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Clayton Jones

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Everything posted by Clayton Jones

  1. What a year Thatcher had. He's certainly in my top 5 for the year, if he had a run on top of any promotion for an extended period he'd probably be my #1. I like Lawlor as a character and for the special attraction he brings by booking him but I don't think I've ever enjoyed one of his matches as much as I did this one. This was somewhere between shoot style, catch wrestling, and a straight up pro wrestling fight. Nasty and visceral with a deliberate and satisfying build. And man, what a finish.
  2. I have a pretty neutral opinion of both of these teams so I was surprised by how much I liked this match when all was said and done. Which makes sense because the Young Bucks are masters of making you think they're going to schtick their way through a match, only to have you hooked before you even realize it's happening. By the end of this match I was rooting for Super Smash Bros hard even though I didn't have a rooting interest going in. That to me is the mark of a match that has some awesome work put in from everyone involved. There's no doubt these are two teams that are great at chaining together offense and that's fully on display here. But so are plenty of little touches that take this from a fun match early on to something much more by the end. And this had a live energy that really came through on tape even without the max volume commentary.
  3. Clayton Jones

    2019 Match of the Year

    Harada VS Minoru Tanaka from 3/10 for the GHC Junior Championship was pretty damn good. Not necessarily MOTYC caliber on a year like this but well worth checking out.
  4. This was good but definitely not great like the UWFi encounter. The leg lock portion is easy to point to as the more boring portion of the match but really it's indicative of the bigger problem, Takada is lacking the urgency and fire (using that term loosely) that Tenryu beat out of him the first time around. This still felt big and had some great moments, but as a complete package felt much more disjointed to me than the pseudo shoot style that was so fascinating to see Tenryu work previously. I was glad to watch these matches back to back after never having them on my radar previously, enjoyed both, but I doubt I'll ever revisit this one.
  5. Clayton Jones

    [2018-06-19-NJPW-Dominion] EVIL & SANADA vs Young Bucks

    This match was featured on my blog last week and I was way into it. The Young Bucks struck a good balance between their usually shithead personalities and actual likeable sympathetic babyfaces. The flip side of that is as nivvad mentioned SANADA & EVIL made for great aggressive no-nonsense opponents who wanted to put the Bucks away and make them hurt while doing so. The first half of the match set the table effectively but like a lot of Bucks matches the second half gets so good it catches you off guard at times. If there was a rematch from this one I'd love to see it.
  6. Clayton Jones

    [2019-01-05-Wrestle-1] Shotaro Ashino vs T-Hawk

    I didn't have any issues with T-Hawk's selling in this one. I thought he kept it a focus right up until the end, never making it out that he was totally hobbled, but clearly it was a constant factor from the moment Ashino targeted it. In general I thought his selling was believable and engaging, which I don't always expect from a match like this. I agree that Ashino was great in this start to finish too. I liked the way their styles meshed and would love to see a rematch.
  7. Clayton Jones

