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Worker of the Week: WRESTLEMANIA WEEK

The week all wrestling fans wait for is here and this time its gone Hollywood! As usual the week was filling with amazing wrestling from promotions gathering from all across the world coming together for the biggest week in the wrestling calendar. From crazy brawls, to the highest of flying Lucha Libre action, there was something for everyone.

Honourable Mentions:

- Lucky Ali (Lucky Ali vs Jay Malachi, DPW, 1/4)

- Omos (Brock Lesnar vs Omos, WWE, 2/4)

- Komander (El Hijo del Vikingo vs Komander, ROH, 31/3)

- Violence is Forever (Violence is Forever vs The Workhorsemen, DPW, 1/4)

- Aussie Open (Reach for the Sky Ladder Match, ROH, 31/3)

- Miu Watanabe (Shoko Nakajima & Miu Watanabe vs Wasteland War Party, TJPW, 31/3)

- 121000000 (121000000 vs Magical Sugar Rabbits, TJPW, 31/3)

- Mark Briscoe (Samoa Joe vs Mark Briscoe, ROH, 31/3)

- Katsuyori Shibata (Wheeler Yuta vs Katsuyori Shibata, ROH, 31/3)

- Aaron Henare (Shingo Takagi vs Aaron Henare, NJPW, 2/4)

#10 - Kota Ibushi

After getting his shoulder injured in the G1 Climax 31 Final against Okada, Kota Ibushi's future was in serious doubt, both in New Japan and out, taking him nearly two years to finally make his return. It was in the most Ibushi way possible too. Being announced for Josh Barnett's Bloodsport 9 and Joey Janela's Spring Break 7 at Wrestlemania Week, it was something fans didn't expect, but they soon came to see what an obvious fit it was for the Golden Star.

His first match was a Bloodsport match against one of the best in the world, Mike Bailey. They had a great match with quick technical exchanges and stiff strikes from Ibushi, utilising a more lean frame than what he was rocking back in 2021. The Highlight of the match was a deadlift German Suplex on Mike Bailey as he was on the outside back into the ring, showcasing Kota's impressive strength and proving that his shoulder is finally good to go.

He also had a decent match against Joey Janela the next day even though some spots were a bit sloppy. He nearly killed himself on a botched German Suplex from the top rope down to the outside through a set of doors, but Kota completely missed them as he slipped of the turnbuckle. Otherwise it was a good match that allowed the Golden Star to get back into the flow of a proper wrestling match, rather than a shoot style one in Bloodsport.

#9 - Shingo Takagi

The only wrestler on this weeks list to not wrestle in Los Angeles, Shingo Takagi, defended his KOPW provisional title against Aaron Henare in an "Ultimate Triad" Match. The rules of the match were that a wrestler would have to get one pinfall, one submission, AND keep their opponent down for a ten count. If they could do all three then they'd win the match.

This match went really long (nearly 40 minutes) and was a real test for both competitors. Shingo hit stiff lariats, forearms, and punches to try and keep Henare down from the beginning. They brawled inside and outside of the ring, even teasing a chair duel before throwing them aside and going fist to fist amongst the crowd and bouncing Henare's head of the "East" sign of Korakuen Hall. It was a true display of fighting spirit from Shingo that paved the way for him to tie the match at 2/2, but it was a final double down spot that led to the Rampage Dragon making it to his feet as the Ultimate Weapon was left sprawled on the mat.

A great match that brought out the best in both men, but really highlighted Shingo's ability to carry a lesser talent to a match were the result was very much in doubt by the end. Two points for Shingo!

#8 - Eddie Kingston

Speaking of fighting spirit, Eddie Kingston is up next on this weeks list! His amazing match against Claudio Castagnoli for ROH World Championship was one of the best matches of the whole week and had everyone on the edges of their seats to see if Kingston could defeat his most despised rival of his career. He also teamed with Jun Akiyama to take on DAMNATION T.A at DDT Goes Hollywood in a fine match.

Kingston started off hot with slaps to Claudio's face and chest, but ended up taking most of the heat in the first half with some massive bumps like a Brainbuster and Exploder Suplex from the apron to the floor. Eddie focused on the champions leg in the early stages, which would end up paying dividends later on, as Claudio would be unable to keep the Giant Swing on Kingston for more than a few seconds.

The late stages of the match showed Kingston's will to win overshadowing Claudio's cardio and athleticism, powering out of moves and kicking out at one on a Neutraliser and firing off multiple Backfists in a desperate attempt to keep Castagnoli down. Unfortunately he was caught out with a flash roll-up stealing the victory, and the championship away from the Mad King's grasp yet again.

A great story driven match that made Eddie look like a star even in defeat, only impassioning the fans desire for an Eddie Kingston world title win in the future. Three points to Kingston!

#7 - Yuka Sakazaki

The Magical Girl made her presence known in LA with two massive title matches in one week. The first being a Princess Tag Team championship match with her partner in crime, Mizuki winning the titles from the 121000000 team of Miyu Yamashita & Maki Itoh, who had only won the championships weeks earlier. Her second match was an ROH Women's championship challenge at ROH Supercard of Honor only hours after winning the tag team championships at the Globe!

The tag title match was a high octane, balls to the walls, classic TJPW style match that saw highflying and power moves from Yuka. Big suplexes, Brainbusters, and hard lariats made for an exciting match when intertwined with top rope offence from both the Magical Sugar Rabbits.

