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Makai Club #1

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    Makai #6

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  1. Makai Club #1

    Current New Japan

    I dunno where they are going with the Ospreay stuff but I think they should play it safe and go back to Okada for a while.
  2. Makai Club #1

    [2021-10-15-AEW Rampage - The Buy In] Bryan Danielson vs Minoru Suzuki

    This was a fun match. It had elements of being an exhibition type match at times, particularly early on with the loose grappling and elbow exchanges but once the action got sustained momentum, this rocked. I think they went through every spot you could have between the two and did it really well. The best parts of the match for me were Suzuki stiffing Bryan with the elbow later in the match and the finish itself. The finish was great. Good match. ***1/4
  3. This was pretty damn great. The fantastic transitions and counters from Ronda. Some awesome duel limb work with Ronda going for the arm and Charlotte going for the leg along with some great selling from Ronda (And Charlotte too). This was very intense and some parts were nasty and brutal like the snug spear from Charlotte. Liked this a ton. The finish was awesome too, job well done. Maybe the best women's match in WWE history. ****1/2
  4. Makai Club #1

    [1994-05-17-RINGS] Volk Han vs Mitsuya Nagai

    The first match in 1993 gets a reputation for being a squash but I disagree, thinking this is a better example of it. This still has some good sequences between the two, who have very underrated chemistry as opponents, with Volk Han being less troubled by the young Mitsuya Nagai. Nagai fires off some kicking combos and works hard to defend against the traditional Volk Han style but it only takes a moment before Han takes his chance via a choke. ***
  5. Makai Club #1

    [1993-04-24-RINGS] Volk Han vs Mitsuya Nagai

    Nagai fights for his life in his biggest match upto this point. Volk Han outclassed him in almost every turn except that one moment where Nagai floored Han with an axe kick. Something as small as that, something that proved insignificant compared to the rest of the bout, sent Nagai into a frenzy and had him celebrating like Japan won the World Cup. Nagai, spurred on by the hot crowd, kept alive, kept getting to the ropes despite Han tangling him up in knots. The result was inevitable but each rope break gave Nagai antagonising hope in his endeavour. Fantastic match. ****1/4
  6. Makai Club #1

    Dramatic Dream Team (And Friends)

