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cactus

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  1. Man, this might just be the most divisive match of the year. Some people are going to see this as a storytelling classic and others are going to see it as soap opera bullshit. I think it all depends on your opinion of trash talking in matches. I'm a fan as I think that it's an easy way to add character and it's a good distraction from the reality that all these matches are happening in a soulless empty arena. Reign's work when he's battering Uso might not be some of his most interesting, but he looked like a megastar and his facial expressions and mannerisms are top notch. Uso put in a solid effort as an outmatched babyface who's able to score a few hope spots. The drama with Jimmy Uso being conflicted about throwing in the towel had me hooked, and Reign's final assault was brutal and effective. A great way to establish Reigns as a top heel champion. ★★★¾
  2. cactus

    WWE Clash of Champions 2020 SHIRTLESS ROMAN TIME

    I zoned out during the totally forgettable second hour of uninspired rematches, but I caught the last two matches this morning and I thought they were both very good. Orton vs Mcintyre was a fun gimmicky brawl. Those two have great chemistry together and even the constant camera cuts didn't detract too much from the match. Mcintyre's back looked fucked after that windscreen spot. I think the Reigns vs Jey Uso match is going to divide a lot of people. It walked a thin line between storytelling classic and soap opera bullshit. I'm leaning more towards the former. Reigns looked like a megastar and Uso put in a fantastic babyface performance. Reigns is by far the most interesting wrestler in WWE at the moment. Can't wait to see what's next for him.
  3. cactus

    WWE Clash of Champions 2020 SHIRTLESS ROMAN TIME

    Yeah, I was surprised by how decent that was. Happy to see that they will be carrying on the program.
  4. cactus

    WWE Clash of Champions 2020 SHIRTLESS ROMAN TIME

    I wouldn't say Nakamura is past his prime. He's just happy to collect a big paycheck and go surfing whenever he wants. He's always been lazy in that way. I expect him to return to NJPW as a big time attraction with limited dates at some point. This ladder match has been fun. Most of the Covid-era ladder matches has been lackluster due to the lack of crowd, but these guys are making this work. Sami Zayn is a god damn treasure.
  5. cactus

    WWE Clash of Champions 2020 SHIRTLESS ROMAN TIME

    Bit gutted that I won't see Baszler and Jax wreck shop tonight, but this card felt like it could trimmed some of the fat. Roman vs Jey is going to be a right barnburner.
  6. They've recently added a bunch of Velocity episodes to the network and there's plenty of hidden gems like this to be found if you are willing to dig around. Bryan might of been brought in to do the job for Noble, but they take the six minutes they're given and cram all the stuff you would expect to see in a competitive Danielson ROH technical epic. They start with some excellent mat work and Bryan shows he can more than hang with Noble. Bryan ends up taking a brutal backdrop driver, which wakes the crowd right up. Noble eventually gets the win by landing a corkscrew neckbreaker. I can't seem to remember him ever using that as a finisher. We would of lost some of the best indy matches of all time, but imagining Bryan having a run in Smackdown's cruiserweight division is mouth-watering stuff. ★★★¼
  7. This match is basically Misawa vs Kawada on tour. Coming to your local theater! Far from their best bout, there's enough here to make it worth your time. You get some stellar strike exchanges, Kawada takes a Tiger Driver '91 and Misawa takes a Ganso Bomb. Misawa gets a win after a underwhelming elbow combo. It's fine... ★★★¼
  8. cactus

    RIP Road Warrior Animal

    One of the coolest tag teams ever. They always looked the absolute business. RIP.
  9. Takayama has always been a mixed bag for me. He can sometimes be a bomb-throwing behemoth and other times he's a slow, out of shape bore. We got both sides of Takayama here. The first five minutes do nothing but pad out the match length. He soon starts using some heel tactics and this causes Misawa to fire up. Misawa was fantastic when he was dishing out receipts in the form of elbows. His comebacks were always excellent, but his submission skills looked bad and sloppy. There's not many near falls and they make every one feel like a big deal. I think this would be much better if they just let them trade bombs for 15 minutes and avoid the dull holds that put a damper on this match. ★★★¾
  10. The first eight or so minutes are absolute gold. Hashimoto and Misawa don't go at it straight away and Otsuka teases Misawa. For a guy who's not exactly known for his facial expressions, Misawa clearly was able to convey how pissed he was at these punk Zero-One invaders. Hashimoto looked like a total boss, kicking Ogawa's ass until Misawa has no choice but to make the tag. He causes such a storm that NOAH wrestlers at ringside try to get involved. I thought the action lose a lot of momentum once the referee was able to calm everything down. Ogawa and Otsuka work together was decent, but it lacked the tension now that we've already seen Hash and Misawa already go at it. ★★★¾
  11. cactus

