Wrestling's 4R's 11.19.12: TNA Impact Wrestling & NJPW Power Struggle iPPV Reviewed
Posted by Larry Csonka on 11.19.2012
Bobby Roode defeated James Storm to win a TNA title shot, Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated Yujiro Takahashi to retain the IWGP Title more! Wrestling's 4R's breaks down the Right, the wRong and the Ridiculous of TNA Impact and NJPW Power Struggle!
How the 4R's of wRestling Work! Here is a quick explanation of the 4R's. The column will run TWO times a week. THREE if there is a PPV. We will group our feelings on the shows in various categories: The Right, the wRong and the Ridiculous. The Right is stuff that worked very well: a great promo, a great match and so on. PuRgatoRy is a section between the right and wrong. It shows equal traits from both sides that cannot be ignored and needs discussed. It is not a bad place per say, as things can get remedied or go the wrong way the very next week. The wRong is what it sounds like: bad matches, bad or boring promos and so on. The Ridiculous is stuff that had no right on TV: Stupid angles and so on. And there is always a possibility of a 5th R, which is as bad as they come. This column is supposed to be analytical, and at the right time very critical of the shows, it was the whole reason it was created. This is not a "mark" column, nor a "smark" column, our goal is to analyze the show from many different fronts, reward the good and call out the bad. We will not apologize for our opinions, they are as they are, whether positive or negative.
QUICK THOUGHTS: New Japan Pro Wrestling's Power Struggle iPPV 11.11.12
By: LARRY CSONKA
1) The Time Splitters (Alex Shelley & KUSHIDA) def. Forever Hooligans (Alex Kozlov & Rocky Romero) to become the NEW IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Champions [**½]
2) Toru Yano, Takashi Iizuka, Tomohiro Ishii, YOSHI-HASHI, & Jado def. Manabu Nakanishi, Jushin Liger, Tiger Mask IV, Negro Casas, & Captain New Japan [**]
3) Minoru Suzuki & Taichi def. Yuji Nagata & Ryusuke Taguchi [**¾]
4) Killer Elite Squad (Lance Archer & Davey Boy Smith, Jr.) def. Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan to RETAIN the IWGP Tag Team Titles [***¼]
5) Prince Devitt def. Low Ki to become the NEW IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion [****]
6) Kazushi Sakuraba & Katsuyori Shibata def. Togi Makabe & Wataru Inoue [***]
7) Kazuchika Okada def. Hirooki Goto to RETAIN the number one contendership to the IWGP Heavyweight Title [***¾]
8) Shinsuke Nakamura def. Karl Anderson to RETAIN the IWGP Intercontinental Title [***¾]
9) Hiroshi Tanahashi def. Yujiro Takahashi to RETAIN the IWGP Heavyweight Title [****½]
New Japan Pro Wrestling returned to iPPV, and once again they delivered a tremendous show. Similar to the DGUSA Freedom Fight 2012 iPPV, this is what I call a "three tier event." In many ways, I feel that the "three tier event" is a great way to lay out a PPV, in theory. You start the show off with solid, but matches that are obviously booked to be preliminary. They are good matches, but do not go too long, and do not do too much shit, which is saved for later matches. The middle then picks up, with three matches that have the potential to get to that next level, and make the crowd get even more into the card, but again, overall not doing too much as to save it for the later matches. And finally, you have the main event top tier, the matches that the people paid for, the matches that get al the time, and if they need it, all the smoke, mirrors and shit you left off of the earlier portion of the card. The beauty of pro wrestling is that when booked right and with the right talent, you control 90% of the world, you just have to make sure the fans respond, and if you do that 90% right, they should. And that is what this card was, solid start, got even better in the middle (with one GREAT match) and then finished off with a bang of three great matches. For the most part, I couldn't have asked for more.
Tier One: The show opened with The Time Splitters (Alex Shelley & KUSHIDA) defeating Forever Hooligans (Alex Kozlov & Rocky Romero) to become the NEW IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Champions. It was solid and fun action, and a nice way to open the show. As a fan of the guys in the match, I personally wanted to see this get more time and get a bit wilder, but it stared things off just fine. Next was Toru Yano, Takashi Iizuka, Tomohiro Ishii, YOSHI-HASHI, & Jado defeating Manabu Nakanishi, Jushin Liger, Tiger Mask IV, Negro Casas, & Captain New Japan in what has become the usual six-man tag on these New Japan shows. They are fine matches that get guys on the show, and while always perfectly acceptable, they usually never blow you away either. Closing out the first tier of the show was Minoru Suzuki & Taichi defeating Yuji Nagata & Ryusuke Taguchi, which was the best of the opening three matches. This was a solid start to the show, nothing spectacular, but nothing that would piss you off.