    TJPW Wrestle Princess 2 - 09/10/2021 Haruna Neko, Kaya Toribami & Mahiro Kiryu vs. Pom Harajuku, Raku & Ram Kaicho This was a fun way to kick off the show. All six are solid wrestlers with their own little quirks and gimmicks that can be presented in short bursts. ** Hyper Misao vs. Rika Tatsumi vs. Nodoka Tenma I think this spot is far too low for someone like Rika Tatsumi who spent half of the year as PoP champion, regardless of on-going storylines which I admittedly haven't been following. From what I can find, this was the only spot available as Tatsumi was ill, or something, for most of the build. Nodoka Tenma and Hyper Misao are fun acts to work with, however, so this was an enjoyable experience. Tatsumi and Misao played off their history together, linking it in with some comedy spots. Tatsumi hit Misao after Nodoka moved from an attempted double team move on purpose after initially stopping herself, similar to one of Florida Express’ signature gags, and then later she turned on Misao again, hitting a hip attack after posing together. Nodoka took the brunt of most of the offence but she was the eventual winner of the match which stunned me a little. **1/2 VENYU (ASUKA & Yuki Kamifuku) vs. Marika Kobashi & Nao Kakuta Audio aside, I kinda loved the entrance of Kamiyu and ASUKA. I love how their gimmicks are about how comfortable they are flaunting their sexuality. The match didn't amount to much except for establishing VENYU as a dominant duo. The match was booked accordingly, like Kobashi and Kakuta were inferior with the two constantly being on the back foot against the aggressive style of ASUKA and Kamiyu. Nao Kakuta got some shine in the match when paired against Kamiyu and ASUKA stood out a lot with her character work and charisma. This was a solid match that got what it needed to get across. **3/4 Riho & Shoko Nakajima vs. Arisu Endo & Suzume Riho is back in TJPW. It’s been awhile since Riho has done anything notable, in fact. Not since May when she wrestled for the NWA World Women's Title against Serena Deeb. Similar to the match prior, this was two wrestlers higher on the totem pole against two lesser wrestlers, only Endo and Suzume seem to be proper prospects with the idea behind the match being Riho wanting to see how much they've improved since she was a mainstay in the promotion. There was a lot of poise in Endo and Suzume’s offence, and while they didn't look like they were going to win, they looked competent enough with Riho and Shoko leading the way. **1/4 Aja Kong & Moka Miyamoto vs. Miu Watanabe & Yuki Arai In 2021, there is only so much mileage you can get out of Aja Kong but this does a splendid job of milking what they could, getting the most out of her star power while using it for the benefit of Arai and Miu. I don't think I'll be able to get the visual of Yuki Arai locking up with Aja Kong out of my mind nor Miu trying to hit a giant swing on Kong. That was the peak of the match for me. The struggle and selling of the moment was huge and felt significant. Miu even getting Kong slightly off the mat showed a lot. Miyamoto was the least important of the match but she had her spots against Arai, who she defeated earlier in the year. The closing stretch was shockingly good. There was genuine drama in the near falls a lot of the time. Most of which had Arai kick surviving Kong’s signature offence or Miu stopping the count. It was an effective way to end the match before the inevitable moment. ***1/4 International Princess Title Match: Hikari Noa (c) vs. Yuki Aino The definition of solid. Both wrestlers have their own set of skills and combine them together to make a compelling, but not great match. It's a match of flash vs basics with not much fluff in between. *** Princess Tag Team Title Match: Magical Sugar Rabbits (Mizuki & Yuka Sakazaki) vs. NEO Biishiki-gun (Mei Saint-Michel & Sakisama) (c) This is one of those matches that improved as it went along. There was some classic NBG comedy that was both awkward and sloppily done. It hardly felt out of place but it was poorly executed. The match took its time to regain its footing and kick on but it did thanks to the great skill of all involved. The tag team wrestling was excellent. The match had plenty of great double team sequences, from both Biishiki Gun and MSR, with contrasting character works. Mei was a little shit the whole match, using her smaller size to cause trouble for Yuka and Mizuki. The dynamics of her and Sakisama were excellently on display and it allowed for a compelling match on top of the action itself. Miracle Sugar Rabbits were great in their own right with their tremendous chemistry as a team while using their individual talents to enhance the match in the vital moments. Some of their spots were creative like the broom spot, giving Mei her due receipts, and the double cross bodys to both the inside and outside of the ring. The finish with Mizuki picking up the win was a little sudden but with an action packed match, maybe a more intense closing stretch would've been a bit much. All in all, I really enjoyed the match despite its rough start. The performances were distinctive and compelling. Mei Sint-Michel as a gimmick is right up my alley. It makes perfect use of Mei's creativity and ability to think of cool moves and ideas. ***3/4 Princess Of Princess Title Match: Miyu Yamashita (c) vs. Maki Itoh Oh my! What a magnificent ending this match had. Sometimes describing something in wrestling as “emotional” can be a little tacky but this was all visceral in how much emotion it projected. Once Miyu hit Itoh with the spinning heel kick, Itoh started yelling in anguish while on the ground and Miyu, almost, started to cry, feeling the moment and feeling that victory was close. The whole match was a great piece of work. Miyu was phenomenal in holding this match together with Maki Itoh, who I generally don’t care for, holding her weight. She leveled up to the occasion - her biggest match to date and one of the few chances she’ll get to shed the loser tag she has - adding some good babyface fire to the match. Although I hated the moment in the match where Itoh caught Miyu in a single-leg crab only to let it go instantly to do a top rope move. That's just poor wrestling. Most of the match was driven around Miyu’s striking combos and Itoh's counters which led to smooth and crisp sequences with not much down time. From bell-to-bell, they worked towards getting the win. Then it ended in the appropriate manner with Miyu, who’s been the company’s ace since the start, ending the night giving the speech holding the title. ****
  7. Makai Club #1

