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Notes In Observance – NJPW English 2/11/17: Manifest Destino

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

 

“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post. 

 

 

 

 

 

(Aired 2/11/17) 

Manifest Destino 

– The Taka Michinoku-Henare match started things off with a proverbial bang. Michinoku had a variated version of his old WWE entrance music. As commentary sifted through the card, we could tell it could be no less than great. This one was your typical “Young Lion Battles Established Veteran” story, but Henare had all to gain and none to lose. Early mat-based grappling dictated the action as Taka was also under the weather. It was definitely physical, but maybe that’s why it was a bit short. Taka maneuvered a transition to get the pinfall. An anticlimactic finish, but it was what it was with these two. We like the story of Henare showing some frustration after the bell. Gives him some depth.

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Notes In Observance – NJPW English 2/7/17: Gunning For Osaka

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

 

“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.

 

 

 

 

 

(Aired 2/7/17) 

The Breakdown 

– As if you didn’t already know, 2017 was off to a blazing start in New Japan Pro-Wrestling, as IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada outlasted Kenny Omega in that “Six-Star Classic” at Wrestle Kingdom 11 and successfully defended against Minoru Suzuki at the New Beginning In Sapporo. With all the ingredients set and one more show until The New Beginning In Osaka on Feb. 11, we had to hunker down and get through some filler and entertainment mostly by way of fancy tag team matches. The opening video was flashy (and Japanese!) but was right to the point about recent events.

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Notes In Observance – NJPW English 2/5/17: The Paintaker

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

 

“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts on television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.

 

 

 

 

 

(Aired 2/5/17)

The Paintaker

– It’s 2017 and New Japan Pro-Wrestling’s all the rage these days, so we figured why not put them in the same review family? Granted, we can only cover the English commentary shows, but by the looks of 2017, there’s quite a few shows already. Where we last left off, we saw the sudden onset of the Suzuki-gun faction, with a fierce return not seen since the days of Nexus. A moment of silence please for that ill-fated group. For an exclamation point, they laid out IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada, as the group’s leader, Minoru Suzuki, laid claim that every Title would soon be theirs. How nice. Now, no matter what they say in it, it’ll still be incredibly difficult to understand the video packages per se, but damn, their production skills are sleek AF and a little extra on the side. So flashy and easy to follow. Everything looks damn near epic. Plus, that voiceover guy? Forget about it. We’re hooked. Also liked the onscreen broadcast presentation graphics of all the matches for this show laid out, as it felt quite sports-like. To the first contest – Kushida/Hirai Kawato against El Desperado/Yoshinobu Kanemaru. Obviously, Kushida will stand out off the bat here, but this was a story all about Suzuki-gun’s return momentum and the Chaos representatives with a goal to shut that down immediately. Also oddly enough, Don Callis fits right in with Kevin Kelly on commentary, though he’s got a big chair in Steve Corino’s absence to fill. A lot of attention was paid to Kushida getting in Kanemaru’s face, conveying that it was purely about Championship gold. The heels began aggressively, with Kawato selling like a Champion, undergoing such punishment. They pulled out this cool spot where Kushida German suplexed one opponent while he held the other in a bridge. They certainly established Kawato’s fighting spirit well here. ED’s single-leg half crab was thwarted when he got to the ropes. Close near-falls towards the end on both sides. All you could ask for here. In the end, ED pinned Kawato with a move similar to a spinning blue thunder bomb. Good for an opener and to continue Suzuki-gun’s momentum. Post-match, they attacked the winners outside. Well, damn. 

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ROH Final Battle 2016 Reaction

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

 

Ring Of Honor’s Final Battle signifies both the end and new beginnings.

While we initially saw this as counterproductive to host an annual “payoff”-themed Pay-Per-View typically saved for December’s last week on the month’s second day, you couldn’t knock this card.

It’s funny, since ROH didn’t hammer home the hype until the final two weeks of television, but alas, it came together enough for the in-ring action and events to bring it full circle.

We had Jushin “Thunder” Liger, Cody, hell, even Broken Matt Hardy made a cameo appearance.

A fitting main event too, as we’d see Kyle O’Reilly get his last shot (seemingly) against ROH World Champion Adam Cole.

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Notes In Observance – ROH Wrestling 11/9/16: All Hail The New Kingdom

Image provided courtesy of Ring Of Honor.

Image provided courtesy of Ring Of Honor.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

 

“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows, Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.

 

 

 

 

 

(Aired 11/9/16)

All Hail The New Kingdom 

– The Toru Yano-“Unbreakable” Michael Elgin match was odd to say the least. Between Yano’s comedic cheap tactics and Elgin’s serious demeanor, something didn’t gel here. There was a subtle backstory that Elgin looked to get revenge on a countout loss against Yano in the G1 Climax Tournament that cost him two points, but this bout was more about hijinks, turnbuckle pad headshots and general silliness for us to care. It also seemed weird for Referee Todd Sinclair to simply let it go on and not even reprimand Elgin or Yano for their actions. Some decent near-falls towards the end, but even those were anticlimactic. Elgin’s win with use of the exposed steel, lariat and Elgin Bomb was fine for his “revenge” angle, but forgettable. A time killer if there ever was one.

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ROH All Star Extravaganza VIII Reaction

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

 

As the days wind down to Ring Of Honor’s biggest show of the year, Final Battle, at the Hammerstein Ballroom on Dec. 2, we could see pieces begin to take shape.

ROH World Champion Adam Cole was on a tear.

While he had foes like Jay Lethal and Kyle O’Reilly on his tail, he seemed destined to go to war with the two of them eventually.

On a show remembered best for some great headline matches, the first thought that’ll come about is the Ladder VI main event that was for the ROH World Tag Team Championships between Champions The Addiction, The Young Bucks and The Motor City Machine Guns.

Lowell, Massachussets was in for a treat.

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