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  1. EnviousStupid

    Stock Rising/Stock Falling

    Stock Up: Riki Choshu: One of my favourite discoveries in the last couple years with an aura matched by very few others. Someone who forced a change in style for both major puro promotions in the 80s. Mechanically, it's also impressive just how many great matches and performances he has with a relatively limited move-set. Could very well end up being my highest NJPW guy. Jun Akiyama: Was great from his rookie year in 1992, and is still great as a veteran in 2022. That's 30 years with few breaks in between, and most of it being available to watch. I expect him to be flirting with the top spot come 2026 Yoshiaki Fujiwara: If we're restricting GWE to just input and individual performances, he's probably the best ever. The man's been wrestling like an old man for the past 40 years or so and is still capable of greatness depending on the setting and opponent/s Mick Foley: Greatest hardcore wrestler of all time? Probably. The best wrestler during WWF's Attitude Era? Pretty much. Just consistently great across nearly 2 decades in all kinds of settings and opponents. John Cena: I starting watching wrestling around the middle of 2007 and missed the best parts of his world title reigns, along with arguably the most vicious and versatile work of his career. Some guys just aren't appreciated as great during their time as an active competitor, and Cena might be the best example of that. Probably won't rank super high for me (I've always found him awkward in how he moves in the ring) but he deserves a spot in the top 100. Pat Patterson & Sangre Chicana: These two are a special case where I've seen enough of them to know I love them, but not enough to feel confident ranking them alongside the greats who we have far more footage of during their peaks. Regardless, I'm fairly optimistic about both and look forward to any more tape of theirs I come across. Stock Down: AJ Styles: He'll still place highly for me, but it's clear looking back at his early 2000s work that his style just doesn't age well in comparison to the likes of Danielson, Low-Ki, Joe, Punk, etc. Also suffers from having stuck in a bad promotion for so long; while it is impressive to still be great in spite of bad booking and awful circumstances, he has contemporaries who didn't suffer like this for so long, and as a result, have a greater volume of quality work to their names. Chris Benoit: This seems more a case of my tastes having changed overtime. Still a great technical wrestler, but his peak work just doesn't get me invested like it once did. Compared to someone like Eddie Guerrero, who has the emotion and character work to go with the work rate, and I definitely know who I'd rather spend my time seeking out.
  2. EnviousStupid

    Bruno Sammartino

    How much footage is there of Bruno in the 60s? I get the impression that his prime lies in that decade and the clips I've seen of him working the Garden back then looked very promising.
  3. EnviousStupid

    Killer Karl Kox

    This doesn't relate much to GWE, but I remember my father raving about Kox years ago. He always loved talking about when he nailed someone with a brainbuster, they'd show up on a following show in a ridiculously large neck brace.
  4. EnviousStupid


    It's Rey. I'm comfortable saying he's at least the best in America. He has great volume and peak matches, but more importantly, he ended millionaire stock broker JBL's wrestling career during the middle of the Financial Crisis. WWE's feel-good moment of the year.
  5. EnviousStupid

    Daniel Bryan

    There's also the Gauntlet match on Smackdown that had Kofi last 40+ minutes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5zrZpDNML4 Bryan is great here and plays his role as well as you'd hope, but he isn't the main reason why Kofi rode another wave of momentum going into Wrestlemania that year
  6. EnviousStupid