    The Cancellation of Jim Cornette

    Oh man, Cornette's fanbase are piling on David Bixenspan (he was the first person to post about the Kiss/Janela thing) after Cornette called him out. Brian Last has joined in, calling him a virgin. It's schoolyard behavior. Bix might have a bit of a reputation as a shit stirrer, but he doesn't deserve all the hate for rightfully calling out Cornette and his fanbase's homophobia. I admit that I still get enjoyment out of Cornette's podcast, but the actions of him, Last and his fanbase aren't doing him any favours. For a guy who hates Trump so much, he sure does act like him.
  12. cactus

    G1 Climax 30

    I had night two playing the background, so my attention was dipping in and out, but Yano's match against Sanada had me grinning from ear to ear. I don't find Yano that funny, but his schtick is endearing enough and it breaks up the serious matches nicely. Yoshi-Hashi vs Juice felt like it went on forever. I think Yoshi-Hashi might be my least favourite wrestler. He's completely competent, but he's so uninteresting and dull. I was expecting more from KENTA vs Goto as I felt it needed more hate. Tanahashi vs Naito was good, but they've had much better matches in the past.
  13. cactus

    G1 Climax 30

    Take my opinion with a grain of salt as I have fallen out of love with NJPW's style of wrestling over the last year or so, but I wasn't too into today's show. Every match was at least decent and there's a few match I'd comfortable call good (MiSu/Ishii being the main one, with Ospreay/Takahashi being a pleasant start to the tournament). I enjoy Taichi's heel work, but he loses me when he goes all workrate. He looks out of place and it doesn't suit his character. Jay White is another brilliant heel character and I thought interference was well placed in his match with Shingo. It never felt like it detracted from the match and added drama to the finishing stretch. Okada vs Ibushi was fine, I guess. I never thought it got going, it was lacking heat and the finish came out of nowhere. I also think the lack of crowd chants hurt the atmosphere greatly, but I completely understand why they are banned. Ospreay vs Takahashi ★★★ Taichi vs Cobb ★★¼ Ishii vs MiSu ★★★¼ White vs Shingo ★★★ Okada vs Ibushi ★★¾
  14. This is probably the first time in his career that Kobashi has to take the veteran role in putting the young and fiery Akiyama to sleep. Akiyama is more than able to hold his own during the fantastic and fast paced strike exchanges that open this title fight, but the mood in the venue changes when Akiyama lands a very effective strike to Kobashi's banged up knee. The crowd are in shock as Kobashi crumbles to the mat in agony. The headdrops might be excessive, but they more than make up for it by working in the brilliant leg psychology that is never forgotten about. Akiyama is a monster on control and he shows no remorse when he's taking apart Kobashi's knee. Kobashi is able to make a gloriously comeback by landing some desperation lariats. I love the spot where Kobashi fakes out Akiyama, by setting him up for a Burning Lariat, but going to for a chop instead. A great way to show off your ring smarts! AJPW put out some of the best wrestling ever during the 1990's, and I could easily see this match cracking their top 20 matches of the decade. ★★★★½
  15. This whole match is built around Kawada vs Hase and the Mossman and Omori are just here for the ride. Kawada is hesitant to go near Hase at the start, tagging out as soon as Hase becomes the legal man. This adds to the tension and it feels like a big deal when they finally go at it. Hase was great at being a smug asshole by having some great facial expressions. Mossman and Omori added very little to this, and are just here to break the action apart. Mossman looked very bad here. He was all over the place and even botch a small package, rolling his opponent up right into the ropes. This had a fun finishing stretch. Hase no-selling a spike German suplex came across as dumb, but that comes with the territory when watching late 90's AJPW. ★★★
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