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  1. SmartMark15

    NXT talk

    Perhaps a consequence of AEW making brand value moving between companies actually relevant again.
  2. SmartMark15

    NXT talk

    Personally, I don't think Trevor Lee loses much in the transition. Trevor Lee, as a name, is nothing particularly special. But if the idea is if it ain't broke don't fix it, then I guess I can see where you're coming from.
  3. The OTT gods blessed us with this match for free.
  4. SmartMark15

    [2019-06-09-NJPW-Dominion] Dragon Lee vs Will Ospreay

    Yeah, I liked this much, much better than the Shingo match. I thought they had a much better handle on the pace here with a steady but impressive start and then going into bomb mode after that amazing suicide dive. Pretty much loved this even though I don't like how Ospreay had to reach into his triple finisher sequence. Much better used against Shingo than Lee. The Hidden Blade would have been satisfying enough without compounding it with the Top Rope Os Cutter and Storm Breaker. Probably also helped that this didn't go 35 minutes. ****
  5. SmartMark15

    [2019-06-09-NJPW-Dominion] Kota Ibushi vs Tetsuya Naito

    Gonna second the love for Naito's character work in this match. A much cooler, compelling version of Jericho's somewhat forced cheap heat in the main event. Naito working an actual heat segment by playing up his ungovernable side really boosted a lot to the first quarter of the match which is a segment that usually sags in New Japan matches. From there, of course, we get the insanity of that German. No more please, Ibushi-san. It was awesome but please no more. From there, the match turned into bomb throwing but it felt justified because, you know, Ibushi nearly died. Loved the Kamigoye counter into the DDT, such smooth execution. Seamless. Great match. Could have done without the near death experience but great nonetheless. ****1/4
  6. SmartMark15

    [2019-06-09-NJPW-Dominion] Kazuchika Okada vs Chris Jericho

    A lot of love here and I can understand why. It disrupts the dreaded Okada formula, Jericho brings a lot of flavor with his character work, the finish was another unique disruption to the New Japan style. And all that might have worked if I hadn't just seen Tanahashi-White four days ago which in itself was a much better disruption of the New Japan style. Jericho is fun but he is slow and plodding. He hasn't hit a good Codebreaker in years (even though I too admire the balls of using it to counter the barricade dive), he's slow and plodding in the way that dragged down his feud with Owens, and a lot of the character stuff is wearing off a little. Maybe grabbing the camera would still be fun if he didn't do it in every single match since coming back. That being said, I thought that his traditional heat segment was fun and I thought that Okada brought a lot of charisma and fire to this match that's really been shining this year in particular. ***1/2
  7. SmartMark15

    Current New Japan

    A year out and it seems that Okada-Omega IV was the natural climax of the 2010's New Japan style wherein it finally reached the maximum of its potential. It's my hope that a fresh evolution of the style comes into play, ideally along the lines of what Jay White's recently.
  8. A great criteria. This one fell apart under further scrutiny for me though. Maybe a revisit at the end of the year.
  9. Basically a less offensive version of the Cole-Gargano match from NXT. All bombs, nothing else, way too long, wrong winner. I didn't hate this match but it certainly lost me after 10 minutes or so. The boost flip back bump was cool though. Deserves to be in a better match than this. ***1/2
  10. I'm here with Boots in thinking that Mox's opening offense looked a little week. I think it's always been a personal weakness of his, I once heard him on Cabana's podcast saying that he's a big proponent of safe pulled strikes so he might have been too used to overcompensating to keep from hurting Juice. Yeah but once things started going, he worked those punches beautifully, thought they were some of the best punches we've seen all year. Mox was really good here, staying vicious, focused, and giving a lot to Juice in the way of bumping and selling. Which brings me to my next point, Juice looked amazing. This might easily be the match of his career, even better than the Jay White title match last year. Holy cow, from shaving the dreads to his classic Southern territory spaghetti leg selling, I thought he looked absolutely fantastic in this match shitty blade job aside. The crowd bought into him, he provided fire and fighting spirit, and seeing him stumble around from Mox's offense trying to get the upper hand back was some of the best selling I've seen all year. Juice putting in an arguably better performance than Mox here isn't so bad given that Mox went away with the belt. This was just what we needed to bring him back into the wrestling spotlight and I think we can all eagerly await what else is to come. ****1/4
  11. This is the best White-Tanahashi match which has been a very inconsistent series of matches for me. From the get-go, we have White being a piece of crap heel with the jump on returning hero Tanahashi. From there, he zeroes in on the arm and he does not stop. Loved all the little things he did to attack the arm like adjusting his typical offense to do more damage to the arm. Hammerlocking Tana while doing the barricade/apron ramming, doing the same to gain control and cause damage for the Saito suplex, all incredibly awesome. Like @ShittyLittleBoots pointed out, I thought Jay selling his knee while trying to counter a German was one of the best spots of the whole match. I don't mind the finishing stretch shenanigans mostly because that shtick is some of what I enjoy most in Jay White matches. What I absolutely loved however was the finish. No big flashy finisher, just go for the hurt limb, control it into a roll up. Absolutely beautiful. Jay White is going places, guys. I've never turned around on a wrestler so fast. ****
  12. SmartMark15

    Current New Japan

    The Tanahashi-White rematch was also absolutely excellent, probably my favorite outing of theirs. White gets better with every outing, and this was really fantastic work on his end.
  13. SmartMark15

    Current New Japan

    Really enjoyed it, a wild brawl with Juice putting in the selling performance of a lifetime. Might even have been more impressive than Mox. Mox did bring it though, totally switching up his style from WWE.
  14. SmartMark15

    NXT TakeOver: XXV

    I'm just not a fan of Cole. Not denying that he's over, he clearly is but nothing about him particularly appeals to me. And as for some of the best matches, well, not for me either.
  15. SmartMark15

    NXT TakeOver: XXV

    I've been along for the ride with NXT these past few years but it's kind of jumped the sharked for me with Cole winning. It was inevitable but I dreaded the day.