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Superstar Sleeze

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  1. Superstar Sleeze

    [2009-01-11-TNA-Genesis] Kurt Angle vs Jeff Jarrett (No DQ)

    Kurt Angle vs Jeff Jarrett - TNA Genesis 2009 No DQ As a big Jeff Jarrett fan, I have been waiting to watch this for years. I have been putting it off to watch other matches and am excited to see how this turns out. The video packages fills us in that since Jarrett's win at Bound for Glory (October with some help from Mick Foley) Kurt Angle has formed the Main Event Mafia and needed to beat Rhino (I have no recollection of this) to get his rematch with Double J. Al Snow of all people is the one who helped Angle win. Ok, well that was erased from my memory. Jarrett is so much better when he sticks to his Memphis roots and just throws punches. He starts off red hot. Angle tries to wrap him up in a sleeper to slow him down, but Jarrett hits him with a low blow. No DQ, baby! Jarrett kicks some ass on the floor and throws a beer at Kurt. I am loving this Double J. He gets knocked off the apron into the railing and then sent face first onto the stairs. Strong start thus far! Kurt Angle's heat segment is pretty tame. The match picks up again when Angle takes a nutty bump over the top rope crashing onto the floor. Double J tries a suicide dive over the top rope in a scary spot as his foot catches the ropes and he almost spikes his head into the floor. A for effort, brutha. Angle throws him into the announce table and Angle busts him wide open with ring bell. Five alarm bladejob by Jarrett. Ok, here we go! Angle works the cut. Jarrett hits a desperation DDT on the ramp. He throws Angle into the steel staging and busts him open. Jarrett hitting some nice Memphis style rights. It is too bad that Jarrett did not stick to his Mempho roots throughout the 90s/00s. Angle hits an Olympic Slam off the stage onto the floor! Jarrett was supposed to go through a table but overshot and damn I think he just fell five feet onto concrete. OW! They really milk it and struggle back to the ring. I like the slugfest that develops then it becomes bomb-trading. It is pretty good bomb trading because they at least set up each transition. Angle gets the stupid Anglelock and Olympic Slam when he thwarts a Superplex. Jarrett gets a Pedigree after the slugfest (clearly using the Pedigree mid-match was a potshot at HHH) and then the Stroke after he dropkicks a chair into Angle's face (that felt like a big deal). After the Stroke did not work thats when he went for the Superplex. Angle charges into the post. Jarrett is thinking guitar. Angle punts him in the balls when he takes too long. Decent finisher-trading. The finish of the match is pretty lame. Angle blasts Jarrett with a chairshot to the head to get a two count. Jarrett misses an enziguiri and Angle puts him back in the Anglelock and of course Double J reverses. Jarrett hits a DDT to get out of the Olympic Slam. He wants to use the guitar but it is busted. He hits a steel chair shot. 1-2-Angle Reverses into a side slide for 1-2-3! A technical wrestling finish and then Jarrett is the one that cant move. Lol! It was Angle that was slammed in the head. Jarrett was selling the ankle injury. Angle then attacks Jarrett's bad ankle and takes the chair puts on the ankle and stomps on it. This is a good match and definitely better than Bound for Glory, but this is not the best match of Jarrett's career as the Shawn Michaels match is still better. I was hoping for more brawling and less finish trading. ***1/2
  2. TNA Knockouts Champion Gail Kim vs Awesome Kong - TNA Final Resolution 2008 No DQ If you believe the WWE, good women's wrestling did not happen before 2014, but Awesome Kong and Gail Kim prove WWE wrong. I was a big mark for Awesome Kong as a teenager. For some reason, I thought she was around when I was in high school, but I guess I was watching her in college. Every Kong match on Impact was a must see for me and my brother. It was great going back and watching these two PPV matches against Gail Kim. I think I liked the first slightly more, but this was still excellent. In both cases, I thought the finish was the worst part of the match which is a shame. Just like the first match, Kong shoves Kim right off the apron, but this time it seems Kim is more prepared as he is fighting back. I think what makes these matches great is how much Gail Kim fights back. She is constantly peppering her with shots even if they have limited effect. Kong hits a massive chop and then clothesline on the floor. Kong is such a great force. One of the best spots of the match is when Kong wants the powerbomb on the floor and Kim from a bent over position kicks her with the flat of the foot in the head. What agility is right Don West. Kong bullies her hard into the apron. As much as I like