Stip Matches

Sorry if this was brought up in any discussion yesterday, as I haven't been on the board much due to work. Anyway, as far as stip matches go, WWE '13 had a game mode that I always thought was a really cool idea, the "Championship Scramble." 
Six wrestlers face off in a match that has a time limit. During the time limit,
many falls will occur. The wrestler that has earned the latest fall, either by
pinfall or submission, is "it". As long as they remain "it" when the timer
runs out, they win whatever title is being contested.
I feel like it sets the table for all kinds of chaos and crazy wrestling, and would be something really different.  Imagine scenerios where heels are just murdering guys who aren't even "it" just to take them out of contention, or where someone like Ziggler takes a finisher, then has to survive getting ganged up as the other five guys taste blood in the water and look for the next fall. You could even do the HHH Judgment Day 2000 spot where someone takes a DQ just so they can follow up with a pin.
​They did the Scramble match deal at that one PPV and it was pretty entertaining, actually.  I'm surprised they never tried it again.  It was 2009, I think, because Jericho ended up winning the World title from Punk.  ​


Hi Scott-having finished the Coliseum video and SNME rants, considering the amount of matches they had can you think of any singles match above say **1/2 for the following wrestlers?

King Kong Bundy
Big John Stud


George Steele

​Bundy:  In WWF probably not, because long matches weren't his deal. He had some decent tag matches against guys like the Machines and Bulldogs, though.  Probably you'd have to go back to World Class to find something
Studd:  The cage match with Andre was pretty bad-ass, complete with Andre doing a flying butt splash off the top rope.  He had some Hogan title challenges that were decent as well.  
​JYD:  Nothing comes to mind in WWF.  Even Flair couldn't get him above **, so I don't know what might be out there.  Maybe something from Mid-South? 

​Volkoff:  The Hogan match on SNME was OK.  You'd probably have to go back to the 60s to find something for him, like a Bruno match or something.
George Steele:  Match quality wasn't his deal, but again there was a Bruno challenge in the 70s or maybe even 60s on a Coliseum video that was OK.
​Kamala:  Can't think of anything.

Seth’s big matches

Hi Scott,
I’m struggling to enjoy Seth Rollins’ world title matches, he has exceptional talent yet he seems to follow a very strict formula which has shown it self very clearly in the last 3 PPVs and I’m finding it hard to care about his offence and there seems to be little to no drama beyond the final 30 seconds.
Nothing seems to happen and then it’s over, I keep waiting for the matches to get out of second gear. Am I alone in this or is he a little lacking in the big match environment at the moment?
Problem isn’t Seth, it’s the booking.  Since WM all his title matches have been booked so that the “third act” if you will is “What will Kane and the Stooges do to interfere?” and as a result there’s nowhere for the match to go.  The crowd and the wrestlers are all just killing time until the inevitable screwjob finish.  That’s probably why he’s such a bomb as champion.  Which, again, I don’t blame Seth at all for that. 

Your favourite WWE PPV opening matches?

Hi Scott,

 We all know the opening match is exceptionally important for setting the tone of the night and getting the crowd all hyped up. Matches like HHH vs. Dude Love at One Night Stand 1997, Lance Storm vs. Edge at Summerslam 2001, HHH vs. Daniel Bryan at WM30 and Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart at WM10 really stand out as being exceptional and standing the test of time. Do you have any opening matches which are your favourites or any opening matches you feel genuinely helped pump the crowd up for the rest of the card?
Bret v. Owen is of course the most obvious, but WCW made it into an artform with the Cruiserweight era.  Rey v. Psicosis at Superbrawl II was arguably the greatest opening match of all time, and even 4 years earlier Pillman v. Liger pretty much nailed the Best Match award in the opener of Superbrawl II.  I'd also give an honorable mention to Jericho v. Raven at Havoc 98.  
I feel like one of the biggest disappointments in openers was Barely Legal, in that they should have put their strongest foot forward right away, and Eliminators v. Dudleys was just not that great.  I think they almost should have opened with the three-way and then built to Funk's title shot as the main event instead of the rushed finish we got.  