Her match with Athena for the ROH Women's championship was a lot different however. While in TJPW she is one of the stronger and more dominant performers, she played the underdog role in this bout. This meant she had to take a lot more of the offence compared to the tag match, but she sold really well throughout the match and got the crowd on her side with flashy counters and reversals, as well as a fun dive off the stage into a Crossbody.

Yuka showed how good she is in multiple different roles in a match while still being the lovable Magical Girl we all know and love. Four points to Sakazaki!

#6 - Sheamus

Sheamus had one of the best Wrestlemania matches of all time on Sunday as he went to war with Drew McIntyre and "Gunther" for the latter's Intercontinental championship on night 2.

The bout was reminiscent of Sheamus' and "Gunther's" IC title match at Clash at the Castle, big beefy boys slapping each others meat, with chops and forearms, but this time it had the added intrigue of Sheamus and Drew's relationship thrown in there too. "The Great White" and the "Scottish Warrior" would battle it out amongst themselves as the champion would lie in wait on the outside waiting for the perfect moment, but at other points would be on the end of a double team from the two Celtic brutes.

Overall it was a fun twist on the now popular big boy brawl formula, but I dont thinks its as good as other people are saying it is, well not to me at least, as I've seen matches like this on a monthly basis from Japan. Still an awesome match and Sheamus deserves the most praise out of the three for his great babyface performance.

#5 - Rhea Ripley

Charlotte Flair vs Rhea Ripley for the Smackdown Women's championship was probably the match that surprised me the most out of the whole week. These two women put on one of the best women's matches in WWE history and the best Women's Wrestlemania match in history in my opinion.

The match started slow, but built up in intensity almost perfectly. Rhea used her slight size and power advantage over Flair to her advantage, throwing her around the ring with ease while she dodged and countered the champs attempts at a comeback. Clubbing blows to Charlotte's lower back and a submission focused around the midsection allowed for Rhea's power moves to have a much larger effect than normal.

Charlotte would managed to take control for a while, and Rhea would bump and sell spectacularly. especially for a DDT that Flair would counter a Riptide into. These two women had fantastic chemistry together as they both exchanged massive moves, with Rhea getting off multiple devastating suplexes that took Charlotte to the mat with aplomb. The finish was great too, with boots to both of their faces taking Rhea to the mat and Flair locking in the Figure Four only for Ripley to get to the ropes and out to the apron where she would bait the champion to the top rope and hit her win an Avalanche Riptide for the win!

A career defining win for Rhea gets her six points in this weeks list!

#4 - El Hijo del Vikingo

Vikingo came into Wrestlemania week with a lot of momentum after his amazing match with Kenny Omega on Dynamite, and he definitely capitalised on it! His biggest match had to be his AAA Mega championship defence against fellow luchador Komander at ROH's Supercard of Honor show on Friday. Though he had many amazing matches on independent shows too.

His Komander match was my personal match of the weekend, but I understand that it's not many peoples cups of tea, which is why he isn't #1 this week. The match was right up my street however! Both men did their stuff to perfection in this match, which is rare, as you can see in some of his other matches that week where a fair few spots were botched or just not as clean as this matches moves.

The match was full of amazing near falls like Komander using his ultimate finisher, which the commentary team sold brilliantly before Vikingo grabbed the rope to keep the championship in his grasp for at least a little longer. All of the insane spots and the high intensity made this one of the best lucha matches I've ever seen!

#3 - Mike Bailey

Just like last year, Mike Bailey was the MVP of Wrestlemania week as he wrestled ten matches in three days, having banger matches with the likes of: Kota Ibushi, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Shigehiro Irie, El Hijo del Vikingo, and East West Express just to name a few!

Bailey had a vast array of match types like New Japan style match with Tanahashi at Multiverse United, in which he brought his own unique offence that allowed for a slightly different take on a Tana match, one that was a faster pace than the Ace is normally acustomed to in big New Japan main events. He also had a great lucha libre match with Vikingo at Joey Janela's Spring Break that saw insane spots like a Canadian Destroyer by Vikingo on the apron while jumping off the turnbuckle post.

None of his matches were blow away, like you might see on big Impact shows or indie's outside of Wrestlemania week, but its hard to blame him for that when you see his insane schedule. And this is something that I find more important than a lot of other fans who only care about star ratings and big matches, and because of that Mike gets eight points this week!

#1 & 2 - Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens

This was more than just a tag team championship win. It was more than just a win at Wrestlemania. It was more than just a Wrestlemania MAIN EVENT win. It was a win for the whole of independent wrestling.

Kevin and Sami came into this match with a mission. To show the world that tag team wrestling is some of the best wrestling in the whole world and was worthy enough to end the show of shows. They did that and more. Wearing gear emblazoned with the logo of their most dear promotion PWG, and its booker Super Dragon, they went all out in a barn burner of a tag team title match against the Bloodline's Usos.

They started the bout with the Usos getting Sami isolated, wearing him down for a few minutes before a big hot tag to Kevin started the match in earnest with big move after big move, with Sami even paying tribute to the late great El Generico with a Brainbustaaaaaa on the apron. The last half of the match was basically and extended finishing stretch that helped keep the crowd engaged at the very end of the show which was quite rare for a WWE match. The relationship between Sami and Jey was also an important part of the match with Sami taking the time to tell him something before hitting him with three Helluva Kicks to the head.

In conclusion it was a refreshing workrate based match with the right amount of story sprinkled in to make one of the best WWE tag team matches of all time, and crown two kids from Montreal as the kings of Tag Team wrestling in the city they got their big breaks in. Nine points for Kevin and the full ten to Sami Zayn for pinning up the historic win!

Here's the leaderboard after the conclusion of Wrestlemania week:


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