Tier Two: Kicking off the second part of the show was the Killer Elite Squad (Lance Archer & Davey Boy Smith, Jr.) defeating Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan to RETAIN the IWGP Tag Team Titles. At this point it was the best match on the show, Lance Archer & Davey Boy Smith, Jr continue to work well together as a team and have delivered good matches thus far on iPPV. The show was going along well, building steam and nothing was going wrong. The next match took the show to another level, as Prince Devitt defeated Low Ki to become the NEW IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion in an excellent match. The show peaked at this point, with a title change quite simply a great match. Closing out the second portion of the show was Kazushi Sakuraba & Katsuyori Shibata defeating Togi Makabe & Wataru Inoue. This was a cool down match so to speak, but not a throwaway as they worked hard and I have to say, I am digging Sakuraba being back in pro wrestling. I had no desire to see him destroyed in MMA any longer, and the New Japan fans love the guy. Part one was a great start, part two was better than that, and I felt laid the stage for what was to come…
Tier Three: And then we hit the final stretch of the PPV, and this is where thing hit that next level, that level you watch and are happy you spent the money on the show. Kazuchika Okada defeated Hirooki Goto to RETAIN the number one contendership to the IWGP Heavyweight Title in a very good match, and once again Okada showed that he is a top guy, and deserves the praise that he has been receiving all year from the people that have had the chance to watch the NJPW product. The next match was equally as good, as Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Karl Anderson to RETAIN the IWGP Intercontinental Title. Nakamura has been strong with the title, but Karl Anderson continues to impress in a singles role. Many thought with Bernard (Tensai) leaving for WWE that he would be lost or left for dead, and while he has lost both times on iPPV, the man has simply delivered both times out in matches that while losing, comes off as a player. I am really interested to see where Anderson goes in 2013 after these performances. The show completed with a spectacular main event, featuring Hiroshi Tanahashi defeating Yujiro Takahashi to RETAIN the IWGP Heavyweight Title. While not the "five star classic" of last month, it was simply put a great match that just adds to Tanahashi's claim of best in the world at this time. Tanahashi is so great, and I hate that not enough people see his work, because the man has delivered so big this year. Back to back tremendous efforts in iPPV main events for the guy, and the stage has been set for the rematch with Okada.
On top of the quality, the show built to the next big show quite well…
* Champion Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Okada for the IWGP World Hvt. Title.
* Champion Prince Devitt vs. Low Ki vs. Kota Ibushi for the IWGP Jr. Hvt. Title.
* Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Kazushi Sakuraba for the IWGP IC Title.
* Togi Makabe vs. Katsuyori Shibata
* Alex Shelley & KUSHIDA defending the IWGP Jr. Tag Titles against a team to be named.
* Lance Archer & Davey Boy Smith, Jr. (D.H. Smith) defending the IWGP Tag Titles against the Tag League tournament winners.
SHOW RATING: 8.6: This was another tremendous effort from New Japan, the shows have not only been a joy to watch, but easily the best money I have spent on PPV in 2012.
What the numbers mean…
0 - 0.9: Torture 1 - 1.9: Extremely Horrendous 2 - 2.9: Very Bad 3 - 3.9: Bad 4 - 4.9: Poor 5 - 5.9: Not So Good 6 - 6.9: Average 7 - 7.9: Good 8 - 8.9: Very Good 9 - 9.9: Amazing 10: Virtually Perfect
As a reminder, this is not a basic "how good was the show" number like a TV show, as I have always felt that a PPV is very different from a regular show. I have always judged PPV on how they built to a match, the match quality, crowd reactions to matches and angles, the overall booking, how the PPV leads into the future, PPV price and so on and so forth. I have added this in here for an explanation since so many have asked, and I have previously discussed it on podcasts. I understand that this may seem different, but that is how I grade. Obviously your criteria may be different.
By: Greg DeMarco
Impact Wrestling 11.5.12 (LIVE):
* Rob Van Dam pinned Kid Kash to retain the X-Division Championship in (approximately) 4:00 [2/6]
* Jesse Godderz pinned Eric Young in 5:05 [3/6]
* Magnus vs. Samoa Joe for the Television Championship – NO MATCH [NR]
* Kurt Angle and Garett Bischoff beat Devon & an Aces & Eights prospect in 4:42 [3/6]
* Mickie James eliminated Gail Kim in 5:31 to win a battle royal to become No. 1 Contender to the Knockouts Championship, battle royal also included Miss Tessmacher, ODB and Madison Rayne
* Bobby Roode pinned James Storm to become No. 1 Contender to the World Heavyweight Championship in 12:27.
