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Everything posted by aaeo_

  1. Matsumoto is a former Pancrase fighter. This is billed as a gi jiu-jitsu exhibition, but it's a very pro wrestling match. At one point, Sato takes his purple belt off and starts whipping Matsumoto with it like he's LA Park, which is just wonderful. It's a short match but Sato is really good on this. Matsumoto (a brown belt) outclasses him on the ground and so Sato rolls out of the ring after a pinfall attempt, then he tries to do an Irish whip and fails, and then just starts throwing strikes. Sato gets the win by choking Matsumoto with his belt.
  2. The interview before the match is very interesting and straightforward, surprisingly sports-like. Casas is really stoic and matter of factly says that Santo is gonna be the crowd's favourite but he's cool with it and he even smiles very candidly when asked exactly where he's from (Tlalpan in Mexico City). But when Santo shows up he starts messing with the interviewer and trash-talking him a bit. Santito enters the arena in a red Cadillac and is carried to the ring by adoring fans. It's really one of the best ringwalks I've ever seen, perhaps only rivaled by boxer Jorge Arce riding a damn dancing horse to the ring. I believe this is what people refer to when they say stuff like "big fight feel". And Ray Mendoza is the referee! Santo just throws out Casas out of the ring instantly after the first lockup, really negating what Casas had said in his interview about him having a size advantage (you see Casas is the WWA welterweight champion, but Santo is *just* the lightweight champion). Casas comes back in and Santo armdrags him very strongly, they're really selling Santito's superhuman strength with some incredible bumps from Casas. Casas powders after another brief grappling exchange. Santo is also schooling Casas with his skill, everything he does is just so graceful and flashy. After Casas powders a third time, he comes back in with a crossbody and wins the first fall after getting a great bodyslam followed by la casita. Second fall starts with Casas beating up Santo. He really embraces being a rudo for the first time in this tape, going from taunting the fans to getting a double wristlock over the bottom rope to killing Santo with straight rights. Santo's comeback starts with a fucking brutal knee. He gets some big offense before locking in a great tapatia, which wins him the fall. Casas' bumping continues being great during Santo's spurt of offense and he even falls face first out of the tapatia. Great stuff! Santo seems to have the third fall won early with a campana but Casas does a great escape. He immediately nails Santo with a right hand, and he gets back in control from there. A moment which I loved was Casas trying to tear at Santo's mask and completely ignoring the referee, so in response, Mendoza tries to choke him out to get him to stop. There are some really convincing nearfalls with Santo's huracanranas but Casas kicks out. Santo lands a great tope but when they climb back into the ring Casas gets the upper hand again (tope suicida!). Santo goes out of the ring but when Casas goes to get a plancha to the outside, he falls backwards into the ring and Santo instead climbs up and lands a senton unto him. Loved those momentum shifts after high spots. The struggle as Santo tries to submit Casas is fantastic, Casas wont let Santo get him on la de a caballo, and he grabs the top rope to escape the tapatia. Casas takes a hideous bump to the outside and Santo gets a big plancha. This third fall is just a war, Casas is always fighting back but Santo just overwhelms him little by little. When he finally gets la de a caballo, Casas stays in it for a long time but can't get out, and Santo wins the match. Negro Casas cries after the match, and reluctantly hugs El Santo. It's obviously a hell of a performance, but it also really gets you. Everything on this match is very stiff and spectacular, and the two wrestlers put on truly masterful performances. No one needs to be told that these two are incredible, but they are.
  3. Good tag match. Golden Lovers are in control for a lot of the match. They isolate Endo and put him on various submissions. Endo is actually really good at that because he's struggling like hell at all points to get to the ropes. The crowd really gets behind Takeshita and Endo as a result (it helps that Honda is their hypeman). I thought he was by far the best person in this match, he's still selling fatigue down the crazy finishing stretch. Once Endo and Takeshita come back it turns into an absolute sprint. Ibushi stiffs Takeshita a lot, which was cool. Takeshita's series of suplexes on Omega for the finish was very good as well. The worst part of this match is Omega's pec flex, which is by far the most annoying tic he ever had.
