** = Recommended
ⱽᴼᴰ= Available online at some point after the show
Hunktears’ recommended this week
Happy New Year my darlings!! We are living in the era of Naito Two Belts. What a time. I’ve got a ton of recs this week, so strap in and pull out your shiny new 2020 planners.
Gotta watch New Japan New Years Dash, right? Like, no brainer here. It’s got the final retirement ceremony of Jushin Thunder Liger and will have all the spicy story developments to get us into 2020! (All I’ve watched so far was the retirement ceremony and I did cry right into my morning oats.)
Honestly? None of this is really speaking to me. I might check out 2AW though since I’m completely unfamiliar with it.
AEW Dynamite has Riho vs Kris Statlander, which should absolutely bang. NXT has Adam Cole vs Finn Bálor AND Rhea Ripley vs Shayna Baszler. All promising. I’m not sure what those DDT and Tokyo Joshi Pro shows are that are scheduled on Universe, since there are no live shows that day. They are probably the shows from January 5? I’m assuming that’s what they are. In that case, they are absolutely recommended by me. So… I tentatively recommend all of it equally. Sorry. Sorry about me.
One of the main reasons I’m so excited about Nico Pro is that I can watch stuff like OZ Academy! If you’re getting a little tired of all the scrawny 19 year olds in Stardom and TJPW, OZ Academy has thicc queens and middle aged queens galore! Plenty of veterans on this card who we don’t get to see much of here in the States.
Fantastica Mania is the annual tour New Japan does with CMLL talent, and this is legendary luchador Negro Casas’ very first one! The tours are usually pretty fun, but the addition of Casas makes possible match-ups a whole lot more exciting.
Pro Wrestling EVE’s Wrestle Queendom has become a can’t-miss annual event for fans of women’s wrestling. The self-professed riot grrl wrestling promotion hasn’t booked quite as much international talent as I’d have expected, but there’s plenty of exciting names on the card INCLUDING a dream match between Maki Itoh and Session Moth Martina. If you’re curious about NXT UK but don’t want to actually watch it? EVE has some of their top talent and will actually be fun to watch.
While I’m not quite as psyched on GCW I Can’t Feel My Face to give it the coveted double star, I have to mention that Jake Atlas is wrestling Tony Deppen, which should rule. Also, as not-hot as I am on Ring of Honor as a company and business, I have to say that, with matches like PCO vs Rush, Villain Enterprises vs Bandido, Flamita & Rey Horus, and Ryu Lee vs Andrew Everett? This Saturday show looks kinda cool.
I’m giving this first DDT show my double star for Sunday. Featuring the dream team of Chris Brookes, MAO and 2019 Wrestler of the Year Antonio Honda against Damnation members Daisuke Sasaki, Soma Takao and Tetsuya Endo? Not to mention: HARASHIMA defending the DDT Extreme Championship against Pokotan? Yes. Pokotan. The mascot. This is a can’t miss. The second show looks good too!
Again, not getting the double star, but this Sunday’s Ring of Honor show features some of my favorite talent working in North America today. Sure, I’d rather see it at a PWG show, but I’m not going to sneeze at a Rey Horus vs Andrew Everett singles match. There’s no word yet on what this week’s Stardom cards are going to look like, but since we’re on the Road to Kagetsu’s Retirement, they might do something fun for that. I’ll keep an eye out.