    [2022-04-02-WWE-WrestleMania 38] Bianca Belair vs. Becky Lynch

    Thought it was great while watching it live and I've only appreciated it more thinking about it. It's the culmination of Becky's character change since returning last year, fully embracing a desperate champion whose time with the title is finally coming to an end. Trying and failing to mirror her successes before against Bianca, pinning after each time she gains an advantage, getting vicious when her regular offense couldn't finish the job, and then going high-risk when that also doesn't work. Structured like a back-and-forth match that feels fully warranted with how their feud evolved over the last 6-7 months. And of course, Bianca delivered on another strong babyface-performance worthy of the big stage. Last year was the coronation of a new star, this year was Bianca taking back what's rightfully hers.
  7. I'm starting to see a pattern of Bryan forgoing damage and selling to an extent for the sake of more epic back-and-forth exchanges and sequences. For example, in this match we see Bryan dive off the top rope to the outside and his head collides with a chair. The result initially is him being busted open and barely able to make it back into the ring before the count. Hero works over the head somewhat afterwards, but it gradually dissipates and Bryan does get back ahead by the finishing stretch, no longer showing signs of damage that relates to the aforementioned spot. I don't think it hinders the quality of the match however, and that's more to do with Bryan's dynamic with certain opponents; like in his match with Nigel at ROH Driven, Bryan acts as a measuring stick for other wrestlers to reach. It's about them testing and proving themselves against who, at the time, was accepted as the best wrestler in the world, and so the story of the match isn't as reliant on Bryan showing vulnerability in his performance. Here, Hero is PWG champion, but still a distant 2nd to the American Dragon, even in the eyes of PWG's own audience. What the match gets right is really impressive, but something like that is worth criticizing Bryan for.
  8. EnviousStupid

    [2009-02-27-WWE-Smackdown] John Cena vs Big Show

    This is the only match where I've seen Big Show hit a Reverse Powerbomb. Cena deserves plenty of praise for his bumping and selling in general, but goddamn did Show put on his working boots that night.
  9. EnviousStupid

    Chris Jericho

    Just curious, how do people factor in Jericho's reinventions to his case here? I've been ruminating over it for a while and although I do think he deserves flowers for the marketing ploys and tactics he's used over the course of his career, I don't think it holds much weight. Does he really have that great a list of character changes and evolutions when compared to a Matt Hardy, who has been an active wrestler for longer with more stints in different places? How about Christian, who is arguably still adding to his case as one of the better wrestlers in AEW right now.
  10. EnviousStupid


    Wouldn't argue anyone who called him the best worker AEW has had since their debut. A tremendous high-flyer that already stood out from his peers in the 2000s. I also think his WWE stint shows how great he could be in different roles (face, heel, ace figure, etc.)
  11. EnviousStupid

    Kazuchika Okada

    This. I find it so disappointing in hindsight how Okada has managed to turn newly debuted moves or "moments" that helped him win big matches, into mere expectations from the standard Okada epics to come. The wrist-control spot against Tanahashi at WK10 is the most obvious, but how many times now did we see him do the German Suplex maintaining wrist-control that started with Styles at Dominion 2015? Or the Spinning Tombstone from WK11, now replaced by a Sitout Tombstone he initially used on Sanada in 2019. To a lesser extent, you have him hitting multiple "Half-Rainmaker" clotheslines a major match for several years, usually done the same way towards the finish. Sometimes, he'll even do a Discus variation of it. For a while, we also got the backslide pin transitioning into one. It seems like whatever the purpose of these variations served at the time, have resulted in his style being diluted so much before he's even turned 35. It reminds me a lot of wrestlers like Misawa and Kobashi having escalated everything across their series of matches in the 90s that they became increasingly more about bigger moves for a style that had started to collapse in on itself, still taxing on the body through their own sheer excess.
  12. EnviousStupid

    Kazuchika Okada

    The pandemic is a big part of his perceived decline. He's still working the same style of match he has for nearly a decade now, but that style is so clearly reliant on a hot crowd filling the dead space with their cheers. When they're only restricted to clapping, it's hard to not notice major diminishing returns in almost every singles match he's been part of for the last 2 years.
  13. This was for Miguel's X-Division title. A fun display of speed, agility and wit against raw horsepower. Maclin is the challenger, but is also coming into this match with an undefeated record. As such, Trey is pressured into catching him off guard with an array of dives and spots to stay ahead, one of them being an incredible Tope that has him landing in the front row. Maclin uses his size advantage well once the heat starts, mixing in some truly explosive, eye-grabbing offense in-between his control segments. Seriously, I don't think you'll find anyone else in wrestling right now spear someone upside-down through the ropes and onto the floor. By the end, it's the champion throwing nearly every high-risk maneuver in his arsenal to keep the bigger man down, making for a great finishing stretch so early into the PPV.
  14. EnviousStupid


