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W2BTD

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Everything posted by W2BTD

  1. W2BTD

    WON HOF 2018

    This show was setup for 6300 with the giant stage, so this was a legit super no vacancy full house.
  2. A couple of shows are in the books already. - Non-Wrestlers w/David Bixenspan - Modern US/Canada w/Kris Zellner - Mexico w/thecubsfan Tentative guests for the rest of the regions: - Japan (Alan4L) - Historical (Matt Farmer) - Australia/Africa/Europe (Matt Farmer) The shows are on the $5 tier, all six will be released before the end of the month, so you can listen to all of them for $5. The first three all knocked it out of the park. https://www.patreon.com/voicesofwrestling
  3. W2BTD

    WON HOF 2018

    From what I understand, the DDT Sumo Hall show is very likely going to sell out, which is huge for DDT, and the real drawing match on that show is CIMA vs Takeshita (the company ace) even if it's officially slotted as the semi. Tickets sales spiked when the match was announced, and it's considered a dream match of sorts. DDT posts their weekly TV show on YoutTube, and the two episodes featuring CIMA's invasion angle & match are by far the most viewed eps by a mile. 40-50k views for what typically averages about 1,000 or so. Same for the Wrestle-1 invasion (CIMA is working invasion angles in both places). It's spiking their YT, and as InYourCase mentioned, CIMA is popping a dying promotions houses to the point that fans are leaving in droves after his matches end. Combined with the DG Korakuen streak ending (it was way longer than two years) and overall attendance plummeting since he left, the old narrative of DG drawing as a collective has sort of been destroyed. It's pretty clear CIMA was pulling the cart to a significant degree. A HOF degree? That's for voters to decide, but we have ample evidence this year that CIMA wasnt simply a cog in the DG wheel.
  4. W2BTD

    2017 Wrestling Resolutions

    Promise me you follow through with this one, brother.
  5. W2BTD

    Your Own Ratings

    This is how I took it. I didn't take it as some scale breaking/altering thing. He wanted to convey how great he thought it was, and that's how he did so. I've given something like 10 matches ever 5-stars, I could probably rank them if I had to. He thought it was better than just about any match he'd ever seen, and that's how he conveyed it.
  6. W2BTD

    Your Own Ratings

    Why on Earth would you do this? You are really going to take this all the way because dave wanted to emphasize how good he thought one singular match was? You are cutting off your nose to spite your face here. Stand down, my man.
  7. W2BTD

    Your Own Ratings

    I agree with every single word of this, to the point I almost think you may hive ripped it from one of my old posts somewhere as a rib. Terrifying. I rarely go below **1/2 or so for "major league" wrestling. I think for the most part, most major league wrestling these days produces average matches at minimum. I rarely think I see anything terrible like we would see in the 80's or 90's.
  8. W2BTD

    JvK reviews pimped matches from late 90s-10s

    Better matches, or at least looking like he gave a shit in the ones that weren't good. idk, I feel like we're derailing things here. I found him boring outside of two or three bouts. I do think the Shibata match is worth a watch for Parv, though.
  9. W2BTD

    JvK reviews pimped matches from late 90s-10s

    That's how I saw his run. Off the top of my head, Sak had two good matches (Shibata, one of the Nagata bouts) and one great match (Nakamura). To me, the rest of his run was largely shit, with Sak looking bored & uninterested. People use the term "playing pro wrestler" a lot, and to me that perfectly described his run. It looked like it was all tongue in cheek to him, like he wasn't ever taking it seriously. Shibata quickly blew by him in popularity because regardless of real life ability, Shibata came off like the real life bad ass, while Sak came off like a dude doing half ass loose as fuck grappling that didn't get over. He was good for about one good match per year. And I say all of this with Sak being my favorite MMA fighter of all time. Sak the pro wrestler can kick rocks. He was carried a couple of times to good matches, and outside of that, he was below average.
  10. W2BTD

    Wrestle Kingdom 11

    I was never very high on pre-NJPW SANADA either, beyond thinking he was a decent worker with some upside in that regard. He's like a new person in this setting.
  11. W2BTD

