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: Youtube.com/BJWmovie

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 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 www.NJPWWorld.com 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 – []

Fans
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 NJPWworld.com. 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]
Z1
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

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.

Muraco’s Monday Morning Matches of the Week – (s2,e4)

Much like Raw, delayed because of the snow storm, or something. Nothing major this week, so we’ll deem this a Dragon Gate installment of 4MOTW.

DG: Dr. Muscle vs. Eita – [1/12/15]
The vacant “Open the Brave Gate” title is on the line here in the finals of a tournament to crown a new champ, as Flamita (kayfabe) walked away from the title in December. Here in the finals we have Eita, multi-time former tag champs with T-Hawk. He goes up against the mysterious Dr. Muscle, a man with ties to the Mad Blankey clan (more on that, next…)


Dr. Muscle vs. Eita (Dragon Gate) by JAHMAL1111

DG: Millenials (T-Hawk, Eita, U-T & Yosuke Santa Maria) vs. Mad Blankey (YAMATO, CIMA, Gamma, Cyber Kong & K-ness) – [1/16/15]
A sweet piece of business here, and one of the big building blocks of where the company goes from here. We have the Millenials, whose Mexican-based flavor and pride of being born 1990’s has led them to multiple titles over the course of the last few years. However, with Flamita’s departure they are running thin here having to go up 4 against 5 with the newly revamped Mad Blankey, who recently added some new members in Kzy, Don Fujii, CIMA & Gamma. However it’s what happens after the match that may even the sides up a bit.


T-Hawk, Eita, U-T, Yosuke ♥ Santa Maria vs… by JAHMAL1111
111


ALSO: Ricochet vs. Low Ki
This one surfaced on You Tube this week. Ricochet, the first ever American to become Dragon Gate World Champion (“Open the Dream Gate”) takes on the one and only Low Ki. The camera work sort killed this one for me, but hey it’s a rarity of a match-up between two of the modern greats.

Muraco’s Monday Morning Matches of the Week – (s2,e2)

Because it’s still Monday here, and possibly early morning where you are.

As I sit here on vacation, one can’t help but LOL @ The Miz over Patera, and Jannetty over Muraco. Ah, the good old days, when heels on top drew money. Now on to something less depressing: PURO~!

Unfortunately, not a lot of 2015 stuff popping up on TV this week
though. That said, as some may know there was a huge angle at the end
of the NOAH show this week that will be the main focus for the remainder
of the year. Hopefully, we’ll have some video on it next week.

With
that being the case, there’s no shame in reviewing the two best matches
of the year so far which may in fact turn out to be the two best
matches of the year come December. If you haven’t seen them in their entirety yet, they are the definition of pro wrestling required viewing. Jim Ross & Matt Striker on the
call.

NJPW: Shinsuke Nakamura (c) vs. Kota Ibushi – [1/4/15]


2015.01.04- Shinsuke Nakamura vs… by dixonkyle4




NJPW: Hiroshi Tanahashi (c) vs. Kazuchika Okada – [1/4/15]
2015.01.04- Hiroshi Tanahashi vs… by dixonkyle4

Muraco’s Monday Morning Matches of the Week – (s2,e1)

Because it’s still Monday here, and possibly the early morning where you are.

Well, Wrestle Kingdom 9 delivered the goods, featuring two singles matches to end the show that either went full monty on the snowflakes, or damn near came close. For those who don’t subscribe to NJPWworld.com and missed the show that aired live earlier today, the matches for “NJPW New Beginning” in February were set up, featuring Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Yuji Nagata for the IC title, and AJ Styles challenging Hiroshi Tanahashi for the IWGP title. Scott Hall’s son Cody Hall also debuted on the show as the “young boy” of the Bullet Club. With all that said, NJPW wasn’t the only company on TV this week, so let’s move ahead with Muraco’s Monday Morning Matches of the Week.

AJPW: Joe Doering (c) vs. Go Shiozaki – [1/3/15]
Former WWE/FCW product Joe Doering (previously Drake Brewer) has reigned supreme as the Triple Crown World Champion for the last 6 months, giving us visions of Triple Crown gaijin champions of the past such as Stan Hansen, Steve Williams, Terry Gordy, and Big Van Vader. Despite Shiozaki falling to Doering in his previous title shot back in September, he is receiving one last chance to bring the title back home to Japan. From Kōrakuen Hall, this main event is a strong one!

