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.
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.
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.
Who Does Number Two Work For?
– The chemistry between Sam Roberts, Katarina Leigh and David Adams has gotten tighter over the weeks and they do a good job of discussing the storylines and other aspects of the characters. They all bring something different to the table and it just works.
– The PWS World Tag Team Championships match between The Handicapped Heroes (w/Hush) and The Reynolds Brothers was quite solid. The promo by the Handicapped Heroes put over themselves and Hush, who was deaf and in the PWS Training Facility. They played the inspirational team here, as it seemed the crowd was for them the whole match. Nonetheless, Reynolds Brothers added another team to their defeated list, continuing their great build as serious Tag Champs.
– The Suicidal Six-Way Title match with The Amazing Red, Lifeguard Mike Del, Brian XL, Ricochet, Shynron and Tony Nese was the best six-way to date on the show, as everybody more or less had “highlight reel”-esque moments and anybody had a shot at winning. A bit lengthier than usual worked out for everyone. It’d be nice to feature these matches more often as it has become a PWS staple.
– Highlights were shown of the match between Kevin Matthews and Brian Myers and the controversial ending. Comments from both men were hyped for next week. Good progress.
– The interview with Matt Macintosh in front of a “government facility” previewed a video package of Macintosh abducting Habib From The Car Wash and taking him to his home country of Pakistan. Him walking around the Pakistan streets aimlessly was just strange, even as he washed cars and a camel. It didn’t really progress anything.
– A video package recapped Dan Maff’s rise to be number one contender despite not being cleared to compete, pinning PWS Champion Fallah Bahh clean and with the random insertions of fire in the package,we’re reminded of what he does to save lives and kept him topic of conversation. Comments from him and Bahh were hyped for next week, which also progresses their eventual showdown.
– Hyping the AJ Styles-Rob Van Dam match with Special Guest Referee Jerry Lynn as a “surprise main event” was cool for the show we were watching, but considering who’s in the match, wouldn’t hype from last week have helped more? Viewers definitely would’ve tuned in if they heard of this. Considering the ending though, it makes sense to not hype it. That was bitterly disappointing to end the match like that, but the moment did decently set up Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson of the Bullet Club to help Styles before Tommy Dreamer helped the ECW Originals clean house. This may lead to a six-man in the near future perhaps.
– The “wrap up” video package that featured Mario Bokara, Lifeguard Mike Del, Team Espana, The Aesthetic Enterprise and Chris Payne retained the humorous feel this segment is known for while progressing storylines and providing insight into characters. Bokara giving Adams a swirly for being upset at being number two in the PWS Rankings made sense and Beefcake Charlie’s drawings gave us a glimpse into his “hopeful yet hopeless” character. Team Espana still appear insanely one-dimensional kicking anything on the ground like a soccer ball. It was also nice to see Payne not refer to Tessa Blanchard for once.
– World Tag Team Championships – The Reynolds Brothers (Champions) def. The Handicapped Heroes to retain
– Suicidal Six-Way Championship – The Amazing Red def. Lifeguard Mike Del, Shynron, Brian XL, Tony Nese and Ricochet to retain
– Special Main Event – AJ Styles and Rob Van Dam to a Draw; 20-minute Time Limit Exceeded