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About JAC

  • Birthday 02/21/1979

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    Halifax, NS
  1. Can someone fix the date on this match? It should be May 23, not May 28. Every wrestler getting put over should be so lucky as to have Io being the one to do the honours for her. I thought this match was excellent--I'd put it a half notch below Io's matches with Iwatani and Satomura (and the January 2016 Hojo match that I probably love more than anyone else). Otherwise, as good or better than anything else Stardom is capable of putting out. Momo brought her very best to this match, taking Io's big offence and dishing out a beating. They really found their rhythm in the second half of the match, as Momo found ways to overcome Io's offence and broke out successively bigger moves as she tried to unseat the champ. Her win feels like it cam a little too soon, but with Io's departure, it's not like they could have waited. Given the circumstances, they pulled this off nicely. I'm excited to see if Momo can project more confidence and intensity to match her new stature as champion. Perhaps some of Io's swagger will rub off on her. She'll need to carry herself like a star going forward as she moves up to the top of the card.
  2. JAC

    Current Joshi Talk

    Well, the All Japan examples are the two obvious exceptions to the rule of All Japan's conservatism. They stand out for being completely against type for Baba. But I take your point and agree with it. Stardom has had success with bold moves in the past and could do with another one or two now. No, I certainly don't blame them, although I might have sent someone out to wrestle Storm in a "decision match" for the title, both to keep the belt off an outsider who was going away (assuming that Storm winning the Red Belt wasn't something that they wanted to eventually happen) and to give the fans a replacement for the main event that fizzled when Iwatani got hurt. I am curious as to what their long-term booking plan was. I suppose we'll never know. I am left wondering whether Stardom is trying to get back to when they would have been without Mayu's injury or whether they're taking things in a completely different direction than they had planned. The wild card in all of this is the business end of things. I'm not conversant with Stardom's attendance and merchandise statistics, so the creative direction I'd prefer them to take may not be the direction in which the business numbers dictate they should go.
  3. JAC

    Current Joshi Talk

    It seems to me that Stardoms booking conservatism is no different to the conservatism that was endemic in the past in major Japanese promotions, e.g., All Japan. Their roster of natives is not particularly large, so to do match-ups within the roster, they either have to stretch things out or risk blowing throw all of their potential match-ups in short order. I think Io as white belt champion was necessary to overcome having the Red Belt on an absentee champion. Thats not unlike in 2015 when Satomura was the holder of the Red Belt. Unfortunately, Io seems to be getting the same sort of match-ups that Hojo had during her reign--second-tier foreigners. I dont follow Kelly Klein so I dont know what the consensus is on her, but she came across as being green and awkward. Chardonnay was pretty decent, but Ellering is green too. I think Ios done well with what shes been given, but other than the Bito match (which I thought was excellent, perhaps Bitos best performance in a long singles match), she really hasnt been put in a position to steal the show. I think the white belt will eventually go to elevate Kagetsu or Kyona (or someone else on that level), either directly or via a foreigner as transitional champ. Stardoms roster seems stronger and better balanced than a year ago. Oedo Tai is now a set stable rather than a couple of regulars augmented by a rotating series of foreigners. Nakano and Natsu are both solid additions to the mid-card roster. Coupled with AZM and Tora moving out of the rookie ranks and into the mid-card, the roster seems less polarized than at the beginning of 2017 (threedom and the pre-teen rookies and no enough to fill the gap in between!). I think they need to get the Red Belt off of Storm ASAP. Ill admit, Storm is not my cup of tea (her development is going in a direction I dont care for). But at this point, being an absentee champ is not cutting it. I dont really want to see Io get it back so soon, but she needs a big win over Storm given their past history: shes 0-1-2 against her in the last 18 months. I think Iwatani also needs redemption against Storm. Maybe Storm -> Shirai -> Kagetsu -> Iwatani over the next year would do. In the near future, I think the QQ v. Oedo Tai 5 v. 5 will likely blow off that feud for a bit. I expect Viper to be the one forced to leave her faction as per the stipulation; maybe she responds by relieving Io of the white belt? Im not too enthused about Satomura v. Storm, but it should be pretty watchable nonetheless. I think the Shirai v. Ellering match will be a pleasant surprise. The first Ellering match I ever saw was the abomination in the first round of the Mae Young Classic. Everything subsequent to that has been solid. Im sure Io will get the most out of her. Okay... enough rambling by me.
  4. JAC

