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Makai Club #1

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    Makai #6

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  1. Makai Club #1

    Brock Lesnar Deep Dive

    I didn't see Test v Brock as any great hods clash either. That was the desired goal but it didn't really connect well to me. Test isn't as good as you'd ideally want him to be in order for it to work and Brock is still inexperienced by this point. Side point: King Of the Ring 2002 was a horrible ppv. Awful from Jericho v RVD onwards.
  2. Makai Club #1


    It's quite comfortably Cena for me. A tremendous one-two series with Umaga at New Years Revolution and the Royal Rumble. A great match with HBK on Raw (most people consider the WM main to be a good but I find it to be his only black mark in that title reign), a great set of title matches against nearly everyone on the roster, most of whom weren't workhorses, such as Khali and Lashley. He had arguably the best match with Orton at Summerslam and had a solid rematch at Unforgiven. It's unfortunate that he got injured before they could compete the trilogy because I think that would've only bolstered his case. Cena truly became the best wrestler in 2007. Other candidates will probably be Umaga, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Yuji Nagata, etc.
  3. Makai Club #1


    I think Austin is undeniable this year. If his heel turn wasn't considered a bust and the Invasion wasn't squandered, this would be considered one of those signature years, like how 1989 is synonymous with Flair.
  4. Makai Club #1


    I'd actually go with Akira Taue, as an odd answer. I'm actually surprised that Akiyama is touted as a popular answer, actually. I just finished combing through about as much 1996 All Japan as possible, and while he has a lot of great matches, I feel like he never stood out as the best worker in that company. In fact, he wasn't even my #2 option (Kobashi). Akiyama had a great feud with Kawada but all the magical moments, for me, belonged to Taue and Kobashi. The Champion Carnival Final was amazing. The Kobashi match is a Budokan Hall classic. And of course, the Tag League finals. That's Taue’s match, for me. Outstanding work in a work rate and character sense. And if I'm out to lunch on that, Kobashi is right there also making a great argument.
  5. Makai Club #1

    Adam Cole

    Cole has charisma and is over everywhere he goes but he might be one of the dullest, least interesting wrestlers that I've seen. The Gargano series was dreadful and a perfect example of a big match style gone wrong but it wasn't the norm for me as far as Cole is concerned. What is the norm was matches against Kyle O'Reilly that had all the action in the world but failed to materialise in anything interesting or visceral. Cole can try taking as many high bumps as he can but there is no drama or sense of danger there, making the spots moot. Cole is an absolute no for me.
  6. Makai Club #1


    Omega had an underwelming title reign with the Okada & Jay White's feud overshadowing it in the fall. So Okada? Katsuhiko Nakajima has an incredible year after a crowd killing title ace run in 2017. I forget who I went with in the WON awards. Gut says that Okada edges it.
  7. Makai Club #1


    Okada had a dodgy Post-Wrestle Kingdom period with the Goto "under the waterfall" feud falling flat on its face and then getting overshadowed by Naito until the Summer but Okada had an excellent ride after that. The Marufuji matches are sublime, the Ishii match is one of the more acclaimed matches of the period, the 30 draw with Tanahashi. Gosh. Okada had a great run in 2016, and it got shot out of the water by his 2017.
  8. Makai Club #1


    AJ was in one of the only pairings with Okada that I actively hate. He had his successes, like the Suzuki match in the G1 - which is genuinely great - but my main takeaway was that dud of a feud. I'd have to say HARASHIMA. Simply due to the fact that he has an outstanding KO-D Title reign(s) where almost every match is worth seeking out. He traded the title with KUDO early in the year in two very solid matches. HARASHIMA had a great series with Kenny Omega, that involved a 3-Way against Isami Kodaka that main evented Ryogoku, he was able elevated midcard challengers such as Keisuke Ishii and Soma Takao in a way that made them credible contenders, had two great match with the Irie to start and end the year. Tomohiro Ishii had a great 2014 as well.
  9. Makai Club #1

