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El Dragon

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  1. El Dragon

    Jimmy Jacobs

    Going even further back into the way back machine, Jimmy Jacobs having 2 pages but not being brought up in the 2nd longest time on the entire boards is sure interesting. This is my 2nd write up on a wrestler in my top 100, and Jimmy is a good cross reference to my previous candidate I brought up in Matt Sydal. They both were one half of the major “Midwest Pairs” of the early 2000’s Indy scene (Punk & Cabana from Chicago, Alex Shelley & Jimmy Jacobs from Detroit, and Sydal and Delirious in St. Louis) whose early careers were heavily tied with each other. They also are almost polar opposites in terms of what makes there cases, and I enjoy the contrast. Let me lead with Schneider in the very first post kind of nails it with Jimmy: 2000’s era Eddie Gilbert is a home run of a comparison, and if that idea appeals to you, you will probably enjoy Jimmy Jacobs. Undersized for his era, and not athletic enough to have a hope to stand out using that, he instead prioritized character development, his ability to be alert with current culture, sheer drive, and a willingness to bleed buckets to become one of the better wrestlers in a company that largely sold itself on more standard athletic contests. Fantastic comp given, and one that’s stuck with me since I first read it. Lets talk strengths first. First off, in terms of early career, I think his Barbaric Berzerker run is genuinely under rated, and kind of is a large part of why I think Jacobs tends to get under rated historically: Jimmy could be quite compelling as an underdog babyface, which is a strength that largely is forgotten because so much of his work is with him as a heel. He’s a really good early Gen Next rival, and he’s Shelley feud is very strong. He also has multiple pretty damned good tag runs with different partners, and both primary tag runs (with Whitmer and with Black) have a match that tops out as one of the best tag matches for the company of the decade. So he’s got versatility imo: and established good tag or singles worker, as a face or heel. Good starting point, as I strongly value versatility. And then we get into the main part of the case: Jimmy as a bloody brawler is a damned good part of RoH, and he’s probably just short of Necro for the best brawler in the US of the 2000’s to me. The wars with Whitmer are legitimately great imo, and feel historically relevant. His ability to be a character that feels important to watch also is important to me. Nobody ever comes close to being that centralizing figure to RoH to me after Punk left, but Jacobs is by far the one that gave it the best shot. His character work and being able to use that in the context of his matches is quite welcome in an era we’re many other wrestlers struggled to do the same. Jacobs from about 04-08 is a really strong wrestler and someone who 100% deserves consideration in my book. As for downsides, well, I said I was going to contrast him with Sydal, and I think he clearly connects with me at a personal level significantly better then Sydal, and I think his best performances are certainly more memorable. But the main strengths Sydal has (longevity, consistency, crispness) also happen to be the major flaws in Jimmy. The crispness doesn’t bug me personally that much, but It feels so long since Jimmy was held up as an actively great wrestler, and that’s with him being largely active for that time. I’m not sure if it’s case of body being shot, personal problems, or whatever else, but in an era of Indy wrestlers remaining good for 2 decades, Jimmy simply didn’t follow that trend. So he becomes a bit of a peak candidate, and while his peak was pretty damned good, I’m not sure how how well it can really stack up compared to other top 100 all time cases. All that said, I do rate Jacobs ahead of Sydal because I value the ability to be memorable and connect at a high level over just being good for a long period of time. If Sydal was hitting great regularly, then we’d talk. Jimmy Jacobs is currently my 77th rated wrestler, in between Shinsuke Nakamura (Ha, I know) and Becky Lynch. Currently, I have 2 major expectations for how I view Jimmy Jacobs. No.1: Jimmy Jacobs will most likely not finish inside my top 100. He’s a great wrestler, but being the Eddie Gilbert (or significantly more complete Raven, if you want another comparison) of his generation also has the similar downsides of Gilbert as well. That said, I expect him to make my top 150 (since my stubborn ass is doing a top 200). And No.2; Jimmy is kind of becoming a bit of a gatekeeper for me in the process. If you rank higher then Jimmy for me, you are someone I expect to be a significant player for a top 100 spot. If you are below, you either need to still be adding to your case, or I expect you to fall short.
  2. El Dragon

