The SmarK Rant for New Japan BOSJ Finale–06.05.19

The SmarK Rant for New Japan Best of the Super Juniors Final 2019 – 06.05.19

Or at least the last two matches, since that’s what everyone wants out of me.

Also, I love New Japan World. Do you know what us tape traders in the 90s would have done or killed or had sex with to get access to something like this at that time?

Read moreThe SmarK Rant for New Japan BOSJ Finale–06.05.19

Mike Reviews: New Japan Pro Wrestling Dominion in Osaka – 09/06/2019

Hello You!

This one worked out well for me due to it happening 8am UK time, so I decided to do a write up for it. The main event on this one is Kazuchika Okada defending the IWGP Heavyweight Title against Chris Jericho, but there’s also a match scheduled between Kota Ibushi and Tetsuya Naito, which is a big rematch from the MSG Show over WrestleMania weekend, and that’s even before we get to a match between Will Ospreay and Dragon Lee, which should be all kind of awesome.

So please join me as we take a journey to Osaka for New Japan Pro Wrestling’s presentation of Dominion!

The event is emanating from Osaka-Jo Hall, in Osaka, Japan

Calling the action are Kevin Kelley, Don Callis and Chris Charlton

Read moreMike Reviews: New Japan Pro Wrestling Dominion in Osaka – 09/06/2019

Ring of Honor/New Japan G1 Supercard

Ring of Honor/New Japan G1 Supercard
Date: April 6, 2019
Location: Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York
Commentators: Kevin Kelly, Colt Cabana, Ian Riccaboni

My goodness it feels wrong to be typing that for another company. This is the indy/non-WWE main event of the weekend and the only show that stands a fighting chance to topple NXT for best event of the weekend. It’s a combination Ring of Honor/New Japan card and the first time New Japan gets to take the big stage in the big time. Let’s get to it.

Read moreRing of Honor/New Japan G1 Supercard

The SmarK Rant for ROH/New Japan G1 Supercard from MSG–04.06.19

The SmarK Rant for ROH/New Japan G1 Supercard from MSG – 04.06.19

Live from Madison Square Garden!

Your hosts are Ian Riccaboni & Kevin Kelly & Colt Cabana

Sorry, but I missed the first hour due to work, so we’ll pick it up after the shitty women’s title match. The match sucked, and the post-match angle with one chick doing a literal heel turn on another chick sucked, but Velvet Sky can still GET IT. Come at me, bro, it’s not like my type is any big secret. Regardless, the Beautiful People and this sports entertainment gaga are NOT what this crowd wanted to see and it completely killed them. But Velvet’s ring entrance is always worth watching. Just saying. But really we’re all here for the New Japan portion anyway and the ROH guys are kind of a necessary evil.

Read moreThe SmarK Rant for ROH/New Japan G1 Supercard from MSG–04.06.19

Mike Reviews: NJPW 47th Anniversary Show – 06/03/2019

I’ve got a day off from work today and this was on, so I decided to watch it as I rarely get a chance to watch New Japan as it actually happens anymore and I was interested to see how the main event would turn out.

This is the Anniversary of New Japan’s first ever show on the 6th of March 1972, which saw Antonio Inoki take on Karl Gotch.

Wow, 47 years of New Japan, it’s done well to last so long, especially as thinks looked a bit dicey in the early to mid 00’s when Inoki was pushing anyone with shoot fight experience to the main event. Thankfully Inoki was eventually booted out and the company decided to put the world title on Hiroshi Tanahashi, and the rest is history.

Read moreMike Reviews: NJPW 47th Anniversary Show – 06/03/2019

The SmarK Rant for New Japan WRESTLE KINGDOM 13–01.04.19

The SmarK Rant for New Japan WRESTLE KINGDOM 13 – 01.04.19

Live from the Tokyo Dome

Your hosts are Kevin Kelly & Don Callis

I’m skipping the pre-game show because I’m on a time crunch here. Here’s the link to the show on New Japan World if you have a subscription and want to check it out yourself. It’s $10, just buy it.

https://njpwworld.com/p/s_series_00498_6_1

Read moreThe SmarK Rant for New Japan WRESTLE KINGDOM 13–01.04.19

Repost: The SmarK Rant for New Japan WRESTLE KINGDOM 12

The SmarK Rant for New Japan Pro Wrestling – WRESTLE KINGDOM 12

Originally written 01.04.18

For those wondering about streaming options, I’m using Microsoft Edge browser on my Xbox One, and it looks perfect on the TV. Navigation is a bit of a pain, but ya takes what you can get.

