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Makai Club #1

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    Makai #6

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  1. Millenials aren't heels - I don't know if that helps or not. Mad Blankey are the heel unit of Dragon Gate and there is only one heel unit at a time usually. Millenials are more tweenerish, I'd say.
  2. 5 lashes for the losing team. If The Midnight Express loses, Cornette gets lashes as well!! This was a combination of their other matches. The Midnight Express acting all cowardly and bumping huge for the face team when they do try and wrestle them initially. The crowd, as always, is hot for Magnum who uses it perfectly to make everything he does feel BIG. Eaton especially is excellent at throwing himself about and absorbing tons of damage. Eaton does these scrambling for cover spots and I always get a kick out of it. Mr Wrestling II goes wild with a chair after Eaton misses with it and the crowd eats it up. Eventually the MNX gained some control and cut off Magnum perfectly from Mr Wrestling II, going back to the grounded hammerlock that got them success in the prior match. The hot tag is made and it looked like Mr Wrestling II was about to pin Condrey but Magnum accidently got the ref distracted, preventing the cover from being made and Eaton took advantage and pinned Mr Wrestling II with Cornette pushing his foot off the bottom rope. Booo! One of my favourite things about these amtches is that it always has a “Do not throw anything in the Sam Huston coliseum” announcement by Paul Boesch. To Magnum and II’s credit, they take the lashes without much complaint. Eaton doing crying impressions in the background while Cornette and Condrey mockingly do “Two” chants was gold. Great match and great angle. ****
  3. This was an excellent follow up from their Triple Crown title match in 92. One of my main criticisms of the match would be Misawa hitting the TD early, which while unexpected, was honestly something that didn’t have much prevalence as Kawada would control the match a few minutes later. However, I liked them playing from their first encounter with more strikes and big blows. Kawada was excellent with his targeting of Misawa’s neck with brutal downward elbows to the area, wrenching chin locks and eventual setups to the Stretch Plum. Kawada fought with great strategy effort too. He knew when to take his time and when to urgently follow up with his attacks. At first he’d wait patiently after Misawa rolls outside for a reprieve and then attack instantly as he gets into the ring. And when Misawa catches Kawada out doing that method, he’d learn from it and attack him on the outside too. He was very explosive when he was going back and forth with Misawa later in the match too. Loved their competitive stretches of offence, like the rams into the turnbuckle and the elbow blows which Kawada would actually win. Misawa was really good working from beneath, putting over Kawada’s work, working desperately with his big elbows and facelocks. The submission work by both men was excellent too. The crowd really latched on whenever the face lock or the stretch plum was locked on. The finish was really clever. The nearfalls of both the Tiger Driver and Powerbomb were effective and then doing a KO finish from a Misawa elbow gave it a big exclamation point. You can definitely feel the escalation of their feud from friendly rivalry to slightly nasty and bitter. ****1/4
  4. Makai Club #1

    [1985-06-21-AJPW] Genichiro Tenryu vs Riki Choshu

    Loved this a ton. A large portion of it was the two battling out on the mat struggling for either the cross arm breaker or sasori-gatame with sporadic on the feet slaps and high impact offence. It was pretty engrossing to watch, I thought. Tenryu twisting Choshu's wrist as a defence for the sasori-gatame is my type of wrestling. The little slap fests were fun. They really added to the intensity both radiate. Tenryu hitting a quick folding powerbomb and dropping Choshu on how neck was awesome as well. The finish was classic 80s Puro Wrestling with a bloody Tenryu, selling it all in the process, being pummpled by Choshu who snaps and pushes the ref causing the DQ. What isn't typical Japanese wrestling is Hara coming out and attacking both Choshu and Tenryu. Weird. ****1/4
  5. Makai Club #1

