Metalhead’s Riff: Can’t be Friday, I haven’t written my column yet… Oh Damn! (WWE, NJPW)


Have to apologize but it will be a rather short one this week, due to the fact I’m tired as hell and also that I’ve finally managed to make Fallout 3 playable on that damn Windows 8.1 (Gods I hate that program). So I’m preparing myself for a good evening of old-school gaming and to wrestle with those Supermutants instead of with my column for once (love taking them on with a sledgehammer, so funny… Yes I know, I’m crazy).

Still, I know the three of you who actually read my columns are breathlessly waiting to see what typos I’ll make this week so here goes a little round of random thoughts and news.

Two weeks after Wrestlemania and I still don’t know what to make of it. WM31 wasn’t the best (obviously), wasn’t the worst (doesn’t even deserve that distinction) so I’m gonna go with forgettable since no match or segment made any lasting impression on me  and I already know that in a couple of months I will  be hard-pressed to remember anything from that show (and less than enthusiastic at the idea of watching even one match again). It’s like one of those fast-food menu’s you eat when you have nothing better to do. The pictures are pretty, what you get served isn’t, because you don’t want  to look like a fool you spend your meal trying to discern tastes that aren’t really there and in the end, you’re hungry again as soon as you drop the rests in the garbage can. Now that I think of it, that seems like a pretty good description of the WWE product in general. Bland, instantly forgettable and not really what you were looking for.

WWE isn’t helping matters either, neither is the Internet since the hottest topics of WWE conversation were:

Sheamus new look (who cares?).

Whether Ronda Rousey will be at wrestlemania 32 (Really WWE? That’s what is occupying your time? Don’t you have weekly shows to run instead of boring us with futilities?).

Whether there is heat between Austin and McMahon (Yawn…).

Whether Scott Steiner made dead treats towards Hulk Hogan (actually that was rather funny, I love it when those two make fools of themselves).

Anything about good matches? New and exiting angles? Wrestlers that are actually there most of the time? How the hell you plan to rebuild the US title by having Cena win each week (I mean he’s been doing that for years, didn’t really make much of a difference)? Nothing? OK then, moving on.


In little bits of news that ARE actually noteworthy:

NJPW has released information about their two next big events, Wrestling Hinokuni and Wrestling Dontaku. Here are the matches officially announced:

Wrestling Hinokuni:

A new event on NJPW’s calender that will be held at Grandmesse Kumamoto on April 29. Four matches have been set already with a few more to come.

Alex Shelley & Tomoaki Honma & Tetsuya Naito VS Kenny Omega & Doc Gallows & ”The Machine Gun” Karl Anderson.

YOSHI-HASHI & Kazuchika Okada VS Tama Tonga & Bad Luck Fale.

Katsuyori Shibata & Hiroshi Tanahashi & Hirooki Goto VS Kazushi Sakuraba & Toru Yano & Shinsuke Nakamura.

NEVER  Openweight Title: Tomohiro Ishii VS Togi Makabe.

Given it will be held in a Hall that can hold over 8000 fans, the general consensus on the Internet is that NJPW wants to test Ishii’s drawing power. While there will be some support from the star-loaded Tag Matches, the battle between Ishii and Makabe has been set as THE clear and sole Main Event. Judging from the crowds reactions whenever those two went at each-other during their Invasion Attack tag match, I’m not too worried. Almost against all odds NJPW and Ishii and Makabe themselves have done a masterful job of transforming something predictable in a must-see war. No doubt more will be done also to build up the Goto/Nakamura, Omega/Shelley, Yano/Tanahashi and Okada/Bullet Club rivalries.

Wrestling Dontaku:

The 12th event under that name, the Wrestling Dontaky PPV will be held at the Fukuoka Kokusai Center on May 3. It will feature the following matches:

Mascara Dorada & Tiger Mask & Jushin Thunder Liger & Yuji Nagata VS KUSHIDA & Ryusuke Taguchi & Captain New Japan & Manabu Nakanishi.

Tomoaki Honma & Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan VS Cody Hall & Tama Tonga & Bad Luck Fale.

Sho Tanaka & Tetsuya Naito VS Yohei Komatsu & Kota Ibushi.

IWGP Jr. Tag Team Championship:  Roppongi Vice  (Baretta & Rocky Romero) (c) vs. reDRagon (Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly) vs. Young Bucks (Nick & Matt Jackson).

IWGP Jr Heavyweight Championship: Kenny Omega (c) vs. Alex Shelley.

The Kingdom (Maria Kanellis & Michael Bennett & Matt Taven) VS Bullet Club (Amber O’Neil & Doc Gallows & ”The Machine Gun” Karl Anderson).

Katsuyori Shibata & Hiroshi Tanahashi & Togi Makabe VS Chaos (Kazushi Sakuraba & Toru Yano & Tomohiro Ishii).

Chaos (YOSHI-HASHI & Kazuchika Okada) VS Bullet Club (Yujiro Takahashi & A.J. Styles).

IGPW Intercontinental Championship: Shinsuke Nakamura (c) VS Hirooki Goto.

Another very solid card of action, Wrestling Dontaku will be headlined by the much anticipated Nakamure/Goto showdown. No doubt those two will be up to the task and eager to put forth another Match of the Year contender. Both the IGPW Jr and Jr tag team championships will give very solid support and, of course, the Styles/Okada Tag Match will feature those two first PPV confrontation en route to their big match at Dominion 7.5.

In a rare “why NJPW why???” moment the mixed tag team match between The Kingdom and Bullet Club is only there because, apparently, Miss Maria is hot in Japan (the other gall, Amber O’Neil is none other than Mr Gallows real life spouse). It will feature NJPW’s first match involving females since 2002 (and Chyna). Can’t really comment more at this point, I’m still stuck at why??? Then again, there is always the fast forward button I guess.

In other news, the following NJPW wrestlers have been confirmed for the joint ROH/NJPW Global War shows in May: Tetsuya Naito, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kazuchika Okada and Jushin Thunder Liger. It will be great to see these guys mix it up with ROH’s top names.

The twenty-second best of the Super Juniors Tournament will take place between May 22 and June 7.

Finally the G1 Climax will take place between July 20 and August 16, making it the longest G1 in history.

I will of course post full previews of the various shows as soon as they draw closer.


In closing, and in what I would like to make a regular fixture of my future columns, I would like to present to you my Match of the Week. Not a match that happened this week but something I watched (or re-watched) this week and that I found good enough to share with you guys. Can be anything from anywhere, just something fun to finish my columns.

This week I present to you Kota Ibushi vs Ricochet (aka Prince Puma on Lucha Underground). This match took place at Dominion 6.21 2014. Ricochet just won the best of Super Jr Tournament and Kota Ibushi defended his Jr Heavyweight title (which he had won against one Prince Devitt at Wrestle Kingdom 8) for the fourth time. Those two would put on a high-flying masterclass that would leave fans begging for more. If Ricochet can be convinced to defend his Best of Jr Heavyweights title this year, this might just happen somewhere down the road. Anyway, enjoy!

This is all from me this week, see you guys later and have fun!







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