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cactus

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  1. Del Rio is one of those guys who I forget ever existed. He was a decent hand who looked the part, but was utterly unmemorable in the long run for me. This is coming off his failed face run, but he's not exactly a full heel yet. Christian is finishing up his career and it's hinted that this might be his last ever title match (it's not). Although the World Heavyweight Championship is a glorified midcard title at this point, these two make this feel important by delivering a great back-and-forth match. Del Rio works over Christian's arm in preparation for the Armbreaker and after trading many near falls, Christian goes to put Del Rio away with a spear. He hits it, but his damaged wing prevents him from covering and Del Rio catches Christian in the submission for the win. Del Rio's win and post match promo finally cement him as a full blown heel. A hidden gem for sure. ★★★¾
  2. After being pissed at not being in the main event slot, Heyman demands that his cilent's match goes on first. Lesnar dominates Rollins before the match even starts, but a low blow behind the referee's back and three stomps is enough for Rollins to pick up the win in a little over two and a half minutes of actual bell time. Lesnar's performance was rather lazy, only hitting a few suplexes, an F5, and not much more of else, but a lazy Lesnar performance is still better than most. Rollins looked great as face here, something that would quickly disappear quickly into his reign. This was a smart way to kick off Wrestlemania with a bang and wake the crowd up. ★★★
  3. This is your standard Lesnar vs smaller guy fare. Balor sends Lesnar into the corner of the announce table stomach first and this limits Lesnar from being able to suplex Balor. Lesnar sells the his ribs by grimacing and staggering all over the place, and Balor manages to eventually picks up steam and is able to hit his finish. Lesnar powering out of the pin and getting a Kimura locked in deep was a great finish. Balor had no chance, but these guys made me believe for one second that he might actually pin Lesnar clean as a whistle. ★★★¾
  4. I totally get why some people don't like this. The acting is gloriously hammy and the action is fairly slow in places, with both men spending a lot of time recovering from their injuries, but this is still one of the best retirement matches ever. Even with HBK's GCSE drama level acting, he can sell you the urgency of the big moments and have you eating out of his hand. Undertaker hurts his leg early on and Michaels goes after it, giving the smaller wrestler a much needed advantage. Michaels using the Figure 4 and a grapevine ankle lock felt like a subtle nod to his other Wrestlemania matches with Ric Flair and Kurt Angle. The never go overboard with the close calls, with the crowd collectively losing their shit after the first Sweet Chin Music and in-ring Tombstone. The finish has to be one of the my favourite match endings ever, with Michaels giving his last shot before being finished off with one of the nastiest Tombstones I have ever seen. A fitting end to a one of the GOATs. ★★★★¾
  5. Reigns is one of the few guys who looks like a total boss TAKING a beating. He smirks at Lesnar while getting the shit suplexed out of him. Lesnar gets an F5 earlly, but is in no rush to pin as he wants to hurt Roman. He doesn't spam the Germans, instead he opts to attack Lesnar with an array of violent knees and clotheslines during the early portion of the match. Brock eats a ring post and bleeds like a pig. He sells his injury well, staggering around the place with a glazed facial expression. Reigns gets in a few hope spots before Lesnar catches him in an F5. I'm a big fan of the Rollins cash-in spot. I knew Rollins was going to get involved some how, but I didn't expect him to do it while the match was still going on. The ending made Lesnar look strong while losing the belt and opens the door to a future Lesnar vs Reigns match. ★★★★★
  6. cactus

    MOTD by Decade

    60s: GIlbert Cesca vs Billy Catanzaro (French Catch xx/xx/6x) 70s: Giant Baba vs Billy Robinson (AJPW 7/24/76) 80s: The Funks vs Stan Hansen & Terry Gordy (AJPW 8/31/83) 90s: Mitsuharu Misawa & Kenta Kobashi vs Akira Taue & Toshiaki Kawada (AJPW 6/9/95) 00s: Mitsuharu Misawa vs Kenta Kobashi (NOAH 3/1/03) 10s: John Cena vs Brock Lesnar (WWE 4/29/12)
  7. The crowd is hot for the pre-match table bump, and you get the feeling you are about to witness something special. The initial grappling feel like a struggle, with both guys trying to get some knees in during the exchanges. Lesnar does a good job getting over the danger of Joe's finish, with his terrified facials. Lesnar slithering under Joe to avoid the submission was an unexpectedly cool moment. It's not long until Lesnar manages to get an F5 in and the match comes to a sudden end. Two years ago, I remember thinking that this might rival both wrestler's best matches and I was extremely disappointed that they had match that was done and dusted with one F5 in a little over six minutes. I also never believed for one second that Joe was going to tap out Lesnar. This should of been much better given the talent and it's a victim to it's own hype, but it's still a stiff hoss fight that's well worth your time. ★★★¼
  8. Cena manages to score an early AA as he attempts to avenge his lose from Summerslam, but it has little effect on Lesnar, and it's Suplex City time for Cena. Lesnar mixes up his offence and we see some snap and belly to belly suplexes. Lesnar is hellbent on tapping out Cena, so we also see a Kimura, with Cena selling the pain convincingly. Cena isn't afraid to potato Lesnar during his comebacks, and he busts up Lesnar's nose. Lesnar taking off his gloves is a neat visual, letting everyone know that he's not fucking around now. The submission exchanges looked organic, and Cena using an AA to weaken Lesnar for the STF made sense, as he sure as hell wasn't scoring a pin fall of that move. The interference finish soured me a tad, but it's not enough to undo the work that Cena and Lesnar had laid out. This was excellent, and I feel not enough people talk about this, perhaps due to the lame finish. It's not quite on the level of their Extreme Rules match, but not many matches are. ★★★★½
  9. cactus

