Not so quiet a week in the world of wrestling.
New Japan/ Global Force Wrestling Present Wrestle Kingdom 9
Let’s start with something different. Let’s talk Global Force Wrestling and New Japan Pro Wrestling teaming up to bring us WrestleKingdom 9 on pay-per-view. The event took place this weekend with tremendous praise across the internet. Except for that one site, you know who you are.
1. 15-man New Japan Rumble:Yuji Nagata defeated Captain New Japan, El Desperado, The Great Kabuki, Hiro Saito, Jushin Thunder Liger, Manabu Nakanishi, Sho Tanaka, Taichi, Taka Michinoku, Tama Tonga, Tiger Mask, Yohei Komatsu, Yoshi-Hashi and Yoshiaki Fujiwara
2. reDRagon (Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly) (c) defeated Forever Hooligans (Alex Koslov and Rocky Romero), Time Splitters (Alex Shelley and Kushida) and The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson) for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship
3. Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Satoshi Kojima and Tomoaki Honma defeated Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale, Jeff Jarrett and Yujiro Takahashi) (with Karen Jarrett, Mao and Scott D’Amore)
4. Team Pro Wrestling NOAH: Mikey Nicholls, Naomichi Marufuji, Shane Haste and Toru Yano defeated Suzukigun (Davey Boy Smith, Jr., Lance Archer, Shelton Benjamin and Takashi Iizuka)
5. Minoru Suzuki defeated Kazushi Sakuraba (Submission/Knockout Match)
6. NEVER Openweight Championship: Togi Makabe defeated Tomohiro Ishii (c) for the title.
7. IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: Kenny Omega (with Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson) defeated Ryusuke Taguchi (c) for the title.
8. IWGP Tag Team Championship: Meiyu Tag (Hirooki Goto and Katsuyori Shibata) defeated Bullet Club (Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson) (c) (with Amber O’Neal and Tama Tonga) for the titles.
9. A.J. Styles defeated Tetsuya Naito
10. IWGP Intercontinental Championship: Shinsuke Nakamura (c) defeated Kota Ibushi for the title
11. IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Hiroshi Tanahashi (c) defeated Kazuchika Okada (with Gedo)
Joking aside, I don’t know who most of these guys are, but hell can they put on a show. I did not watch the entire show, however what I did see amazed me. There were some high-flying/high-risk/non-stop paced bouts, while others must have been the stiffest/no-sells I have ever seen. There were two matches were I was convinced both combatants were injured and just kept going.
Editor’s Note: The gai-jin talent on this show is off the charts. I’m a little disappointed that reDragon retained the Jr. Tag Titles. They’re a solid team but I think they really aren’t on the same level as The Bucks, The Time Splitters or even The Forever Hooligans. I guess the thinking is all those teams have had their turn as a top junior team, so why not give Fish/O’Reilly a push. I just think they’re style is much less exciting and they have less juice than the others.
It made perfect sense for the Jarrett-led Bullet Club lost – it’s the weakest part of the BC. And look who they’re fighting – Tenzan and Kojima – those dudes are BEASTS. However, Gallows & Machine Gun dropping the titles isn’t a move I’m all about. However, the BC got put over strong with AJ winning a supposed off-the-charts match and then the super underrated Kenny Omega grabbing the Junior Title. Omega is the man, good to see him win. –Bill Bodkin
One of the storyline gimmicks is Jeff Jarrett’s invasion and his influence amongst the Bullet Club. At Wrestle Kingdom 9, it seemed it had no effect as the majority of victors went to the NJPW roster with the Bullet Club only taking a couple of matches and one championship. Regardless, solid show.
I did not see much promotion for GFW, but again, either I didn’t see it or it wasn’t reported on the websites with results. I wonder how this will benefit GFW. All they did was bring another promotion, NJPW to an American audience on PPV. Great for NJPW, but will GFW see benefit?
I’m still waiting for GFW to start announcing their own shows, or, something. Anything.
Del Rio in ROH
Alberto El Patron (Del Rio) got a huge ovation on his debut in Ring of Honor yesterday, defeating Christopher Daniels and getting into it with Jay Lethal. I am glad to see the former Mexican Aristocrat continuing his in-ring career in ROH. I just could not see him fitting into TNA, especially if he plans on retiring within the next few years, or reducing to a much smaller schedule.
Editor’s Note: Alberto Patron, as he’s being billed, is a perfect fit for Ring of Honor. First, he’s a major name that people recognize. It’s pretty big news that Ring of Honor is his first nationally televised American company to work for. This move is going to bring more eyes, both from the casual WWE fan to the diehard lucha fan, to the ROH product. It’s also not just about the name — Alberto can go. He has a style that can mesh with anyone in the ring — we’ve seen carry slop dogs the original Sin Cara to passable matches — imagine what he can do with guys who can actually wrestle? Finally, when the time comes, Alberto can be a natural heel to whomever the top babyface in the company is. He can make them look like a million bucks all while drawing massive heat. That’s something ROH needs especially with the human heat machine Adam Cole on the sidelines with injury. –Bill Bodkin
The big news from the last RAW of 2014, Daniel Bryan announcing this year, he WILL be a participant in the Royal Rumble. I wonder if this will be a short-term deal, from the injuries and surgeries he has been through, I hope he knows what he is doing, and the doctor’s cautioned him to the risk of continued in-ring action. We don’t want to see his career end already, but you have to be smart. Edge probably had another five years at least left in the tank, but he was smart about getting out while he could. I also hope fans realize WWE will likely not push him as hard as they had before, so don’t start booing when Roman Reigns wins.
Editor’s Note: Daniel’s return was a great swerve, but will it mean anything in the long run? Was this a way to pop some ratings for the sake of popping ratings? If Dragon is fully healthy and ready to rock ‘n’ roll, how do you not have him right in the title hunt again? It’s obvious Roman Reigns is who they want as their golden boy and it’s true D-Bry lost a lot of that ‘Mania momentum, but he’s a proven commodity now, give him the ball. Now, if they don’t want to risk losing Bryan long-term again, I can see the reluctance to push him hard, but if he is legit 100% ready, it’s time to unleash the dragon. –Bill Bodkin
Michael Dworkis is a man of vast talent and industry. A former writer and corporate assistant of World Wrestling Entertainment, “MSD” is the Wrestling Columnist for Pop-Break, as well as contributing columns related to comics, movies, pop-culture, and of course, anything Transformers. He recently completed and obtained his Masters degree in Mental Health in Counseling, and recently became licensed to practice as an LAC by the National Board of Certified Counselors. If you need either a therapist or your wrestling fix, come to this man. Michael also is a graduate of Rutgers University with a degree in Journalism and Mass Media, and previously managed an internet retail company. He blames Bill for having so much wrestling on the site and pleads with his superiors to create a feature on his very own Transformer Collection and to subdue Michael Bay for a serious talk. Michael is still searching for a Japanese Grand Maximus or any Japanese Generation 1 exclusives. See more of Michael at MichaelDworkis.com and follow on Twitter @Omegax80.