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Csonka’s Free Match Reviews With Andrade Almas, Hiroshi Tanahashi, & More

August 19, 2018 | Posted by Larry Csonka
Andrade Almas WWE Smackdown 51518
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Csonka’s Free Match Reviews With Andrade Almas, Hiroshi Tanahashi, & More  

Csonka’s Free Match Reviews With Andrade Almas, Hiroshi Tanahashi, & More

From ROH Honor United: Doncaster 2018: Champion Sumie Sakai defeated Chardonnay @ 8:20 via pin [***]
From TNA Xplosion 2.03.06: Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated Roderick Strong @ 6:10 via pin [***]
From NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn III: Andrade “Cien” Almas defeated Johnny Gargano @ 13:25 via pin [****¼]

ROH Women of Honor Title Match: Champion Sumie Sakai vs. Chardonnay: Chardonnay mocks Sakai’s size, so Sakai attacks and works her over in the corner with kicks and knees. Sakai traps Chardonnay in the ring skirt and then spanks her ass. Back in and Sakai hits the dropkick for 2. Chardonnay cuts her off, slamming her down by the hair. Chardonnay dumps Sakai to the floor and slams her to the barricade. Sakai fires up with Mongolian chops, but misses a high cross off of the barricade. Back in and Chardonnay locks in a crab. Sakai makes the ropes after an emotionless fight spot. Chardonnay now chokes out Sakai, but Sakai fires up with chops and forearm strikes. The running knee strike gets 2. The fisherman’s neck breaker follows for 2. Chardonnay fights back, but Sakai hits the Saito suplex for 2. Sakai looks to fire up but runs into a spinebuster for 2. Chardonnay follows with the delayed butterfly suplex for 2. She now looks for the tower of London, but Sakai cuts that off and the moonsault from the top misses. Chardonnay hits the busaiku for a good near fall. Sakai counters the butterfly suplex into smash mouse for the win. Champion Sumie Sakai defeated Chardonnay @ 8:20 via pin [***] This was a good back and forth match, with a good sense of urgency, and better pacing and execution than most women of honor matches. I don’t love Sakai as champion, but she’s a good babyface, and Chardonnay did well here. I’d like to see her back.

Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Roderick Strong: Tanahashi was the “U-30” champion at this time. They lock up and work into some basic back and forth, as Tenay says that NJPW “sees a lot in this young Tanahashi.” No shit Mike. Strong takes control with a butterfly suplex, covering for 2. He then grounds the action with an inverted surfboard, and then misses a charge, allowing Tanahashi to fire back. The slam, elbow and senton all follow by Tanahashi, covering for 2. Tanahashi heads up top, gets crotched and slammed to the mat. The delayed suplex follows, and Strong covers for 2. The side backbreaker follows and then misses a leg drop off the ropes. Tanahashi fires up, they trade strikes, but Tanahashi hits a clothesline for 2. The tiger bomb follows for 2 by Strong. Tanahashi locks on a dragon sleeper into a giant swing for 2. Strong now hits the toss up gut buster and dropkick for 2. Strong lays in chops, but Tanahashi hits the full nelson slam and sling blade for the win. Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated Roderick Strong @ 6:10 via pin [***] This was a good, back and forth match. It’s really cool to look back at these guys working a match 12-years ago, knowing what they became and how far they’ve come.

Johnny Gargano vs. Andrade “Cien” Almas (w/Zelina Vega: The crowd loves Gargano, starting off with “Johnny Wrestling” chants. They go back and forth to begin, with Gargano looking to use his speed. The RANA and arm drags follow, as Gargano looks to outwrestle Almas. He lays in chops, but Almas cuts him off and hits a neck breaker, following with chops. Almas then works a hanging arm bar in the ropes, and then starts to focus on the arm. Gargano escapes and trips Almas into the corner. After a double down, they trade strikes center ring, but that fires up Gargano who follows with a grounded kick. Gargano follows with a slingshot spear for the near fall. Almas counters the suplex, and as he tranquilos in the ropes, Gargano hits a superkick and suicide dive to a huge reaction. The slingshot DDT gets a great near fall. Almas escapes the lawn dart, and then counters the slingshot spear into a DDT; the tornado inverted DDT connects for another really good near fall. Almas sets Gargano up top, follows him up but Gargano fights him off. Gargano looks for the sunset bomb, but Almas backflips out and looks for corner knees but Gargano fights back. Gargano sent to the corner, avoid the knees and hits a la mistica into the Gargano escape. Almas rolls, Gargano keeps the hold, but Almas rolls out and hits the buckle bomb to escape, but Gargano kicks out at 2! This crowd is insane, and rightfully so. Almas attacks the arm, and lays in knee strikes. Superkick by Gargano, another and the lawn dart connects! Gargano is fired the fuck up now, but Vega tosses him an old DIY shirt, allowing Almas to attack and hit the hammerlock DDT for the win. Andrade “Cien” Almas defeated Johnny Gargano @ 13:25 via pin [****¼] This was an absolutely great match to kick off the show, with both guys working at the top of their games from the opening bell. They constantly built the action, they had the crowd behind them and reacting to the near falls in a big way, which only added to the match. The finish was really creative, as Gargano was on his way to victory, but Vega mind-fucked him with the DIY shirt, showing that Ciampa was still a ghost that haunts Gargano even when wasn’t not on TV. Almas needed that win and that great performance; Gargano proved that he’s a top guy, even in loss, and a tremendous babyface. This felt like one of those great sub-15-minute G1 sprints, with top guys busting ass and giving it their all.

– End scene.

– Thanks for reading.

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“Byyyyyyyyyyyyyye Felicia.”

The final score: review Good
The 411
This s an overall good an easy set to watch at under 30-minutes in length, and Gargano & Almas being the best of the bunch; an easy thumbs up collection.