Monday, December 1, 2014

NJPW World

When it was announced that Jeff Jarrett's new promotion GFW had secured a PPV spot for New Japan Pro Wrestling's Wrestle Kingdom 9 I was pumped. When they announced that JR would do the commentary for it I was even more excited, but none of that compares to the announcement today about NJPW World their on demand streaming service. It's basically their version of the WWE Network and so far I like the way NJPW's is set up better. When you search a wrestler the results you get are just the match so you don't have to scroll through a video to find the checkpoint for the match it's right there. So far it's set up like youtube for NJPW and that is perfect for me.

If you want to check it out it's at NJPW World and it's easy to sign up with this guide that helps translate it for English speakers Sign up guide The rest of the site is in Japanese as well as are all the searches so I've got a google doc going translating wrestlers names into Japanese and I know that several of these work from experience so far. I'm using google translate to do the work for me so there could be mistakes so feel free to fix things and add wrestlers name translations Another trick about names is that someone like KUSHIDA has to be spelled in all caps or it won't find him. This is a deal that's cheaper than WWE's network and has more shows run per month that go up on the site and has a huge video catalog of awesome wrestling.

Sometime later I'll probably put together a more comprehensive post with recommendations of what to watch and stuff, but right now it's pretty new and I'm just getting the hang of navigating stuff. But if you follow me on twitter @magell2 I'll be tweeting out videos I'm watching since they have wisely built that right into the system so there will be recommendations there.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

WWE Network & NXT Arrival

It would be crazy of me to have a wrestling blog and not talk about the WWE Network launch. It's not a perfect launch, but it's been pretty damn good. I still can't get it to work on my X-Box 360 which is a bummer, but it's working well on my computer and they are improving the experience every day. The first day the search function would show you the matches for a wrestler and then start the PPV the match occurred on. Two days later all the PPVs had bookmarks on the timeline so you could jump to the match you wanted to watch. Today, being Thursday even though this probably goes up after midnight and is on Friday, I searched a match and when I clicked the link it jumped right to the part of the PPV where the match started. So it's pretty awesome so far.

The thing I appreciate the most about the Network is being able to essentially construct best of DVDs for wrestlers that I love that will never get those DVDs. I started my searching with Lance Storm and watched his match against Chris Candido at ECW Heatwave 1998 and just watched most of that show and the first three matches are really good. Beside the match I already mentioned you get Justin Credible vs. Jerry Lynn and Masato Tanaka vs. Mike Awesome. I have a good list of wrestlers I want to search after Storm. Some of them are guys I vaguely remember liking and want to see if they are still good like Lash Leroux, Val Venis,  Essa Rios, and Too Much. But more importantly is the ability to check out people like Storm, Dean Malenko, Christian, and all the other wrestlers that are great in the ring, but didn't have the personality to get them DVDs or big time matches.

The biggest high point for my excitement about the Network was NXT Arrival which aired earlier today. The stream broke for me before the main event, but I can live without that match live, although I do want to see Neville vs. Dallas in a ladder match.

The show started with Cesaro vs. Zayn and that match was so good. It played off the history the two men had facing each other in so many great ways that while the match would be good for somebody watching this as their first exposure it was enhanced by having watched the previous matches. So much good stuff in this match, so there's lots to talk about so I'll try and keep it brief. First off the commentary for this whole show and especially this match was so much better than what the main shows get. Why Regal hasn't gotten called up to the main shows is beyond me. Zayn starts off strong, but of course Cesaro puts a stop to that and then goes to work on the injured knee of Zayn and he does a beautiful job of it. He does some dragon screws and rolls up keeping a hold on the leg and does it again and he has some nice submissions to work the leg without being submission moves you'd expect to end the match. Zayn has an attempted comeback where he's on the apron and gets Cesaro on the outside. Zayn's knee is injured so when he does the dive it's an Arabian Press Moonsault so he doesn't put any more pressure on the leg, unfortunately Cesaro caught him and slammed him onto the ramp. Zayn of course refuses to give up and fights into the ring and they just do more awesome stuff and everybody should watch this match. Kind of bummed Zayn didn't get to pull out the win, but if this match doesn't get him onto RAW before March is over WWE is crazy.

Mojo Rawley beat CJ Parker in a short match which is good because I don't care about CJ Parker.

The Ascension beat Too Cool in a decent tag match. I don't care for the Ascension, but I'm a big Too Cool fan ever since they were Too Much so that helped get me interested in the match. Both teams do their usual stuff it was good enough.

Then we get the Women's Title match between Paige and Emma and it was great. A lot of technical wrestling and submission attempts in this match, so anybody worried about Emma being too much of a comedy wrestler on Raw and Smackdown can put those fears on the backburner. Much like Zayn/Cesaro it had the two competitors countering each other based off their previous matches and they did some beautiful looking counters. Emma is in control for more of this match than their last match and I appreciated it. It's not often Paige plays the face in peril so it was good to see her play it here and Emma puts her in some brutal looking submissions to do it. Best part of the match Emma hitting a sitout powerbomb on Paige for a two count while the crowd chanted "Better than Batista," and she did the move perfectly so the chant fit. Paige fights back and hits the Page Turner, but Emma kicked out and then got put into the Scorpion Deathlock Double Chicken Wing and Emma taps out to an awesome looking submission after a hard fought contest.

