This is where the rambling comes into play. Here lies all my journal-like entries on pro-wrestling. it isn't anything highly polished, but I'm sure they'll make for decent reads.
Click images/gifs to redirect to it's source. if it doesn't lead anywhere, that means I made it.

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Wrestle Kingdom 17

Written: Jan.6.2023.

I finally got a NJPW World membership, and the first thing I used it for was Wrestle Kingdom 17.

I'd be lying if i said Mercedes Mone/Sasha Banks didn't sway my decision, but she was far from the only thing driving me to purchasing it. I observed NJPW from a distance; not having the money to watch everything, but being intruiged enough in certain wrestlers that I made other people tell me about them. With extra Christmas money and the chance to witness a debut, everything had finally fell in place for me to spend ¥999.

My favorite match from WK had to be the 4way between Hiromu Takahashi, El Desperado, Taiji Ishimori, and Master Wato. It was really exciting and kept me on edge through the entire thing. Plus, it was really nice to see wrestlers I admired from afar (basically everyone!), wrestle with my own eyes.

a gif of a moment from the Wrestle Kingdom 17 Four-Way match. The camera dramatically cuts between Master Wato, Hiromu Takahashi, El Desperado, and finally Taiji Ishimori, who throws his hands up in a flippant manner and leaves the ring.

A second favorite of the night was Kairi vs Tam Nakano. The match was... really short, unfairly so, PAINFULLY SO. Five minutes on a ~6 hour show??? C'mon. In the time that they had, they really went off, which is to be expected as they are both very talented. The match was hard hitting and overall amazing, and had me invested on the spot. Kairi is a long time favorite of mine that i hadn't been able to watch because of money/timing (for my timezone, japanese shows usually happen in the middle of the night, 2-3am). Then, of course, there was the debut of Mercedes Mone, FKA Sasha Banks. It was talked about for MONTHS, so the debut was less surprising, and more... fufilling. Invigorating! I can't wait to see what she does in Japan.

an image of tam nakano suplexing kairi an image of Kairi, expression serious, holding up the IWGP Women's Championship. She staring down Mercedes Mone, who stands across from Kairi. Mone is staring at the championship with a determined, happy expression.

The co-main event match between Kenny Omega and Will Ospreay was cool too. I don't like Ospreay, and I'm relatively neutral to Kenny, but i can recognize a good match when I see one. Besides, Kenny showed up in a Sephiroth Cosplay and I just NEED to have that on record. Even came out to One Winged Angel! Very fitting, seeing that's the name of his finisher, and Kenny is a known nerd (said respectfully! gamers rise up.).

a gif of Kenny Omega's Wrestle Kingdom 17 entrance. His back is facing the camera; he is wearing a long black coat with silver shoulderpads, identical to that of Sephiroth. He throws his right arm out, triggering a graphic of a single black wing to unfurl, mirroring sephiroth's black wing.

So, in all, I think wrestle kingdom was really nice, though the treatment of Kairi/Tam knocked down it's ranking for me. But it was all very refreshing and definitely recharged my love for wrestling! WWE and AEW have been pretty drab lately, and it's mucking up my passion. so I really needed this.
Can't wait to see what's next!

Untitled Mishmash: I

Written: Mar.25.23

I have been lacking a bit when it comes to writing in this section. Sorry! School has had a massive blow on my ability to watch wrestling the way i would like. But i still try my best to keep on track with the events. So, to fix this, i have created Untitled Mishmash: ultra-long entries where I talk about a bunch of bits and pieces that stand out to me through the haze. And just nice wrestling-related events.

First thing, I got tickets to a Monday Night Raw show in the summer. It's pretty rare for raw to come to my town, even more so to visit outside of winter, so i couldn't pass it by. My seats are similar to the ones i got for smackdown last year, but just a bit closer down. I'm very excited! Bayley and Seth are on the raw roster as of right now, and i missed out on seeing them last time. So im holding onto hope there isnt some draft to mess things up.

Another notable purchase i made was my first PWI (Pro Wrestling Illustrated) magazine. The cover is of Mercedes Mone! I was planning on taking some scans of my favorite pages and sharing them here, but my scanner decided to give out on me... I'll upload them eventually though!
It's so fun to own a magazine about something i love so much. It reminds me of how excited i would get over a new issue of GameInformer arriving in the mail, hopping and squealing when my favorite character managed to make it to the coverpage. I'm gonna make it a mission to try and get regular issues from PWI now, or even from some other prowres publications. Anything that i can read and touch!

