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About concrete1992

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    Sammy D
  • Birthday 12/29/1992

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  1. concrete1992

    Masakatsu Funaki

    Another one for the bump crew. Funaki has had an interesting career that hasn't always led to him having a ton of high-end stuff. As a shoot-style wrestler I have always been fond of him as a much more athletic guy compared to some others. Sure, he's not as good as Otsuka in that vein but not many are. He has managed to transition over the past decade to a fairly good vet. His stuff in AJPW when he was in the Triple Crown mix was pretty great and he's putting on good matches against pretty green wrestlers as recently as the past month with GLEAT. Like a ton of wrestlers he's someone I don't have a complete picture of so I'm going to continue to try and pull together pieces of his career to see if I can stand a little firmer on the Masakatsu Funaki is a top 100 of all time take. Let's get some quick reviews going for the dude. Sorry, I will not sequester myself to the Microscope section: Funaki vs. Bart Vale (PWFG 3/4/91): **3/4 - Don't usually rate things like this quite frankly. Not truly worth your time. A bit long and Bart Vale doesn't exactly hold up his end of the bargain but Funaki makes what could have been a true stinker, something at least passable. And heck, he does it through his selling of Vale's floaty kicks. Keiji Muto & Masakatsu Funaki vs. Masahiro Chono & Minoru Suzuki (AJPW 8/30/09): *** - This is Funaki's return match to wrestling. If you don't consider Pancrase, there was a near 17 year gap. That's what makes him doing a kip-up out of a headscissors work for me. He's a 40+-year-old athletic dude with the expectation is that he'll choke you out but he wants to show off he can do pro wrestling. Suzuki is the obvious choice to bridge that ring rust. The match feels much hotter when those two square off, even if Suzuki is hamming it up about 100% too much for my liking. I think the ancient Muto and Chono aren't putrid in there, and they carry a certain amount of weight. Plus Chono does a Wizard in the corner to Muto which turns into just a solid boot to the jaw. It was sick. The match sort of lives and dies with the shooters though and they do enough to carry things. Funaki also nearly ends his entire return with a dive that ends with his whole noggin' pointing towards the floor. AKIRA & TAJIRI vs. Masakatsu Funaki & Minoru Tanaka (W1 8/23/14): ** - Yeah, don't need to make time for this. A mid-card house show tag match. I think Tanaka, someone I don't particularly love, put on the best performance, doing some decent selling. I may have done Funaki a disservice with this match selection. We have a match where he makes it watchable, a match where he's getting his feet back under him, and a match where he is more or less deemphasized despite coming to the ring with a big belt. It might just come out that Funaki doesn't hold up under Random Match Theory. 2/3 though he sort of makes the matches so maybe he'll be fine. I don't feel like I'm being dumb to explore his case further which is a good first step.
  2. concrete1992

    Katsumi Usuda

    Another wrestler in the "hasn't been bumped but I'm definitely considering voting for him" camp. I think Jetlag's match list from 2016 will do a world of good as far as figuring out how you feel about the guy but if you are voting shootstyle I am hard-pressed to think of a good reason to leave him off your ballot without a good amount of thought. Some quick reviews to toss in here cause I'm not sure where else to put them right now: Katsumi Usuda vs. Kota Ibushi (FUTEN 4/24/05):***¼ It has been unquestionably proven that Ibushi is much better as a dude who doesn’t know how to pull his strikes than a high flyer. After watching a couple of Usuda versus youngster matches I expected him to blow the doors of Ibushi but (Lee Corseo voice) not so fast! This is much more of Usuda weathering the storm, and Ibushi can really bring the thunder. Great out on his feet selling. Fujita Hayato & Katsumi Usuda vs. Muneroi Sawa & Yuta Yoshikawa (BATTLARTS 2/25/07):***½ Heaps of fun. I manage to come out with positive feelings towards everyone which is a personal delight knowing that typically Sawa can be grating. I think the fact that Hayato manages to bring a little more hate out of him here helps give the best version of Sawa. Damn, match also reminds me how much I miss Hayato Jr. Obviously the dude kicks hard but I think he had a better knack for the ground game than I probably gave him credit for. It’s completely serviceable! I don’t know who Yuta is. Feels pulled from UWFi though his ripped bod and stiff strikes. Then you got Usuda who probably glues this bad boy together with sheer veteran presence. By that I do indeed mean a couple of scorching punts and a headbutt exchange with Yuta that seemed to mess up my speakers for a hot second. Katsumi Usuda vs. Keita Yano (BATTLARTS 7/21/07):*** This should have probably sucked. But it doesn’t because Usuda knows what needs to be done, suck Yano into his match like a blackhole of violence and stretching. I also watched the Honma match which I thought was delightful. Homna using more wrestling instincts and craftyness, while Usuda was more picking his openings for unholy kicks to the dome. Looking forward to checking out the Hidaka matches.
  3. concrete1992