    Matt Sydal

    So, I have a personal goal to give a comment discussing every wrestler I have in a top 100 spot at any time during this project, and I want to bump up an old thread that nobody has put any discussion into in a long time. This one hasn’t been posted in since December 2014, so I’d say Sydal 100% applies. Matt Sydal is a fascinating case because there are some metrics he does shockingly well in. First is Longevity. Sydal first “great” matches In aware of are his rivalry wi the AJ Styles al the way back in 04, though I wouldn’t be surprised if he has some stuff with Delirious in 03 that would be worth mentioning. It’s 2022, and he’s still very clearly good now, and I’ve never watched Sydal work a long stretch he wouldn’t meet the term “good” for me. 18 years is a long time to be a quality wrestler, and I don’t think he’s slowing down. He also scores points on a couple other key metrics for me: he’s a really strong seller, a big bumper, and his best high spots remain very impressive, even 20 years into his career. In theory, all these factors should put him in the running as one of the best babyfaces of his generation. So….. why does he always make me feel kind of empty in discussion for the GWE? I said I’d write up anyone who was in a spot in my top 100 at any time. Well, right now Sydal is my 99, sliding between The Rock and Fidel Sierra. And I still have literally hundreds more candidates I need to watch. Barring an outstanding over 40 run (which is kind of possible I suppose), Sydal has 0 chance of actually finishing in my top 100 in spite of a long career of quality work. Largely, I think this comes down to one major flaw in Sydal that comes up to me when I watch him. The dude is just not charismatic. And before anyone says that shouldn’t matter in a list like this, in ring charisma absolutely matters. Sydal seems to contain all the tools of a great underdog babyface, but for some reason I’ve never actively found him sympathetic in matches. He lacks that personality that sucks you in. I’ve honestly thought charisma wise he plays better as a heel, but he just has the most babyface skill set imaginable, and it just leads to it not tracking as a complete competitor. And while I’m not really a great match guy, god, doesn’t it feel like someone with as many tools as Sydal has should have a few matches to really hang his hat on? Because while he has a lot of good stuff, he rarely seemed to truest hit great. As a comparison, Sydal kind of felt like a guy who would get compared to Paul London in RoH. Both natural babyface skill sets, both big bumpers with cool high spots, both at there best working from underneath. But why is it that Paul London in 9 months in RoH had more truely memorable, special performances in 12 months in RoH then I can come up with for Matt Sydal in a 20 year career? As stated, Sydal is currently my 99. I expect he will end up in my top 200, but probably in the bottom 25.
  3. El Dragon

    AEW TV - May 11/13 2022

    Dear Tony Khan. I thought you were a genius. You had a tournament block were I thought the Joker was Claudio and you could run Joe/Fenix/Allin matches and I was convinced you were a genius. You obviously aren't going that direction, so I just want to say: If you are actually dumb enough to have Johnny Fucking Gargano be the Joker, and have him in the finals against Adam Fucking Cole, every good thing I've ever thought of you as a booker will just serve to show I don't know shit. That is a terrible terrible idea, and I hate that I'm starting to think it's what is happening.
  4. El Dragon

    All Elite Wrestling

    It’s weird we are talking about which refs in AEW aren’t good at there job and Rick Knox name hasn’t came up once.
  5. El Dragon

    Bryan Danielson vs Mitsuharu Misawa

    I have obvious biases here, but the biggest thing pointing me to Danielson is simply variety of not just opponents, but types of performances he has. Danielson is probably not as good as Misawa based on best performances, but Misawa had some big advantages Danielson flat out didn’t have: he got to work with conventional picks for all time greats in long matches for his entire prime. I’m not as high on Kobashi as others, but I love me some Kawada and Taue and I’m not sure how many workers Danielson got to work with on the regular that can even hold a candle to the pillars, let alone Jumbo. But I’m a big fan of versatility instead of just looking at the very top top of each guys career, and I’m not sure if there is a guy with a wider spread of really good matches with different opponents as Danielson. Some of his opponents are all time great guys you’d expect greatness from, but a lot of them aren’t. Dude has a borderline classic Mania match with Kofi Kingston, and really good stuff in RoH with people that nobody is even considering for a list like this. He also has a variety in his actual performances Misawa just can’t match, though to be fair, Misawa was never in a position too. I agree with the sentiment that this is a case we’re it just shows what you value in a wrestler, as either are fair No.1 cases. I’m not going to say Danielson peak is better then Misawa’s, but I also am not even sure when to even start calculating Danielson’s peak when he’s been almost universally one of the best in the planet in any year he’s worked for 20 years.
  6. El Dragon

    AEW Dynamite - November 17, 2021

    Lio and Dante legit are a super fun tag team. Lio is one of the most under rated talents in the wrestling world, he's super fun to watch work.
  7. El Dragon

    AEW Dynamite - November 17, 2021

    I put it into perspective with a friend that the people that the Best Friends in AEW are a former Big Japan Death Match wrestler, the good half of the Havana Pitbulls, Fire Ant, Chuck Taylor, Wheeler Yuta, and a Space Alien.
  8. El Dragon

