Opinion: Match & Show Ratings for January 2 to January 8, 2022

Welcome to TPWW’s Emperor Smeat’s Match and Show Ratings for the week of January 2nd to January 8th, 2022.

Match and show star ratings (out of 5):

WWE

WWE RAW (Jan. 3)
* RK-Bro (Randy Orton & Riddle) vs. Alpha Academy (Otis & Chad Gable) – 2.5
* 24/7 Championship Mixed Tag Team match – Tamina & Akira Tozawa vs. Dana Brooke & Reggie – 1.0
* WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship – Nikki A.S.H. & Rhea Ripley vs. Carmella & Queen Zelina (c) – 1.5
* Street Profits vs. Apollo Crews & Commander Azeez – 2.0 (Squash)
* United States Championship – Dolph Ziggler vs. Damian Priest (c) – 3.0
* AJ Styles vs. Omos – 2.0
* #1 Contender’s for WWE Championship Fatal Four-way match – Kevin Owens vs. Big E vs. Seth Rollins vs. Bobby Lashley – 3.5
Overall – 2.0
Best – #1 Contender’s for WWE Championship Fatal Four-way match.
Worst – WWE production botching the fake crowd audio during RK-Bro’s backstage segment and the 24/7 title Mixed Tag Team match.
Show Notes – Paul Heyman surprise appearance, opening promo by Lesnar about his WWE title win and Roman Reigns, & Heyman’s rambling response about Lesnar’s challengers was fine despite dragging too long. Someone in the crowd yelling out “shut up and wrestle” during Heyman’s long-winded promo was hilarious though. Riddle & Orton backstage segment about Riddle’s goofy banter was a bit funny. Otis’ catch & powerslam finisher counter of Riddle’s RKO was nice. RK-Bro vs. Alpha Academy was solid. 24/7 title mixed tag match stunk. Becky Lynch promo boasting about herself & mocking Liv Morgan, interruptions by Morgan & Bianca Belair, & brawl was decent at best despite dragging too long. Women’s title match was somewhat decent at best despite the flat ending & being a bit sloppy at times. Montez Ford managed to get some amazing height with his Frog Splash finisher to Crews. Street Profits vs. Crews & Azeez was a decent mostly squash match. US title was a pretty good back-and-forth match. Vince McMahon & Austin Theory backstage office segment was corny. Miz & Maryse’s promo about Miz’s loss to Edge & their issues with Edge & Beth Phoenix, interruption by Edge & Phoenix, & Mixed tag match setup was all right. Styles vs. Omos was decent at best despite being rough at times. Yikes at Big E’s rough dive to Owens on the outside. Ouch at Lashley crashing hard through the timekeeper’s barricade. Rollins & Owens’ double team powerbomb to Big E through the announcer’s table was nice. The brawl into the crowd & concessions area was nice. Owens’ cannonball dive to Lashley, Rollins, & Big E from the balcony was cool. Owens’ Swanton & Rollins’ Frog Splash combo to Big E was nice. Fatal Four-way was a very good action filled match. This week’s show was average at best overall but also dull at times.

NXT New Year’s Evil 2022 (Jan. 4)
* NXT North American & NXT Cruiserweight Championships Title vs. Title Unification match – Carmelo Hayes (N.A.) vs. Roderick Strong (Cruiser) – 3.5
* Imperium (WALTER, Fabian Aicher, & Marcel Barthel) vs. Riddle & MSK (Wes Lee & Nash Carter) – 4.0
* NXT Women’s Championship – Core Jade vs. Raquel Gonzalez vs. Mandy Rose (c) – 2.0
* NXT Championship – Bron Breakker vs. Tommaso Ciampa (c) – 4.0
Overall – 4.0
Best – NXT Championship match & Bron Breakker winning the NXT title.
Worst – NXT Women’s Championship match being rough & sloppy at times.
Show Notes – Strong’s stiff chop flooring Hayes was nice. Hayes’ leap over DDT to Strong onto the apron was brutal. Yikes at Strong’s botched top rope X-Plex to Hayes. Hayes managed to get some sweet air with his top rope leg drop finisher to Strong. Hayes vs. Strong was a very good action packed match despite it falling apart a bit near the end. AJ Styles promo praising NXT & its fans, interruption by Grayson Waller mocking Styles, match setup banter, & brawl was all right. Women’s backstage tag match setup segment was a bit corny. Aicher’s vicious clothesline to Lee spinning him to the mat was cool. WALTER’s stiff chop to Riddle was sweet. WALTER’s catch, carry to the corner, & stiff chop counter of Lee’s splash was cool. Riddle’s Explorder Suplex to WALTER was nice. Riddle & MSK’s dives to Imperium on the outside was cool. WALTER’s stiff powerbomb to Riddle was nice. Riddle’s RKO finisher to Barthel was nice. 6-Man Tag was a great hard hitting action packed match. NXT Women’s title was mostly solid despite the anti-climatic ending & being rough at times. Boa’s evil persona video segment was a bit weird. Andre Chase’s promo about wanting to honor one of his students after Harland’s actions was a bit funny but Von Wagner’s interruption promo stunk. Ciampa’s corkscrew splash to Breakker on the outside was nice. Breakker’s spinebuster & standing moonsault conbo to Ciampa was sweet. Breakker’s Frankensteiner counter of Ciampa’s running knee was cool. Breakker’s Alabama Slam to Ciampa through the announcer’s table was awesome. Ciampa’s knee triggers fest to Breakker was nice. Breakker’s flying bull dog & Steiner Recliner finisher combo to Ciampa was cool. NXT title was an amazing hard fought action packed match & Breakker winning the belt was sweet. This week’s New Year’s Evil 2022 show was mostly great overall.

