Ed Note: This was supposed to be the biggest, most packed, exciting, exhausting week of the wrestling year. Thanks to Coronavirus, it’s kind of hauntingly empty. Wrestlemania is this weekend, and it’s in an empty gym hosted by Rob Gronkowski. I still can’t get over that? There’s something really sad about this whole thing, but Nigel still put together a really fun looking week of wrestling shows to watch. Also: Keep an eye out for a full Wrestlemania card preview this week, and some news about Fanfyte’s plans to help you get through what’s sure to be a very weird show!
More Pro Wrestling:
- ICYMI: The Best Wrestling You Didn’t Watch in February
- Fanfyte 6: MMA Rules Extravaganza
- WWE Recap: A Visit to the Boneyard or a Trip to the Funhouse?
Thursday 4/2: Big Japan Pro Wrestling Ikkitousen Strong Climb 2020 Night 2
(Streams at 6AM EDT on Nico Pro.)
Big Japan’s Ikkitousen Strong Climb is a round robin singles tournament held every 2 years. Rather than the deathmatches more commonly associated with the promotion, the tournament is based around hard-hitting strong style matches. It features guests from a number of Japanese promotions alongside wrestlers from the Big Japan Japan roster, with 20 wrestlers in total across 4 blocks.
While it also features opening multi-man matches and 2 midcard deathmatches, the tournament matches are the obvious reason to watch this show, and this looks to be an exciting set. First, Big Japan’s Ryuichi Kawakami faces Pro Wrestling NOAH’s Yoshiki Inamura, and it will be interesting to see which big man stands tall at the end of their matchup. Next, All Japan Pro Wrestling’s Jake Lee meets Big Japan’s Yuya Aoki in what may be the most technical of the 3 tournament matches on the card. The main event, however, will be hard to top for quality, as Big Japan’s handsome mountain Daisuke Sekimoto faces the small, crafty and super talented BASARA founder, Isami Kodaka. If you aren’t a fan of deathmatches but have been curious about the Big Japan roster, this is a show worth giving a chance.
Saturday 4/4: Pro Wrestling NOAH Global Tag League Night 1 & 2
(Streams live at 4:00AM EDT & 10:30PM EDT on DDT Universe.)
Global Tag League is, like the name suggests, a yearly tag tournament that features NOAH wrestlers and guests in tag team matches. Because the cards for these shows have not been announced (and because they’re airing on the same day for North American viewers) I’m featuring them as a package deal.
Notable teams in the tournament include current GHC Tag Team champions Naomichi Marufuji and Dragon Gate veteran Masaaki Mochizuki as MochiMaru, Big Japan’s Daisuke Sekimoto teaming with Yoshiki Inamura as Muscle Toughness, former GHC Heavyweight champion Kaito Kiyomiya teaming with Shuhei Taniguchi as Unchains, the regular NOAH tag team of Kenoh and Masa Kitamiya as Kongoh, and former GHC Tag Team champions AXIZ, made up of current GHC Heavyweight champion Go Shiozaki and Katsuhiko Nakajima.
NOAH has been putting out an excellent product as of late, and thankfully, because of their new collaboration with DDT and their place on DDT Universe, more fans than ever will get to see it.
Sunday 4/5: Lucha Memes Chairo Bill Volume 5
(Streams live at 4PM EDT on the Más Lucha YouTube channel.)
Ed Note: Mexico’s Lucha Libre Commission has officially banned even no-audience shows from taking place, but Lucha Memes has continued to promote this event, so it seems to still be on. There’s a chance it may not happen, though, since it’s basically illegal to do.
Lucha Memes is a Mexican indie promotion that has long put on great shows, but in the past year has become slightly controversial among international lucha libre fans by choosing to no longer stream their shows and build their name on the live experience alone. This choice was not out of spite, but due to the fact that monetizing lucha libre outside of television is a difficult prospect in Mexico. Recently, Lucha Memes has sought to bridge the gap with international fans with a paid service, but due to some undisclosed difficulties with the process they have begun releasing select matches on YouTube instead.
A full Lucha Memes show being streamed on YouTube has not happened in some time. However, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Lucha Memes decided to close the doors to this show for the safety of fans and performers. Rather than canceling it, they have remade it in the style of recent “no people” shows, and called on popular indie lucha libre channel Más Lucha to stream the show. They will be asking for donations through YouTube’s Super Chat feature to cover the costs of producing the show without a paying audience.
The card itself, of course, is what makes the whole thing worth paying attention to. The second match is an intergender tag match featuring Diosa Quetzal & Hahastary (aka Hades in AAA) against the young team of Gremlin & Garrobo, and elsewhere on the card are Iron Kid, Lunatik Extreme, Arkangel Divino, Ultimo Maldito and Drako. Mat wrestling vet Black Terry meets young up-and-comer Perro de Guerra Jr. in the mid-card, and the semi-main features Psicosis II (aka Ripper) against indie star Toxin. Most notably, the main event features a rematch between international legend Ricky Marvin and one of most talented rising stars in lucha libre, Arez. Their past matches have been excellent, and if being in the main event is any indication, this one should follow suit.
Full Streaming Schedule
(Times in EDT)
|Monday, 3/30||Tuesday, 3/31||Wednesday, 4/1||Thursday, 4/2||Friday, 4/3||Saturday, 4/4||Sunday, 4/5|
|ROH Episode #445 (FITE 7PM EDT)†🆓||Hard Hit Aesthetics of Men (Nico Pro 5:30AM EDT)||AEW Dynamite (TNT 8PM)||Big Japan Pro Wrestling Ikkitousen Strong Climb 2020 (Nico Pro 6AM EDT)†**||WWE SmackDown (Fox 8PM EDT)||Pro Wrestling NOAH Global Tag League Night 1 (DDT Universe 4AM EDT)**||Lucha Memes Chairo Bill Volume 5 (Más Lucha YouTube 4PM EDT)🆓**|
|WWE Raw (USA 8PM)||IMPACT! (AXS, 5PM EDT)†||WWE NXT (USA 8PM)||WWE NXT UK (WWE Network 3PM EDT)||WWE 205 Live (WWE Network 10PM EDT)||Wrestlemania Night One (WWE Network 6PM EDT)||Wrestlemania Night Two (WWE Network 6PM EDT)|
|MLW Fusion #103 (MLW YouTube)†🆓||AEW Dark (AEW YouTube 7PM EDT)†🆓||Pro Wrestling NOAH Global Tag League Night 2 (DDT Universe 4AM EDT)**|