[If you're not familiar with these ratings, it's my own Personal Entertainment Factor. I use a scale of 1-6 (6, in honor of the number of sides TNA's ring should have), so there's no middle rating.]
THE RIGHT: James Storm/Bobby Roode Promo: Great promo by both guys, as their feud transitions into "one for the ages." These two will likely be forever linked in the wrestling business—and it's for the better. Awesome job by Roode getting personal with Storm, baiting him into putting his world title shot on the line.
Brooke Tessmacher in a towel: Just ‘cuz.
Joseph Park's Interactions with Hulk Hogan: I loved it. Park, who has moved into multiple personality territory, was great in this Hogan promo. And Hogan's responses made sense—it shows that he's thinking as an executive, not as a wrestler. Pretty much like Triple H's responses to The Undertaker earlier in the year.
Aces & Eights attacks Magnus: While I'll miss Magnus on TV for a few weeks, I loved the idea that Aces & Eights attacked a heel. The roster shouldn't be split for this group, they should be free to attack and wrestle anyone they can/want.
Kurt Angle & Garett Bischoff vs. Devon & an Aces & Eights prospect: Good match, the best work I've seen from Garett in a while. The Wes Briscoe stuff bothers me (see below), but the match told the story very well. Most heel groups have someone they just can't overcome—the NWO had Diamond Dallas Page, CZW had Homicide in the ROH angle from 2006, and Aces & Eights has Kurt Angle.
Bully Ray & Brooke Hogan: Obviously Bully has a friend in Hulk Hogan, or this wouldn't be happening. Insert your own joke about Randy Orton's sloppy seconds here. But the acting job done by both of them was great, especially Bully. And Tara's reaction was great as well. It could lead to Brooke wrestling, but I don't see that happening. Overall, I am excited to see where this goes.
Anything involving Austin Aries: I've maintained for over a month now that Austin Aries is the best in the world. He's a Top 5 talker, and he is equal to Daniel Bryan in the ring. His promo to Jeff Hardy and his promise at the end of the program were great advances in his character, and should end complaints that he's a CM Punk knock off.
AJ Styles & James Storm backstage: It's logical for AJ Styles to have an issue with James Storm, even if AJ himself would have done the same to Storm. AJ is in a very interesting position here.
AJ Styles Promo (with Christopher Daniels and Kazarian): Awesome promo by AJ Styles, one of the best he's delivered. He called back to everything that's happened in 2012, and gave Daniels & Kazarian the perfect opportunity to interrupt. Their interaction was natural, and didn't feel forced. Plus, it made the possibility of Styles-Daniels, once again, seem like a good idea. That's hard to do.
Aces & Eights initiates D.O.C.: Being a fraternity member, I saw where this was headed during the conversation. And it's exactly what I would expect Aces & Eights to do. Plus it explained the biggest problem I had on this show—the fact that Devon could get away with losing his mask and D.O.C. couldn't. Now I do wonder how someone with a "position" (Director of Chaos) wasn't already a member. But that's the type of suspension of disbelief that I can live with.
Bobby Roode vs. James Storm: While Storm lost the No. 1 Contender status he just won at the PPV, this was another great match between these two, and the finish was old school. Hell, this entire feud is old school, and I like it. Great work from the talent and from creative.
PURGATORY: Hulk Hogan says AJ Styles is treading water: That's the best you can come up with?
Kid Kash vs. Rob Van Dam: This simply isn't the X-Division that I remember. When Aries was in the division it was on its way back to being fresh and exciting. Kid Kash is 43, and RVD is 41. Those guys are past their prime—and they can still go—but I can't buy them battling over this championship.
Wes Brisco's Involvement with Kurt Angle: Brisco has yet to wrestle for TNA, and never made TV for the WWE. In fact, he's not even on TNA's roster. How come he can rush the ring? I am one of the biggest proponents of suspension of disbelief, but there hasn't been enough explanation for me to buy any Brisco involvement.
Knockouts Battle Royal: When your battle royal features a) 5 wrestlers, and b) three wrestlers we haven't seen for months, it's a damnation of the division. But the match was great, and I really liked Mickie James winning. It means Tara can finally feud with someone other than ODB. Now if we can just do something about Jesse...
