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Chess Knight

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  1. Chess Knight

    [2000-12-12-CMLL] Ricky Marvin vs Virus

    Maybe the most unfortunately named wrestler to praise for the past couple years but VIRUS! A lot of the best rudo luchadores always manage to do the classiest looking grappling, while still keeping in character just by reacting to everything, and Virus just brings it. You can play-by-play some of this to me on paper and I'd be like "ehhh" but the execution is where the in-sync-yet-unco-operative magic happens. They even did some 'duck a backflip pose' thing and then Virus just dropkicks Marvin in the chest for it. First fall had a pretty great botched finish where Marvin slapped on an octopus, but Virus tripped to one knee, which looked like a potential counter until Marvin just improvised with a crucifix pin while Virus' leg was still caught up. Shout out to Virus' abdominal stretch, where he stepped backward so one of Marvin's ankles was rolled. Was pretty ugly. The second fall was great, with Marvin trying for a bum rush but after one Irish whip too many, Virus splats his face on the ground like he's shaking sand off a beach towel. I almost thought they'd go for two falls based on how kick out-heavy it was getting but Virus wasn't done bringing the face splats to tear Marvin down. The third fall started with Marvin not even being able to stand without tumbling which was a super cool dichotomy to the sprint he did to start the second. Falling flat on his face after Virus ducked the lariat was maybe a little goofy but hey he pulled it off all right. His tempo picks up throughout the fall but I thought, for the most part, he did a really good job of coming across as someone pushing themselves. Virus is unreal good at "caught off guard" selling, including somehow making dropkicks to the knee look like they should actually be flipping him 270 degrees. This was really, really good.
  2. The LWO implodes or whatever with Eddie feeling like Rey is too much of his own man, so Eddie responds by yelling at him and beating the fucking shit out of him for the better part of a dozen minutes. This was squash match-level for most of it, and based on it, I wish we had more Eddie Guerrero squash matches. I couldn't even list the amount of interesting moves he did if I tried, and everything right down to thumping Rey on the back of the head with his fists looked tough. The powerbomb was one of THOSE kinds of powerbombs - you know, the THOSE kinds, the SPLAT, BOUNCE and FOLD kinds. These nutters even pulled off a suplex to the outside (that was Rey-on-Eddie violence, though) which Eddie sells by possibly yelling obscenities. Great opening spots with Eddie pulling Rey's tights from outside so he flies into the guardrail, and the steel steps Irish whip that made the steps sliiiide a little. Looked so cool. Later, Eddie gets tossed out the ring and Rey, composing himself, pulls a FOOL MOVE and turns his back and crouches to recuperate only for Eddie to SLIDE INTO THE RING WITH A CHOPBLOCK? How? Who even thinks of that? Rey's springs of life maybe came too easily a couple times considering all the punishment, but they never really lasted so hey whatever. Have I actually underrated Eddie Guerrero at a point in his career? I don't remember thinking he was this badass in 1998 a decade ago, makes me want to see everything he did that year.
  3. Pretty subdued Hashimoto performance. When he wasn't chopping or kicking it almost looked like he was just waiting for his opponent to do something. He and Honda almost came to blows before the match begun, so their initial show down should have felt big. Alas, Honda comes in to interfere while Hashimoto and Inoue are squaring off, leading to it feeling like I'd lost a sneeze. If Honda was gonna rush in then, at least let the match totally go to bonkers city. They did do a great little tentative dance around each other when actually both legal, but didn't have too memorable an exchange. Honestly, I can say that about the whole match. It had highlights, was enjoyable enough, I was excited to see more 2001 Honda, especially opposite Hashimoto, but didn't deliver anything close to greatness. Didn't help the finish was total trash, I have no idea what even happened. Yasuda had this semi-limp leg lock on (he even let one of his arms go and looked away at one point), and the ref just called for the bell. Inoue submitted? I don't want to make it sound as if this is a bad overall match, but I'd be disappointed if this isn't the worst of inter-promotional Hashimoto. Surprised, too, actually.