    JvK reviews pimped matches from late 90s-10s

    Based on what I've read from you here, don't listen to these guys. When Shibata & Sakuraba first came back in 2012, they were pretty dull. Shibata adjusted and became the uber masculine, more-guts-than-brains, dick measuring asshole that you seem to be enjoying in these reviews. Sakuraba stayed dull, didn't get over, never got out of the midcard, and is now out of the company. I don't think the style gets redundant like others are saying, either. I though the Dome match was fucking awesome, just like the Ishii Dome match, just like all of the 2015, 2014, 2013 G1 stuff... You should watch the Ishii/Goto matches, too. More pure, unadulterated, stupid men doping stupid things and defiantly no selling until one guy dies. How that can ever wear thin is a mystery to me, but to each his own.
  12. W2BTD

    Wrestle Kingdom 11

    Completely agree. The Bucks/RPG Vice match is the obvious example. Even the English commentators missed that it was basically a payoff to the months long Rocky Romero redemption story.
  13. W2BTD

    Wrestle Kingdom 11

    I know people have this idea that the NEVER is a meaningless/extraneous title and all of that, but it simply isn't true when you study the booking. The NEVER is used to draw third string houses. Not to repeat myself, but Shibata saw more singles mains this year than he ever has before previously combined, and that's because the NEVER was built around him. NEVER has either been booked as the first steps of an elevation, or been centered on people like Makabe who are popular secondary level draws. NEVER title bouts are used to headline shows like Kizuna Road or Road To house shows in larger than normal buildings (like Shibata vs Kojima this year in Aichi, which drew 4000, which is big for a house show). It's the title they use to headline smaller buildings when they don't want to burn a bigger match, but still need to sell a decent amount of tickets, like Shibata vs EVIL in Singapore. It's not a throwaway belt, and it definitely isn't a punishment.
  14. W2BTD

    Wrestle Kingdom 11

    Also NJPW fans are conditioned to know when to react in main events. To me that is to their credit in this match, because the rhythm of this main event was completely flipped on it's head, which is why the crowd was going so mental for what turned out to be an incredibly long closing stretch. I think it's a weird talking point too, because they actually did a great job manipulating the crowd. It feels like a nit pick to me. It's only worth mentioning in the context of people calling it maybe the best match ever and in the context of the show. As an isolated point it's kind of a shoulder shrugger, but when you compare it to the reactions in the opening moments of the match that immediately proceeded it (which had similar pacing) there is a noticeable difference. I'll grant that there could be a variety of reasons for that, and to me it's not really a serous criticism of the match. I would deduct exactly zero stars or whatever for it. But when people talk about the opening minutes and how invested they were - and in many cases act confused or annoyed that others say they weren't - it's worth noting that the live crowd was pretty clearly "down" as well. I think your other post is a relatively good breakdown, and is in line with some of the things I've been saying the last few days myself. I do cringe a bit at being categorized as primarily a 1 in this case, but that might have to do with my comments on Twitter in real time v my comments here, and the fact that I don't know if I like the idea of 1 as the bastion of "intellectual" critique. There is a sense in which 2 feels like it could be labeled "narrative building/narrative reading" which is as post-modern intellectual as you get. Yeah, I was really only going off of your real time comments on Twitter, and I used you as my example because you've admitted to being disconnected to NJPW this year, but unlike Phil I know you have been very well versed in it recently so you weren't coming in as blind as (I assume) he was. I haven't read this entire thread. I don't think the "First 15" as they have become known were particularly compelling, especially in real time. There was rudimentary back work by Omega, which he continued pretty much through the entire match as a wear down for the OWE he was never able to hit, but other than that I think the primary purpose it served was to set up the final 15 to look even more frenetic than it was. Who knows if that was even intentional, but that's how it ended up playing out, at least to me.
  15. W2BTD

    Wrestle Kingdom 11

    Shibata? Nope. He wasn't officially under contract until this past February, I believe (may have been March). He was working as a freelancer, even though he never worked anywhere else. This was a big reason he was hitting a glass ceiling.
  16. W2BTD

    Wrestle Kingdom 11

    If you notice, his push took off as soon as he finally signed his contract. Which reminds me. Same applies to SANADA. It's pretty clear to me that they like him as a future top guy, but it isn't happening until he signs a deal, which if he has already, I missed it. He's technically freelance, and whatever slim chance you had to be pushed as a true top guy as a freelancer ended last 1/4 with the raid.
  17. W2BTD

