RADICAN’S PLAYLIST – The Buzzworthy Hits – Ricochet vs. Ospreay from NJPW BOSJ, Ciampa vs. Silver from Beyond & Shirai vs. Iwatani from Stardom

By Sean Radican, PWTorch columnist


New Japan Best of the Super Jrs. 2016 Roster graphic (c) NJPWWorld.com

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RADICAN’S PLAYLIST – MAY 28, 2016
-BEYOND WRESTLING, STARDOM, NJPW

Every so often, I review matches that have gotten a lot of buzz in lieu of watching an entire show that I might not have time to get to during a given period.

In this article, I will spotlight Will Ospreay vs. Ricochet from Day 6 of NJPW’s Best of the Super Jrs. tournament from May 27, 2016, Lo Shirai vs. Mayu Iwatani from Stardom “Gold” from May 15, 2016, and Tomasso Ciampa vs. John Silver from Beyond Wrestling “Head Over Heels” from April 24, 2016. These matches have gotten some great buzz, so let’s dig into the action!

Will Ospreay (0-2) vs. IWGP Jr. Hvt. Tag Team champion Ricochet (2-0) – NJPW BOSJ Block B match – New Japan – May 27, 2016

The cameras showed a fan in the crowd wearing a PWG shirt. The fans fired up and chanted for Ospreay. Ricochet played to the crowd, which drew a chant for him. They had an incredible exchange with both guys countering hurricanrana attempts. They then did a handspring at the same time and came to a stalemate and the crowd went nuts as they went head-to-head. They had another great exchange and Ricochet went for a springboard, but Ospreay nailed him with a dropkick and went on the attack.

Ricochet fired back and did a front roll into a leaping DDT that sent Ospreay to the floor. The fans fired up and Ricochet hit a sick twisting Air Jordan variation. This is mental! Ospreay swore at Ricochet as he kicked him in the chest in the corner a short time later. Ospreay tried to fire back off the ropes, but Ricochet countered him with a sick back breaker. Ricochet slapped Ospreay across the back of the head and said, “Everybody thinks he’s this great high-flyer, but you ain’t s—t!” Ospreay finally fired back on Ricochet with a handspring enzuguri that left both men down.

Ospreay hit a springboard forearm on Ricochet and yelled “Cherrio, mother—–er!” The banter in this match is amazing! Ospreay then followed up with a twisting dive to the floor that sent the crowd into a frenzy. He followed up with a f—-ing springboard code red, but it was only good for a 2 count. MY GOD! Ricochet fired back with a sick enzuguri and a Regal-plex with a bridge for a near fall that left both men down.

Both men went back and forth exchanging blows. Ospreay had Ricochet hung upside, but Ricochet countered him. They went back and forth exchanging counters until they both kicked each other in the head at the same time. The fans went nuts and both men were down once again. Wow! This crowd is chanting “This is awesome.” Holy s—! They went back and forth exchanging blows on the apron until Ricochet caught Ospreay with a DVD on the apron. Ricochet tried to toss Ospreay back into the ring, but he nailed him with a 619 hurricanrana and both men were down! The fans started a “Holy s—!” chant. This is unreal.

Both men were down on the ground. They began to stir and BARELY beat the 20 count. WOW! The fans fired up and Ricochet got up and spat at Ospreay. Ospreay fired back with a huge forearm and smiled. Ricochet fired back and told Ospreay to bring it. They began exchanging blows. My God this is like the wild west of high-flying matches! Both men TAGGED each other with uppercuts as the fans fired up. Ospreay finally cut off Ricochet with a massive headbutt!

Ricochet fired back and went for the benadriller, but Ospreay ducked it and hit an enzuguri. Ricochet countered a rainmaker attempt, but Ospreay landed a stunner. Ricochet fired right back with a kick, but Ospreay caught him with a one man Spanish fly off the ropes for a near fall. OH MY GOD! Ricochet told Ospreay to suck it and hit a leaping knee strike. He then hit his signature suplex combination and standing SSP for a near fall! Ricochet missed a 630 up top and Ospreay got a maniacal look in his eye and hit a flipping DDT right into a pinning combination for a near fall. The fans fired up and Ospreay sold disbelief.

Ospreay called Ricochet a prick and slapped him across the face. Ricochet fired back, but Ospreay nailed him with 2 kicks. Ricochet cut him off and went for the benadriller, but Ospreay caught his kick and swept him into a spinning kick. He followed up with a springboard ace crusher that was good for the win! WOW!