Live from Tokyo, Japan

Your hosts are Kevin Kelly and Don Callis.

Read moreRepost: The SmarK Rant for New Japan WRESTLE KINGDOM 12

NJPW Ultimate Crush II – 13th of October 2003

I’ve had this one in my tape library for about 14 years but have never bothered to sit down and watch it all the way through, mainly because I really went off New Japan during this era and was instead mostly watching NOAH. I was looking for something to review so I thought we’d set the way back machine to 2003, when the New Japan product was pretty awful. It’s amazing to watch shows like this and see how far the company has come since these darker days.

This show took place during a period in New Japan where Antonio Inoki was obsessed with shoot fighting and was filling New Japan shows full of judo, K1 and PRIDE guys. His booking was getting increasingly erratic and it wasn’t leading to success at the box office. This show actually has three legitimate shoot fights on it, as well as an appearance by Hulk Hogan and a big 5 on 5 elimination match.

Read moreNJPW Ultimate Crush II – 13th of October 2003

Norrissey’s G1 Climax 28 Night Seventeen Review

Norrissey’s G1 Climax 28 Night Seventeen Review

10 August 2018

Live from Nippon Budokan (Budokan Hall), Tokyo

You can read my preview of the entire tournament here.

You can read my Night One review here.

You can read my Night Two review here.

You can read my Night Three review here.

You can read my Night Five review here.

You can read my Night Six review here.

You can read my Night Seven review here.

You can read my Night Eight review here.

You can read my Night Nine review here.

You can read my Night Ten review here.

You can read my Night Eleven review here.

You can read my Night Twelve review here.

You can read my Night Thirteen review here.

You can read my Night Fourteen review here.

You can read my Night Fifteen review here.

You can read my Night Sixteen review here.

WE MADE IT TO BUDOKAN!  A Block action wraps up as Hiroshi Tanahashi leads the way, only needing a draw against Kazuchika Okada to progress to the finals.  However, there’s still that sneaky bastard Jay White lingering underneath, and a win for him over EVIL coupled with an Okada victory could see him make it to the finals as well.  Here we go!

Your commentators are Kevin Kelly and Rocky Romero, with Chris Charlton available to provide translations. 

Read moreNorrissey’s G1 Climax 28 Night Seventeen Review

Norrissey’s G1 Climax 28 Night Sixteen Review

Norrissey’s G1 Climax Night Sixteen Review

8 August 2018

Live from Yokohama Cultural Gymnasium, Yokohama

You can read my preview of the entire tournament here.

You can read my Night One review here.

You can read my Night Two review here.

You can read my Night Three review here.

You can read my Night Five review here.

You can read my Night Six review here.

You can read my Night Seven review here.

You can read my Night Eight review here.

You can read my Night Nine review here.

You can read my Night Ten review here.

You can read my Night Eleven review here.

You can read my Night Twelve review here.

You can read my Night Thirteen review here.

You can read my Night Fourteen review here.

You can read my Night Fifteen review here.

It’s up to the B Block to deliver the goods tonight as we reach the penultimate night of B Block action.  Kota Ibushi, Kenny Omega and Tetsuya Naito remain alive as they all have individual match-ups tonight.  The most intriguing of the match-ups is Naito’s as he risks elimination at the hands of his L.I.J. stablemate, SANADA.  Here we go!

Your commentators for the evening are Kevin Kelly and Rocky Romero, with Django available for translations.

Read moreNorrissey’s G1 Climax 28 Night Sixteen Review

Norrisssey’s G1 Climax Night Fifteen Review

Norrissey’s G1 Climax 28 Night Fifteen Review

5 August 2018

Live from Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium (Bodymaker Coliseum), Osaka

You can read my preview of the entire tournament here.