  4. Really, really awesome start that set the tone for the whole match. Shibata, the young'un, tries steam-rolling the legend and actually busts Akiyama open on a few kicks to the head. Akiyama gets absolutely furious and they wind up outside, with Akiyama chucking chairs down at Shibata like a madman. Not folding chairs either; like, Shibata was eating LEG. He was even more violent later after more Shibata offense. Shibata swings a kick and hits pole instead, but doesn't allow himself to fall over so to not leave Akiyama any oxygen. The damage, unfortunately for him, is already done, and Akiyama sees the opening. I actually loved that Akiyama didn't just predictably target the leg from that point in a major way (other than one chair swing), instead dropping him on the announce table, giving him a piledriver on the concrete, and brutalising his upper area with chair shots. He really appeared to just be too angry to go with the obvious "limb work" strategy and let his emotions fight for him for a bit. Even when Shibata tries getting back in the ring, Akiyama just sprints at him with some sort of ballistic, uncouth knee smash that looked like it almost made Akiyama himself fly out of the ring. Shibata doesn't get any less rowdy because of all this; fighting out of a front facelock with blows to the mid-section, and persisting with the kicks. Speaking of the facelock, the crowd were sadly pretty heatless for all submission moves; I feel like, with the blood, they should have been taken seriously as moves that could have knocked the opponent out. I wish some of those exploders were sold a bit more, too. Though Shibata at least does the "surprise get up from big move" better than almost anybody in the 21st Century because of his in-between selling, but I've spoken on that before. And those little negatives didn't stop it being a really, really good match.
  5. Did 1998 Tenryu vs. 2005 Necro Butcher just become my dream match? I don't really know what the deal is here but when Tenryu has no cool and sprints for his opponent then something must have gone down between them previously. There were a lot of moments that, on paper, might read like flashy highlight video package bait, but in execution was just ugly, gritty, hateful violence. Like, Tenryu takes a moonsault while standing, and his spleen might have gotten the worst of it because of the landing. Araya goes ham with a kendo stick (even smashing it against the ring post to loosen the bamboo) and Tenryu blades his own arm to put the whacks over. He starts jamming it into Tenryu's throat too and I half-wondered if Tenryu would start blading his neck. Tenryu getting a moment during an Araya run-up to lift a boot allows him to chop the guy dead in the fucking throat, which looked more violent than any smash with a foreign object possibly could. When I tell you he looked to THROW his arm about as hard as he could, please believe me. I swear if the match had ended here we'd have probably the greatest five minute match of all time on our hands with a 10/10 finish. Tenryu isn't entirely on top following that, but still just finds an opportunity to chuck chairs into Araya's head, and dive on him by also basically just landing on his noggin. He barely looked like he could execute the dives he was doing but the end result definitely came off as a guy with a fat ass throwing all his weight onto somebody to try to win a legit battle. Tenryu mostly has Araya where he wants him (even Araya's nose is bloody by the looks of it) so he brings it back in the ring and starts throwing the usual chops and kicks, but Araya doesn't need weapons to build an offensive again either, so we get a pretty even last few minutes. Tenryu might do one of the best facial sells of a SLAP ever during. What a wild clash of cellulite and muscle.
  6. Asked a friend for an old TNA rec so she gave me this, and it was exactly the kind of under-the-radar thing I wanted. Like damn did NWA TNA actually have tag matches that felt like NWA tag matches? Watching this in a vacuum I'd almost be fooled into thinking they were actually, quality-wise, a great competitor/alternative to WWE at the time. First few minutes are spent brawling out of the ring with low blows and wire chokes and concrete suplexes, with AMW ultimately losing the upperhand they had with a Michinoku Driver on the ramp by Slash. They work a pretty classic FIP following that and Slash & Lee (in a group called The Disciples of...whatever, I forget, look it up) mix up their offense pretty creatively. Slash (who is Wolfie D btw) has some really cool running headbutts/shoulder tackles, and at one point just kind of steps all over Storm with both boots. Storm's best chance came when hitting an enzuigiri to Slash, but Slash actually swings left and accidentally (!?) headbutts the ref in the fucking stomach, leading to the ref being blind to the hot tag. What a weird and cool little spot. Harris has the ref accidentally (!) distracted because of that and Lee levels Storm with the belt outside. The finish stretch is stuffed with tons of kick outs and a chair and POWDER and BELT WHIPPING and a SPIKE and interference and the ref just straight up not doing his job and I thought it dragged a bit but not enough to complain about it. Super fun tag, good enough that there's a sick part of me that believe a Best of TNA list/poll would actually be an enjoyable endeavour.
