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Clayton Jones

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  1. Clayton Jones

    Jun Kasai

    That's a good question as he's very much a breadth of career candidate more than a Top 10 Matches candidate. I'd say you have to start with the CZW Un F'n Believable tag from 2001 as that match kind of put him on the map among others. He has a lot of good tags w/Jaki Numazawa which is impressive because that guy's largely useless otherwise, very much the Minoru Fujita to his Ikuto Hidaka. I'd recommend their match VS Takashi Sasaki/Yuko Miyamoto from June 2006 in particular as a career match for Kasai. Otherwise there's some good recommendations mentioned above and I'm on a quest the next few years to find more stuff that makes a case for Jun. This time around I watched... Jun Kasai VS Yuko Miyamoto - FREEDOMS 12/25/2013 Well this was the match of this batch I was most excited for and it might have been my least favorite. I really like Miyamoto and think he's a low key GWE candidate although I kind of doubt I'll get into him this time around. Unfortunately this match was just there. Not bad at all for a deathmatch, they built to the early spots nicely and mixed in some good strikes and basic work. But then they also sprinkled in crazy spots from the scaffold later like they were no big deal, stuff that definitely should have been played for big nearfalls or even the finish but barely got a reaction on the kickouts. And I don't know if it was because this was a Christmas show which tend to be a bit more relaxed but both guys just seemed to lack intensity. Jun Kasai VS Kintaro Kanemura - Big Japan 1/28/2001 I forget how much of the Crazy Monkey gimmick was literally an animal gimmick early in Kasai's career. I remember stuff like the barbed wire bananas and people grabbing his tail Dragon Ball style, but this match reminded me of how much he'd actually work animal spots into his matches. It's definitely not my favorite era for him. I will say for the first half of this match he bumps and sells his ass off and makes some really nice comebacks. It's especially impressive since Kanemura seems to be on one and is pretty hard to reel in here. The second half of the match though Kasai is too focused on the character stuff and it falls flat for me. Jun Kasai VS Wolf Star - ??? 7/1/2018 This is a match that looks like it took place in a garage or storage unit in front of maybe 30 people and it ruled. Very much a reminder of why I'm high on Kasai for GWE even if he has some underwhelming performances. Here he takes this glorified backyarder (although I kind of doubt backyard wrestling is a thing in Japan) and gives him and his friends a night they'll never forget, performing big and maybe giving a little too much but always looking like a star. He does eat Wolf Star up for the first half which I really enjoyed, for someone who worked as an underdog for most of his career I kind of like bully Crazy Monkey best. This is a YouTube novelty for certain. Jun Kasai VS Ciclope - FREEDOMS 8/28/2015 This is only my second or third time seeing Ciclope and I'm curious, is he Halloween's son? Did he wear the Ciclope mask early in his career as a spiritual successor and then drop it? Either way he's a very good deathmatch wrestler and this rocked. Ciclope is the star for much of it but it's a match that's built to get him over and Kasai does a great job playing gatekeeper. This had the build and the strong fundamentals that I liked from the Miyamoto match earlier but with real payoff to the big spots late. Kasai takes crazy stupid abuse in a match that's not even the main event or for a title, and your mileage for stuff like that will vary. But if that's not your thing then suffice to say Kasai is probably not someone you need to be considering, because it's what he built his career on.
  2. Great episode as always. I've been going through the back catalog lately and if you haven't revisited the beginning of your Wrath of the Racket episode since around when you recorded it, you and Matt really should. You guys are damn near clairvoyant in predicting the rise of what would become AEW and even the increasing prominence of GCW. I was highly impressed listening to it with 2021 hindsight.
  3. Clayton Jones

    Dynamite Kid

    That match is phenomenal. I think it's a bit more of a feather in Fujinami's cap but Dynamite is certainly great in it too.
  4. Clayton Jones

    Misses from the 80s sets

    The Bockwinkel/Brunzell match that was Frankensteined together from various footage felt like a top 20 match if it had been around for the AWA set.
  5. This is such a star-making match for Kobashi. His first main event and Tenryu even said going in the match wouldn't last 10 minutes due to his inexperience. Jumbo playing along when Hansen accidentally tags him and using it to his advantage is some of my favorite improv ever. This match rules, everyone plays their part to perfection, just 4 GOATs doing GOAT things.
  6. What a wonderful match. Such a natural pro wrestling dynamic between these two and they execute it perfectly. My only criticism was that Kandori was a litttle too giving at times but the finishing stretch more than made up for that. Kyoko is one of those talents that took a while to click for me but I've realized that's because she brought a very unique skillset to her matches and now I love that. On first watch this felt like an under the radar classic. I'll be glad to revisit it down the line.
  7. Clayton Jones