Refs Calling NXT Matches


Maybe this is already a known thing, but it seemed to me that the Sasha v Becky match was being called in large part by the ref, and presumably further called by Triple H into his earpiece. Is that what you think happened?

Either way, it seemed like he was communicating to them the next spot to go to and I never really saw Sasha or Becky calling them. It was a fantastic match, and I guess I never considered how hands on Triple H could be during a live match. It was cool. If true, anyhow.

Sidenote: my wife was watching for the first time and thought the ref was getting a little too grabby trying to break holds. Guess I never thought of that for men's matches.

​Given how super-rehearsed most of the matches are now and the fact that it's developmental people on a live show, I would be shocked if it wasn't the ref passing signals to them.  No one's expecting anyone to be a ring general after a year in the business, so it's fine.  ​

TNA rise and fall dvd matches

Hey Scott,

Thought this might be a good discussion for the blog. With the news of DA (allegedly) canceling impact, there must be a dvd in the near future from WWE about this ala ECW and WCW, right?

Aside from the standard documentary  , which matches would be included on the set? Aside from the Unbreakable three-way, and maybe a match from the first show, has TNA had any (allegedly) historic matches of any kind?


​Woof, good question.  Maybe an Ultimate X match of some kind?  Probably I'd go with a few representative matches to showcase the different styles of stuff they did (Full Metal Mayhem, Ultimate X, that other thing with the cage and the weapons) rather than trying to highlight specific things from their history.  Probably the Joe v. Angle matches would be the most historic, or something like Randy Savage's last match, I guess.  
Any better guesses?  ​

Most ****+ matches

> Hi Scott
> Fairly simple question (I hope) but for all the crap Cena gets, I suspect he's had as many four star or higher matches than most, thanks to a combination of longevity, his actual ability and the fact that he's regularly wrestled some of the best in the business over the past decade.
> I wondered if you could list the top ten wrestlers measured by how many four stars or higher matches they've had by your ratings, if its easy to produce in excel.If not, is this info easily available from Meltzer? Or is this something for Ask411?
> Thanks and best wishes. Asking for a SPREADSHEET is the exact opposite of a simple question.  Ric Flair is always the answer. 

Best Wrestlemania matches at Paste Magazine


Would love for the blog regulars to come tell us how awful our picks are for this list of the best Wrestlemania matches. I lobbied hard for the WM 27 8-man but no dice.

​It's no Bret-Austin, but it's close.  No love for Lawler v. Cole either?  COME ON.​

5 Wrestlemania Matches That Almost Happened

This is a really weird list on WWE's part, because it's part kayfabe and part "insider" stuff.  Like the 10-man from Wrestlemania X that was cancelled is suddenly an obscure trivia question?  And the Hogan-Flair match at #1 was never gonna happen, obviously, but they do the kayfabe "Jack Tunney changed it" explanation.  And HHH v. Tyson?  Um, no, never even talked about.  Whatever, it's their list, I guess. 

Muraco’s Monday Morning Matches of the Week – [s2, e12]

NOAH: Naomichi Marufuji (c) vs. Minoru Suzuki – [3/15/15]
Shit yeah, buddy! Undoubtedly, one the best build-ups to any match so far this year. Finally, they collide. Minoru Suzuki’s invasion of NOAH has culminated in a title match against longtime NOAH pillar and current World Champion Naomichi Marufuji. Can the champ fend off Suzuki Gun and protect the honor of Pro Wrestling NOAH, or will the sadistic Suzuki bring the World Title back home to SZKG?

{NOAH} GHC Heavyweight Championship: (c… by Mosquitopilate1

While we’re at it, CLICK HERE for the playlist of the whole show, including the rest of Suzuki Gun going for all the other respective titles, and a fun curiosity match as Shelton Benjamin opposes ZERO1 Tag Team Champions “Dangan Yankees” Masato Tanaka & Takashi Sugiura.

