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Daily Watchlist (10.30.19)

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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 thirteen matches, eight from AEW and five from GCW.

AEW Dark 10/29
Dustin Rhodes & Sonny Kiss vs Peter Avalon & QT Marshall

Solid performances from Rhodes, Avalon and Marshall while Kiss provided the sizzle of the match. Marshall trying to get on the sizzle ended up playing into the downfall as he missed a handspring moonsault leading to a comeback from Rhodes hitting all of his signature spots. A perfectly good match where everyone had good timing and while not a match to rush out and see, you can do worse.

Allie vs Emi Sakura vs Penelope Ford vs Sadie Gibbs
The match was at its best when Sakura was involved. She brought a level of innovation that the other three didn’t have the experience to bring. Outside of Sakura, the match was bland but they put together a nice finishing stretch. There’s several fun spots but the match dragged and was uneven which makes it a tough recommendation.

Darby Allin vs Jack Evans vs Jimmy Havoc – Recommended
You have a good contrast of styles here with the human rubber band in Evans, the speed of Allin and Havoc as the de facto muscle. It all worked well together. They brawled all over the place and did big spots in succession to where the match dragged very little. My favorite moment was when Evans put Havoc on the table and rather than laying there waiting for the splash and looking like a dork, Havoc cut him off. Wrestling looks low rent when guys wait too long for a spot and they managed to avoid that here so I’m recommending the match because even if it did feel a little long, it never insulted my intelligence.

GCW 10/28
Chris Dickinson vs Jordan Oliver – Recommended

Before the match even starts, Dickinson sets the tone by playing Oliver’s promo on him for the crowd. He calls Oliver disrespectful and a “CZW dojo bitch”. Dickinson is all intensity, the guy is no doubt in the running for wrestler of the year. He gave Oliver the business, absolutely wrecking him like a young boy while the crowd lost their minds. This is great stuff from both guys, Oliver has Jack Evans vibes with his mannerisms and took a good beating just like Evans. Really strong match that was all intensity from the Dirty Daddy. Big recommendation.

Colby Corino vs KTB vs Matt Demorest vs Ophidian vs Sanchez vs Tye Hyll
The GCW spotfest scrambles always feature next level moves with guys going all out to get noticed. KTB wasn’t about to let the flippy guys take his shine as he showcased a great display of athleticism himself. So many next level moves like a piledriver + torture rack bomb combination from Demorest and Tye Hill doing springboard 450s to the floor. Unlike how some of these matches go, this happened to have a strong finish that was nutty, hit clean and a great way to cap it all off. KTB jumped all the way across the ring to nail a DVD through a door. If you enjoy the big spotfests, this was done relatively well.

GCW World Championship
Nick Gage (c) vs Ruckus

Ruckus came out hitting all his spots right off the jump. He looked great and his control sequence was a hot start. The match began to drag once in Gage’s control up until Atticus Cogar cut the lights, blew fire at Gage for the distraction and RSP attacks Gage from behind. Nice story advancement and a way to work around Ruckus possibly not wanting to a take a loss plus you come out of this wanting to see more Ruckus. The match works and shouldn’t be missed if you’re following the Gage/RSP story.

Alex Zayne vs Rich Swann – Recommended
Big time bombfest between two of the most fluid flyers you’ll find in GCW. A great amount of strikes and ranas capped off by one of the nuttiest spots of the year. Zayne climbed to the balcony, hopped over the barricade and landed a clean senton on top of Swann in the ring. Absolutely unreal spot and it ended the match in perfect escalation. Zayne has been making the most of his GCW run and while his spots are insane and pop off in gifs, he’s also proving he can string it together in a cohesive match.

Jimmy Lloyd vs Shotzi Blackheart
Once the match got past the brawling on the floor there was a strong collection of spots one after the other. Blackheart in particular looked great throughout the entire match. She was very smooth, Lloyd was a strong base and everything went by the numbers. The match wasn’t anything overly outrageous and not the strongest match of the night but it was still good in its own right. They didn’t end the show on a high note but it was passable nonetheless. It’s a borderline recommendation, it just didn’t have anything overly nutty to put it over the top.

AEW 10/30
Hangman Page vs Sammy Guevara

Textbook power versus speed match. Guevara is great at being a douche which leads to him taking big bumps for Page. The only head scratcher was Page dumping Guevara to the floor so that he could follow Sammy out with a moonsault. That felt out of place for a match that was otherwise dominated through the power of Page. The match was strong and made sense outside of that one awkward spot. Not a huge match that needs to be seen but very solid.

Shanna vs Hikaru Shida
Solid striking battle between these two. Both are obviously very skilled, Shida looks to be a little more polished, Shanna’s most glaring misstep being a delayed small package. There were very small pacing issues that were enhanced by the AEW crowd generally being less engaged by the women’s matches. As a whole though, this got over better than most AEW women’s matches to this point thanks to crisp strikes from Shida and Shanna never too looking out of place.

Best Friends & Orange Cassidy vs Beaver Boys & QT Marshall
Out to promote the Rick & Morty crossover, Best Friends come dressed as the characters. Basically a squash filled with Best Friends signatures. QT breaks the hug, Cassidy comes in and gives him the business and the trio hug before finishing Silver. The match picked the crowd back up and served as a fine intermission.

Kenny Omega & Young Bucks vs Kip Sabian & Hybrid 2
We lost a significant portion of the match to commercial and we come back to a “this is awesome” chant. The Terminator dive is cut off twice before The Elite scrap the plan and isolate Omega with Evans to pick up the win. Very high energy match from all parties excluding Angelico. If they want to replace Sabian with Angelico no one would mind. It’s unfortunate we lost the majority of the match to commercial because what the cameras got was great but as it played out on TV it’s not enough to recommend.

AEW Tag Team Championship
Lucha Brothers vs Frankie Kazarian & Scorpio Sky

What a weird match. Lucha Brothers were built as heels throughout the tournament but didn’t wrestle as such here and so when Kazarian won with a small package, the crowd’s initial reaction was to boo. Flat finish to what was an extremely solid match. Things got intense were Kazarian brained himself on the corner of the apron when attempting a rana off the top and continued taking bumps to the back of his neck. The violence was paired with great agility from Fenix who has been consistently stealing every match he’s been in so far. The bizarre finish makes the match a tough recommendation. There’s a lot to like but the underlying decisions are real head scratchers.

Match Recommendations
Darby Allin vs Jack Evans vs Jimmy Havoc
Chris Dickinson vs Jordan Oliver
Alex Zayne vs Rich Swann

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

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