    Dramatic Dream Team (And Friends)

    CyberFight Festival 2021 - 06/06/2021 Kaito Kiyomiya & Yoshiki Inamura vs. The 37KAMIINA (Konosuke Takeshita & Yuki Ueno) It was great seeing Kiyomiya against wrestlers that he can consider his equals and peers. No offence to Go Shiozaki, Takashi Sugiura and Marufuji, but they aren't his peers, but rather his seniors which makes him feel lesser to them in a promotion like NOAH. Here, he feels like what he is presented as. He's a NOAH representative and a star. That makes a world of difference. The match itself was excellent. It was exactly what you want from a dream interpromotional match, at this level anyway. It’s not Shinya Hashimoto/Yuji Nagata v Jun Akiyama/Mitsuharu Misawa. Everyone went full pelt, trying to shine above each other and score the victory for their respective promotions. No one was the clear weak link. It was a series of bombs and bombs with the occasional cohesive tag team wrestling in between. Takeshita and Kiyomiya had some banging exchanges where they'd throw each other on their necks and keep on ticking out of pride. Ueno and Inamura had their spotlight as well. It was very hard to ignore Ueno hitting amazing dropkicks at a drop of a dime and even scoring the pin fall victory over Kiyomiya, which was a big shock to everyone including myself. Great interpromotional bout. ***3/4 DDT Who's Gonna Top 2021 - 26/09/2021 KO-D Openweight Title Match: Konosuke Takeshita (c) vs. Chris Brookes What a strong ace performance this was by Takeshita. Chris Brookes is a tricky opponent that has beaten Takeshita before but he isn't necessarily a credible threat to the title so Takeshita had to step up in his own way to have a strong offensive performance in his first title defence of the reign while making Brookes come off a bit viable challenger, and I thought he did that. His selling was truly excellent just before the final stretch. Brookes hit two neck crunching moves which Takeshita sold like death, just barely being able to escape being pinned. Takeshita sold in a way that made him come off as vulnerable and in danger of losing . Takeshita was able to make a hard hitting comeback with Brookes breaking his nose just before the finish off a lariat, which was a brutal way to break it, ending with a Plus Ultra. ***3/4
  8. Makai Club #1

    [2021-09-22-AEW-Dynamite] Kenny Omega vs Bryan Danielson

    It was fairly cool to see Bryan work more aggressively and violent than he has done in years. You'd almost be forgiven if you said that Bryan was working heel, but obviously, Bryan subscribes to the theory that faces and heels shouldn't work in a set way, so you'd be incorrect. The time limit draw was telegraphed but they filled the time really well. I think my favourite stretch of wrestling was the first 15 minutes of the match, pre the break, where they really did as little as they could possibly do. Sticking mostly to hard chops, kicks and a bunch of assorted lock-ups. All of it was so compelling. Omega had a brief control spot that was a bit tepid but he quickly found his groove and spiked Bryan with a gross Dragon Suplex of the ramp way, followed by a V-Trigger. The second half was only small glimpses of what is in store for later matches. We got some insane moves like a dragon suplex off the top rope and an awesome LeBell lock spot but it fell apart in parts with some 50/50 “your turn, my turn” spots that didn't derail the match’s momentum, but rather stood out as the weakest points of the match. They were very haphazard. They felt very ordinary and run of the mill compared to the rest of the bout. Nevertheless, this was a rare great match for AEW, especially on television. ****
  9. Makai Club #1

