Spoiler alert, I disagree with the general consensus about a NJPW PPV main event, yet again. From what I saw online, people were agog about the final match of the BOSJ, and if you haven’t caught up, skip down to the Best Matches/Segments sections, because I’ve got to talk about this.
So, yeah, now, seriously:
. SPOILER WARNING!
In this age of smarter fans and those who kiss the pencil Gedo uses to book, I couldn’t fathom how this is your final. First of all, face vs face shouldn’t be a problem, and secondly, yes, you’ve got two talented workers in Will Ospreay (one of my favorite wrestlers today) and KUSHIDA. But it’s so obvious what’s going to happen.
The story of the Timesplitter’s redemption has been obvious ever since he got squashed in April’s Sakura Genesis. I could even see the seeds of it mid-way through the tournament in last week’s story. So, to put him up against a non-company guy, the one who won last year, is essentially giving a spoiler warning to anyone paying attention.
But still, I set my alarm to get up at 4am and watch it live, because I thought it would be fun and hoped for something interesting. So while the match had a bunch of fun spots and solid pacing (had the editing that Okada/Omega needed) it still couldn’t bring me in.
But that’s not a real problem. As you’ll see below, there’s been a shitton of good matches this past week, including that one itself. It just wasn’t the match of the week that many will tell you it was.
As always, if I’m missing anything that can be accessed without too much trouble, @ me on twitter: henrytcasey.
WCPW: Fight Back, 6/3
For a chance of pace, I’m going with a segment that has practically no wrestling-content in it. But still, it’s the most important non-fight segment that happened this past week. On Saturday, What Culture Pro Wrestling had an event that was supposed to be the second series premiere of its Loaded series. But as Adam Blampied (aka Plumpy) explains, that can’t happen anymore, thanks to YouTube’s recent stupid decisions dealing with advertisers who didn’t want their content to appear anywhere near that Pewdie Pie, who I gather is a thinly veiled bigot.
Now that that’s done, here’s a link to the petition Blampied references. If you like me or pro wrestling, or simply think that non-hateful performance art should be allowed to make money, sign up. Thank you.
Lucha Underground, 5/31
So, I’d forgotten what Lucha Underground’s Season 3.5 premiere would give us, and was slightly unenthused by the prospect of this. But then it happened, and I loved it.
The story here is that the super athletic Johnny Mundo (Mr. Hardcore Parkour) picked the All Night Long stipulation (an iron man match) for The Mack’s title shot against him, because it fits his style much more than it does Mack’s.
With about 10 seconds left in the match, I assumed I knew the moment that would swerve the ending. And then that didn’t happen. A mere moment later, show instead pulled another rabbit out of its ass, and then layered more on top of that.
But to pull myself out of this meta-level analysis, credit to all involved, especially Mundo and Mack, for an excellent match. Mundo’s sure solidified himself here as a top-level talent and a heel that can lead a show.
A note about the plethora of solid matches below, they’re ordered chronologically, not by quality or preference.
As always, Progress events can be found on its VOD service Demand Progress, and NJPW events are shown on NJPW World.
Monday Night Raw, 5/29
I find it funny that for a second week in a row, the secondary, mid-show main event is much better than the one that closes the show. These three have incredibly fun chemistry and did a great job of teasing Extreme Rules’ main event.
Heel turns require solid logic to work, and boy did they give Tommaso Ciampa some solid rationale. I even felt complicit.
If everything becomes too much to handle or focus. Take a moment to go outside and observe how sunlight (or daylight if it’s a cloudy one) hits the world around you.