WRESTLE-1: Keiji Muto (c) vs. KAI – [3/8/]
Gotta give Muto credit, from buying out WNC to fill out the undercard (a great move, as time has proven), to bringing in ZERO1 talent to strengthen the upper card (can never have too much ZERO1 on TV), to putting the title on the biggest star in the company -himself- and building it up as a cherished possession, the W-1 brand is worlds ahead of where it was when it started back in 2013. Hell, he even brought Bound For Glory to Kōrakuen Hall. Now we have our strongest contender to date, gunning for Muto’s title; KAI, who you could look at like a Wade Barrett type, always in the uppercard with all the tools to be “the guy”, but hasn’t been given the keys to the mansion yet. Does Muto pass the torch, or will he continue his improbable 2015 world title reign?

Keiji Muto (c) vs. KAI (Wrestle-1) by JAHMAL1111

BJW: Kazuki Hashimoto, Daisuke Sekimoto & Hideyoshi Kamitani vs. Yuji Okabayashi & Speed of Sounds – [3/10/15]
Big Japan is in the midst of its round-robin Deathmatch tournament, similar to the G1 Climax. Some of that shit has been insane. People rubbing barbed-wire, ladders and chairs is to be expected, but where they hook this customer is the creativity. Bloody wounds being doused in salt & lemon juice. It’s entertainment, and it can be found at the best “Official” You Tube page of any wrestling promotion:

However, even more entertaining for my tastes, we have Kazuki Hashimoto, Daisuke Sekimoto and Yuji Okabayashi, all in the same match. While this one doesn’t go 20+ minutes of stiff strikes and unflappable manliness, they’re still clearly speaking my language here. Plus, Kazuki & Sekimoto reunite as a tag team in the NOAH round-robin Tag Tourney next month, which should provide one or two pretty killer tag matches, if not more.

Daisuke Sekimoto, Kazuki Hashimoto & Hideyoshi… by JAHMAL1111

Next week is going to be a blast! KASSEN 2: ZERO1 vs. WRESTLE-1, a two day event.

Muraco’s Monday Matches of the Week – [s2, e11]

If you haven’t seen it already, be sure to check out the 2015 New Japan Cup at for only $8 per month. Some hilarious upsets, and strong tournament matches, all leading to NJPW’s next big show, “Invasion Attack” on April 5th. The winner of the tournament can choose to face IWGP Champion AJ Styles, Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura, or NEVER Openweight Champion Tomohiro Ishii. Serious respect to the latter two, as they have built up their respective titles to have as much worth as almost any other title in the world. Moving along…

BJW: Daisuke Sekimoto, Yuji Okabayashi & Kamitani vs. Kohei Sato, Kazuki Hashimoto & Ryuchi Kawakami – [3/1/15]

Some of the top guys in the industry matching up again in this one. ZERO1 World Champion Kohei Sato, supreme ass kicker Kazuki Hashimoto, and maybe the toughest tag team in the world in Sekimoto & Okabayashi. 

BJW: Yuko Miyamoto (c) vs. Jaki Numazawa – [3/1/15]

Here is the main event for that show, BJW Deathmatch World Champion Yuko Miyamoto facing the #1 contender Jaki Numazawa in a Needle Hell Deathmatch. This one features some very creative involvement from Mother Nature, as we’ve apparently gone gathering in the forest in preparation for this contest.


NOAH: Naomichi Marufuji, Katsuhiko Nakajima & Atsushi Kotoge vs. Minoru Suzuki, Takashi Iizuka & Taichi – [3/7/15]

As we get closer to the epic showdown of Minoru Suzuki challenging Naomichi Marufuji for the GHC World Heavyweight Championship, here is a look at their last two tag team encounters before the big show.

Naomichi Marufuji, Katsuhiko Nakajima & Atsushi… by JAHMAL1111

NOAH: Naomichi Marufuji & Muhammed Yone vs. Minoru Suzuki & Takashi Iizuka – [3/8/15]
Naomichi Marufuji & Muhammed Yone vs… by JAHMAL1111

No Stips/Gimmicks in Major Mania Singles Matches?

