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  1. ShittyLittleBoots

    [2020-06-14-WWE Backlash] Randy Orton vs Edge

    Yeah... The whole marketing line sure did them dirty, but ignoring that, this was essentially exactly what you (or at least what I) would expect from a Edge vs. Randy Orton match, but it's stretched out to 40+ minutes & they add a shitload of more finishers n' kickouts to fill out that time. If you like the two, you probably liked this, but I can't say that I am a fan. By far the best stuff in the thing was the beginning minutes with Orton at first trying to embarrass Edge, and it eventually turning into Edge returning the favor by successfully baiting Orton a couple of times. That was a legitimately pretty charming lil' dynamic they got going for a little bit. All the finishers from other wrestlers they busted out; Angle Slam, Pedigree, Unprettier, 3 Amigos, a goddamn Rock Bottom, just felt cheap & them going "look at how smart we are pal!!!" -- not my kind of stuff to say the least. And then there's WWE adding the piped-in crowd noise, which was ridiculous, and then there's also the PC wrestlers crowd, of which chants make the whole thing feel extremely masturbatory. I totally get why some people loved this, but this was so not for me. *
  2. This was a rock-solid tag team affair. Fun seeing Daniels tagging with Kazarian instead of Scorpio Sky, and he sure looked pretty good in there, and his style complimented that of The FTR's as well. I would say that I liked FTR's outing vs. The Butcher & The Blade a tad bit better, but this was also very easy to watch & pretty enjoyable. **3/4
  3. First of all, a big shout-out in order is for that finishing sequence - loved how out of the nowhere the urgency rose & just like that the match was over. Totally caught me off guard in the best way possible. That was the highlight of the entire match for me I think. Didn't care for the (thankfully pretty brief) stuff on the outside w/ Minoru's chair-shtick & that classic NJPW count-out tease, but all in all, this was a pretty fun match. They sure brought out the hard hits for this one as one would expect, and as one would also expect, every strike looked & sounded pretty nasty. I do think there were points where the action wasn't quite compelling at all though, and as a summary I would say that if you'd trim the fat in this, it would be a very, very good to borderline great smackfest, but as it is, it's a _good_ smackfest. ***1/4
  4. I can appreciate Ishii's (always tbh) extremely good selling, and the legwork did give the match some charm & identity, but as an overall package, it didn't do a whole lot to me. Felt like a generic Ishii match with a different opponent, BUT to immediately backtrack that statement a little bit, as mentioned, the legwork did somewhat freshen things up & there was one genuinely fantastic moment in the match in Ishii's comeback when he just ran through Desperado with that shoulder tackle, making this definitely not a COMPLETELY dull & forgettable affair all in all. **1/2
  5. ShittyLittleBoots

    Best worker of the last 20 years

    Well, I personally keep track of my WOTY rankings w/ the matches I've rated 3.5+, and as it stands, Bryan has the volume. The Gulak matches & the Styles matches are the top ones, but he's had quality TV matches literally every time he has been featured, and he has been featured quite a lot w/ this IC program and all. In the end it all falls down to matter of an opinion and how you see his matches, but for me, I always find something extremely enjoyable in his matches, and I more than likely always end up loving them on some level. Omega is the only guy out of those that you mentioned that has had more than 1 match worth watching this year in my eyes.
  6. ShittyLittleBoots

    Best worker of the last 20 years

    I would say that Bryan's weakest year is 2011, but even in that one he has some of the best WWE matches of that year in the MITB & the Steel Cage vs. Henry + a bunch of very good TV-gems versus the likes of McIntyre, Del Rio etc. He didn't wrestle a single match for almost 3 years, sure, but what he did every time he was/has been active, is way more than enough for him to be #1, imo. Even right now in 2020 he is the clear WOTY in my eyes w/ the #2 (Moxley) not being particularly close. Every year since 2001 he has at least one top-tier MOTYC (most years way more than one, too) & then a bunch of great matches, and that's quite something when you realize it's 2020 now.
  7. ShittyLittleBoots

    [2020-06-12-WWE-Smackdown] Daniel Bryan vs A.J. Styles

    Same week when WWE is promoting a PPV match between Edge vs. Orton to be the "Greatest Wrestling Match Ever", they give two of the actual best in the world, two of the greatest of all-time 30+ minutes. And what we ended up getting is one of the best TV-matches ever. Thought that's quite funny to think about, and shows what a giant rib that whole marketing line for Edge & Orton is. This was unsurprisingly amazing. Bryan is in the lead for the WOTY 2020 race by a pretty big margin at this point, and while AJ hasn't been in too many stand-out matches lately, he is still who he is, and he is the 2nd best wrestler in the world. The two have had an amazing, competitive chemistry with one another ever since their very first singles meeting in 2002, and here we are, 18 years later & they still bring that fantastic feeling of competition out of each other. Every single thing they do in the match matters & goes perfectly with the story they are telling -- it's two guys who operate at a higher level than everyone else going at it. The MEAT of the match is the dueling bodypart-targeting; it's something that has been present in their matches for a loooong time, and as always, it's amazingly compelling to watch & follow. Both guys are nasty & vicious as hell bringing the hurt to one another, and the selling is great throughout. Everything looks phenomenal, there's no wasted motions as mentioned, and the body-language by both guys is sublime. Comparing this to their previous matches, this honestly doesn't offer much new, but it doesn't need to. Their rivalry has always been about two of the best wrestling the fuck out of each other, and that's what they did once again here, producing a real clinic & a stone-cold pro-wrestling TV classic. ****1/2
  8. ShittyLittleBoots