Friday Night SmackDown (Jan. 7)
* Sami Zayn vs. Rick Boogs – 2.5
* SmackDown Championship Contender’s match – Naomi vs. Charlotte Flair – 2.5
* Happy Corbin & Madcap Moss vs. The Viking Raiders – 2.0
* SmackDown Tag Team Championship Street Fight – The New Day (King Wood & Kofi Kingston) vs. The Usos (c) – 3.0
Overall – 2.5
Best – SmackDown Tag Team Championship Street Fight match.
Worst – Charlotte Flair & Naomi in-ring promo segment and WWE spoiling the surprise entrants for the Women’s Rumble match.
Show Notes – Opening Roman Reigns, Brock Lesnar, & Paul Heyman promo segment about their issues, title vs. title match tease, Heyman’s sad response to Reigns’ trashing him, Lesnar and Reigns retorts, & mini-brawl was all right. The crowd chanting “What” at one point during Reigns promo & Lesnar’s brief Heyman impersonation was a bit funny. Zayn pre-match backstage interview trashing Boogs and Nakamura & interruption by Johnny Knoxville was okay. Boogs’ T-Bone suplex to Zayn was nice. Zayn vs. Boogs was a solid match despite the abrupt ending. Woods & Kingston’s backstage interview about their upcoming match against the Usos was corny. Charlotte Flair’s rambling promo about her New Year’s Resolutions and Women’s Rumble match & interruption response by Naomi wanting a SD Women’s title shot mostly stunk. WWE spoiling likely all of the surprise entrants for this year’s Women’s Rumble match was very lame. Naomi hitting a Blockbuster to Flair off the barricade was nice. Naomi vs. Flair was a mostly decent match despite being a bit sloppy at times & ringside shenanigans by Deville. Happy Talk segment with Moss cosplaying as injured Drew McIntyre was dumb but also a bit funny. McAfee’s commentary line about “Viking ass being a delicacy” in some places after Ivar’s cannonball to Corbin in the corner was hilarious. Corbin & Moss vs. Viking Raiders was somewhat decent at best. Usos’ 1-D finisher to Kingston through a table was cool. SD Tag title was a quite good back-and-forth action match, especially the latter half. Seth Rollins being revealed as the big surprise for Reigns’ mystery opponent for his Universal title at the Rumble was interesting even if its an indictment of the lack of credible challengers on the Blue brand now that Lesnar is busy with the WWE title on RAW. This week’s show was mostly average at best overall.


AEW

AEW Dark Elevation (Jan. 3)
* Riho vs. Valentina Rossi – 2.5
* Andrade El Idolo vs. JP Harlow – 2.0 (Squash)
* Megan Bayne vs. Leila Grey – 1.5 (Squash)
* Scorpio Sky vs. Ray Jaz – 2.5
* Dark Order (John Silver & Alex Reynolds) vs. Mike Orlando & Shayne Stetson – 2.5 (Squash)
* Serpentico vs. Jake Atlas – 2.5
* Skye Blue vs. Angelica Risk – 2.0
* Jay Lethal vs Troy Hollywood – 3.0
Overall – 2.5
Best – Jay Lethal vs Troy Hollywood match.
Worst – Megan Bayne vs. Leila Grey match.
Show Notes – Riho’s Tree of Woe double foot stomp to Rossi’s head looked a bit brutal. Riho vs. Rossi opener was a solid & surprisingly competitive match. El Idolo’s loud sounding stiff chops to Harlow was sweet. El Idolo vs. Harlow was a decent mostly squash style match. Bayne vs. Grey was a decent at best squash style match & Bayne getting her first ever AEW win is interesting. Sky vs. Jaz was a solid back-and-forth brief match. Reynold’s crucifix style Tornado slam to Stetson was nice. Orlando’s vicious clothesline to Reynolds splatting him onto the mat was nice. Dark Order vs. Orlando & Stetson was a fine mostly squash style match. Atlas’ release German, running knee strike, & Rainbow DDT finisher combo to Serpentico was cool. Serpentico vs. Atlas was a solid back-and-forth style match & fine debut performance by Atlas. Eddie Kingston bickering on commentary about Skye Blue spelling the first part of her name wrong throughout her match was a bit funny. Blue vs. Risk was a mostly decent match. Hollywood’s falling Gordbuster counter of Lethal’s suplex was nice. Hollywood’s vicious snap German suplex to Lethal was cool. Lethal’s loud stiff chop to Hollywood & Hollywood’s painful reaction afterwards was nice. Lethal vs. Hollywood was an entertaining back-and-forth action match. This week’s show was average overall.