    Current Joshi Talk

    In kayfabe and IRL, a brutal week for Iwatani. Getting screwed out of a berth in the 5-star finals by Kagetsu, losing both titles and getting hurt. Poor Mayu! I was really enjoying her run on top, although I figured she was going to lose the Red Belt to Toni anyway because thats where the booking seemed to be leading. Im not high on Bito, but given where they want to position her, it made sense for her to get a run with the White Belt. I dont really like Storm much (I know Im a huge outlier in that regard), but I assumed that they wanted to get the Red Belt on her eventually to set up another match with Io where Shirai would finally go over. Im guessing that match will happen in December or January. Its tricky putting the Red Belt on a foreigner who cant stay around full time. It means they either have to get it off Toni before she leaves Japan or put up with having an absentee champion until Storms next tour. I dont think it will happen, but Id love to see Mayu get back on top once shes healed. I think theres still lots more they can do with her as champ.
  5. Just because one says something is clear or obvious does not make it so! I submit that those assertions are hardly self-evident facts. (My opinion of the match here in the Mae Young Classic thread: http://prowrestlingonly.com/index.php?/topic/38364-the-mae-young-classic/?p=5813780). I don't mean to diminish Baszler's performance. I agree with your assessment. But I think Sane was much better in that match than you give her credit for. And she can--if booked properly (yeah, right!)--have a longer ranging impact than Baszler. They don't need Baszler to win as part of the Horsewoman feud (if that's ever to happen) as Rousey is the key figure there. Even if you just want to do interesting things with Baszler, having her lose is great because it gives her a reason to have a serious chip on her shoulder. It gives a great backstory for a rematch down the road with a championship on the line. Heck, if Baszler signs and goes to the main roster, she could still be portrayed as a dominant heel and run through the whole division until Sane arrives being touted as the one woman Baszler couldn't defeat. And the rib injury element adds extra intrigue, as Baszler can convincingly argue that she only lost because of a fluke injury. As for complaining about Kairi Sane's spear... Isn't that a bit like criticizing Terry Funk and Jerry Lawler for having phony-looking punches?
  6. JAC

    The Mae Young Classic

    So, I guess I'll just disagree with some of the foregoing--not to be difficult, but just because I see things quite differently. Shayna would be the MVP of the tournament only to the extent that the prevailing narrative was built around her. Who, if anyone, can stop Baszler? The in-ring MVP was Sane. She was trusted to wrestle long matches and to main-event every show she was on: 5 of the 9 episodes. She consistently got the crowd aligned behind her as a babyface. I'd comment on the star-making performance wrestling Bianca Belair, but it's not like that was a miracle carry-job (Belair brought her A-game to the table and was an equal contributor to that match). To be fair to Baszler, she wasn't put in a situation to be MVP from a match standpoint. She needed to be dominant, and she was. Her best match going into the finals was against Yim and her best character work was probably in the aftermath of the LeRae match. I disagree pretty strongly on the critique of Sane's selling. Baszler worked on her arm, but she never injured it. Just because you target a limb, it doesn't mean that the limb will necessarily become disabled and useless. The selling tells the story about what's happened to the bodies of the competitors. In Sane's case, it tells us that Baszler's submission attempts, while painful, did not succeed in causing lasting damage to Sane's arm, only transient pain. That's something you can shake off. In contrast, Baszler's selling tells us that Sane's spear cracked her rib or at least tore some cartilage in her ribcage. It was a fortuitous occurrence that evened the odds for Sane and helped explain the turnaround. I thought this was Baszler's best match of the tournament. Baszler, to me at least, looks a bit tentative in the ring sometimes and like she's holding back with her kicks. With her gimmick, she needs to look like she's killing her opponent. Here, she did. Her swagger and cockiness was a great contrast to Sane's pluckiness. The story of the match was helpful to both. Sane kept trying for her big offence too early and Baszler made her pay big. Through, the first half, I was worrying that it was going to be nothing more than an extended squash. The spear turned things around and gave the impetus for Sane turning the tables, stringing together longer stretches of dominance and eventually winning. They could have gone either way on the finish. I concede that a Baszler win could have been used to trigger a big money match involving the Horsewomen of MMA v. the Horsewomen of wrestling. I think that's still on the table. Baszler would have won but for the rib injury. She can develop a chip on her shoulder and eventually snap on one of the WWE wrestlers (maybe Bayley would be the optimum choice?) to start that feud. Sane could have lost but been protected and still gotten over. The truth is, both women deserve a lot of credit. The live crowd were (probably) mostly there for Smackdown and had just seen a hot angle to end the show. That match could have bombed but both women got the crowd into them, as evidenced by the dueling chants. Baszler got the men--you could tell by the low register--who like badass heels into her while Sane got the louder chant from the crowd at large. Baszler has immediate value as a strong, tough heel tied to Rousey. If her body isn't broken down from MMA, she could continue to improve and be successful for a while. But Sane has tremendous potential as a babyface and should have a longer shelf life as the younger woman. Do I trust WWE to use her well? No. But she her style and personality are such that she could be a huge star in the women's division if WWE doesn't find a way to shoot itself in the foot.
  7. JAC

