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  1. TonyPulis'Cap


    This is a great shout - given how green Nia was at the time, particularly in high profile matches, Bayley puts in a tremendous performance in this match, making Nia seem like a killer, while at the same time not diminishing herself - i.e. yes, she's the smaller opponent, but her skill and ability is keeping in her in the fight - she is not presented as fluking out a victory when she wins. It's a fine balance, and Bayley walks it perfectly in this match - it gave me definite Sting/Vader vibes. This is a perfect example of, for me, one of Bayley's best runs, between beating Sasha in Brooklyn to losing the NXT Women's Title to Asuka - where she is the ace of the NXT women's division. She is still the great babyface, but she has evolved from the 'super fan' / childlike Bayley, to being a great, fight all comers champion, one consistent with her naturally evolving character. If you want a great example of Bayley's ability, watch the title match she has on NXT TV against Eva Marie (I'll try to find the date). This is not a '5* classic' but is just fantastic pro-wrestling television, where to their credit WWE create the conditions for success by making you think that a screwjob is on the cards (with having main roster ref Charles Robinson specifically appointed) and preying on your assumptions for what *you think* WWE would traditionally want in a champion - i.e. someone that looks like Eva Marie. Bayley is so, so good in this match. To her credit, so is Eva Marie, who keeps up and plays her role to perfection, but you get clear evidence of Bayley's ability to lead a match and be the glue that holds it together. Yes, the Sasha matches are tremendous in NXT - proper classics, but matches like the one's discussed by others like against Nia, and this one against people fairly limited like Eva Marie are what makes her a real candidate for consideration in my eyes.
  2. TonyPulis'Cap

    2026 Ideas

    This has been a really interesting thread to read through. I came onto the board towards the tail end of the 2016 project, so enjoyed reading the discussions and the reveal of the list without submitting one myself as I didn't feel in a place to do so at that time. Fast forward to now and I'm definitely interested in getting involved this time, as it feels like this could be just the thing to reinvigorate my love for wrestling which has definitely been waning the last few years due to a variety of factors (general turn offs in the way wrestling is presented esp. WWE, pandemic era pro wrestling, Speaking Out etc.). I'm getting excited though about having something to focus my watching around and really getting to explore wrestlers and styles where I don't have that knowledge and re-evaluate areas I'm more familiar with. The only thing potentially holding me back is that I tend to enjoy episodic wrestling and find it hard to jump into individual matches - no matter how 'good' they are - without context, but having that overall framework or narrative of the project as a whole should help with that. It's been fascinating seeing the debates already, not about workers, but on how people will be judging them, and on that front, it's always hard given the subjective nature of all this. In saying that, one of the things I look for in a 'great' wrestler is their ability to change up their style or what they do in the ring (and indeed, even their appearance and demeanor) to fit the different context they find themselves in - so that ability to change what they do based on the setting, the storyline, the occasion etc. It's one of the things I hate most about modern WWE - everyone comes to the ring and wrestles as if they are in a computer game. Regardless of whether it's a blood feud or an enhancement match they wrestle it in exactly the same way with the same entrance poses and mannerisms.
  3. TonyPulis'Cap

    NWA Powerrr

    I know the episodes of Powerrr have now resurfaced on Fite, and like everybody else has said, it remains to be seen if that's a good move - but by deleting all their YouTube content it also means all the excellent 10 pounds of gold videos have gone as well which is a shame as those videos were what got me into the NWA in the first place. On reflection though, a lot of them - and other video content they had - included clips from lots of different other companies - Impact/ROH/UWN/AEW(?) - and so wondering if that might have caused an issue? I've been a big fan of the NWA revival the past couple of years and the overall presentation, but what the hell is left really?
  4. TonyPulis'Cap

    MLW Fusion, anyone watching it?

    A couple of random musings from the last couple of weeks of Fusion... I thought the final of the Opera Cup between Low Ki and Tom Lawlor was really good, although like Coffey, I was expecting Ki to win, as I thought they would set up him using that to challenge Jacob Fatu for the title, which I don't think is a match they've done yet. Given Lawlor is a heel like Fatu, that maybe adds more weight to Coffey's theory that Fatu may lose the belt to Hammerstone (who has been leaning more face the last few months) and then Lawlor will challenge him Like the idea of Salina bringing in Mil Muertes again, although like I think EL-P highlighted, outside of the heavily produced world of Lucha Underground, where he looked amazing and an absolute killer I do fear him getting a little bit exposed as a standard 'walk and brawl' type, but I'm a sucker for wrestler's having consistent characters across different companies/universes so love them leaning into the Lucha Underground background for his character. So far, Kings of Colosseum doesn't look the strongest card on paper, although there's still matches to be announced I would think to flesh out the crowd. One thing that is scheduled that I'm hyped for is the Myron Reed vs Lio Rush match which could be great. I've liked Rush's promos in the buildup.
  5. TonyPulis'Cap

    Herb Abrams UWF - help sought

    There's a 90 min show on Amazon Prime called 'Blood, Sweat and Brusies' - which is a comp of UWF matches you may want to check out. It's got a couple of the matches from Blackjack Brawl others have referenced. It's a fun watch if you've got an hour or so to spare. A young Cactus Jack comes across really well.
  6. TonyPulis'Cap

    Is Impact the best promotion in wrestling history?

