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  1. klhare

    2018 Wrestler of the Year

    There are four major candidates for me. Without actually looking, I think Walter has the most volume of great matches. He wrestled everywhere this year, ended up being the featured guy in almost every company he worked for, and had just a large amount of great stuff. He has a bit of a formula but he can make it work with anyone. ZSJ also had an insane amount of good stuff all over the place, plus broke out more in NJPW. Masashi Takeda had an incredible run as BJW champion, plus had great stuff in Freedoms and GCW, too. He's a legit candidate who bumped up his promotions numbers while delivering in singles and tags. Ospreay is the last one. Again, great matches all over with anyone.
  2. I am completely stunned by this match. I cannot get over what I just saw. When this was announced, I thought it would be nothing more than a novelty. However, Arquette played his role perfectly here, as the scrawny guy completely over his head. He was willing to bump his ass off but had some convincing hope spots. He even did an insane tope through a chair to the outside. Gage kept ramping up the violence and we got a Joey Ryan and Messiah run in that actually worked with the story. Then Arquette took a tube shot and this thing just ramped up big time. Gage carved him up with a pizza cutter. Finally, Arquette looked like he really had enough, tried to leave, then came back and threw a chair and tubes at Gage in a way that looked completely real and unhinged, then Gage awkwardly pinned him and that was it. Was this actually good? What does that even mean at this point? But it was a complete spectacle completely unlike anything else in the wrestling world right now. Not even sure how to rate this thing.
  3. First, I loved this match. It had a huge feel and a great atmosphere. Even when the crowd wasn't audibly reacting, it still felt gigantic and tense. Plus, they didn't really wait around or do any crazy meladrama stuff, just balls out basically from the beginning. My only "complaint" is that, somehow, this was the rare NJPW main event that actually felt too short. Usually it is the opposite, but I really think this one could have easily gone 10-15 more minutes. I was stunned at how early it felt when Ibushi started to hit his finishers. They left a lot on the table for a rematch, which I have no problems with at all, but you can only have the first match once, and in this case there was so much excitement and anticipation that I wonder if the next match will have quite the same feeling. Still, really great. ****3/4
  4. This was towards the bottom of their matches for me, but still really good. The first half or so really meandered, more than even most NJPW main events that rely on the back-half of matches. It just felt like there was really nothing going on. But once it kicked into gear, it got very good. I really liked all of the Rainmaker counters, it really felt like if Okada hit it, that would be it. The rollup counter was incredible and should have been the finish. Loved Tanahashi going for the High Five Flow even though everyone in the building knew that it could be his undoing. I never thought that a draw was possible at all, even with 30 seconds left. I do wish Tanahashi won, because the crowd felt a bit deflated and confused after, but still, it mostly worked for me. ****1/2
  5. Wrestling is best when it transcends whatever the idea of a good match is and instead just delivers and absolute spectacle that can't be replicated by anyone but the two people involved. This match is the perfect example of that. Two legends concluding a big feud on a huge show with the highest stakes possible. It is also hard to replicate a spot like the tope headbutt. It is peak drama and suspense, and the rare case where the viewer has no clue on if what they are seeing is real or not. But yeah, pretty much a perfect match. *****
  6. This was a lot of fun. It was a hardcore style brawl done very well. Homicide and Hernandez both brought their A-game. The sequence with Hernandez's huge pounce followed by the crazy Homicide tope through the table looked really great. They were able to weave together big spots, high energy and the story all together. I thought it all came together pretty perfectly. ****1/4
  7. The DDT main event scene has been pretty dry this year, and this match was no exception. I honestly don't really have much else to say about it other than I started the year super into DDT and at this point can't care about any of their major matches.
  8. Don't have too many extra thoughts, but yeah I love this format. I've only seen a few Ciberneticos, but it is interesting to me that, even though they have more people than most other comparable matches other people do, they don't seem nearly as bogged down/bloated. I think the set order really goes a long way in streamlining the match. When I first heard of that idea, I thought it would limit matches, but really it does the opposite.
  9. I loved this. It was a lot of fun. Yano trying to wrestle a straightforward match and not revert to his normal tendencies was much more fun than his standard comedy stuff. I audibly reacted to the finish. Not a great match or anything but a blast.
  10. klhare

    [2018-07-14-NJPW-G1 Climax 28] EVIL vs Michael Elgin

    The first time I watched this it did absolutely nothing for me. Was surprised when I saw people raving about it. When I watched it the second time, it did a little more for me, the finishing stretch was pretty good, but the bulk of the match was still pretty lifeless. Elgin has been a guy that I've really liked at different points in his career, but right now he just isn't clicking with me much at all.
  11. Trent Seven is not a guy that I normally like, I find him boring and very much the third wheel in the trio, but my lord was he great here. It is tough to keep a lengthy submission sequence engaging at the end of a match, but he did it perfectly here. This was a rare match that shot me with adrenaline while watching. I was so entrenched in the action that I was almost nervous about what was next. Just really great stuff. Best tag match of the year so far.
  12. This really turned up when Maekawa escaped and Watanabe was left alone with LCO. Tons of high drama that kind of reminded me of the best moments at the end of the more recent Dragon Gage Dead or Alive cagematch. I think some steam was lost when Maekawa came back into the ring, but still, this was a great match. ****
  13. Man is it a shame that we don't have this full match. This was a complete blast. I'm blown away by how well the Ohtani team meshed together. They felt like a conhesive unit that had matches like this routinely. Young Perro looks great, I'm very excited to see more of him going forward. Loved Wagner doing a flip before kicking someone off the ropes, loved Hamada showing a ton of fire and getting the second fall, even loved Kendo Kashin throwing around people by their hair. I'm not expecting to see any more matches featuring the team of Ohtani/Casas/Perro/Perro Jr and Kanemoto, but really hoping that there is somehow more.
  14. Tajiri's presence is just off the charts. As soon as he steps through the curtain, it is on. He just brings a realness, intensity, and a sense of danger to every single match he's in, even a standard house show match. His ability to really control the crowd is on full display here, too. He's kind of the defacto babyface, doing cool moves and getting the crowd to pop big for the mist. But, he's still Tajiri, and he works in low blows, slows the pace, and then spits on the crowd and kicks Kid Kash right in the face, and the crowd completely goes apeshit and turns on him. Also, I never really thought of him as an INFLUENTIAL worker, but as I watch him more and more, it is easy to see his style in the popular ROH style ahead.
  15. It's really interesting to see a match like this in ECW. It is very much not the type of hardcore match I'd expect there. Much slower than most in the promotion and typical deathmatch tropes like the pizza cutter are used. It's pretty much the template for the US indy deathmatch scene and is a bit fascinating to me. There's a lot of talk about what ECW would have looked like if it continued, with guys like Low Ki, Daniels, Punk and Danielson always mentioned as the potential next wave. This match made me think about the possibility ECW would have gone in a different direction than that, focusing more on the next level of deathmatches. Would have been interesting to see the style evolve more in front of a more mainstream audience.