Thoughts on Power Struggle?
I thought Liger/Owens was a really impressive carry job. Hopefully Liger's run with the NWA Jr. belt isn't just him taking on whatever stiffs Tharpe can provide. Liger proved in his BOSJ matches, especially the one with KUSHIDA, that he can still go out and have excellent matches.
I enjoyed the Jr. Heavy tag quite a bit. I wish reDRagon would focus more on the striking and submission part of their act and less on the spotty stuff. I'm not typically a stickler for this kind of thing, but the go-nowhere arm work bugged me here. KUSHIDA has been given two title reigns this year and still feels like a top two candidate for WON most underrated. That said, he's probably better off getting out of the Junior tag division since there's an expectation of delivering the kind of match that doesn't play to his strengths as a worker.
I remember Bix referring to later BattlARTS as a "spotfest of potato shots" and I can't think of a better way to describe Ishii/Goto, though obviously the potatoing was a lot tamer than the stuff Bix was referring to. Pretty much no narrative, just two guys crashing into each other for close to 20 minutes. I have to admit I now go into this stuff wanting to hate it because of how much shit I've taken elsewhere for being a detractor of this style, but the sheer intensity and the incredible crowd ended up winning me over. Ishii coughing and spluttering up blood everywhere was such a great visual. That said, this now has a really good shot at being the WON MOTY and that seems insane to me. It was a very good spotfest but it was still pretty much just a spotfest.
AJ/Yoshitatsu kinda sucked and Yoshi looks like a dork in that 80s babyface attire. Yet another guy almost kills themselves taking the Styles Clash.
Shibata/Nakamura was disappointing. They ran through their usual stuff and just when you think they're about to kick it up a notch and go into the next act it ended. It would be nice to see a pure mat-based match from these two since I believe they can both work the style, but it's unlikely we'd ever get that.
Overall a very enjoyable show. They did a great job building to the Dome and now almost everything for that card is in place.