    Wrestle Kingdom 11

    I don't think Tanahashi is out of the top of the cards, he's just probably done beating other top guys. He's still a draw and will still be used several times per year to headline. Tanahashi had 8 singles main events last year, trailing only Naito (12), and Okada (9). Shibata will absolutely be in the main event mix sooner than later. The seeds have been planted. He was elevated last year with his feud and subsequent symbolic acceptance from the third gen guys, and headlined 6 shows as a singles wrestler overall (doubling his total since 2012) with the NEVER title being built around him. I'd be surprised if he isn't moved up to the IC level (which means bigger main events), win the G1, or both. You mention Gedo's love of rematches, but Okada & Shibata have been kept apart for 4 or 5 years. That isn't an accident, just like Okada never facing Omega wasn't. Jay White is away and will likely be a heavyweight. The other big heavyweight prospects are Oka (who just made his debut on 1/3 and who is a personal pet project of Kidani & Nagata, so he will get pushed no matter what), Hiku'lio (another son of Haku who everybody behind the scenes thinks will be a mega star, as in potential WWE headliner level mega star, at about 6'8" with what is said to be "special" charisma), and Katsuya Kitamaru, a muscle head with a great look who also has yet to debut (but who shot an angle with Billy Gunn, of all people, on 1/5). Oka, Hiku'lio, and Kitamura have a combined one match between them, so they are a ways off. I expect White to be pushed, but not right to the top right away, and might end up in WWE before then. On the roster, SANADA is the guy to watch. He has the right look, works the right style, and they planted the seeds already for Tanahashi to put him over at some point. He'll be pushed to the top. This year will be about adding Shibata to the Okada/Naito/Omega/Tanahashi mix, while mixing in Suzuki/Goto. 2018 and beyond will be about SANADA, Oka, and maybe one or two of the others mentioned who wind up panning out.
  18. W2BTD

    Wrestle Kingdom 11

    I agree with this 100%, and it was actually exactly what I was trying to get at with the long post.
  19. W2BTD

    Wrestle Kingdom 11

    Also NJPW fans are conditioned to know when to react in main events. To me that is to their credit in this match, because the rhythm of this main event was completely flipped on it's head, which is why the crowd was going so mental for what turned out to be an incredibly long closing stretch. I think it's a weird talking point too, because they actually did a great job manipulating the crowd. It feels like a nit pick to me.
  20. W2BTD

    Wrestle Kingdom 11

    When it comes to breaking down matches, picture a Venn diagram with the following components of what people value when reviewing a match: 1. Detailed critical analysis of execution, including close attention to psychology (i.e. everything "means something", a clear story being told, etc), snug work or perception of stiffness in holds and moves, logic, escalation, selling, etc. Almost purely intellectual, with little or no use for what Group 3 looks for in a match. 2. Emotional investment in the characters, promotion, story, booking, or all of the above (or at minimum, an intellectual understanding of these things). pol referred to this a few pages back as the "melodrama" of a match, which I thought was perfect, as it speaks to an emotional investment often beyond just that of which is being created in the course of the match with the work. Visceral enjoyment. 3. Drama, "hot moves", excitement, dangerous spots, etc, pure visual stimulation. Little or no use for what Group 1 is looking for. I don't think any of the three groups are the "wrong" way to enjoy or break down a match. To each his own, you do you, etc. If you picture a Venn diagram, I think you'll see a lot of crossover between 1 & 2, and a lot of crossover between 2 & 3. The tiniest crossover will be 1, 2, & 3 together. You'll see almost zero crossover between 1 & 3 independent of 2. The more crossover you have, the more thorough and useful the review is going to inherently be. The fewer the groups involved, the less valuable to review is going to be, because all of these things have some contributing value (even if your mileage will vary on each) to the quality of a match When parachuting in on wrestlers or a promotion that you know little or nothing about (or even don't actively follow), #2 is completely eliminated. You are either going to be a #1 or a #3. You are either going to use strict analytical analysis, or come to be entertained by the visuals, maybe a little of both, and then move along and never think about it again. I believe this is where you see some disconnect with the Omega/Okada match. Group 3 is going to love it, and then move on to their WWE watching or whatever and never watch NJPW again until next 1/4. Some of Group 1 is going to have some level of issues with it, but for the most part, think it's good at minimum, while others (Phil Schneider or rzombie come to mind) are going to actively think it's shit. I think everyone strongly values one of the three groups over the others, and most have varying levels of crossover. But I also think we adjust how we approach matches on a case by case basis. #2 is the most interesting one to me, because that group drives analysis in either direction more than anyone probably wants to admit. I am thoroughly invested in NJPW, watch almost everything that makes tape, understand all of the nuance, have emotional investment in the characters and stories, callbacks almost never go over my head, etc etc etc. Anyone who has read or listened to my reviews know that I spend the most amount of time talking about #2, about how a match makes me feel, what it means to the bigger picture, those sorts of things, and while I factor in the other two groups, I find them less interesting to talk about. Phil's review was almost strictly #1. Dylan Hales's thoughts were a lot of #1 with a tiny bit of the other groups. If I dropped into some indie that he follows day to day that I know little or nothing about, say CWF Mid Atlantic, I would break down those matches much differently than I do NJPW, and so would Dylan. Our approaches would be reversed. You have to know your reviewer. I could have told you Phil wasn't going to like the match before I even read his review because I read his reviews and know what he values and how he was going to approach wrestlers/a promotion he doesn't care about. Anybody familiar with me knew I was going to love it, it was just a matter of how much. It's important to understand how much of a role #2 is playing in a review before you decide how valuable it is to you personally.
  21. W2BTD