Nia Jax, Awesome Kong is still the best big woman's wrestler I have ever seen, the closest thing to Vader I have seen (I need to watch Joshi, but bear with me). Kong puts her foot on Gail's throat and it is just a perfect statement of dominance. Kim is so good at selling the beating, but always fighting back. Gail Kim never lets herself die. Kong swings Kim around in a choke hold, but Kim just keeps trying to elbow out of trouble but Kong just SWATS her with a Spinning Back Fist. HOLY SHIT! Again on the outside, Kim is trying to fight for her life but Kong swats her down. I love that swinging move that Kong does to drive her into the railing. That was always one of my favorite Kong spots. Strong arena brawling. Kim beating her with an empty soda bottle was funny because I know it doesnt really hurt but it makes a great sound. I like the desperation. Kong throws her down the stairs, which always freaks me out. The only rule in my house growing up was no fighting on the steps. Kong rams herself into the board when Kim moves. This is the first time of the match that Kong has missed and this is a perfect opportunity for Kim. Great Job by Kim to kick the arm, hit a springboard using the railing to hit a double axehandle on the bad arm and then hammerlock the bad arm into the post, but it is short lived as Kong just drills Kim with big clubbing blows. I like that hope spot. Kong grabs the chair but she missed and Kim kicks the chair into Kong's face another great hope spot. Gail Kim tries to hurl her body into Awesome Kong, but she just catches her and drives her into the apron. It looks like all hope is loss for our fearless hero. She tries in vain to hit elbows and Kong just hits a series of back fists. Powerbomb, no, Sunset Flip, Kong sits down and Kim moves! Kim tries to keep moving but Kong is just so strong and Kong slams her down. Kong is besides herself so she POWERBOMBS the ref! I love ref abuse! Kong starts slamming the ref with chair shots until Kim grabs the chair and Kim wrestles the chair away. Kim creams her with the chair in the head not once, but twice! Holy shit! Top Rope Splash! But there's no ref! Here he comes...1-2-NO! Kong Chokeslams Kim! Kong is gonna kill this ref! She goes for the powerbomb, but Kim rolls her up and the ref falls on top and then counts the 1-2-3! I didnt like the finish because it didnt feel like Gail Kim did it on her own. Still this was an excellent David vs Goliath match. Kong is an awesome force of nature. The usual good psychology of Kim selling, but always fighting back but really her only chance is when Kong hurts herself or when Kim can use a weapon. I think I liked the first match slightly more because I thought Kong's offense was cooler and Kim's offense more clever, but both matches are definitely worth watching. ****1/4
  3. Kurt Angle vs Jeff Jarrett - TNA Bound For Glory 2008 Jeff Jarrett is returning after a two year absence due to his wife losing her battle with cancer. They made this match very personal with Angle bringing up Jarrett's three daughters and Jarrett saying his daughters are his source of strength when he thought he would have none. Pretty heavy stuff. Basic opening to the match. Angle dominates early showing Jarrett's ring rust. They give Jarrett a little bit of shine with a dropkick and knocking Angle over the top rope. Jarrett eats steel off the apron, but that does not really go anywhere as Jarrett is hits signature stradle and then Fargo Strut. They are giving him some stuff to get the crowd invested in them. He is definitely over they are popping for him. On the strut, Angle clotheslines Jarrett out of his boots and cinches in a chinlock. Thus far basic, fundamentals match a little bit of Jarrett shine with Angle cutting him off. Basically this becomes a Best Hits of Jeff Jarrett with Kurt Angle throwing his stuff in there too. Things Like Angle charging and hitting the post hard only to charge back and eat DDT just undercut the legitimacy of the match and the spots. Jarrett and Angle trade some bombs. The superplex and figure-4 was a nice 1-2 combo for Jarrett. Then Angle makes the ropes and hits three Germans. Pretty typical Angle match. Here comes the Anklelock. Ugh. Olympic Slam. Like that will win the match. Ref bump. Mick Foley is the enforcer so you knew that was happening. Jarrett actually hits some pretty good kneelifts to set up the Stroke. 1-2-NO! Good nearfall. Angle low blows Jarrett. Nice! Angle creams Foley and Jarrett with chairshots. Ok, this match is picking up. Foley drags out the ref at 2. Mr. Socko and Jarrett smashes the Guitar over head for the feel-good ending. Sue me, I liked the finish. Everything before was pretty blase and typical Angle just hits spots for the hell of it. I wanted to watch this before the more heralded Genesis 2009 match, but this is totally skippable. ***
  4. Superstar Sleeze