    AEW Dynamite - November 17, 2021

    That was basically perfect performance going both ways there. Uno was outstanding as the underdog, but Danielson as an ass kicking dick is outstanding.
  9. El Dragon

    AEW Dynamite - November 17, 2021

    I kind of love Danielson as basically a tweener, it's like they took his RoH playbook and said "just do this and go wild"
  10. El Dragon

    Stock Rising/Stock Falling

    These are going to feel somewhat weird, but watching through the late 83/early 84 Portland set has been... illuminating. Stock Up: Nobody that really has a case to make this list. Brett Sawyer is good all over that set, and so is Fidel Sierra, but both are "wrestlers who probably end up in my top 200" then players for my top 100 as of this moment. Amusingly, Billy Jack Haynes was a real eye opener in that section, to the point were I think if he wasn't a headcase, he'd probably be remembered as the second best of the "meathead babyfaces" next to Hogan. Stock Down: Buddy Rose. It feels weird typing that, but there it is. That isn't to say I'm not high on Buddy, he still has a really good chance at my top 10. But his babyface work in 83/84 actively took him from someone I thought was a legitimate threat for my No.1, to a guy I have a hard time imaging stays in the top 5. I flat out think he wasn't a very compelling babyface, and what felt like it should have been an amazing time in Portland (Rip Oliver's Clan with The Assassin and Dynamite Kid against Buddy, Hennig, and Haynes) left me cold so much I literally am putting down the set and moving on to watch other stuff. It felt like the entire territory is melting down in what should be it's best run since Martel and Piper were around. I always thought the debate for me is who is higher, Bockwinkel or Rose. After watching a large portion of both guys work on tape, I think the answer is clear as day for Bock.
  11. El Dragon

    Dynamite Kid

    Amusingly I’m at the Dynamite Kid portions of the Portland set recently, and being honest, he’s been a pretty massive dud for me there. The Buddy/Dynamite stuff has generally left me cold, with there first singles match firmly in my bottom 10 on the set due to it being a directionless mess of a match that good execution doesn’t save. I’m not sure if he’s had a multi man match in which I didn’t think The Assassin wasn’t clearly better then him either, though Fidel Sierra rules so that shouldn’t be a surprise.
  12. El Dragon

    AEW Dynamite - October 6, 2021

    That entire match felt kind of like a miss that shouldn't have been a miss at all. I find Omega when working with the Bucks and Cole to be the worst version of himself, and that match kind of illustrated that point.
  13. El Dragon

    Stock Rising/Stock Falling

    I think with Kingston it’s quite simply a case of a guy who you will absolutely adore if you are a fan of great limb selling and smarter versions of common wrestling tropes that tend to be watered down by other guys. He’s kind of another guy like a Christian we’re you either just clearly see the greatness in him or you don’t, because it’s all in the detail work that jumps. He will 100% make my list though. He also is a rare case we’re persona actually does impact my view of him due to it being impossible to disconnect him from his promos in my head, and connect to some of his better matches in such vital ways. Homicide is an interesting case in he ha some legit amazing performances but he’s also kind of an aura pick. He’s kind of RoH’s Sabu in a lot of ways in how much the mood just changes when he’s around sometimes. He’s also got a uniqueness factor of being able to blend styles really damned well. I’m not sure how many wrestlers “feel” like Homicide. He has a chance to sneak into my bottom 20, but I’m not committed to the idea yet.
  14. El Dragon

    2026 Nomination Thread

    Brett Wayne "Hack" Sawyer I have a longer rant to go on him at some point, but a total diamond in the rough of the Portland footage, who shines on a near constant basis in his available performances. Outstanding Babyface in singes with his matches with Flair and Rose (none of which feels like carry jobs in the slightest), and up with Piper as Buddy's best opponent in tag matches in Portland. Honestly, I'm stunned he has so little rep for someone who was clearly very good in basically all the footage we have of him between Portland and Georgia. Hack Sawyer vs. Buddy Rose (1/16/82) Hack Sawyer, Rocky Johnson, and Steve Regal vs. Buddy Rose, Rip Oliver, and Matt Borne (2/20/82) Hack Sawyer vs. Ric Flair (4/10/82) Hack Sawyer & Steve Pardee vs. Rip Oliver & The Assassin (9/11/82) Hack Sawyer vs. Ric Flair (10/2/82)
  15. El Dragon

    AEW Rampage - 20th August 2021

    Him mentioning his last night in Ring of Honor, a show I was there for, was beyond perfect. Such a great explanation for why he's back. Awesome promo, and now I just hope the work follows.