Weekly TV Roundup with AEW, IMPACT, and some recent CMLL content + IMPACT No Surrender review (DAY ONE SUBSTACK EXCLUSIVE)
Red's Pro-Wrestling Digest no.93
I’m happy to be back and I wanted to make this edition a very special, super loaded one and I’d argue that I accomplished that. Below is a very detailed look at recent AEW, IMPACT!, and CMLL content with lots of videos and tons of stuff worth checking out for just about every type of wrestling fan.
Thank you for taking time to read this as I appreciate all of my readers that have stuck with me through the years and throughout all of my long rambles along the way.
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All Elite Wrestling
Orange Cassidy kicked off Dynamite last week with another successful defense, this time against…sigh in Vince McMahon…Big Bill. I ask for eternity who thought that name change was a good idea. Whatever, this was entertaining enough an opener and generally a good throwaway.
Mox had something to say.
The Elite have done the least amount possible to build this up, leaving a few short promos and some darkness to set it up alone. Why wasn’t more done?
Powerhouse Hobbs won the Face of the Revolution Ladder match, besting Action, AR Fox, Takeshita, Sammy, and technically Kingston and Ortiz (the latter two weren’t involved truly as they ran off backstage to brawl away). A good ladder match with story work alongside the expected big spot moments.
Why does TK have two “AEW sucks” angles in two of his top programs right now and why does he go back to that if not for some weird kink sort of like how Fox higher ups clearly used to love getting picked on a few decades ago…….
Here’s a trailer for the new reality show. Anyone not expecting a renewal is…well, I’ll be nice and just ask that you use your imagination to figure out what I was going to say.
Page had something to say back. I really am digging this program.
Jack Perry promises not to fuck up again and Christian pisses himself is the best way to describe the above segment. Good shit.
The Casino Tag Team Battle Royale saw the new duo of Orange and Danhausen win a shot at Revolution by outlasting a large portion of the company tag division. It was fine. I’ve never been big on this type of match and it’s rarely done in a way that I care much for. This was not an exception.
It also served as an example of how many great teams AEW has. A sad truth considering TK has the nepotism asses as champs and Jeff Jarrett involved directly in the title picture. Heel shit after.
Bryan closed the episode out by talking some shit. MJF was left speechless as Bryan reminded the champ that he had to handle a dragon for an hour and that chances of heads being kicked seemed rather likely.
Some decent stuff on the episode I suppose with attempts at adding a bit of last-minute weight to a few of their ongoings. Admittedly it could’ve been better and I do think that they haven’t built things as well as they could’ve.
Note that AEW didn’t upload any of the middle matches from the episode (Jericho beat Peter Avalon, Hook retained against Matt Hardy, and Riho went over Storm).
The Kingdom watched BCC’s Claudio and YUTA face off with Aussie Open, Top Flight, and Dark Order’s Beaver Boys in a four-way tag team opener to kick off Rampage.
Wheeler Yuta would capitalize with a flash-pin to close this one. Good shit.
Riho and Emi Sakura in singles action? Fuck yes! Riho’s back and clearly is getting a mini-push right now. The crowd was behind her nicely and I’d love to see her continue to regain a lot of lost steam.
Hobbs came out with his Sonic ring and murdered Serpentico and then talked a bit about wanting more rings or something like that.
Briscoe talks about his dream, reveals Fenix, Penta, and Alex are with him and they set up a match calling out Varsity Athletes and Ari.
That’s all I watched from this episode which was about what I tend to get from Rampage these days.
I didn’t watch it, but here…
…is a special edition of Dark that ran Saturday night. Consider it a Zero Hour Zero Hour if you have the time to spend that I didn’t. The AEW YouTube channel has loads of great bonus content that’s also available if you have even more time and are more dedicated to the product than I have the privilege to be.
I’ll be watching Revolution this week and posting my thoughts as soon as humanly possible.
A lot to like from IMPACT! during this period, folks!
Kaz beat Kon in a slow and very, very average singles match.
The Death Dolls retained the tag belts by beating Hex in a rather decent but largely forgettable title match.
Hendry used a fucking Dreamcast as a weapon. A gaming chair was used as a weapon. Key caps? Yup, a weapon. This was a unique plunderfest and they honestly put in for a fun one that I had no real interest in beforehand. Fun shit, though not truly recommendation levels if I’m being honest.
Bully and Dreamer had a boring chat that felt like something that would have aired on an old ECW episode. It was almost kind of semi-acceptable but completely unneeded.