    Killer Khan

    Trying to go through some of these folks that haven't been bumped up and giving at least giving a quick rub to bring them into contention if they might make sense on my ballot. Watched Khan vs. Fujinami from 11/3/83 last night and it was a real humdinger. A lot of it is Khan being good at existing in a large body but there were some lovely touches like adjusting his teeth cause he got hit so hard. The consensus seems to be that he was just a great big match worker. When I get down to it, that might be the same conclusion I reach. Right now that I think he's worth exploring and hopefully I'll be able to piece together more on how lazy this dude actually is.
  4. concrete1992

    Rey Mysterio Jr.

    I have been trying to figure out how to approach GWE as a whole. My interest in wrestling has waned quite a bit with the pandemic. I haven't latched onto anything quite like I used to. I'm trying to find that groove again though but figuring out that at the very least doing little viewing projects isn't going to get me the results I'm looking for. Going through 1980, the NJPW 80s set, 2005 indies wrestling, I get something out of them but for the purpose of GWE I feel like I haven't been able to watch enough consistently to get a real vibe for a wrestler. Knowing specifically how I feel about Chris Hero in the first half of 2005 is nice and all but we "only" have so long. So I've decided to dig into the Rey Mysterio comp sitting on my computer that goes from the back-half of 1996 through Q3-ish of 1999. I'm not likely going to be writing big match reviews or anything. Just trying to gather those vibes. Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Psicosis (WCWSN 7/13/96) - Slimmed-down version of my favorite Rey pairing of the era. For better or worse, you could probably plug a lot of Rey matches in from this era, toss them into my eyes and I would have a hard time differentiating. Doesn't stop them from being endlessly watchable. Rey Misterio Jr. vs. Juventud Guerrera (AAA 7/15/96) - Rey gets better at these bigger, more bombastic matches eventually, admittedly with better wrestlers. But between Guerrera busting his whole shins on the guardrail and him already not being a world class wrestler, this was merely okay. Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Juventud Guerrera (WAR 7/20 96) -Toss this into the "endlessly watchable" group. Rey Mysterio Jr., Ultimo Dragon, Lance Storm & Yuji Yasuraoka vs. jushin Liger, Gedo, Lion Heart & Juventud Guerrera (WAR 7/21/96) - The match itself mostly stinks cacapoopoo. They managed to make this a slog thanks to giving Jericho a whole buncha time in there. Rey probably takes the biggest bumps in the match, folks leveraging the fact he's the small dude in there. He gets MVP of a not good match with Liger following behind. The more you stray from Rey, the worst a match gets. Point proven. Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Psicosis (Pro 7/27/96) - Lovely energy. Probably tops the Saturday Night match is this almost entirely sizzle. These matches don't need meat on the bones quite frankly. Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Dean Malenko (Pro 8/10/96) - Wild that Rey is going to wrestle later this evening. Man takes some wacky and wild bumps. Dean throwing on holds is the most interesting thing to watch so with this short of the match you wish so much time wasn't dedicated to that. Dean is going to Dean I guess though. Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Ultimo Dragon (Hog Wild 8/10/96) - Ultimo puts in a stinker of a performance, but this was a "you can't stop Rey" sort of match. As long you get an absolute 10/10 bonkers spot like the springboard plancha from the ring to the dirt, a good 15+ feet in the air with the kicker of being at least 6 feet from the ring, then I can't say this match isn't worth your time. There is zero way to slow that one down. You have to really launch yourself to cover that distance. If Ultimo wrestled with any sense of urgency then we might have had a great match on our hands. Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Ultimo Dragon (Nitro 8/12/96) - Made online 15 years after the fact. Give me this Ultimo performance with the big stuff of the Hog Wild match and you got yourselves a humdinger. Here we get Ultimo dialing it up several notches, just going through his Movez at a breakneck pace. That's great! I love just Doing Shit. We miss the cool Rey stuff though and that's a bummer. He's still an all-time bumper so it isn't all-bad, frankly, this match is p good, but a disappointment of what could have been in these two matches.
  5. concrete1992

