As it is WrestleMania Weekend and I’m drunk, I’m bashing these reviews out and not really editing them (yes, I usually edit). If an incoherent ramble doesn’t interest you, don’t bother reading them.
WrestleCon kicked off the Friday of ‘Mania weekend with a show that was genius in its simplicity. USA vs The World allowed them to throw a bunch of random guys in the ring and start the day with some fun combinations. Why complicate it further than that?
With the first of 2019’s Honor Rising shows succeeding in being a load of fun, night two was given something to live up to. It had a problem, though. The second half of this card looks like something New Japan has dreamt up to personally spite me. Miracles are going to have to occur for me to enjoy this.
Honor Rising is a weird tour. Much like Fantastica Mania, people treat it like a bit of a joke. Yet, much like Fantastica Mania, I nearly always enjoy it. You get some fun combinations as a couple of matches always deliver. Christ, last year Hirooki Goto had a good showing with Beer City Bruiser, where else are you going to see that? I think people need to stop overthinking it, and just enjoy it.
Takashi Iizuka is hanging up his boot, and despite (at best) being ambivalent about him, I can’t help feeling a bit emotional. Sure, I’ve spent the last couple of years moaning about his bitey ways, but that doesn’t mean I hate the old cannibal. He’s alright really. Let’s see him out in style!
It’s night three of BOLA where we’re set to not only wrap this tournament up but also treat ourselves with the traditional ten-man clusterfuck and a tag title bout. I won’t waste your time by talking anymore, it’s BOLA, baby!
After a grunty chop fueled opening night, BOLA 2018 comes into night two on a high. With Shingo vs Ilja and WALTER vs Thatcher booked, I suspect said chops shall continue. This one has the potential to be something special, let’s see how it goes.
After a decent, if unspectacular, Super Junior Tag League, New Japan rolled into their final major show of the year, Power Struggle. They’ve put together one hell of a card too, as it’s one of the strongest collections of matches you’re likely to see without the Heavyweight Title being defended. With a section of the NJPW fanbase in a bit of a grump recently, this might be what they need to turn the mood around.
Disgraceful behaviour from Red Shoes. Credit: NJPW
One of these matches is pivotal in deciding who goes to the final of this tournament and the other means fuck all. Considering the levels of effort put into this tournament when they were still supposedly wrestling for something, I’m a bit worried about what the match for pride will look like. We must treat every New Japan day like it’s Christmas, though. They might surprise me yet.
It was nice of Despy to cover BUSHI’s face for him. Credit: NJPW
I’m not going to change my tournament long policy of ignoring the undercard, but it would be remiss to not mention what happened in the final multi-man match of this show. In what has become a common theme, The Firing Squad went after Okada post-match and Tanahashi made the save. This time, rather than rejecting the Ace’s help, Okada embraced in. In fact, Okada and Tanahashi shook hands while Korakuen Hall exploded. I watched that moment spoilt, yet it still gave me goosebumps. It’s so much more than a handshake, it’s the greatest feud in pro-wrestling coming full circle. Okada and Tanahashi gave the Juniors an impossible moment to follow just by clasping hands.