    [2006-09-16-ROH-Glory By Honor V] Bryan Danielson vs KENTA

    ROH World Champion Bryan Danielson vs KENTA - ROH 9/16/06 I really like their match from NOAH from the same year lets see how this one holds up. KENTA does not give Danielson any clean breaks. First time missing with a roundhouse kick and then second time bitch slapping him. Danielson starts slapping himself to fire himself up. Danielson does not give him a clean break the next time but KENTA unleashes a furious kick to the injured arm of the Champion. Danielson is nursing a right shoulder injury from his last defense against Colt Cabana. KENTA mercilessly decimates the arm with wicked kick after wicked kick. This is definitely one of those great asskicking matches. KENTA is just pulverizing him with great kicks. I like Danielson's mini-comebacks using left hand slaps and punctuating with a headbutt but more often than not KENTA is able to get back to the arm. I liked KENTA heeling it up a bit in America as Danielson was trying to draw on some sympathy. Danielson tackles him when he turns his back to him. I love that type of fire and pride. Ultimately, KENTA is able to get back to working the arm, but Danielson showed that he had some life left. I know Danielson was doing a subtle heel champion gimmick at this time, but I thought the choking, taunting the fans on a surfboard and not breaking on the figure-4 were not warranted, made more sense to go full babyface. I did like Danielson targetting the left leg of KENTA. After all it is that leg that had been kicking his bad arm all this time so it made sense he wanted to rip it off. Too little thus far as KENTA is able to regain control with his big time kicks and hits a springboard dropkick his first big highspot. I loved the Butterfly Suplex ->Cross-Armbreaker by KENTA it feels like the match is really kicking into gear now. Danielson does a beautiful single leg takedown. Diving feet first through KENTA's legs and then picking the left leg and rolling through into a single leg crab. Great transition and works on the most offensively active part of KENTA's body. KENTA makes the ropes and hits an enziguiri. This is classic KENTA The Destroyer in the style of Hashimoto or Kobashi as their asskicking best. He is moving forward, but he is not moving too fast. He has targetted a body part. Danielson has shown fighting spirit cominh back with the left hand and submission work to try to neutralize KENTA's greatest asset: his left kick. I knew once the Go2Sleep was attempted this where the match would be make or break for me because they were going into the finish stretch with about 15 minutes left of video. That's a long time. They did falter at many spots. The most egregious being Danielson taking a nutty bump where he eats KENTA's feet on a top rope headbutt. He really took that shot hard. He was the one that hit the next move when he hit a dropkick to the midsection of a sprinboarding KENTA. I love each of those spots as a transition or counter, but space them out. Hard for me to respect the match if they are not respecting the moves. Each individual move looked great and it was exciting, but they were losing their impact because the moves were not having consequence. They do a fighting spirit sequence that was great. I loved Danielson's headbutts and KENTA's kicks, but I dont remember who won they both just went down. It just felt pointless after it was done. I thought the match did get back on track after Danielson's big dive. The crowd really got behind Danielson and he goes for a roaring elbow with his bad arm and KENTA wrestled him to the ground with a Fujiwara armbar. Great counter! Danielson's comeback is red hot, reverse cradle suplex and a super back suplex and Cattle Mutilation. I like that it is sustained offense. Danielson wants the top rope headbutt but KENTA meets him there (not my favorite way to do this, but whatever). KENTA gets knocked off and Danielson jumps on KENTA's shoulders. It was impressive that KENTA is that strong. GO TO SLEEP! 1-2-FOOT ON ROPES! Great nearfall and big pop. KENTA wants his big knee, but cant get it. Tries for Go 2 Sleep in the middle of the ring, but Danielson gets crucifix pin. I like how sustained the run up to the finish is. Danielson does the barrage of elbows, Tiger Suplex, more elbows then Cattle Mutilation for the win. There was a lot of struggle there. Awesome, awesome match. Some miscues here and there arent enough to ruin the match. It does feel a little disjointed they went from an asskicker with Danielson trying to survive into a bomb throwing finish run. The front half was truly excellent. The second half was mostly a hit with some misses. The last five minutes or so was absolute gold. The Fujiwara Armbar and Go 2 Sleep were great nearfalls for KENTA and Danielson really earned that finish by struggling through to dominate KENTA. I like the Morishima match more and the Low-Ki match from Round Robin Challenge too, but this is another classic Danielson/ROH match. ****1/2
