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Makai Club #1

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About Makai Club #1

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    Makai #6

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    https://shoot-style-and-other-stuff.blogspot.com/?m=1
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  1. Makai Club #1

    Four (Singles) Matches In - Punk vs Danielson

    Between the two, Punk has absolutely blown Bryan out of the water since they've showed up. In terms of promos, presentation and matches, I've preferred Punk every step of the way. Bryan had a great match with Omega and a few good matches with Hangman Page, who I don't like all that much, but the rest has been underwhelming to me. I see the match against Nick Jackson and, while it's fundamentally good, I wasn't engaged in the match whatsoever. Similar to the matches against Miro, Jon Moxley, and Lee Moriarty. I actually found the Moxley match to be very boring and lacking in much quality. The whole BCC story has, honestly, been a bit of a turn off for me. It all feels a little hollow and I can't get invested in what they are doing with the stable, Bryan included. Whereas with Punk, I have nothing but praise and excitement for him. He doesn't have the most amazing matches week to week but I get a lot of value out of them, even if it's against wrestlers who I don't care for. His promos can be a little cheerleaderish but he makes them work. The feud against MJF was phenomenal and even if the dog collar match didn't deliver like I expected it to, it still progressed both wrestlers forward in an effective manner. Plus their Dynamite match is one of the best AEW matches ever.
  2. This was decided after Lita congratulating Linda on declaring her intentions of divorcing Mr McMahon - in a long tedious promo, I might add - and he was understandably mad at this so this was made as punishment. And since one isn’t a wrestler, it’s not much of a punishment. HHH and Austin are above the Hardys in levels but it’s still a great opportunity for them to beat the WWF and IC champs. What an odd punishment. Jeff Hardy thought so as well. The match itself was solid. The Hardys put up a great fight despite being out-matched. The Hardys and Lita pull off some big dives, something that HHH and Austin can’t really counter which gives them a small edge. Plus Stephanie isn’t really a trained wrestler, unlike Lita, so they exploit that by separating the men from Stephanie which allows Lita to get the win. Austin and HHH beat her up afterwards with a steel chair… ***
  3. This was another Rhyno squash against Crash who throws himself around the ring. Hardcore Holly helps out this time when Rhyno attempts to Gore Molly Holly again
  4. Makai Club #1

    [2001-04-09-WWF-Raw] Chris Benoit vs Chris Jericho

    This started out all normal. Jericho and Benoit are rough with each other and all looks good untiL Regal starts being an asshole and the match breaks down. I’m loving this story. **
  5. After Slaughter ran away last month, this was the perfect stipulation for this feud. This felt absolutely huge as well. For all the talk that this match was built for Bruno Sammartino, Backlund pretty much perfected the style of match intended. Slaughter’s sole intent was to escape and cheaply win the WWF title by escaping the cage without engaging Backlund first but Backlund wouldn’t have it. Slaughter had to beat Backlund down but it was never enough for him to get a chance to escape. Slaughter took every chance he could find to escape, whether it be through the door or over the time but Backlund would hang on to the boots or, at one point, low blow Slaughter. Whatever it took. I once praised Orton’s performance against Batsita in their 2009 Steel Cage match for committing to escaping but Slaughter blew it out of the water. He’s brilliant in this. Bumps, selling, character work. Everything. He’s hanging onto the edge of the cage door, hanging sideways as Backlund pulls at him, like his life depends on it. He’s just sublime. As is this match. Excellence at every degree. And the finish was just so good. Slaughter and Backlund are punching each other on the top of the cage when one of Backlund’s punches - a peach of a punch at that - and a slam into the top of the cage, sends Slaughter down, typing his legs in the ropes, allowing Backlund to triumphantly exit the cage. Holy cow! This felt like a Rocky Movie. ****3/4
  6. The Philly crowd love heckling the heels. They chant Gomer Pyle at Slaughter, reling him up before the bell. Slaughter attempted to cheap shot Backlund but it came around on him as he ran into a turnbuckle and hurt the arm. Naturally Backlund attacked the arm but unlike the October ‘80 match, Slaughter quickly escaped via headbutts and went to work on Backlund’s back. Backlund constantly moving, constantly threatening a comeback caused Slaughter to cheat his way back in control with shots to the throat and closed fists. The match did a good job in getting the Cobra Clutch and Slaughter over as a dangerous threat no matter Backlund’s dominance. Backlund can have things in hand but Slaughter is a dangerous man and could get the win very easily. The final third of the match was particularly good. Slaughter had some amazing punches and Backlund sold them wonderfully. He wouldn’t bump for one, or even two of them but he would stagge and then struggle to stand once he was dropped. The final stretch of the match was sublime. My favourite moment of the match was Slaughter jumping in glee once Backlund started to bleed on the outside. Slaughter bit Backlund’s wounds and Backlund clearly wouldn’t have that. Backlund hit a headbutt to the sternum and threw Slaughter over the corner posts. Backlund goes to get him but gets counted out in the cheap WWF fashion. Backlund attacks after the bell but Slaughter gets the final say, attacking Backlund with the title. Great match. ****
  7. Makai Club #1