    [2016-06-16-Stardom] Yoko Bito vs Kairi Hojo

    Yoko Bito makes her return after four years off. Unfortunately she'd only last another year before retiring once more but Bito, for me, was one of my favourite wrestlers of the period. She isn't blessed with charisma like Kairi Hojo is but she has a great kick heavy style and is one of the more rootable wrestlers in Joshi. And she looked good here. The rust got to her eventually but Kairi took over by that point and it wasn't a huge problem either. Bito had some awesome kicks that landed flush on its target, whether Bito was throwing flat kicks to the chest or hard head kicks, they looked great. Kairi eventually figured out a way to counter them, finding Bito’s rhythm before throwing back fists, which in turn led to some exciting counter sequences. The closing elbow drops were brutal with Kairi landing on her ribs onto Bito and not elbow first. That's pure bone on bone and she did it twice. ***1/2
  10. I thought the heat of the match was uneven. Sometimes it'd be red hot and full of vinegar with Liger palming everyone in sight, sometimes it'd be the run of the mill Junior Heavyweight Tag match. The quality was always good but for NOAH vs New Japan matches, this was low in terms of heat. Liger was awesome, as I mentioned already. He laid Kikuchi out on the ramp, he low blowed Kanemaru when the ref wasn't looking and reacted exactly like he should've when Kanemaru ripped his mask. Tanaka pulled out some neat counters and had a rather arrogant personality but he didn't bring much intensity to the match. Kikuchi was fun to watch wrestle in this role as well. A good match if you lower your expectations. ***1/2
  11. I was close to calling this a terrible match before it was saved by the closing stretch. Most of the match was filled with sloppy, bland Junior Heavyweight style wrestling. Kobashi bumped too early for a neckbreaker and some of the counters weren't too smooth either. The crowd was relatively quiet before they began doing the spots that would be more refined later on and this got good quickly. One aspect of the match I thought was strong was the build to the Tiger Driver. The struggle of the whole spot was good. It's a shame the rest of the match is a bit of a mess.
  12. I thought this started off really well. It was lively and hard hitting with quick tags and exciting sequences but the match settled quickly after that and it lost its moment. This was an off night for Williams whose offence came off very sloppy and ugly. Gordy came off much more refined, even during the slow “work the leg”portions of the match. Yatsu has got a reputation for being a bit lethargic in this period but I think he has some bright moments in the match, such as him getting a close two count on a German suplex to Gordy but make no mistake about it, the match was best when Gordy and Jumbo were in the match. Disappointing considering the names.
  13. Great Kabuki is pretty run down but he does some things really well like his uppercut that cause Hansen problems. Enough so that he has to throw Kabuki to the outside out of desperation because he couldn't peer through them like he did with Taue’s dropkick. Tenryu was the more vulnerable of the duo so Hansen had to bail him out several times, adding solid tag team wrestling to the mix rather than being four individuals. ***
  14. After Takagi attacked Tenryu before his match with Ivan Koloff, Tenryu was out for blood, blowing Jumbo off wanting Takagi instead. And when Takagi showed nothing, Tenryu turned very disrespectful. We got some great moments with Jumbo and Tenryu as well but the magic of the match was Tenryu’s disdain for everyone. As he showed in the Jan 14th tag match, Tenryu’s actions can hurt his partners and that was the same here. Tenryu got violently angry with Fuchi and everyone else on the outside and when he was too busy being the one man show, Kawada got left alone and dealt with easily by Jumbo. Tenryu’s character work is immense but I love how it had a consequence. ***1/2
  15. Tenryu truly does elevate anything he’s in, doesn't he? He outright bullies Tiger Mask, egging on Fuyuki to do the same, ripping the mask, pummeling him. Even for the finish, he smacks an ungodly lariat TM’s way. Jumbo is beside himself, constantly trying to come in to stop Revolution tactics but he gets the rub of the green when Tenryu hits him with a lariat while he has Fuyuki’s leg (a target established early on), knocking him deeper into single leg, getting the tap. ***1/2