THE WRONG: NOTHING
THE RIDICULOUS: Jeff Hardy's Inner Monologue: ENOUGH OF THIS CRAP!
Good effort by TNA, where the good outweighed the bad. I am worried about next week, but the company is giving the Gut Check talents a chance to shine on what is likely to be a low ratings week anyway. Austin Aries is on fire. He's has to be a writer's dream—whatever they give him, he turns it into gold. The main event was the best part of this show, as it should be. Well, unless you count Brooke Tessmacher in a towel. But it's unfair to expect anyone to compete with that.
SHOW RATING: 7
As a reminder, I will be going by the 411 scale…
0 - 0.9: Torture 1 - 1.9: Extremely Horrendous 2 - 2.9: Very Bad 3 - 3.9: Bad 4 - 4.9: Poor 5 - 5.9: Not So Good 6 - 6.9: Average 7 - 7.9: Good 8 - 8.9:Very Good 9 - 9.9: Amazing 10: Virtually Perfect
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YEAR IN REVIEW (PPV) by Csonka: TOP PPVs:
* New Japan Pro Wrestling's King of Pro Wrestling iPPV - 9.5
* New Japan Pro Wrestling's Power Struggle iPPV - 8.6
* ROH Glory By Honor iPPV - 8.5
* Chikarasaurus Rex: How to Hatch a Dinosaur iPPV 8.4
* TNA Destination X – 8.3
* DGUSA Open Freedom Fight 2012 iPPV - 8.4
* DGUSA Open the Ultimate Gate 2012 iPPV - 8.2
* DGUSA Mercury Rising 2012 iPPV - 8.1
* WWE Extreme Rules - 8.0
* EVOLVE 13 iPPV - 8.0
* ROH Border Wars iPPV - 8.0
* WWE WrestleMania 28 - 7.9
* DGUSA Enter the Dragon Gate 2012 iPPV - 7.8
* DGUSA Fearless 2012 iPPV - 7.7
* TNA Hardcore Justice – 7.7
* DGUSA Untouchable 2012 iPPV - 7.6
* ROH Best in the World iPPV - 7.5
* TNA Bound for Glory – 7.5
* TNA Turning Point – 7.5
* ROH 10th Anniversary iPPV - 7.4
* TNA Slammiversary – 7.4
* ROH Showdown in the Sun: Night One iPPV - 7.4
* EVOLVE 12 iPPV - 7.3
* TNA Sacrifice – 7.2
* EVOLVE 16 iPPV - 7.1
* WWE Money in the Bank - 7.0
* EVOLVE 17 iPPV - 7.0
* EVOLVE 14 iPPV - 7.0
* EVOLVE 11 iPPV - 7.0
* ROH Boiling Point iPPV - 7.0
* DGUSA Uprising 2012 iPPV - 7.0
* WWE Summerslam - 6.9
* EVOLVE 15 iPPV - 6.8
* TNA No Surrender – 6.7
* WWE Night of Champions - 6.6
* TNA Victory Road – 6.5
* TNA Against All Odds – 6.5
* WWE Over the Limit - 6.5
* CZW Down with the Sickness iPPV 5.0
* TNA Genesis – 5.0
* WWE Royal Rumble - 5.0
* WWE Hell in a Cell - 5.0
* WWE No Way Out - 4.9
* WWE Elimination Chamber - 4.0
* TNA Lockdown – 3.0
TOP PPV MATCHES:
* From NJPW King of Pro Wrestling iPPV - Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Minoru Suzuki [*****]
* From The ROH Showdown in the Sun: Night Two iPPV –ROH Title Match: Davey Richards vs. Michael Elgin [****¾]
* From The ROH Glory By Honor iPPV – ROH Title Match:
Kevin Steen vs. Michael Elgin [****¾]
* From NJPW Power Struggle iPPV – IWJP Title Match: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Yujiro Takahashi [****½]
* From DGUSA's Freedom Fight 2012 - Open the Freedom Gate Title Match: Johnny Gargano vs. Ricochet vs. Akira Tozawa vs. AR Fox [****½]
* From WWE Over the Limit - WWE Title Match: CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan [****½]
* From WWE WrestleMania 28 - Hell in a Cell: The Undertaker vs. Triple H [****½]
* From DGUSA's Untouchable 2012 - CIMA and AR Fox vs. El Generico and Samuray Del Sol [****½]
* From TNA Turning Point - TNA World Title Ladder Match: Jeff Hardy vs. Austin Aries [****½]
* From The ROH Glory By Honor iPPV – Jay Lethal vs. Davey Richards [****¼]
* From WWE Night of Champions – WWE Title Match - John Cena vs. CM Punk [****¼]