    Greatest Career Rehabs

    I'm surprised no one has mentioned PCO yet. The guy went from a footnote of the New Generation to one of the hottest acts in the indies, and it only took 20 years!
  10. Being just shy of 5 minutes, this is pro wrestling comfort food that I can come back time and time again. Lesnar eats a spear early and gets hit with bombs until he counters a spear with a LEAPFROG that sends Goldberg violently headfirst into the corner. Every single move is a signature move and the crowd love every second. Who would of thought Lesnar would work so well as a babyface? ★★★★¼
  11. After their dud at Wrestlemania XX, many fans had their reservations about this being any better, given that over 12 years have pasted since then. No one wants to see Lesnar and Goldberg stink up the place with another 15 minute snoozefest. They keep it brief and everything is booked around Goldberg's limited skill set and use his monster charisma and intensity to create a memorable main event. Goldberg shoves Lesnar, Spear, Jackhammer, home time. Lesnar sells the shock with his great facials and Heyman freaks out. It almost feels like sacrilege rating something so brief so highly (this goes a grand total of 86 seconds!), but there's zero wasted movement and the crowd lap up every second. ★★★½
  12. cactus

    [1993-06-13-WWF-King of the Ring] Bret Hart vs Mr Perfect

    A rare face vs face for it's era, this is both men's second match of the night. Mr Perfect looks like the fresher man, as Bret's hand is injured after his match with Razor Ramon some 30 minutes previously. After the brilliant pre-match promo with the shit-stirring Mean Gene, they open their match with some crisp technical exchanges. You don't need me to tell you how technically sound Bret Hart and Mr Perfect are. This really gets going once Hennig starts heeling it up. He starts off very subtlety, stomping on Bret when he's down to blindsiding him after assisting him back into the ring. The crowd turn on Hennig and the match transitions beautifully to a more traditional face vs heel dynamic. Bret takes a boatload of punishment, with Perfect hitting some stiff knee strikes and aggressively launching Hart into the barricade from the ring apron. much to the delight of Perfect's former manager Bobby Heenan on commentary. No matter how many times I see it, Bret's sternum first turnbuckle bump is always cool to see. Hart eventually mounts a comeback after going after Hennig's leg, but it's a nifty cradle pin that gets Bret the win. Bret's performance on this night is one of his best ever, with this match being one of the main reasons. ★★★★¾
  13. cactus

    [2019-11-24-WWE-Survivor Series] The Fiend vs Daniel Bryan

    I really dug this. WWE has done a great job rehabbing The Fiend since Hell In A Cell. He comes across as a monster here, and a lot of has to do with Daniel Bryan being as amazing as he is. Bryan having to bust out the Yes chants was a cool moment, and there was a few times when I thought Bryan might actually pick up the win. ★★★¾
  14. cactus

    [2014-08-17-WWE-Summerslam] John Cena vs Brock Lesnar

    After taking the L during their last bout, Lesnar has been on a tear and gets his win back in dominating fashion. Lesnar's performance was fantastic, mocking the Undertaker's sit-up and his staggering selling being my favourite highlights. Outside of a handful of hope spots, this is all Lesnar. If memory serves me correct, this was the birth of the Suplex City thing. I don't have an issue with this being extremely one-sided, but I thought they spent way too long waiting around after Cena takes a suplex. They could of trimmed off two minutes and achieved the same thing. ★★★¾
  15. Brock is so much fun to watch when he's dominating. He might not like wrestling as fan, but you can tell he's having the time of his life when he steps into a ring. AJ takes Brock's Germans like a champ. He bumps all over the place and it's starting to look like Styles doesn't has a chance. AJ takes every opportunity he can find and garners himself some impressive close calls. I remember watching this for the first time in 2017 and actually thinking Styles was going to make Lesnar tap. The crowd seem to think so too, until Lesnar escapes the hold by ramming Styles' head violently into the mat. I could see the finish coming a mile away. Styles, unsuccessful in his attempt for a second Phenomenal Forearm, eats a F5 to end the match. Along with the predictable ending, my other minor nitpick was that there's a severe lack of pacing around the middle section of the match. They look a bit lost after the botched(?) Tornado DDT spot. Even with these very minor gripes, this is still a contender for MOTY. ★★★★½
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