Mer: Jay White Turns Face
If you want people to like you, just dunk on Will Ospreay. It worked for me on Twitter, and it worked for Jay White this week at the NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 14 press conference. Despite having one of the worst beard and hair combos of all time, Jay White made some great points when he said he’d “never heard anyone bitch and whine and complain so much [as Ospreay].” Poor William is an easy target to make fun of due to just about everything that comes out of his mouth and everything he feels fit to put on Twitter, but it was hard to find fault in White’s comments. Imagine saying you carried the company when Kazuchika Okada’s thighs got the pop they did back at WK13. The absolute nerve. At least Will continues to give us something to bond over, because nothing unites people like complaining about how annoying somebody else is. Thank you for your service, Mr Knife Pervert.
Now presenting, the greatest video package in wrestling history ????????#AEWDynamite
— AEW on TV (@AEWonTV) November 7, 2019
Colette Arrand: Chris Jericho’s Parody of Serious Cody Rhodes
Chris Jericho might dress like a spooky mall goth for his title matches, but that doesn’t mean he’s incapable of having fun. The videos AEW produces of Cody Rhodes dissociating while thinking about the Painmaker are pretty overwrought and ripe for parody, so I’m glad one happened. Between Virgil’s appearance under his ancient Soultrain Jones moniker to Jake Hager staring wordlessly into the middle distance to Jericho’s Aunt’s Friend From Church, every part of this video ripped. The best part? Sammy Guevara noting that, at 48 years old, he’s the youngest AEW Champion in history. I mentioned it in the Wednesday Night War column, but Jericho and Cody have put together the most compelling feud of the year so far as American wrestling goes, and the contrast between their approach to this match is a huge reason why.
Hunktears: DDT Absolute Party 2019
“Hunktears you can’t have a full event be your best of the week.” Really? Who’s the editor here? Is it you, strawman reader? No! It’s me! And I say I get to choose an entire 6 hour event for my best of the week.
Okay, technically I wanted to write a whole thing about this show, but I have “a problem with overcommitment that makes me burn out and have to read Fire Emblem fanfic instead of do work” (sounds fake but okay). The point is, I loved this show. I loved the battle royale where a folding chair entered as Iron Man Heavy Metal Weight Champion and there was an entire musical number. I loved all two of Super Sasadango Machine’s PowerPoint presentations. I loved every second of the ten man tag match, including Ikemen Jiro’s four minute long entrance.
I loved the gravure model/professional gamer they had on commentary. I loved the Bakuretsu Sisters trying to be as tall as Chris Brookes by being on each other’s shoulders. I loved Maki Itoh’s entire being. I loved Miu Watanabe swinging Misao. I loved the guy who had the MOX jacket but with SEX written on it instead. I loved Yuka Sakazaki vs Shoko Nakajima. I loved seeing Riho really be able to go up against Antonio Honda and Miyu Yamashita. I loved seeing Kenny Omega in DDT again. I loved Gon the Fox. Even if I had to watch it the next day because I got too sleepy, I loved HARASHIMA and Takeshita.
DDT Ultimate Party 2019 gave me the serotonin I needed to get through my week. I salute you, DDT.
Danielle’s Big Fyte: Weekend Picks
This is a new part of FanFyte Best of the Week where actual real-life jock Danielle Riendeau tells us what fights we should check out this weekend!
Content warning: we’re going to mention Greg Hardy, a UFC fighter with a history of domestic abuse.
So, here’s the thing! UFC Moscow has some exciting fights on the card, particularly the main event, a featherweight bout between Zabit Magomedsharipov vs. Calvin Kattar.
But souring the whole thing, for me, is the presence of Greg Hardy as a last minute replacement in the co-main, in a heavyweight bout against Alexander Volkov. A lot of ink has been spilled over Hardy—who was convicted of domestic assault, though the conviction was later overturned—and the guy has almost as many disqualifications as actual wins in the UFC. I think plenty of people show up to Hardy fights because they want to see an abuser put on his ass, but really, the dude doesn’t even deserve the attention. The phenomenal Fernanda Prates podcast Well, Actually breaks down the entire case, it’s required listening, imo, for understanding the whole Hardy problem.
I won’t let that temper my excitement for the main event, which Bloody Elbow breaks down beautifully here. Both fighters are excellent strikers and contenders to the throne, and whoever wins has a real shot at challenging for the title in the near future.
And, of course, because I’m always interested in what’s going on in the women’s divisions, I’ll be paying attention to the women’s bantamweight bout between Jessica-Rose Clark and Pannie Kianzad. The two have fought before, though it was a whopping four years ago. Clark is small, but has the advantage on the feet, while Kianzad has more of a grappling-heavy game. If she can work her size and that wrestling advantage, then this is her fight.
In the pro grappling world, there is a very exciting match-up in the main event of Fight 2 Win 131, where grizzled vet Vagner Rocha faces the wunderkind 16-year-old blue belt Tye Ruotolo on Saturday night. Vagner is always exciting and fun to watch, and this young Ruotolo made it to the semi-finals of ADCC this year, despite being… a 16-year-old blue belt. You can stream the event on FloGrappling.
Honorable mentions: Nick Gage tweeting “what is stan,” Rush and Dragon Lee being announced for Triplemania Regia.