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  1. Jay Lethal defends the ROH World Title On par w/ their meeting for the title from the year before. Loved Dalton going at it w/ a frantic pace right from the get go, bringing the fight right at Lethal, throwing him around w/ a very nice sense of urgency to it. Lethal is overwhelmed by Castle's onslaught, but he does eventually get back into things. Loved him running Castle to the barricade outside in his first real offense of the match. It set the tone for what was about to come; he gets the control & starts punishing that taped up mid-section of Castle's. Lethal is really great on top w/ nice looking forearms & knees to that mid-section as well as holds that put great pressure on the back. I LOVE Dalton from underneath - he has this awesome scrappy spirit to him as he sells his ass off & tries to fight back. Terrific moment in when Dalton finally got a brief little comeback going, Lethal just RAMS him, back first, to the barricade viciously. Great psychology through & through - started off super hot w/ Castle changing up from the usual main event World Title formula, but then getting punished big time by it w/ Lethal slowing things up as he works the crap out of his mid-section. Great, great stuff. Between this & their 16th Anniversary Show match, Castle & Lethal have proved to be one helluva pairing. ****
  2. Loved the start with Devlin delivering a disrespectful slap, which Bálor then answered to by completely overwhelming him w/ his signature offense - he runs wild for a while w/ a solid house of fire, but then Devlin catches him with a kick to the ribs. That is when the dynamic changes, and it's Devlin on top w/ Bálor making comeback bursts. Devlin is very focused on the attack - he targets the mid-section in a pretty awesome fashion, and even when it looks like he might be dropping the gameplan, he always goes back to it w/ kicks, abdominal stretches, etc. Bálor's selling in between the moves is pretty damn great, and his comebacks rule. Also an awesome subtle teacher vs. student dynamic to the boot. Real good match. ***1/2
  3. I echo Tetsujin's thoughts about this being a overkill workrate match. Didn't like it at all. All 4 guys were super generic on the offense. Also having watched quite a few Nigel McGuinness matches in the past few days, I must say that the London Dungeon by both Drake & Gibson looked so goddamn weak. Awful stuff. *
  4. Overall I thought this was a great match w/ some pretty unique'ish storytelling to it. At first Hino isn't taking Otani seriously as a legit threat; the match starts off with him doing the sarcastic slapping to the chest after a clean break on the ropes, which then lead to a badass spot in Otani immediately going & getting the takedown on him. After Hino gets out of it, he starts effortlessly mauling Otani w/ chops & he even fucks with him a little bit by doing the facewash, but after a while of that, Otani gets FIRED UP & we get a tremendous bit w/ him eating Hino's chops, diving into them chest first - "AGGRESSIVE DEFENSE!", as one of the commentators put it. Hino, still not impressed by the old man, then offers Otani to get some free chops in by putting his hands behind his back. Otani is more than happy to oblige, and in a yet another brilliant bit, Otani had Hino sitting on the corner, Hino briefly gets up after receiving the OG FACEWASH, and puts his hands back behind his back, offering Otani to get some more free shots in. Still not impressed by him. Then things go outside, and in a major moment of the match, Hino, while trying to deliver a chop to Otani, hits his hand on the ring post instead, and Otani is of course immediately attacking the arm. That is when the urgency kicked into another gear & I feel like Hino went "oh shit, this old man is an OPPONENT after all". After that it's bomb/slug -heavy action as they kick it into it's finishing gear & one of the highlights include Otani's cool ass spinning kick to Hino's arm on the ground; very brutal looking & straight up awesome. Hino sure can throw a mean ass lariat to say the least, and the one he did throw after the slap by Otani was an absolute killer. Otani's selling of the FUCKING BOMB was a thing of beauty in the finish, too. No wasted motions whatsoever. Real tight package of badass action. ****
  5. Clocking in at just under 10 minutes, this was an absolutely awesome sprint. Reminded me a bit of the great Eddie vs. Benoit match from Nitro, which was also about 8-9 minutes long, and much like this, it featured some great limb work & equally great selling. Starlight Kid's attack on the knee was terrific - that running dropkick to it was superb, and Utami's selling was fantastic all the way through. Even in the post-match. ****
  6. An absolutely AWESOME sub-5 minute competitive squash. Barthel was such a delight on the offense; lovely, violent stuff on the ground - totally popped big time for him putting his foot on top of his opponents face during the beginning when he took him down by the wrist immediately. Gave me some Regal vibes. Aichner was very good w/ his power moves too, and the two jobbers were goddamn great with their short comeback bursts - such great, scrappy energy behind everything they did, in particular w/ Stanley Watts. They also bumped their asses off for Aichner & Barthel, and truly made them look like the most interesting tag going in their TV debut. Well worth the watch! ***1/2
  7. The first fall is all about Barbaro delivering a quick, vicious beatdown to Dragon Lee. It's awesome & continues right away in the 2nd fall, but then in the final fall Dragon gets back into things by busting out a fantastic comeback right as the fall starts. He has great intensity w/ his dives, and so does Barbaro w/ everything he does in this, really. Great urgency & brutality (that powerbomb on the apron, damn!) - truly feels like anyone's game in the last fall. They built well to Dragon's big comeback in the final fall w/ the first 2 being all about Barbaro being nasty & vicious. Intense pace & great urgency all the way through makes it a very good package of lucha. ***3/4
  8. You can watch it here: https://www.twitch.tv/cwfmidatlantic/videos And oh yeah Paul, Cain is pretty damn great, especially considering his experience level. Dude has quite the potential to be something special in the future.
  9. ShittyLittleBoots