AEW Dark (Jan. 4)
* Tony Nese vs. Alan “5” Angels – 3.0
* Anna Jay vs. Dreamgirl Ellie – 2.0 (Squash)
* Gunn Club (Austin Colten, & Billy Gunn) vs. Rolando Perez, Austin Green, & Donnie Primetime – 2.5
* Marina Shafir vs. Valentina Rossi – 2.0 (Squash)
* Bobby Fish vs. Ryzin – 2.0 (Squash)
* Leyla Hirsch, Kris Statlander, & Red Velvet vs. Renee Michelle, Sofia Castillo, & Marina Tucker – 2.0
* The Acclaimed vs. Blanco Loco & Axton Ray – 2.0 (Squash)
* Jamie Hayter vs. Madi Wrenkowski – 2.5
* Dante Martin vs. Chandler Hopkins – 2.5
* Sammy Guevara vs. Ho Ho Lun – 3.0
* Powerhouse Hobbs vs. Colt Cabana – 3.0
* JD Drake vs. Brian Pillman Jr. – 2.5
Overall – 3.0
Best – Tony Nese vs. Alan “5” Angels match.
Worst – The rough ending sequence to the Jamie Hayter vs. Madi Wrenkowski match.
Show Notes – Nese’s vicious spin kick to Angels was cool. Angels’ top rope crossbody & step-up hurricanrana to Nese was nice. Nese’s pumphandle piledriver to Angels was cool. Nese’s release German to Angels into the corner was nice. Nese vs. Angels opener was a quite good back-and-forth action match. Jay vs. Ellie was a decent mostly squash style match. Austin Gunn’s random tag attempt dive into a corner with nobody around it was weird. Gunn Club vs. Perez, Green, & Primetime was a solid back-and-forth style match. Shafir vs. Rossi was a decent mostly squash style match & Shafir getting her first ever AEW win was interesting. Women’s Trios tag was decent at best despite being a bit rough at times but the continued bad blood simmering between Hirsch & Statlander was splendid. Max Caster’s pre-match rap mocking his opponents and AEW Tag title goals was decent at best. Acclaimed vs. Loco & Ray was a decent mostly squash style match. Ouch at Wrenkowski’s back after Hayter’s botched Uranage. Hayter vs. Wrenkowski was a mostly solid match despite falling apart at the end. Martin vs. Hopkins was a solid back-and-forth action match. Guevara’s GTH to Lun looked brutal. Guevara busting out the Cross Rhodes to Lun was nice. Guevara vs. Lun was a good back-and-forth action match. Hobbs’ vicious looking Torture Rack finisher to Cabana was cool. Hobbs vs. Cabana was a pretty good match. Drake vs. Pillman Jr. was a solid back-and-forth match. This week’s show was enjoyable overall.

AEW Dynamite (Jan. 5)
* AEW World Championship – Bryan Danielson vs. Hangman Adam Page (c) – 4.5
* MJF vs. “Captain” Shawn Dean – N/A
* Wardlow vs. Antonio Zambrano – 2.5 (Squash)
* TNT Championship tournament Finals – Jade Cargill vs. Ruby Soho – 2.0
* Malakai Black vs. Brian Pillman Jr. – 3.0
* AEW World Tag Team Championship – Jurassic Express (Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus) vs. Lucha Brothers (c) – 4.0
Overall – 3.5
Best – AEW World Championship match.
Worst – TBS Championship Finals match being rough at times and Fenix suffering a serious arm injury during the AEW Tag title match.
Show Notes – Page’s catch & overhead suplex counter of Danielson’s dive on the outside was cool. Yikes at Page’s crimson mask. Danielson’s headbutts fest to a bloody Page was nice. Page’s DVD counter of Danielson’s leaping attack was cool. Page’s bloody headbutts to Danielson was cool. Holy crap at Danielson’s oozing crimson mask. Page’s Dead Eye counter of Danielson’s running attack off the apron was cool. Danielson’s Busaiku Knee counter of Page’s Buckshot Lariat was sweet. Danielson’s Gotch Piledriver to Page was cool. Page’s Back Drop Driver bending Danielson in half looked brutal. AEW World title opener was a terrific hard fought bloody battle. CM Punk blatantly costing MJF a win via DQ was interesting. MJF & Punk’s promo about their issues, MJF’s digs at Punk’s WWE career, & Punk’s diss retort was great. Jericho & 2pointO promo segment about their issues & brawl with Garcia, Santana, Ortiz, & Kingston was mostly goofy. Wardlow’s powerbomb destruction of Zambrano was sweet. Cargill’s Avalanche Jaded finisher to Soho looked rough. TBS title match was decent at best despite being rough at times. Serena Deeb heated sit-down interview about her issues with Shida was splendid. Black vs. Pillman Jr. was mostly good. Black & Lucha Bros confrontation ending with them swapping places after the lights out spot was goofy. Penta’s launch & Fenix’s running top rope kick combo to Jungle on the apron was cool. Jungle’s Avalanche Destroyer to Fenix was brutal. Fenix’s Destroyer to Luchasaurus & Penta’s Made in Japan to Jungle were cool. The random lights out moment was weird. Fenix’s corkscrew splash to Luchasaurus & Penta’s Fear Factor to Jungle on the apron was cool. Yikes at Fenix’s arm after the way it bent from Luchasaurus’ apron chokeslam through a table AEW Tag title was a great action packed match & Jungle Boy winning gold in AEW was wonderful. This week’s show was very enjoyable overall.