There were entrances for Xavier Woods and Tyler Breeze before Rusev came out and beat the shit out of both of them which sucked because Tyler Breeze is awesome. Then the stream died and I missed the main event, but I'll watch it soon and I'm looking forward to it, but even without the main event Arrived is worth the two hour watch time, and the Network is worth the 9.99 a month price tag.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Pro Wrestling Guerrilla TEN: Review

B-Boy, Candice LeRae & Willie Mack vs. Peter Avalon, Joey Ryan & Ryan Taylor

I want to say this is how you start a show, but this match is so awesome, I'm not sure that's actually true. I'm a huge fan of the PWG six man matches though so every time I see one it hits every part of my wrestling enjoyment buttons. Everybody looks awesome and we also get Taylor nailing Scott Lost who's sitting ringside and then Lost comes back to hit an ace crusher on the apron later in the match. B-Boy also hits Taylor with a ridiculously brutal combo of kicks before the ace crusher. Joey and Candice do some great stuff including Candice hitting a beautiful springboard reverse hurrincanranna then doing a suicide dive into a tornado DDT. Willie Mack hits Avalon with a Chocolate Thunder Driver for the win in a super satisfying match that I could watch every day.

Brian Cage vs. Anthony Nese

This match be intense. These two guys are jacked to the gills with muscles, but they can still move and do awesome shit. Nese takes a sick looking bump on the apron when Cage sweeps his feet out on him and he lands face first, it's awesome. Nese pulls out some nice power moves and high flying moves and the power moves look so much more impressive being done on a monster of a man like Cage. Nese looked really impressive with the Fosbury flop to the outside and landing on his feet. Lots of good back and forth action in this match before Cage hits Nese with a buckle bomb and then then Weapon X for the win.

Forever Hooligans vs. RockNES Monsters

This match starts with shenanigans and gets the Hooligans corner spot turning into a fake brawl between them out of the way and from that point on it is fucking hard hitting action. The Monsters look really strong in this match and get a lot of near falls toward the end, but it's not enough to overcome Azucar and Koslov. Awesome stuff from all four men and it is a joy to watch this unfold. I really like the finisher that the Hooligans use. It just looks painful.

Michael Elgin vs. AR Fox

The classic battle of speed versus strength, but it's better considering you have one of the strongest and one of the fastest guys in this match. Fox does some big dives and lands on his feet to make them look even more impressive. Elgin does his delayed vertical suplex and holds Fox up for approximately forever if I counted correctly. Fox doesn't just go with speed and dives though, he gets some big moves in and they go back and forth perfectly before the brutal ending where Fox is on the top rope and Elgin nails him with two hard backfists then hits a top rope powerbomb for the win. Just great stuff from these two guys.

Johnny Gargano & Chuck Taylor vs. Paul London & Brian Kendrick

A fun tag team match between these two teams which may have best opening of any match ever. The tag belts are suspended above the ring for the main event ladder match so Gargano gets on Taylor's shoulders and Kendrick gets on London's as they try to grab the belts and then Taylor and Kendrick start wrestling on there and it's phenomenal. Good wrestling throughout this match with some fun shenanigans as well. Nice to see a match that doesn't try to be epic on a PWG show and this fit that bill well and was just good fun.

Kyle O'Reilly vs. TJ Perkins

If you like techinical wrestling you have to watch this match. The beginning of this match is just super slick catch as catch can wrestling and these guys make it happen fast and smooth. TJ is probably the best wrestler who loses almost every match he's in. Lots of great back and forth until O'Reilly catches TJ on the apron and twists his arm down over the top rope and starts to work the injured body part. Perkins eventually makes a come back and they start to go back and forth with near falls before O'Reilly counters a frog splash with double knees and then hits one of his crazy combos with like 15 moves in a minute and when Perkin's kicks out O'Reilly spins right into the cross armbreaker to get the submission. Fantastic match between these two which showcases submissions, strikes, and wrestling and is just a delight to watch. Definitely the best match on the show.

Adam Cole vs. Kevin Steen vs. Drake Younger (PWG Championship, Guerrilla Warfare Match)

If you like violence, piledrivers, and hard hitting action, this is the match for you. It starts off with Steen and Younger working together to beat the living shit out of Cole all around the Legion Hall. The truce doesn't last forever and it becomes a real three way match and everybody gets hurt violently. Lots of near falls, but I like that they are ended by the third guy interfering instead of just a kick out, because a lot of the moves they take are huge. Best example being when Cole does the flipping piledriver to Younger through a table, Steen pulls Cole out of the ring, hits the apron powerbomb then rolls in to cover Drake for a two count. The end of the match is perfect. Steen gets Cole up on the top rope and hits Generico's top rope brainbuster for a two count before Younger pulls him out of the ring. Young goes for the cover, but Cole rolls him up with a crucifix pin and gets a quick three count to retain the belt.

The Young Bucks vs. Dojo Bros vs. Inner-City Machine Guns (PWG Tag Championship, Ladder Match)

Like most tag team ladder matches this thing is like watching a car crash in the best possible way. Lots of action from everybody to start the match with dives and craziness, but it doesn't take long before a ladder makes its way into the ring followed by an even bigger ladder, because that's how ladder matches work. Rich Swann seems to take the biggest beating out of everybody involved. I loved Nick Jackson saying he got it while the ladder was being pushed over in reference to his normal falling off a ladder then springboarding off the top rope onto everybody, but instead missing and crotching himself on the top rope. The ladders are used well, but not relied upon for the match which was nice. The end sequence is a little bit flat as Matt low blows Edwards and then superkicks him and Roddy while Nick climbs up to grab the belts.

Surprise, surprise a PWG show is awesome and you should buy the DVD. Lots of good stuff on this show and it seems a little more varied than some of the other PWG shows which can be a lot of hard hitting mile a minute matches.