* From DGUSA's Enter the Dragon Gate 2012 iPPV – I QUIT Match: Johnny Gargano vs. Chuck Taylor [****¼]
* From TNA Slammiversary – Tag Team Title Match: Kaz and Daniels vs. Kurt Angle and AJ Styles [****¼]
* From WWE Extreme Rules - World Title Match: Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus [****¼]
* From DGUSA's Mercury Rising 2012 - Low Ki, BxB Hulk and Akira Tozawa vs. Ricochet, PAC and Mazaaki Mochizuki [****¼]
* From EVOLVE 11 iPPV – Fit Finlay vs. Sami Calihan [****¼]
* From TNA Destination X – TNA Title Match – Austin Aries vs. Bobby Roode [****¼]
* From NJPW Power Struggle iPPV – IWJP Jr. Heavyweight Title Match: Prince Devitt vs. Low Ki [****]
* From DGUSA's Freedom Fight 2012 - Samuray Del Sol & El Generico vs. Genki Horiguchi & Ryo Saito [****]
* From TNA Bound for Glory – Street Fight – Bobby Roode vs. James Storm [****]
* From TNA Bound for Glory – World Title Match – Austin Aries vs. Jeff Hardy [****]
* From NJPW King of Pro Wrestling iPPV - Low Ki vs. Kota Ibushi [****]
* From NJPW King of Pro Wrestling iPPV - Kazuchika Okada vs. Karl Anderson [****]
* From TNA No Surrender – AJ Styles and Kurt Angle vs. Christopher Daniels and Kazarian [****]
* From TNA Hardcore Justice – Bound for Glory Series Ladder Match – AJ Styles vs. Christopher Daniels vs. Kurt Angle vs. Samoa Joe [****]
* From TNA Hardcore Justice – TNA Title Match – Austin Aries vs. Bobby Roode [****]
* From DGUSA's Enter the Dragon Gate 2012 iPPV - Open the United Gate Tag Team Title Match: AR Fox and CIMA vs. Rich Swann and Ricochet [****]
* From WWE Extreme Rules – John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar [****]
* From WWE Money in the Bank- WWE Title Match: Daniel Bryan vs. CM Punk [****]
* From WWE Extreme Rules - WWE Title Match: Chris Jericho vs. CM Punk [****]
* From EVOLVE 11 iPPV – Low Ki vs. El Generico [****]
* From EVOLVE 13 iPPV – El Generico vs. Sami Calihan [****]
* From DGUSA's Untouchable 2012 - Open the Freedom Gate Title Match – Johnny Gargano vs. Akira Tozowa [****]
* From DGUSA's Mercury Rising 2012 - Open the Freedom Gate Title Match – Johnny Gargano vs. Masato Yoshino [****]
* From DGUSA's Open the Ultimate Gate 2012 - Open the United Gate Tag Title Match: Chuck Taylor vs. Johnny Gargano vs. Ricochet and Masato Yoshino [****]
* From DGUSA's Open the Ultimate Gate 2012 – Akira Tozowa vs. Masaaki Mochizuki [****]
* From WWE WrestleMania 28 - WWE Title Match: CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho [****]
* From The ROH Best in the World iPPV - Hybrid Fighting Rules: Adam Cole vs. Kyle O'Reilly [****]
* From The ROH Showdown in the Sun: Night One iPPV – Last Man Standing Match – Kevin Steen vs. El Generico [****]
* From TNA Sacrifice – AJ Styles vs. Kurt Angle [****]
* From TNA Destination X – Last Man Standing Match - AJ Styles vs. Christopher Daniels [****]
* Chikarasaurus Rex: How to Hatch a Dinosaur iPPV – Ladder Match: Gran Akuma vs. Icarus [****]
* From EVOLVE 17 iPPV – Samuray Del Sol vs. El Generico [****]
* From EVOLVE 15 iPPV – Samuray Del Sol vs. El Generico [****]
* From EVOLVE 14 iPPV – Samuray Del Sol vs. El Generico [****]
* From DGUSA's Enter the Dragon Gate 2012 iPPV – I QUIT MATCH: Johnny Gargano vs. Chuck Taylor [****]
* From DGUSA's Enter the Dragon Gate 2012 iPPV – Open the United Gate Tag Team Title Match: AR Fox and CIMA vs. Rich Swann and Ricochet [****]