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Makai Club #1

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    Makai #6

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  1. Makai Club #1

    [2002-03-30-ROH-Round Robin Challenge] Low Ki vs American Dragon

    Both guys are incredibly young at this point in their careers, and you can see that, in Danielson's case more so. Danielson still had some of his excellent grappling that he would gain fame for later and Low Ki only matched that with his STIFF kicks. It's a great dynamic, as it always is, strikes vs grappling. I think the length is a glaring problem. A ton of it could've been condensed and wouldn't miss anything, however I get what they were going for and they achieved that. The selling of both was awesome. The sell of every hold, strike and even exhaustion. An early classic for ROH and both guys. ****1/4
  2. Excellent match. I think it was basically the coming out party that these three guys and the company needed. Low Ki got to show off his striking, Danielson showed off his grappling skills. Daniels with his character work. Great match ****1/4
  3. A masterpiece of wrestling. The heat was off the charts. Mega heat for Idol and his antics. Mega cheers for Jerry. Hot atmosphere. The storytelling was fantastic. So much heat and violence to match the feud and stipulation. Hair vs Hair matches can sometimes be considered joke matches instead of heated affairs and this went in the total opposite direction to that. This had all the components for a blood feud match. The punches were exquisite and the selling was sensational. The finish had interference but it never felt like the match was overbooked. It added to the match in fact. The execution to the fans near rioting with some fans actually trying to jump into the cage. Paul. E showed his class in his managerial role on the outside, getting the occasional shots in and his smug, hateable mannerisms. Excellent match. ****3/4
  4. I liked it for the most part. Loved the last 5 minutes with them heading up to the ramp, referencing where Ciampa turned on Gargano last time in Chicago. Loved Ciampa and everything he did. He was very interest. His mannerisms were great, his offence was very brutal and fit the tone of the match greatly. Loved how he focused a lot of his attack on Gargano? s neck, even if Gargano didn't exactly do a great job at selling it. But it leads to the ending in a way so I can forgive it to an extent. I don't think it needed them to do the brawling into the crowd spot again. It just felt unnecessary and they didn't really do much other than the plant spot anyway. That whipping spot on Ciampa was incredible and a highlight for me. The crowd were actually good for this match. They could have taken some stuff out but overall, this was still a good match. ***3/4
  5. Pretty good match. Both played their roles well. Gargano was a subdued face that the face rallied behind easily. Almas and Vega were great heels. Good stuff. There was a nice tempo for the entire match. Not much downtime. Both guys kept on moving to keep the competitive tone of the match up. The crowd was quiet at first but got really into it by the end. There were a few sequences that looked a bit awkward but it was generally smooth and well set up. I did think that they went slightly too long, missing their peak, and some of the offence felt recycled. ****
  6. Makai Club #1