Hi, Scott.  Are you surprised that none of the four (five, if you assume Rollins-Orton gets added) major singles matches at Wrestlemania currently have either a gimmick (e.g. no DQ for Cena-Rusev) or a stipulation (e.g. Rollins' briefcase is on the line)?  All of them have a plausible argument for some sort of no DQ/extreme rules match, whether for story (Cena-Rusev and Orton-Rollins) or to provide some smoke and mirrors for a potentially poor match (the other three).  

I know most recent Mania singles matches have just been wrestling matches, but could adding something to one or two of the matches give at least a little juice to the card, or is it simply too late with only two weeks to go?

​I wish I could give you a less cynical answer to this question, but there's really only two factors behind it, I'm pretty sure:
1)  They don't give a shit about actually booking the show in a way people care about.
2)  They want to save all of the rematches for whatever show is after Wrestlemania (Extreme Rules again?) and thus do 8 million stip matches there.  
It is what it is.  ​

Muraco’s Monday Morning Matches of the Week – [s2, e10]

Two big events this week. First off, as shown here, the ZERO1 14th anniversary show was pretty damn good. I recommend the entire show to anyone trying to catch up to what’s going on in Z1. Both of the Junior singles titles are on the line as Minoru Tanaka challenges double champion Jason Lee, both sets of tag titles (Junior & Heavyweight) are on the line as well, and U.N. champion Hideki Suzuki meets his most formidable opponent to date. Secondly, the New Japan Cup is going on this week, and it’s been great so far, exceeding my low expectations for it. For all New Japan shows (there’s been three or four live shows this week on the network), go to and sign up for $8 per month.

ZERO1: “Dangan Yankees” Masato Tanaka & Takashi Sugiura (c) vs. Daisuke Sekimoto & Kohei Sato – [3/1/15]
For the NWA Intercontinental Tag Team Championships, ZERO1’s version of the world tag titles. Another high quality main event from the good folks at ZERO1. After taking home all the trophies in Japan for 2014 Tag Team of the Year, Dangan Yankees look set to make another run at all the awards again this year. Killer tag matches like this one certainly won’t hurt their case. I was pleased to see that this show was well received by online puro fans, as Z1 normally gets slept on. Perhaps all the hard work and quality matches are starting to add up.

“Dangan Yankees” Masato Tanaka & Takashi… by JAHMAL1111

ZERO1: Hideki Suzuki vs. Masakatsu Funaki – [3/1/15]

This was a nice little piece of business right here. The NWA U.N. Champion Hideki Suzuki has been in some heated confrontations over the last two months with former AJPW Triple Crown Champion & founder of Pancrase, WON Hall of Famer Masakatsu Funaki. While their violent exchanges in recent tag matches have provided some entertaining moments, it was all leading to this very match right here. This is a different kind of deal. Not so much pro wrestling, more of a fight for honor. Not intended to go 30 minutes or hit five snowflakes, just an old school blowoff between two world class mixed martial artists.

This show in general was an extremely fun and breezy 2 hours of pro wrestling, as is always the case with ZERO1. Well worth checking out the whole show, if interested.

Hideki Suzuki vs. Masakatsu Funaki (ZERO1) by JAHMAL1111

DDT: Kota Ibushi & Daisuke Sasaki vs. Konosuke Takeshita & Antonio Honda – []

of Kota Ibushi & the 19-year old Takeshita will enjoy this one, and
while I hate Honda’s gimmick/persona, truth is he can go in the ring.
Good match right here.

Kota Ibushi & Daisuke Sasaki Vs Antonio Honda… by JAHMAL1111

Muraco’s Monday Morning Matches of the Week – [s2, e9]

The Tuesday Night Edition, as Blogger has been acting up over here the last 2 days. Nonetheless we move on, featuring one of the most beautiful segments of the year, a must see tear-jerker.