    Yeah, I guess I meant 'heels on paper' - think you're right in terms of they would definitely get cheers if they were doing the act in front of crowds, but either way, 'cool heels getting cheered' (as you say, as Bullet Club were in ROH) seems like a better fit for them than than trying to play the more traditional babyface roles they have sort of being doing so far which hasn't been too captivating. You can also see way more energy from them being aligned with Omega than the 'collecting a pay check' vibe they had been giving off prior to that.
  7. TonyPulis'Cap

    Is Impact the best promotion in wrestling history?

    Continue to be really intrigued by the Kenny Omega crossover with Impact - the presentation with Callis as his advisor is great, and in my view, reigns in some of the areas where Omega can lose me. Loved the closing angle from a week or so ago with the beatdown with the Good Brothers. I know they came in as faces, but teaming up with Omega in a Bullet Club reprise feels a much better fit for them. Really excited for the 6 man at Hard to Kill, and presumably the matches between Omega vs Swann and then the Good Brothers vs MCMG which should both be great. Some of the other parts of the show still feel a bit meandering, but when you combine the above with the Eric Young storyline which I think is going well and the stuff with the Knockouts some good things to look forward to in Impact as we go into 2021.
  8. TonyPulis'Cap

    Is Impact the best promotion in wrestling history?

    Well deserved - was a real highlight of Impact this year, despite not being there for the first part of it. Really enjoyed her two matches with Jordynne Grace, and then in general with the way she carried herself as a star. Someone that really trusted in her own ability, and is now reaping the rewards. While we ultimately didn't get it, the buildup to the planned match with Kylie Rae was one of the most hyped I was for a single match all year. She also managed to get something watchable out of Su Young, which isn't always easy. Will be interesting if we see her on AEW at all in the next few months given what's going on at the moment.
  9. We are in the Walthamstow Assembly Halls in London, and this is a quarter final match in the XPW European Title Tournament. For more info on that tournament should you have a particular need to fall asleep, I’ve written about it in the link above. Juvi would be a semi-regular for the FWA in the first part of 2003, and is representing XPW in the tournament. For someone that at this time was bouncing around a load of different companies, he looks really smooth and polished, and it’s good to see Jonny raise his game to keep up with someone with the talent and experience that Juvi has. The opening exchanges are really fun with a nice hybrid of Lucha, traditional British wrestling and the modern (well, modern for 2003) indie highspot style. There are lots of parity spots early on, which some may roll their eyes at given the ubiquity of that at the time, but it establishes the similar styles and game plan each is coming in with, and everything is done at speed and is on point. Juvi is the first to get more aggressive, with a nice flurry ending with a slingshot crossbody to the outside. Storm at this time could be a really sympathetic babyface with his wiry frame and the way he took moves which looked like it was breaking him in half. Both guys are essentially faces, but Juvi being the slightly bigger guy, and harder hitter works most of the middle portion of the match on top, building heat rather than letting it slip into too much of a back and forth which can often happen with indie cruiserweight style matches. Storm for his part is really good with his hope spots, timing them nicely to keep the crowd invested and onside. And that’s the main theme for a lot of the match; Jonny looking to stick and move and hang in there, while Juvy is the more aggressive, trying to unleash some big bombs like a torture rack powerbomb to break up any bits of momentum that Storm is able to get. As I say, while both were faces here, both are also known for being cocky and showoffs, and I liked that this played into the match with Juvi getting caught going up top after a nasty looking DVD where he could’ve had the pin, but instead was looking to hit a flashier move from the top. There’s a couple of great nearfalls with Juvi powering out of Storm’s patented rewind rana and then Jonny surviving a Juvi Driver to show his toughness. It’s in going for a second Juvi Driver that Storm manages to counter with a roll up for the win. This was really good, with the two guys meshing nicely, and Storm really brought his A game following up a strong end to 2002. The match is worked at a fast pace, but there’s also times where the guys let the action breathe, and Storm in particular is great at selling the beatdown he is getting for a lot of the match. I liked the desperation roll up ending, showing that Jonny was able to survive all the punishment and was able to take advantage when Juvi got cocky going for the second Juvi Driver. Good stuff here. (*** ½)
  10. This is for the FWA All England Title. Zebra Kid is coming in as the reigning champion, while Storm is coming in fresh off beating AJ Styles at British Uprising I a couple of weeks before this. Storm offers a handshake to start, but ZK responds with a slap and the two guys go at it while the ref is still trying to get the belt to officially start the match. That sets the tone nicely for what is essentially a 10 minute sprint with both guys going balls to the wall. There isn’t much selling, including Storm essentially just popping up right after a piledriver (which was confusing as this was banned move in the FWA) to go up top for a springboard drop kick, but there is lots of intensity as both guys empty a lot of their arsenals of moves. These two guys always had decent chemistry, and you get that nice contrast between Storm trying to take things to the air with a hurucunrana and moonsault from the top, while Zebra Kid brings plenty of strikes and kicks. I say this a lot in reviewing Zebra Kid matches – while he isn’t the most refined of wrestlers, I love the fire and energy he brings to his matches. The closing stretch sees Storm trying to go to the top, given that’s his most likely to route to victory, only to get crotched by Zebra pushing the ref into the ropes. Zebra Kid then hits his Zebra Crossing (top rope elbow) for the win. Post-match ZK starts to beatdown Jonny, only to get run off by James Tighe who earlier on in the night had become the new No. 1 contender to the title. (** ¾)
  11. This is a No. 1 contenders match for the FWA’s All England Title. These two, both FWA Academy graduates had been part of the 3 way match that had opened British Uprising two weeks before. Tighe had actually won the title shot in that match, but as Ghosh wasn’t the man pinned, being a good fighting babyface, Tighe agreed to put it on the line again here. Both men are coming in as faces, and with them both coming through the FWA’s training school together they know each other well, so we get a lot of feeling out and parity exchanges early on. That was very much the en vogue Indie style at the time but makes sense given the context of the story of the match. Tighe, being the bigger and stronger of the two, and also the better wrestler – both in kayfabe and non-kayfabe – then takes control by hitting a nice series of German suplexes. While Tighe dominates most of the exchanges, Ghosh is trying to stick and move to try and work an opening. When he does get some separation he gets a nice near fall off a springboard seated senton ala Rey Mysterio. It’s a short, fairly standard match between the two clocking in at around 6/7 mins, but the action we do get is good, and actually when it ends I thought it was just starting to click into something that could’ve been a pretty decent match if it had got a bit longer. As it is, Tighe counters out of a roll up to hit a standing shooting star press and then his Tighetanic (northern lights bomb) finisher for the win. (** ¼)
  12. TonyPulis'Cap

