: January 4, 2019, Tokyo Dome
NO:Togi Makabe & Toru Yano & Ryusuke Taguchi -vs- Yuji Nagata & Jeff Cobb & David Finlay -vs- Hirooki Goto & Beretta & Chuckie T -vs- Minoru Suzuki & Lance Archer & Davey Boy Smith Jr. -vs- Hangman Page & Yujiro Takahashi & Marty Scurll - (Gauntlet) [**]
--- I missed the battle royal for a preshow game.
YES: Kota Ibushi (c) -vs- Will Ospreay - (NEVER Openweight Title) [**** 1/4]
--- Was amazing for what it was. Superbly executed, making Ospreay look like the most dangerous foreigner in the company. Maybe they see the same as me. Ospreay being the perfect rival to Okada in the future. Ibushi certainly put him over as such in this high-flying chess game.
NO:Yoshinobu Kanemaru & El Desperado (c) -vs- SHO & YOH -vs- Shingo Takagi & BUSHI - (IWGP Junior Tag Title; 3-Way) [** 3/4]
--- Didn't get enough time to become anything special, but Shingo showed he's a great addition to their junior division.
NO but Recommended:Tomohiro Ishii (c) -vs- Zack Sabre Jr. - (RevPro British Heavyweight Title) [*** 1/4]
--- Ishii/Sabre was quality, but Sabre looked a little awkward during the middle stages. Thankfully he was more on form for the closing stages showing why his different style comes across so dangerous in this environment.
NO but Recommended:Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa (c) -vs- EVIL & SANADA -vs- Nick Jackson & Matt Jackson - (IWGP Tag Title; 3-Way) [***]
--- Surprisingly entertaining. Got kind of lost in the shuffle of the more interesting matches, but there is no denying the importance of EVIL & SANADA going forward, and the Young Bucks were professional in their allegedly last match for the company. Even Haku's boys did well.
NO: Cody (c) -vs- Juice Robinson - (IWGP US Title) [**]
--- Worst match on the show, but Brandi's cute boxing and a very decisive finish gave it some positivity.
NO: KUSHIDA (c) -vs- Taiji Ishimori - (IWGP Junior Title) [** 1/2]
--- Solid, but didn't get to go the extra mile to make it special.
NO but Recommended: Jay White -vs- Kazuchika Okada [***]
-- Was good, but bland. Not sold on White at this level, but they are pushing him strong as a possible Omega replacement. The most positive thing about the match was the return of Okada's short pants. The most negative was the dance they called counters and reversals leading up to the end. Looked ridiculous. Thankfully most of the match looked more credible than that.
YES: Chris Jericho (c) -vs- Tetsuya Naito - (IWGP Intercontinental Title; No-DQ) [*** 1/2]
--- Naito bumped like a madman to make old Jericho look like a million bucks! That DDT on the table was one of the greatest moments on the show! Naito continue to show how valuable he is to New Japan and I hope he gets rewarded for it in 2019, getting the attention he deserves.
YES: Kenny Omega (c) -vs- Hiroshi Tanahashi - (IWGP Title) [**** 1/2]
--- The heart of the show. Typical epic Omega, but with Tanahashi's fighting spirit as the main focus. Tanahashi show pure class as the grand old performer of the company going way over capacity for one more big moment. The purpose was there and you felt it. Classic on so many levels!
: January 5, 2019, Korakuen Hall
NO: Will Ospreay & Hirooki Goto & Tomihiro Ishii -vs- Yuji Nagata & Jeff Cobb & KUSHIDA [** 3/4]
--- The best bout on the Tokyo Dome follow-up show. Pretty lackluster first step, but this match was good. Especially for Nagata and Ishii having heat and Ospreay continuing to increase his stock.
: January 6, 2019
NO: Maybach Taniguchi & Yuji Hino (c) -vs- Katsuhiko Nakajima & Go Shiozaki - (GHC Tag Title) [** 1/2]
--- The Hooligans making their presence felt on this show. This GHC Tag Title clash was alright if you look past the lame invasion.
YES: Kaito Kiyomiya (c) -vs- Kenoh - (GHC Title) [*** 1/2]
--- Kaito Kiyomiya at 22 years of age might not be 100% ready to carry NOAH, but it sure feels refreshing having him on top of a promotion that not that long ago was the most stale company in Japan. He keeps impressing and grows with each opportunity. And battling a former GHC Champion in Kenou to start the year was the right thing to create a positive vibe for what's to come in 2019. A slow builder of match. Very NOAH, but in a positive way, for the excitement increased, things got more intense, and they paced out the important moves in fine style! Kenou is excellent, and by the time the match was over, the same thing can be said about young ace.
: January 6, 2019
1. Rich Swann -vs- Ethan Page -vs- Jake Crist -vs- Trey Miguel - (Ultimate X Match; Impact X-Division Title Decison) [** 3/4]
2. Allie & Su Yung -vs- Jordynne Grace & Kiera Hogan [**]
3. Eddie Edwards -vs- Moose - (Falls Count Anywhere) [*** 1/4]
4. Sami Callihan -vs- Willie Mack [***]
5. Eli Drake -vs- Abyss - (Monster's Ball) [**]
6. Ortiz & Santana (c) -vs- Pentagón Jr. & Rey Fénix - (Impact Tag Title) [** 1/2]
7. Tessa Blanchard (c) -vs Taya Valkyrie - (Impact Knockouts Title) [** 1/4]
8. Johnny Impact (c) -vs- Brian Cage - (Impact Title) [** 3/4]
to everything on this show, but Impact starts their new chapter in a good way! A little weird that I ended up with Edwards/Moose ass my favorite match on the show, but it was the best told story which didn't have any major issues about it. The main event was on it's way to become a real killer, but some major problems with some sequences, including a devastatingly poor finish, ruined the impression. Same with Valkyrie's big moment being sloppy. The X-Division bout had one purpose. Having people executing movies hanging on the ropes over the ring. Got a bit repetitive and choreographed for it's own good, but it had it's spectacular moments. I've seen people love the LAX vs Lucha Bros tag, but to me it was mainly a rushed spotfest. Fun for what it was, but not in any way a MOTY type deal. I don't get LAX anyway. Comes across as a gimmick which was out-of-date 20 years ago. They should really freshen their style.
: January 4, 2019
NO but Recommended: Titán -vs- Tritón - (Lightning Match) [***]
--- These speed matches go by fast, but it was sweet while it lasted. Both are excellent fliers and that finishing move was class!
YES: Dragón Lee -vs- Cavernario [*** 1/2]
--- Dragón Lee/Cavernario was very CMLL formula, with a long final fall, but there was a terrific effort from the two giving us a exciting singles match.
NO but Recommended: Sansón & Cuatrero & Forastero (c) -vs- Niebla Roja & Ángel de Oro & Soberano Jr. - (Mexican National Trios Title) [*** 1/4]
--- La Sangre Dinamita defending the Mexican National Trios Title was almost as good. Got enough time to feel special and of course there is enough history between the wrestlers for it to have some meaning. Definitely one of the better shows CMLL will have this year.
: January 1, 2019
NO but Recommended: Parka Negra & Villano III Jr. -vs- Mexica & Sádico -vs- Cometa & Concord -vs- Alex Extreme & Ángel Cósmico - (4-Way) [*** 1/4]
--- For some rather spectacular lucha this 4-way tag was amazing at times. Too spectacular as Sadico get injured doing something insane. A real lively fight worth seeking out. Can be seen here