DG: BxB Hulk (c) vs. Uhaa Nation – [3/1/15]

A great title match, and more importantly the post-match is one of the most fantastic things you will ever see in this business. Go out of your way to watch the second video posted.

BxB Hulk (c) vs. Uhaa Nation (Dragon Gate) by JAHMAL1111

Uhaa Nation Graduation Ceremony (Dragon Gate) by JAHMAL1111


DG: Kzy (c) vs. Akira Tozawa – [2/28/15]
A trimmed down version of the always loveable Tozawa challenges for the Brave Gate title (DG’s version of the Cruiserweight title).
If you follow Tozawa at all, I’m sure you can appreciate his quest for singles gold. Very easy to root for here.

Kzy (c) vs Akira Tozawa (Dragon Gate) by JAHMAL1111 


Z1 vs. W1: Masato Tanaka vs. Shuji Kondo – [2/22/15]
The adventure continues for Masato Tanaka fans, as he defends ZERO1’s honor against the always impressive Shuji Kondo of Wrestle-1, who casual fans may recognize as the long time tag partner of former Jung Dragon Kaz Hayashi. Manly shit right here, as is always the case with Tanaka matches.

Shuji Kondo vs. Masato Tanaka (Wrestle-1) by JAHMAL1111

BJW: Isami Kodaka, Yuko Miyamoto & Kankuro Hoshino vs. Jaki Numazawa, Masashi Takeda & Takumi Tsukamoto – [2/9/15]
And finally, some death match violence for all of you purists out there. Kodaka & Miyamoto are one of the most underrated tag teams in the world, and Miyamoto is the Death Match World Champ in BJW right now, for those of you keeping track of this kind of stuff.

Muraco’s Monday Morning Matches of the Week – [s2, e8]

TITLE MATCHES! 4 big title matches here. Three great matches, and one of the biggest stories of the year when a main event title match ends in a legit bloody shoot (!) that will be referenced for years to come.

ZERO1: Kohei Sato (c) vs. Masato Tanaka – [2/8/15]

For the ZERO1 World Heavyweight Championship, as Sato defends against the legendary Tanaka. This match had everything I love about wrestling: Hardway blood from legit headbutts, vintage Masato Tanaka no-selling, and 2.9999 counts. Super heated down the stretch.

NOTE: The bullshit pop-up spam stops about halfway through.


BJW: Shuji Ishikawa (c) vs. Yuji Okabayashi – [2/2/15]

Big Hoss Style! Another absolutely killer match. Shuji Ishikawa defends his BJW Strong Style Championship against the recently returning Yuji Okabayashi. Two big fuckers beating the living shit out of each other. Another one that has the crowd losing their minds by the end.

Shuji Ishikawa (c) vs. Yuji Okabayashi (BJW) by JAHMAL1111

AJPW: Go Shiozaki (c) vs. Zeus – [2/7/15]

For the AJPW Triple Crown World Heavyweight championship. Granted, Shiozaki looks to be calling each move one-by-one, but you gotta give credit to the former ZERO1 U.N. champion Zeus (NOT Tiny Lister from HBO’s 1st & 10), dude has a ton of star power and moves well in there. Shiozaki puts together a pretty good match here, and Zeus plays his role to a tee.

Go Shiozaki (c) vs. Zeus (AJPW) by JAHMAL1111

STARDOM: Yoshiko (c) vs. Act Yasukawa – [2/22/15]

Finally, this one is the story of the week by far. For reasons we don’t fully know yet, Yoshiko & Act Yasukawa don’t even waste time trading holds, they just legit THROW DOWN. An ugly, ugly scene as Yoshiko absolutely thrashes Yasukawa, breaking multiple bones in her face.