  5. X-Division Champion AJ Styles vs Christopher Daniels - TNA Against All Odds 2005 Ironman Match There is no doubt in my mind that AJ Styles was Wrestler of the Year in 2005. He had three match of the year contenders including this one and was really good in every role he was called upon in TNA. First Fall: They did a great job building to the first fall in the opening 15 minutes of this classic. I really liked how Daniels made AJ earn his dropkick. Leapfrog->nope Daniels Rollup. Dropkick -> nope Daniels holds the ropes. Then AJ just nails one when Daniels is unaware. Shows they really know each other. Good chain wrestling early and strong quick covers. AJ Gets a couple big highspots. AJ's balance on the ropes is so good! When Daniels pulls in the ref, AJ is able to pause on the rope and come back down. Daniels uses the momentary hesitation to knock AJ off the apron onto the railing. Daniels works a clinic on AJ's ribs. AJ sells so well sucking for air and bumping in such a way that he lands on his ribs. The Split Leg Moonsault was a good nearfall. AJ gets a mini-comeback where he hits a lot of his low-grade signature spots. However, when AJ goes for 450 splash he eats knees. "Where?" Mike Tenay asks, "RIGHT ON THE RRRRRIBBBBBSSSSS" - Don West exclaims! I loved it. AJ did a full layout on this because he is All Man and he takes the Angels Wings full layout too. Great stuff. Daniels goes up 1-0 in a super tight 15 minutes. Second Fall: Daniels continue his work on the ribs. I like how he has added taunting and trash talking to each move now that he is up 1-0. Lots of great gutbusters and selling by AJ. I loved the abdominal stretch as a cutoff against one of AJ's comebacks. It was sudden and tight. AJ never died and kept fighting. The Phenomenal Forearm was a good nearfall. I love the Pele Kick. It is just a great transition. It comes from out of nowhere and it is a head kick so it stuns the opponent and really feels like a momentum change. They throw out a little too much stuff here. The takeaway is AJ hits the Angel Wings to get two. AJ wants the Styles Clash, but thats reversed and he reverses into a rollup for three to tie it up. Third Fall: I love Daniels reaction to Styles' pin. He very forcefully shoves AJ out of the ring. He has snapped and wants the title. He drives AJ's head hard into the ringpost busting him wide open. Daniels works the cut great lots of punches and headbutts. That one headbutt was a great nearfall. AJ shows some fire under a minute, but Daniels plants him into the Koji Klutch. Great visual with clock winding down and the blood pouring from AJ's head like a faucet. The match goes to a draw or does it...Daniels feels like he would have won the match if he just had one more minute. He calls for Sudden Death and Dusty Rhodes agrees! Daniel beats AJ down and crosses himself with AJ's blood. Cool visual but the follow up move was pretty lame. He should have hit Angel Wings or the Best Moonsault Ever. AJ throws him off the top rope and then hits a rana to set up the Styles Clash and win. Awesome match from an awesome year from AJ Styles! Not quite as good as his matches with Abyss and Samoa Joe, but this still ruled. Great ribs work that was sold well and Daniels did a great job working on top. I thought the third fall was awesome in its urgency and a great comeback for AJ. ****1/2
  6. America's Most Wanted vs XXX (Daniels & Skipper) - Turning Point 2004 Six Sides of Steel There have been a lot of crazy spots in the history of pro wrestling, but I still think this one is the craziest. Skipper really could have died in the spot that made this match iconic and I think everyone knows the spot I am talking about: the tight rope walk across a top of the cage into a hurricanarana. I mean that was a narrow pipe we was walking across. I dont blame TNA one bit for constantly replaying that for the next five years. That was truly incredible and insanely dangerous. If he lost his balance, it was over man. They were chanting "Please Dont Die" and you know what it was earned. Probably the single most iconic spot from TNA. It is funny the match is so known for that spot that you forget there is a great match going on before and after the spot. I thought this was a great combination of spotfest and bloodbath. Daniels gets busted open early during the shine. AMW take him to task. Skipper ends up saving him and they work over Harris. Nice little mini-comeback for AMW where they go for the Death Sentence (badass name for the move)n but settle for the high crossbody. The match goes to the next level when they use AMW's handcuffs to cuff Harris to the turnbuckle. I have seen this match before and my recollection was that this kinda drags, but it was shorter than I remember. I really love Daniels jabbing the key into Storm's head. AMW are both bleeding at this point. Good heel miscommunication and then spear by Storm to get the key. Then it is a lot of great double team moves and cage spots. XXX hits both the crossbody/suplex spot and the Death Sentence. When that does not work, Daniels wants Skipper to go all the way up and this leads to the iconic spot. After that, Daniels hits a top of the cage elbow drop which would be insane if it was not for what just happened. Nice barrage of highspots and nearfalls ensue. They cuff Daniels in retribution and then XXX's finish to pin Skipper, win the match and XXX can never team again. One of the best non-AJ Styles TNA Matches of all times and a great confluence of blood & guts with highspots and of course it will never be forgotten due to that insane Skipper spot. ****1/4
  7. Superstar Sleeze

