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Daily Watchlist (10.28.19)

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The Daily Watchlist is where I highlight the matches I watch on a daily basis. Sometimes the matches will be current and other times they’ll be classics. Today I watched seven matches, all from NJPW.

NJPW 10/23
El Phantasmo & Taiji Ishimori vs Rocky Romero & Ryusuke Taguchi

Let me summarize the mood of this match with one sequence. ELP shoves his thumb into Taguchi’s butt, Ishimori sniffs the finger and passes out, Taguchi then makes ELP suck his thumb. If that’s the kind of match you’re looking for, here you go.

NJPW 10/25
Birds of Prey vs TJP & Clark Connors

There was a weird layout to this match. Despite being a young lion, Connors dominated Eagles. I understand Connors being the larger man but a young lion shouldn’t be punking someone a class ahead of him. They wanted that Birds of Prey babyface hot tag but it shouldn’t be done at the expense of Eagles getting grounded by a young lion.

NJPW 10/26
Volador Jr. & Titán vs El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru

Titán is at his best when he’s getting gooned on by his opponents and the Suzuki-Gun team are grade A goons. No flash from the Suzuki-Gun side, like a good heel team they left all the shine to Titán and Volador Jr. The problem was the crowd didn’t care. They worked a textbook match that’s easy to appreciate but with a lack of reaction, the winds are out of the sails.

NJPW 10/27
Birds of Prey vs Tiger Mask IV & Yuya Uemura

Tiger Mask isn’t there to be any flash of his matches. He’s a nice and steady base but it’s up to Uemura to add the sizzle. The young lion held up his end by having a strong finishing sequence with Eagles, outside of that there was little to see.

El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs TJP & Clark Connors
Desperado and Kanemaru have their act down but when their opponents don’t bring the fire, their matches have a tendency to drag. Neither TJP nor Connors were able to bring much life into this match making it largely forgettable.

El Phantasmo & Taiji Ishimori vs Volador Jr. & Titán – Recommended
Titán has been the MVP of the tournament, stealing his matches with his fiery comebacks over the gooning of his opponents. Dragon Lee’s actions are a blessing in disguise for Titán who’s been given the chance to step out of his shadow in Japan. Volador Jr. was brought back to life in this outing as the two teams displayed a nice amount of double teams that kept the match endlessly engaging.

Rocky Romero & Ryusuke Taguchi vs Roppongi 3K – Recommended
The match of the tournament to this point. This had the classic NJPW junior tag feel. You had a callback to Taguchi’s former tag team glory with Apollo 55 and an incredible closing stretch between Romero and SHO. Romero has taken advantage of the few opportunities he’s had to shine this year and has opened the eyes of many who had written him off.

Recommended Matches
El Phantasmo & Taiji Ishimori vs Volador Jr. & Titán
Rocky Romero & Ryusuke Taguchi vs Roppongi 3K

Along with providing show reviews from across Japan, Robert McCauley is also an editor for FightboothPW.

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