  4. The first five minutes is largely inconsequential, lame grappling but it picks up when Ibushi starts working Generico's arm. Generico's selling is very consistent in that he's always doing it but he still hits all his stuff just fine. Some of the offense in this match is pretty incredible though. I thought the teases of Generico's corner brainbuster were cool. It was a bit long but still fun and I thought much better than their first match.
  5. Uploaded to Universe last week. This match is weird, everything involving Kanemoto vs. HARASHIMA is great and absolutely everything else sucks. I've seen both Omega and Tanaka in matches I like but they're just really boring here. And since it's a tag match building up to an Omega All Japan junior defense against Tanaka, the body of the match is focused on them. Really brings down Kanemoto and HARASHIMA's performances, which is mostly what I wanted to write about here. They have great chemistry with each other, and you can tell even from the handshakes. Koji ignores Omega, and then goes to shake HARASHIMA's hand but Hara snubs him! Thought that was great. When they're in the ring against each other for the most part they're just punching each other, HARASHIMA just wildly throwing wide hooks like a hurt boxer. Referee Matsui has to break up HARASHIMA and Kanemoto after Kanemoto storms in to save Minoru, and they spend a while jawing at each other. This match also has the thing where the DDT crowd all ges behind HARASHIMA when he's up against someone from a big promotion, like in the tag match against Tanahashi and Komatsu. Around 15 minutes in, they get to do a few of their signature spots to each other. Kanemoto's strikes are wonderful as always. He takes Hara's legdrop to the outside with a really nasty bump. In return, he does the corner kicks, which look great. Then, they high kick each other at the same time and Tanaka and Omega tag in to do their finishing run. It's alright but this is Omega during the time when he did the most shtick, so your mileage may vary. Of course, HARASHIMA and Kanemoto never faced each other again after this match. Like tears in rain, am I right?
  6. An hourlong draw might seem like overkill for a match with these two, but I thought this was good. Takeshita focuses on Endo's neck through the first half of the match and Endo works Takeshita's leg. There's some really dramatic stuff going on there but sadly, they both blow it off through most of the second half and then it comes back in the last ten minutes. Takeshita also has an annoying tic of no-selling big moves to hit a suplex or something of the sort, which happens a handful of times on that final stretch and I was really annoyed by. I find that sort of thing endearing in wrestlers who come across as underdogs but Takeshita doesn't, so I guess it bothers me. Endo's selling is better but his strikes are really bad. Nevertheless, I liked the overall progression of the match. There's moments of real spite and high drama. Having beaten him in their last singles match build-up tags, Endo doesn't take Takeshita seriously at first until he starts beating the shit out of him and working that neck. The swings of momentum through the match seem to mostly come from counters, which is one of the things Takeshita does best. He also eats a great kick to the face while in the top rope towards the end. Endo's offense escalates nicely, until the shooting star press which fails to put Takeshita away. The match lost me a bit in the final ten minutes because of the two nitpicks I mentioned. I still didn't love Takeshita and Endo taking other wrestlers' finishes for the finish, but I suppose after an hour of doing everything else, it makes some sense.
  7. The first Sumo Hall main event for DDT. HARA has some incredibly silly entrance gear for the occasion. The matwork and striking early on is dissapointingly clumsy and awkward but once they start working at a higher pace and eventually doing high spots it gets pretty good, they build on each other's moves and counter and dodge stuff. HARASHIMA catching Ibushi's dives with a straight knee was great. Pretty good match and it feels like a special moment.
  8. Akito had a pretty interesting WORKRATE run as DDT extreme champion between 2014 and 2015. He had a good iron match with Sasaki, a match where the rules changed every 90 seconds against Shiori Asahi, and this, a last man standing match against Irie. There's also a catch rules match against MIKAMI which I wasn't able to find online, but I'm curious about. Akito's actually a really interesting technical wrestler. He doesn't do many shoot submission holds but he has a bunch of interesting, flashy holds most of his matches are very heavy on limbwork. Anyway, the rules for this are that they get a 10-count after a pin or submission and if they can't get up, they lose. Akito spends this whole match working Irie's leg. Irie's selling is really good, it could've been goofy with how dramatic he gets, but it works very well throughout. It might be the most high effort selling I've seen. Late in the match, he's running the ropes and his leg gives out under him so he just goes flying out the ring. Akito gets pinned three times off of lariats but in the end, the legwork pays off and he wins when Irie can't get up after being submitted with a heel hook. Oh, and Irie breaks a tensor early on when running the ropes, which I thought added to the match in a way. He's a large human!