  7. This is the first Kingdom match I think I've ever watched, and I liked the format of only 5 rope breaks and/or downs each creating quick but escalating drama. They're also wearing gloves which is pretty unlike any other shoot style promotion (not even Vader wore gloves in UWFi) but thank god they were because they fucking HANDED it to each other when throwing blows. I actually said "fuck me" aloud at one of the bursts. They mostly spent the match grappling though, which I was enamoured with. Really quick chess game of steering with the skid, slapping on a submission no matter how close to the ropes to force a point loss, and gripping onto to themselves to try to stop a hold. The cross-armbreaker played a strong part, being the first rope break and being responsible for a couple more down the road. Was a really easy to create tension (physically and dramatically) because the guy in it would rush for the ropes like a cat every time, once their own vice grip was busted. The only actual down of the match comes when Sakuraba tries to duck a kick, I think not realising Kanehara is actually aiming pretty low, and catches it square in the face - and let me tell you, people - this is straight up as nasty and violent a kick I can remember in a match (outside of Akira Maeda actually trying to injure people, I guess). I wouldn't wish it on anybody but it sure as hell made for a perfect surprise down, especially because Sakuraba was looking exhausted by then and looked to let his guard down by a bit. Sakuraba tries to return to submissions after getting up from that - including a cross-armbreaker attempt - even to try to whittle away Kanehara's score (Sakuraba was down 3-1 by now) which really helped put the kick over. I won't spoil the last few minutes but it ties in the rest of the match really, really well, including the finish. I will note Kanehara trying and failing to swing near the end, as a desperate attempt to finish it because he got the only down in the match earlier. Wouldn't surprise me if the first Kingdom match I watched is the best of them all.
  8. Badass match initially based around Honda's superior ground work before they start trying to finish each other off with suplexes and lariats. Ikeda's first real chance comes minutes after Honda keeping him in check. Ikeda starts blasting Honda with kicks and forearm blows (that first kick looked stiff as hell, too), which at least wore Honda down, but Honda just keeps going low and bringing him lateral to give himself a breather. Honda had some strikes of his own but he was against the Potato King himself so he had to be smart in tying up Ikeda's limbs instead. Ikeda, finding any opening he could, delivered a GREAT counter where he was holding onto the ropes to prevent a German, but then instead improvises by pushing on the rope with his boot, going down with Honda and from what I could tell landing on Honda's HEAD. Awesome end stretch filled with almost each move, no matter how basic, being a potential ender. This is the kind of match that makes you respect every suplex or takedown. Great finish, too, thanks to Honda actually kind of slipping up on that STF and having to change gears.
  9. I still love this so much. I don't know whether it qualifies as a "sprint" but with the amount they crammed into the time they had, and how quickly they moved from moment-to-moment (e.g. Rey on bottom usually lasts a lot longer than this), I wouldn't think it's a stretch to say it is one. I honestly don't remember a more compelling heel Punk match than this one, just for how tenacious he is beelining for any opportunity to smash Rey to bits. Once that barricade backdrop hits (a spot that's been burned in my memory since I saw this in 2010) he takes no chances in unleashing, smashing Rey with a clothesline on the outside, dropping him a vicious backbreaker, shoving him off of the ropes, trying to keep the match grounded with holds. He throws in some talk too because of course he does. "I CAN SAVE YOU!" Like I said Rey on bottom doesn't last very long but that I think makes it more unpredictable because it's out of the norm for him to start dodging around this successfully, this early. Absolutely loved how they managed to integrate Gallows and Deeb at the end without having them just sloppily run in and ruin the match, too. From what I remember I thought this was actually better than any of their PPV matches back when, but I will watch those again. I'd be a-ok with this being the best though because it is indeed the fuckin best. I might call it a top ten SmackDown match.
  10. Very good match that could have been elevated a bit more had it been more logical. It's just, I think Savage hurting his leg and taking his boot off to further expose the leg (especially the ankle), especially against a technician, is a bit of a dumb move. Hart is kind of dull on top before the leg injury but is much more fun being flung into the ring post and bumping into the turnbuckle pads and whatnot. For a heel he's not a very theatrical bumper but he'll take some rough shots to make his opponent look great (something he obviously continued becoming WWF's #1 throughout the early 90s). The guardrail shot off the apron looked particularly good; big fan of wrestlers flying into things and flopping down while holding onto said thing. Again not a fan of Savage's boot being off because it becomes a more vulnerable target, but Hart is naturally good working a limb and I dig the flash finish a lot as a convincing way for a one legged man to pull off the victory.
  11. Chess Knight