AEW Rampage (Jan. 7)
* Adam Cole vs. Jake Atlas – 3.5
* HOOK vs. Aaron Solow – 3.0
* Ruby Soho & Riho vs. Jamie Hayter & Dr. Britt Baker – 3.0
* No DQ, No Rules, No Holds Barred match – Daniel Garcia & 2point0 vs. Eddie Kingston, Santana, & Ortiz – 3.5
Overall – 3.5
Best – No DQ, No Rules, No Holds Barred match.
Worst – Jake Atlas’ suffering a legit knee injury during his match against Adam Cole.
Show Notes – Cole & Atlas’ moves & counters exchange into a superkick standoff was cool. Cole’s backstabber counter of Atlas’s Flying Nothing was nice. Cole’s brainbuster to Atlas was cool. Atlas’s suplex style sit-down powerbomb to Cole was cool. Yikes at Atlas’ blowing out his knee. Cole vs. Atlas opener was a very good action filled match despite the abrupt ending due to Atlas’ injury. Dustin Rhodes vs. Guevara Interim TNT title match hype video was okay. Andrade El Idolo backstage interview about his “little kid” insults of Darby Allin was okay. HOOK’s El Camino suplex to Solow was nice. HOOK’s Taz-style T-Bone suplex to Solow was cool. HOOK vs. Solow was a good back-and-forth style match & HOOK’s post-match high collar suplex to QT Marshall was sweet. Ricky Starks promo about his FTW match at Battle of the Belts & issues with Dante Martin was all right. Women’s Street Fight video package was splendid. Riho’s Senton to Baker via Soho assist was nice. Baker’s Double underhook suplex & Hayter’s sliding knee strike combo to Soho was nice. Riho’s tilt-a-whirl head scissors to Hayter was smooth. Riho’s Tornado DDT to Hayter via Baker assist was cool. Women’s tag was a quite good back-and-forth action match. Kingston & Pals bolting during the split-screen pre-match interview to beat up Garcia & 2point0 was a bit funny. Ouch at Garcia’s back after Kingston’s suplex onto a trash can on the outside. Santana’s piledriver to Parker onto a prone chair on the outside was cool. Santana’s rolling cutter to Parker via Ortiz assist was cool. Santana’s leg lariat & Kingston’s Exploder suplex combo to Garcia was sweet. Garcia & 2point0’s team suplex to Kingston through a table was nice. Santana & Ortiz’s kicks & discuss lariat finisher combo bending Parker in half was cool. 6-Man Tag was a very entertaining hard hitting hardcore style bout. This week’s show was very enjoyable overall.

AEW Battle of the Belts (Jan. 8)
* Interim TNT Championship – Dustin Rhodes vs. Sammy Guevara – 3.5
* FTW Championship – Matt Sydal vs. Ricky Starks (c) – 3.0
* AEW Women’s World Championship – Riho vs. Dr. Britt Baker (c) – 3.0
Overall – 3.0
Best – Interim TNT Championship match.
Worst – The sluggish pacing at times through the show.
Show Notes – Rhodes’ piledriver to Guevara on the outside was nice. Guevara’s clothesline to Rhodes spinning him onto the mat was nice. Guevara’s springboard 450 to Rhodes on the outside was cool. Rhodes’s spiked Cross Rhodes counter of Guevara’s springboard cutter was cool. Rhodes’ Code Red to Guevara was nice. Arn Anderson’s “glock” antics to Fuego Del Sol on the outside was funny. Rhodes’ Canadian Destroyer to Guevara through a table on the outside was crazy. Interim TNT title was a mostly very entertaining back-and-forth action match, especially the latter half, despite its sluggish pacing at times. Post-match Guevara & Daniel Garcia confrontation & brawl was interesting. Sydal’s standing Mariposa to Starks was nice. Starks’ twisting Uranage to Sydal was nice. Starks’ spear to Sydal bending him in half was cool. FTW title was a pretty good back-and-forth match. Post-match brawl with Powerhouse Hobbs, Lee Moriarty, & Dante Martin was all right. Riho’s Dragon suplex to Baker & running dropkick off a table to Hayter was nice. Ouch at Baker’s hip after Riho’s hard looking rolling double stomp. Baker’s ripcord strike & Air Raid Crash combo to Riho was nice. Baker’s curb stomp to Riho was brutal. AEW Women’s title was a mostly good back-and-forth action match, especially the latter half, despite the ringside shenanigans & its pacing being rough at times. Battle of the Belts was mostly enjoyable overall but not one of AEW’s better shows in terms of pacing and flow.