    [2020-03-08-WWE-Elimination Chamber] Daniel Bryan vs Drew Gulak

    This was super good. The only thing the match lacked was much interest from the crowd initially. The rest made for a very tight and compact match. They escalated from duel mat wrestling, starting from wrist locks into Gulak working on the famously injured neck of Bryan and into some scary suplexes. Gulak slamming Bryan’s head into the mat when Bryan tried to do the WOS handstand counter was great. He locked on some great moves but his focus was also very suplex heavy. Bryan hit a great looking Dragon Suplex which Gulak matches by launching Bryan on his neck. Bryan’s selling was pretty good - a little too realistic at times with him feeling his fingers. The finish with the Gu-Lock counter into the Yes Lock was a great explanation point to finish the match off with. ****
  6. Incredibly fast start with Magnum and Mr Wrestling II attacking the MNX while they are still in their robes and totally beat them pillar to post for the opening five minutes. The Midnight Express do the recover on the outside spot but Magnum chases Eaton around the ring, putting a stop to that and causing the MNX to panic even further. The crowd continued to go mental for Magnum punching Eaton’s face when the match finally began to get some order. Mr Wrestling II does the same thing to an even bigger reaction. This is all sold really well by the Midnight Express who are flying everywhere selling, desperately scrambling for cover and cheating whenever they can. MNX are their usual great selves when they work over Mr Wrestling II with some great tag team work that gets great heel heat from the crowd and even elicits a bizarre “TWO” chant. Magnum TA gets a small hot tag but the MNX regained control before Magnum got himself DQ’d with a 2x4, which will lead to a rematch next month. The energy was crazy with the crowd being into EVERYTHING, very little downtime and great wrestling all round. ****
  7. This was super good. It was slowly built but unlike the other slow MVC, this was still compelling and wasn’t filled with aimless amature style holds. Misawa vs Williams was set up nicely at the start before Williams pinned him for the win. The FIP section with the MVC working over Kawada was super compelling, with the offence being super snug with Kawada relying on kicks and holds to keep Gordy at bay. The finishing stretch was good with the duel facelock/stretch plum by the champions and it built well to the Oklahoma Stampede finish. ****
  8. I must say. Akiyama is a great addition to these Tsuruta Gun vs SGA matches. A new name, fresh ideas and moves and someone that’s got more flexibility. Akiyama shows that in the big first part of the match. First exchanging some headlocks and takeovers with Kikuchi and then double teaming with Ogawa on Kobashi. Kobashi was pretty great in this I thought. He chained some great moves together in a big stretch. The match overall built superbly to a big closing stretch with Kikichi hitting all he had to pin Akiyama. Great match. ****
  9. It’s fun seeing Kikuchi not be the lowest one on the totem pole in this match with Akiyama in the mix. Kikuchi went to town on young Jun. I’m pretty sure he fluffed a landing on the cross body and landed on Akiyama’s face. Kikuchi gets put back in his place by Fuchi however. There was some good stuff between them - I really like tests of strengths and they did a few in the beginning. Kobashi and Taue have some great exchanges down the stretch of the match as well. Kobashi also beating the hell out of Akiyama with stiff chops and then throwing Kikuchi on him was great. Note: I was typing this as the match progressed and I take back what I said about Kikuchi not being the lowest on the totem pole as Akiyama pins him. Poor Kikuchi. A good match but I thought it was a little tepid at times with Misawa coasting in the background while the other two put in the effort. Tsuruta Gun was a nice functioning team at least. ***1/2
  10. Makai Club #1

