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  1. Jetlag

    2018 Wrestling Cherry picking

    Chihiro Hashimoto vs. Meiko Satomura, Sendai Girls 11/17 Well well. I really liked their match a couple years back, and while this one wasn't as exciting due to lack of heat, it was a legit great match in it's own right. Very good opening build with Satomura really beating Hashimoto silly with kicks to every part of the body and working some nice cutoffs. Hashimotos probably dangerous sentons ruled. Once she hit the big one off the top this turned into a slaughterhouse with Satomura in serious desperation so she'd increase the punishment and Hashimoto brutalizing her with lariats in return. We get some great Sleeper spots and flawless bomb throwing with well timed comebacks. This was oddly the Satomura show aside from Hashimotos crowbar offense altough it was far from a carry job. Hashimotos quick back switch was a small moment but added a lot. Satomura was either legit injured or sells better than anyone in the world. Added: 1. Darby Allin vs. WALTER, EVOLVE 6/23 2. Chihiro Hashimoto vs. Meiko Satomura, Sendai Girls 11/17
  2. Jetlag

    2018 Wrestling Cherry picking

    WALTER vs. Timothy Thatcher (wXw 11/17/2018) This was really stiff, no nonsense pro wrestling that didn't go overly long, something that is outstanding in itself in 2018. I liked the opening minutes a lot with Thatcher ankle picking the giant repeatedly and establishing himself as a gutsy technical wrestler. When both guys hit the mat it really looks like they are roughing the other guy up. They venture outside the ring and both guys take big bumps which end up feeling a little pointless (especially WALTER landing on some kind of metal plate) but nothing offensive happens. Back in the ring and we get a good WALTER beatdown with all his dismissive little punts and clubbing blows. Finishing run was pretty great as you had WALTER crushing Thatcher repeatedly and Thatcher making a few believable comebacks. Last couple minutes had some genuinely brutal strikes such as WALTERS big slaps and stomps. There were also some cool body punches from Thatcher. What matters is they build to all the spots, WALTER building towards his powerbomb, Thatcher building to an enzuigiri and Fujiwara armbar. Clever, believable finish. This is obviously old NJPW/AJPW worship like if Osamu Kido had wrestled Toshiaki Kawada but it actually works and stands out on it's own and I would totally be more into current wrestling if there was more stuff like this.
  3. I've watched extremely little pro wrestling in the year of 2018. Probably less than any other year in wrestling history where there's footage. Rediscovering SWS undercard and Wrestle Yume Factory matches was just more exciting I guess. I know recently most of my writing has been musing about defunct japanese wrestling promotions and handheld matches and whining about how miserable wrestling these days is so I decided to try and bring something to the table and accentuate both the positives and the negatives. In this thread I'm gonna try to catch up with all the pimped MOTYCs and workers, watch some in-between stuff and try to form a complete picture of what's wrong and right. In the end (when I get bored) I'd like to have, like, 20 or so matches that I like, so hopefully that's achievable. Feel free to drop in your thoughts and recommendations 2018 MOTY List (ongoing): 1. Darby Allin vs. WALTER, EVOLVE 6/23 2. Chihiro Hashimoto vs. Meiko Satomura, Sendai Girls 11/17 3. WALTER vs. Timothy Thatcher (wXw 11/17)
  4. Jetlag


    U-Style 9 (8/7/2004) Hajime/Hiroshi/Hawaitto Moriyama makes his U-Style debut in a fine but short opening match looking slick on the mat and not much else. Naoki Kimura is adding more fancy moves so I guess he's getting better. Okubo/Fuke was surprisingly good, maybe the best match Okubo has been in so far and I'm giving full credit to Fuke who added all the interesting touches and counters. Highlights include an intense struggle over an armbar, cool Fujiwara armbar setup and a crafty finish. It seemed Fuke was relieving his UWF/PWFG days and built a good match around the energetic but bland U-File zombie that is Okubo. Ito/Sasaki was pretty damn good like great BattlARTS undercard match – not a big emphasis on matwork, but lots of smacks and big suplexes. Ito matches tend to cancel out the flashy or showy matwork and instead focus on creating good drama and that was the case here. There is one pretty intense submission nearfall though. Ito is a killing machine here, brutalizing Sasaki with huge knees. Credible finish. NEXT UP – is the debut of BattlARTS boys Ishikawa & Otsuka!!! Now these are great additions to your shootstyle roster. And Otsuka debuts in an awesome match against Ueyama. Otsuka working straight shootstyle while remaining shootstyle is a wonderful thing. His amateur grappling oriented style really stands out against all the kickpadded U-File camp dudes. He would make up crazy submission holds in credible fashion, come up with neat counters and just suplex Ueyama on his head. There is one STF spot where the whole crowd was dreading the move. Just great. Ueyama is one of the best U-Style dudes but he looked almost outclassed. BUT he makes up when he started running low on points and from then he is fighting like mad against Otsukas takedowns and suplexes. Otsuka was just great here, selling Ueyamas strikes and submissions big, he will never just sit there in a leglock. Really great intensity down the end and I lost it when Otsuka teased the Giant Swing. Just great stuff, Otsuka looked awesome and Ueyama looked like a real fighter. Ishikawa/Kakihara was not the same level but a fine match with some neat Ishikawa spots and Kakihara getting to hit him really hard because it's Ishikawa. There was also a weird moment where Ishikawa gets yellow carded for hitting an enzuigiri. I guess Strong Style is too dangerous for U Style. The main event was great in parts – as Mishima is INSANE and was giving Tamura a run for his money – but also somewhat marred by a not super interested Tamura performance and a weak finish.
  5. Jetlag