    [2019-01-03-AJPW-New Year Wars 2019] Kento Miyahara vs KAI

    Let's get to the very brief positives first: the match had a good energy to it, and the start of it was fine. Like the first 2 minutes or so. Then happens the major moment of the match w/ Kento hitting his knee hard in the ringpost. KAI goes to work on it for a few moves, they brawl in the crowd & Kento regains the control; Kento on top for a while, and then when they've been in the ring for a while, KAI does a dropkick in the knee that Kento hurt. How does Kento react? Well, immediately, and I mean IMMEDIATELY he catches KAI in a perfect Triangle Choke. Legs locked all the way through & all. Kento's selling is comically bad - he makes Okada's worst selling performances look like the best ones of Kawada's, and Omega's spotty knee selling performance at the Dome the day after is some Terry Funk level selling after watching this shit. He no sells everything KAI does, and wins with his suplex, doing the BRIDGE on the pin perfectly without any problems. That was a real big turd on top of an already real big shitcake. After reading all the reviews for the match, I was ready to excuse the no-selling after the stuff outside the ring, because I understood the knee wasn't THAT much of a major target of KAI's attack, but then KAI kept & kept on working that knee, and Kento kept on no-selling; running, doing his knees & other shit. Awful stuff.
  10. This followed the classic joshi underdog formula, and it was a lot of fun. Meiko is a beast on the offense, and Reika shows solid fire in her very good comebacks. No better place for a match like this than the good ol' Korakuen Hall, too. ***1/2
  11. One of the most unique & ambitious matches to ever take place in the indies. It's a 15 minute match where over 10 minutes of it are spent in a HEADLOCK. The match starts off with some tight technical exchanges between the two, and then during a sunset flip pin attempt, Claudio counters that by ringing Bryan's bell, and Bryan immediately grabs his ear afterwards. Then the next time they lock up, Claudio gets the headlock in. Claudio has an awesome headlock, very tight & overall good looking. They tease Bryan getting out of it masterfully w/ him doing atomic drops & back bodydrops, only for Claudio to still keep a hold of that head. The PWG crowds reaction to it is pretty fascinating; they clearly are a little baffled by it, and there's even a few "we want wrestling!" chants by the non-headlock lovers, but overall as the match went on & Claudio kept that headlock locked in tightly while Bryan tried to fight out of it, the majority of the vocal crowd was very into it. The climax comes at the perfect time, and their reaction to Bryan FINALLY fighting his way out of the thing & getting the roll-up win is awesome. I think it's one of those "you'll either love it or you hate it" matches. I personally love it so much - as mentioned in the opening line of the review: it's unique, it's ambitious, it's ballsy, and it's a masterpiece of simple, old school storytelling. ****3/4
  12. ShittyLittleBoots

