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Makai Club #1

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    Makai #6

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  1. Makai Club #1

    [2020-09-27-WWE-Clash of Champions] Roman Reigns vs Jey Uso

    The match was built really well. I know this because I heard about it without watching it, that’s usually a good sign. I dug them taking their promos and heritage into the match as well. I loved how Jey Uso was basically mamed for the most part, only getting limited time to really shine and get some offence in. That hierarchy play is perfectly in tune with the Tribal talk. Roman’s swagger and dominance was very compelling. Jey was very sympathetic and every hope spot led me wanting more and more. BUT like most WWE matches, they trip over their own feet with some small but irritating things. It went too long. This could’ve done with some tightening up. Perhaps it was a matter of Roman dragging it out for respect reasons but you can cut it down and get the same story but better. I have to mention the talking. I get it and it kinda works in the feud but this is something that sounds better on paper than in reality. It was kinda embarrassing and way too cute at times. Roman himself looked awkward because it seems like he didn’t know where to look while he was doing his “I’m the Tribal Leader”. The finish again made sense but I don’t really care for the melodramatic finish with Jimmy coming down and throwing in the towel. These things just gnaw at me and gave me a rather cold feeling towards the match despite all of the good. But I do want to see more of this so job done I guess. ***1/4
  2. This was only 2 minutes longer than the semi main event to this show but boy this felt much, much longer. Baba and Hansen winning means Kobashi and Misawa are crowned World Tag Team Champions! I thought this was good in parts but awkwardly paced. The bits with Baba weren’t very good at all. Kawada seemed scared to even touch him, throwing kicks that clearly don’t touch him by a mile. The difference between Hansen in the match and Baba in the match was staggering. Thankfully Kawada redeems himself with Hansen. ***
  3. They had Budokan Hall rocking for this match. And the way they laid the match out, that’s no surprise. There was very little downtime with the match going at a very hot fast tempo. All while putting Misawa and Kobashi in the vulnerable position. Ace and Williams were the dominant team for the whole match, working over Misawa for such a long time which set up the eventual comeback climb perfectly. And then the dramatic closing stretch with a ton nail-biting nearfalls for both sides. This was just a superbly worked tag team match. ****
  4. Makai Club #1

    [2019-09-19-NJPW-G1 Climax 30] Minoru Suzuki vs Tomohiro Ishii

    With these two, you know what exact match you’re getting and this was definitely that but somehow a tad more vicious and violent this time around. There were a ton of forearm strikes and headbutt shots but I think the charm of the match was watching Suzuki clearly overtake Ishii in that regard and Ishii selling the results of that. I’m pretty sure Ishii was getting some serious swelling on his face thanks to Suzuki’s slaps. Ishii pulling out of the Air Raid was awesome as well. Very good G1 match. ***1/2
  5. So naturally I was excited to witness this. The match doesn’t have a great reputation as the Misawa or Kobashi match, mostly because Doc’s strengths lie in his signature high-impact offence which also is All Japan’s bread and butter. This feels a more stripped down, methodical match that I can see coming off as dull and not as captivating to some as it was to me. It went a bit too long in parts and they could’ve gone home earlier but I enjoyed the ride they took us. I thought they did a tremendous job in teasing and building up their biggest hits that the match exploded when they finally went for them. Whether it was Kawada going for the kill shots at the end or Williams hitting the Stampede, Doctor Bomb and the Dangerous Backdrop for many great false finishes. Kawada’s strikes were timed perfectly as well. I don’t remember him hitting as many spinning backfists before to such great effect. They were the turning point for his eventual win. And I must point out how great Williams’s selling was towards the end. Even when he was blocking the kick attempts, he was staggering around, clearly out of his feet. Just great stuff. There were a few people in the front row crying when Kawada won the title. I felt that. Loved this wholeheartedly. ****1/4
  6. Makai Club #1

    G1 Climax 30

    The main event was fine imo. Some iffy execution and pacing issues aside, it was a good match, just not a flat out great match. Okada looked more motivated in the match and looked good according to the story they were telling.
  7. The match worried me a bit with the really boring grappling portions of the match. It wasn’t the usual Muto lazy stuff, they were fairly snug and clearly tried to give the match a grand feeling and a big build. But it just failed to be interesting until they moved out of that. But the latter stages of the match more than made up for it with its drama and epic sequences with Muto invading Hashimoto’s dangerous kicks and strikes. The crowd once they woke up were rabid for this. It’s clear what they were going for but it only half worked. ***1/4
  8. Isn’t this something? WCW, if they weren’t totally incompetent, could’ve looked back in their histroy at this for being a historically important match. A generational passing between the older guard to the next generation. How they didn’t build the next five years around Austin and Pilman, I do not know (Actually, I do. Thanks, Hogan). But alas this is still a really great match to have in your archive. This is Ric Flair’s first match back in WCW thanks to his contract with WWF stopping him from wrestling for the first few months. And the match is booked to accommodate Flair and Arn. The Blondes are excellent as chickenshit heels that get the snot kicked out of them so it works really well. The two straight falls is a bit too much and just a poor booking choice to go with though. As mentioned before, the Blondes are great in their role. Not only do they bump and selling superbly for the Horsemen, they do a fantastic job in control, cutting Flair off from Anderson with their great teamwork and individual skills. Austin had some great schtick. During one sequence in the match, Anderson moved out of the way of an Austin move in the ropes but Austin rode the momentum, landed on his feet and did the Hollywood Blondes “rolling” taunt. It led nicely into Anderson hitting a DDT but I thought that was a standout Austin moment even if it didn’t work out for him in the match. Anderson’s performance was excellent. His selling was outstanding and showcased why he’s touted as a great wrestler. Pilman’s clip of the leg just before the 2nd fall is really brushed off in the moment for a Flair hot tag but Anderson still sells the leg and threads it along into the 2nd fall and the rest of the match. Flair takes advantage of this being a Pro-Horsemen crowd and goes nuts. He is filled with fire and energy. Flair is visibly excited to be back in WCW and it’s infectious. I thought this was a great match, just incomplete with an odd finish and somewhat poor booking throughout the match. ****1/4
  9. Makai Club #1

