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  1. It's been great going through these 1980 AJW videos on Youtube, I just dig them on an aesthetic level. Lots of high drama and they always try some wild unsafe violent shit, which you gotta appreciate. I particularly loved the match between these two teams from '79. The first fall feels like a continuation of that match, as the Queen's Angels are now savvier and try to cut off the ring and not get caught in the Black Pair's corner. Eventually, they get Kumano in their corner but Ikeshita doesn't give a fuck so she just walks over to retrieve her partner, and they all start brawling all over. Suddenly one of the Queen's Angels starts choking both of the Black Pair out with a cord, and while she's doing that the other one climbs the ropes and fucking crossbodies both of them to the outside. They get Kumano (now bleeding) in the ring and one of the climbs onto the shoulders of the other and then dives onto Ikeshita, for good measure I suppose. That wins the first fall. Everything seems to be going well and they even start taunting the Black Pair, but I think the heel ref clocks one of the babyfaces halfway through the second half? There's a quick cut as she's trying to get a boston crab and suddenly she goes down and the evil Black Pair steal the fall. For a while it seems like we aren't gonna get the third fall since the three thousand red tracksuits ringside flood the ring but it starts eventually. And the Black Pair kick the shit out of the Queen's Angels. There's a bunch of really bad camera cuts so sadly, you miss a lot of the last two falls. First fall was great though.
  2. This is barely a match but it's a really good match, they just brawl for three minutes. Oki attacks Sakaguchi while the ref checks his boots and it just spirals from there. Sakaguchi's strikes are sort of light but he does kill Oki with a chair shot. Oki is a wild one and his main tactic is throwing a bunch of headbutts in a row. They keep wanting to fight after being separated by the whole of NJ in tracksuits. Inoki comes out and jaws at Oki, Sakaguchi is bleeding. Worth watching.
  3. aaeo_

    Secret Santo 2018-2019

    I've seen about two Road Warriors matches in AJ and none from the Fabulous Ones, so in that sense it was good to see something mostly new. I thought all the offense looked alright, but it just happened at such a glacial pace. At least for me, being more used to lucha or Japanese wrestling. I can get into American tag team matches when there's a clear structure in the match and cutting off the ring becomes really important but in this case, they never really settled into that type of rhythm until very late into the match. It was actually kind of awkward, when it seemed like that was about to happen, a Road Warrior would just be like "nah" and walk back to the center of the ring. Without the hot tag being really emphasized, it just feels like they're doing stuff because it always looks like the Fabolous One could just go back to his corner at any point. The Crusher fucking rules though, he's shaped like a billiard ball with suspenders. I also enjoyed the finish, it was a mess in the best way.
  4. Sakaguchi's striking was great in this match, focusing on the body and landing some nice leg kicks. Didn't love some of the transitions on the mat for the style of match, like Bailey taking the back out of nowhere and doing nothing out of that position. Sakaguchi had some great stuff there as well though, constantly looking for a submission from whichever position Bailey gives him. Not to say Bailey was bad here because he carried the same sense of urgency as Sakaguchi and stuff like him picking up Sakaguchi, while the latter had him in a rear-naked choke, and running out the ring was nice. He also does a crazy bump for the penalty kick from the apron afterwards. A couple spots near the finish are goofy (don't like double knockdown spots and there's two of them, one which leads to a pin) but the struggle around Sakaguchi looking for the submission, whether it's the RNC or the cobra choke, and Bailey pinning him out of it kept me engaged. One of the tournament highlights for me.
  5. aaeo_

    Secret Santo 2018-2019

    thanks! I'm picking the December 84 edition of Tiger/Fujiwara, which is my favorite one and I think the consensus highlight of that series. https://www.dailymotion.com/video/xzny2l
  6. aaeo_