    [1988-08-08-NJPW] Tatsumi Fujinami vs Antonio Inoki

    Let's get the flaws out of the way first, the match lost steam around the 50 minute mark before picking back up in the last 2-3. Understandable but when the rest of the match is so exciting and so energetic, it's noticeable. It's very minor though because 50+ minutes of a 60 match being some of the most fun you can have watching wrestling negates it all. This was pretty fantastic. It's the epitome of the style. It has superb, snug mat work with great counters and most of all strategy with Fujinami mostly working on the leg of Inoki. There was a ton of emphasis on takedowns too. And heavy strikes that popped me big - Fujinami no selling the hard punches had me jumping around in shock and excitement. That's goddamn stubbornness right there, and then his sell of the following enziguri was also great. The sporadic strike exchanges all came at the perfect time and added to the ever rising drama. The high spots were all great. The struggle for the suplex on the top rope, Fujinami barrage of moves (that drop kick early on~! ), etc, etc. Going back to the aforementioned leg work, Inoki's selling was excellent - he in general was brilliant in everything he did from his transitions from hold to hold, his strikes, mat wrestling and selling was all up-to standard. He's limping was a constant presence. You don't need to be writhing in agony on the floor, although Fujinami's figure four which was still locked on when both fell out of the ring probably warranted it that level of selling (ouch). Fujinami was a king with his facial expressions, his fiery spurts of offence, his technique, everything. Inoki is a near god in New Japan and Fujinami didn't look out of place against him. Both brought it big time. The finishing run with Fujinami taking Inoki to his limit, refusing to lose to Inoki once again and thus keeping the title was great storytelling, and made for great significance for the promotion and Fujinami himself. *****
  11. Huh, Tito Santana. It’s weird seeing WWF contracted guys on NWA shows such as these. I would only guess that Vince didn’t reign his guys in until the big push for mainstream attention later in the year. I love Tito. He’s one of my favourite wrestlers of the time period and it’s always super fun. Ditto for Butch Reed. A great power guy with super good technical ability and agile for his size. He is a former two time Mid-South North American champion. We get some classic Tito fire kicking off the match complete with arm drags and an armbar before they struggle for headlock control. Reed hit a brutal belly to back suplex with Tito landing on his neck with so much force. Tito really sells this superbly on the outside, fighting and struggling to get back in the ring and beat the count. From that point forward, this was all Butch Reed working the neck. Reed uses his big massive frame to great advantage, using it for extra weight and leverage while in a grounded front facelock. The match builds to the Tito comeback really well with some great hope spots for him and good cut offs from Butch Reed. The crowd chants for Tito when starts his initial comeback and pops big when he hits the flying forearm and pins Butch Reed. Great match. Tito Santana was predictably great as the sympathetic face, working from beneath. His selling was good and his comebacks were awesome. Butch Reed did some great work on the neck as well. Great effort all round. ****
  12. I really liked this until it hits that last big closing stretch as it drags on a little too long. The selling and big spots were all good - no complaints there - it just felt overan to me. The match in the build upto that is surpsingly great with tons of emphasis on selling from Shinzaki who got cut by a Izumida headbutt. Loved how the champs' offence was mostly headbutts, targetting the cut. And it wasn't no-selling headbutts either, Shinzaki was out on his feet and struggling to stand at times. He was really good as the sympathetic FIP. Hayabusa hit his amazing looking highspots. That dive in the crowd to Izumida was both graceful and looked painful and the Firebird splash was predictably gorgeous looking. ***3/4
  13. This is the last show of GAEA Japan with two big retirements happening. Chigusa Nagayo and Sakura Hirota. What a way to end. And Hirota goes out the only way she can. Sakura Hirota doing a Tiger Mask cosplay is the finniest thing you'll ever see. All the Tiger Mask routines are done in hilarious fashion, in addition to some dancing but honestly, Ozaki's reaction is what kills me. She is so bemused at Hirota and struggling not to laugh half of the time. The bit with Ozaki-Gun and the GAEA roster tripping both up when they ran the ropes was a super fun spot that plays on the usual antics of Ozaki-Gun. Great pay off too with Yumi Ohka (???) getting confused and tripping up Ozaki. And the hits keep coming with the continiously failed spinning back fist attempts by Ozaki. There was a really good spot with Police where Hirota throws the tiger mask away and has a slap fight with him, leading to a big kiss. I can go on and on, this is a riot to watch. Well worth checking out if you're into comedy wrestling. Hirota goes all out for her retirement match (which would last around 5 years) and gives the fans the time of their lives. ****1/4
  14. Makai Club #1

    [2001-09-01-NOAH-Departure] Daisuke Ikeda vs Tamon Honda

    Fujiwara trainee vs Olympic Wrestler. Hell Yeah. The mat wrestling was really fun and the crowd popping big for that knee bar rules. Not much to say on this other than this was a really good match. ***1/2
  15. Makai Club #1

    [2000-07-13-WAR] Genichiro Tenryu vs Hayabusa

    I think this is one of the few times that I've seeked out a Hayabusa match to see what the crack is. I've watched him being in certain matches like the Onita one, the ECW tag, the All Japan tags he has with Shinzaki but this I seeked out specifically for him, my focus was on him. And he was alright, I came out prefering Tenryu which is fine. Hayabuysa bumped well for Tenryu and was a nice underdog who kept kicking out of moves. Tenryu was great. I loved the he'd wallop Hayabusa with a lariat. That tope was super fun to see as well. Hayabusa had some hope spots and that was really it. The one thing that stood out of his was the pele kicks. Both messy and precise. More of that. ***1/2