Maclin won an acceptable enough of a four-way to earn a shot at Josh but you’ll forget about this one as soon as you’ve seen it.
Bullet Club beat Time Machine in a trios match and I absolutely want a rematch and more of this BC trio to appear more often. This was legit a fantastic battle of top shelf professionals and an excellent example of the type of thing I love about this company and, more accurately, its roster.
Fucking watch this one!
Did you know that KENTA was in CZW recently?
Mickie beat Masha to retain the Knockouts Championship. Good shit and I actually think this company is doing better with their women’s division right now than just about anyone else and that does include the Khan-verse.
Alexander defeated Swann, keeping the World Heavyweight Championship in the process. I’ve given Josh a lot of praise over the years and especially so for his work of late during this reign. He’s truly the modern Kurt Angle and I mean that in the most flattering way possible. I consider him one of the world aces and that list is very, very small. I’m sincerely okay with the idea of him holding the belt until injury stops him because I believe this company is all the better with him as champ and don’t see that changing any time.
A great title defense and one worth consideration when you’re making whatever form of pull list, even if just a mental one, that you might have.
A perfectly acceptable special event; an 75/100% rating for the show.
I recommend watching this recent BTI if you want highlights and a good setup for this next one…….
IMPACT! nonstop action YouTube Playlist Episode 1 Review
I’ve launched a new YouTube Playlist series that I’ll be using for coverage of the brand moving forward. The intro is rather simple but I don’t have more time to show my true talents right now on this project and I’m not being paid for this passion work. I’d love to monetize but my stuff is too niche and all so that’s not happening. I make a bit from companies doing video production stuff and audio work, but that’s about it in this field.
DJ, make me a damn writer already!
Anyway, nonstop action is meant to be a quicker way for fans to stay up to date on the product. I am running a few of these right now and hopefully they’re helping someone. They help me, either way.
Anyway, episode one starts with the Motor City Machine Guns, the IMPACT World Tag Team Champions, and Bullet Club’s ABC having a chat and setting up the main event meant for later in the installment. Basically, Bey and Ace called out the champs and they got a response. Good shit.
Austin was wearing a shirt that said I beat Chris Sabin. Like I said, good shit.
Shane Haste made his debut but ate an L from Speedball. TMDK would be a nice boost to an already nice tag division. It’s nice seeing Haste again and it’s always nice seeing a Bailey match these days. The dude is a treat in the ring and I’m so glad he’s finally able to work so often again.
A very good in-ring opener.
Give TMDK a monster push! Gold TV guaranteed.
Trey Miguel has spraypainted green all over the X-Division Championship which is kind of a cool look. He and PCO put in for a fun dynamic of speedy spark versus slow monster shit and I fucking loved it more than I should. It wasn’t really good from a true perspective I suppose but it was terribly good nonetheless.
Edwards hit PCO with a shovel to cause a DQ finish and the fucker no sold it and went after Eddie. Monster shit, folks. Monster shit.
ABC won the straps to end this one and it was solid af. Commentary was potent enough, the crowd was pretty decent, and the talent were on point. Oh, and they really did well telling a story here alongside the tight action. I was honestly fine with MCMG retaining if that had been the call but far prefer the outcome we did get. I look forward to seeing Bey and Ace with a run and hope it’s one that lasts a few months. The tag division of this company feels like it’s being done better than basically anywhere else, yes especially AEW’s, lately, too.
I’m sorry, but if you watch this company with this playlist series I don’t see how you couldn’t be a major fan. A plug? Sure, but I legit stand by that. The company is really good more often than not and has been for a while but it just takes a bit of skipping around. This was still an hour of pro-wrestling and it made for one heck of an evening of entertainment. We have new champs and they’re a team I’ve been really behind. We had a fun clunker with PCO acting like a madman. We also had a nice debut and Mike Bailey getting a victory. What’s not to like!?
To Mexico we go!
Zeuxis is back, the Dalys hold is gone, and the division feels sort of alive right now which feels…weird. This was actually good. A nice sight to see and I am really vibing with CMLL lately. I haven’t enjoyed this company this much in years so I’m thankful for that for sure. The roster has always been there but the politics and laziness held it back.
Still does, to be honest, even with the spark of late.
The Torneo Incredible de Parejas made for interesting tv. A mess in the best possible way.