    Secret Santo 2018-2019

  6. Jetlag

    Secret Santo 2018-2019

    I'm still in. I watched Mashimo/Takizawa. It was a brutally boring, long, slow by the numbers japanese big match in the year of 2018. I liked Mashimos kicks and that modified Calf Branding he did. That's all I have to say.
  7. Very similiar to their 1998 bout altough I thought not close to as good. Norton once again played the dominant force in convincing fashion, but Nagata wasn't so plucky anymore. Basically Norton goes on this huge offensive tear to start, really beating Nagata up with fat powerbombs and shoulderbreakers, and then Nagata essentially no sells his way back to control, and then he keeps dropping bombs until Norton is done. So it's basically Norton hitting a bunch of moves while cutting Nagata off, then Nagata hitting a bunch of moves and then Nagata wins. Nagata has some fun offense as he really lays into Nortons barrel chest with kicks and does fun things like kneeing him in the back off the head to set up a submission. But in total Nagata didn't come across as plucky underdog but largely as a guy running through his moves.
  8. Jetlag


    Well, U-Style 8 (4/28/2004) was a weird and wonderful card. And it was fun to watch. Ito vs. Tattooed Kimura was a punishing match as both guys took turns grinding fists and forearms in the other guys face. Nothing great but mean dudes stiffing eachother in fun undercard matches is why I watch japanese pro wrestling. Space Monster Kimura vs Tanaka is another matchup that just plain works. You are never going to get well rounded pro wrestling from Koichiro Kimura, but he WILL bend the absolute fuck out of whoever he is facing with his awesome SAW style and I will always enjoy watching. Tanaka in U-Style is pretty unlikely and he doesn't show up again but he looks capable and pulls of some unlikely moves while looking outmatched making this a fun squash. Next debut wrestler is MAX Miyazawa who is Capture boy Nihao. He's been fighting in DEEP and actually doing decent so I guess he gets to be in U-Style, why the hell not. And he has a quite good match with Ueyama here which was slower and more methodical than your average U-Style match but good. Miyazawa looked good hanging with Ueyama and because he is from Capture he has no problem leaning his face right into a big Ueyama kick for the brutal finish. Hara/Crafter is another fine match with Crafter looking almost unstoppable no selling Haras throws until Hara lands the big german. Loved Hara celebrating that win. THEN Ichimiya shows up in his mock Shawn Michaels gear with kickpads and Namekawa looks like he is going to kill this joker. And well he does pretty much just that. Ichimiya makes a decent sumo rush and then pretty much gets outclassed. Faithful followers of my musings know Ichimiya actually can handle himself as he is also CAPTURE tested but getting destroyed like this was a nice way to make Namekawa look like a badass. Tamura/Okubo was basically a glorified squash making this the 3rd extremely one sided match on the show. Okubo is brave to stand and trade with Tamura but he just gets outclassed and has no chance on the mat. It looks like he either gassed or oversold about 5 minutes before the finish which took the heat out of the ending as all his attacks looked weak. Some interesting grappling from Tamura and his bully mannerisms where fun but this was Tamura in U-Style is Unbeatable to the max and this could've been a much better match. As far as the main event goes I've never been a big fan of Kakihara as I associate him with the mostly dull UWFi grappling and well this was largely mediocre shootstyle with only Kyosuke Sasaki adding some spice before an underwhelming finish. Not really a proper main event. Seems U-Style is on a downward curve.
  9. Jetlag