    [2003-09-18-WWE-Smackdown] Kurt Angle vs Brock Lesnar (Iron Man)

    I watched this the other day while the NXT Iron man match was happening, just to see the comparison, and I actually hated it. I put it on being really tired (it was 1-2 am at the time for me) so it didn't think much of it. But upon reflection, the flaws stick out just as much. There are some great aspects of the match that I like. Brock's peformance is magnificant from bell-to-bell. He combines great wrestling with great character work throughout the match. When he's sneaky, he does that excellently - facials, mannerisms, actions, everything. When he's dastardly, he's just that. If there is one reason to watch the match, it's Brock. I liked how some of the falls were played out. The early DQ to get the advantage in the long run is played out in 2020 but not in 2003 and the execution of it is great. Again thanks to Brock's selling of it. But I found myself getting more and more fustrated by all the rest that this match had to offer. Kurt Angle is essentially a robot. Nothing he does inspires sympathy to capitalize on what Brock does. His wrestling is so unengaging and uninteresting. The endless suplexes are repetitive and benal. Angle's selling is very basic and doesn't inspire anything from me. How am I supposed to care for a 60 minute match when one of the wrestlers is so off the pace? I previously mentioned how some of the falls were very good but there were a few falls that came out of nowhere. No struggle, no build, no real tension in Angle's comeback. The match is very disjointed in quality. Some parts are good, most parts are bad. And I'm left with a terrible taste in my mouth. Godbless Brock Lesnar but there is far too much that I hate to about this match. **1/4
  10. This may just be the Chono mark in me but I love his finishing stretches. The constant barrage of Yakuza kicks either climaxes with an emphatic finish or a great transition. It works every time for me and when Muto caught that dropkick on the Kick attempt, the match felt over instantly. The rest of the match was brilliant. Muto and Hase worked great as a team both in the match and in general. Muto was always ready to make the save while Hase was in danger but Hase’s selling gave the match some epic drama. Hashimoto was great when matched with Hase. He beat the heck out of Hase with kicks and knees but he took some ridiculous bumps like the Shawn Michaels-esc bump over the top rope for a missed spin kick. Great match. ****1/4
  11. The match took awhile to invest me fully into the match, if I’m being honest with my criticism. That’s not usually something I need to deal with but there was just something that wasn’t sticking for a bit. Then the match hooked me suddenly, and from that point forth, the match was great. Naturally with two of the most stiff wrestlers of the era, this was super snug and stiff with the strikes and submissions being displayed. Hansen would throw downward slaps that looked so brutal and he hit a killer dive that had so much force behind it. It was awesome just watching the two beat the heck out of each other. Kawada himself brought the heavy strikes with the big slaps he threw and Gamengiris. Kawada’s selling at the big moments was huge. Loved the lariat that was hit with so much speed that Hansen fell out of the ring, saving Kawada a few more minutes. Great match barring a few moments of indifference. ****1/4
  12. This struggled to connect with me. I’m not sure if it was Muto not being the most interesting of guys on the roster as far as I’m concerned or Hase’s work on the leg but I found this kinda boring. Hase’s work on the leg was decent and consistent throughout. I dug Hase’s different version of the Muta Lock with the arm hooks. Muto, to his credit, was able to milk the drama and create a great atmosphere to work off. I liked his brief comebacks, including a wicked judo throw but his selling of the leg was missing. There is a ton to like but I wasn’t fully into it. **1/2
  13. Hase continues his strong form from the Summer against his fellow contender for WOTY, Genichiro Tenryu. These two have a truly great match together apart from the finish which came off weird with Tenryu hitting a bunch of enziguris which Hase sells by staggering followed up by a powerbomb. Another day, this would’ve come off very dramatic but it was flat in this instance. The rest of the match brought it though. Hase’s timing and selling was excellent as well as his fire which Tenryu matched of course. This was violent with hard strikes and great submission attempts. ****
  14. The first meeting of the two as fully formed wrestlers and it was tremendous. The atmosphere alone gave me goose bumps. A bit of a slaw start with the tag partners trying to feel each other but Kawada than starts to get the better of Misawa, pissing Misawa off. Kawada working on the arm and head of Misawa, before trying to put him away. Misawa than gets the crowd on hsis side and the match picks up the pace and the all japan bomb fest begins. They lay into each other with their biggest moves and brutal strikes. The finish was good, even if it wasn't clean. ****1/2
  15. Makai Club #1

    Current New Japan

    B Block is good but I don't see much magic there besides Juice and Tanahashi. A Block looks tremendous. It has the worst two guys in the G1 but the top matches have the potential to be outstanding, blow-away matches.