NJPW, Impact, & Other Wrestling

NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 16 Night 1 (Jan. 4)
* Pre-show: 19-Man New Japan Ranbo match – 2.5
* SHO vs. YOH – 2.5
* Rocky Romero, Ryusuke Taguchi, & Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. El Phantasmo, Taiji Ishimori, & KENTA – 3.0
* United Empire (Will Ospreay, Great-O-Khan, & Jeff Cobb) vs. BUSHI, SANADA, & Tetsuya Naito – 3.0
* Katsuyori Shibata vs. Ren Narita – 4.0
* NEVER Openweight Championship – EVIL vs. Tomohiro Ishii (c) – 1.5
* IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship – YOSHI-HASHI & Hirooki Goto vs. Dangerous Tekkers (Zack Sabre Jr. & Taichi) (c) – 3.5
* IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship – Hiromu Takahashi vs. El Desperado (c) – 4.0
* IWGP World Heavyweight Championship – Kazuchika Okada vs. Shingo Takagi (c) – 5.0
Overall – 4.0
Best – IWGP World Heavyweight Championship match.
Worst – NEVER Openweight Championship match.
Show Notes – SHO vs. YOH opener was solid despite the abrupt ending & dull HoT style shenanigans. Romero, Taguchi, & Tanahashi vs. Bullet Club 6-Man tag was pretty good despite the DQ ending. Tanahashi snapping & wailing on KENTA with a kendo stick was cool though. Ospreay’s new hair cut looks goofy & makes him look like a big wanker than before. Cobb’s Spin Cycle counter of Naito’s Destino was cool. LIJ vs. United Empire 6-Man Tag was a quite good bout. Narita being Shibata’s mystery opponent was sweet. Shibata abruptly changing the match to be under regular rules was an awesome moment. Ouch at Narita’s head after Shibata’s vicious headlock takedown. Shibata’s patented running dropkick to Narita in the corner was cool. Shibata’s stiff kicks to Narita were brutal. Narita vs. Shibata was a tremendous hard hitting grapple heavy bout. NEVER Openweight title was a decent match dragged down a ton by the overbooked HoT shenanigans. Taichi’s chokeslam & Sabre Jr’s back drop combo to Goto was nice. Taichi’s hook kick & Dangerous Suplex combo to YOSHI was cool. YOSHI busting out a Destroyer to Taichi was cool. IWGP Tag title was a very good back-and-forth action filled bout. Despy’s white & gold mask & gear was sweet. Hiromu & Despy’s stiff chops fest was cool. Hiromu’s sunset bomb to Despy on the floor was brutal. Despy’s spinebuster & Guitarra de Angel combo to Hiromu was smooth. Despy’s KO punch & double Pinche Loco finishers combo to Hiromu was sweet. IWGP Jr. title was a great action packed match. Okada’s running crossbody over the rail to Takagi was cool. Takagi’s wheelbarrow suplex to Okada was cool. Takagi’s stiff lariat counter of Okada’s Rainmaker was sweet. Okada’s dropkick into Takagi’s rebound roll into Takagi’s lariat splatting Okada sequence was amazing. Takagi’s DVD to Okada on the ramp was cool. Takagi’s Made in Japan counter of Okada’s Rainmaker was amazing. Yikes at Okada’s top rope spiked DDT to Takagi. Tagaki’s murder lariat to Okada was cool. IWGP World title was a fantastic hard fought action packed battle. Wrestle Kingdom 16 Night 1 was a mostly great show overall.

NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 16 Night 2 (Jan. 5)
* Pre-show: Bad Luck Fale, Gedo, & Jado vs. Yuji Nagata, Tomoaki Honma, & Togi Makabe – 2.5
* Pre-show: Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Satoshi Kojima, & Master Wato vs. El Desperado, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, & Taka Michinoku – 3.0
* Pre-show: Taichi, Zack Sabre Jr., & DOUKI vs. Shingo Takagi, Hiromu Takahashi, & BUSHI – 3.0
* IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship Three-way match – Mega Coaches (Rocky Romero & Ryusuke Taguchi) vs. El Phantasmo & Taiji Ishimori vs. Tiger Mask & Robbie Eagles (c) – 3.0
* Stardom exhibition match – Saya Kamitani & Tam Nakano vs. Starlight Kid & Mayu Iwatani – 3.5
* Provisional King of Pro Wrestling 2022 Championship 4-Way match – CIMA vs. Chase Owens vs. Minoru Suzuki vs. Toru Yano – 3.0
* NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship – YOH, YOSHI-HASHI, & Hirooki Goto vs. SHO, Yujiro Takahashi, & EVIL (c) – 2.5
* Great-O-Khan vs. SANADA – 3.0
* Jeff Cobb vs. Tetsuya Naito – 3.5
* IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship No DQ match – Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. KENTA (c) – 4.5
* IWGP World Heavyweight Championship – Will Ospreay vs. Kazuchika Okada (c) – 5.0
Overall – 4.0
Best – IWGP World Heavyweight Championship match.
Worst – NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship match and KENTA’s bloody head after his very scary fall from a giant ladder onto a trash can.
Show Notes – Eagles’ top rope splash to Mega Coaches on the outside while avoiding ELP’s push was cool. ELP got some amazing distance with his Thunder Kiss Slpash to Tiger Mask. The big storyline reveal of the hidden item in ELP’s loaded boot was nice. IWGP Jr. Tag opener was quite good. Iwatani’s Crucifix Bomb to Nakano was nice. Kid’s twisting Frog Splash to Kamitani was cool. Kamitani’s Phoenix Splash finisher to Kid was sweet. Stardom Tag was a very entertaining action filled bout. Provisional KoPW title was pretty good & Suzuki winning was interesting. NEVER 6-Man Tag was mostly decent despite the awful HoT style ending shenanigans. Mutoh leading an army of NOAH guys to the ring for the NJPW vs. NOAH show hype segment was awesome. Great-O-Khan vs. SANADA was mostly good. Naito’s Tornado DDT to Cobb was nice. Cobb’s Super powerbomb to Naito was cool. Cobb’s stiff lariat to Naito spinning him to the mat was brutal. Cobb vs. Naito was a very good hard hitting action filled bout. KENTA boinking his head onto a trash can after Tanahashi’s dropkick to his leg was a bit funny. Ouch at Tanahashi after his missed High Fly Flow onto a pile of chairs. KENTA’s running dropkick onto a pile of chairs onto Tanashi in the corner was brutal. KENTA’s Super Falcon Arrow to Tanahashi through a table was crazy. KENTA getting pushed off a giant tall ladder & gushing blood from his head after crashing hard onto a trash can was insane. Tanahashi’s High Fly Flow to KENTA off the tall ladder through a table was crazy. IWGP US title was an insane hardcore style bout. Ospreay’s moonsault off a trestle onto Okada was crazy. Okada’s Tombstone counter of Ospreay’s Sasuke Special on the outside was cool. Okada’s knees counter of Ospreay’s standing Shooting Star into Ospreay’s Liger Bomb counter of Okada’s dropkick sequence was amazing. Okada’s Stormbreaker counter of Ospreay’s Rainmaker was sweet. Ospreay’s Spanish Fly counter of Okada’s Rainmaker was cool. Okada’s Rainmaker finisher bending Ospreay in half was sweet. IWGP World title was a terrific hard fought action packed bout. Wrestle Kingdom Night 2 was a great show overall.

NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 16 Night 3 “NJPW vs. NOAH” (Jan. 8)
* Pre-show: Yasutka Yano vs. Kosei Fujita – 3.5
* Pre-show: Akitoshi Saito, King Teny, & Muhammad Yone vs. Yuji Nagata, Satoshi Kojima, & Hiroyoshi Tenzan – 3.0
* Kinya Okada, Yoshiki Inamura, Daiki Inabe, Hajime Ohara, & Daisuke Harada vs. Master Wato, Ryusuke Taguchi, YOSHI-HASHI, Hirooki Goto, & Tomohiro Ishii – 3.0
* Atsushi Kotoge vs. SHO – 2.5
* Seiki Yoshioka & HAYATA vs. Gedo & Taiji Ishimori – 3.0
* NOSAWA RONGAI & YO-HEY vs. DOUKI & El Desperado – 3.0
* Kazushi Sakuraba, Takashi Sugiura, & Toru Yano vs. Taka Michinoku, Minoru Suzuki, & Taichi – 3.0
* Masa Kitamiya & Go Shiozaki vs. Dick Togo & EVIL – 3.0
* Yoshinari Ogawa & Naomichi Marufuji vs. Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Zack Sabre Jr. – 3.5
* KONGO (ALEJA, Tadasuke, Manabu Soya, Kenoh, & Katsuhiko Nakajima) vs. LIJ (BUSHI, Hiromu Takahashi, SANADA, Tetsuya Naito, & Shingo Takagi) – 4.5
* Kiyomiya Kaito & Keiji Muto vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi & Kazuchika Okada – 4.0
Overall – 4.0
Best – KONGO vs. LIJ 10-Man tag team match.
Worst – The multple production miscues & muted entrance themes from ABEMA TV throughout the show.
Show Notes – Fujita vs. Yano was a very good Young Lions style showcase bout. NJPW vs. NOAH 10-Man Tag opener was good despite ABEMA’s feed issues. Kotoge vs. SHO was mostly decent despite the ending shenagians. Gedo & Ishimori vs. Yoshioka & HAYATA was pretty good. Suzuki-Gun vs. RONGAI & YO-HEY was a pretty good bout. Yano “betraying” NJPW & being revealed as the mystery partner for Sakuraba & Sugiura was funny. Sugiura & Suzuki’s loud stiff elbows exchange was great. Suhiura’s stiff lariat to Taka bending him in half was cool. Sakuraba, Sugiura, & Yano vs. Suzuki-Gun was a good hard hitting match. Shiozaki loud stiff chops to Togo & EVIL were nice. Shiozaki’s machine gun chops to Togo were brutal. Kitamiya’s Saito suplex to EVIL was cool. Kitamiya & Shiozaki vs. Togo & EVIL was mostly good despite the stale HoT shenanigans. Sabe Jr & Ogawa’s grappling exchange was superb. Sabre Jr’s Indian Deathlock to Marafuji & Octopus Hold to Ogawa was nice. Marafuji’s kicks fest to Kanemaru was cool. Ogawa & Marafuji vs. Suzuki-Gun was a very good back-and-forth action filled bout. KONGO’s sliding elbows fest to BUSHI was nice. Ouch at BUSHI’s chest after Kenoh’s loud brutal kick. Soya’s stiff chop to SANADA flooring him was nice. Naito’s elbows fest to Kenoh was nice. Takagi’s near brainbuster suplex to Nakajima was cool. Takagi & Nakajima’s stiff strikes exchange was cool. Soya’s DVD, Kenoh’s stiff kick, & Tadasuke’s Swanton combo to Takagi was cool. Takagi’s Pumping Bomber to Tadasuke bending him in half was sweet. KONGOH vs. LIJ 10-Man tag was an amazing hard fought action packed bout. Mutoh’s patented Mutoh style elbow drop to Okada was cool. Okada’s stiff elbow strikes to Kaito was brutal. Mutoh’s Dragon Screws to Tanahashi & Okada was nice. Mutoh’s Shinning Wizard to Okada was cool. Kaito’s forearms fest to Okada in the corner was sweet. Kaito’s knee trigger to Okada was cool. Okada’s stiff short arm Rainmaker to Kaito was brutal. Okada’s Landslide & stiff Rainmaker finisher to Kaito was sweet. Kaito & Muto vs. Tanahashi & Okada was a great action packed match. Wrestle Kingdom 16 Night 3 was a mostly great show overall.

