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    Wednesday, May 6, 2020

    The Supercard (5/6/20): Many Firsts


    "You always remember your first," they say.

    My name is Jacob and I am a wrestling fan; although for most of my wrestling watching career, I only knew one flavor: WWE. As a kid growing up idolizing John Cena, you never think that there could ever be an alternative.  It's only been in the past four years that I have been exposed to non-WWE products and for this, I am thankful because nowadays it is hella hard to appreciate sports entertainment. 

    Even though I am refraining from watching WWE's live product, I still need my pro wrestling fix. So I am going to go on a vision quest, bringing you wrestling matches which I believe are worth your time. Every week we'll have a theme and I will present to you a three-match card of wrestling matches from different promotions based on the theme. By the end of each article, I hope to expand both yours and my wrestling palates or at the very least share with you some quality pro-wrestling.

    Since this is the first article, I thought that it would be fitting that the theme this week would be "firsts." We all love a good first in pro-wrestling. First show. First face/heel turn. First champion. A first can symbolize a new beginning, a fresh start, and a changing of the guard.

    So enough with the explanation, let's go to the wrestling. Ladies and gentlemen, I present the Supercard.

    Will Ospreay vs. Martin Kirby (WCPW Pro Wrestling World Cup '17 Qualifier)


    Let me just get this out of the way: the What Culture Pro Wrestling World Cup is the single most underappreciated wrestling tournament in conversations nowadays. Nothing but top talents from literally all across the world. Fantastic matches. Absolutely brilliant.

    The first round of the tournament was a singles match in the English Qualifier between Will Ospreay and Martin Kirby. The match was an entertaining clash of personalities between a cocky Ospreay and a no-nonsense Kirby. Ospreay ended the match with a swift OsCutter after landing from an avalanche hurricanrana attempt of Kirby. The match was just around nine minutes long, but it makes sense considering that the winner would want to finish the match early, having to compete one more time later that night. Great start for the tournament ad great start for our card. 

    American Dragon vs. Low Ki vs. Christopher Daniels, The Era of Honor Begins


    In 2003 on February 23rd, the world was blessed with the first Ring of Honor show The Era of Honor Begins. On the card was a match with established names Super Crazy and the late Eddie Guerrero. However, this match wasn't on top of the marquee. What we got instead was a match between up-and-coming independent stars Low Ki, Christopher Daniels, and the American Dragon (Bryan Danielson/Daniel Bryan).

    The match itself was a classic with all three men proving why they were some of the best "all-around" wrestlers during the time while still highlighting their specialties. The story of the match was Dragon and Low Ki's shared history coming into play as they both ganged up on Daniels in a game of oneupsmanship through a series of kicks and grappling maneuvers with Daniels being able to evade their maneuvers and capitalizing. The match ended with Low Ki delivering pheonix splash onto Dragon who got Daniels in a submission maneuver and after delivering the Ki Krusher to Daniels.

    The match itself was a love letter to the non-WWE style, while the aftermath of Daniels denying to shake his two opponents' hands perfectly summarizing what ROH is all about: honor and our own definitions of it.

    But seriously though: Jesus Christ, Low Ki kicks are so stiff!

    Main Event: Kazuchika Okada vs. Jay White (c) w/ Gedo for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, G1 Supercard



    The build towards this match goes as follows. The manager Gedo betrays a longtime ally in Okada for the fresh new star in Jay White. White beats Okada at the Tokyo Dome and then goes on to become champion. Okada then dominates through the New Japan Cup, setting the stage for a bout between the two men at Madison Square Garden. The event they'd be main eventing G1 Supercard is the first non-WWE pro-wrestling event in over 80 years to headline Madison Square Garden, a fitting place to settle a score. And oh boy did they settle it.

    The match was an all-out fight with each man excelling at what they're good at and, by doing so perfectly, complementing each other. Okada acts as the perfect face you can root for with his ability to call on the crowd's support when he needs to deliver devastating blows. White, on the other hand, is the perfect playing possum-type heel, waiting for the right opportunity to strike. The cherry on top is how Gedo's interferences have so much more weight considering Okada's history with the booker.

    The latter portion of the match had a beautiful sequence of false finishes with Okada hitting White with two Rainmakers (to no avail) and White hitting a Bladerunner just to take a breather. Finally, after a distraction from Gedo and a low-blow from White, it looked like it was all said and done, only for Okada to rise up and hit White with a tombstone and three Rainmakers. The image of Okada once again champ is SO satisfying considering how long he had to go to get back to the top.

    Photos and videos from Defiant Wrestling, Ring of Honor and New Japan Pro Wrestling

    *****

    Jacob Tambunting is a freshman at Ateneo de Manila University currently studying BS Psychology. In his high school years, he authored plays for competitions, essays for projects, and fan fiction for fun.  He currently lives with his two parents, his two siblings, and his two dogs, and is probably writing something angsty on his 10-year-old laptop.
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    Item Reviewed: The Supercard (5/6/20): Many Firsts Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Jacob Tambunting
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