Stardom Highlights (2-22-15) (Act Yasukawa… by Mosquitopilate1

Muraco’s Monday Morning Matches of the Week – [s2, e7]

President’s Day weekend.. Tuesday Edition.. For those who missed it, Tomohiro Ishii vs. Tomoaki Honma from 2/14/15 was one of the greatest matches you will every see, and a strong MOTYC. The easiest way to track it down is to drop ¥999 ($8 or so, U.S.) on a subscription to You’d also be able to check out AJ Styles regaining his IWGP Heavyweight Championship this week by defeating Tanahashi for the title, as well as Shinsuke Nakamura’s successful defense of the IC title against Yuji Nagata, and the Bullet Club regaining both sets of tag straps.

DDT: HARASHIMA (c) vs. Kota Ibushi – [2/15/15]
While Ishii/Honma could be the best match so far this year, this match right here is not far behind. This is an absolute killer main event, right on par with the biggest matches of the year (WK9, Rumble title match, etc). HARASHIMA has had a strong reign since defeating KUDO to regain DDT’s version of the World Title, but is he enough to stop the world class Kota Ibushi?

HARASHIMA (c) Vs Kota Ibushi (DDT) by JAHMAL1111

NOAH: “TMDK” Shane Haste & Mikey Nicholls (c) vs. “Killer Elite Squad”Lance Archer & Davey Boy Smith Jr. – [2/11/15]

Killer Elite Squad’s arrival in NOAH as part of the Suzuki Gun invasion reaches a head as they get their shot at TMDK’s tag titles. Two of the absolute best heavyweight tag teams in the world here. A modern day “fantasy booking” dream match .

Lance Archer & Davey Boy Smith Jr. vs… by JAHMAL1111

DRAGON GATE: BxB Hulk (c) vs. Jimmy Susumu – [2/5/15]
This one comes via last week’s PPV, the main event for the World Title. BxB Hulk has put together a string of really good 30 minute, main event style defenses. Slow building epics that surprisingly may remind you more of Bockwinkle than they do of other past DG World Champions such as Ricochet. Susumu won January’s tournement to become the # contender and by the end of this one, they’re tearing the house down.

BxB Hulk (c) vs Jimmy Susumu (Dragon Gate) by JAHMAL1111

ZERO1: Atsushi Onita vs. Yoshihiro Takayama – [1/23/15]
was nice enough to grace us with an “Exploding Barbed Wire, Double
Blast Bat Death Match” for their new Deathmatch title. Onita, the o.g.
master of the style takes on Takayama (of Don Frye vs. Takayama fame) in
a death match between two guys who are a combined 105 years old.

Yoshihiro Takayama vs. Atsushi Onita (ZERO1 and… by JAHMAL1111

Wrestle-1/ZERO1: Hideki Suzuki & Yusaku Obata vs. Masakatsu Funaki & Jiro “Ikemen” Kuroshio – [1/30/15]
More ZERO1 goodness, this a bit more along the lines of what I like about them. NWA United Nations Champion Hideki Suzuki shows up in Wrestle-1 once again and teaming with ZERO1’s Yusaku Obata in a match against the #1 contender for the U.N. title, former AJPW Triple Crown Champion Masakatsu Funaki and his partner, the young and super talented Kuroshio, who TNA fans may remember from Bound For Glory. The tension between Suzuki & Funaki is intense and will result in a gigantic main event for the title, a couple weeks from now.


Masakatsu Funaki & Jiro “Ikemen” Kuroshio vs… by JAHMAL1111

Best women’s matches of all time

I saw you ranked last night's women's match as four stars.  I certainly wouldn't disagree. 

So is that the first time you've given a women's match four stars?  I said the match from the last NXT special (Charlotte/Banks) was the best women's match I've ever seen.  Last night may have topped it.


​I also gave Trish Stratus v. Lita from RAW that rating (upon second viewing years later) and I think I gave one or two of the Jumping Bomb Angels matches that rating as well.  I belive Stephanie v. Trish was shockingly great as well.  But really, this shows how amazing that Sasha Banks has become and how effective their development system for the women really is.  Unfortunately it's a total waste once they get to the main roster and have to do shitty skits with Jerry Springer and the Bella twins instead of wrestling.  ​

Muraco’s Monday Morning Matches of the Week – [s2, e6]

Solid week of programming right here. The best 2 hour block of Puro on the BoD.

