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superkix

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  1. superkix

    Wrestle Kingdom 14

    This would get me back into watching NJPW, honestly. As I get older, I realize I need my wrestling in bite-size fun. Can't do the 30+ minute "modern epics" anymore.
  2. Non-finish aside, this had some very cool moments - of course, it would, considering the names involved. If anything, it's got me pining for a Sakuraba/Hideki singles match, as their interactions were easily the highlight of the match. Them rolling around the mat to start, with Sakuraba still showing off his spryness, snagging Hideki's arm with his leg in a slick counter. Then later, Hideki going nuts with the headbutts and killing Saku with the Robinson backbreaker. Of course, Fujita's lughead in there against Sakuraba playing opossum was fun. Loved Fujita slamming him down and then getting caught with the kneebar when he tries to drag Saku to the corner. The stuff between Sugiura/Fujita is your typical hoss interactions but Fujita's powerbomb looked very gnarly.
  3. Very solid match-up - admittedly, I haven't seen much of Gordy outside of tag matches but he looked strong. Great clobbering lariats, big elbow exchanges with Misawa, and yeah, the blood added a little something-something to the overall struggle. The fans were eating up the finishing stretch - the nearfall off of Misawa's German suplex hold was especially great. Gordy did a good job selling for Misawa's offense, and Misawa's ultimate win felt huge.
  4. Another dope Astronauts match with plenty to love on. Abe getting caught with that open hand early from Sato and his staggered sell. The intensity of the Nomura/Wada exchanges, which leads to nasty slaps and corner headbutts -- Wada's Northern lights suplex is snappy as hell. Loved Sato going nuts on Nomura with the ground-and-pound, and then Nomura German suplexing Sato as he's reaching for the tag. Another neat spot came with Abe catching the double wrist-lock off the German suplex hold by Wada and slickly keeping it locked in through Wada's struggles. His set up to the cross kneebar on Sato before turning that into a legtrap German was also very cool. Fun mix of shoot-style and pro-wrestling with a motivated Sato turning up the heat and Abe getting plenty of time to shine.
  5. superkix

    2019 Match of the Year

    1. Yuji Okabayashi vs. Takuya Nomura (BJW, 8/21/19) 2. Yuki Ishikawa vs. Timothy Thatcher (wXw, 3/9/19) 3. Masashi Takeda vs. Jon Gresham (Bloodsport, 4/4/19) Other matches I enjoyed this year: - Ishikawa/Suwama vs. Sekimoto/Okabayashi (BJW, 1/13/19) - Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. KUSHIDA (NJPW, 1/29/19) - Hideki Suzuki vs. Timothy Thatcher (Bloodsport, 4/4/19) - Konosuke Takeshita vs. Shinya Aoki (DDT, 9/1/19) - Timothy Thatcher vs. Oney Lorcan (wXw, 10/6/19) - Kazuyuki Fujita vs. Shuhei Taniguchi (NOAH, 11/2/19)
  6. superkix