    [2006-09-25-MUGA] Tatsumi Fujinami vs Osamu Nishimura

    This has a rep for being a 70s/80s throwback match involving two renowned japanese technicians. But it's really all about the close quarter fighting and Fujinami kicking the living hell out of his student. The psychology is great and Grade A material to demonstrate how top level workers would condition their audience. Exactly like you'd see in Fujinami/Inoki etc. Every move can lead to a finish or a deciding momentum swing, damage that you take is important, pin combos are finishers, positioning is important, etc. There is not a ton of matwork here, but they had a cool vibe going, as both guys would use the short arm scissor to weaken an arm and then go for an armbar and really crank back, there's also those great Nishimura bridges. Note how violent something like Nishimuras armbreakers feel. The core story comes in when Fujinami just dashes after a retreating Nishimura with low kicks in the corner. Fujinami going out of his way to sell a minuscule low kick in a big way is another example of great psychology. Some great close quarter fighting over Nishimura getting in the ring ensues, with his attempts to regain the advantage backfiring and him being forced to survive several Figure 4 attempts (with the pushing the leg back defense becoming IMPORTANT). The super basic finish may seem random and weird but I actually liked it if you consider Fujinami was a brittle old man at this point (as indicated by his selling and easy defeat earlier). The 2006 MOTY?
  10. Super simple, intense affair between two of the greatest workers New Japan ever had. This works because New Japan booking conditions you that heavyweight matches can be fickle. Either of these guys can snap an arm or leg at anytime to decide the match. Fujinami is wary of Hashimoto early on, and prevents his assault for a moment by pushing him into the corner and decking him with lefts and rights, but soon Hashimoto goes after him like a demon. Fujinami just takes a monumental assbeating in this, as Hashimoto kicks him in the eye, in the face, in the back of the head, kicks him in the corner and then throws him back in the middle so he can kick him some more while he's down. In NJPW there's not always a „big comeback“ after a beatdown so fans buy the possibility that Hash may just beat Fujinami to death right there and win. Fujinami is a supreme seller when he wents to and you really buy the potential ref stoppage from his „holy shit I can't move“ state. Brutal stuff that draws you in, exactly the type of bout these two are so good at.
  11. Super gritty match built around selling as is Hashimotos trademark. The layout was similiar to Hashimoto/Kawada, with Hashimoto having a bad leg and Chono having a bad shoulder. We get a hot opening exchange and this is really brutal from the get go. Hashimotos selling is so great that a simple kick from Chono to his leg immediately lets you know his vulnerability. Chono countering the DDT was pretty nice, other than that he was really average here and the main thing preventing the match from being GREAT. Hashimoto rules though, anytime he chops Chono he hits his shoulder with a thud. He also does the Fujiwara armbar with his legs counter which is double gritty because Hashimoto also flattens Chono with his weight doing that. Hashimoto judo throwing Chono on his injured shoulder was another highlight. It's all unusual, and really hurty looking. Hashimoto hitting the brainbuster with his leg giving out was top notch.
  12. This was pretty much a BattlARTS style match. Saito represents karate but he is a pretty versatile worker, he can do stuff on the mat and he hits a huge suplex on Ishikawa. This was mostly Ishikawa outclassing his opponent on the mat and getting brutalized in return which is a match formula that works perfectly fine. And this was a nice showing from Saito too who was pretty underutilized in the 90s, he could've made a great addition to the BattlARTS roster or secondary guy in some big WAR/NJ tags.
  13. This was an opening round match from some tag tournament and much better than you'd expect from an odd matchup placed like this on the card. Pretty much shootstyle throughout with the PWFG boys wearing wrestling shoes and representing PWFG. Dean looks very good rolling with Ishikawa, him showing that he trained with Joe and Carl is much better than 2 count rollup fest Dean Malenko. Ishizawa looks a total stud super explosive like he should've been the next Minoru Suzuki and not... well you know. Really intense exchanges when he decides to stomp on Funakis head and trade shotais with Ishikawa. Malenko and some awesome slick dropkicks, but he also didn't seem to know how to sell a kneebar. I also blame him for the underwhelming finish.
  14. Jetlag


    U-Style 7 (3/13/2004) was another decent card with no bad matches, altough lacking in a real standout like previous shows. Hara/Ueyama was a fine opener that could've made a great semi main event. It's all about those huge suplexes in the last 2 minutes or so. Ikemoto makes his debut and he looks like an MMA guy made for pro wrestling as he just loves trying all kinds of weird tricks and guard passes on Crafter. Mishima gets some good fire out of Okubo and Ito punishes the veteran Fuke good. Sakata/Kimura was good aswell, Kimura isn't the kind of worker to stand out in a big way against someone as dominant as Sakata, but the action is decent and the finishing run is really fun with Kimura pulling out some unlikely cool moves and Sakata just beating on him. The main event was probably the best match on the show with Sasaki being spunky and actually getting the better of Tamura on the ground early on. So Tamura picks him apart in methodical fashion using strikes and some grinding holds etc. all while keeping unbreakable posture. This was a Tamura match that really felt like the other guy was being knocked down a peg and couldn't do anything which hurt it a little. Sasakis bravado feels out of place in a shootstyle match and he got punished for it rightfully.