After the match, Ospreay asked Ricochet to come back into the ring. He offered a handshake. Ricochet shoved Ospreay. Ospreay shoved him back. The fans chanted for one more match. Both men then shook hands and went head-to-head. Ospreay smiled as Ricochet left the ring.

Winner: Will Ospreay (1-2)

Star rating: (****3/4) – This was an incredible match that felt in many ways like a passing of the torch from Ricochet to Ospreay. The ring was mic’d well, so you could hear them talking trash back and forth throughout the match, which added a whole new level of intensity to the action. This was so good and the action was state of the art. Both men took another things to another level with their facial expressions and intensity. I can’t wait to see what they do the next time they meet in NJPW. The American style chants from the Japanese fans during the match were a lot of fun as well.

You can watch this match on-demand with a monthly subscription at NJPWWorld.com.

Will Ospreay vs. Ricochet - NJPW BOSJ 2016 (News.com.au)
Will Ospreay vs. Ricochet – NJPW BOSJ 2016 (News.com.au)

World Stardom Champion Lo Shirai vs. Mayu Iwatani – No Time Limit match –  Stardom “Gold” – May 15, 2016

PRE-MATCH

The segment started with an interview with Shirai. She said they were close as partners in the ring and traveling together as well. She said they would have to use all their skill and stamina in this war and that someone would have to be one step ahead of the other in this match. She said Iwatani is unpredictable.

Iwatani was also interviewed. She said they were at Korakuen Hall today and she would do her best to take the red belt from Shirai.

Both women made their entrances and were presented with flowers before the introductions began. Shirai gave her title to an official and both women posed with him as he held the title. Iwatani grabbed the mic and cut a promo. She said a 30 minute time limit might not be enough, as last time they wrestled, they went to a draw. She asked for no time limit tonight. Shirai agreed to the stipulation. Iwatani got a good ovation when she was introduced and the fans threw streamers at her that matched her ring jacket, which was a really cool visual. Shirai was then introduced and the fans threw white and purple streamers at her.

MATCH COMMENTARY

Both women shook hands before the match began. They butted heads in the middle of the ring and went at it. They went back and forth on the mat and came to a stalemate. Iwatani hit several stiff kicks to the leg and went to town on Shirai with some huge forearms. Shirai simply grabbed her by the hair and walked at her, but Iwatani nailed her with a judo throw and a big kick to the back a short time later.

They went to a fast exchange off the ropes that finally ended with Shirai landing a shotgun dropkick that sent Iwatani to the floor. She then followed up with a huge dive to the floor to wipe out Iwatani and the fans fired up huge. Shirai went up top, but Iwatani popped up and sent her to the floor and nailed her with a big splash to the floor. They went back and forth on the floor and Shirai caught Iwatani with a delayed German and both women were down on the outside.

Shirai went on the attack back inside the ring a short time later with some big kicks. Iwatani tried to fire up as Shirai nailed her with several kicks to the test, but she ended up getting floored with a big stomp. Shirai eventually worked a leg submission, but Iwatani got the ropes. Shirai immediately nailed her with a huge kick to the leg and Iwatani screamed. Shirai sent Iwatani into corner and she stumbled as she sold her leg from the whip. Shirai nailed her with a sick double knee strike in the corner a short time later. Iwatani fired back and took Shirai down with a nice hurricanrana before nailing her with a sick dropkick against the ropes a short time later and both women were down.

Iwatani got up and went on the attack. She sold her leg as he seconds screamed encouragement from the outside. Iwatani went up top, but Shirai cut her off and threw her down to the mat. She then went up top, but Iwatani popped up and nailed her with a huge palm strike to the face! Shirai teased a suplex to the floor, but Iwatani cut her off. Iwatani then drove Shirai neck first over the top rope off the top. MY GOD!

Iwatani hit a big double stomp off the top a short time later, but favored her leg. She then made the cover, but only got a 2 count. They went back and forth countering suplex attempts until Shirai hit a German with a bridge for a near fall. Wow! Shirai got a single-leg crab a short time later. Iwatani struggled, but managed to get to the ropes and the fans applauded. Shirai hit a nice springboard missile dropkick a short time later.

Iwatani kicked out and she went right into a crossface submission from Shirai. Iwatani struggled towards the ropes and eventually got them, but Shirai dragged her away while maintaining the hold. Shirai fought out of it with a kick and then hit a huge roundhouse kick to Shirai’s head and both women were down as the fans went nuts. Both women exchanged forearms from their knees as the fans fired up. They got up and continued to exchange bombs as the fans went nuts.

Both women hit some absolutely sick slaps to the face. Shirai hit three big uppercut slaps to the face, but Iwatani caught her with two superkicks to send her down to the mat. Both women were down as the fans fired up once again. WOW!