    Dominic Garrini

    Dom probably has a top 5 match in AIW history (the Bishop match from 4/4/19 mentioned at the beginning) and the best match in SUP history (him and Ku vs. They Might Be Giants). Now the later I don't think isn't going to feel like a bigger feather until SUP is closer to 6 or 7 years old since it is a young promotion and they've lost time with COVID (plus a venue via a natural disaster). Before all of that though they were probably amongst the top 3 best promotions in the states. Dom started out pretty good and at times can be great, Deathmatch Dom is a top-tier dude of the modern era, but this is where living in the moment can be an issue. Right now he might not be the best wrestler on his team night-to-night and I'm sorry but I'm not coming close to recognize Ku for this type of list. They are definitely still the best team on the indies, one of the best tags on the planet currently but also...weird times so what does that mean. The next year or two would have been important for his case regardless but especially with more dates likely on the books in a greater variety of settings then we've seen him in the past year and a half.
  6. concrete1992

    Tatsumi Fujinami

    Didn't feel this way about the first one and need to rewatch the second as I bailed halfway through. As he gets away from junior title defenses against international talent I could also see the formula fading more.
  7. concrete1992

    Tatsumi Fujinami

    Fujinami is someone I believe on a certain level I should love. The way folks talk about him and how he works, I thought he was a shoe-in for top 20, maybe top 10. The flashes I had seen from the 90s and 2000s, not at the height of his powers allegedly made me feel like he was the one. Well, as I round the bend on '83 on a 1980s NJPW list comp/list he isn't the wrestler I was hoping for. So many of these matches throw in these dull as dirt headlocks. In general these tholds that seem like they have no end in sight, will put you right to sleep. At least they did for me. These holds don't feel like they give a greater impression of a struggle nor are they worked in a way that makes me feel like either party is trying to alter their circumstances. Seemed like a consistent flaw in these matches. I still come away thinking he's quite good! There are matches where he bucks this structure and low and behold we have a barnburner. I think the 1980s Kengo Kimura match is probably among the handful of best matches I have seen from the 80s NJPW comp/list. When he wants to turn the dial up he can turn the dial-up. And maybe this is just a structure I hate that he implements against the foreign wrestlers for whatever reason. Still a guy who could make my list, has probably the highest highs of the wrestlers I've seen, though has had more opportunities outside of maybe Inoki.
  8. A match that someone would post in a Facebook group to tell you how old wrestling was Actually Bad and that modern wrestling was far superior. And they would point to some Sanada match to prove their modern point. A classic bit. Anyway, I actually liked Mosca here in comparison to when Brody was out there. Dude had some force behind his strikes was nice and sold alright! I also found the end to the second fall spectacular as I feel confident that Brody was not supposed to bump so huge for his own shoulder block just so Mosca could take the fall. The match just didn't have any juice. That's all there is to it. Jumbo looked like he was ready to bring the heat in the third but the heels covered it with a fire blanket.
  9. concrete1992