Cover of Pro Wrestling Illustrated May 2023 Issue. The cover features a photo of Mercedes Mone in her Wrestle Kingdom gear and hair, with the title “Mercedes Mone's World Tour Hits Japan!”

On the topic of Mercedes, she stood true to her promise to kairi at Wrestle Kingdom and dethroned her at Battle in the Valley, marking her first reign as IWGP Women's Champion! I wasn't able to watch it live, but i was nevertheless estatic to see the news. I'm so, so happy for her!
I mentioned it to my friend; it's very crazy to think that not that long ago Mercedes was still Sasha, and wwe was still fumbling her horribly. To think they let such a star away because they couldn't be bothered to listen to requests to build up their women better. It's depressing, but WWE seems to have a knack for bad decisions... But it matters not! Mercedes is in Japan, she's champion, and she's surrounded by some of the best wrestlers in the world. To say the sky is the limit to what she has to offer would be an understatement.

an image of Mercedes Mone at Battle In The Valley. Her gear is a tribute to the deceased Hana Kimura, which takes heavy influence from Hana's blue, black, and green Tokyo Cyber Squad gear. an image of Mercedes Mone after her match against Kairi, standing proudly with her arms outstretched as the IWGP Womens Championship Belt is secured around her waist by a referee.

I have shared links to these matches in the Tape Study already, but in between now and my last written entry, Shunma Katsumata and MAO of DDT Pro made their US Tag Team debut! I want to say MAO has been to the states before, but im not certain. He wrestle outside of Japan in the past, most notably with Mike Bailey as the team of Moonlight Express. Regardless, I know for certain that this is Shunma's US debut.
Each of their matches were great. Shunma's bout against Sonico showed off that devistating deathmatch style he's known for, and Mao's battle against Kevin Blackwood was an excellent example of what DDT has to offer; Fast and stylishly hard-hitting moves, with an air of humor and silliness. They both have expressed interest in coming to the states again, and lucky for them, DDT is returning soon, in good ol' Hollywood! This is a perfect opportunity to see what DDT is like for yourself. If you don't want to, don't worry- I will be here talking about it as soon as i can.

a gif of Shunma Katsumata hitting Sonico several times with a kendo stick. small colorful lego blocks cover the wrestling mat a gif of Mao and Kevin Blackwood. Mao performs a jump-up hurricanrana, flinging blackwood to the mat. immediately afterwards mao jumps to the leftside top rope, striking blackwood with a golden star press.

Final thing i have to say is actually very, very recent. The New Japan Cup just concluded and the winner is no other than... SANADA! But, he didn't win it with the support of LIJ...

Sanada left Los Ingobernables de Japon, and joined no other than Just 4 Guys, Taichi's new stable post-SZG. It was beyond shocking to see it happen; afterall SANADA had been with LIJ for the entirity of his New Japan career. I can at least take comfort in knowing his defection wasn't volitile; It took place after Sanada and Naito battled each other within the NJCUP bracket. Sanada won, and was immediately approached by Taichi. Instead of turning his back and helping up Naito and thanking him for a match well fought, Sanada took Taichi's hand and welcomed his embrace, quickly snipping all ties to LIJ right then and there.

Sanada and Taichi stand across from each other in the ring, taichi's hand outstretched. Without hesitation Sanada takes it, and is pulled into a hug by Taichi. The camera zooms out; Naito is laying motionless on the mat a few feet behind Sanada

Sanada's reasoning for leaving was very simple: he felt as though there was nothing more LIJ could do for him, and in order to reach his goals of rising to the top of NJPW, he left. There was an air of disbelieve shared amongst the members of LIJ, but nobody battled Sanada. They all awarded him the autonomy to leave on his own; though Shingo felt as though this was all Taichi's fault.

Once Sanada joined Just 4 Guys (which consisted of Taichi, Douki, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, and TAKA Michinoku; all ex-members of Suzuki-Gun), he shaved his blonde beard and dyed his hair jet black, similar to what Taichi did (exchanging his golden fringe for a black one). The stable also changed their name to accomodate their new member, becoming Just 5 Guys.
Only a few days after his induction, Sanada went on to achieve something he had been striving towards for a very long time: winning the New Japan Cup. It's almost prophetic; he said he couldn't reach his goals in LIJ, and not even a week after leaving he achieves this! It's amazing, truly. I'm so excited for him. As of typing this, Sanada and Taichi are set to face Okada and Tanahashi at the upcoming NJPW show, Sakura Genesis! Sanada and Taichi have never tagged before, whilst Okada and Tanahashi are a hardened team. Definitely going to make an effort to watch this one.

an Image of Sanada smiling with the New Japan Cup Trophy, still in his wrestling gear. Members of Just 5 Guys surround him. everyone is smiling image of Sanada at the Sakura Genesis Press Conference. He is dressed sharply in a black suit with sunglasses. The NJ Cup trophy sits slightly out of focus in the foreground

There's so much more I could go on about, but if I did that, I wouldn't have any material for the future. And i think leaving some stuff untold can serve as a motivator for some ppl to get up and look into wrestling on their own... who knows! Maybe you'll like it. Until the next big thing!

