Ed. Note: Stardom canceled their February 22nd show and all shows for the rest of the month, and we didn’t update last week’s recommendation list to reflect that. Our bad!
Update: As of February 26th, the Japanese government has requested that major events be canceled for the next two weeks due to Coronavirus concerns. New Japan and World Wonder Ring Stardom have complied, canceling/postponing their early March events, and DDT events have been rescheduled as no-audience, streaming only dojo shows. Dragon Gate’s shows look to still be happening.
More Pro Wrestling:
- ICYMI: The Best Wrestling You Didn’t Watch in January
- WWE Recap: A Sermon, a Meltdown, and the Destruction of an Entire Orchestra
- Slipping Blue Chew Into My Skinny Latte: AEW Dynamite Recap
Wednesday 2/26: NXT
(Airs live at 8PM EST on the USA Network.)
As much as it pains me to recommend watching a WWE product the same week that they are going back to Saudi Arabia for more blood soaked money, I simply cannot resist the siren call of Charlotte Flair taking on Bianca Belair. Flair has challenged NXT Women’s Champion Rhea Ripley for a match at Wrestlemania, and in the process, disrespected the EST of NXT. Belair called out the Queen, and here we are, with two very strong, very charismatic women with very good shoulders about to wrestle on the USA Network this Wednesday. I’m HYPED. Like significantly more hyped for this than I am for the Mania match. Sorry Rhea. Also Velveteen Dream is back and tormenting Roderick Strong by claiming that his accessories are made out of Marina Shafir’s panties. Insane stuff!— LB Hunktears
Saturday 2/29: Tokyo Joshi Pro Stand Proud
(Streams at 9:30PM EST on DDT Universe.)
Ed note: This show has been canceled “in response to the Government directive issued on Feb 26” regarding the Coronavirus outbreak. It has been rescheduled as a “no-people show” at the DDT Dojo, and will still stream on Universe. Thunder Rosa will no longer be on the show, other card changes have yet to be announced.
Thunder Rosa shocked Tokyo Joshi Pro fans when she won fan favorite Maki Itoh’s International Princess Championship at the beginning of January. Now, she looks to make her first title defense against Shoko Nakajima in this show’s main event. Maki Itoh looks to capture another championship after that defeat earlier in the year, teaming with Raku to challenge Rika Tastumi & Miu Watanabe for the Princess Tag Team Championships. Elsewhere on the card, Miyu Yamashita and Natsumi Maki face off in their third singles match. The victory went to Yamashita in both previous encounters, so this will be worth watching to see if Maki can pull off her first win in this rivalry.— Nigel Spudes
Saturday 2/29: AEW Revolution
(Streams live at 7:30 PM EST on B-R Live.)
Sunday 3/1: Dragon Gate Champion Gate 2020
(Streams live at 12:45AM EST on the Dragon Gate Network.)
This show is the second in a pair of back-to-back Dragon Gate shows at the Edion Arena in Osaka. It was tough to pick between the two, as they each have two intriguing title matches in the main and semi-main. However, this show boasts Open the Dream Gate champion Naruki Doi defending the title against the formidable Susumu Yokosuka (formerly of Natural Vibes) in the main event. Between them, Doi and Yokosuka have 40 years of wrestling experience, and both are known to get creative with their movesets and match construction, making this a strong early contender for Dragon Gate match of the year if it delivers.
The other title match on the card is for the Open the Twin Gate tag team titles. BxB Hulk won the titles with YAMATO at the end of last year, but turned heel and joined the R.E.D. faction after holding them for just 6 days, vacating the titles in the process. Hulk then won the titles back with KAZMA SAKAMOTO, with whom he now holds them. YAMATO now looks to regain the titles with the help of new partner KAI in this show’s semi-main. Lower in the card are matches in Dragon Gate’s current faction war, between the veteran Toryumon Generation, the new blood Dragon Gate Generation, and the rebellious R.E.D. faction. As an added incentive, both shows also have English commentary alongside the normal Japanese, to make the show more accessible to English-speaking fans. — Nigel Spudes
Sunday 3/1: IWRG
(Streams live at 4:45PM EST on Internetv Deportes, available on demand afterwards on the IWRG YouTube.)
A late addition to the schedule, but the IWRG show on Sunday features a recently debuted faction called Imperio in the main event against Dragon Gate’s Shun Skywalker, Emperador Azteca & Fuerza Guerrera NG. Imperio features out trans woman exotico Estrella Divina (profiled in this Viceland piece.) — Nigel Spudes