Blog Archives

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.

Read the rest of this entry

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. 

Read the rest of this entry

PWO Exclusive: “Wind Of Destruction” Makaze Interview Pt. II

Photo courtesy of Dynamo Pro Wrestling.

*A Pro Wrestling Opinion Exclusive*

 

Check out Part II of our interview with Dynamo Pro Wrestling’s “Wind Of Destruction” Makaze, as the 18-year veteran discusses his scariest moment out of the ring, stories on the road, his moniker significance, influences, what he’d like to see happen in mainstream/local wrestling and more!

 

 

 

 

Listen Below: 

Notes In Observance – ROH Wrestling 1/18/17: Rebellious Mediocrity (Of Excellence)

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 1/18/17)

Rebellious Mediocrity (Of Excellence) 

– The Six-Man Tag between The Rebellion and Donovan Dijak/Jay White/Lio Rush was a clever followup to a previous angle where Dijak/White saved Rush when he upset Caprice Coleman in one-on-one action. Rush/White continue to impress with their athleticism. Dijak’s finally in a position where he’s free to do more in the ring as a babyface, not tied down to that senseless association with Prince Nana. Dijak easily tossed Coleman out of the ring, while it was noted that Rush wore kinesio tape to sell the left shoulder injury. Fast action on both ends as Rush avoided Rebellion’s onslaught to get a tag in to White. Rush delivered missile-like suicide dives on opposite ends of the ring. The babyface trio then did simultaneous dives to the outside on each side of the ring. Decent finish as we saw Rush hit a frog splash off Dijak’s shoulders (he’s tall so it works) followed by Dijak’s moonsault to pin Coleman. The post-match angle was more of the same, as Rebellion beat down White and teased the same to Coleman before they set him down gently (another tease for him to be recruited) before The Motor City Machine Guns came down to patrol.

Read the rest of this entry

Notes In Observance – NJPW English 1/5/17: New Year’s Dash 2017

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

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 1/5/17)

New Year’s Dash 2017 

– The Six-Man Tag between Kyle O’Reilly/Ricochet/David Finlay and Jushin “Thunder” Liger/Tiger Mask/Henare set New Japan Pro-Wrestling’s version of “Raw After Mania” off to a hot start. The commentary team of Kevin Kelly/Steve Corino superbly painted storyline pictures to mix with the action. Here, they relied upon the fact that O’Reilly/Ricochet/Finlay were all losers at Wrestle Kingdom 11 (which included six Title changes, mind you) and looked to bounce back. Given the caliber of talent involved, it was expected that the action would be quick. Ricochet and Liger had a cool exchange, even if Ricochet slipped up in the corner. Commentary hyped up Henare and put him over as a young lion that had the privilege to train with two legends like Liger/TM. In many ways, that’d build someone’s career and it was smart of them to point that out. Liger’s tilt-a-whirl backbreaker on O’Reilly looked downright cruel. Another fun spot was where Henare had the Boston Crab locked in on Finlay and didn’t let go, even when subjected to Ricochet’s fierce kicks. The highlight of everything was the triple submission spot, as it wasn’t long before Finlay secured the pin for his team. All in all, it set out what it meant to – let O’Reilly/Ricochet/Finlay get back on track and Henare’s in-ring abilities were a focus. The post-match sportsmanship was nice, even with the added detail that cameras followed Finlay as he went to embrace his mom up in the crowd. Awwww. 

Read the rest of this entry

Wrestle Kingdom 11 Reaction

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

 

Jan. 4, professional wrestling and the Tokyo Dome have been a longtime polyamorous relationship, to the point where it has become tradition.

After last year’s Wrestle Kingdom 10 when Shinsuke Nakamura and WWE World Heavyweight Champion AJ Styles stole the show, New Japan Pro Wrestling began to make a global buzz.

With the likes of Bullet Club, Chaos and Los Ingobernables de Japon (LIJ) all in a power struggle, many Titles were up for grabs.

WK has become a haven for big moments and unlikely chances for Champions to retain their belts.

Wrestle Kingdom 11 would be right up there with the greats for a main event that actually dragged “Six Stars” out of one Dave Meltzer.

How did the show fare by our standards? Find out below.

Read the rest of this entry

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.

Read the rest of this entry

ROH Global Wars 2016 Reaction

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

 

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Ring Of Honor doesn’t hide that New Japan Pro Wrestling has their fingerprints all over their television shows and as you see here, their Pay-Per-View events.

Their 14th Anniversary Show featured notable NJPW talent like Kazuchika Okada and Hiroshi Tanahashi as a selling point and that’s all fine and good.

It’s just the fact that it might be misleading to build this PPV as “Global Wars” when there were no true stakes. Besides featuring more NJPW guys on an ROH show, there was nothing extraordinary about this.

In fact, the best things to come from this show were just ROH storylines and talent on their own. You’ll see our thoughts on everything and that oh-so-illustrious ending below, but don’t get your hopes high.

Read the rest of this entry

Don’t Assume Life’s A “Breeze”

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

By Anthony Zevoteck

 

 

If beauty’s truly in the eye of the beholder, my eyes see much beauty in young Tyler Breeze’s career, even though said beauty can be destroyed by misinterpretation of those in charge.

In 2010, when WWE signed the 22 year-old Canadian superstar trained by Lance Storm, I assumed they didn’t see anything special seeing how there were several different ring name changes.

After vast soul searching, Tyler Breeze was born and WWE fans were introduced to a character that’d teach us the true power of a selfie stick.

While taking countless pictures along the way, Breeze showed us that he had a special set of wrestling skills. The man could fly around the ring while showcasing impressive technical skills. Feuds with top NXT talent like Neville, Sami Zayn, Tyson Kidd, Hideo Itami and current NXT Champion Finn Balor helped solidify Prince Pretty’s reputation as one of NXT’s most well-rounded.

Read the rest of this entry

WWE NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn Reaction

Photo courtesy of Top Rope Press.

Photo courtesy of Top Rope Press.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

 

It speaks volumes when a brand like NXT can sell out Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.

The brand’s organic growth is uncanny, and a hot crowd provided a unique atmosphere that met even the highest of expectations headed in.

Better yet, on this show, we got some shifts in creative direction and it should make for interesting television in the near future.

Read the rest of this entry