    Wrestle Kingdom 11

    This is a great post, from first word to last.
  22. W2BTD

    Wrestle Kingdom 11

    I'm not comfortable calling it the best match ever, but I will say this. They may have had the best possible example of what people consider the modern New Japan style main event. They worked the house style main event pattern in a way that broke the usual closing stretch rhythms, which took the match to new heights for people who enjoy that style. Your mileage will vary on how good the match was based on what you usually think of that style. Omega is a deranged genius who pushes lines and is never scared. It doesn't always land. He's probably not the best wrestler in the world, but he's the most interesting.
  23. I really hate this, but at the same time it is unavoidable. There is no way to say this without sounding arrogant, but like it or not, I (and Dylan, and others, and really, anyone with a voice carries some sphere of influence) are tastemakers or sorts, and it does create this shitty, immature, battle between "factions". Dylan has parrots, and I have parrots, and it took me a while to come to grips with this, but that isn't inherently my fault, and I can't let that shape how I present my opinions. People read my reviews and listen to my show because they want to hear what Joe & Rich think, they want it presented in our style, they want our utter enthusiasm whether we love it or hate it (and we usually do enjoy what we watch, I think more so than most outlets we tend to be overtly positive, maybe because we tend to not waste time on stuff when we figure out clearly isn't for us, i.e. Chikara, LU, etc,), and that must be my focus. I can't soften my takes out of fear that I'm driving narrative in a certain direction, that wouldn't be honest and all we want to do is be honest, because in studying radio nothing comes through faster and harder than bullshit. I disagreed with Dylan on a Smackdown match last night, and after about three or four tweets, we both white flagged that we were on different planets, and it ended there. A year or two ago, we'd still be arguing a day later. But what I think is happening, is our "disciples" are still a year behind, and fighting battles we arent interested in fighting ourselves. I've learned to stay in my lane and just do my job, which is to break down wrestling for the people who want my opinion. I think arguing with Bix over Ospreay/Ricochet is what broke me, so to speak. It just isn't a good use of time to get into Twitter debates because Twitter isn't designed for that. Twitter is for quick & dirty takes. I think "wrestling twittter" (i.e. our "bubble") needs to come to terms with that, and I think a lot of us have.
  24. Pretty much this, but let me clear this up for you guys. "Manhattan Center" is the name of the entire building. Within that building are two rooms that house events, Hammerstein Ballroom, and Grand Ballroom. Hammerstein is the bigger room, and the one used for the early RAW's, the One Night Stand PPVs, and the bigger ROH shows over the years. That can hold close to 2500 like Dylan noted. It has the trademark balcony facades that you are probably familiar with. Grand Ballroom is the smaller room, which I don't believe WWE ever ran (I could be wrong). ROH uses this one when they don't think they can fill Hammerstein. It holds about 1200 maximum. I *think* this is the room TNA ran when they did tapings at Manhattan Center. EDIT - I just scanned through some of the early RAW's, and it looks like for the most part they used Grand Ballroom. The first RAW is Grand Ballroom for sure. I checked One Night Stand, and that was Hammerstein.
  25. I'd also note that dave's CMLL & AAA sections each week in the WON are almost always larger and run deeper than any puro section with the exception of NJPW. dave doesn't watch any puro promotion with regularity other than NJPW. A common complaint among puro fans is how lazy & poor his Japanese coverage is. If NJPW wasn't "hot" right now and getting the occasional lead story, I'm not even sure you could make a real case that dave is covering puro to some crazy degree over lucha. His interest level in NJPW & CMLL seems about the same. This isn't 1991, he isn't doing 5-6 pages on Japanese TV every week.
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