LEGEND PRO: Tomohiro Ishii & Akitoshi Saito vs. Daisuke Sekimoto & Tatsuhito Takaiw
a – [1/12/15]

This one finally aired this week. The dream match-up of NJPW’s Ishii & BJW’s Sekimoto collide.

Akitoshi Saito & Tomohiro Ishii vs… by JAHMAL1111

DDT: Kota Ibushi, Daisuke Sekimoto & Yuji Okabayashi vs. Konosuke Takashita, Tetsuya Endo & HARASHIMA – [1/25/15]
More Sekimoto, as he teams with Kota Ibushi and the recently returning Okabayashi against teenage breakout star Takeshita, his tag partner Endo, and DDT World Champ HARASHIMA. Great match.

HARASHIMA, Konosuke Takeshita & Tetsuya Endo Vs… by JAHMAL1111

DDT: Akito vs. Makato Oishi for the DDT Extreme Title in a “No Rope Breaks” match – [1/25/15]
These two take the stip to a level higher than I expected. So many little things about this match to appreciate. Really good stuff here.

Akito (c) Vs Makoto Oishi (DDT) by JAHMAL1111

AJPW: Jun Akiyama, Takao Omori & Masunobu Fuchi vs. Go Shiozaki, Kento Miyahara & Kotaro Suzuki – [1/31/15]
Typical All-Japan main event tag style, and that’s a good thing.

Jun Akiyama, Takao Omori & Masanobu Fuchi vs… by JAHMAL1111

Muraco’s Monday Morning Matches of the Week – (s2,e5)

NOAH: Suzuki-Gun (Minoru Suzuki, Shelton X Benjamin, Killer Elite Squad & Taichi) vs. Naomichi Marufuji, Muhammed Yone, Taiji Ishimori & TMDK – [1/24/15]

The build to Minoru Suzuki challenging Naomichi Marufuji for the GHC Heavyweight Championship continues. Also the build to “Killer Elite Squad” Davey Boy Smith & Lance Archer challenging TMDK for the titles, as that appears to be the hottest tag program going in Japan right now. Plus there’s something supremely wacky about watching Shelton Benjamin taking on the likes of world class Jr. Heavyweight Taiji Ishimori. That could actually prove to be a great singles match eventually, with Benjamin playing the base to Ishimori’s high flying offense. Survivor Series style 5-on-5, with over-the-top-rope eliminations counting as well, as is the custom in Japan.

{NOAH} Naomichi Marufuji, Muhammed Yone, Taiji… by Mosquitopilate1

NOAH: Atsushi Kotoge vs. Daisuke Harada – [1/24/15]

Maybe the best Jr. division in the world. A rematch from December’s instant classic where Kotoge finally grabbed the brass ring. These two have incredible chemistry, and with both being in their mid-20’s, the future of the GHC Jr. division is looking as strong as any.

{NOAH} GHC Jr. Championship: Atsushi Kotoge (c… by Mosquitopilate1

UNION: Isami Kodaka & FUMA vs. Shuji Ishikawa & Masato Shibata – [1/24/15]An entire Union Pro show here, courtesy of the homeboy and all around good dude Gaijin Eric (the guy Jim Ross referred to during Wrestle Kingdom as that “guy from Philly going to all the shows”). One thing I love about Union is that they treat the tag champs, little as they may be, as a main event attraction and this show is no different as the straps are on the line in the night cap. Isami Kodaka is on an incredible year-plus run of good matches, and here he teams up with fellow Union Tag champ FUMA, taking on current BJW World Champion Shuji Ishikawa & Masato (“not Katsuyori”) Shibata. Everything after they restart the bullshit no-contest at the 1:49:00 mark is really strong. There’s also a big angle about halfway through the show. Good stuff.