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El Dragon

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Everything posted by El Dragon

  1. El Dragon

    AEW TV 06/08 - 06/10 Lots of fuckery tonight bubbas!

    Fun fact: Kingston nor Garcia even went over the top rope. Neither should have been eliminated. I'm so god damned confused about this company. Also, the one thing this company really really needed: ANOTHER FUCKING TOURNAMENT.
  2. El Dragon

    Brodie Lee/Luke Harper

    Well, this is a bummer of a write up that’s next on the docket. Brodie Lee’s untimely passing really sucks for a few reasons, the largest obviously being by all accounts he was a good man that nobody has a bad thing to say about. But, this is a discussion about a case for a Top 100 all time, and I think Brodie had the chances to get there, but his death might lead to a general feeling of “There just isn’t enough” to his case. And even though I think he was awfully damn good at his peak, it’s gonna be hard for me to disagree. But, let’s talk about what made him awesome first. Brodie’s run as the Big Rig on the indies was always really impressive to me, and, as a bit CHIKARA fan at the time, I got to see a lot of the development first hand. A couple of things jump out at me from that era, as huge pluses for Brodie, and that’s everything he throws out looks great, and the dude was a fantastic base. Not quite at the Claudio level, but possibly second best of any US based wrestler this century. He didn’t fall into the trap so many of modern “big” guys did, where they focus on what they can do (flips or super athletic spots) and instead focus on what someone there size should do (great looking strikes, and using your athleticism intelligently to maximize your moments to show them off). That said, I honestly think his size limited him on the indies. Nobody was willing to go all with him as a dominant champion heel monster, which is a role I think he’d have thrived. It led to him working a bunch of 50/50 stuff which he was good at, but did feel it was him somewhat limited. So, then phase 2 of his career starts in the E, which can be described as “when given an opportunity he is clearly great, but he’s just never given enough god damned opportunity.” Great performances as a Wyatt member, probably the best guy in the match for the first Shield/Wyatt Six Man, his singles runs were always really good then immediately cut off at the knees because he wasn’t once of Vince’s guys, and it was a frustrating my time as a Brodie fan and for Brodie personally. He still clearly added to his case in this era, as he was still clearly really good, but it once more felt like a missed opportunity. And then we have the move to AEW, we’re it feels largely like thinks click into place. He’s given a push at the forefront as soon as he signs, and fits in perfectly, has some really strong in ring performances. It feels like he’s ready for that extended run that truly solidifies him as one of the best performers of his generation. And then he dies. Fucking sucks. Basically, I have no real negatives to say other then his case feels incomplete in a way that frustrates me. His AEW run felt like the start of the 3rd act of a movie that just ends after 5 minutes. The best comparison I can give is, try imagining a world we’re Eddie Guerrero passes away in late 03 instead of late 05. It feels like we are really missing that 2 year run that kind of cements Brodie as a worker that really locks in the type of case he has. As stated, Fucking Sucks. At present, Brodie Lee Is at 81st on my list. That’s pretty firmly in my “will finish somewhere between 120-160” block of wrestlers, were it would be pretty surprising if they made my top 100, but firmly in my top 200. If I further deep dive Brodie I might be able to move him up a bit, and he should be worth deep diving for basically everyone, as man could the big guy work.
  3. El Dragon

    Eddie Kingston

    It’s actually remarkable how after every single big Eddie Kingston PPV match I come away looking at my list and go “Kingston is too low on my list”, which is mighty impressive as he’s in my top 10 right now. I’m not sure if there is a wrestler that more speaks to what I want in wrestling ever then Kingston. He can make me forget wrestling isn’t real for stretches of matches. When a crazed bloody zombie looking Kingston staggers out with a can of gas in his hand, I’m not thinking how goofy this shit is, I’m thinking “Oh my God he’s going to burn Jericho alive on fucking Pay Per View” Sure, I return to my senses, but he keeps getting the moment. He makes you care about more then how great the match is and makes you care who wins and losses in a time period basically nobody else does. I think we are at the point we’re having Kingston in your top 5 doesn’t feel like it’s a crazy pick at all. And, well. If it is, I might just embrace the crazy.
  4. El Dragon

