Quarantine continues and I have reached the point of making a character in Final Fantasy 14 to kill time. When there aren’t many matches to watch, I suppose video games are a tolerable escape.
Oh! This is a wrestling article…yup…I saw stuff and things. But first we have a few votes to clear up. First the new Match of the Year Pool:
- January – Wrestle Kingdom 14: Double Gold Match: Kazuchika Okada vs Tetsuya Naito
- February – AEW Revolution: AEW World Tag Team Championship: Hangman Page & Kenny Omega (c) vs The Young Bucks
- March – AEW Dynamite: AAA Mega Championship: Kenny Omega (c) vs Sammy Guevara
So the votes were closer than one would think; but AEW did manage to get a second option in the pool. We also had a vote for match of last week; which turned into ‘favorite WM36 match’. Nothing wrong with that, since there were a few gems in the two day affair.
WrestleMania 36: NXT Women’s Championship: Rhea Ripley (c) vs Charlotte Flair, won the vote last week.
Now on to this week!
Quick Top 5:
- NXT: Johnny Gargano vs Tommaso Ciampa
Rating: **** 3/4
- IMPACT!: World Tag Team Championship: The North (c) vs Tessa Blanchard & Eddie Edwards
Rating: **** 1/4
- AEW Dynamite: Hikaru Shida vs Britt Baker
- Impact!: Daga vs Chris Bey
Rating: *** 1/2
- AEW Dynamite: Shawn Spears vs Cody
Rating: *** 1/2
- NXT: #1 Contender Ladder Match: Teagan Nox vs Candice LeRae vs Dakota Kai vs Chelsea Green vs Io Shirai vs Mia Yim
Rating: *** 1/4
- WWE Raw: Apollo Crews vs Aleister Black
Rating: *** 1/4
- MLW Fusion: National Openweight Championship: Alex Hammerstone (c) vs Lardeo Kid
Rating: *** 1/4
- 205 Live: Oney Lorcan vs Jack Gallagher
- WWE SmackDown: Women’s Tag Team Championship: BlissCross (c) vs Kabuki Warriors
- AEW Dynamite: Michael Nakazawa & Kenny Omega vs Best Friends
- WWE Raw: Liv Morgan vs Asuka
5. AEW Dynamite: Shawn Spears vs Cody
Spears grits his teeth and glares at Cody. Cody crawls but Spears drags him up. Spears SLAPS Cody so Cody SLAPS back! But Spears fireman’s carry, only for Cody to slip out, and hit CROSS RHODES!! And then ANOTHER CROSS RHODES!! Cover, TWO!?! Spears survives and even Jericho is shocked! But that’s the “Canadian tenacity.” But Cody pulls Spears’ knee pads off and locks on the FIGURE FOUR!! Spears screams in pain, weakly flails as Cody cranks back, and it’s a cover!! Cody WINS!
Winner: Cody via Figure Four Counter Pinfall
4. Impact!: Daga vs Chris Bey
This was a hell of a match. Early back and forth of strikes, counters and reversals; that eventually results in Bey connecting with Rising Kick and keeping control through the commercial break. Bey slows things down, gets a bit cocky; so of course he has to pay. Daga mounts a bit of a comeback, goes for a big running dive off the ramp and misses a little; so it looks rough. From that point, it’s anyone’s match. Daga tries to catch Bey with a Sunset Flip, Bey sits down into a cradle and is close enough to the ropes to get the dirty pin.
Damn good match, and the finish helps Daga not be hurt too much.
Winner: Bey via Double Leg Cradle w/ropes
3. AEW Dynamite: Hikaru Shida vs Britt Baker
Shida is up, but Baker SUPERKICKS! Baker drags Shida back up, grinning through her bloody nose! Baker puts Shida on the ropes and makes her bite the cable! She wants to give her the same treatment as Yuka Sakazaki, but Shida evades! Shida dumps Baker out but Baker stays on the apron. Baker and Shida brawl with the ropes between them. Shida throws a heavy elbow then drags Baker up to the top rope! Baker blocks the suplex to rake the eyes! And a SUPERKICK to the legs sends Shida down! Baker climbs up but Shida joins her! The two fight up top but Shida fireman’s carries! SUPER BACKBREAKER on the buckles! Shida drags Baker back in, and runs, to SHINING WIZARD! Cover, Shida wins!!
Winner: Shida via 3 Count
2. IMPACT!: World Tag Team Championship Match: The North (c) vs Tessa Blanchard & Eddie Edwards
This was a great match of a reluctant tag team of main eventers, facing legit tag team champions. We saw lots of lucky tags early between Eddie and Tessa. Where one would just stumble into the corner and the other would tag themselves in.
Great flashes of chemistry between all four, really helped the match never have a low point. Tessa had a story of not being strong enough to lift Alexander, but she managed to create offense through her agility. After fighting out of multiple tandem attempts and double teams, Eddie was offering his hand to Tessa to tag in. She gets up, she stares Eddie down, basically tells him to get bent and then she blows the match. She eats a few big moves and then the Northern Assault with a visible pin over Tessa.
Winner: The North via Northern Assault
1. NXT: Johnny Gargano vs Tommaso Ciampa
But then she dares him to finish it. Go ahead, they’ve gone this far. Gargano reaches for Candice, but she LOW BLOWS HIM!? WHY, CANDICE, WHY!? She leaves without another word, and even Ciampa seems speechless. Ciampa kneels by Gargano’s side, because Candice just did something far worse than anything he has done tonight. Ciampa again has compassion for his friend, and helps him sit up. They stand, but Candice returns to LOW BLOW Ciampa!!! And Gargano laughs?! This was the plan all along! Because the thing wrapped in paper before, was a CUP!! A protective athletic cup protected Gargano’s Johnny! “You lose!” Gargano drags Ciampa up and the ref comes to, in time for Gargano to STEAL the Fairy Tale Ending!! Cover, Gargano wins!!
Winner: Gargano via Fairy Tale Ending
Much like the Last Man Standing Match with Orton and Edge; the Ciampa vs Gargano match was divisive. I thought the only thing that hurt it, was the 3 or 4 commercial breaks. Candice made sense being involved since the feud affected her, just as much as the others.
With that, my choice out of the matches is pretty straight forward. Tommaso Ciampa vs Johnny Gargano; was a nice culmination and hopefully the punctuation for a few years to this feud.
Not exactly the most dynamic week of matches; but there was still some pretty choice stuff on TV.