    Reigns and Rollins have a ton of history at this point and it's clear that WWE played that up in some of the creative decisions made. I just wish it had come together in a more engaging and satisfying way. The heel-heel dynamic was something I thought always held this feud back, let alone the revisionist history of the Shield propped up in the weeks leading up to this. We got plenty of the theatrics by the end that I've come to despise watching in Roman's title matches.
  15. EnviousStupid


    I watched as much of Jonathan Gresham from last year that's readily available online and feel confident calling him the WOTY. Like Danielson, he has plenty of great matches and performances while not having worked anywhere near as often as other wrestlers in contention (# of total matches is <50). Gresham was also tasked with being the Pure champion for most of the year, acting as the face of both the Pure Rules division and its match type. What we got were consistently impressive showings against a great variety of wrestlers. Sometimes it was against a reliably good opponent in Jay Lethal or Fred Yehi. Most of the time it was against far lesser talent: either unproven prospects like Joe Keys & Dak Draper, or the likes of Mike Bennett & Rhett Titus who have rarely impressed for most of their careers. I don't consider any of these wrestlers to be very similar stylistically, and they were all led by Gresham to either great matches, or one of their best in a long time. We also saw how creative he could be in both utilizing the Pure Rules stipulation and common wrestling tropes into viable finishes across these matches, something that he still maintains going into 2022. He also showed to be quite capable outside of a singles setting. Ever since returning through the pandemic, Jonathan Gresham was positioned as the ideological leader of the Foundation, who sought to return honor and prestige to Ring of Honor. 2021 saw the stable clash with the likes of La Faccion Ingobernables and Violence Unlimited, often leading to tags and multi-man matches where Gresham was, more often than not, a standout. Whether it was through teaming with Jay Lethal, Tracy Williams, Rhett Titus or a combination of the three, they were always a noteworthy part of ROH throughout the year and absolutely add to his case. Gresham's body of work extends beyond just Ring of Honor though. If you were following the indies closely last year, you probably realized that Gresham had turned into one of the most elite talents all year. It's harder to encapsulate it all in paragraphs, so I'll list off a dozen or so bullet points to hopefully show just how much he was able to do: Had Davey Richards' return match after 4 years away from wrestling. Had one of the better matches with Minoru Suzuki during his US excursion. An excellent rematch against Lee Moriarty in PWG (he also had matches against Alex Shelley & Daniel Garcia that have yet to be released). My personal favourite independent MOTY in a sequel to his ROH Pure title match with Mike Bennett. Wrestled in Lucha Memes against two very different luchadores in Aramis and a 64-year old Negro Navarro. Gave the likes of Starboy Charlie, Myron Reed and Alex Zayne some of the best matches in their careers thus far, the latter also having his biggest victory over Gresham. Worked in NJPW Strong against two Young Lions, pulling out compelling matches that maintain the general restrictions around what they're allowed to do. Started defending the ROH World Title in other promotions, whether they were well-known or only a blimp on the radar, no matter how short-notice it was. Worked a different finish into the vast majority of his matches all year, regardless of opponent or promotion - something that I suspect influenced Bryan Danielson when he started working in AEW. All in all, I don't really think anyone else comes close. I wouldn't called it an all-timer of a year like Flair '89 or Joe '05. Maybe the highs don't quite match up against some of the more popular picks. But to me, he was standing head and shoulders above the rest, proving himself to consistently be one of, if not the best wrestler in the world. P.S. If anyone's interested, here's a personal list of my favourite matches and wrestlers from last year.