    [2002-03-30-ROH-Round Robin Challenge] Low Ki vs American Dragon

    American Dragon vs Low-Ki - ROH 3/30/02 The more I watch really early independents (focused on Danielson, AJ, Joe and Ki) the more you do NOT see the All Japan or New Japan Juniors influence instead the influence truly is strong style (the style of Inoki & Karl Gotch) that being New Japan Heavyweights and BattlArts. That is not something I was expecting. So often you hear "Strong Style" confused with "King's Road" or any wrestling that is stiff. Strong style to me is way more mat-based and strike-oriented. It is one shade away from shoot-style. This has been an excellent strong style match. Note the physical contact time in this match. There is flesh on flesh and body on body for the vast majority of he first fifteen minutes as opposed to rope running and Irish Whips, none of that bullshit. Ken Shamrock is the Special Guest Ref to add cred to this match, his mutton chops are out of control. The chain wrestling is good in this match. I cant do it justice so I will just give snippets here and there. I really liked Danielson doing the ankle cross to avoid a Low-Ki choke. Low-Ki was an excellent ground-pound dude. He was using headbutts, elbows, knees and kicks while on the ground to constantly add a different look. Danielson turned that ankle cross into a rocking horse, which was insane. Like I said it was so hard-hitting and the submissions were so tight. Everything looked like a struggle. The complexion of the match changes around the ten minute mark. Each man had wrestled the Fallen Angel Christopher Daniels earlier in the night as a part of a Round Robin Challenge. Ki won and Dragon lost. In Dragon's match, he got a cut on his eye. Ki blasted him with a kick to the bad eye that sent Dragon to the outside. What I loved about this was each time Ki got a shot to Dragon's bad eye he would powder and come back even more furious. Dragon applied two wicked submissions on Ki in response to this first salvo to his eye. Ki wriggled free and blasted Danielson in the eye with Kawada Kicks (so there is some All Japan influence :P) Again, Danielson comes back more furious. Great lock up and Ki tries to knee him in the eye, but Danielson wrestles him down into the mat. I love how Dragon is going for Cattle Mutilation and then a Dragon Suplex but settles for a back suplex. Why did I like this because there was no break in physical contact. It was all struggle. Ki was blocking and Danielson was responding by switching holds. Danielson is working a hold and Ki is throwing these nasty knees from a seated position to Danielson's bad eye. Ki gets up high enough to hit that insane Kawada flip kick (the one Kawada usually uses to block a German Suplex) from a crazy spot and Danielson is down again due to his eye. First half of the match has been so insanely good just dripping with urgency and struggle. From here the match turns more into an All Japan style bomb throwing match, but there is still plenty of submission nearfalls and work that is rooted in the front half. Ki pulverizes Danielson with chops and kicks. There is one kick to the back that I thought was so hard that Danielson were going to pop out of his head. Ki is able to use his Dragon Clutch and a rear naked choke to drain the life out of Danielson out on the floor. There is an insane spot here Ki hits a double stomp, stands on Danielson, Danielson bridges and then Ki hits a double stomp. MARK OUT CITY! Ki looks to finish him with the Ki Krusher, but Danielson hits a roaring elbow. Danielson hits a top rope diving headbutt stupidly I may add and I love that it is Ki that actually gets the cover on that move. Serves Dragon right. Ki hits his back handspring jumping kick that looks phenomenal. Ki applies Cattle Mutiliation, but Danielson wriggles free into a Dragon Clutch. I think that was the best finisher stealing spot I have ever seen. I was pumping my fist. Danielson starts throwing Ki around with some big suplexes and for the first time it looks like Danielson is in charge. Low-Ki wants his Tidal Wave which is his big transition move. Danielson hits a picture-perfect dropkick to the midsection to block. Oooooo I didnt love Low Ki hitting a brainbuster there. I didnt feel like he earned it. Up until that point, the transitions were perfect. Ki has a handful of hair and just destroys Danielson's face with a barrage of Kawada kicks. Brutal to the max, brutha! KI KRUSHER! 1-2-NO! Low-Ki & I cant believe it. Ki decides he knows to go one louder and is going for the Phoenix Splash. Low Ki may be the most complete wrestler ever from an offensive standpoint. The Phoenix Splash is off target and eats knees. DRAGON SUPLEX! But American Dragon cant hold the bridge and only gets two. The match does go a little NOAH in the sense they go overboard with the highspots...Dragon hits a Super Back Suplex and then Ki hits a Super Ki Krusher...which is not the finish. This has been an amazing cardio exhibition they are going hard and there has been almost zero downtime in this match. Dragon catches Ki in the back handspring...Dragon Suplex...No...Reverse Cradle Suplex wicked snap to that. Dragon needs two Cattle Mutilation but Low-Ki taps out! Wow! What a match! I am exhausted just watching this. Incredible work from these two. You had it all: amazing chain wrestling, stiff strikes, big time bombs and a hot finish stretch. Do they go a little overboard yes, but goddamn this is intense wrestling. Everything felt urgent like both men wanted to win this match so badly and they were struggling for every move. I have really enjoyed going back and watching early 2000s Indy Wrestling. ****3/4
  8. Genichiro Tenryu & Orihara vs Great Kabuki & Kitahara - WAR 7/14/92 I just watched my friends unleash an 11-1 drubbing in Rocket League and I don't think that was as bad as how Kabuki & Kitahara massacred him. Tenryu and Kabuki have a great exchange early each leaving the other gasping for breathe after thrusts to the throat. Once I saw how young & skinny Orihara was I knew exactly what this match was going to be like. This is one of my favorite genres of puroresu: Ace & young lion vs two dick heels. Kitahara tries to kick Orihars's head off and then Kabuki comes in and just stiffs the fuck out of him. Kabuki' powerbomb draws Tenryu on the save. Orihara makes a comeback with kicks to the head. Tenryu gets hot tag but it is attacked at the pass. The heels do a number of Tenryu but he makes a comeback and I'm surprised tags Orihara back in. Orihara hits a moonsault from the top to the floor! His big spot! Tenryu whacks somebody with a chair. Tenryu was really into bootlace kicks. He was just stiffing the hell out of the opposing team and he busts up Kitahara's nose. This is brutal. ORIHARA GETS GANSO BOMBED! Tenryu tries to save with kicks but I feel like he just gives up and realizes it is a lost cause. Kabuki hits a bunch of powebombs to win. Brutal, stiff asskicking and a welcomed addition to a great genre of tag wrestling. ***3/4
  9. Re-watched this one my phone this morning and I liked it a lot better than my recollection. One of the best spotfests of all time and maybe the best triple threat of all time (Cena vs Lesnar vs Rollins) may have something to say about that. I really liked the opening with Joe & AJ one upping each other on the heel Daniels. I liked Daniels being treated as a strong heel. We know Joe & AJ hit hard as fuck but Daniels was just as stiff as them. The highspots were really HIGH! The AJ Shooting Star Press, Spiral Tap into the Kokina Clutch and Joe's insane dive were all BADASS like the greatest spots ever. Finish was incredible. I like how the undefeated Joe eliminated himself by missing a dive. I liked AJ reversing the Angels Wings into a pinning predictament of his own for the win. My complaints as always with a spotfest is things comes too easy no struggle. I also thought they peaked mid-match with the unconventional highspots so when come time for everyone to hit their stock highspots it was not as hot. Still never a dull moment and just absolute mayhem, maybe the best spotfest ever. ****1/4 Man, I just re-read my review and gotta say chill out, bro. What an angry young man. I popped for Saying Daniels turns off heeling. I Think overall I was too hard on Daniels in my first review except the heeling. Definitely needed more heeling. But yeah I needed to take a chill pill.
  10. Superstar Sleeze

