Doing a monster catch up on everything I've missed in recent months. Some rather surprising nominations I must say.
Jay White vs. Hirooki Goto (NJPW Wrestling Hinokuni) **** (YES!)
I looked back and I'm pretty sure there wasn't a single mention of this match in this thread, right?
Color me shocked but for a match that meant next to nothing I REALLY enjoyed this. Goto can be one lazy formulaic fucker but when he's motivated like he was here I love watching his matches with the right opponent. Great back and forth stuff here shuffling between White's usual antics of playing defense & being smart and Goto flat out overpowering him half the time to try and keep him down and keep Gedo at bay. I always mark hard when I get to see the Kaiten
and the reversals late in the match were thrilling. I obviously knew Goto wasn't winning but they did a really good job of still making him look strong enough to where it felt like White only escaped with a victory despite it being a clean win. Great match!... even though it didn't draw very well.
IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship:
Dragon Lee (c) vs. Taiji Ishimori (NJPW Wrestling Dontaku 5/3) **** 1/4 (YES!!)
This was fucking fantastic. They made everything look SO smooth without it looking overly-choreographed or "fake" and it ended up feeling like a total war by the end. I really enjoyed Ishimori's work on top and that long submission sequence he had where it looked like he was gonna win it. Crowd really came alive by the end and I thought the match was a tremendous highlight reel without ever feeling over the top. Big thumbs up.
NO But Highly Recommended:
Ishii vs. EVIL (Wrestling Dontaku 5/4)
I'm sure as shit not watching Okada/SANADA and I'm honestly afraid to even touch that Gargano/Cole rematch.
I did watch that NXT Tag Title Ladder Match and that was a hell of a lot of fun. NXT is just not really grabbing my interest right now, idk.