    Secret Santo 2018-2019

    Yeah, I have seen that. Have you seen any of the Super Tiger/Fujiwara matches?
  7. I think Endo's short term selling might be his strong suit. He makes everything look like it hurts. He does stop that to hit his big moves at some point in his matches, even in that HARASHIMA one, which is his best singles match. Taking that into consideration, building the last two matches of the feud around Takeshita working Endo's neck is probably not the best choice. Nevertheless, I've enjoyed most bouts in this series despite my nitpicks. Takeshita hits a couple big new counters every time, which I almost always like. And he also gets to be an asshole, which is when he's most fun. Takeshita's neck work is good, and for the most part him targetting it when you think Endo has finally regained control is consistent through most of this. I enjoyed the finishing stretch for how stiff it was. Endo's kimura was very deep and Takeshita kills him with a knee. But it does, to a degree, devolve into the same dumb finisher-stealing run of the Korakuen draw. I really don't know why that's the one thing that bothers me the most in these matches. Maybe it just puts how much they want all of these matches to be epic main events into sharp focus.
  8. Really good match wrestled at a breakneck pace. Sasaki comes out and immediately throws a running knee at Sakaguchi and tries to choke him out. Sakaguchi survives but Sasaki takes it outside. They trade control back and forth really quickly but there's almost always a real sense of struggle. For instance, Sakaguchi gets drop kicked, which seems to set up Sasaki's tope suicida, but Sakaguchi regains his wits, climbs back in the ring and gets an armbar. Sasaki gets out of the armbar by stacking and then stepping on Sakaguchi's face. Sasaki going for the arm trap crossface but Sakaguchi escaping to get a rea-naked choke was another moment I liked a lot. Sakaguchi is at his best here, throwing some nice strikes and some really great sweeps and throws. The finish is very sudden, after Sakaguchi locks in the cobra choke thing he does and blocks Sasaki from getting to the ropes.
  9. aaeo_

    Secret Santo 2018-2019

    I liked the match! posted my review on the match thread.
  10. Teranishi is someone I'm definitely interested in watching more of, he was great here. At one point, he climbs onto Van Buyten's shoulders to work an arm slicer, which is incredible, and I still was mostly focused on Andre messing with Bey in the corner. The dynamic between the foreigners was the focus of the match, for good reason. They just have a really entertaining act and get a lot out of it. The match carries on in that tone, with Andre and van Buyten starting to do the miscommunication spots after cornering Teranishi. Teranishi is still isolated in the corner and there's some good struggle of him trying to get to his team. Despite his size, Bey gets a deep guillotine on him. Eventually, Kimura tags in and everyone bumps for him. Teranishi comes back in and gets to run a bit crazy, Andre gets trapped in the ropes (don't know how else to explain that one) and Teranishi starts throwing van Buyten on to him. Andre gets the first fall on Kimura a little bit later. The second fall starts a lot like the first played out, with Kimura in the foreigners' corner, except he's not as good as Teranishi in that regard. I'm also not sure how to describe the spot where everyone piles onto Andre but it was great. Kimura beats van Buyten for the second fall shortly thereafter. Andre is done with van Buyten at this point. And Thunder Sugiyama starts agitating him further! He throws van Buyten onto him and fucking rushes out from the opposite corner and punches Andre and rushes back while he's not looking. Sugiyama ain't even fast at all! Bey throws his arms up in complete resignation. Sugiyama's barely in this thing but I liked him. That bump that van Buyten takes is pretty insane. Enjoyed this a whole lot. Appreciate the recommendation.
  11. aaeo_