    Best worker of the last 20 years

    It's Daniel Bryan & the #2 isn't very close either.
  9. This was by far my favorite match of the night & the only one that truly felt like worth watching. 6 minutes of badass action with two mean motherfuckers going at it -- Kross' dominant work with him throwing Ciampa around with ease was a joy to watch, and Ciampa's big comeback run was epic in all of its urgency & explosiveness. ***1/2
  10. I fucking love these two, and this unique PIT FIGHT presentation fit them like a glove. Every stomp, every kneestrike, every kick, every SMACK is treated like a big deal & they truly look n' feel gnarly throughout. That Showtime like kick by Riddle off the cage was absolutely sick & I love how it was sold w/ Thatcher spitting out those teeth & bleeding from the mouth. My goodness his selling was amazing in the match overall -- I've said it many times before, but here we go again; he might just be the greatest seller in the business today. They of course go to the mat quite a bit as well with them being them & this being a KO or Submission to finish match, and it's great stuff; it's scrappy, everything looks painful & there's great struggle in everything. Just an absolute hit in every way, this one was. Really couldn't ask for a better match to put over Tim Thatcher & his brand of pro-wrestling in NXT. ****1/4
  11. ShittyLittleBoots

    [2020-05-20-WWE-NXT] Drake Maverick vs Kushida

    This was awesome. It's a total Kushida punishment showcase with him totally destroying Drake throughout; his focus on the arm is extremely vicious & compelling, and Drake sells it pretty big, which of course makes it all the more better. A very good underdog tale with some pretty great work by both men from bell-to-bell. ***3/4
  12. The first fall is great & sets the tone for the match perfectly; the work on the mat is competitive & tight, looks & comes off as really great. Some very fun mind games that make the match get meaner eventually with London calling Danielson a BITCH, which causes him to get his ass kicked -- BUT it did eventually pay off for London, as he countered Dragon's signature back bodydrop from the top attempt into a pinfall to make it 1-0. Great first fall. They continue right where they left off in the 2nd fall with Bryan accepting London's handshake, but then starting to blast him right away with strikes. London gets some comebacks here n' there, but it's mostly Bryan on top, and it's oh so fantastic. The major moment of the 2nd fall was when London was going for that SSP, but Bryan recovers quickly enough to dropkick his knee to stop that from happening; from then on, Bryan's target is on that knee, and the attack on it is obviously fantastically vicious, focused & compelling. That fall ending half crab, which looked kind of like a Liontamer was such a brutal looking hold. Terrific 2nd fall. The 3rd & final fall is also absolutely amazing with Bryan continuing that attack on the knee -- Bryan continues to be an awesome aggressor, London's selling is superb & it creates for some superb drama w/ the half crab. That finish is all kinds of awesome as well with London's truly great selling. It's a really fantastic way to finish this classic; it's always been one of my favorite matches, and that ain't changing. It keeps you, or at least me, hooked for the entire 40-minute duration of it. Pure brilliance. It really probably is the best match ROH had up to that point, even though Danielson/Styles & especially Danielson/Ki give it some extremely tough competition. ****3/4
  13. The Elite and Matt Hardy take on the Inner Circle in a ten man Stadium Stampede match Hangman arriving & chasing Sammy with a horse, the whole LAX vs. Matt bit, the bar brawl between Hager & Hangman + Omega, Jericho killing that mascot w/ the Judas Effect, Jericho's epic fight vs. Aubrey, Matt's Northern Suplex rampage on Sammy, Rick Knox eating a Superkick like it's the good ol' days in Reseda, Matt & Kenny chasing Sammy w/ that golf cart AGAIN, that amazing finish w/ that big One Winged Angel. This was an absolute spectacle & a blast. When it comes to these "special presentation" (I struggle to call this a cinematic match tbh) matches that have happened recently, this was on a level above. This has been a truly tragic & sad week for pro-wrestling, but this was an amazing, smile-inducing way to end it. And for that I salute The Elite, Matt Hardy, The Inner Circle & AEW as a whole. I don't wanna give it a star rating, but it's one of my favorite things that I've seen this year.
  14. Jon Moxley defends the AEW World Heavyweight Title This was badass as hell. Felt & looked like a true pro-wrestling fight between two guys who don't like each other very much. Brodie was just so great brutalizing Moxley with his superb looking offense, and Mox himself also brought the goods with his vicious offensive arsenal. The finishing stretch has to be one of my favorite scenes of 2020 with Brodie kicking out of those Paradigm Shifts, and Mox going into a killer mode because of it, totally destroying MISTER Brodie by relentlessly targeting that cut on his head & slapping in that tight choke for the W. ****
  15. Final Match of the tournament to crown the first ever AEW TNT Champion I was a little disappointed in Archer's tournament match vs. Dustin, but this one delivered THE GOOD STUFF in spades. Arched looked like a true monster throughout with his heavy blows & easy throwing-around of Cody. Him shutting down Cody's attempts at mustering up a comeback were great as well, and on the topic of Cody's comebacks, I do think that his eventual big one would've had so much more juice behind it had there been a crowd. Still good though. I was ready to call this a flat-out great match all around, but the stuff w/ Arn, Jake & Iron Mike towards the end didn't go well with the flow of the match, and kinda stopped its momentum for a bit. It was still really damn good though. Extremely good showcase for Archer & a very good underdog performance by Cody. ***3/4