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SmartMark15

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  1. SmartMark15

    Joseph Montecillo Video Essays

    Using PWO's 1990 yearbook as one of my reference points, I discuss the very best of wrestling in 1990! Included are my lists for Top 20 WOTY and MOTY! youtu.be/comZ5PwlK9s
  2. SmartMark15

    G1 Climax 30

    Man, Okada/Ibushi was not great. Real bad run from Okada since the return from lockdown.
  3. SmartMark15

    Joseph Montecillo Video Essays

    The first Misawa/Kawada match on Walking the King's Road!
  4. SmartMark15

    Joseph Montecillo Video Essays

    I hopped onto Forrest Sowa's channel to help discuss our shared love of Jay White. We cover his matches from New Beginning 2019 up to this year's Wrestle Kingdom.
  5. SmartMark15

    [2020-03-01-AAA-Lucha Juarez] Villano III Jr vs Aereo

    Here's a video essay I did covering this particular match. https://youtu.be/xPYxU0EnjrI
  6. SmartMark15

    Joseph Montecillo Video Essays

    I did a video covering the much acclaimed Aereo vs. Villano III Jr apuesta match from earlier this year. Give it a watch!
  7. SmartMark15

    Joseph Montecillo Video Essays

    For anyone new to Eddie Kingston's work, I put together a five match primer to act as a sampler of his work over the years. Check it out to learn more about The Mad King.
  8. SmartMark15

    Current New Japan

    Seems dumb. Honestly, think that after WK this year, the company's taken a real turn for the worse. People will defend it because good matches are still happening on these cards but I really think New Japan is far past its peak and we've entered a time where I feel comfortable saying it's pretty bad now.
  9. SmartMark15

    Joseph Montecillo Video Essays

    A new episode of Walking the King's Road discussing every Stan Hansen vs. Mitsuharu Misawa singles match between 1990 and 1992!
  10. Are we going to sit here and pretend to talk about anything other than finish? This is an eye for an eye match where the only way to win is by gouging out an opponent’s eyeball. This match has been sanctioned by the same promotion that thought hitting someone very hard with a very big hammer during a Hell in a Cell match was going too far. It’s such a truly WWE trait to be so preoccupied with seeming interesting that they refuse to ever just be interesting. An “eye for an eye match,” for example, is something that on paper brings about a lot of provocative imagery. As soon as the stipulation that you had to remove an opponent’s eye to win was announced, it drew the baffled curiosity of fans everywhere. What would that look like? How could you even make that work within the confines of a pro wrestling match? Even if they utilized the cinematic style that they’ve been leaning on, how could it be done to match the family oriented tone that WWE often strives and fails to achieve? Rumors of CGI effects being utilized only sweetened the B-movie morbidity of this is on our minds. A CGI eyeball flopping about on the canvas is just the kind of wrestlecrap schlock that we can talk about and mock for decades to come. This match is not that. It fails because it refuses to commit to anything. Instead of going down the ridiculous path of being on a card called “The Horror Show at Extreme Rules,” these two decide to just work a match with eye psychology. That’s nice and all. Rey Mysterio is an all time great performer and Seth Rollins has demonstrated that he can be held by the hand and dragged kicking and screaming to a great match. And for most of the match, it seems that Rey might have pulled off a bit of a miracle too. The offense and spots are creative. The emphasis on evasion means that these two can swing about gruesome weapons without anyone actually having to take any damage. The focus on eye psychology is interesting enough and uncommon enough that it added a lot of substance to a Seth Rollins match–a feat truly worthy of praise. And sure, let’s give Seth Rollins some credit, why not? He took both those barricade bumps that made up the highlights of this match pretty well. But even before this match gets both deeply stupid and uninteresting all at once, Rollins reveals himself for the sham hack that he’s always been. It’s all in the trash talk. I’ve brought up the WWE’s tendencies to lean on in-ring dialogue before and it’s a habit that’s only gotten worse with COVID-19. The fact is that in-ring trash talk can work when it’s both simple and realistic. Something like Rey selling on the ground, groaning out, “You son of a bitch!” Yes, that is something a human person would say in the middle of a fight. To have Rollins immediately follow up with, “You should have listened to me, Rey”–a line so trite and cliched that even your dullest Hollywood screenwriter will at least do a double take before writing it down–exposes that Rollins really has no clue how to capture a realistic human emotion. But enough of that, we came to talk about the eyeball stuff, right? That’s this match’s greatest sin, really. There’s nothing to talk about. Seth shoves Rey’s face into the edge of the steel steps and then recoils in the horror of what he’s done. We never get a shot of a bloody eyeball. Instead, we have Rey Mysterio covering his face while palming a fake glass eye against his face that we only get brief glimpses of. Seth probably sees more than we do as he’s so aghast by his own actions that he vomits onto the ground. You got to give credit to Seth for taking the already miserable “HAVE I GONE TOO FAR” WWE trope and ramping it all the way up to eleven to actually expose how bad the trope is and has been for a long time. For that sacrifice, at least, Seth gets some credit. Commentary goes silent and the planted PC marks that earlier tried to start up an “Ole!” chant watch on in disgust. One can’t help but imagine their reaction had Seth Rollins had lost. Would they turn on Rey Mysterio as well? Let’s not forget that earlier in the night, Rey tried to stab Rollins’ eye out with the shards of a broken kendo stick. Would that have brought about jubilant celebrating from this uncanny valley facsimile of an audience? We can only wonder. Rude of WWE to deprive me even of rage. As I said, most of this was actually something approaching good. And the bad isn’t even worth laughing at. This match is cowardice on a truly impressive scale. **1/4 LINK: https://josephmontecillo.wordpress.com/2020/07/20/seth-rollins-vs-rey-mysterio-the-horror-show-at-wwe-extreme-rules-7-19-20/
  11. SmartMark15

