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  1. Aoki continues to be extremely interesting but his opening matwork feels more like "opening matwork" now. The fact that his approach to an armwork match was so much stomping on it and slamming it against shit rather than pure submissions is disappointing on some level. Those are nitpicks though, he still pulls out pinfall attempts and submissions literally out of thin air (and there's an upside to him becoming more prowres-like, which is his increased willingness to take bumps). I thought Takeshita was too over-the-top in his first singles match with Aoki but he's very convincing with the arm in this one. He also moves at a crazy pace here, like when they struggle to get an octopus hold and then Aoki tries to do a Gotch piledriver, which would be a throwaway sequence in most matches, but there's a ton of urgency to Takeshita's movement. Obviously the same is true for the sequence where he gets caught in the Fujiwara armbar, which is fucking insane by the way. I don't think this is Aoki's best DDT match, which seems to be the consensus, but it was great regardless.
  2. aaeo_

    Comments that don't warrant a thread - Part 4

    Catching up on the last 3 months of DDT before watching UP and the first thing I'm seeing is a Gabai Ji-chan match. What a great company.
  3. This fiend shit is like a funny student film. I think I get why people watch WWE now.
  4. aaeo_

    Triplemania XXVII Tonight!

    Something to consider is that the cheapest ticket for Triplemania was almost as expensive as ringside tickets for their last show I considered going to. They're playing to two pretty different crowds with Triplemania and the rest of their shows.
  5. aaeo_

    Triplemania XXVII Tonight!

    Cain's match was perfect. This show has been great.
  6. Red belt title match. I think Maki Ueda is one of the color commentators that they show throughout the early parts of the match. Sato comes out in black! She's working heel! Not really going as hard as the Black Pair, but I doubt that was an accident. She's stronger than Yokota in pretty much every exchange, so Yokota has to be smart and use some of her flashier offense (was she the first one to stand up with a bridge out of a pin?) to win. This doesn't have all the wild drama of other AJW matches, but it's great on a technical level and the build-up to the finishing stretch is good. Jaguar wins by just pinning Sato, she just struggles to pin her shoulders as Sato tries to get out, and after a while she keeps her down for the three count. I thought that was great.
  7. Hagiwara is a very weird wrestler, she's a good babyface but all her offense looks incredibly unorthodox, like it's done wrong. My favorite one was the calf slicer she gets near the end, which I'd never seen but is a cool idea. That type of energy goes pretty well with how frantic Ikeshita is though. Hagiwara is in control for a lot of the match and she looks strong, starts the match throwing a wild flurry of punches and then applies the weirdest sleeper hold after some outside brawling. There's a brief section of armwork and then Ikeshita goes out the ring and her seconds pull her arm a bunch of times, as if it was dislocated and they were popping it back in. That's the type of thing that makes AJW from this era great to watch.Ikeshita gets a few breaks, she fights for a boston crab and a couple other submissions but she comes across as mostly trying to survive against Hagiwara. Hagiwara's selling in submissions is great. The finish is very botched or an angle, with Ikeshita getting pinned with one shoulder nowhere near the mat. The matches where Ikeshita brutalizes one of the faces all the way through are more fun but this is still good.
  8. I think the TV show version clips some early matwork out, which is a shame because I thought the early exchanges were amazing. Really enjoyed Sato's knee work, the takedown into a calf slicer that gets reversed into a pin, as well as the kneebar he applies shortly afterwards are really cool. Perhaps some of the strikes are not stiff enough, but it didn't bother me too much. Loved Togo's selling for it. This has a similar focus to HARASHIMA/Sato with the dueling limbwork, the other one was more coherently structured but I loved the execution of most moves in this match. Everything is pretty great technically, Sato's trip takedowns, Togo's armdrags, every submission is tight enough, etc. The finish was kind of whatever, but it was a very good title bout overall.
  9. AAA on Galavision, pretty much. CMLL and IWRG had TV shows too, but I never saw them and I'm not sure which channel they were on. I stopped watching around 2006 and a bit later Raw and Smackdown started being shown on some major channel. Also, TVC started doing Tercera Caída, which covered indie lucha and the two major companies. If anyone speaks spanish, look Tercera Caída up on youtube, they're interesting shows.
  10. Águila Solitaria is an entertaining enough técnico, but Fuerza Guerrera is an amazing rudo, even though this is slightly less over the top than what he used to do/did later on. He gets all but ragdolled in the first fall. Águila still takes most of the second fall, but Fuerza comes back by pushing the rules a little bit. He doesn't brutally target the guy's nuts, he just throws a couple closed fists and throws him against the turnbuckles. It's really neat how Águila Solitaria hits the cleanest backbreaker you've ever seen and Fuerza Guerrera has to struggle to get Águila up. Third fall is a bit long and nearfall-heavy but Fuerza is still very fun in it. Cool match.
  11. I saw a lot of praise for this match, but knowing the length and the result I honestly expected to be underwhelmed by it. I was not, this is very good! This is just the match where everything comes together for what this rivalry is supposed to be. I love that Takeshita's always kind of trying to target the back, even when Endo blocks his moves. And Takeshita hits his moves hard as fuck, which has always been something great about him. Doing that backbreaker and the leg wrap german out the ring back to back was insane. Endo's selling has always been very effective in getting sympathy for me, even if he can be inconsistent with it. I think it's great here. I liked the finish a lot, Takeshita uses the boston crab about five times in the match and Endo just tapping out after all the shit he took was unexpected in the best way.
  12. she's scheduled to fight in two weeks but that's the last fight on her deal
  13. This is the least good of their matches so far. There's a sense of caution when they grapple each other, like they are already familiar with each other's holds and how to get caught in them. But there's also a lot of sitting around in restholds, every hold still looks really good but the grappling is just less interesting. It was pretty surprising seeing a superplex out of the blue in this. Fujinami just gets more heated as the match goes on, and him putting on the sasori-gatame and then the DQ/post-match brawl is extremely cool.
  14. A small wrestler vs. big wrestler which actually feels brutal. Manase gets overwhelmed by the smaller wrestler but fights until the bitter end. It's all very good. Mizuki's run in Tokyo Joshi's tournament has to be one of the best of the year.
  15. aaeo_

    NJPW G1 Climax 2019

    Kenta had a couple great moments in that match but I was expecting striking exchanges between those two to be a bit more fluid, and the big spots were very spaced out with few interesting things happening in between. I think they may be having a bunch more matches going forward, with the way NJ books, so they probably didn't wanna go all out.