    Homicide

    Seemed like a timely candidate to run through some matches. I'll make sure to sit down with the Suzuki match next time around. VS Low Ki - 3PW 2/15/2003 Very good match and a great job by Homicide bringing the structure, slowing down the pace when it needed it, and keeping Ki contained so his offensive bursts were that much more impressive. For a match of this style in early 2003 this was way ahead of the curve. VS Amazing Red - TNA Turning Point 2009 This is an excellent match to showcase what an underrated base Homicide is. Also a pretty damn good Don West performance in the Percy Pringle/Eric Embry role. Cide and Red should have great chemistry and they do, with only a few of Red's typical miscues. Cide comes off like a violent sociopath always pushing the action and harassing the ref. w/Hernandez VS Santana/Ortiz - Impact Slammiversary 7/22/2018 For a match with a lot of plunder I never thought this spent too much time setting up its spots except for maybe when Konnan brought the thumbtacks into the equation. But I liked the element that brought to the match so I'll allow it. I watched this to catch up on some Homicide but everyone in this match brought it. Great out of control brawl with big spots that never feel like they're the focus over the struggle. Overall I loved this match and would gladly watch it again. Excellent violent exciting stuff here. VS Nick Gage - VxS 4/28/2019 Some of the elements here were good, like the opening brawling and Cide grinding Gage down and keeping the heat on him. Some of this felt a little mailed in from both guys though which I kind of expected from this match in 2019 in a promotion I've never heard of. Finishing stretch included some sloppy roll ups and Cide shoehorning in a low blow. This was decent enough and was probably good fun live.
  8. For a match with a lot of plunder I never thought this spent too much time setting up its spots except for maybe when Konnan brought the thumbtacks into the equation. But I liked the element that brought to the match so I'll allow it. I watched this to catch up on some Homicide but everyone in this match brought it. Great out of control brawl with big spots that never feel like they're the focus over the struggle. Overall I loved this match and would gladly watch it again. Excellent violent exciting stuff here.
  9. Clayton Jones

    Stock Rising/Stock Falling

    I've been buying shows for Kingston matches since 2005 or earlier and while I love him he's not a lock for my list by any means. I'd easily slot Homicide ahead of him for example as stuff like the Corino feud, the great Danielson matches (not from the best of 5), VS Necro, VS Acid, his whole feud with Joe, and parts of his feud with Cabana, pretty much dwarf the highlights of Kingston's career such as the Sweeney feud, the Hero feud, VS Cody, and VS Quack. Although I will say the AIW comment is funny to me as the way they stress how they want "gear Eddie" usually results in some of the most consistently really good Kingston matches for my money.
  10. Clayton Jones

    Stock Rising/Stock Falling

    I also want to double back to the disappointing best of 5 Danielson/Homicide series being a deciding factor in his ranking. Danielson was every bit as much to blame for those matches falling flat. Considering him and Cide had great matches before and after, I think that series really is one to chalk up to "well at least we tried something different." I wouldn't consider any of the matches except for maybe the cage match to be defining in either of their careers.
  11. Clayton Jones

    Stock Rising/Stock Falling

    See I feel that way about Fujiwara's reliance on selling being knocked out or snoring/spitting/drooling in submissions after my first round viewing him for the project. I love Fujiwara and I'm far from the point of poking holes in his case but it was something that stood out to me. I also did a round of Satomura and Fujinami viewing and I agree that both came out Aces in this first wave. I don't think there's anyone so far that's completely shocked me in how they've faired. Maybe Emilio Charles Jr, who I was ignorant of coming in, and seems like he maximized every minute he had to perform. I'm looking forward to watching everything of his I can. I know it's been one of the main talking points thus far but Jaguar Yokota keeps rising and rising every match I watch. I'll also throw a contrary voice in camp Steamboat, I left my first series of his matches thinking I had him pegged way too low.
  12. Clayton Jones

    [1996-04-14-Jd'] Lioness Asuka vs Jaguar Yokota

    I agree with Jetlag, this was such a complete match and on first watch felt like a low key classic. I even liked the finish as the ebb and flow had lead to a do or die moment for Jaguar. The struggle in this match was fantastic, Lioness never felt like this much of a bad ass that I've seen before or after. Which made Jaguar's efforts to contain and survive her feel that much more monumental. Awesome stuff.
  13. Clayton Jones

    [1971-08-05-JWA] Antonio Inoki vs Jack Brisco

    I'll let the pendulum swing back in the other direction, I thought Brisco worked circles around Inoki in this match. Great for certain but it was mainly because Jack wouldn't allow a dull moment, scrapping and selling every time he was on defense and dynamic every time he was on offense. Inoki brought his slick transitions but not much else, and his refusal to sell made the psychology of the 2nd and 3rd fall feel less earned and more convenient. Despite that I'd still say this is an essential match and utterly mind blowing for 1971.
  14. Really solid action, I wonder how much of this was clipped. Charles laid everything in and committed to everything he did with such vigor, I haven't seen much of him at this point in his career, but I was really impressed. Felino was excellent directing traffic, constantly getting bodies out of the way so there was more real estate for important spots. He also hit some of the highlights of the match beautifully but everyone contributed pretty equally here. This was one of those random trios that could have easily been mailed in but everyone came to play.
  15. Masterful tag team match from all four guys. I'm surprised I haven't heard more about it previously, but if the footage became readily available from the Hidden Gems section that makes a bit more sense. The heels are so vicious in this, laying everything in with bad intentions, smarmy and selling beautifully when they're getting what's coming to them. Steamboat and Youngblood compliment each other perfectly, two sides of the babyface coin, like the ideal of what a pro wrestling good guy was in 1983 come to life. I loved the way this match built and while it fell apart into chaos at the end it fit the escalating story they were telling.
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