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cactus

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  1. Five minutes of Dean Malenko showing the world he's the fucking best. He bust out all kinds of technical wizardry. The only thing he can't seem to do is not look goofy whenever he playts to the crowd. The Korakuen Hall crowd doesn't seem to mind, though. Too brief to rate, but well worth a gander.
  2. This was all kinds of brilliance with a pace that never lets up. Think Canadian Stampede 10 man tag on crack. Everyone makes quick tags and thus the action never gets a chance to stagnate. Inoki looks like the dog's bollocks, Maeda effortlessly plays the dickhead and Mutoh is the rookie with a lot of heart. The way they got rid of Maeda and Inoki made them both look strong and left me clamouring to see them go at it again down. In the end it's down to Mutoh to try and win once the rest of his team is eliminated. With the molten crowd roaring for him, It's a star making moment for the young Mutoh. ★★★★¾
  3. cactus

    NJPW G1 Climax 2019

    Despite Ospreay's dodgy facial expressions, his match with Archer was the MOTN by a large margin. Evil vs Fale was shit, no surprises there. I also love SANADA vs ZSJ working technical clinic. Ibushi vs KENTA and Tanahashi vs Okada both were disappointments to me. Ibushi/KENTA never really got into that second gear and Okada/Tana just felt like a condensed version of their previous classic bouts. A good match, just nothing new with the exception of the drama of seeing if Tana can still hang at Okada's level. Decent start to the G1, although it boggles my mind why they decided to run an arena as big as the American Airlines Center. Cagematch says they had an attendance of 4,846 in a venue that holds 16,000+ when WWE runs it.
  4. cactus

    [2019-05-25-AEW-Double or Nothing] Cody vs Dustin Rhodes

    Holy shit. I can't say much more than what's already been said. This was a mid-south flavoured brawl with buckets of emotion. Cody looked like a big star during his entrance. Dustin's bladejob! Dustin's punch-drunk selling!! That post match stuff that could make a rock shed a tear!!! Cody really stepped up here and Goldy got a chance to show why he's one of the GOATs on a big platform. Isn't pro-wrestling marvellous? ★★★★½
  5. cactus

    [2006-01-16-WWE-Raw] Edge vs Ric Flair

    This was a great way to cement Edge as a ruthless bastard who's more than happy with bloodying up a 57 year old Ric Flair in his hometown in front of his family to keep hold of his freshly won WWE title. The bumps Flair takes is insane and his bladejob makes me miss blood in wrestling. This is not a match that would of worked well on PPV, but it does it's job as making Edge look like a main eventer player after his shock championship win a few weeks prior. ★★★¾
  6. cactus

    [2013-02-25-WWE-Raw] John Cena vs CM Punk

    This is it. This is how you wrap a long term rivalry. These guys know each other so well that they telegraph each other's big moves, resulting in some phenomenal exchanges. Cena and Punk have to dig deep and add new weapons into their arsenal. Punk hits a banned piledriver, and it's as shocking as it was back in 2013. Cena debuts his messy hurricanrana here, and that's enough for him to shock Punk and land a quick AA to get the win and go to the main event of Wrestlemania. Back in 2011-2013, I was such a CM Punk match and would rave endless at anything he did, but I happy to say this match holds up and then some. ★★★★½
  7. Steve Austin is on commentary and he's the best worker here. That's saying a lot when you've also got two of the greatest pure wrestlers throwing themselves off cages. Austin has settled into his heel character perfectly. He's picking arguments with his former friend Jim Ross, while Paul Heyman brown noses him. Benoit and Angle effortlessly blend their pure wrestling with steel cage brawling. They can suplex you, but they are also not afraid to launch you head first into the steel mesh. Angle famously misses a moonsault from the top of the cage, and it's still as insane of a bump as it was in 2001. Austin eventually gets involved and costs Benoit the match. This served as definitive feud ender for Benoit's rivalry with Angle, all while carrying on his one with Austin. ★★★★
  8. As brilliant as I remembered this being. Austin is so good in this and I don't think any wrestler has had a better year than he did in 2001. He keeps Benoit under control with eye pokes so subtle that Jim Ross doesn't even pick up on them the first time around. The heels isolating Benoit and keeping him away from his partner is one of the best examples of a building up for a hot tag I've ever seen. They do a fake-out when Benoit gets the tag and Earl Hebner isn't there to see it. It was so brilliantly executed that I didn't care that I was rooting for a child murderer. Once the tag is finally made, all hell breaks loose. Props to Triple H for carrying on after tearing his quad. My only grip in this is that Earl Hebner's officiating feels rather inconsistent. Aside from that minor nitpick, this is probably the best straight-up tag match WWE has ever put on and one of the best RAW matches of all-time. ★★★★¾
  9. cactus

