takasaki, Gumma, Japan | Attendance: 1,375

As this tournament winds down, things have taken shape. We know Taichi will have bad matches (except one), we know Hiromu will wow, we know Liger will lose and we know Marty will be over. Anyway, on this night, we have one of my most anticipated matches of the entire tournament as Hiromu Takahashi takes on Marty Scurll.

A Block: Ricochet [6] vs. TAKA Michinoku [2]
TAKA Michinoku has been a surprising treat in most matches, while Ricochet has been the performer you’d expect. Ricochet came in prepared for some of TAKA’s antics. He avoided getting the rope kicked into his nuts, but still got taken down into the crossface. TAKA in control was solid and a lot of his stuff came off smoothly. Ricochet made a comeback, which the crowd ate up. He survived another crossface and avoided the Michinoku Driver, before winning with the Benadryller in 7:41. Another good match from the A Block. It didn’t overstay its welcome, featured crisp work and had a hot crowd.[***]

A Block: Dragon Lee [6] vs. Jushin Thunder Liger [0]
I’d call this another of my most anticipated matches. Liger’s winless but still super over, as always. He had a game plan to ground Lee, but that quickly went awry and Lee nailed a nice tope con hilo. That led to one of the best countout teases of the tournament. That’s all Liger needs, right? A countout loss on top of everything. Liger got his signature stuff in, like Shotei, the cannonball and the Liger Bomb, but Lee was resilient. The legend made a crucial mistake by taking Lee to the top. Lee fought him off and hit the tree of Joey Lawrence double stomp. He added a diving double stomp to seal the deal in 7:54. Two of the most consistent guys in the block delivered again. It was a sprint full of action that made sense. I also dug Lee using double the finishers because Liger is awesome. [***¼]

A Block: Taichi [6] vs. Will Ospreay [8]
It’s two of my least favorite wrestlers in the block. Though one is clearly better than the other. Guess how this started? Taichi jumped Ospreay and there was some ringside brawling. There really is no originality here. Ospreay brought his brand of flippy offense. Like Ricochet and Dragon Lee before him, he desperately tried bringing some form of excitement to this match. Alas, unless your name is Hiromu Takahashi, you’re not getting something watchable out of Taichi. The typical ref bump came, which allowed Desperado and Kanemaru to get cheap shots in. Taichi then won after a mic stand shot and powerbomb at 10:08. I’ve never seen someone so consistently shitty. Taichi is the worst. I’m not big on Ospreay, but he put in some effort, unlike Taichi. Too much nonsense in this one. Also, where was CHAOS? Why does nobody try to combat the Suzuki-Gun shit? [½*]

A Block: IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion Hiromu Takahashi [6] vs. Marty Scurll [6]
These two had a match I gave ***½ in RevPro recently. Marty went after the arm, trying to set up the Chicken Wing down the line. He also had Hiromu well scouted and blocked the sunset flip bomb. Hiromu did a good job selling the arm work. It wasn’t the best sell job I’ve seen, but it did the trick and he still got to hit his key stuff. What made this match work was more than just the things done in the ring. It’s the charisma of both men, which added to things. I like that Hiromu has had to fight from behind in some of these matches, because it gives us something different from his title defenses. Scurll kicked out of a modified Time Bomb near the end, which I didn’t like. He applied the Chicken Wing, but Hiromu managed to counter into Time Bomb for the win at 13:07. I liked all this. Good selling, great back and forth, fun action, an invested crowd and a sense of urgency because they knew that the loser would basically be done. [***¾]

With that loss, Marty Scurll joined Jushin Thunder Liger and TAKA Michinoku as the eliminated folks. Everyone else has eight points. Here’s how the final night of A Block action breaks down. Ricochet needs to win and have Ospreay lose. Ospreay needs to win and have Taichi lose. Taichi needs a win and losses by Ricochet and Hiromu. Hiromu must win, while Ricochet and Lee lose. Lee must win with Ospreay and Taichi losing.

Overall: 7/10. Pretty much the standard for A Block. Three good matches and one shitty Taichi appearance. Liger’s final run has been a blast, despite his record. Ricochet/TAKA was fun and the main event delivered. The booking has set up for an intriguing final A Block show, which is good.

A BlockPointsB BlockPoints
Ricochet8 (4-2)El Desperado6 (3-2)
Will Ospreay8 (4-2)Yoshinobu Kanemaru6 (3-2)
Dragon Lee8 (4-2)ACH6 (3-2)
Hiromu Takahashi8 (4-2)Ryusuke Taguchi6 (3-2)
Taichi8 (4-2)Tiger Mask IV4 (2-3)
Marty Scurll6 (3-3)KUSHIDA4 (2-3)
TAKA Michinoku2 (1-5)BUSHI4 (2-3)
Jushin Thunder Liger0 (0-6)Volador Jr.4 (2-3)