You can read my Night One review here.

You can read my Night Two review here.

You can read my Night Three review here.

You can read my Night Five review here.

You can read my Night Six review here.

You can read my Night Seven review here.

You can read my Night Eight review here.

You can read my Night Nine review here.

You can read my Night Ten review here.

You can read my Night Eleven review here.

You can read my Night Twelve review here.

You can read my Night Thirteen review here.

You can read my Night Fourteen review here.

Three men are still alive in the A Block as we finish the second of two consecutive nights in Osaka.  Jay White, Kazuchika Okada, and Hiroshi Tanahashi each have individual matches as they look to put on some great performances and move to Budokan with at least some control of their destiny.  Let’s get to it!

Your commentators for the evening are Kevin Kelly and Rocky Romero, with Django available for translations if necessary.

Read moreNorrisssey’s G1 Climax Night Fifteen Review

Norrissey’s G1 Climax 28 Night Fourteen Review

Norrissey’s G1 Climax Night Fourteen Review

4 August 2018

Live from Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium (Bodymaker Coliseum), Osaka

You can read my preview of the entire tournament here.

You can read my Night One review here.

You can read my Night Two review here.

You can read my Night Three review here.

You can read my Night Five review here.

You can read my Night Six review here.

You can read my Night Seven review here.

You can read my Night Eight review here.

You can read my Night Nine review here.

You can read my Night Ten review here.

You can read my Night Eleven review here.

You can read my Night Twelve review here.

You can read my Night Thirteen review here.

We’re at Night Fourteen, as Osaka plays host to a pair of awesome-looking shows.  The first evening sees Kenny Omega try to keep his undefeated streak going when he takes on Tomohiro Ishii.  In the main event, Tetsuya Naito tries to make B Block a two-horse race and put down Kota Ibushi for good.  Enjoy the action!

Your hosts for the evening are Kevin Kelly and Rocky Romero.

Read moreNorrissey’s G1 Climax 28 Night Fourteen Review

Norrissey’s G1 Climax 28 Night Thirteen Review

Norrissey’s G1 Climax Night Thirteen Review

2 August 2018

Live from Fukuoka Citizen Gymnasium, Fukuoka

You can read my preview of the entire tournament here.

You can read my Night One review here.

You can read my Night Two review here.

You can read my Night Three review here.

You can read my Night Five review here.

You can read my Night Six review here.

You can read my Night Seven review here.

You can read my Night Eight review here.

You can read my Night Nine review here.

You can read my Night Ten review here.

You can read my Night Eleven review here.

You can read my Night Twelve review here.

The finish line draws ever so close, as Night Thirteen brings the A Block action to Fukuoka.  In the main event, Kazuchika Okada brings his winning streak and his Big Boy pants to the table when he fights Minoru Suzuki, also on a similar win streak.  EVIL and Hiroshi Tanahashi have the other intriguing match of A Block, as a win for EVIL set up even more drama in A Block.  Let’s go!

Your commentators for the evening are Kevin Kelly and Rocky Romero.

Read moreNorrissey’s G1 Climax 28 Night Thirteen Review

Norrissey’s G1 Climax 28 Night Twelve Review

Norrissey’s G1 Climax 28 Night Twelve Review

1 August 2018

Live from Kagoshima Arena, Kagoshima

You can read my preview of the entire tournament here.

You can read my Night One review here.

You can read my Night Two review here.

You can read my Night Three review here.

You can read my Night Five review here.

You can read my Night Six review here.

You can read my Night Seven review here.

You can read my Night Eight review here.

You can read my Night Nine review here.

You can read my Night Ten review here.

You can read my Night Eleven review here.

We’re finally caught up!  Night Twelve’s upon us, and tonight sees whether IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kenny Omega can widen his lead upon the rest of the B Block.  He’s taking on the Submission Specialist, Zack Sabre Jr (he of “I WANT COLD BEER” fame).  In the main event, Kota Ibushi looks to return as the hometown hero as he takes on Hirooki Goto.  I’m pumped for tonight, so let’s go!

Your commentators for the evening are Kevin Kelly and Rocky Romero.