    AEW Double or Nothing 2022

    I've thought this has been pretty damned great personally.
  5. El Dragon

    AEW Double or Nothing 2022

    You don't think Danielson loved checking another box of matches to pay tribute too? It was probably his idea.
  6. El Dragon

    AEW Double or Nothing 2022

    They built it, he had a leg injury set in story this week. Also, everyone else got literally taken out of the match, he was the last man left to even take the fall.
  7. El Dragon

    AEW Double or Nothing 2022

    This is an orgy of violence and I love it.
  8. El Dragon

    AEW Double or Nothing 2022

    The brawl going while Wild Thing plays is fucking perfect.
  9. El Dragon

    AEW Double or Nothing 2022

    That dive by Darby was god damned terrifying.
  10. El Dragon

    AEW Double or Nothing 2022

    I don't know why they are still running this back. You had the Scorpio/Sammy ladder match. You got something out of a total dud of a feud. And yet they are still running this back.
  11. El Dragon

    AEW Double or Nothing 2022

    For my bitching about the result, this post match was incredibly well done, so full credit there. Also, those belts are awesome.
  12. El Dragon

    AEW Double or Nothing 2022

    The only way the booking of this tournament could have gone worse for me personally is if Gargano was the joker and faced Cole in teh finals. Britt and Cole are the two most over exposed people on the roster.
  13. El Dragon

    All Elite Wrestling

    Ah yes, nothing like adding potential buys to a PPV by potentially not delivering one of the main 2 matches on the show. I was considering putting 50 down on this show and decided to save my money partly because I of the uncertainty of this match.
  14. El Dragon

    All Elite Wrestling

    Are you positive about this? Because Claudio certainly didn't have Chikara dates left, his last planned match was all the way back in November where he lost the tag belts cleanly and then was kicked out of his stable. His leaving of RoH felt like it wasn't really last second either.
  15. El Dragon