Shirai lifted Iwatani off the turnbuckles and popped her up into a big German. She then locked in a Texas cloverleaf submission. The fans fired up and Iwatani struggled towards the ropes. She finally managed to get to the ropes, but Shirai dragged her back to the middle of the ring while maintaining the hold at a higher angle. Shirai finally just released the hold before grabbing Iwatani and dropping her with a tombstone.

The crowd fired up and Shirai went for a moonsault, but Iwatani managed to get out of the way. Iwatani fired back with a huge roundhouse kick to the head and Shirai went down. Iwatani fired up and went for a dragon suplex on the apron. Shirai tried to fight it, but Iwatani hit it and Shirai spilled to the floor as the crowd hushed after the impact of the big move. One of the girls on the floor sprayed something on Shirai’s head as the ref began counting her out. Shirai struggled to her feet and then collapsed as the ref continued to count. She finally popped to her feet and beat the 20 count.

Iwatani went for another dragon suplex, but Shirai blocked it. Iwatani hit a German for a near fall. She then came off the top and landed on Shirai’s shoulders in what appeared to be an attempt at an elaborate rollup that went wrong. Iwatani hit a frog splash for a 2 count. She then picked up Shirai and went for a dragon suplex, but Shirai countered her, popped her up and hit a tiger suplex! Shirai then spun Iwatani around and hit a straightjacket German with a bridge for a near fall. She then connected with a moonsault off the top for the win! That was one heck of a war!

WINNER: Lo Shirai to retain the World Stardom Championship

Star rating: (****1/2) – This match had me at the edge of my seat for most of the action. These women went at it hard and delivered on what they promised during the pre-match promo segments that were shown. The hard-hitting exchanges and big moves on the outside were fantastic. The dragon suplex spot on the apron from Iwatani on Shirai was just sick. They told a really good story as well with Shirai working the leg throughout the match and missing her first moonsault attempt. They then continued to tell the story with the leg work while mixing in some really good near falls and hard-hitting action down the stretch before Shirai finally connected with a moonsault off the top.

AFTERMATH

Shirai cut a promo after she was given her title. She thanked the crowd and then said she really wanted to thank Iwatani. She said they’re Thunder Rock partners. She said Iwatani was like her little sister. She said she brought it today even though she’s a little brat. Iwatani then cut a promo. She said she came close to beating her today. She said next time she would surely take the Red Belt. Both women then bowed to each other and hugged. That was a great moment after an absolute war. Rossy and Kagetsu came out and told Thunder Rock to listen up. She said the fans were idiots. She handed the mic to Kagetsu.

Kagetsu said she wanted Iwatani’s Speed title. The fans gasped. She said they wanted the six-man belts as well. The women said they forgot the name of their partner. They said they wanted all of Thunder Rock’s belts. She concluded by saying that Oedo Tai would take all of the belts. The fans gave a mixed reaction to Kategtsu’s promo. Shirai got on the mic and told them to shut up. Kagetsu said next month her and Rossy wanted their tag titles. She called the fans losers for cheering Thunder Rock.

Shirai cut a promo and said the 3 daughters of Stardom have all the belts. She said they will be going to Europe this week. She said on May 29, Stardom would have a new wrestler. She said Arisu-Chan, who was on the outside, would debut. She got into the ring and said she’s only 14. She said she just graduated and will try to do her best. I guess they start them really young in Stardom. Shirai said Kris Wolf would also return on 5/29. Wolf slid into the ring and howled. Yoko Bito will also return according to Shirai. She said Stardom is really coming on strong. She then invited all the young wrestlers into the ring to end the show. Shirai asked if they had fun and then the women did the “S” pose to end the show.

 

– You can watch this match with a monthly subscription to Stardom World on YouTube.com. All subscriptions begin with a free two-week trial and then costs $4.99 per month.

Tomasso Ciampa vs. John Silver – Beyond Wrestling “Head Over Heels” – April 24, 2016

This match has been put up for free on Beyond Wrestling’s YouTube channel and it was filmed at Beyond Wrestling’s event in Summerville, Mass. This is quite an intriguing match-up in my eyes, as I’m a big fan of the work of Silver and Ciampa. I don’t get to see a lot of Silver’s work, but he’s had some really fun matches in Beyond in the past.

