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  1. Black Buffalo was great here in the heel role here. After Murahama kicks the ring post we get a very good stretch where Buffalo works over Murahama's leg. Unfortunately this match falls apart for me when Murahama makes his comeback and makes all the past leg work relevant for the remainder of the matches as they hit a bunch of moves and then finish. ***1/2
  2. I thought this was fantastic. Some very stiff shots in this one. I thought Otani especially stuck out in this one with his reactions to Kanemoto's strikes before slapping the piss out of him. Great job from all performers here with a nuts finishing stretch that really fooled me with the false finishers. Minoru Tanaka seems like a guy that really fell off the radar even though he has looked excellent in a lot of his matches that I've seen. ****1/2
  3. This was an excellent match. A great showing from Murahama here as a he plays his role great here by taking a lot of punishment, but showing a lot of heart and giving it back as well. Everyone in this match looked great and the finishing stretch would fit well in today's modern style. ****1/2
  4. You mentioned the delay in ROH releases in the latest episode of the podcast. I recall when I went to ROH in January '04 that Bitter Friends Stiffer Enemies had just come out as a new DVD release. Even worse than that 5 month delay is that other new release was Revenge on the Prophecy which finally got its DVD release a year after it occurred since they skipped over it for a quicker release for One Year Anniversary. No wonder I always heard Revenge on the Prophecy was their worst selling show of all time. The Punk vs Raven match from the upcoming Beating the Odds was such a disappointment for all of the hype it received coming up to it. I can't find any photographic evidence to support this, but I recall that they made a shirt for this event to commemorate the match. It had separate pictures of Punk and Raven with each picture next to a quote that ended with "...I cannot lose."
  5. Laney

    [2000-06-22-GAEA] Lioness Asuka vs KAORU

    This was an intense match that was almost non-stop hate from the opening bell. There was some nice use of chairs and tables here and I liked the work over Asuka's leg even though it ends up getting largely ignored. I wasn't a big fan of the finishing stretch of trading big moves for near falls, but I largely enjoyed this match due to the great intensity throughout. ****
  6. Short match but a lot of fun. Delphin has the advantage for most of this match as he constantly grounds Murahama and tries to gain the submission victory. This is clearly a story of the striker vs the grappler with Murahama constantly going for flurries of strikes to try to gain the KO. Very nice matwork from Delphin. ***1/2
  7. I thought this was a pretty good match. Any match that has a bloody luchadore getting his mask ripped is an automatic plus for me. I thought the selling was particularly good in this one as these guys did a good job of getting across the exhaustion and importance of the match. The finish kind of came out of nowhere and looked a little rough. ***3/4
  8. I enjoyed this match, but didn't think it was anything great. Ono was impressive with his kicks here and did a good job of playing the underdog trying to push the pace to defeat the veteran. Solid matwork and strikes here with everything delivering as expected. ***1/2
  9. I missed your post initially, but feel free to use any info or background information that you see fit from me. I should have a lot to offer for the next Ohio show.
  10. I found the concept on the latest podcast of Punk being anti-aspirin to be a little strange. Although I can't speak for Punk and say for certain, I would fair to guess that Punk is not opposed to aspirin and it is very likely that he took it before the matches where he bladed. It differs from person to person, but I'm not aware of any straight edgers that are against aspirin. That seems to fall more in line with the hardline subculture that is against any form of medication. I doubt that Punk would take a hard stance against aspirin given that he is not opposed to caffeine, Z-Paks, and nutritional supplements. On another note, I attended a lot of shows in Dayton, but I wasn't able to make it to Wrath of the Racket (I was 14 at the time and wasn't able to convince my parents to take me to this one). The January '04 Battle Lines are Drawn show in Wilmington, OH I was able to attend and will send you guys a bunch of notes from what I remember as we get closer to it (probably too personal for anyone but me to care). I have one story I can share right now that is somewhat relevant to Wrath of the Racket. When my mom checked into our hotel in Wilmington (it was adjoining the building where the show was held) a guy near the front desk gave her a flyer to the ROH show and introduced himself as one of the promoters. This man was Matt Stryker. The reason I mention this is that on the Wrath of the Racket show Gabe makes a jab on commentary that Matt Stryker is so excited to be in Dayton that you think he promoted it. I also heard elsewhere that Stryker papered the whole city with flyers before the Dayton show. It may be possible that Stryker's greatest legacy in ROH is playing a big role in securing the Dayton market which would become part of ROH's regular schedule for years.
  11. This was a very fun match. Kobashi and Shiga spend most of this match fighting from underneath as Kobashi gets his knee taken out and Shiga is just overwhelmed due to his size. Shiga takes a great beating and gets some fun hope spots in while Kobashi looks like a total bad ass when he gets fired up and enters the ring. Great storytelling here in the match with everyone getting moments to shine. ****
  12. A great showing by Kawada and Taue here as they seem to carry this one. Taue does an excellent job selling and Kawada is his usual vicious self. I never really saw anything in Omori and he seems like a failed AJPW experiment as he has been heavily pushed in 2000. Very strange finish here as Kawada locks in a sleeper with Omori in the ropes and then simply pins him. All in all this is a very good match, but it is clear who the superior workers are in this one. ****
  13. This was awful. I thought the worst thing was that Russo was in the figure four for the longest time and didn't tap. I guess the reason why is that they couldn't get their shit together with the "red liquid" that was dumped down on them. It was absolutely laughable that the liquid knocked out Charles Robinson. It's no surprise that WCW would fold in less than a year with awful stuff like this.
  14. Laney

    [2000-06-04-Toryumon] Judo Suwa vs Dragon Kid

    This match had a nice dynamic of Dragon Kid being the plucky babyface hitting all the highspots while SUWA was a prick trying to grind Dragon Kid down and use dirty tactics. Both guys played their roles greatly here with SUWA tearing at Dragon Kid's mask and Dragon Kid perfectly hitting all of his high flying moves. Great nearfall here with the Dragon Rana being broke up from outside interference. Neat little finish here too with SUWA countering Dragon Kid's rana. ***1/2
  15. Laney

    [2000-06-03-FWA] Reckless Youth vs Nick Berk

    This is an interesting look at the indies at the time. Kind of funny to hear Nick Berk make the claim that he is the king of the indies. I don't think at any point in time that he even close to earning that moniker. The only thing I recall Nick Berk ever doing was having a pretty cool finishing move in the Berkocet. I thought the commentator did a great job of calling this one and pointing out some of Reckless's offense was learned down in Memphis. All in all this was a pretty basic match but everything was effectively done. An interesting snapshot of an indie show using a WWF developmental wrestler, but nothing that is must-see. ***