    [2007-07-21-BattlARTS] Munenori Sawa vs Hayato Jr Fujita

    This felt a bit like a young lion's match, where pride is on the line above all else, basically a contest of who blinks first. It had good amount of pro wrestling flair for a BattlArts match, similar to when guys like Hidaka or Ibushi work there. I liked the approach Sawa and Fujita brought even if it felt like a bit of a work in progress. By the end they packed a lot into a relatively short match without doing a ton, and delivered a great conclusion.
  8. I wrote some notes for this match a long time ago for a short lived project that never made it to the internet. Might as well dust them off and share them here. Vader sucker punching Fujinami before the bell and exclaiming "motherfucker!" in frustration while throwing a chair really sets the tone for this match. He then proceeds to attempt to rupture Fujinami's ear drum, and later holds him by the hair while trapping his arms and throws relentless unprotected shots to his face. Jesus. Even by Vader standards there's some brutal stuff in this match. Fujinami to his credit fires up with some stiff shots right back, getting the crowd behind him to the point he gets a great reaction from a kick out on a simple slam. Which really does feel like an accomplishment thanks to his selling and the punishment he's endured. Like a lot of Vader matches this is essentially a two act play and I can see the first act being a bit slow to some, but I was into this start to finish. Vader throws a clothesline that I noted "sounds like a piece of meat being thrown on the ground." That's my lasting memory of this one.
  9. This match is featured on my blog this week (cheap plug) and I thought it was awesome. Really the best possible combination of what these two were capable of around this time period. I much prefer the second half of Kanemoto's career to the first, once he added that layer of surly veteran to his already dickhead persona. Ibushi is a perfect young fearless opponent who is more than up to the challenge and opportunity in front of him. He brings some amazing highspots as you would expect, Kanemoto brings a tight and exciting structure, and by the end I'd be hard pressed to knock anything about this match. I've been wanting to watch it for a long while and it didn't disappoint in the slightest.
  10. I just watched this for the second time and while this feud probably gets a lot of attention for the impressively athletic exchanges these two innovated, on second viewing the psychology of the match was what really impressed me. What starts out as a friendly game of one-upmanship gets increasingly competitive and snug as the lower weight class underdog Grey continuously gets the better of Myers. In the first round or so Myers almost seems a little dismissive of Grey in a good natured way but that doesn't last long. As we get into the later rounds Myers becomes increasingly aggressive, taking a handshake opportunity to almost attack Grey, landing some tight shots and throws. He also eventually turns the tide decisively in his favor which leads to Grey opening up late throwing caution to the wind in the attempt of victory. This is a beautiful match and among the best I've seen from Britain.
  11. Clayton Jones

    [1975-11-20-Joint Promotions] Clive Myers vs Steve Grey

    Fixed the date, thanks Microstatistics!
  12. I revisited this match tonight and it was much better than I remembered. I could see the criticisms of a few minutes of bloat but otherwise I was hooked on the back and forth. Peaks and valleys indeed. Their match from March is certainly better and more suited to their strengths at this time but this was still pretty damn good. Maybe great. Everyone had a clear role to play, especially Akiyama with his disappointed thousand yard stare. I thoroughly enjoyed this and feel like it largely got a bad rap by a guy who doesn't know that Ricky Marvin was a world class worker in the mid 2000s.
  13. From the Spectrum, a 10 minute walk from my house growing up. My parents used to always tell me how popular Putski was, and they weren't lying. This was good crisp tag team wrestling while it lasts, which unfortunately isn't long at all. A fun watch for what it was.
  14. Clayton Jones

    Favorite 3 -5 year peak from a worker?

    And I also couldn't agree more.
  15. Clayton Jones

    Favorite 3 -5 year peak from a worker?

    I peaked in here to see if anyone had mentioned this and am very glad someone did.
  16. Clayton Jones

    Jim Breaks Arrested For Beating Wife To Death

    If I'm going to be objective Jim Breaks is the greatest British pro wrestler of all-time. Why he he had an ex-wife who was 33 years younger than him is one of those things that feels wrong right off the bat. How a situation like this could occur, faculties about him or not, just reinforces that doubt. Just awful all around.
  17. Clayton Jones

    Jim Breaks Arrested For Beating Wife To Death

    Disgusting response.
  18. Clayton Jones

    [2017-01-27-EVOLVE 76] Chris Hero vs Keith Lee

    This sounds much closer to my opinion of this match than most reviews I read. I thought these guys did one hell of a job adapting and most likely turning in a more focused and meaningful performance as a result of the circumstances. When they stood toe to toe my first thought was "I hope they just beat the hell out of each other" and because of the ropes they pretty much had to do just that. The second rope break probably didn't do the match any favors but on a whole I thought this was brutal, gritty, and engaging. Also worth noting that Leonard did a great job on commentary (besides his strange emphasis on Lee trying to break out as a singles wrestler for the first time) and the match was shot beautifully.
  19. I generally see the previous match get more praise but this is more my speed. The structure of this match is brilliant and with 20+ minutes of heated, logical and nasty tag action you can see how the next generation of AJPW mastered the art of heavyweight tag matches with this foundation. One of my favorite things about this match is how at multiple points it breaks down to grown men straight up slapping each other in the face, and not at all in the modern "test your machismo" kind of way, but in a "I fucking hate you and want to punk you" kind of way. Any time there's a submission that could be seen as a resthold the opposing team breaks it up before it can become tiresome. The champs do a great job playing to their size and playing up the underdog nature of the match. For someone who is criticized for taking nights off, it's crazy to me how much Jumbo puts of himself into matches like this. The four pillars +Akyiama definitely learned this from him and I love seeing a bigger guy use his entire body language to convey what's happening and not just to get himself over. Loved the finish as well.
  20. Clayton Jones