    Is Impact the best promotion in wrestling history?

    The AEW 'paid advert' with Tony Khan was fantastic - and was a perfect way of continuing the story line following Dynamite the week before - it managed to effectively balance being entertaining and funny (Tony S was ace in it) with being logical e.g. them paying for the time and Tony K talking about why he hasn't taken out an injunction, which companies never work hard enough to make sense of when doing competing promotion stories. I'm a regular Impact watcher, but even if I wasn't, this angle would have me intrigued enough to tune in, and I really enjoyed the closing segment. As many have said, Callis was so great in his role, while Kenny - someone I can blow hot and cold on - was also really good. As C.S said, he managed to translate comic book collecting into an effective promo point about winning titles. Clearly on a straight up level, Impact is not going to directly match up with AEW, and nor are a lot of the guys, but I agree with EL-P's point that it doesn't really matter - I don't want this to be an 'invasion' angle or lead to some 'AEW vs Impact supercard', to me it's interesting and cool to see what further crossover we might get, and the idea of a smaller 'renegade' (if you can call Impact that) promotion interacting with it's much bigger counterpart. The Dreamer/D'Amore segment was nice, in that you had D'Amore happy about the publicity and the eyeballs it was getting, while Dreamer was voicing the concern about what this could lead to and the consequences. I wonder if we might get a development where D'Amore has to end up confronting Callis about going to far in provoking AEW, or being more wrapped up in promoting Kenny rather than safeguarding the interest of Impact? Who knows, but the fact I'm speculating and really intrigued is the good part! As for the wider criticisms people might have of the rest of the product that have tuned in to see the Kenny angle, then I agree again with EL-P - a lot of the guys in Impact are the misfits and broken toys that other companies didn't want, but I think that in the majority of cases their strengths are accentuated in the way they are presented and Impact uses them better than they were elsewhere. If someone argues that guys like Rich Swann, Eric Young, TJP, Brian Myers etc. are WWE rejects, then it's hard to disagree on the most obvious level, but in most of these cases, guys are given a chance in Impact and again *most* tend to take advantage.
  13. TonyPulis'Cap

    MLW Fusion, anyone watching it?

