Winner: The North via Backbreaker/Spinebuster Combo
2. AEW Dynamite: AEW World Tag Team Championship: Lucha Bros vs Kenny Omega & Hangman Page (c)
From Mitchell’s Coverage:
Tag back to Omega, and Hangman brings Pentagon up. Omega and Hangman double whip but Pentagon kicks Omega in the face! Pentagon SLINGBLADES Hangman! Omega CHOPS Pentagon but Fenix missile dropkicks! Hangman blocks Fenix’s superkick to CHOP! Pentagon SUPERKICKS Hangman! “CERO! MIEDO!” Hangman pop-up BOMBS Pentagon and sets him up for Omega’s V-TRIGGER! Fans cheer again as Fenix rises. Fenix ducks, handsprings, but into the chicken wings! Hangman slingshots, but Fenix gets free and Omega takes the BUCK SHOT! Fenix dropkicks Hangman down! Pentagon drags Omega up, pump handles, SUPERKICK from Fenix and then Fenix FLIES onto Hangman! PENTA DRIVER!! Cover, TWO!?! Atlanta can’t believe it but they are loving it!
Pentagon drags Omega back up, tags in Fenix, and tucks him in. Fenix goes up, Omega slips out to SNAP DRAGON! Fenix tornillo into a V-TRIGGER! Omega underhooks Fenix, TIGER DRIVER ’98!! Cover, TWO!?! Fenix still lives and Omega can’t believe it! Omega slashes the throat, drags Fenix up and Electric Chair lifts. But Fenix fights out and waistlocks. Omega standing switches but Fenix elbows free of that. Hangman tags in as Fenix runs at Omega. Omega side steps, Fenix tiger feints, but Omega ducks the heel kick as Hangman takes aim. BUCK SHOT TRIGGER!! Cover, Hangman and Omega win!!
Winner: Omega & Hangman via Buckshot Trigger
1. NJPW New Japan Road Day 1: NEVER Openweight Championship: Shingo Takagi (c) vs Tomohiro Ishii
From My Review:
Okay, English commentary tried to remind fans that NEVER is an acronym, with the original idea of it being a title for younger wrestlers to propel them. NEVER stands for: New blood Evolution Valiantly Eternal Radical – like most Japanese applications of English words…it’s a little goofy. But it’s really no different than people that get Kanji tattoos; assuming it says “courage” when we all know it’s probably closer to saying “soup”.
Surprisingly, they start with a lock up like two bulls locking horns. From that point on, it was exactly what you would expect. Both men demonstrated their Tenryu influence with their chops and corner combinations. Shingo also proved himself as a champion in one specific moment. After a Death Valley Driver on the apron, Red Shoes was counting out Ishii; and Shingo stopped Red Shoes, and went to go collect his opponent.
Even though the acronym really means nothing anymore, and the initial idea for the belt has mutated; when a brawler holds the title, these matches are special. Ishii fought out of most moves, they had a no sell Backdrop Driver spot, but Shingo broke out a few tricks. Noshigami, Made in Japan…hell, he even pulled off an Emerald Flowsion.
Both men peppered in classic moves, influences from their teachers; all while keeping the violence turned to 11. Fantastic match, punctuated with the Shingo Style GTR and Last of the Dragon. Great stuff, as expected.
Winner: Takagi via Last of the Dragon
Told you this was an interesting week of Top 5 matches. There will probably be a large number of people who don’t pay attention to Impact or New Japan; but they’re just missing out. Shingo Takagi vs Tomohiro Ishii, was a fantastic match that may even make some people’s Match of the Year list. So I’m completely sold on pick this match for the week.
If you don’t watch some of these companies, that’s fine. No one is here saying you need to; this article’s entire point is to locate quality regardless of promotion. Enjoy what you like, and with Super Showdown and Revolution next week; we’ll probably see some number make the Top 5 matches.
Remember to leave your opinion of which was your favorite of the Top 5 Matches. And again, if you didn’t watch these; don’t worry about it. Not every week will be friendly to every type of fan.