    [2005-12-11-TNA-Turning Point] Samoa Joe vs A.J. Styles

    X-Division Champion AJ Styles vs Samoa Joe I wrote in 2013: Greatest AJ Styles Performance Ever? I will say his performance against Bobby Roode in an ironman match at Final Resolution 2012 is his greatest performance of all time, but this is probably a Top Ten AJ Performance and thats saying a lot because he has had so many great ones. My favorite moment when I watched in 2013 is the same as when I just watched it again: When Styles does a float-over off a Joe suplex attempt onto the apron instead of doing it fluidly he lands on the ropes to sell the exhaustion. I was in awe. He takes that extra couple seconds to really sell. Consequently instead of immediately following his forearm on the apron he sold more exhaustion before finally to trying to hit a springboard and ate a Joe powerbomb. Sublime. What I think stands out the most about this match compared to so many X-Division matches is the physicality. This match was a fuckin war and AJ got a nice busted up lip for it. Each wrestler earned everything they got. AJ set the tone charging at Joe and manhandling him. You dont see Joe manhandled too often, but AJ was all piss & vinegar. AJ hits fucking hard and he was blasting Joe. I love how pumped AJ was after his snap suplex and his trademark dropkick. This does not get brought up enough, but AJ is so good at his dropdown. The whole point of the dropdown is trip your opponent while he running the ropes OR mess up his timing. Watch that Joe really has to step over AJ because AJ does his dropdown so tight. Since Joe is thinking about that, he does not think about the dropkick. Once Joe gets a hold of AJ the match really gets brutal. These are some of the sickest, stiffest kicks you will ever see. AJ did that sick bump off the apron onto the floor again and took Joe's offense like a champ. Joe kicked is leg out from under him and took a header on the apron. Then the real exclamation point is how Joe just slung him into the railing. This was a total shitkicking. Credit to AJ that he sold like a champ and bumped like a madman, but he never died. He always let us know he life left in his body. Thats huge. There is a great moment when AJ was looking to start a comeback but Joe just shoves him down and then hits a flying kick right to the face. I love how simple & brutal the match is. I loved the transition to AJ's comeback as it was Joe being overzealous and AJ having the presence of mind to back body drop outside the ring. Then he capitalized with a beautiful Fosbury Flop. I love how after each move AJ was going after pins because he knew he was weak and this was his shot. It really sold the urgency, you could feel that his time was fleeting and if he didnt capitalize now everything was lost. I loved the cat and mouse game they did late in the match with AJ duckin' and divin' not allowing Joe to get that full 100% impact. The busted lip happens here and it really had a big fight feel and that moment epitomized it. AJ continues back with flying kicks especially that wicked spinkick that rocks Joe. AJ needed those big bombs and head shots. Tenay & I think he going Styles Clash, but he hits a massive powerbomb for two. AJ tries to charge Joe, but it is a WICKED LARIAT (this lariat is insane; JBL would have creamed his pants for sure) and then a wicked Tiger Driver, but each time AJ kicks out at one. FIGHTING SPIRIT~! There is a great vicious sequence, Joe hits a wicked slap and then AJ hits his Pele Kick. That's the head rocking, stun kick, AJ usually uses to set up the Styles Clash, but here AJ sets the big man up on the top rope. which I dont love. The one flaw is the fact that AJ tried twice to setup Joe for moves on the top turnbuckle, which seemed odd. The second time it led to an awkward sequence and a lame AJ powerbomb (more like a double leg takedown), which only existed to give AJ a way to hit the Styles Clash. It was a minor flaw. AJ goes for a victory roll, but Joe traps him in the clutch and it is Goodnight Irene for AJ. After the match, Joe beats up AJ and tries to give him a musclebuster on a chair, but Daniels saves. I liked this match a whole lot, but I think I liked AJ/Abyss a hair more (I wrote that in 2013 and still feel that way now), but both are neck and neck for Best TNA match ever at this point. I have no idea why the Unbreakable match is the more famous match. This match blows that match outta the water. Again, it is the finish that holds this match back from being *****. To me this combines BattlArts brutality with really awesome bumping from AJ and start of the art offense with a strong story of urgency from both men really wanting to win. ****3/4
  11. Superstar Sleeze