    Random Match Theory and Other Metrics

    For me, Rey does exceptionally well with this method, but again all about how you view wrestling. It isn't just that Rey has a lot of good matches but he has so few matches with tons of bloat. Whatever I'm dealt would likely be a good time. Even if I end up with 5 GREAT matches, if they are 5 30+ minute matches, I probably won't be endeared towards it. And yeah, definitely interested how other folks are thinking about things.
  10. When putting together are lists we seem to always be toying with how we think about wrestlers. Are there ways we can better compare them to help eliminate some of the wildly separate elements of the wrestlers. While I'm going to lay out what I am using as a tool, would love for anyone else to throw in their silly metrics that they might be putting in place. Now this, isn't a formula and is just sort of a thought exercise that I use when I'm talking about wrestlers or even just mulling about it in my head. Random Match Theory is essentially how likely I am to enjoy a wrestler's match if we took their career, shuffled up all their matches, and you got dealt the 5-10 matches at the top of the deck. There has always been a lot of talk about Great Match Theory but for me this works a little better for my GWE needs. This will obviously benefit folks that are overly consistent but for me it also benefits folks with variety. That might be a variety of roles, promotions, or points in their careers. And if I'm being honest with someone, for most wrestlers I'm not going to go week-by-week or chart out their entire career or something. This is a much more reality-based scenario that if needed to I could put a chunk of wrestlers through.
  11. concrete1992

    Yuji Okabayashi

    I think the 5/5/17 match against Hideki Suzuki is one of the greatest matches of all time. When pointing to Great matches for a wrestler they don't always work at showing you specifically what a wrestler does well. Sometimes there is a perfect storm going on or they work against type or they lean into one characteristic and our good enough to make that work. This match I think gives you a really good idea of how Yuji is as a worker. He was probably the WOTY in 2019. At worst second to Timothy Thatcher. Yuji is part of probably the best tag team in Japan for 2010s. I don't think the competition is particularly stiff, sure, but personally when I think GWE these are the sorts of things I'm trying to piece together. A tag team that can called upon whenever some promotion not even always BJPW needs a more than credible team to either take on the home team or maybe even heat up a territory real quick.
  12. concrete1992

    Eddie Kingston

    King has to shoot up most folks boards, right? In general, probably one of the top ten best US workers of the 2010s. Think the Grand Championship run is maybe a little disappointing considering the original match but would still put as one of the top handful of indie title runs over the past decade. He truly carried that thing. AAW is a promotion that doesn't always bring out the best in folks but Kingston truly turned that promotion into a case enhancer for himself. One of the great leg sellers of all time to boot.
  13. concrete1992

    Biff Busick

    Not sure how seriously I'm going to be considering him at the moment but he is someone who I view as possibly having time on his side. Granted these next five years are likely going to be dwelling in WWE. His not nearly long enough run on the indies featured him being the Ace of Beyond Wrestling and forcing PWG's hand into delivering one of the most satisfying indie trios matches of the 2010s with him and Super Dragon on opposite sides. Someone where I feel like I really need to fill in all the gaps to see if he has a shot
  14. concrete1992

    Chris Hero

    Currently in the midst of doing a 2005 indie wrestling watch across a variety of promotions and Hero is the person most benefiting right now. Sure, he isn't quite at the Samoa Joe level through Q1 but no one else really is. I'm watching every Hero match on this run and he's having matches of all shapes and sizes, willing to throw in some levity that never takes away from the match. I don't know where I'll rank Hero yet but my gut says that this run likely will have me coming down to a different place as some others with his inconsistencies. As a night in and night out performer, no one is lifting matches up like Hero.
  15. concrete1992

    2026 Ideas

    WooOooo! Let's get to it people