Joe Doering (c) vs. Go Shiozaki (AJPW) by JAHMAL1111

DDT: HARASHIMA (c) vs. Tetsuya Endo – [1/3/15]

Also featuring the World Champion of a promotion, also from Kōrakuen Hall, ALSO from January 3rd (as they apparently held both shows there that day). Long standing champion HARASHIMA takes on 1/2 of the tag team champions Tetsuya Endo. While this is no where near the epic that the Triple Crown title match is, this is a good place to start if you’re trying to get into DDT in 2015, and you’re only previous familiarity with the product involved Kenny Omega and/or Kota Ibushi. There’s also a 34-man tag team match on this show involving an Undertaker-like ropewalk that circles the entire ring. Because DDT.

Tetsuya Endo vs. HARASHIMA (DDT) by JAHMAL1111



BJW: Yankee Two Kenju (Isami Kodaka & Yuko Miyamoto) vs. Yuji Hino & Yuji Okabayashi – [1/1/15]
The very first match of the year, as the opening bell rang shortly after midnight. The finals of the New Year’s Eve tag tournament, featuring one of the most underrated tag teams in the world in Kodaka & Miyamoto. Once again, the legendary Kōrakuen Hall is the setting. I was going to post the main event of the 1/4/15 BJW show, because I know how much you all love death matches with light tubes, but then Takayuki Ueki got knocked out legit mid match and they had to wave it off. They never do that, scary shit.

Yuji Hino and Yuji Okabayashi vs… by JAHMAL1111

DG: BxB Hulk (c) vs. Shingo Takagi – [12/28/14]
And finally, the big main event from the final PPV of the year, as Dragon Gate’s heavyweight champion (“Open the Dream Gate Champion”) BxB Hulk defends against former champion, the big man Shingo Takagi. This match is the epitome of what a main event should play out like, when it has that big fight feel. Sure, NJPW had a good week, with huge match-ups, but they weren’t the only ones. This was a great way to go out for Dragon Gate, who had a fantastic year, and should garner some underdog votes for promotion of the year.

BxB Hulk (c) vs. Shingo Takagi (Dragon Gate) by JAHMAL1111

Muraco’s Monday Morning Matches of the Week (11/10/14)

October baseball had taken the place of puro, as Game 7 of the WS in particular went ****¾, with an incredible Blanco assisted false finish. However, we’re back with some killer matches, this first one in particular should stand the test of time and be right up at the top of the MOTYC list when we get to the end of the year. The invent of iPPV and the consistency of the
DM page has made following along with the puro world incredibly
convenient. My first instinct is to say “best in-ring year ever”, but I
know full well it’s also the first time I’ve seen over 500 puro matches in a
calendar year, so this may be par for the course for all I know. Either way, it’s been a ton of fun..

NJPW: Tomohiro Ishii vs. Hirooki Goto – [11/8/14]

The absolute must-see match of the month, right here. The best word to describe Tomohiro Ishii would be “Matchsmith”. The guy is a friggin’ matchsmith, and he has to be the favorite for Wrestler of the Year at this point. This is on par with all of his 2014 classics, and the invent of iPPV has made this guy a legend. There is literally nothing finer than watching this guy murdering souls live on the big screen at 4am Pacific. He’s basically Bumgarner in spandex and shoulder tape, systematically dissecting the competition. It should also be noted that the once inconspicuous NEVER Openweight Title has been elevated to one of the 5 most important singles titles in the world.


ROH: AJ Styles vs. Matt Sydal – [Aired 11/1/14]

Not quite as strong as the Styles/O’Reilly match from a month before, but far beyond the norm. Even in 2014, when ROH is good they’re very, very good. There was some stuff here that I don’t remember seeing before, which is always a plus, and Sydal looked better here than he did on the Dragon Gate PPV against Ricochet. We also get the return of the GANZO BOMB! Anytime you get Bullet Club on U.S. television, it’s as good as you’re gonna get on North American TV.

DG: Millenials (T-Hawk & Eita) vs. Osaka06 (CIMA & Gamma) – [11/2/14]

A rematch of one of the better tag matches of the year, as CIMA & Gamma attempt to take the tag titles off of the best tag team in wrestling today, T-Hawk & Eita. Too fast for a play-by-play recap, as the action is akin to 4 quarters of a fast break hoop game that’ll run you out the building. Another feather in the cap of the best tag team in the world.