    The Mae Young Classic

    I thought the second batch of episodes were a fair bit more consistent. I was dreading seeing Rachel Evers again after Round 1, but she looked very solid in Round 2. It was nice that she was able to redeem herself. Compared to the CWC, I have far more emotional attachment, but that's because I watch Stardom on a regular basis and know a number of the women from competing in that promotion. The downside is, I haven't really developed any attachment to anyone who I didn't already know from Stardom. I've generally enjoyed the right bracket far more than the left bracket. Martinez is someone I'd heard of a long time ago and was really excited to see. I'm sorry to say that she's left me cold. I like Ray and Gabert, but they went out in Round 1, as did Sarah Logan (who was the new-to-me wrestler who impressed me the most). I liked Yim quite a bit, but she went out in Round 2. Laith and LeRae didn't make much of an initial impression on me. Perhaps that will change with further viewing. As for Baszler, I missed her in Stardom and need to go back and see how she performed. I remain agnostic on her at this time, although i have no issue with her push in the tournament. Thus, that left bracket really didn't have a lot interesting going on for me. In the right bracket, Belair was a pleasant revelation. She has great tools and could be excellent with further seasoning. Am I the only person who thinks that Lacey Evans, notwithstanding her background, comes across as a pure heel? She does not seem to have a likeable in-ring persona. Piper Niven is very good (and wonderfully unique) and should be signed. But I'm terrified of how Vince and Kevin Dunn will view her. Kairi is great. The only surprising thing for me about her run was that I liked the Dakota Kai match the least. Toni Storm is good but doesn't impress me as much as she impresses others. I think there are some parts of her moveset that don't look great and will likely get dropped as she matures in the ring. For all my griping, I think the tournament has been pretty fun and I'm excited for the final. And I'm increasingly fine with some good wrestlers being one-and-done. That first round would have been rough without Blanchard, Logan, Gabert and Garrett being sacrificed in the name of providing good quality main events. Those four did themselves credit with their performances and all stood out notwithstanding their early exits.
  8. JAC

    The Mae Young Classic

    Maybe I need to go back and re-watch, but remember I don't remember the low-end preliminary round matches of the CWC beings as pedestrian as the low-end first round matches at the MYC. My recollection was that nearly every match was at least fun, if not good. I'd say a third of the matches here were tepid as all get out. By the time we get to the final eight, the mediocre wrestlers should be eliminated and the quality should improve markedly. Also, I don't mean to sound completely negative. I'm just frustrated that the MYC is only good when it could have great with just a little tweaking.
  9. JAC

    The Mae Young Classic

    I was really excited to watch the MYC. Having gone through the first four episodes comprising the preliminary round of the tournament, it seems that there's more to complain about than to praise. The entire show is hurt because of the obvious comparisons to be made between it and the Cruiserweight Classic. Don't get me wrong--I enjoyed the first four episodes, and eagerly anticipate watching the rest of the tournament. But this could have been significantly better. ***SPOILERS BELOW*** Presentation: The video packages were done well; no complaints there! I wish we'd see a similar approach taken with Raw & Smackdown. The "Missile" theme music became horribly grating on my ears by the third episode. I under stand the idea of having an "official song". Presumably, the WWE is being paid to feature the music. But by having just one song, it gets painfully overused. The arena set-up was generally appealing. I liked the idea of dimming the lights to keep the attention on the ring, although it may have been overdone at times. I noticed some distracting shadows from time-to-time, and once or twice found a wrestler's facial expression to be obscured because of the lack of light. The commentary was rough. This is one of two places where the comparison to the CWC hurt the worst. Ranallo and Bryan's enthusiasm during that event was palpable. JR and Lita are both naturally more low-key and it hurt the excitement-level. The commentary here didn't add much to the action and was occasionally cringe-worthy. The whole time, I found myself thinking that adding Bryan, Ranallo or even Corey Graves would have livened things up significantly. In-ring Action: There are so many good women wrestlers out there, I was left scratching my head at some of the choices. I understand that the WWE wanted to spotlight some of their new NXT recruits, but many of them were green-as-grass. This really brought the quality of the shows down. Each show seemingly featured an average or above-average opening match, two very blah matches in the middle, and one good-to-very-good match to close the show. I don't think someone like Rachel Evers really benefited from being put out there in this tournament. It would have been better if they had brought in more independent talent to work in the first round. Someone like a Kaitlin Diemond or a Leah Vaughan would have been a solid upgrade over at least half of the women in the tournament and could have yielded a better prelim round match opponent for a wrestler being pushed to the second round. Jazzy, Kay Lee Ray and Sarah Logan were the three wrestlers eliminated in round one who I thought were most deserving of advancing. Their eliminations make sense in the sense that they needed to put good talent in the main event matches and, presumably in Ray's case, the first bout to be shown. I do think they should sign Jazzy. She gives them a look, style and a body type otherwise missing from the women's division. I thought the prelim round matches didn't do much in the way of favours for Savoy, Storm or LeRae. They just didn't highlight their strengths as wrestlers. In particular, I'm shocked that Storm didn't get more of a showcase match. I shouldn't comment on Kairi Sane since I'm biased in her favour, but I really thought she came across as a star. She's the class of the field. Bazsler lookied unique. I like Viper but I can't see Vince McMahon getting behind her. While the MYC is fun, some better commentary and a better selection of talent would have really improved things. The talent selection drove me crazy because there were too many blah matches involving mediocre wrestlers. The CWC was filled with consistently entertaining matches. I see no reason why the MYC couldn't have accomplished the same given the quality of talent available. I think some bad choices to showcase not-ready-for-primetime WWE-signed wrestlers really kept the show from reaching its full potential.
  10. I completely agree with aguakun's assessment. This was way better than one might have expected with two "rookies" in the match. Tora's been really solid since her debut and AZM has really stepped up her game this year. This is a match that, on paper, could have been a throw-away house show bout and instead became a hidden gem.
  11. JAC

