New Japan Pro-Wrestling - King of Pro-Wrestling 2013 (10/14/13) - NEVER Openweight Title & IWGP Heavyweight Title Shot at Wrestle Kingdom 8 - Tetsuya Naito vs. Yujiro Takahashi: ***3/4
I watched this match on New Japan's English Commentary Show on AXS TV. The commentators are Mauro Ranallo & Josh Barnett. To give a brief background, Tetsuya Naito is coming off winning the 2013 G1 Climax two months prior to this match, and won the NEVER Openweight Title from Masato Tanaka a month before this show. He's defending both his IWGP Heavyweight Title Match at Wrestle Kingdom 8 in the Tokyo Dome & the NEVER Openweight Title against Yujiro Takahashi, his former tag team partner. This was a really good match. These two always seem to have good matches against each other, and this was no different. You could tell these two are familiar with each other. After some very solid back & forth action, Naito would pick up the submission win to retain both his NEVER Openweight Title & his IWGP Heavyweight Title Match at Wrestle Kingdom 8.
Smash Wrestling - Danger Zone (2/23/14) - Jay Lethal vs. Scotty O’Shea: ***3/4
I believe commentary noted that this was a qualifying match for the SMASH Wrestling Title Tournament. Of course, this match took place a few months prior to Jay Lethal's heel turn in ROH, so he's still a babyface here. This was a very good match. We all know how great of a wrestler Jay Lethal, but Scotty O'Shea was really solid in here as well. He's one of the guys whose really grown on me since I started watching SMASH Wrestling. There was a lot of solid action throughout this match. In the end, O'Shea would pick up the win, punching his ticket to the SMASH Wrestling Title Tournament!
AIW - WrestleRager: Night 1 (9/5/14) - AIW Intense Division Title - Davey Vega vs. Pete Dunne: ***1/4
Davey Vega won the AIW Intense Division Title from Louis Lyndon back at Absolution IX a few months prior. This is his first title defense of the weekend, as he's taking on Pete Dunne from the UK. Dunne has made appearances in other independent promotions in the United States, like AAW, CHIKARA, & the various "Wrestling is..." promotions. This was a pretty solid match. Lots of good wrestling & exchanges throughout this one. There was a good amount of back & forth before Vega finally gained the edge and picked the victory, retaining his AIW Intense Division Title. Again, a very solid contest. Vega continues to impress, and Dunne is someone who I'd like to see more of on the US Independent Scene.
Lucha Underground - Season 1, Episode 2: Los Demonios (11/5/14) - Johnny Mundo & Prince Puma vs. The Crew (Cortez Casto & Mr. Cisco with Big Ryck): ***1/4
When the segment starts, all three members of The Crew are in the ring. Cortez Castro (Ricky Reyes of ROH fame) puts down the fans and says that he, Mr. Cisco & Big Ryck are only here to beat people up & take their money. They then all introduce themselves, but then Johnny Mundo comes out of nowhere and attacks The Crew from behind! Mundo gains the advantage for a bit, and Prince Puma came out to help even out the odds. This brings out Dario Cueto, who makes a tag team match with Prince Puma & Johnny Mundo vs. Cortez Castro & Mr. Cisco right now! Big Ryck watches the match from the temple steps, smoking a cigar. This was a fun little match. It wasn't a very long match (I think it was around eight minutes or so), but it was entertaining for what it was. The match had a very cool finish, with Johnny Mundo & Prince Puma hitting tandem 450 Splashes on Cortez Castro & Mr. Cisco to win the match.
WWE NXT (2/18/15) - Non-Title Match - NXT Champion Kevin Owens vs. Adrian Neville: ***1/2
This was the first episode of NXT after the most recent WWE Network Special, called NXT Takeover: Rival, where Kevin Owens defeated Sami Zayn by referee stoppage to win the NXT Title. Here, Owens is competing in a non-title match against Adrian Neville, who is looking to avenge his friend with a victory over Owens. This was a really good match, as you would expect. Neville got to showcase some of the insane moves he can do, like a 450 Splash from the ring apron to the floor, and even finding the strength to hit a deadlift German Suplex on Owens! Despite this incredible flurry, Owens was eventually able to come out on top, putting Neville away with the Pop-Up Powerbomb for the win. A really solid Main Event to close out this episode of NXT.
That's all for this set of random match reviews. Be sure to check out all of my other reviews on my blog!