    [2005-10-01-ROH-Joe vs Kobashi] Samoa Joe vs Kenta Kobashi

    It gets mentioned literally everytime this match is discussed, but Kobashi's face as he walks through the curtain & hears the monster pop he received truly is something special. The match is still as magical as it was the first time I watched it - Joe & Kobashi beat the shit out of each other w/ a legendary atmosphere. Everybody knows about the hard hitting, amazing strikes in this one, but the story of Joe not showing any special-kind of respect to Kobashi, but instead showing him that Ring of Honor is Joe's house right from the get go is awesome. Loved him using Kawada's & Tenryu's signature moves, his facial expression during the Stretch Plum is priceless. Truly one of the most special, memorable matches of all-time, and simply one of the best. *****
  13. This is something that I've been wanting to see since I first discovered Cain Justice in early 2017. Since then I've thought that Cain Justice should be the one to end Trevor Lee's reign, and now after seeing them battle over it for the first time, that feeling is even stronger. This is at least 90% Trevor on top, working over Cain's arms, back + both legs - including the right one, which he apparently injured recently. Trevor of course delivers on top, and there's this awesome teacher vs. student dynamic to it, as Trevor trained Cain, and they play it borderline perfectly for my tastes. Cain gets a few hope spot submissions, but Trevor always finds a way out & continues giving maybe his most promising young student in CWF a beating. Fabulous ace performance by the man. I think there's so much potential in a trilogy for the title between the 2; I am not usually into fantasy booking shit, but I would 100% have Cain get a re-match in a few months after getting a few wins under his belt, have him lose again to Trevor, but get more offense in that one & then ultimately have him beat him for the STRAP in the 3rd one. Even if that doesn't end up happening though, I am very glad they finally faced off here, as the match sure was GREAT. ****
  14. ShittyLittleBoots

    [2019-01-04-NJPW-Wrestle Kingdom 13] Kenny Omega vs Hiroshi Tanahashi

    This was pretty damn great apart from one thing - the selling. Kenny did the typical NJPW main event selling where he holds his leg a bit & then he can run full speed to deliver his knees and everything. Tana also didn't sell the back too much, but I'd say overall the positives overwhelm the negatives; the drama was great, I totally got sucked into the battle of ideologies story they told, and I loved Kenny's heel work throughout. His over the top facial expressions, and cockiness has annoyed me in his big matches as a babyface, but it works SO well when he's a heel. Such a flamboyant prick. His striking also looked some of the best it ever has - loved those slap combos he delivered. On par w/ the last two Dome main events (Naito/Okada, Omega/Okada) & the best match of the night. The selling is what prevents it from being a 4*+ one. ***3/4
  15. “HEY CHONO, YOU LIKE THAT SHIT?” - when Jericho said that, I knew we were in for a banger tbh. Naito’s bumping was on top form to say the least - that one he took when Jericho gave him the DDT on top of the announcer table was absolutely sick. Jericho delivered a fun beatdown, and Naito’s comebacks ruled - he was very much on point w/ his work over Jericho's neck, as almost every move he dished out was targeted towards it. Him playing BASEBALL with the kendo stick was fun too & the kendo stick shots overall were pretty damn brutal in this one. Couple of very good nearfalls & callbacks to their previous match as well. Thumbs up! ***1/2