    Joseph Montecillo Video Essays

    A new video about why the WWE is bad. video
  12. It’s nuance that separates kings from men. Eddie Kingston is having a fantastic year because that’s what Eddie Kingston does. Give the man the opportunity and he steals the show. He has such personality and charisma that seeps into everything that he does on a wrestling card. Even getting into the ring with a finicky set of chains instead of ring ropes becomes a spectacle. Rather than fumble into the ring to hide the awkwardness as others on the show did, Kingston makes a show of it. In the ring, the match itself plays out with a wonderfully simple structure. I’m not familiar with Brett Ison’s work from SUP so I can’t speak much to what he does here compared to his usual work. There’s not much he really has to do for this match anyway other than hit Eddie Kingston very hard and it works. Ison and Kingston start with a strong lock up, incredibly tight and filled with struggle. When that leads into the first strike exchange of the match, Kingston crumbles almost immediately. And so the stakes are set. Kingston is the battle tested veteran but he’s up against someone younger and stronger who (supposedly) hits harder too. The match plays out as Kingston looking for openings to knock Ison down. He works most of the match working from underneath as Ison maintains control with his chops, elbows, and punches. Kingston remains defiant through it all, even making sure to flip off Ison as he drops to the mat. Ison responds by grabbing the finger only for Eddie to bite at the ear. Simple stuff like that comes off so gritty and realistic to add a real sense of violence to a card that’s built around much grander displays of bodily harm than this. Kingston’s love for All Japan shines through towards the finishing stretch as we get two lovely drop out of the ring spots. Kingston himself drops after a tense strike exchange where each man gets progressively worse for wear with each blow. Then Ison himself gets knocked out of the ring after Kingston finally nails his Backfist. Little touches like that can add so much suspense to a match without having to needlessly burn nearfalls on finishes. Kingston strings together a pair of backdrops, Ison even kicking out of the second pinning hold, before finally nailing the decisive Backfist to win the match. What a great match, don’t let the somewhat subdued crowd fool you. This is substantial stuff from one of the best wrestlers in the world. We’re graced with a fantastic Eddie Kingston promo afterwards where he calls out Zack Sabre Jr, Cody, and Nick Aldis in that order. Any of those matches would be great and if they somehow get to happen in the hellscape of 2020, it’ll just be more material to back one of the greatest independent wrestlers of all time. **** LINK: https://josephmontecillo.wordpress.com/2020/07/06/eddie-kingston-vs-brett-ison-icw-no-holds-barred-vol-3-deathmatch-drive-in-2-7-4-20/
  13. Two of my favorite guys on the American indies today get some time to have a strong one on one match. What’s not to love? Much of the early goings focuses on Garrini’s martial arts background coming in to play as the more unorthodox Deppen tries to whether the storm. They have some fun exchanges on the mat where Deppen doesn’t exactly match Garrini’s grapple work but instead tries to fight his way out. It adds a scrappy vibe to the match. He uses his strikes and brawling to try to get the advantage back but Garrini can always somehow work his way back into the advantage. Although this wasn’t wrestled as a deathmatch, I felt that these two guys made the most of their environment. No spot embodies this more than Deppen ramming Garrini into the chains that replace the ring ropes and Garrini selling it like absolute death and even getting a pop from the crowd that expects lighttubes and shattering vinyl. One hardcore element does come into play with Deppen bringing in a door. They use it effectively enough with Garrini taking a bump through it and the two then trading shots with the door. It’s simple and to the point stuff even though structurally the match does start to fall apart a bit when the door gets introduced. That’s swiftly remedied by the finishing stretch however where Garrini just wipes out Deppen with a series of brutal head drop suplexes. Great stuff all around even barring a few instances of visible miscommunication or awkwardness. Nothing that can’t be written off as some mild ring rust. Otherwise, I feel these two worked really well together and continue to be highlights on the independent scene. **** LINK: https://josephmontecillo.wordpress.com/2020/07/02/tony-deppen-vs-dominic-garrini-icw-no-holds-barred-vol-2-deathmatch-drive-in-6-27-20/
  14. An excellent 60 minute Iron Man match between two Southern indie favorites.
  15. This is happening en masse right now. OTT and TNT stripped him of their World Titles and other companies like NORTH Wrestling have officially severed ties.
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