NJPW Strong Nemesis Night 1 (Jan. 8)
* The DKC vs. TJP – 3.0
* Jordan Clearwater & Keita Murray vs. Hikuleo & Chris Bey – 3.0
* Gabriel Kidd vs. Eddie Kingston – 4.0
Overall – 3.5
Best – Gabriel Kidd vs. Eddie Kingston match.
Worst – N/A
Show Notes – DKC’s karate chops fest to TJP was nice. TJP’s backdrop suplex to DKC was cool. DKC vs. TJP opener was a good back-and-forth action bout. Hikuleo’s loud stiff chop to Clearwater was nice. Murray’s jawbreaker & double foot kick counter of Hikuleo’s grab was nice. Ouch at Clearwater’s back after landing hard on the apron from Hikuleo’s back drop. Hikleuo’s big boot to Murray’s head was sweet. Clearwater & Murray vs. Hikuleo & Bey was an entertaining back-and-forth action match. Kingston’s stiff chops to Kidd was sweet. Kidd’s stiff kicks to Kingston’s back into a stiff slap by Kingston flooring Kidd was nice. Kingston shrugging off Kidd’s elbow strikes & returning the favor with open palm strikes flooring Kidd was cool. Kingston & Kidd’s stiff chops fest in the corner was awesome & ouch at Kidd’s bright red chest afterwards. Kidd & Kingston’s stiff chops & slaps exchange was wonderful. Kidd’s Exploder Suplex to Kingston into Kingston’s Exploder Suplex to Kidd in return was cool. Kidd’s brainbuster to Kingston was nice. Kidd’s release German counter of Kingston’s spinning back fist was cool. Kingston’s Half & Half suplex to Kidd bending him in half was nice. Kidd vs. Kidd was an awesome grueling slugfest battle. This week’s show was very enjoyable overall.

Impact Wrestling Impact! (Jan. 6)
* Six Knockout Tag Team match – Tasha Steelz, Lady Frost, & Chelsea Green vs. Jordynne Grace, Rachael Ellering, & Rosemary – 3.0
* JONAH vs. Jake Something – 3.0
* Masha Slamovich vs. Sandra Moone – 2.0 (Squash)
* Deonna Purrazzo vs. Mercedes Martinez – 3.5
* Madman Fulton & Ace Austin vs. Hernandez & Johnny Swinger – 2.5
* Karl Anderson vs. Heath – 2.5
Overall – 3.0
Best – Deonna Purrazzo vs. Mercedes Martinez match.
Worst – Chelsea Green & Matt Cardona backstage interview segment.
Show Notes – Six-Women tag opener was a pretty good back-and-forth style match. Moose vs. Morrissey vs. Cardona Impact title match hype video was superb. Moose’s backstage promo about his upcoming Impact title match was all right. JONAH’s stiff punch, standing Senton, & top rope splash finisher combo to Something was nice. JONAH vs. Something was a good hoss style match. Post-match JONAH & Josh Alexander brawl was splendid, especially JONAH’s top rope splash to Alexander through a table. Slamovich’s vicious spinning back fist & gutwrench combo to Moone was cool & same for her Northern Lights Bomb finisher. Slamovich vs. Moone was a decent squash style match & fine Impact debut performance by Slamovich. Steve Maclin backstage promo about his bad blood issues & X-Division title match with Trey Miguel & interruption by Gail Kim was okay. Green & Cardona sit-down interview about their upcoming matches at Hard to Kill & Moose’s actions was decent at best but Green’s delivery of her lines was very stiff. Mercedes’ rebound clothesline, regular clothesline, & Saito Suplex combo Purrazzo was nice. Mercedes spear to Purrazzo on the apron was nice. Mercedes & Purrazzo’s slugfest exchange was sweet. Purrazzo’s Venus de Milo counter outta nowhere of Mercedes’ Air Raid Crash was cool. Purrazzo vs. Mercedes was a very good back-and-forth action match. IInspiration’s talk show segment with Jai Vidal & The Influence was corny but Vidal & Kaleb’s pose off on the couch was a bit funny. Fulton & Austin vs. Hernandez & Swinger was a solid match. Morrissey backstage interview about his upcoming Impact title match was all right. Anderson vs. Heath was a mostly good match despite the somewhat flat ending. The post-match mass brawl was splendid though. This week’s Hard to Kill 2022 go-home show was enjoyable overall.