    Paul London

    My posts so far have been about building up a guys case and then tearing it down to show why they probably don’t make my top 100, while trying to give reasons why people should watch them and give them a chance. That is not how this is going to be. Today I’m going to cover the problems with Londons argument first, and then explain, my main counter argument. First off, Londons prime, in terms of what we can safely say “this dude is having amazing matches” is quite simply way too short. His RoH run of getting actual matches of note is about a year (probably closer to 10 months), his WWE run is basically him never getting opportunities except for a brief really strong tag run, though not historically strong, and him bumping like a lunatic to get others over. His return to the indies has, sadly, been largely just a guy who doesn’t have the passion to be a truely great wrestler anymore. He also has never really been a great heel (though his time in LU was pretty fun). So, if you wanna build a case for him, you are basically taking his 10 month RoH run and saying “I’ve seen enough, he’s getting in!” and that’s a mighty big ask. All that said…. I’ve seen enough, he’s getting in. I can break down Londons matches if I wanted too, as he has some absolute classics to his name in that 10 months. London/Danielson remains my favorite Danielson match of all time, if not my favorite match outright, London/AJ is an outstanding war, he brings Xavier to the best matches of his career, etc. But the thing that makes this London run so incredible to me goes beyond that, and I want to go into those first First off, let’s talk about degree of difficulty of what London did. As basically a pure white meat babyface with no real hook, London goes from unknown student from the TWA (Not even the one RoH initially pushed: that was Michael Shane), to what is pretty clearly the ace of the promotion in 12 months. He does this in a promotion that is largely built around “workrate” in a promotion in which he basically becomes the lead babyface by surpassing Low-Ki, AJ Styles, and Bryan Danielson, to the point he routinely has the crowd behind him in matches against the other 3. That’s an incredible leap for a guy to make in a year. Let’s also factor in he did this in the Northeast in a post ECW world, largely in Philly. Have I described enough of why this is incredible? Because I have another note to consider: with the possible exception of Trevor Lee in CWF Atlantic (which has an asterisk: Lee was the home town boy who attended shows for years, where as London was some nobody coming in from Texas at the start), Paul London is the last true White Meat Babyface to become a promotion ace. And he did it in front of arguably the most cynical fan base in wrestling. That is genuinely one of the most incredible feats I think wrestling has seen in quite a while, and it has been completely lost to time. Second, Paul Londons connection to the RoH fanbase largely led to a lot of modern wrestling “culture”. This could be viewed as a negative, but I think it’s clearly a positive because how genuine the reactions were. Basically, everyone that knows of Paul Londons RoH run know the famous chant associated with London was “Please Don’t Die” due to his incredibly risky high spots he hit in his Street Fight with Michael Shane, the Denton jumping off the ladder and then the Shooting Star Press off a ladder that was barely being held together. People forget that the much more famous “Please Don’t Tap” chant also originated with London, with the RoH fan base trying to keep him from tapping out to Bryan Danielson. That Danielson/London match (which is fucking incredible and basically the apex of Londons rise to Indy superstar) also featured the first ever dueling chant I can find in the US, with the crowd heavily split on who they wanted to secure the win in that match. And while I’m not a big fan of large scale chanting in most wrestling due to how largely forced it’s gotten, every single big chant for London matches at this point tends to be original, and done due to an actual sense of desire to see Paul London win. Not to see him have a great performance, but actively to see him get his arm raised. And, as stated, this is in the Northeast with a crowd that for basically everyone else in the company, largely just cared about how good the wrestling was, not who would score the win. So, I suppose the question follows, if London had such an awesome connection to the crowd, how did he achieve it? He had literal all timers around him fighting for the top spots, yet London somehow came from this the guy the crowd was most engaged with, so there had to be some meat there. And boy was there. Let me lead with London being a next level bumper and seller. His bumping prowess was always a bit famous, even in his WWE run (his rumble elimination from Snitsky is probably 2nd only to the Taka one for most painful looking elimination in the history of that match), and that can’t be understated, but his selling is even better. Watching him work a match with a bad wheel against Danielson was basically perfect, one of the best limb selling matches I’ve seen. London in general is outstanding on the defensive side of wrestling, showing great in ring fire at the correct moments to keep the crowd engaged and waiting for comebacks. He’s just as at home in a 50/50 as he is working from underneath. His offense was quite good, and his ability to work the mat is incredibly underrated, looking every bit the part of a rival on the mat to Danielson and Styles in there matches against each other. Basically, name a tool in the toolbox you want from a firey babyface, you got it. Only thing we really don’t have in that year is a straight up by the books brawl, as the Shane street fight is more a stunt show (though a damned good stunt show) Basically, Paul London is, very clearly imo, the lost great wrestler of the last 20 years. If a young guy came up right now with all the physics tools and the attention to detail he has, he’d be rising into the AEW upper card already. Sadly, London was stuck working nothing matches on WWE C shows until he was basically mentally finished. Most people will find there isn’t enough here, and I can’t even blame them. But I’m giving one of the best talents I’ve ever seen his time in the sun. For a few brief months, he went up against guys like Danielson, Styles, Ki, and Joe, and not only did he hold his own, I legitimately think he was better then them, and that’s pretty damned incredible. At present time Paul London is 69th (nice) on my list. He will make my top 100, most likely at spot 99. There is a possibility I will find 100 wrestlers better then him career wise. That’s really unfortunate for some of them, because London will make my top 100 no matter what, and some others I enjoy will have to enjoy spots 101-105. Go watch RoH London, cause he’s outstanding.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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"
  25. 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.
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