    [2017-07-23-Stardom] HZK vs Jungle Kyona

    The first time I saw the headbutt spot, I somehow missed the clunk of their heads colliding. I thought that the headbutt had been worked (easier to do when you have some long hair flying around). My second watch of the match showed me that I was wrong. Please don't kill yourselves, ladies! I'm afraid of Kyona becoming the next Shibata. As for the rest of the match, it was rather stiff affair. I look forward to seeing these two move up the card. Kyona in particular seems to look better in the ring every time I see her.
  12. When the heck did AZM get so good? She's about as good as a 14-year-old wrestler can be without possessing preternatural talent. I usually hate watching the kids of Stardom wrestle. I find it uncomfortable watching children in the ring. Notwithstanding that, AZM has matured (stature-wise) and improved (ring-wise) to the point that I've found myself forgetting her age and just enjoying her matches. This outing really brought it home to me that, every time Stardom does a bit more with her, AZM ups her game accordingly. I'm excited to see what the future holds for her. She's to the point now where I think she can be a credible component is serious mid-card tag matches. In a couple years, I can see her being ready to work the 5-Star Grand Prix.
  13. Even though this wasn't the greatest match, it was incredibly fun to watch. The crowd was really into everyone, and there were lots of great storylines within the match itself. In particular, Io's return and her teaming with Viper seemed to really get the fans jazzed. Lots of great showcase moments for everyone, especially on the QQ side. Jungle took a hell of a beating. She's a tough cookie. aguakun is probably right with the *** rating, but the match itself is more entertaining than your typical *** match.
  14. i really enjoyed this match. Oedo Tai did their customary interference, but i wasn't so over-the-top as to take away from the match. While I agree that the Korakuen stairwell spot is something best used more sparingly than it is now, the hanging spot was something new and unique and looked incredibly savage. There was a little botch late when Mayu completely whiffed on a kick, but Kagetsu smartly no-sold the strike and treated as a miss. The subsequent strikes all connected sharply. No harm, no foul! If I had to give this a rating, I'd say ***3/4, verging on ****. I find that Mayu feels slightly sidelined since she's won the Red Belt. She doesn't seem to have anything interesting to do between title defences, perhaps because the Oedo Tai, Queen's Quest and Jungle factions suck up all the oxygen on the small shows, having more compelling matches and storylines. But Mayu as champ is incredibly fun in the title matches. If I could draw a ridiculous analogy to Transformers, Io is Optimus Prime while Mayu is Rodimus Prime. That is no say that while Io was supremely confident in herself and exuded an aura of ace, Mayu comes across as perhaps putting up a brave front. Her body language suggests that she's still unsure of herself and not 100% confident that she's really the ace. I find it gives a compelling subtext to her matches. I'm curious as to whether she eventually morphs into a true ace or eventually flames out. FWIW, I though Io was in much the same boat in her first reign as Red Belt champion up until her draw against Arisa Nakajima. For me, the match marked the point where Io went from being champion to being the Ace.
  15. JAC

    Current Joshi Talk

    I've heard secondhand that Meltzer is reporting that Io Shirai was medically cleared to return to wrestling, but WWE rescinded their contract offer. This is presumably because of their aversion to signing wrestlers with neck and concussion issues. Hence her return to Stardom for the 5-star Grand Prix. Selfishly, I'm happy that she'll be around to enjoy in Stardom. But it's lousy for her. While she'll have great matches in Japan, she's really accomplished everything imaginable in Stardom. There's nothing else to do with her there. To me, she deserves a shot at wrestling for a larger audience in WWE (even though I have zero confidence in their ability to use her properly). I'm curious to see whether the WWE makes a new offer next year if her health is good (which must be difficult given her incredibly physical style). I'm not giving up on my impossible dream of Io and Kairi main eventing a WWE PPV.