Read moreNorrissey’s G1 Climax 28 Night Twelve Review

Norrissey’s G1 Climax 28 Night Eleven Review

Norrissey’s G1 Climax 28 Night Eleven Review

30 July 2018

Live from Takamatsu City Central Gymnasium, Takamatsu

You can read my preview of the entire tournament here.

You can read my Night One review here.

You can read my Night Two review here.

You can read my Night Three review here.

You can read my Night Four review here.

You can read my Night Five review here.

You can read my Night Six review here.

You can read my Night Seven review here.

You can read my Night Eight review here.

You can read my Night Nine review here.

You can read my Night Ten review here.

We’re off to Night Eleven, and hopefully today will help us piece together what’s happening in the A Block overall.  The only match I’m truly excited for is Okada vs. Elgin, as they had an awesome performance in their B Block match last year and I’m hoping for similar greatness tonight.  Here we go!

Your commentators for the evening are Kevin Kelly and Rocky Romero.

Read moreNorrissey’s G1 Climax 28 Night Eleven Review

Norrissey’s G1 Climax 28 Night Ten Review

Norrissey’s G1 Climax 28 Night Ten Review

28 July 2018

Live from Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium, Aichi

 

You can read my preview of the entire tournament here.

You can read my Night One review here.

You can read my Night Two review here.

You can read my Night Three review here.

You can read my Night Four review here.

You can read my Night Five review here.

You can read my Night Six review here.

You can read my Night Seven review here.

You can read my Night Eight review here.

You can read my Night Nine review here.

 

We are halfway through tournament action and we’ll finally get to learn about where the chips are starting to fall.  Juice Robinson has looked from good to pretty great in his defeats, but a loss to Yano would effectively end his chances of winning the B Block.  Meanwhile, Kenny Omega takes on SANADA in tonight’s main event, while Tetsuya Naito challenges Hirooki Goto, and Tomohiro Ishii has a tasty little encounter in his B Block match with Kota Ibushi.

Your commentators are Kevin Kelly and Rocky Romero, with Django providing Japanese translations if necessary.

Read moreNorrissey’s G1 Climax 28 Night Ten Review

Norrissey’s G1 Climax Review Night Nine

G1 Climax 28 Review Night Nine

27 July 2018

Live from Shizuoka, Act City, Hamamatsu

You can read my preview of the entire tournament here.

You can read my Night One review here.

You can read my Night Two review here.

You can read my Night Three review here.

You can read my Night Four review here.

You can read my Night Five review here.

You can read my Night Six review here.

You can read my Night Seven review here.

You can read my Night Eight review here.

Night Nine doesn’t look to be too promising, as we lead off with Okada vs. YOSHI-HASHI and Tanahashi vs. Makabe.  But hey, I’m always looking for surprises.  Jay White could do with another win right about now, right?

Your commentators for the evening are Kevin Kelly and Rocky Romero.

Read moreNorrissey’s G1 Climax Review Night Nine

Norrissey’s G1 Climax 28 Review Night Eight

G1 Climax 28 Review Night Seven

22 July 2018

Live from Ao-re Nagaoka, Niigata

 

You can read my preview of the entire tournament here.

You can read my Night One review here.

You can read my Night Two review here.

You can read my Night Three review here

You can read my Night Four review here.

You can read my Night Five review here.

You can read my Night Six review here.

You can read my Night Seven review here.

 

Well, it’s finally happened.  Three days off and I finally sensed the creeping dread of getting back to the G1 Climax, and yes, all those bloody damn tag matches.  This coupled with my intense obsession with Super Mario Odyssey of late means that it’s the moment you all were waiting for: I’m only covering the tournament matches!

Your commentators for this evening are Kevin Kelly and Rocky Romero.

Read moreNorrissey’s G1 Climax 28 Review Night Eight

Norrissey’s G1 Climax 28 Review Night Seven

G1 Climax 28 Review Night Seven

22 July 2018

Live from Esforta Arena, Hachioji, Tokyo

 

You can read my preview of the entire tournament here.

You can read my Night One review here.

You can read my Night Two review here.

You can read my Night Three review here.

You can read my Night Four review here.

You can read my Night Five review here.

You can read my Night Six review here.