    [2019-11-11-MLW-Fusion 83] Low-Ki vs Timothy Thatcher

    Solid TV match with some cool spots. Haven't seen Low Ki in ages but he looked pretty good here, while Thatcher stayed in the driver's seat for much of the match. Ki cutting out the leg to get the drop toehold was neat, and the finish was unexpected. Didn't care for the near count out and that Contra promo in the middle of the match didn't help.
  7. The early tradeoffs on the mat were very good, and the cool little Suzuki nuances added to them - I especially liked his punch to set-up the leglock. And Barnett's good at throwing his weight into the exchanges - him tossing Suzuki like a sack of potatoes to get out of that snug side headlock was great. When Suzuki is forced to wrestle, he's still top-notch. His transition into the crucifix kneebar was slick. But the match stumbles a bit following the piledriver tease and doesn't have nearly the same chaos factor at Takeda/Gresham until they're wildly slapping each other to a draw. The highs are high enough and it's probably Suzuki's best singles performance of the year.
  8. I've come down off my initial high but this is still a very good match. Hideki in control/fighting for control is the best part of it, as Thatcher works sell well underneath. Slow build but a hot finish. Suzuki's shitty boots and face kicks and elbows always look so insane and Thatcher can cut loose when he wants to - that Hideki sell off the European uppercut was great. Super strong finish for Hideki.
  9. I'm going back and re-watching Bloodsport and the 1-2-3 punch between this, Suzuki/Thatcher, and Suzuki/Barnett is hard to beat when it comes to show of the year. Takeda is soaking it all up and it's a blast to watch. He outwrestles Gresham in the opening exchange, headbutts the floor, and picks a fight with Gresham. The last few minutes encapsulate the pro-wrestling love -- crazy slaps and flying armbars out of nowhere, pounding away at bloody eyeballs and a KO finish that look like a KO finish. Can't think of a better sprint in 2019.
  10. This was a pretty fun exhibition tag but man, the crowd + commentary hurt this match. Annoying and awkward in both regards. I'm not big on tag team wrestling in general but there were some cool moments here. I liked the grittiness of the Thatcher/Ishikawa exchanges. Irie's a spicy meatball and the stuff between him and Thatcher on the mat was surprisingly good. I haven't seen much of Walter but he looks like a giant toddler and plays a good '90's All Japan gaijin. I dug his half crab and that big uranage throw. He and Thatcher bully Irie to finish it out. A fun series of exchanges but not much else -- could've been 15 minutes and had the same effect.
  11. Loved this. Re-watched it tonight and it still very much holds up near the top of my list. Ishikawa is so fucking good, and he looked like he was right there in his primal element, having fun torturing Thatcher on the mat. Obviously Thatcher takes a lot of inspiration from Ishikawa and while Thatcher is very good at preparing to grab a hold or building up a submission attempt, his execution is nowhere near as snug as Ishikawa's. Thatcher's selling adds extra spice but the way Ishikawa cranks on an ankle, digs into a headlock, or wrenches on an armbar looks like hell on earth. Each time you think Thatcher's got something going on the mat, Ishikawa one-ups him and catches him in a hold. And I loved Ishikawa's do-si-do of limbwork to keep Thatcher from breaking the hold. Thatcher getting outclassed on the mat and resorting to strikes is great stuff and leads to some very snug shots from both men, a couple throws, and then the finish, which sees Ishikawa best him like a true big boss.
  12. Not that familiar with Dickinson but he looked okay here - his grappling is whatever but Barnett did a good job of giving him enough to create the illusion. Some of his kicks looked good and they came off more like cheap shots to stun Barnett, who clearly had the advantage on the mat. Good escalation into some shoot suplexes, including a very cool deadlift German from Dickinson and some nasty follow-up kicks, which leads to the finishing stretch and Barnett putting him away with a gutwrench powerbomb>knees>head kick. Maybe didn't hit the same highs as Barnett/Suzuki but still very good.
  13. The nuts and bolts of professional wrestling. Simple, effective, hard-hitting and competitive, without being self-indulgent. Tons of nuances, - i mean, Oney works a hell of a side headlock and keeps going back to the neck throughout. At one point, Thatcher is popping Lorcan in the face with boots to escape a single leg but Lorcan turns it into a modified STF anyway. The way Oney uses a slap to transition back to the side headlock was a real slick, veteran maneuver. Likewise, the way Thatcher uses his boot to try and break off an armbar. The selling was realistic, from Oney taking the belly-to-belly, the way Thatcher kept his neck bent after taking a surprise half nelson suplex, and him still grabbing at Oney when he goes down off a big slap to the face. I thought the KO shoulder slap finish wasn't that strong compared to some of the earlier shots but still, a very cool match-up worth checking out.
  14. Super fun match with great Hideki/Yuji technique vs. power interactions, like the failed bodyslam escape from the cravate and Yuji whipping Hideki off the hanging sleeper hold. We get hardway blood after Hideki smacks the shit out of a feisty Kato, big suplex throws, and Kato tossing Hideki unceremoniously out of the ring to set up the finish, which sees Kato pin Hyodo with a dope Exploder suplex hold. Can't complain.
  15. A 10+ minute slugger with tons of cool stuff you'd expect to see between two astronauts. A little grappleaction, plenty of cheeky shots, some cool counters/transitions from Abe - love his dragon screw legwhip and that simple transition into the front necklock. Of course, the fakeout slaps are great, too. Nomura's real shitty to Abe on the ground and he throws plenty of suplexes, including a gnarly half nelson that Abe no sells. Toward the end, it's baseball punches and headbutts, until Nomura slaps the attempt, dragon suplexes Abe and KOs him with the high kick. Nothing fancy, nothing bloated -- just two friends wrasslin' and kicking the shit out of each other.
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