This week Wrestling Omakase’s third annual Year in Review series continues! Each week from now until the end of the year we will recap the 2019 of a specific promotion, promotions, or type of wrestling, covering all their major shows and moments and giving our picks for the major award categories. It’s a great way for you to catch up with wrestling you may have missed this year and identify matches you may want to watch or rewatch before doing your end of the year awards voting!

We’ve almost reached the end of another Year in Review series. In our penultimate episode, John is joined by returning guests and VOW contributors Thomas Fischbeck (@rasslinratings) & Paul Volsch (@Darth_Dragon) to talk a great deal of the Japanese wrestling scene. Basically we’re covering all the major men’s puro companies other than NJPW & DDT today, and we start with a long look at the year of All Japan Pro Wrestling. Even though business stagnated a bit, how much is the booking to blame? And was the wrestling still among the best in the world? We then turn our attention to a promotion that’s received a great deal of hype this year in Pro Wrestling NOAH, as we discuss that hype vs. the reality and also some of the positive business signs for the company. We then take a look at the always-perplexing world of Big Japan Pro Wrestling, talking how their year went in some wacky directions and discussing their big shows and tournaments. Then we take quicker looks at Dragon Gate, Wrestle-1 and ZERO1.

Along the way we preview all the major early January shows for all these promotions, and then end up just playing a “Wrestle Kingdom Week: Path of Greatness” game where we map out what shows we would go to if we were going to Japan that week. If you happen to be going for the first time we also discuss the geography of various venues, in case you’re wondering how quick it will be to travel between them. Then we pick our awards winners for all of these promotions in the usual categories, including a strong Match of the Year list and more. Finally we wrap things up with your questions on all sorts of different topics. It’s a fun trip through a ton of different puro companies, this week!

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Here’s a link to Thomas’ doc for all the announced shows and matches of Wrestle Kingdom week, as referenced in the episode!

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