Feedback to ROH & New Japan shows
ROH Border Wars feedback
Best Match: Tadarius Thomas and ACH vs Caprice Coleman and Cedric Alexander
Worst Match: Rhett Titus vs BJ Whitmer
I enjoyed the show tonight and was there live. It wasn't as good as the last two shows in Toronto of Glory By Honor and last year's Border Wars but still a good show that the crowd enjoyed. I loved the opener and thought it was just the right length. Bennett vs Strong was fun and Titus vs Whitmer had some positives but the crowd was more into other chants and the ending didn't work for me. Steen did get a strong reaction in the tag match and Elgin got over well.
The Tomasso Ciampa return got a better reaction than I would have expected. Edwards vs Ishimori was quite good. Mark Briscoe vs Matt Taven was disappointing to me. I liked Taven a lot more before he was teamed up with Martini and the gimmick does not work as well as just straight wrestling did for him. The new valet with Truth Martini and crew was Seleyzia Sparks, who is the valet for Sebastian Suave in C*4 and SMASH in Ontario.
London vs Richards was popular with the crowd who didn't seem to realize that London has continued to wrestle the past few years. The main event was really fun but I didn't think the interference helped or was necessary. Jay Briscoe thanked the crowd for their chanting and reactions after the match and then Lynard Skynard was played for the live crowd.
The dark match by the way had The Flatliners of Asylum and Burns losing Josh Alexander and Ethan Page, all of whom are really good indy wrestlers in Ontario who will hopefully get shots on t.v. tomorrow
Best match: London vs Richards
Worst match: Whitmer vs Titus
Overall Border Wars was a really good show that felt much better paced than most ROH shows. A couple matches underperformed and the main event finish felt flat, but those are minor complaints. I really enjoyed the opener, tag and pretty much the entire second half. I also liked the use of old matches during intermission.
A thumbs in the middle on this show . Best match Edwards / Ishimori Worst Titus /Whitmer possibly the worst I Quit match ever. Main event would have been a good TV match but in no way for the ROH title for a PPV Some streaming problems were off and on all night but really hurt the London/Richards match. Card didn't look good on paper to begin with.
Best Match. Davey Richards v Paul London
Worst Match. Mark Briscoe v Matt Taven
A very enjoyable show, definately got my monies worth and I had no issues with the stream whatsoever all night.
The opener was a cracker and got the show off to a great start. Titus/Whitmer I quit match was just there to further storyline and was fine in that respect. Elgin put on a showstealing performance in the tag match, great showcase of his strength and it was great to see Steen get involved, excellent booking. Strong v Bennett was average and typical of their styles.
Tomasso Ciampa's return and entrance was fanatastic, excellent production and good to see him back. Edwards v Ishimori delivered as expected although the result was a surprise. The TV title match was average, a little overbooked at the end but I had low expectations for this anyway.
My match of the night, and the one I was most looking forward to, was easily London v Richards. Great storytelling, London looked good although it took him a while to keep up with Richards' intensity. I hope to see more of London in ROH.
The main event was fine, nothing memorable until the ending which I thought was well booked and will certainly make for interesting TV going forward.
Joe Mills. Chester, UK
Wrestling Dontaku 2013 was a "thumbs up" show.
The best match was Minoru Suzuki versus Kazuchika Okada for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. This was a very good match but Okada was in that sleeper hold way too long. I like Okada but it was weird seeing Hiroshi Tanahashi come out for his match without the heavyweight belt. Hopefully, NJPW can keep its momentum going with the Rainmaker at the helm.
The worst match - well, there wasn't a bad match on the card, so I'll call it the "least good" match - was Killer Elite Squad versus Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima versus Strongman & Manabu Nakanishi versus Toru Yano & Takashi Iizuka for the IWGP and NWA Tag Team Championships. This match featured Strongman doing a top-rope dive to the outside of the ring (!) so I can't in good conscience say it was bad.
Best Match: Okada/Suzuki
Worst Match: 4way for tag titles
Another enjoyable show by NJPW. I preferred last months show, but I still enjoyed this. I can't really gush over this product enough right now. The variety in their matches is really special. Without American play-by-play, you can still really get into this. After watching each PPV since the Dome Show, I was able to explain the storylines and factions to a friend who was watching for the first time.
Compared to previous shows, this was a struggle. I'll have to give it a thumbs in the middle. Tanahashi-Anderson and Nakamura-Benjamin were the best matches. However, the former needed more time to be great and the latter was one botch too many. I enjoyed Takahashi-Makabe but the rest of the undercard seemed rushed and never really got going. The Goto-Shibata promised to be good and was, but I expected more. As for the main event, it was not a patch on their match earlier in the year. It was a snail paced contest and the dead crowd put a real dampener on it. For me, the main positive from the show was Devitt's jacket and new music. He makes Jericho look like Kenny Loggins.
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