A brawl that saw Ultimo and Atlantis beating up Mistico and Averno worked as a quarterfinal to this fucking tournament and it was fantastically chaotic.
Volador and Rocky teamed up, fuck yeah, and took on Oraculo and Angel de Oro next. Angel didn’t give a fuck because he’s ungovernable and kicked some nuts.
Gran Guerrero and Atlantis Jr. lost to Templario and Soberano, another team I loved seeing, in a nice sprint. GRANT dicked around and had heat.
Big fuckers Volcano and Kraneo teamed up and the earth fucking shook. Their opponents? Dragon Rojo Jr. and Titan! I’m vibing hard with this damn company, readers! Big versus speed shit, mileage will vary.
Volador and Rocky talked shit down the ramp before facing Averno and Mistico in semi #1; tossing their opponents around to push their tensions off on others. In-fighting would eventually lead to Mistico beating Volador in a hot moment.
Temp and Sobs faced Rojo and Tits in the other semi. Good shit. The former would fight a lot near the end and it allowed for a lot of drama.
This fucking tournament was highly entertaining and the finals are a nice surprise.
Z and Marcela worked a lightning match. Sweet. They went with a draw and it felt like they were nowhere close to finished when it happened. I dig that. It feels like a real start to a program that I’d like to see play out.
Zeuxis being back just feels right and I’m thrilled to see it.
Cavernario, Angel de Oro, Rocky, and Titan took on Volador, Ultimo, Gran, and Oraculo in a massive atomico the following week. I didn’t realize I wanted this specific match until I saw it and realized I was very wrong. The Romero/Vol story remains THE major program for the oldest promotion in the world and it served nicely as a subplot to the chaos here. Good action throughout and a real crowd pleaser. If you want a great throwaway example of modern lucha to show a bud this would be my current, most recent recommendation.
Rocky punted Angel so that he could be the one to fuck up V and get the pin as the finish here.
The tournament finals!
As entertaining as the matches that preceded it and even better in quality. A truly enjoyable tag team match between four excellent performers. They worked hard to make this feel like a big deal and the crowd, including those of us at home like myself, applaud their efforts.
Mistico and Averno won following a fantastic finals match.
Another decent CMLL women’s match in 2023 because hell really did freeze over. The division really was being held captive. Poor AAA. Those stupid fuckers lost AEW and are with NWA now (what a downgrade) and now CMLL has given them some poison that they presumed a miracle.
Ref bump fin.
Note to self: Hell freezing over would make for a fun ttrpg idea.
Torneo de Escuelas A-Semi saw two teams of five representing CMLL prospects from CDMX and Comarca Lagunera in a students tournament. All this needed was the talents stepping up to show that they are worth the time.
They did that here. Considering that much of Mexico City attendance is made up of tourists you can see fans enjoying this thinking the teams were actually regulars to the weekly Friday night events.
Poor dumb bastards. Missing out on the familiarity of this current product.
Like I said…Hell…cold as <insert shock-value, recently deceased name here that will certainly get me cance…on the other hand abort abort abort>
This was a lot like those fun clusterfuck Torneo Fill gigs IWRG puts on and a burner for sure. It really made the future of CMLL seem brighter than I’ve thought it for a very long time.
Next, Sugehit and crew took an L to Zeuxis and friends. La Catalina debuted here and Stephanie would get the win over Princesa. Good stuff in all.
The Escuelas finals delivered nicely on the promise of SemiA. SemiB was apparently a waste of time and I didn’t have much to waste.
Guadalajara would defeat CDMX, sadly, to take this one. Chaotic spotfest shit with some drama mixed with that heart attack pace. Worth checking out for sure and I am hoping this means something at all in a few years.
Also on the show, Soberano faced Cavernario in a match that didn’t deliver thanks to the former seeming to be worn the fuck down. Also, a Scream tie in moment following a Virus victory happened.
Last for this edition, we have Mistico, Angel de Oro, and Volador Jr taking on Atlantis Jr, Rocky Romero, and Oraculo. Again the Roc/Vol angle played a part and added a lot to this hot main event. A big brawl kicked it off and provided for a fire first fall.
Stories and action, this was worth a look and ended with Rocky kicking in some nuts. Romero would beat up and taunt his rival after and Atlantis Jr. challenged Mistico. They’d trade blows after to send us home.
I’ll end on that for now. Thank you for stopping by and I appreciate that choice. I am hopeful that you’ll continue to make those despite what doing so would say about you.
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