Silver was announced as number 1, so Ciampa asked be announced as number 2. Steve the Turtle, J.T. Dunn, and Chris Hero are in on commentary. Silver took Ciampa down with a shoulder tackle and flexed for the crowd. Silver’s gimmick is that he has great strength, despite his small size. Silver hit a hip toss and flexed at Ciampa. Ciampa said Silver is short, but… and then he poked Silver in the eye. Ciampa continued to try to play mind games with Silver, but it didn’t work and Ciampa went to the outside to regroup. Silver held the ropes open for Ciampa as he complained about being tired from already wrestling twice that weekend.

Ciampa mocked Silver’s flexing and then kicked him in the head as he came through the ropes. Ciampa then sent Silver to the floor. Ciampa hit a huge chop on the outside. He hit a drive by need a short time later and the fans chanted two at Ciampa. Silver tripped Ciampa as he charged at him in the corner. He then pressed Ciampa over his head and hit a hot shot. Silver followed up with a running European and Ciampa rolled to the apron as the fans fired up. Both men exchanged strikes and kicks on the apron.

Both men went for big moves on the apron, but neither was successful. Ciampa finally hit a DDT through the ropes to the inside of the ring. Ciampa hit a big delayed vertical suplex and then favored his shoulder and back. Ciampa described the damage to his back to the audience. He then walked right into a chop from Silver. Ciampa fired back with a huge chop of his own to drop Silver. Ciampa welcomed everyone to Ciampa’s Chop House. Do we have a new shirt? Ciampa hit another huge chop and Dunn said those chops suck to take.

Ciampa grabbed a headlock and the fans tried to fire up behind Silver. Ciampa then hit a neck breaker when Silver stood up to try to escape. Ciampa kept getting two counts and the fans chanted two over and over. Ciampa played into the chants from the crowd. Silver kicked out at 1 a short time later and held up a finger, but Ciampa immediately grabbed a headlock. Silver finally countered Ciampa and hit a big suplex that left both men down on the mat. The fans fired up and Silver went on the attack with a series of clotheslines. Silver then hit a flap jack and nailed Ciampa with a pair of big kicks. Ciampa blocked a kick and slapped Silver in the face. Silver then ducked a punch and hit a TKO and a sliding kick, but Ciampa kicked out at the last second. The fans, of course, chanted two over and over.

Ciampa trapped Silver’s head against the turnbuckles a short time later and nailed him with a huge kick for a 2 count. Ciampa went for Project Ciampa, but Silver managed to slip out. Ciampa then caught him a short time later with an air raid crash for a 2 count. Silver caught Ciampa with a series of kicks as he tried to step through the ropes to the apron. Silver then came off the top with a double stomp as Ciampa hung through the ropes. Ciampa ducked a double stomp and Silver landed on his feet, but Ciampa wiped him out with a big clothesline and hit Project Ciampa, but Silver kicked out!

The fans fired up with a “This is awesome” chant. Ciampa nailed Silver with several chops. Silver got up and hit a series of big kicks. Both men then exchanged some big forearms. Ciampa hit a big slap to the face and Silver fired up. Silver then slapped Ciampa with left and rights. Ciampa fired back and hit a jumping knee. Silver then nailed him with a huge superkick and a running kick to the back of the head. Silver then finished off Ciampa with a rack bomb. Wow!

Silver wanted a handshake after the match and Ciampa didn’t look too sure about it. He then poked Silver in the eye. He got back into the ring and poked Silver in the eye again. The fans chanted two, but Ciampa then showed respect to Silver to end the segment. The fans chanted for Silver, who sold being unable to see and the ref had to help him out of the ring.

WINNER: John Silver.

Star rating: (***3/4) – This was a fantastic match. They did some comedy early playing into Silver being number 1 and Ciampa proclaiming he’s the best number 2. Ciampa dominated most of the match after hitting an eye poke early, but Silver mounted a great comeback with some hard-hitting exchanges. They did a great near-fall late with Silver kicking out of Project Ciampa before Silver eventually got the win with a rack bomb.

You can watch this match for free HERE.

Overall Thoughts

These matches are definitely both worth going out of your way to check out. I really appreciated that Stardom put English subtitles under the promos for the Shirai-Iwatani match and post-match mic work. I will definitely check out more Stardom in the future. I’ve heard great things and these two women put on a high-quality match that’s hard to find when it comes to women’s wrestling in the U.S.

The Ciampa-Silver match was a ton of fun and the best part about it is that Beyond Wrestling put it up for free on their YouTube channel. The match starts out with some comedy, but gets really good late and the crowd does a nice job of supporting the great action during the second half of the match.

If you’re looking for a few very good to incredible matches to watch, you can’t go wrong with watching the matches I reviewed in this article. I’ll be back with more Radican Playlist columns in the future!

***

Email Sean at PWTorchSean@Gmail.com

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