  9. Keisuke Ishii does some incredible stuff in this match. He's in for most of the match and has to sell for two bigger guys but does it well enough and gets enough things to get more over. It's a great performance. The finishing stretch where he goes against Sekimoto all on his own and almost beats him is great, after a whole match of him just being outmuscled. Strong BJ is also really good, continuing their monster outsider tag title run. I love their double torture rack spot every time they do it. Irie does everything he has to really well too. Honestly, I have a tough time getting into Team Dream Futures, because of the incredibly goofy name/terrible gear/awful dye jobs, but this match is a banger.
  10. Much better match than their Saitama Arena match and I probably liked it a bit more than their 2009 Ryogoku match. The opening matwork is really good, as per usual. This time, there's no singular focus on a limb or body part but Ibushi does gain the upper hand and from there starts getting off his bigger. Match centers around HARASHIMA outlasting Ibushi. Thankfully, he doesn't just lay down and absorb offense, which almost always makes for dull wrestling. But for most of the match, Ibushi gains the upper hand at every turn. Ibushi counters all of HARA's big match moves, such as the kneedrop (?) he does over the ropes and the diving somato. HARASHIMA escaping the phoenixplex through headbutts was dope as well, and he wins by finally hitting the diving somato. I don't know if I'd call those "callbacks" but it does play into the familiarity these two have with each other. It's a really great match. As a side note, this is one of the best DDT shows I've seen and I've gone through a lot of their stuff last couple of months. It has a pretty good/funny undercard and two incredible matches at the top. Sadly it's not on DDT Universe but it's well worth seeking out.
  11. 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.
  12. Just as I am about to be done with my DDT Universe binge watch, they've started uploading missing shows from 2014. This match is good in paper and in reality! Sato and Sakaguchi have some heated exchanges. Sakaguchi gets the better of Sato and from there, him and Akito work his leg over. Sato's selling during this part of the match is great, it's just very desperate and imbues this midcard tag with a lot of drama. The Takagi hot tag is surprisingly good. He dragon screws Akito and Sakaguchi! I forgot he even did that. Sakaguchi is also a lot more spry here, and he gets a sick rear-naked choke on Takagi to stop his momentum. Sato doesn't sell the leg as well after tagging back in, but there's still a lot of drama when Akito sinks in the ankle lock on him. Sato wins with the armbar.
  13. 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.
  14. This fiend shit is like a funny student film. I think I get why people watch WWE now.
  15. The atmosphere is really great in a completely different way to good DDT audiences. Really enjoyed the atmosphere on this match. There are crazy people in this building trying to chant for Komatsu and then the DDT fans start booing them. Tanahashi is the most hated person in Korakuen Hall, after he said HARASHIMA sucked following a really bad Sumo Hall match between the two. I absolutely loved this one though. The sight of Tanahashi struggling to put Ohka and his shitty jeans in a Boston crab is fantastic. The thought of Tanahashi selling for Ohka is also great. Ohka is really great in this match, him and Tanahashi meshed together incredibly well throughout. Tanahashi really tries in this match without having to do anything too crazy, throwing a wild dropkick at HARASHIMA, brawling outside and riling up the audience. Komatsu also gets a ton of heat. Great heeling by him, and the crowd cheers when he wipes out Tanahashi on a dive. He also gets some shine with a great spot where he reverses HARASHIMA's somato into the boston crab. He escapes and Ohka hits Tanahashi with the FIRE SPEAR, which allows HARASHIMA to hit the somato and pin Komatsu. Tanahashi does a power point presentation after the match and everyone is happy. He says he'll do DDT's election, which didn't happen as NJPW and DDT stopped working together shortly afterwards but he really should do it. It'd be great, I'd vote for him.
  16. 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.
  17. aaeo_

    Triplemania XXVII Tonight!

    Cain's match was perfect. This show has been great.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. she's scheduled to fight in two weeks but that's the last fight on her deal
  25. 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.