NOAH: Daisuke Harada vs. Zack Sabre Jr. – [11/4/14]

No need to front, NOAH appears to be in some serious trouble, with a fan base that consistently sits there as quiet and emotionless as possible. Their big tournament of the year, unfolding over the last few weeks, didn’t seem to add any additional excitement. Lost in the apathy was this gem, as Zack Sabre Jr. challenges for the Jr. Heavyweight Title. One can only imagine how this contest would have been received in front of the amazing Reseda crowds of PWG (i.e. elevated to an instant classic). Nonetheless, still a tremendous bout.

Muraco’s Monday Morning Matches of the Week (10/6/14)

Great episode of the show this week. Everybody should take two hours on a boring weeknight and check these matches out, front to back. The only thing of note last week was a couple of NJPW matches off of the “Destruction in Okayama” card, so I skipped out last Monday. The main event is still listed below, however. Tons of good ones this week though, from all kinds of different rosters.

DG: T-Hawk & Eita vs. Jimmy Susumu & Jimmy Kagetora
Can you say Tag Match of the Year? It’s right there, neck-n-neck with Bucks/Splitters from Dminion 621. If you aren’t familiar with T-Hawk & Eita, you’re missing out on the best this sport has to offer. They’re the tag champs, but this is non-title, for the Finals of the yearly Tag Tournament, so you have no idea one way or the other who’s winning. Seriously just pick a team, bet your buddy next to you $20, and lose your mind in the near falls. Great match. Had a friend call it Top 10 for the year.. I can’t argue that..


Wrestle-1: Kaz Hayashi vs. Shuji Kondo – [9/22/14]

I’d be shocked if you get anything better than this out of the W-1/TNA rosters on Sunday for Bound For Glory. That’d be awesome, but this one was pretty decent. If the Minoru Tanka match, or Hayashi’s quest for the X title get this good, that’ll be great. Until then, this one here might be the best this brand has to offer. Live from Kōrakuen Hall, the same building as TNA. So this is exactly what you’re going to be getting from BFG. Keep in mind, W-1 has a much more important show later in the month. This TNA ppv is like a Survivor Series Showdown on USA to them.



NJPW: Kazuchika Okada vs. Karl Anderson – [9/23/14]

The main event of the 2-day Destruction event from NJPW. These guys always have good matches together and this is no exception. I thought the guys in the truck did a pretty poor job on this show with the commentators too high, and the crowd too low, coupled with the ROH-ish lighting.. The production value leaves something to be desired. If you’re into the grimy indy look, you’ll be fine with it.

ZERO1: Dangan Yankees (Mastao Tanaka & Takashi Sugiura) vs. Ikuto Hidaka & Fujita Jr Hayato – [9/19/14]

Holy shit, this match. This is for both of the Yankees tag titles: the GHC Tag titles & the
NWA/ZERO1 Intercontinental Tag titles. They’ve had killer tag matches
all year long, the one against Kazuki & Sekimoto comes to mind
immediately. This is another banger. A really, really solid show from
ZERO1, loaded with fun title matches. This was the main event, and this
one took the cake. Full show AVAILABLE HERE, and those 2 hours just
breeze right by. Recommended.

AJPW: Jun Akiyama vs. Kento Miyahara

Sounds like AJPW has run out of money for the last time, and this may be the end of the road. That said, they’re not going out with a whimper like AWA with jobbers galore, but rather with a makeshift roster that puts on pretty decent shows. It’s clear that Kento Miyahara here is slated to be the next young star, in the mold of a Tanahashi, and he delivers once again. If they do fold, it’ll be interesting to see where he ends up.

DDT: Konosuke Takeshita & Tetsuya Endo vs. KUDO & Masa Takahashi

KUDO & Takahashi were like really great on offense here, in control. Takeshita being a normal sized wrestler looks so much bigger than everybody in this match. That said, he moved as well as you could ever ask for. He was great when he was in there. A nice climax, good match.

Muraco’s Monday Morning Matches of the Week (9/22/14)

Another Monday morning, another week of killer matches to catch up on. This week in particular provided a couple classics. These will not be forgotten come December when folks are putting a list together of the best stuff of the year.

ROH: AJ Styles vs. Kyle O’Reilly – [Taped 8/22/14, Aired 9/13/14]
ROH: Young Bucks vs. The Briscoe Brothers
– [Taped 8/22/14, Aired 9/13/14]

Couldn’t find this on YouTube or DailyMotion. Had to go to the RuTube for this one. This is the AJ Styles that we weren’t sure we would ever see again after the TNA debacle. Simply put, this is the best match on U.S. soil this year. It doesn’t stop there however, this is a 2 match edition of ROH television and the second match is a mind blower as well. Easily the best hour of professional wrestling this country has produced this year.

..