    [1997-05-20-NJPW] Shinjiro Otani vs Yoshihiro Taijiri

    Utterly vicious offensive showing from Otani, repeatedly digging his heel into Tajiri's face, stomping the shit out of him in the corner, grinding his forearm across the cheek, etc. He even does Tajiri's tree of woe sliding dropkick (maybe that's where Tajiri got it!) and we get a close up of Tajiri's squished face after it. Tajiri gets a few hope spots in those first few minutes but it's usually killed by Otani using his superior size and tenacity. Tajiri's actual competitive comeback starts with a fucking awesome spot where Otani blocks a high kick with his forearms, but only manages to hit a limp slap in retaliation, so Tajiri uses the ropes for momentum and launches his feet at Otani's leg. Can't believe how much heat they managed to create within the time, and I can't believe what has to be one of the best Tajiri matches happens in 1997.
  12. I hope these motherfuckers had beers together after this. Kitahara and Kabuki were totally relentless kicking heads in and levelling throats with lariats, and making exactly none of it look flashy. Orihara when selling for all that shucked out about as good a Never Say Die showing as I can remember, even with some of the flubbed moves and that random pointless backflip. His exchanges looked really unruly when he was just swinging wildly at any body part in the way before being minced. He somehow sold to make a swinging neckbreaker look violent, and that thing usually looks like garbage. The Ganso Bomb looked utterly fucked; like CCTV footage of an assault and battery from that angle. Also on the lariats he took late in the match, there were women in the front row clasping their hands in front of their mouths and made a great visual. I thought it was pretty brilliant how they didn't immediately let Tenryu come in hot after the first Orihara FIP bit either; Kabuki blindsiding him really allowed the second hot tag to feel like The Big One instead. Tenryu obviously doesn't take kindly to that though and starts breaking up half of every pinfall, which helped the match fly further into a chaotic spectacle. The ref didn't need to squeeze in a cardio workout that week, let's say that much. And Tenryu breaking up the pinfalls with the most unpretty kicks to the head looked possibly even more disgustingly violent than anything, especially thanks to how Kitahara didn't bump or turn for them, but instead just jolted his head and stayed in place. Deranged classic.
  13. Chess Knight

    Matches vs Events

    I can barely watch full shows most of the time unless it's something I specifically set out to do with friends, or in terms of a long running project, e.g. I currently have a running list of good Velocity matches, and am watching every match, but use uploads that don't have the Smackdown recaps and stuff. Even then, I started it in early...2019, I think, and have only made it through around 16 months of shows....shows that go like 25 minutes once you slice out the recaps and ad breaks. Keeping up with AEW since Punk came in, I'm already finding myself skipping over matches I don't care to see a month in. I've said for a long time I'd like to do full watches of some short-running promotions (like SMW) but I don't actually know if I could pull it off if I'm honest with myself.
  14. Chess Knight

    Comments that don't warrant a thread - Part 4

    That's actually really, really yuck from me. I don't know whether this is popular/unpopular, but I think wrestlers should have the live audience in mind before anybody else. It can really be a judge of a wrestler to me, seeing how they play off of whatever reaction they're getting (think the famous Dallas Raw 5 vs. 5, pretty basic set of moves but everything perfectly placed to keep the crowd erupting). Dozens, hundreds, thousands of eyes and voices right there, so I'd rather tv viewers be thought after them. Let alone having literally just one man in mind. I'm not anti-Meltzer (it's kind of weird to be reallllly anti-him considering he's a dude who just likes certain things in the pro wrestling), but for so many wrestlers to go out there and appease him I hate it I hate it I hate it. Although, ironically, Meltzer seems to favour matches that connect with the live audience anyway but STILL it's the thought process that bothers me.
  15. Chess Knight

    [2015-08-23-WWF-Summerslam] Brock Lesnar vs The Undertaker

    I've watched this twice in the past couple months (having never seen it previously) and thought it was incredible, one of my surprise new favourite matches. I've thought about watching it a third time ever since second seeing it. Taker is as old as 2002 Hulk Hogan here and getting his rib cage splintered on the announce table in that demented F-5 like a junior. Lesnar is covered in blood and drool and looked absolutely five stars waiting for Taker in the ring like the world's most vengeful great white shark. I just wish more than anything that the fist fight, after the double sit up, had both guys taking their gloves off because that would have been another cherry on an already cherry-filled cake. Legit would call this the Undertaker's best match and one of the greatest WWE matches of all time.