    [2001-07-21-ECWA] Low Ki vs American Dragon

    Low-Ki vs Bryan Danielson - ECWA 7/21/01 SGR: Ricky Steamboat Low-Ki had to be the first superstar of 2000s Indies boom. He is very over in every match. This was a very popular match in the early 2000s and along with Low-Ki vs AJ Styles the biggest feud of the indies. Danielson is playing the heel. Steamboat seems pretty into the match throughout. These two are just so explosive. Some great chain wrestling and kicks thrown. I love their dueling bridges spot, really good stuff. Ki throws some ferocious kicks that really tag Bryan in the head. It really gets good when Danielson dropkicks Ki's arm just as he is doing a back handspring. Great spot and great writhing by Ki! Danielson goes right to work on the injured arm. You know Bryan is all tight holds and some innovative ways to dish out pain. Bryan shows great urgency always staying on Ki and Ki is very good at selling the arm. You know when you have Steamboat wincing in pain, that there are some ferocious chops being thrown. Ki gets a lucha armdrag hope spots but Bryan pops up and kicks the arm. Great heat segment. I loved Bryan's snap fireman's carry in response to Low-Ki firing up in in a chop battle. Bryan wants the cross-armbreaker, but settles for a short arm scissors (love that move). Low Ki kicks him in the head from his back showing great flexibility. On the second one, he gets him pretty good and even the camera guy oohs at that. Bryan goes for the Cobra Clutch and Ki fights out. He finally evens the playing field with a Tidal Wave. Steamboat pops for it and the crowd chants "Low Ki!". Really well-timed spot. Low-Ki is still selling the bad arm as he hits a forearm and realizes he needs to use his feet. Explosive Kappo Kick in the corner. Bryan grabs a cobra clutch on the apron and Ki bucks him off the apron in a crazy spot. Low Ki gets his Dragon Clutch on the top rope and bends back into a Tree of Woe, but he loses control of Bryans head. They go into a strike exchange, but it is better than your typical New Japan one because they are reacting and trying to find new angles. Poor transition into that strike exchange. Bryan finally blasts through Ki's defense with a Roaring elbow. They headbutt each other from their knees as if they are rams battering each other. Ki hits the Ki Krusher '99 for two, but cant capitalize because of his bad arm. This is the first big nearfall and it is well-timed. Couple good blocks as Ki cant hit another Ki Krusher, Bryan cant hit the Dragon Suplex and Ki misses a flying Karate Kick. This last one affords Bryan the opportunity to hit a German and roll into a Dragon Suplex for two. Bryan wants his super back suplex, but Ki bucks him off and hits a Phoenix Splash for two. I like how missed moves are setting up the nearfalls. Low Ki pays tribute to Masa Chono from 1991 and just starts Yakuza Kicking Bryan in the face repeatedly only getting two. As he signals for the "FINISH HIM" Kick, Bryan wrangles him down in Cattle Mutilation and Low Ki passes out from the pain. I dont know about that finish. I mean Bryan worked over the arm, but I didnt think he really destroyed the arm and I thought Low-Ki passed out way too quickly. Then again, I dont really want to languish in that hold either. It was just a weird hold to pass out to. Weird finish aside, I really enjoyed this. It is very explosive and exciting. Bryan's heat segment is great and Low-Ki sells well and peppers in enough hope spots. Tidal Wave was the perfect tide-turning move. They lost me from the apron spot through the strike exchange. I thought the transitions were not as tight. The finish sequence was awesome. The nearfalls felt big and were set up really well. To me this is the first truly great Indy match. ****1/4
  12. Superstar Sleeze

    [2002-10-05-ROH-Glory By Honor] Low Ki vs Samoa Joe

    Low-Ki vs Samoa Joe - ROH 10/5/02 The only thing the Smackdown roster is missing right now is Low-Ki. Imagine just a revolving door of AJ, Bryan, Joe & Ki tearing it up on Smackdown every week. I loved this match! It was BattlArts in America. No rope running. No Irish Whips. No intricate sequences. Just hard-hitting, smashmouth in your face action. Neither man giving an inch. They were constantly kicking out at one to prove a point that the other man had not hurt him even though they were beating the dogshit out of each other. Just a great combination of strikes, throws and submissions. This is Samoa Joe's debut and he is a hired gun for the top heel faction led by Christopher Daniels. This is a Fight Without Honor but there are no weapons or cheapshots just man on man, flesh on flesh. They set the tone early with some of the best pro wrestling ground and pound you will ever see. Those punches were STIFF! Ki's chops to Joe's back were brutal throughout. Low-Ki's suplexes looked so damn good in this match. Joe was looking slim & trim. Joe was kicking ass too. Loved the powerbomb into the STF. Joe got a big nearfall with the Island Driver. I love how Ki did NOT do any of his big highspots. No back handspring elbow or Tidal Wave. It shows his versatility and intelligence. You do those in matches with Amazing Red, not Samoa Joe. I love that thought process. He did go for his Dragon Clutch, but that's a submission that was his big nearfall compared to Joe's Island Driver. Then came the ending. Holy shit! They beat the shit out of each other and MY GOD Low-Ki DESTROYED Samoa Joe with those Kawada kicks. It looked like he was shoot kicking him in the face repeatedly. I love the Samoa Joe bellow before Low Ki clubs him to death for the win. When is the last time there was no highspot to win, you just clubbed youre way to victory. Awesome! Yes, they complaint is that the transitions arent that memorable and there is no grand story, but who fucking cares, they kicked ass so hard and it was fucking awesome! ****1/4
  13. Superstar Sleeze

