FROM NEW JAPAN TO RING OF HONOR, DEREK HARMSWORTH RUNS THROUGH THE PAST SEVEN DAYS IN THIS WEEKS FRIDAY FIFTEEN!
1) This past weekend’s NJPW G1 Climax show from the USA was an absolute success. A historic night for a company that is eyeing North American expansion by the end of this calendar year.
2) How Amazing was Kenny Omega? For my money he is the best in the business today, and his efforts over two days en route to becoming the company’s first United States Champion proved it.
3) Naito losing was a genuine shocker, but a smart move by the company. It showed the unpredictability that will make their events “must see”. Also, the guy is so over this loss won’t cool him a bit.
4) Great work on commentary by Jim Ross and Josh Barnett. For those who had never seen NJPW before, or weren’t all that familiar, the duo brought some familiarity while explaining the backstory of the wrestlers and the company incredibly well.
5) Most likely outcome of Sunday’s Great Balls of Fire main event? Samoa Joe looks legitimate, but Brock prevails. But just for fun, two possibilities exist in my mind: First, a non-finish setting up that rumoured triple threat or fatal four way at Summerslam. But, even crazier; what if Paul Heyman turns on Lesnar and aides Joe in becoming the next Universal Champion?
6) The WWE brand split is done for many reasons. It keeps things fresh, gives WWE two groups to tour, and allows WWE to create its own competition. However, it also is very beneficial for many stars who are allowed more time on the mic and in the ring. Perhaps no one has benefitted more than The Miz. Once stagnant and rudderless, the former WWE Champion has vaulted himself back into one of the main event players for the company.
7) Tyler Breeze and Fandango, perhaps against all odds, completely work. More than that, they can often be the most entertaining segment of the night.
8) Circling back to Great Balls Of Fire once more, this has the potential to be one of the cards of the year.
9) WWE NXT continues to put on quality shows week after week. There’s something so refreshing about the one hour television format. It’s simple, it’s straightforward, and allows good, linear stories to be told in a beginning-middle-end format that is easily digestible and wholly enjoyable.
10) We as a pro wrestling viewing fan base are totally ready for a female-only WWE Pay-Per-View, right? I guess the numbers on the Mae Young Wrestling Classic will tell the tale for certain, but after last week’s all female main events on each of the three television programs, it seems like the time is now.
11) Global Force Wrestling (or Impact Wrestling, honestly I am not sure), presentation of Slammiversary XV was actually quite good. A straightforward event that showcased the best of the company’s in-ring talent (of which there really is plenty). The biggest challenge still standing in their way is the sheer number of viewers who have been burned by this company in the past and whether a name change is enough to get them to tune back in.
12) People actually quite like Talking SmackDown Live!, so why not take things one step further and revive Prime Time Wrestling for the network?
13) Congratulations are in order for Canadian-based Smash Wrestling, who announced this week they have a television deal to air their programming on the Fight Network in Canada. The show, which will feature the top stars for the brand, will air Thursdays immediately following Impact Wrestling.
14) Kevin Owens against AJ Styles is going to be great. But then again, when hasn’t it been?
15) It will be very interesting to see how much benefit NJPW’s North America expansion has on Ring Of Honor. The company has been consistently putting out great content lately, this despite having to seemingly always retool their roster in the wake of WWE interest in several of their top stars.