Day 5, May 22
Might as well address the elephant in the room, Jinder Mahal is the WWE Champion.
As I watched Backlash, I just couldn’t fathom that it had happened. I couldn’t really fathom him making it to the final two in the Wrestlemania Pre-Show Battle Royal, and I definitely couldn’t fathom him becoming #1 contender, but here we are waking up in the Maharaja era. It’s mad that guys like Rowdy Roddy Piper, Jake The Snake Roberts and William Regal were never world champion and now the worst guy from 3MB is. It’s even more distasteful when you consider that it’s a pretty cynical ploy to push WWE Network subscriptions in India. The mountain of steroids he’s done isn’t helping either, guy looks like his skin doesn’t fit him.
But, having slept on it, I’ve decided to roll with it. It’s happened now, Jinder is champion, that can’t be changed. So, let’s make something of it. If he drops the title back to Randy in a month, then WWE are basically admitting it was a joke. Give Jinder a solid run and hope that he’s up to the challenge.
Let’s move onto some actual wrestling:
Oh, for fu…
Yep, pretty sure that’s El Desperado sexually assaulting Ryusuke Taguchi, just sticking a pen up Taguchi’s funky weapon. Another HR shitstorm is heading Despy’s way. The crowd loves Taguchi’s humour wherever he goes, though. It mostly translates too because it’s universal stuff like hitting people with his arse, arses are funny in any language. I have no idea why the crowd laughs so much when he fist bumps the ref at the start of a match, though I suppose I wouldn’t be able to explain to a Japanese person why Fandango saying day one is H is so funny.
Despy gets the win with some banter of his own, unmasking himself and framing Taguchi. As Taguchi plead his innocence, Despy slipped on another mask and stole the win.
Suzuki-gun’s nefarious ways were on display again as Yoshinobu Kanemaru beat Volador Jr. with the assistance of a bottle of whiskey. ACH v. Tiger Mask was good fun right from Tiger’s Kill Bill entrance music to the reversal sequence finish. The highlight had to be ACH’s four consecutive tope suicidas (somewhere Mauro Ranallo is shouting MAMMA MIA) all while the fans in the front row sat politely as Tiger was sent crashing into them again and again. Finally, Block B’s whipping boys Bushi and Kushida met. It was Kushida who finally won one, ending the match in style as he weakened the masked man with a lengthy Hoverboard Lock and rolling through beautifully into a God’s Last Gift, the former calling card of one Tyler Black. Whatever happened to him?
Day 6, May 23
So. Much. Wrestling. How do people watch more than three promotions at once?
Judging by the banners on display at today’s venue, the show appears to be taking place in Pro Evolution Soccer. Think I once signed a guy named Juice Robinson in Master League.
Will Ospreay v. Jushin Thunder Liger was almost a little sad to watch. Ospreay clearly holds a lot of respect for Liger and he took no pleasure in putting the old dog down. It was like Liger realised he was being surpassed by a guy half his age. I’ve bought into the campness of Taichi’s act so far, but his match with Hiromu Takahashi highlighted why he’s not everyone’s favourite. The match went on far too long, Taichi spent most of it using weapons instead of wrestling and worst of all, it dragged Hiromu down a level. Even the Timebomb finish was flubbed, but I couldn’t really tell whose fault it was given the lack of camera angles. Hey, at least Hiromu won. Elsewhere, Marty Scurll went to 3-1 with a win over Taka Michinoku and Dragon Lee beat Ricochet with the Alberto Del Rio double stomp, except if it was Del Rio he’d still be setting it up now.