    [1994-07-11-WWF-Raw] Bret Hart vs 1-2-3 Kid

    One of the my main takeaways from watching these early RAWs is how brilliant 123 Kid has been. His push has felt completely organic and he's facing his biggest challenger yet in the WWF champion. This rare face vs face match starts with a handshake. Kid shows that he can hang with Hart, countering a lot of his holds. Hart gets the pin quickly, only to discover that Kid's foot was on the rope and demands the match restart. This made for an excellent touch, as no face would of done this if they were wrestling against a heel. The nearfalls in this work so well, with Kid hitting a moonsault of a standing Hitman, reminiscence to his first match when he got an upset win over Razor Ramon. Hart eventually taps out Kid with the Sharpshooter and shows his respect to fiery underdog. ★★★★¼
  10. cactus

    [1993-07-19-WWF-Raw] Shawn Michaels vs Marty Jannetty

    I think their previous RAW match was better due to the quicker nature, but this was still highly enjoyable viewing because of Shawn bumping around crazy. They restart the match after Jannetty pins HBK when he's on the ropes, as pointed out by Diesel, Michael's new bodyguard. Jannetty's high flying is very slick, although this ends up costing him when crashes and burn after a failed crossbody attempt sees him violently hit the mats outside the ring. ★★★¾
  11. cactus

    [1993-05-17-WWF-Raw] Shawn Michaels vs Marty Jannetty

    Marty Jannetty looks like the biggest star in the business on this night. He returns after a 5 month absence to challenge his former tag team partner. This is a total sprint and Jannetty dominates with some quick roll ups and headscissors. HBK tries to bail only for Mr. Perfect to block his escape. Michaels takes back control after dunking Jannetty onto the ropes after a failed headscissors attempt. After the Razor Ramon upset earlier in the night, every Jannetty nearfall feels like it could end the match. It's only after Mr Perfect launches a towel in Michaels' face that Jannetty manages to secure the win. Excellent TV match that made everyone involved look great. ★★★★
  12. cactus

    [1993-05-17-WWF-Raw] 1-2-3 Kid vs Razor Ramon

    It's hard to rate this as a match as it's more of angle. Razor brutalises the jobber with a nasty chop and slam. The Kid hits a moonsault and he gets the surprise win, sending the crowd into a frenzy. Razor is furious. This is an exceptionally unique way to debut a talent.
  13. cactus

    [2005-05-02-WWE-Raw] Shawn Michaels vs Shelton Benjamin

    Yeah, this is a the match with the iconic springboard to superkick spot, but the whole match is well worth your time. Starting off with some excellent amateur exchanges, Shelton really shines when he's showing off his athleticism. He also hits a dragon whip counter that would make Kawada blush. Probably his best performance ever. ★★★¾
  14. cactus

    [2007-04-23-WWE-Raw] John Cena vs Shawn Michaels

    Clocking in at 55 minutes, this is a long watch that rewards your focus. They start slow with Cena overpowering Michaels. Cena keeps going for the STFU early and Michaels starts to show his frustration. Cena keeps taking back control by laying out HBK with his beefy lariats. They do a neat callback to Wrestlemania 23, where Michaels attempts to piledrive Cena onto the steel steps, only this time it doesn't work out and Michaels is sent back dropped onto the mats, an insane bump for a 41 year old with a history of back injuries to take. One thing I absoutely adore this match for is that no one hits their finishing move more than once, and it makes the action feels that much easier to get excited about. Michaels is sublime at selling fatigue. He finally nails some Sweet Chin Music, and crumbles onto Cena to secure the pin and wrapping up this epic encounter. This is The John Cena Big Match without all the cliche finishing move spammage watering down the formula. Arguably one of the best matches to take place on WWE Raw ever. ★★★★½
  15. Austin and Michaels are teaming up here, but they are not friends at all. They are facing off at the next PPV and it seems entirely possible that this team could combust at any given minute. This is Michael's first match since February and he shows zero signs of ring rust. He's the FIP for most of this match and he's fantastic. He gets crotched on the top rope after a gorilla press from Bulldog. Ouch. The heel team cut the ring in half and keep working down Michaels. There is a lot of teases of Michaels getting the hot tag and the crowd eat it all up. Once Austin's in, he quickly hits the Stunner and gets the win and all hell breaks loose as a massive brawl breaks out. The kind of Southern Tag that would make Jim Cornette splooge. ★★★★
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