    Shoot fights with cool mat-work

    In the vein of QUINTET, here's an actual tag team shoot fight on ZST that someone posted on Twitter. Other examples of team fights are either Team Fighting Championships (look it up), bottom of the barrel stuff on shitty midwestern MMA shows or that one RIZIN fight which was a shitshow. This one is somehow pretty cool and has some interesting dynamics with the tags though. Katsumura went on to become a pro wrestler.
  12. This is Suzuki's retirement match. DNA had this weird genre of matches where one of their trainees had come to the decision wrestling isn't for them, and so they retire and they do a match memorializing their two year career. This time, poor Dai Suzuki has to face three different wrestlers in single matches back to back (so this is technically three matches but I think they have to be taken as a whole). He obviously eats shit against all of them. Now, I don't think anyone in this is all that good other than Umeda but the whole thing is weirdly very primal and good. As far as Suzuki goes, he's clearly not all that talented but his selling is fantastic in this, and as a result, his comebacks fucking rule even though he basically just does forearms and two suplexes. Nakatsu stretches Suzuki, and Suzuki doesn't get much offense before tapping out. Umeda comes in second and he just shrugs off Suzuki's forearms and kicks him really hard. There's a minor botch of some sort, where Suzuki fails to lift Umeda up and they fall down, but Umeda, brilliant wrestler, covers it up by stomping Suzuki out. And it just goes on like that, until Suzuki gets a body lock and succesfully goes for a suplex which rocks Umeda. Umeda kicks out of everything that Suzuki has and eventually gets the upper hand again. Umeda giving up on the pin when he already had Suzuki beat to spitefully land another penalty kick was wild. Like he was pissed about getting suplexed by Suzuki. Ohka is someone whose matches tend to be sort of skippable for me, but there's some settings where he's incredible, like the Tanahashi tag team match, and the Korakuen match against Takeshita where he just carries a barbed wire bat around for no reason. I knew this was one of those when he came out singing his theme along with the crowd while Suzuki was cowered in a corner dying after the previous two matches. Suzuki can barely get up at this point and Ohka goads him into a forearm exchange where Suzuki bumps for everything Ohka throws, like Ken Ohka is Kobashi in Noah killing the juniors or something. Ohka continues to beat down Suzuki until he gets suplexed! Suzuki tries a running forearm and climbing onto Ohka's back for a rear-naked choke and an octopus hold to get the win. But Ohka survives and muscles out of the octopus to the rope break. Ohka busts out a headbutt and then finishes Suzuki with the spear. Each match is only about five minutes long but they all feel important, especially the last two. Really emotional throughout, good stuff. Suzuki went on to become a social worker according to Dramatic DDT, sincerely wish him all the best.
  13. I figured it was worth saying that the Antonio Honda comedy segment halfway through this is really great if you've spent the past six months going through the DDT archives. Even without understanding the fox promo, he's always good but seeing him try to do the running forearm that HARASHIMA's team does and failing really had me dead. Rest of the match is pretty good, DDT house show tags are cool most of the time. This is on a Best Western hotel somewhere around Tokyo that they run once a year. They can go outside the ring and brawl in the middle of a bunch of wedding tables and under an incredibly tacky chandelier and that's exactly what they do. Match is very fast-paced after the Honda segment, they do a lot of stuff but it doesn't go long at all. I guess it can be said that Endo was pretty sloppy. He whiffs on a standing 450. He does an incredibly awkward shiranui later on because they were building up to a match with Marufuji. Nothing groundbreaking but really fun.
  14. aaeo_

    Is Impact the best promotion in wrestling history?

    My first throught was that not being live makes them less valuable in the eyes of broadcasters. But then again, Bellator shows are on tape delay sometimes as well. But yeah, Combate Americas got a TV deal, who even knows how these things work.
  15. This is a good plunder match. I like Sasaki a lot but other than the submission match with Togo, I struggled to get into his extreme title matches because it's not a style I like a lot. This still has a lot of downtime, which is what keeps me from getting into these matches but I thought it build really well around a handful of big spots. For example, HARASHIMA's missed somato or him kicking the ladder into Sasaki's stomach earlier, which I thought was pretty clever. Sasaki fails to hit the elbow drop until he gets the big ladder, good finish. There's also a good post-match brawl after this, probably the coolest thing Soma Takao has done.