    Adam Page

    Hangman Page did pretty much the exact same, only in the Ring Of Honor midcard against much lesser wrestlers. Even in the G1 run, he didn't really stand out among the pile, having a few decent matches here and there. I don't think his AEW run has been all that special either, honestly. Page had a solid tag run with Omega, a couple of good matches against Danielson. Nothing that'll be on my top Danielson matches, but good ones that are worth mentioning. And that's really it. I thought the actual title win against Omega was lacklustre outside of the actual victory.
  8. Makai Club #1

    Shawn Michaels

    Unfortunately Adam Cole existed before Shawn Michaels. And while he certainly had a hand in one of my least favourite runs of any promotion (or sub promotion), it probably won't affect him in my rankings. But obviously that differs from person to person.
  9. Makai Club #1

    [1985-08-22-AJW] Jaguar Yokota vs Lioness Asuka

    I began watching the top three matches of this show in April 2021 and 11 months later, I finally finished it. I always forget how cool Jaguar Yokota is. But when she makes her way to the ring, I find myself remembering. She was one hell of a wrestler as well, driving this match to a great standard with both quality submission wrestling and innovative high spots. I thoroughly recommend Catch Wrestling U’s thread on this as it highlights the knowledge and skill displayed. Yokota and Asuka were able to transition from a knuckle lock into a straightjacket suplex masterfully and get a big nearfall out of it, and there were many other good examples of flowing spots put together to create a nearfall. Great main event that could get outshadowed by the semi main event if watched together, so I’m glad it took me nearly a year to actually watch it. ****1/4
  10. Makai Club #1

    1993

    As good as Kobashi, Kawada, etc were, I think Tenryu was the best wrestler of the year. Working both WAR and NJPW, had great singles matches against Riki Choshu, Shinya Hashimoto and Hiroshi Hase. The WAR v NJPW matches are all wonderful interpromotional matches (the 16/2 two out of three falls match, the tag with Ishikawa against Hashimoto and Choshu on the 2/4 and more). The match where he teams with Choshu against Inoki and Fujinami is a real gem as well.
  11. Upto this match, Kobashi and Misawa's rivalry was so far behind Kawada and Misawa's and even Kobashi and Kawada's. But this is a truly great equaliser. It's a classic match. Unbelievable in its pacing, offence, selling and its storytelling. The match picks up when Kobashi establishes himself over Misawa by attacking the neck initially before targeting Misawa's elbow. Although the crowd doesn't really buy into the work, it nevertheless is excellent submission work. It firmly puts Kobashi in control and gives Misawa trouble with his vast array of moves, such as the rare Orange Crush. Misawa's elbow is limited but Misawa continues to persist with it as per usual. My favourite moment of the match has to be Kobashi slamming Misawa's arm into his own shoulder at the corner post. His facial expressions and crowd working was masterful in making something that he did the whole match into one of the most significant and meaningful moments. One of the biggest spots of the match was Misawa no selling a Kobashi german only to be taken over by a drop seoi-nage into a cross arm breaker. That, for me, should've been the finish if Kobashi was the destined winner. Misawa's first comebacks were a little underwhelming but Kobashi quickly regained control which led to a much greater comeback later once Misawa hurt Kobashi's arm. Misawa selling the arm is one of the most praised things in the match but Kobashi selling the arm was some of the most compelling work of the decade. The closing stretch was magnificent. It was such a joy ride that the very important executives in suits in the front row were going just as crazy as the hardcore fans. It's one of those matches that does need to be seen by anyone. ****3/4
  12. Makai Club #1