    [2006-08-12-ROH-Unified] Bryan Danielson vs Nigel McGuinness

    Thats why I am leaning towards not watching it. I have no feel for CZW. I think going cold into that match would not do that match justice.
  14. Superstar Sleeze

    [2005-06-11-IWA-MS-Something To Prove] Samoa Joe vs Necro Butcher

    Samoa Joe vs Necro Butcher - IWA-MidSouth 6/11/05 A very famous violent bloodbath that totally lives up to the hype. I am like 95% sure I have seen a Necro Butcher match live in Ring Of Honor in like 2009, but other than that I have never seen a Butcher match. Joe is a great asskicker and Butcher can sure take an asskicking so this makes for a match made in heaven or should I say Hell? There is bleeding hardway from headbutts, there are chair throws, there is a powerslam on Necro's forehead, yes forehead, CM Punk and I are incredulous. Oh by the way, the worst part of this match by far is the commentary. Eddie Kingston is fine. CM Punk's smarky commentary is bad. The most brutal part is Dave Prazak. You know what's worse than Joey Styles, a Joey Styles tribute act, Goddamn you Prazak you fucking blew in this match. Back to the match, the punches were incredible in this match. Rapid fire and stiff as fuck. The Holy Shit Spot for me in this match was when Joe spiked him on his busted open head from the apron to the floor on an exploder. That was fucking crazy. Dave Prazak fucking sucks in this match. The powerbomb on the railing was pretty nuts and one foot cover with bicep flex, but only a two. Wow! German Suplex on the chair! Necro Butcher is Mick Foley nuts! Necro's big comeback with these punches was incredible. Great punches and then Joe just unleashes the most brutal flurry of kneelifts. He nearly takes off his head and then kicks his head straight off for the KO victory. Total asskicker of a match! ****1/2
  15. ROH World Champion Takeshi Morishima vs Bryan Danielson - ROH 8/25/07 "He has such a tight small package" - Only in pro wrestling is that a compliment. While not as gruesome as Vader vs Stan Hansen, this was just as scary. You cant really say this is Danielson's best selling performance because he is in very legitimate pain as his retina is detached in the match. The anguish on his face makes it hard to watch at times but it is not as bad as Vader literally putting his eyeball back in his head and the swelling keeping it in place. Speaking of Vader, this is a Vader 101 match through and through. If Morishima even had an 1/8th of Vader's charisma then this would be ***** classic. As it is, Danielson basically figured out a way to drag an amazing match out of Morishima but it almost cost him his eye. Imagine how Vader sells Tamura's or Yamazaki's kicks in UWFi, but now he is selling Danielson's kicks here. Oh my God that would be tremendous! Lets stop talking about Danielson vs Vader dream match and instead talk about the match we got which was really good. They do a great extended sequence where Danielson is evading Morishima at every pass but also sneaking in stiff kicks to the thigh of Morishima. Morishima just cant seem to wrangle the elusive Bryan. He finally corners him and just clubs him into submission. He targets the eye from jump. So really stiff forearms to the eye has Danielson clutching it immediately. Morishima facewashes the eye and then goes so far as to blast on the outside. It is brutal. I am pretty sure that's where he injured it because Danielson is in an insane amount of pain immediately. Morishima drives his ass into Danielson and then the next time Morishima runs into the railing. Danielson dumps him into the crowd and hits his signature springboard somersault into the crowd. The look on his face as he is grabbing his eye is just painful to watch. He whacks Morishima's leg with a steel chair. The dueling psychology is great and both are exploiting it though I am worried for Danielson. I wonder with the language barrier if they were able to explain to Morishima in the middle of the match that Danielson was actually hurt. The rest of the match is Danielson working underneath rolling into crazy leg submissions from all angles while Morishima is just picking up and slamming Danielson to the ground any chance he gets. Morishima kicks out of a leg submission by raking the boot across the injured eye. Great! Danielson tries a barrage of cradles and roll-ups, but on a sunset flip, Morishima just squashes him by dropping his ass on his chest for two. Danielson recovers and fells the Giant with more kicks to the leg. When Morishima crumples, the crowd pops! Fancy that! I loved the urgency in the run up to the finish...German...Elbows to the head...Kicks to the head...Cattle Mutilation...he was suffocating Morishima. Great work! But then he does the dumbest thing imagineable he tries for a Super Back Suplex, Morishima counters mid-air and lands with all his body weight on Danielson. Morishima OBLITERATES Danielson with a lariat for two and then a Back Drop Driver and it is academic. Danielson gave a performance of a lifetime under severe adversity. Danielson was so feisty in this match. He was always fighting back even on his back. I loved his urgency. He was suffocating Morishima every chance he got. Offensively his strategy was sound and focused. It was only when deviated by going for the suplex that he did himself in. Honestly, Morishima's greatest attribute was his weight. He was this riddle that Danielson was trying to solve. Occasionally, the giant riddle would sit on him or come crashing down with all his weight. Ultimately, it was Morishima's sheer size that won him the match. If Morishima had any charisma or just sold better, this would be an all-timer, still an excellent David vs Goliath match and may be Danielson's best individual performance of his career. ****3/4
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