    [1994-04-17-WCW-Spring Stampede] Ric Flair vs Ricky Steamboat

    The wrestling is tremendous. Great back and forth action with both men struggling for every move, every chop, every hold, every reversal; the never-ending struggle for the win. Steamboat is an uber face but he fit the subtle heel role to a tee here. Also, Steamboat's selling was top notch. His and Osamu Nishimura's selling is very unique because they don't just favour the leg or arm or whatever the main focus of the match is, they sell everything. The damage they took, the fatigue, the pace of the match. It's really simple but clever in many ways. I love it. The finish was great too. The match was a really excellent match. Another classic in the boat of Flair and Steamboat. ****3/4
  7. Seeing Umaga brings back childhood memories. Used to have a figure of Umaga. My favourite too. I adored everything about him. His look most of all. I used to genuinely believe his face paint was a real tattoo. Oh, how naive was I. The match starts off pretty good. Cena adopts a stick and moves approach in the opening moments. Baiting Umaga in and getting a few shots in. I did like the “Umaga ate my sign” sign in the crowd. Umaga does a really great job of working over Cena. His unique offence looks so impactful. Something fresh and new to counter Cena’s simplistic babyface offence. The whole match reminds me of Hogan matches in the ’80s. There even is a spot where Cena picks up Umaga only to fall back under the weight which is a classic Hogan spot. And Umaga going for the classic monster role, working over the ribs, using his weight and speed of his moves to his advantage. Cena sells excellently too, getting the crowd on his side very easily which I was taken back by given Cena was hated. Another thing that is good about this match is the struggle Cena has. It’s not as simple as making a comeback and getting stuff it. He has to earn everything he can. He has to not only get out of what Umaga is doing but deal with his constant cutoffs too. The finish is really clever too. Umaga stops another FU attempt and looks to hit all his big moves but Cena sees it coming and does the only thing he can do, he rolls Umaga up. Doesn’t kick out of Umaga’s big moves. He doesn’t even use a ton of his own. He adapts as a champion should. It’s a great match and easily my Match of the night. Loved everything about it. Not as good as their Rumble match but most matches aren’t. ****
  8. I remember watching this live. When I was a young one, I woke up in the middle of the fight and listened in on my Dad watching this show. I burst out in tears because I couldn’t watch it live but my Dad let me in the end and this was on. I used to love Triple H. Even over Shawn. I still prefer him over Shawn Michaels to this day actually. The match starts off heavy with DX meeting Rated RKO on the rampway and brawled for a little bit before transitioning into a normal match. The match gets a little dull for a few minutes but Triple H unleashes some punches on Orton which pops the crowd before Edge chop block the left leg (not the leg that’ll get injured btw) of Triple H and begin to work it over. Shawn comes in for a warm tag. Orton and Edge show some really good tag chemistry which does surprise me. It doesn’t come across as two single guys teaming as far as their work goes. Shawn gets split open seemingly out of nowhere (is HBK a Flair mark?), which is basically a big match obligation for 2007. Orton unleashes his awesome Garvin Stomp which always gets me to pop. Speaking of obligations, Rated RKO works over HBK’s back which is fine in theory but it seems aimless and doesn’t go anywhere. However, Shawn does have some nice chops as a defence at least. Triple H comes in with a great hot tag before it happens. You can actually see the muscle on the side of the knee at certain angles. They scramble and take HHH out of the match for the meanwhile. Then the chairs come in with Orton bleeding badly now. The match hits another level with Triple H hitting a goddamn pedigree with the torn quad on the table and Shawn hitting an elbow drop through the other table on Orton. The match sort of ends with no bell and seemingly no real signal the match is over. Now HHH did well to carry on given the injury, but it was still dumb to do so. The match is good but also has its flaws. Things like the aforementioned aimless back work and the structure of the match being brawl, normal match, brawl. No natural progression. However, the finish (if you can call it that) ruled and was easily the peak of the match. ***1/2
  9. What a disappointment. This wasn't any good imo. Nothing about this match felt right. This wasn't very compelling with Edge on offence. Both were sloppy and botched a few things. They did stuff but it wasn't fun to watch. They just didn't click for whatever reason. I know this was a ladder match but there was too many spots close together. Cena went though a table one minute, Edge went through a table the next but got back in the ring and took another table spot not 2 minutes later (which was very obvious as it feel which meant Cena had to put it back up). The last spot is very memorable but watching it now, it's not nearly enough impactful because they didn't space them out far enough. Pretty bad ladder match imo. *
  10. Excellent match. Fantastic beatdown by Brock, fresh off his return from MMA, unleashing STIFF as fuck shots to Cena and throwing him around like he was nothing. Cena bumping and selling his butt off, not that he had a choice. The crowd was hot too. The blood added a lot and put over Brock as a killer, something different. But the ref stoppagez early on kinda disrupted the flow slightly. Although, that couldn't be helped. ****1/2
  11. Makai Club #1

    [2005-04-03-WWE Wrestlemania XXI] Shawn Michaels vs Kurt Angle

    This was so disappointing on the re-watch. Compared to the last time I watched it where I have it ***3/4, this wasn't good, at least not at that extent. I wasn't into the early wrestling in the beginning at all. Angle is boring on offence and HBK isn't technically sound enough to make it work unlike Lesnar or Benoit. The ankle spots felt like it went on way too long. I understand milking it, but it made the ankle lock feel weak. Angle not continuing on with his back work was equally annoying too, but he usually does that in any match - work on the back for most of it then suddenly go for the ankle. Not awful, but not good either. **1/4
  12. After a good start HHH taking on RVD, the match got a little boring for a long time until Shawn got in the match. Then the match got very good and Shawn/HHH had easily the best piece of wrestling they had in the entirety of their feud. The crowd was hot for it and so was I. It is a shame that the middle portion was a forgettable section because the start and end were great. ***3/4
  13. Decent match. I thought it was on par with their No Mercy match which honestly isn't saying a lot. The falls were a little forgettable and the match just seemed to happened. **1/2
  14. Makai Club #1

    [1952-01-25-Kohler Chicago] Lou Thesz vs Verne Gagne

    I was surprised by how easy it was to watch it. No adjustment period whatsoever. It honestly wouldn't be out of place if you put this on random show today. Loved Thesz being the classic NWA champion, being the subtle heel, doing the little things to get the crowd to turn against him and into Gagne. The grappling was exceptional too. Everything was tight as a vice, rough and gritty. The counters and cuts offs were done really well and the timing of everything was spot on. A few uninteresting bits here and there but generally really engaging. Great stuff
  15. Simply fantastic. One of the best matches of the match type. Everything a Hell In A Cell Match should be. Didn't go out of the match in some cheap way. It was a bloody slugfest with some great storytelling. Awesome finish too. Brock was great all round here. Dishing out some big bombs or bumping for Taker - anything he was asked to do, he did it well. Taker was not far behind him and sure his selling of the hand wasn't the best but I can put that down to adrenaline. A shout out to Heyman and his great managerial performance too. ****3/4