I am not one to try and keep up with current wrestling- stateside or internationally. I am curious though and will try and watch stuff that's really hyped. The emphasis is on "try."
The new stuff ends up getting pushed aside by some older match or feud that seems way more interesting or less involved. New or current stuff kinda forces the viewers to keep up in order to get the most enjoyment out of it especially if I want to discuss it here on PWO. I just don't have the time to spend on trying to learn all of the "new" people and their back stories and angles they're working. I'm talking specifically about the US wrestling behemoth who entertains the world.
Its a bit easier to pop my head into the NJPW fish tank since I'm somewhat familiar with their roster. I watched a couple matches from this year's Wrestle Kingdom as well as a couple Omega matches from 2017. I like him. He's fun, he's goofy but, can get serious. I like to think of him as The Joker... more Nicholson than Heath.
I like that NJ has a relationship with ROH as well. This gives me a good chance to see some Japanese stars here in the States but, it freshens ROH up as well. This is something I've liked about TNA in the past. I loved the X international tournament that had DG's Speed Muscle and Rey Bucanero & Ultimo Guerrero in it. I got tired of the tired old WCW revival crap. I digress...
"Current" for me is 2015...maybe 2016. That's pushing it. I'm watching stuff from 2011 and it seems pretty damn modern. I guess watching matches from the 70's then matches from a few years ago days MAY mix my brain up. What I'm getting at is that I'm trying (again emphasis on "trying") to get a little more current with my viewing. Its a project of mine for 2018. Watch more stuff from the 2010's...which is crazy since the decade is winding down!
I've got a list of a bunch of unwatched matches I want to cover but, in the meantime, here are some recent favorites:
Go Shiozaki & Jun Akiyama vs SUWAMA & Takao Omori (07/28/13 AJPW 2/3 falls match) Wow...wow! This was like watching my first Shamu show at Sea World- I'm amazed and changed as a person. Here we have one of the few reminents from Muto AJPW, ace SUWAMA and a cast off from Misawa's AJPW exodus in Omori up against NOAH's ace and Kobashi/Misawa pupil Shiozaki and Jun Akiyama. Let's all remember that Akiyama is former tag partners, champs and friends with Omori. Akiyama got to ride the NOAH wave in the 2000's while Omori was surfing relatively low tide in Zero-1 and washed up back in AJPW like driftwood. This was a battle for a lot. Omori had remade himself in partnership with Manabu Soya however. He was not someone to be kicked around anymore. This was Omori's home, AJPW had been through alot in that time and SUWAMA had been there and is still there. This isn't just his home, it's his kingdom. He had outlasted them all. Akiyama wants back in? Akiyama had been gone for 13 years. Ok that's fine but he has to earn it. Shiozaki on the other hand has no place in AJ. He's an outsider through and through. This was a battle.
A beautifully long match that harkened back to the classics of AJPW '92-'96. The grappling, striking, layout and pacing were conservative. Therfore, the contest was more organic in its story progression and the escalation of aggression. The 2/3 falls usage was brillant and perhaps is what made it so damn good. It provided the wrestlers the framework to bring the level of excitement up and down, to be able to rest the fans energy only to build it back double fold. Classic Match. I had no idea that wrestling could be this good in the 2010's.
Kazushi Sakuraba vs Katsuyori Shibata (07/05/15 NJPW): I watched this on AXS TV originally and the subtitled lead in and post match helped give this match great context. It's Pupil vs Teacher, Anger vs Intelligence, Ace vs Legend- True Strong Style! So, if you see this match available to watch or have it on DVD -go into it with this mindset I felt the contest was a callback to the style of Gotch, Inoki, Fujinami, Fujiwara, Maeda, etc. This is a Classical Strong Style bout and not what NJ is calling strong style OR what people consider stiff chop exchanges to be. No, this was like an actual sporting contest like Mixed Martial Arts. The fact that Saku is a grappling god made the match seem that much more real. Shibata was game as hell too! It was emotional, electric, and intense. This was a classic match and a perfect example of true Strong Style in the 21st century.
Minoru Suzuki vs Hirooki Goto (01/04/18 NJPW): This had that big Dome match aura to it. Intense and violent from the get go and it did not let up. Never overstaying it's welcome, Goto & Suzuki put on a brilliant wager match.
I'm glad this only had one drawn out back and forth elbow exchange and that led to the story of the match. The NEVER belt stuff always seems to be what I'm looking for. I was hoping for something like this for the Jericho/Omega match but, I'm not sure they could have topped it. This felt like a Dome main event from the 90s or 2000s perhaps. Great match
Hoping to post new stuff every Tuesday for the 2010's!