A busy weekend coming up for both All Elite Wrestling and New Japan with previews for the big PPVs coming up, but first a short live event review:
Pro Wrestling EVE is the singular all-women’s promotion in the United Kingdom, and as such attracts a vastly different audience than more “mainstream” events. Everyone who makes the effort to attend really gets into an old-school Punk-Rock ethos of inclusion and diversity, and no one tries to “get themselves over” (by shouting or chanting in an effort to make the show about themselves).
Their signature yearly event – Wrestle Queendom V – was held across two shows last Sunday in London, and the organisers went all-out to bring in some fantastic talent from around the world. Tokyo Joshi Pro wrestling was represented by the comedic Hyper Misao, a super-heroine who doesn’t mind cheating, and the no-nonsense Pink Striker Miyu Yamashita, who has been seen in AEW competing against Thunder Rosa.
There was also a showcase match for stars of the Marvelous promotion; Rin Kadokura fought Maria in the first match she has had outside Japan.
Delightfully ramshackle at points, the two shows included everything that is wonderful about pro-wrestling, from comedy to technical exhibitions to painful ultra-violence, especially in the lights out match between the amazing Charlie Morgan and Emersyn Jayne which wrecked tables and chairs and forced the audience to quickly vacate their seats lest they got crushed.
Considering the content of the show I was surprised to see the audience skewed along the same general gender lines as more “mainstream” shows, but being held in a music venue, with a bar and an adults only policy, the night felt more like an intimate rock concert than anything else.
EVE is really a perfect example of why professional wrestling should be experienced live to properly understand what makes it so special.
The NJPW/Stardom Historic X-Over PPV is finally arriving on Sunday! In addition to the awesome-sounding main event, I also can’t wait to see Hiroshi Tanahashi and Utami Hayashishita compete against Maika and Hirooki Goto, and from the cheeser on Tanahashi’s face, he can’t either:
The Full Card:
IWGP Women’s Championship: KAIRI vs. Mayu Iwatani
IWGP United States Championship: Will Ospreay defends against Shota Umino
The Great Muta, Toru Yano, and Kazuchika Okada vs. Great-O-Khan, Aaron Henare, and Jeff Cobb in The Great Muta’s final NJPW match
Shingo Takagi, Teysuya Natio, Hiromu Takahashi, SANADA, and BUSHI vs. Aussie Open, TJP, Francesco Akira, and Gideon Grey
Hiroshi Tanahashi and Utami Hayashishita vs. Hirooki Goto and Maika
Natsupoi, Tam Nakano, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, and Taichi vs. El Desperado, DOUKI, Starlight Kid, and Momo Watanabe
Tom Lawlor and Syuri vs. Zack Sabre Jr. and Giulia
Queen’s Quest (Lady C, AZM, and Saya Kamitania) vs. Donna Del Mondo (Mai Sakurai, Thekla, and Himeka)
CHAOS (Tomohiro Ishii, YOSHI-HASHI-,YOH, and Lio Rush) vs. House of Torture (EVIL, Yujiro Takahashi, SHO, and Dick Togo)
Full Gear is taking place in Newark New Jersey on Saturday, Maxwell Jacob Friedman’s home state, and the burningest question is if and in which manner he will defeat Jon Moxley. Fan-shot videos of his after-show promo on Wednesday saw MJF play full babyface, which leads me to think it’s absolutely certain he’s going to cheat like hell. He is The Devil, after all. The tantalising possibility of William Regal joining him still hangs in the air too.
Oh, also The Elite are back.
The Full Card:
AEW World Championship Match: Jon Moxley vs. MJF
AEW Tag Team Championship Match: The Acclaimed vs. Swerve In Our Glory
Interim AEW Women’s World Championship Match: Toni Storm vs. Jamie Hayter
ROH World Championship Match: Chris Jericho vs. Bryan Danielson vs. Sammy Guevara vs. Claudio Castagnoli
AEW Trios Tag Team Championship Match: Death Triangle vs. The Elite
AEW TBS Championship Match: Jade Cargill vs. Nyla Rose
AEW TNT Championship Match: Wardlow vs. Powerhouse Hobbs vs. Samoa Joe
Steel Cage Match: Jungle Boy vs. Luchasaurus
Saraya vs. Britt Baker
Darby Allin & Sting vs. Jeff Jarrett & Jay Lethal
What will you be watching this weekend?