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Calvin

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  1. I wanna say this is their first singles match together, but don't hold me to it. Their chemistry is apparent, but Tanahashi is just a very unconvincing offensive wrestler here. **1/2
  2. More T2P goodness. A lot of this seems centered around the ongoing feud between Milano and Saito, where the former clearly has the latter's number. Tons of fast sequences, flashy submissions, and colorful personalities as is this promotion's wont. ***
  3. Cute little exhibition where Ogawauchi and Kondo riff on the mat in the beginning, but the match takes an urgent turn when Ogawauchi begins focusing Kondo's leg and the latter responds by trying to overpower him. ***
  4. Calvin

    [2002-01-20-WWF-Royal Rumble] Chris Jericho vs The Rock

    These two have good chemistry, so the action is good, but this is still a wildly overbooked mess with all your usual mindless Attitude Era tropes, and they lazily recycle sequences from previous matches. Most importantly, this essentially confirms what we already knew: Chris Jericho is a paper tiger champion. **3/4
  5. Decent match, but Edge simply isn't interesting. He does get suplexed on his head and stretched painfully in the Regal Stretch, though. That was definitely interesting. **3/4
  6. Pre-match package where Vince states, multiple times, that he gets off on ruining lives, especially men of high profile like Flair. You know, the usual hilarious/slightly disconcerting/weird shit he says and does. Vince is an absurd human being. He doesn't even look real. And he hulks over Flair here, who sells the size difference admirably. Vince's control segment is obviously mechanically awkward, but it doesn't matter because of how charismatic his character-work is. He bloodies Flair, mocks him relentlessly, beats him in front of his kids. Great use of the lead pipe, and the plunder wasn't excessive. Flair makes a heated comeback, and Vince sells it all brilliantly. His chickenshit act, the way he sells the figure-four ... just a masterclass Vince performance here bell-to-bell. ***1/2
  7. I always come away more charmed by the personability of Toryumon trios matches than I am impressed with their mechanical coordination, but they blew me away here with some of their highspots. Shisa's stuntshow was just downright absurd. ***1/4
  8. Triple H's in-ring return after tearing his quad, and he's visibly rusty and slower. His hot tag flops, and it's almost comical how quickly he manages to deflate a crowd that was cheering him. The match is otherwise unremarkable. **1/2
  9. Angle is on fire with these television matches. He works the traditional WWF big man/small man structure here well, bumps his ass off, and looks convincing on offense against someone nearly twice his size. I love the nuances in his performances where it's clear he's still working through his inexperience as a pro-wrestler, but being an Olympic-caliber wrestler is such a profoundly strong base to start off on that he's able to overcome those mistakes often with his athleticism and coordination. (And we'll soon see another, even better, iteration of this with Brock Lesnar). ***
  10. Kikuchi's act is amusing for a spell, as he no sells practically everything and comedically overacts when he decides to sell, and Hoshikawa has to escalate almost to shoot-levels of violence in order to get him to react, but it's mostly empty calorie exchanges that lead nowhere despite the stiffness and tension. **1/2
  11. These two have phenomenal chemistry, AND this match gets 11 minutes, so this is obviously a hoot, but the non-finish with Kane diminishes this. ***
  12. Hey, this gets ten minutes! Another fun, fast Smackdown tag match as we continue to see Jericho's stock as champion plummet when he taps clean in the ring to The Rock. RVD's a competent face-in-peril so long as his limbs aren't targeted, which they aren't, and Rocky is simply the hottest of hot tags. ***
  13. Tons of fast-paced exchanges and they make the most of the 5-6 minutes that they're allotted. RVD's ribs are loosely focused on, but otherwise this is go-go-go. Seems like some timing cues were missed in the finish, but nothing that egregiously takes away from the match. **3/4
  14. Fun, casual grapplefuck between four men who look like they're coming back from a shvitz. ***
  15. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_dNKxcKmeM This goes to an uneventful time limit draw (twice), and it's essentially a podunk house show match with a strong secondary focus on Sunny's theatrics. **1/2
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