    Some really interesting points in there, so thanks for laying out - and once again, think I definitely appreciate where you are coming from - it maybe that we just have a different outlook in what we enjoy! I can definitely get that "fake serious" thing, although, as I say, while that's a term you are using as a criticism, I might use that as a good way to describe why I like MLW!! To a certain extent "fake serious" (it's a handy term ) is really what I enjoy about wrestling... I laughed at your line about comparing the opera cup to NWA Title Matches in the mid 90s in tiny North East Indie feds because it's actually really spot on, although again, I've always been a sucker for enjoying that kind of thing! Not sure what that says about me... but is similar to why I've been really into the NWA revival even before Powerrr came along. It's funny, I actually really like Impact like you, and have done since the Callis/D'Amore regime took over...although the bits I haven't liked in the last few months are Wrestle House and who shot Johnny Bravo...so I think on that front we just enjoy, or 'get' different aspects of that product, which is all good! Ultimately, I think I like MLW because of that very point you've made about why you don't like it - that it IS trying to present everything as serious, potentially as I say because I don't enjoy some of the more 'memey' (is that a word?) aspects of a lot of modern wrestling where everything is ironic and nothing is serious, although appreciate that I'm starting to sound like a card carrying Cornette supporter here, which isn't the case! Or maybe it's just because I'm getting old One thing I will join you in loving though is Lucha Underground - which despite everything I've said above - was one of my favourite wrestling products of the last decade. I absolutely loved it as a show, because for me, all the wacky stuff felt consistent to the world in which it was being presented. So I guess I'm just saying I can enjoy both ends of a wrestling spectrum, just my brain likes to compartmentalise them!
  14. TonyPulis'Cap

    MLW Fusion, anyone watching it?

    It's funny, I don't necessarily disagree with El-P's, and to a lesser extent Mig's criticism's, or at least I can appreciate a number of them, and yet, as El-P says, if you enjoyed it as a product pre-restart then you will now, and I liked it before... As I say, a lot of the things that have been highlighted for why you wouldn't have enjoyed it I can see, but for me, and I've said this a number of times in this thread since the company came back, I really like MLW in terms of its aesthetic and the way it *generally* presents the product. At a time when I increasingly enjoy modern wrestling less and less - a lot of which comes down to presentation - for whatever reason, MLW often captures the closest thing I want in terms of a weekly television wrestling product. I've described it in the past as what an 80s territory TV show might look like in the 21st century, and that's what I like about it. Maybe I'm easy to please, but I've no issues with the recaps and hype videos - again, it's why I still want to enjoy a TV wrestling product when a lot of others like to cherry pick big matches - I like the flow of a wrestling show including all the commercials and bumpers, but that's just me... It always seems odd to say this, but if you want 'great' matches, then they've never really hit that as a company, and in fact I think a very valid criticism - and one I have also had at times - is that there big matches don't deliver, however for me personally, the matches are at a good enough level, that when combined with the look and feel of the show give me enough to enjoy. I would agree that the Reed/Pillman match was disappointing, largely down to Pillman looking like he'd prefer to be in AEW, but agree with NintendoLogic in that I enjoyed the main event. As he says, not a barn burner, but I liked it as physical battle without lots of excess. DBS Jr losing so cleanly did shock me a bit, but if he's also on his way out then it makes sense for it to be so decisive. I actually think the latest show was an overall stronger one with the return of the Opera Cup and I really liked the Tom Lawlor vs. Rocky Romero main event. Again, I may be on something of an island for when it comes to MLW, but it happily ticks most of my boxes for an easy weekly watch.
  15. TonyPulis'Cap

    Is Impact the best promotion in wrestling history?

    This sums up a lot of my own feelings well. I'm not a Cornette: "funny don't equal money" guy, but agree that Impact's ratio has been creeping a bit too high on the 'wacky' side in the last few months. For example, I know a lot of people on here really seem to like the wedding shooting angle, but it's just not for me. Not saying it's bad - people here seem to like it - it just disconnects me from the world the rest of the show is being presented in. I've always been someone that recognises that wrestling is at its best when you have variety, and having comedy and campy over the top stuff is just as vital a part of wrestling as 'good matches' and blood feuds, but it'a all about the balance, and Impact, to me, feels like it's just gone a bit too heavy on that side recently. It means some of the people involved come off looking like real geeks to me. I'm still a supporter and fan of the product overall though, which is why I was disappointed when Bound for Glory felt like a pretty poor show when compared to their more recent PPVs. Reading the results and seeing the clips from Turning Point last night though, that sounded like a much better show with some interesting debuts to replenish some of the talent they are losing like the Rascalz.