It’s time for my first 5STAR Grand Prix. Much like with the various New Japan tournaments, I intend to review the entire thing and can’t wait to have a shitload of Stardom singles matches to enjoy. I’ll also put my cards on the desk straight-up and say I’m on Team Hana when it comes to who I want to win, but I suspect it will be Momo. Truthfully, though, I don’t have a clue. I’ve no idea how they normally book this thing, so I’m happy to go along for the ride.Continue reading
A quick note before we start, the hard camera for this show was all over the place. It hadn’t been stabilised and was wobbling about. There also appeared to be a couple of people having a quiet chat right next to it which was picked up on the microphone at times. Neither issue was a disaster, but if you are annoyed by things like that, you’re going to have a rough time.
Anyway, it’s Stardom at Korakuen which is almost guaranteed to be a good time at this point. Throw in Jungle Kyona vs Arisa Hoshiki, and you can probably upgrade the good to lovely.Continue reading
Wow, July is a busy month for wrestling, isn’t it? So is August when we get down to it, which is why this is late. Then again, it’s late every month, so at some point, it has probably stopped being late and turns up exactly when it’s expected. Anyway, this is quite G1 heavy because, well, it’s the motherfucking G1, but more than one match has rightly made its way in from elsewhere, so it’s not the New Japan wankfest you might expect.Continue reading
As I make clear at the start of my TripleMania review every year, I know fuck all about lucha libre. Beyond the obvious stars, Fantastica Mania and this show, I only catch hyped matches, and the culture around it is as alien to me as it is fascinating. I adore how Mexico views wrestling, but I would be lying if I didn’t say that I also find some of their, em, eccentricities rather amusing. If history is any indicator, this show could veer wildly from genius to hilarious, and I am down for that.
If you want someone who does understand lucha, click here.Continue reading
I have very little to say in this introduction, so em, been up to much? Stardom’s latest show from Shin-Kiba 1st ring featured Leo Onozaki making her first title challenge, amongst other things, so it was a chance for the impressive rookie to show she has what it takes.Continue reading
Here we are then, the final of the 29th G1 Climax. It might not have been the match I wanted, but it’s the one we’ve got, and it’s time to find out who is heading to the Dome. Ibushi or White? The Golden Star or the Master Manipulator? The guy who thinks books can’t be trusted or The Knife Pervert? Time to find out.Continue reading
We are getting very close to the end of this G1, aren’t we? There are two shows left, including this one, and it’s time to find out who will be going on to face Kota Ibushi for the right to main event Wrestle Kingdom. Goto, White, Naito and Moxley are all still in the mix, but we’ve all got our fingers crossed for the Naito Express, right? Come on, my son, bring it home.
My spoiler-free must-see recommendations are Tomohiro Ishii vs Taichi and Shingo Takagi vs Hirooki Goto.Continue reading
Our final night in the A Block is one of those weird G1 shows with five singles matches, only one of which means anything. This has all come down to the main event of Ibushi vs Okada, and it’s a pretty simple scenario too. If Ibushi wins, he goes through while any other result sends Okada to the final.
My must-see spoiler-free recommendations are Zack Sabre Jr vs KENTA, Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Will Ospreay and Kota Ibushi vs Kazuchika Okada.Continue reading
I think I nailed my G1 maths for A Block yesterday, so let’s see if I can do the same for B. On the block’s penultimate night, Jon Moxley, Tetsuya Naito, Jay White, Tomohiro Ishii, Toru Yano, Juice Robinson, Hirooki Goto, Taichi and Jeff Cobb all still had a chance to reach the final. Now I’ve written all that down I’ve realised this would be the longest intro of all time if I tried to figure it out, so let’s leave it for the end.
My must-see spoiler-free recommendations are Tetsuya Naito vs Jeff Cobb and Shingo Takagi vs Tomohiro Ishii.Continue reading
We’re onto the penultimate block shows and you can smell the end of the G1. A Block is the simpler of the two, as the only people left alive are Okada, Ibushi, KENTA and EVIL. Of them, Okada’s route to the final is the easiest. If he keeps winning, he’s there. Ibushi has to match Okada’s result on this show before beating him in Budokan. KENTA requires Okada to lose both his matches while Ibushi loses to ZSJ and, finally, EVIL needs to win out while Okada loses out and KENTA loses to Ospreay. I think that’s all right, but I’m sure I’ve missed something. Either way, we all know it is coming down to Ibushi vs Okada on the final night, so quite frankly, that was a bit of a waste of time.
My spoiler-free must-see recommendations KENTA vs Will Ospreay, Kota Ibushi vs Zack Sabre Jr and Kazuchika Okada vs EVIL.Continue reading