I Survived Survivor Series 2023

Written: Dec.4.23

Oh, it's been a good while huh. So.... Survivor series am i right

It's been almost two weeks since then, but college and general exhaustion has prevented me from actually typing about it. I've been thoroughly out of the loop for the past.... month? Just too tired to turn on the TV every night. But i kept up with the small stuff thanks to my limited use of social media. Kairi came back to wwe! That happened before survivor series but still!! I'm not gonna act like one promotion is better than the other, thats ot where my joy stems from. Instead, my excitement lies in the fact I can see her and Io together again. I had been secretly begging for a chance to see them together ever since I watched their matches in Lucha UNderground as part of the Black Lotus Triad, and wwe teased their history in Survivor Series 2019, funnily enough.
They aren't facing off now, they're on the same team, which is still awesome and I'm lucky to see it.

As for the actual subject of this entry, Survivor Series 2023...
I was actually pretty late to the PPV. I originally wasn't going to watch, but I was reminded by a friend and decided to switch on some stream. I saw the tail end of the Women's Wargames match- If i had known they'd be kicking off I would have turned it on from the bat. Io's performance in the wargames cage has always been phenomenal and from what i heard, she continued on that streak- including her amazing show stopping trashcan spot:

Unironically the highlight of every wargames match she's in.

Sadly, Io and the rest of Damage Control did not win, but when you're up against Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch, working together, things never go well for the opposition. But it's okay; Io is still champion, and that's all that matters to me.

I didn't commit most of the in-between matches to memory. I do remember The Miz and WALTER (aka Gunther) had a match, and the miz tried damn hard to win but just couldn't. Walter had been hitting Miz where it hurts- telling him that he doesn't deserve to be in a wrestling ring, so The Miz was wrestling with pure emotion and desparity.... it didn't earn him the IC belt, but he did get Walter's respect (if you can even call it that; he finally admitted that the miz did belong in the ring, but not with him.)

At some point after this, the second main event (cause I do consider the women's wargames a main event, who cares if it was a starting match) finally began: the men's wargames match.

It was Judgement Day (finn balor, damian priest, dominik mysterio, jd mcdonagh?) and Drew McIntyre against the team of Sami Zayn, Jey Uso, Seth Rollins, Cody Rhodes... and a promised Randy Orton.

Tension and anxiety had been building all through the show for this team, as Randy Orton was M.I.A all day. Jey was guilty, afraid his past actions in The Bloodline caused him to no show, but Cody tried his best to assure the team that no, Randy *was* going to show up, and that they *were* going to win.

He was right; randy did eventually come, but at the very, very last second. He made his first appearance of the night (and of the year) the moment the buzzer rang out for the final contestant to be released. Good for him.
Despite being out of the game for a long, long time, Orton was able to show up and show up, sealing Judgement Day's fate (and soiling a Cash IN attempt), punctuating the match with a classic RKO.

It was a great way to close the night; a win for the good guys and the return of a legend. It couldn't possibly get any better!

... right?


A return that everybody saw coming, yet still left people gasping and falling out onto their floor. After nearly a decade, and a lot of words spilled, the one and only CM Punk was back in a WWE stadium.
I know a lot of die hard Punk fans. I like the guy too, but my casual interest is nothing more than a grain of rice to them. Despite this, I would be lying if I said his return didnt draw out a raw, gutteral "FUCK YEAH" from somewhere real deep within my soul. I was banking on his return all night, originally for the humor of it, but once they mentioned The Shield, all jokes left and I knew for fact he was going to show up. And i was right.

it was an insane event all around, and even a few weeks removed I still laugh out of sheer "I can't believe this is happening". As of posting this, its a Monday afternoon. I will turn on Raw tonight; I'm not sure if he will be there again, but i know for certain he will be on Smackdown. Exciting. For the frist time in a while, I'm excited....

I just wish he returned with This Fire by Killswitch Engage.