NJPW: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Katsuyori Shibata – [9/21/14]

If this isn’t the Match of the Year, it’s at least Top 3. Better than their G1 match from this year. Better than their G1 match from last year. Best Tanahashi match since KOPW ’13. You can cut the real-life hatred with a knife in this one. The work is absolutely flawless and extremely clever throughout. Not to mention, the post-match is stunningly beautiful. If you know the back story, and then to read what was said between them mid-ring after the match, it’s something else. To say this one delivered is beyond an understatement.

..

CMLL: Ultimo Guerrero vs. Atlantis – [9/19/14]

Mask vs. Mask! This one was special. Two legends of the genre. CMLL’s biggest show of the year. The pomp & circumstance is on par with Wrestlemania and Wrestle Kingdom. This was the show live on television Friday night that the Meltz was going nuts for, and with reason. If you’re not a follower of the product, I wouldn’t suggest sitting through the whole match (2/3 falls). However, if you start it at the 27:00 mark, you’ll catch the last 2 minutes of a very good main event. That’s just where the fun starts though. One of these legends has to unmask, on the biggest stage of them all. The raw emotion is unlike anything you’ll see in the sport, and this one will be talked about for a long, long time.

..

So there ya go. There was also a rematch of the Ricochet vs. Uhaa Nation instant classic from March. Not as good as the first one, but more than suitable if you’re into Americans under age 30, tearing it up. Couldn’t find it in singular match form, but the EVOLVE 35 show as a whole is available for free (until it gets pulled down) by CLICKING HERE.

Muraco’s Monday Morning Matches of the Week (9/15/14)

Every Monday morning it seems I’m compelled to do this, and suggest a couple good ones, so allow me to abandon any previous inhibitions and offer the best of the previous week. The plan is to keep anything recommendable to a chronological, rhythmic theme. So here we go, really good stuff that aired for the first time this week…

BJW: Daisuke Sekimoto vs. Takashi Sugiura – [8/31/14]
Not that I thought this wouldn’t be great, I just didn’t know it was going to be as great as it ended up being. The thumbnail pretty much says it all.

DG: Millennials (T-Hawk & Eita) vs. Osaka 06 (CIMA & Gamma) – [9/9/14]

Killer tag match, very easy to just kick back and lose yourself in it.. Too many moves? Sure. No selling? Yeah, maybe. Sick match? You bet’cha!

DG: Flamita (c) vs. Kzy – [9/9/14]
Ha, this is the match that had to follow that last one. Give these guys some credit for actually getting the crowd back into the show after that last tag match. This was another great match, LIVE from the very last Dragon Gate iPPV on Ustream.

QOTD 134: Saturday Morning Cartoons

The rare “X-men vs. Depth Perception” mini-series

On the left you’ll see the opening from the “X-men” series that ran on Fox for a few seasons and was really great for its time, though it was dwarfed by Batman: The Animated Series and tied with Spider-man if we’re being retrospective about it.

Funnily enough, in a world that is rapidly changing, it seems the Saturday morning cartoon is an enduring tradition.

What were your favorite Saturday Morning Cartoons, growing up, and do they hold up, now? 


(Cartoons do not, necessarily, have to air on Saturday morning to be discussed)
I was a big “Power Rangers” / “Transformers” / “Anything with giant robots punching each other” kind of guy, but was naturally enamored with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in Preschool. I found some love for “Animaniacs” as a kid, but really didn’t understand their pure genius until college – instead tossing my hat in with “Hysteria!” which I think I’ve brought up before.

So what are your favorite cartoons and what are some underrated gems. I’d like to point out that “The Spectacular Spider-man” is probably my favorite incarnation of the wall-crawler to grace animated TV.

Cucch’s Query of the Morning

Well, its been a fun few weeks you Bag O’ Dicks (BODers). Just to fill you in (and yes, I have been able to snag a certain said someone and fill her in) I just picked up two new fresh shiny wrestling books: Gary Michael Cappetta’s “Bodyslams” and David Shoemaker’s new shit…which, from thumbing through a few chapters, is just fresh to death. So anticipate reviews of those right after or during the holiday season, depending on my mood after having to basically live in a Holiday Inn Express for a few weeks. (You know I am gonna crush that mini bar).

Anyway, my question, non wrestling related, is this: I recently picked up Eminem’s new CD, MMLP2, and think it is hot fire like Dylan. As a recovering addict, naturally “The Monster” speaks to me, as does “So Far”, “Rap God”, and “Love Game.” Question is this: What is your opinion of the album and what is your favorite track?