    Masaaki Mochizuki

    I always forget just how much I adore Mochizuki in the ring.I love him regardless of time period - when he was a karateka turned wrestler, when he was the bully douchebag that rode a scooter in Toryumon Japan, when he was an aging veteran. Everything. And I genuinely think that he got better with age and experience. He had arguably his best ever run in his 40s and looks great even now despite being cycled down the card. When I first got into Dragon Gate, I saw this old man in good shape as champion and I was skeptical, at first but Mochizuki totally blew me away when he had my 2018 MOTY against Kzy (Watch this!). Rewatching his old work always brings great results whether it's in tags or singles matches too. It’s not even a collection of great matches either. There are genuine MOTYCs against the likes of Shingo Takagi, YAMATO, CIMA. I find that he is terrific in the muti-man spectaculars that Dragon Gate always does, like the Cage matches, or the 4 Way Tags between Units. It’s rare that I leave a Mochizuki match with a bad taste in my mouth. Even when against young rookies, Mochizuki always delivers to what is expected. The biggest factor against him is the DG Style which affects everyone if you’re not into it and that’s somewhat disappointing because I genuinely think that he is/was a sensational wrestler. I tend to struggle to place more modern wrestlers in lists like these but Mochizuki will undoubtedly top that set of wrestlers.
  10. Makai Club #1

    Randy Orton

    Randy Orton is a tricky one as his career fluctuates with the wind. He can go through the motions, be one of the most dry, uninspiring wrestlers on the roster for years and years but he can switch a light and turn into a sea of life, capable of the most compelling matches in WWE. One series of matches of Orton’s that stands out to me are the Benoit matches. Whether it’s the Summerslam 04/Raw The Next Day set or the 05/06 series, most of them are either excellent or solid at the very least. And I feel it’s a very underrated feud of Orton’s. Everyone picks out the Bryan feud or the Christian feud. But despite the many great matches that he has on his resume, there is still that void of nothingness that hurts him. So he’s not a surefire #1 candidate but maybe in the 60-80 bracket?
  11. The result was a good one with smart booking that had the Midnight Express win the US Tag Team Titles without the help of Jim Cornette, solidifying the Midnights as a force. This follows the same structure as the Samoan Swat Team vs Rich and Rotunda but the Midnight Express had a great arsenal of double team moves around Pillman’s neck and Pillman’s selling was great. Eaton and Pillman had great chemistry together with little flubs early on before quickly finding a groove and finding their footing, mixing solid technical wrestling with innovative high flying spots (for 90s NA Wrestling). Stan Lane was great at making himself the asshole too. He'd taunt Tom Zenk before running, he'd go to Cornette for advice despite the cage and he'd use his kicks to cheap shot the champs. Lane complimented Eaton really well I thought. The finish was another cheap shot with Lane kicking Pillman in the back of his head, allowing Eaton to pin him with a cradle. ***1/2
  12. Another match that I wasn’t totally in love with. I’m not that big on the Rock N Roll Express as other fans of the era are - they are very good (calm down) but I prefer many other teams - and I’m indifferent towards the Freebirds of any kind. The stipulation allowed for both teams to coast and use it as a crutch. The freebirds dominate, then get their comeuppance before losing to a flashy pin by Ricky Morton. A bland match as you can have with these teams. **1/2
  13. Makai Club #1

    [1978-04-21-NJPW] Antonio Inoki vs Seiji Sakaguchi

    Out of all 70s Puro Wrestlers, Sakaguchi is probably a personal favourite of mine. His big lanky frame and legit skill makes for a great match always. Inoki was game for it, rounding this out to be an excellent match - a purist dream. Inoki keeps going for the legs but switches gears when Sakaguchi defends against it, turning into a chess match that leads to three stale mates. Two time limit draws and a double count out. The pop when it was announced that 10 minute minutes was being added was huge. Quality bout with outstanding submission wrestling. ****1/4
  14. I thought this was cool. Kimura and Baba teaming together in the tournament is huge by itself and the generational divide with them and Tenryu and Hansen elevates this. But I don’t honestly think that this is an all time classic, but this does have some shockingly great performances from Rusher Kimura, who wasn’t exactly a great wrestler in his prime. Kimura bleeds almost instantly with Tenryu not shy about punching the cut. Baba is hurt on the outside for most of it, leaving Kimura alone with Tenryu and Hansen who did exactly what is expected of them. The crowd rallies behind Kimura, who is a great FIP with his selling. Kimura is limited but it works in sparse moments like these. Baba is able to make a comeback and fares better offensively thanks to Tenryu willing to bump for the boss. Even Hansen struggled but they were able to just get the win via a Tenryu Powerbomb. A massive feat even in 1989. That’s Baba pinned, Inoki’s turn would come around 4 years later. . ****
  15. Makai Club #1

    Tsuyoshi Kohsaka

    Honestly Kohsaka is behind Tamura, Volk Han, Yammamoto, Maeda for favoruite RINGS wrestlers, which is likley sacriliage for RINGS fans, but he was still incredible and caught upto the rest quickly despite starting later than the ones I mentioned. He will definitely make my list, but perhaps the back end of it, as of right now.