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Southern Showdown in Melbourne Recap & Review

NJPW Southern Showdown in Melbourne

Event Date: June 29, 2019 (19:00)
aired live on FITE TV

City: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Venue: Festival Hall
Attendance: 1,798

Commentary (English): Don Marnell, Chris Charlton
(Japanese): Haruo Murata, Toru Yano (5 – 8)
Ring Announcer: Makoto Abe


A look at tonight’s matches.


Match 1
Michael Richards & Andrew Villalobos & Mark Yui vs Nick Bury & Shota Umino & Toa Henare
(referee: Lloyd Morgan)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Toa Henare pins Andrew Villalobos after the Toa Bottom
Time: 10:08

Match Thoughts
This was a fine opener. To me, Shota Umino looked the best in the match. Umino was hitting some big moves and really got the match moving. Everyone else was fine though, and it was a nice way to start the show.


Match 2
Aaron Solow vs Slex
(referee: Lloyd Morgan)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Slex wins via pinfall after Slexecution (rolling high kick)
Time: 9:07

Match Thoughts
Good match. The ground was very much behind Slex, but I kind of liked Solow more. Regardless, they worked together well, and this was a fine match.


Match 3
Taiji Ishimori (IWGP Jr. Tag Champ) & Gino Gambino vs Yoh & Toru Yano (NEVER Openweight 6 Man Tag Champ)
(referee: Marty Asami)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Toru Yano pins Gino Gambino after a low blow (Yano) and a superkick (Yoh)
Time: 9:40

Match Thoughts
This was fun. Yoru brought a lot of comedy and helped keep the pace of the match high throughout. Ishimori and Yoh battled in the middle of the match, but Yano opened and closed the match with his usual fun antics.


Match 4
Chase Owens & Yujiro Takahashi vs YOSHI-HASHI & Tomohiro Ishii (NEVER Openweight Champ)
(referee: Marty Asami)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Tomohiro Ishii pins Chase Owens after a brainbuster
Time: 9:47

Match Thoughts
Good match. YOSHI-HASHI started for his team, and he did fine, but Owens and Takahashi started to dominate the match. Ishii tagged in and started to change the momentum of the match, but Chase Owens was able to put together a really good string of offense. Owens looke very good in this match, and that made the last few minutes fun as Owens battled Ishii.


Match 5
RPW British Cruiserweight Title Match
Rocky Romero vs El Phantasmo (RPW British Cruiserweight Champ, IWGP Jr Tag Champ)
(referee: Marty Asami)

Show/Hide Results

Result: El Phantasmo wins via pinfall after CRII
Time: 18:45

Match Thoughts
Very good match. There was a bit of levity here and there form both men, but as the match went along it got more and more serious. ELP seemed to take Romero lightly (as he does with most of his opponents), but Romero was here to win. The last few minutes of the match were great, and there were a lot of tense near falls. Unfortunately the video feed cut out at the end of the match. That doesn’t detract from the match itself, but it’s still really unfortunate. I liked this one a lot.


Match 6
IWGP Heavyweight Tag Title Match
Mikey Nicholls & Juice Robinson vs Guerrillas of Destiny (IWGP Heavyweight Tag Champs, ROH World Tag Champs) w/ Jado
(referee: Marty Asami)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Tama Tonga pins Mikey Nicholls with a schoolboy (and a handful of tights)
Time: 14:20

Match Thoughts
Very good match. There was a brawl out in the crowd early in the match. When everyone got back into the ring, GOD took the match over. GOD looked great tonight, and they had their way in this match. Eventually Nicholls and Robinson were able to mount a comeback, and they looked like they were closing in on a win as the match neared the fifteen minute mark. The finish was good, but the rest of the match was better. It was also interesting to hear the crowd solidly behind GOD when Nicholls seemed to expect a hometown (or at least home country) reception.


A look at the Jr. Heavyweight Title match between Robbie Eagles and Will Ospreay.


Match 7
IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title Match
Robbie Eagles w/ El Phantasmo vs Will Ospreay (IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champ)
(referee: Red Shoes Unno)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Will Ospreay wins via pinfall after Stormbreaker
Time: 34:04

Match Thoughts
Great match! The crowd was fully behind Eagles in this match, so Ospreay wisely used the jeers from the crowd as fuel as he wrestled as a heel for most of this match. Eagles felt like the underdog despite having a 2 -1 record against Ospreay, and the way both men wrestled really played up Eagles’ underdog status.

Eagles started focusing on Ospreay’s leg early in the match to possibly set up the Ron Miller special later in the match, and that hobbled Ospreay somewhat. That allowed Ospreay to slow the match down at times and really work the crowd. Ospreay would taunt the crowd after pulling off one of his spectacular moves, and he even just started slapping Eagles at one point in the match when Eagles was trapped in the corner.

All this built up to a fantastic match with strings of fantastic offense and defense. El Phantasmo did get involved, but that just boosted the match even more. ELP is a huge douche and everyone should hate him, so his interactions with Eagles boosted the crowd’s support of Eagles even beyond what it already was. This was just a great match all around and should probably be in consideration for year-end top ten lists.


Ring Area
After the match, ELP checks on Eagles. Ospreay comes over and offers a hand to Eagles, but Eagles doesn’t take it. ELP puts up a “too sweet,” but Eagles hits ELP with a forearm. Eagles finally shakes Ospreay’s hand.


Match 8
Bad Luck Fale & Jay White w/ Gedo vs Hiroshi Tanahashi & Kazuchika Okada (IWGP Heavyweight Champ)
(referee: Red Shoes Unno)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Kazuchika Okada pins Bad Luck Fale after the Rainmaker
Time: 19:55

Match Thoughts
Good match. After the Jr. Heavyweight Title match this maybe didn’t seem as exciting as it might have been otherwise, but it was still a fun match. We got some G1 previews on both sides of the ring, so that was cool. There were some good sequences throughout the match as well. White and Tanahashi had some really good exchanges, and Okada and Fale had some pretty good ones as well as the match neared the finish.


Ring Area
After the match, Okada gets on the mic and thanks the crowd and says he will be back.


Show Impressions
This was a fun show. I think it took a little while to really get going, but the tag title match and especially the jr. heavyweight title match were definitely made this show worth watching.

Match of the Night
Robbie Eagles vs Will Ospreay
This story and the matches between these two men have really stood out as some of the best pro wrestling this year.


Official Results (Japanese): https://www.njpw.co.jp/tornament/193708?showResult=1



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