    [1999-09-15-GAEA] Aja Kong vs Meiko Satomura

    I just sat down to this match for the second time and it floored me the first time I watched it and it did so again this time. A lot of great joshi is about the emotion more than the execution or even sometimes the internal logic, but this match strikes an impressive balance between all of those factors. Satomura feels more like a force of nature than a wrestler here. As others have said it's Aja's match, but even for the first half as she dominates you can tell that there's something about Meiko that is throwing her off her game. She does a fantastic job of subtlety showing frustration and especially that Satomura is doing more damage than she wants to let on when she does get her rare offense. That's a hard story to even articulate let alone convey through pro wrestling but Aja does it beautifully. Too often she tries to do things her way instead of taking Satomura out as efficiently as possible and as the match plays out it starts to backfire on her. At times it feels like her hubris is going to be her downfall. And to Meiko's credit the amount of fire and tenacity she shows is second to none and makes you believe she can actually pull this thing out. This match is fantastic, I wish it had been on the stage and spotlight that joshi had in its prime.
  21. Clayton Jones

    [1995-09-02-AJW-Destiny] Manami Toyota vs Akira Hokuto

    Wow, even by big match joshi standards this was something else. There was a moment in the last five minutes or so where I stopped thinking about the match critically and just went with it because it was too damn enthralling. More than a spotfest but also just as much spectacle as it is a match, I think the reason it could be misinterpreted as a spotfest is because it's based more around pride and respect than it is around hate. But still, it hardly felt like the point of this match was to execute cool moves, there was much more on the line than that.
  22. Kong/Toyota was very good, this was great. They picked their spots more effectively, played to their strengths better, and knew when to take things home. In a fairly limited amount of viewing this is the best Kyoko performance I've seen. She has a tendency to try to do too much and against a force like Kansai that felt very reigned in. This was top notch from start to finish.
  23. Clayton Jones

    Shinya Hashimoto

    He literally worked his leg over for 14 minutes of a 22 minute match. If you don't consider that the body of the match then you are wrong.
  24. Clayton Jones

    Samoa Joe

    Now that my memory is sufficiently jogged this also brings to mind some really good IWAMS matches VS Aries and Hero, the Hero one in particular being something special with the kind of reaction they get out of 50 or so fans for the entire duration. Also a pair of good matches VS Strong in FIP back when they were working in front of mostly empty seats as well and Strong was still a ways off as a singles wrestler. Which then brings to mind a great Joe/Whitmer VS Aries/Strong tag title match in ROH, which leads to a very good Strong singles match that shows a great progression. And all of that also reminds me that Joe has one of the 5 or so best BJ Whitmer singles matches ever to his credit on the first show of the CZW feud, Hell Freezes Over. And then I just noticed you only have one of the two Lethal matches, I'm not sure which date you have listed but both Manhattan Mayhem and Steel Cage Warfare are very good, bordering great matches. I also just assumed you had the impromptu Manhattan Mayhem main event which treads that "great angle, good match" territory but also builds his resume in terms of versatility. And then you have the other match w/Lethal VS Ki/Cide at Punk's last show which is maybe the best of any of the matches I've mentioned in this post.
  25. Clayton Jones

    Shinya Hashimoto

    Yeah the no selling of the leg work is exactly what I'm talking about. You can still look dominant while having sound psychology. Hase brought the structure, emotion, executed better, had better transitions, and was a world class babyface bell to bell. The finish would have been just as good and surprising had Hashimoto sold the great work Hase put in for more than half the match. And all of this wouldn't be such a noticeable detractor from the match had Hashimoto not chosen to go to flying kicks for the majority of his offense. The Ogawa feud is admittedly a blind spot for me and something I have on my long list of matches to check out. Once again thanks for the match recommendation.