 

We’re back on the road (although still in Tokyo) as the G1 Climax heads to Night Seven in Hachioij.  The headliners are Okada vs. Makabe, Page vs. Tanahashi, and Suzuki vs. White.  This should be a good affair!

 

Your commentators are Kevin Kelly and Rocky Romero.  Django’s back to provide translations if necessary.  They have a little bit of fun over Chris Charlton, who didn’t really have to do much translating after Ishii beat Goto in the main event of Night Six and promptly said nothing afterward.

Read moreNorrissey’s G1 Climax 28 Review Night Seven

Norrissey’s G1 Climax 28 Review Night Six

G1 Climax 28 Review Night Six

21 July 2018

Live from Korakuen Hall, In the Shadows of TGI Fridays, Tokyo

 

You can read my preview of the entire tournament here.

You can read my Night One review here.

You can read my Night Two review here.

You can read my Night Three review here.

You can read my Night Four review here.

You can read my Night Five review here.

 

I really hope there’s a day off here coming up!  We’re at Night Six, where the B Block takes center stage after a great showing from the A Block the night prior.  The main event sees Hirooki Goto square off against his occasional tag partner and stable-mate Tomohiro Ishii. Elsewhere, BULLET CLUB PROPERLY EXPLODES, as Kenny Omega faces off against Tama Tonga in a match that will no shenanigans whatsoever, I’m sure of it.

You commentators for the evening are Kevin Kelly and Rocky Romero, with Chris Charlton (!) available for translations.  Obligatory plug for both Lion’s Pride and Eggshells.  Both are supposed to be great books.  I actually ordered my copies of each on Friday so I’ll let you know what I think next week.

Read moreNorrissey’s G1 Climax 28 Review Night Six

Norrissey’s G1 Climax 28 Review Night Five

G1 Climax 28 Review Night Five

20 July 2018

Live from Korakuen Hall, In the Shadows of TGI Fridays, Tokyo

You can read my preview of the entire tournament here.

You can read my Night One review here.

You can read my Night Two review here.

You can read my Night Three review here.

You can read my Night Four review here.

Night Five picks up right where Night Four leaves off, as we remain in the hallowed Korakuen Hall for another evening.  Here, 1,799 polite Japanese fans, along with one wanker from the UK who’s wearing an Iceland shirt and is probably four Strong Zeros in, get to take in the A Block main events of Okada vs. Page and Tanahashi vs. Fale.

Your commentators for the event are Kevin Kelly and Rocky Romero.

Read moreNorrissey’s G1 Climax 28 Review Night Five

Norrissey’s G1 Climax 28 Review Night Four

G1 Climax 28 Review Night Four

19 July 2018

Live from Korakuen Hall, In the Shadows of TGI Fridays, Tokyo

You can read my preview of the entire tournament here.

You can read my Night One review here.

You can read my Night Two review here.

You can read my Night Three review here.

The stage is set for the B Block to regain supremacy in match quality, as tonight, Kenny Omega fights Hirooki Goto in a Champion vs. Champion match.  It’s also a rematch of the G1 26 finals from two years ago.  Elsewhere, Juice Robinson looks to rebound from his first loss as he takes on Kota Ibushi.  Oh, also, Tomohiro Ishii takes on Tetsuya Naito.  NBD.

Your commentators for the morning are Kevin Kelly and Rocky Romero.

Read moreNorrissey’s G1 Climax 28 Review Night Four

Norrissey’s G1 Climax Review Night Three

G1 Climax Review Night Three

16 July 2018

LIVE from the Hokkaido Prefectural Sports Center, Hokkaido

 

You can find my preview for the entire tournament here.

You can find my Night One review here.

You can find my Night Two review here.

 

Night Three brings the A Block back to the forefront, as Jay White pulled out the upset against Kazuchika Okada and Minoru Suzuki dominated Hiroshi Tanahashi before falling to the High Fly Flow!  Today, our featured matches include the two major winners from Night One squaring off as Tanahashi meets White in a Wrestle Kingdom 12 rematch.

Your commentators are Kevin Kelly and Rocky Romero.

Read moreNorrissey’s G1 Climax Review Night Three