    Tatsumi Fujinami vs Bret Hart

    The last time I drew up a draft, I put Fujinami above Bret. Bret just missed my top 10 but he could sneak in on the different day. Fujinami, for me, has depth, longevity and a great (yes, great) post peak run. Fujinami transitioned from role to role seemlessly, as illustrated above. And, not to take anything away from Bret's classic with Austin at WM 13 (and the others he has), Fujinami has better best match between the two. Fujinami v Inoki is, at worst, my top 5 favourite match. If I was to criticise Bret for anything, it'd be for the Hart Foundation run which was a bit underwhelming, although it has its bright moments.
  13. This was mostly all Ricky Steamboat so it was mostly great. Honky is willing to bump, beg and dive to safety which makes it satisfying when Steamboat chops and punches him. Honky tries to cheat plenty of times but Steamboat never has any of it, always bouncing back to kick his ass. Honky’s only hope was to get counted out - which came when he desperately clung onto the ring apron to prevent Steamboat bringing him in the ring. What a coward. ***1/2
  14. Makai Club #1

    [1987-07-25-WWF-MSG, NY] Rick Martel vs Tama

    Great 20 minute bout. Martel starts the match like a house on fire, hip tossing Tama around with ease, hitting dropkicks and thwarting an attempted two on one attack by the Islanders. Martel then spent a good while attacking Tama’s leg, who had no answer for Martel’s persistence until he was able to throw Martel to the outside. Tama’s selling was really good for the remainder of the match, slowly whining off the effect of Martel’s heel hold. Tama uses a nerve hold which is unfortunate but they tease a few hope spots to make things interesting. The crowd is totally behind Martel, who feeds off it, making a comeback after several tries. Martel rams Tama’s head into the turnbuckles in a great revenge spot and throws Tama into Haku for an incredible false finish. The finish almost loses its way after the bell keeps getting rung prematurely but Hayes covers saying that Martel, who is on the defensive at this point, has lost his concentration only for Martel to reverse a crossbody into a cradle for the win. Great finish. ****
  15. Makai Club #1

    [1987-11-24-WWF-MSG, NY] Strike Force vs Hart Foundation

    Nick Bockwinkel commentating his old rival's (Martel) match would've been cool if they acknowledged their history. But forget that, imagine if Bockwinkel and Bret Hart fought? That would've been magnificent. This was a really good tag team match in the tried and true formula. Except maybe the Strike force comeback was too short. The opening exchange was excellent. Martel outshines Bret technically which bruises Bret's ego which made him irrational and that made things worse. Then he calmly tags out. The whole idea of that was highly fascinating to me. Martel still continued to shine in the early parts, as did Tito when he tagged in, but a critical mistake sent Martel to the floor which the Hart Foundation capitalised on. Neidhart attacks Martel's ribs via the bear hug and a couple of back breakers. Martel fights two on one well enough but is always just off from getting the tag. Martel doesn't always connect with me as a fiery face but he truly did here. There was a great spot where he absolutely blasts Bret with a punch that Bret no-sells it immediately. Fuck sake Bret. Tito's hot tag is pretty fun but then the DQ finish comes quickly via the megaphone. The Hart Foundation thought they won the titles for a short bit but then the decision was announced much to their frustration. ****
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