Impact Wrestling Hard to Kill 2022 (Jan. 8)
* Pre-show: Jake Something vs. Madman Fulton – 3.0
* Pre-show: “Speedball” Mike Bailey vs. Chris Bey vs. Ace Austin vs. Laredo Kid – 3.5
* #1 Contender’s for Impact Knockouts Championship Ultimate X match – Tasha Steelz vs. Chelsea Green vs. Jordynne Grace vs. Alisha Edwards vs. Rosemary vs. Lady Frost – 3.5
* X-Division Championship – Steve Maclin vs. Trey Miguel (c) – 3.0
* ROH World Championship – Chris Sabin vs. Jonathan Gresham (c) – 4.0
* JONAH vs. Josh Alexander – 4.0
* 10-Man Hardcore War match – Good Brothers (Karl Anderson & Doc Gallows) & Violent By Design (Deaner, Joe Doering, & Eric Young) vs. Rich Swann, Willie Mack, Heath, Rhino, & Eddie Edwards – 3.5
* Impact World Championship Three-way match – W. Morrissey vs. Matt Cardona vs. Moose (c) – 3.0
* Impact Knockouts Championship Texas Death Match – Deonna Purrazzo vs. Mickie James (c) – 2.5
Overall – 4.0
Best – ROH World Championship match and JONAH vs. Josh Alexander match.
Worst – The convulted Last Man Standing style rules for the Knockouts title match doing more to hurt than help the match’s flow & quality.
Show Notes – The pre-show 4-way was a very good action filled bout. Grace’s Sky High off the Ultimate X ropes was cool. Women’s Ultimate X match was very good despite being a bit sloopy at times. X-Division title match was really good. Sabin’s Stormbreakker style DDT to Gresham was cool. Sabin’s Dragon Screw counter of Gresham’s arm lock was nice. Sabin & Gresham’s pins & counter pins into a Magistral by Sabin into a European Clutch finisher counter by Gresham sequence was amazing. ROH title was a great back-and-forth action packed bout. Alexander’s top rope crossbody over the railing to JONAH onto chairs was cool. JONAH & Alexander’s stiff chops exchange was sweet. JONAH’s brainbuster to Alexander was cool. Alexander’s release German & powerbomb combo to JONAH was cool. JONAH vs. Alexander was a great hard hitting action filled match. Mack & Swann’s 3D to Deaner onto an impromptu door table was nice despite the botched timing. Edwards almost launching himself over the railing twice with his dives to the Deaner & Anderson was crazy. Ouch at Mack & Swann after getting brained by Good Bros’ chair tosses. Young’s piledriver to Edwards off the apron through a table was cool. Doering’s DVD to Swann through a barbed wire board in the corner was crazy. Hardcore War was a very entertaining hardcore bout. Post-match ROH invasion ambush attack was great. Moose’s powerbomb to Cardona onto the apron & Morrissey doing the same to Moose afterwards was nice. Morrissey’s top rope fall-away slam to Cardona & Moose’s powerbomb to Morrissey at the same time was cool. Morrissey attacking Cardona with a prosthetic leg from someone in the crowd was funny. Moose’s accidental spear to the ref bending him in half was nice. Moose’s swift kick to Cardona’s family jewels was funny. Impact World title was quite good despite going a bit overboard with the ref bumps shenanigans. Ouch at James’ back after Purrazzo’s pump kick onto tacks. Yikes at Purrazzo after getting brained by James’ chair shot on the top rope. Purrzaao’s Queen’s Gambit to James through a table was nice. Knockouts title was mostly solid despite the rough pacing at times, more so due to the match rules. Hard to Kill 2022 was a great show overall.


Weekly Awards:

  • Best match of the week – IWGP World Heavyweight Championship – Kazuchika Okada vs. Shingo Takagi (c) (NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 16 Night 1)
  • Best match of the week runner-up – IWGP World Heavyweight Championship – Will Ospreay vs. Kazuchika Okada (c) (NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 16 Night 2)
  • Worst match of the week – 24/7 Championship Mixed Tag Team match – Tamina & Akira Tozawa vs. Dana Brooke & Reggie (WWE RAW)
  • Worst match of the week runner-up – NEVER Openweight Championship – EVIL vs. Tomohiro Ishii (c) (NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 16 Night 1)
  • Best show of the week – NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 16 Night 2
  • Worst show of the week – WWE RAW