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Edwin

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  1. Far from their best match together, but this is a good little TV match as you would expect from these two. Bryan targeted Cesaro's left arm and Cesaro targeted Bryan's ankle after he kicked the ring post (which you could see coming once Cesaro got in place for it). Loved Bryan pulling on Cesaro's nose to pull off the Yes Lock and Cesaro countering a top rope huracanrana and pulling on Bryan's ears to setup a great looking super plex. Great finish too with Cesaro hitting his elevated European uppercut followed by the neutralizer. In my opinion, Bryan was WOTY for 2020 with continuously good to great performances despite having been away for several months due to paternal leave and he's talked about his career winding down as a top star, so it's cool seeing him pick up this year where he left off and it's cool seeing him put on quality TV matches and letting folks go over on his career winds down.
  2. I thought this was an OK TV main event. Darby is one of the craziest guys currently active in wrestling and he's made a name for himself as a bump freak. His offense is pretty neat as it's just him flinging his body at his opponent recklessly. As expected, he takes some ridiculous bumps here, but I would have cut out the powerbomb on the ramp late in the match especially after he got press slammed from inside the ring to a table that was several feet from the ring apron. I dug Darby using his belt to tie up Cage's feet but I could have done without the turnbuckle kickout climb spot which was hokey and the Sting appearance (but I get understand why they did it).
  3. Edwin

    [2021-01-14-WWE-NXT UK] WALTER vs A-Kid

    I really wanted to like this more than I did as I'm a big fan of WALTER, but this didn't do it for me. WALTER tends to give smaller opponents a ton of offense to the point where's it not even 50/50 and even sometimes feels like it's 30/70, he allows them to overpower him and he gives in way to easily to them and that's exactly what he did here. Not a knock on A-Kid though as he is still relatively young and he comes from a country where pro-wrestling is almost nonexistent, so he is highly influenced by the indy British wrestlers who came through PROGRESS. I thought his strategy of going after WALTER's legs to chop him down was neat, but the execution wasn't mind blowing and it looked like WALTER just cooperated with him and caved. I also hoped A-Kid would do a bit of a better job of selling WALTER's offense as the commentators put it over as brutal, yet a lot of it feels brief and gets brushed off quickly. That big powerbomb would have been the perfect finish for this, yet it wasn't of course and I checked out as it kept going for another minute or so and it took 2 more big moves to put A-Kid away.
  4. Edwin

    Best of 2020

    Is that Villano III Jr. match the one that lasts 45+ minutes? I watched it on +Lucha when it dropped and oof, that was brutal to sit through. I mean, I get why folks loved it as they did a lot of crazy big spots and such, but it was and felt long.
  5. Edwin

    Best of 2020

    Yuki Ishikawa vs. Daisuke Ikeda from wXw AMBITION 12. Daniel Bryan vs. Drew Gulak from Elimination Chamber and WALTER vs. Ilja Dragunov from NXT UK. Roman Reigns heel turn, Tribal Chief, Head of the Table angle. SmackDown. It had some odd moments, but it produced some quality matches and angles such as the Intercontinental title tournament, the Roman Reigns heel turn and the Sasha Banks and Bayley run and feud. Daniel Bryan. He was incredible in the first half of the year with great matches against Sami Zayn, Drew Gulak, AJ Styles and he was also involved in several good multiman matches. He returned later on in the year and he was involved in the really good series of matches against Jey Uso and also in many multiman matches.
  6. I thought this was very good. This maybe an unpopular opinion, but if I'm watching modern shoot style that's going to resemble MMA as much as possible, I want folks throwing heat behind their strikes and constantly scrambling looking to grab limbs or chokes and going for sweeps to improve their positions instead of just sitting in loose kneebars. That's exactly what we get here. Ueyama and Ito pack the heat behind their palm strikes and Ito even drops Ueyama with a sick knee from the clinch early on which leads to some exciting grappling exchanges with Ueyama taking the lead with a great looking flying armbar. That entire scramble looked like what we would get years later in the Tokoro/Nakamura fight year later. After the initial scramble they slow it down and the grappling exchanges aren't as intense, but there's still some dramatic moments with some submissions and some pretty near strikes thrown. Beautiful finish with Ueyama rolling into an ankle lock.
  7. It's always pleasant watching Gulak pop up somewhere in a WWE ring as he is one of the best and least featured wrestlers on the roster at the moment (really wish they would have brought him back up to continue his angle with Daniel Bryan when he returned from paternity leave). The match itself is a nifty sub 10 minute smaller show WWE TV match. We get some Fire Ant days Gulak at the start with some brief quick armdrag exchanges which is something you would have seen him throw in those Colony matches back in the day. He also pulls of some an incredible counters and he catches Ricochet twice in half crabs and you actually buy into him possibly pulling off the win on the second when he turns into a deep modified STF. Finish was pretty neat as well with Ricochet catching him an unexpected recoil knee.
  8. These two had a good singles match last year and just put on a very good match. There were some hokeyness to this, such as the obvious plastic fence Raquel tore with her handcuffs, but despite that, this had some true senses of violence with some brutal kendo stick shots that left visible welts on their backs and some absolutely nasty bumps such as Rhea taking a spine breaking ringside commentators table bump, a nasty spear through a glass door and a big table bump in the back with Rhea diving off a locker onto Raquel on a table. The brawling to the back was mostly done in the picture-and-picture so it was hard to follow, but the Dakota Kai run in was great as she was landing some nasty kicks before she got punted by Rhea and got stuffed in a locker. The finish was pretty great as well with both taking a big bump through the ramp.
  9. Good sub 10 minute TV match with Lashley working as the big bruiser and Riddle taking some wild bumps. That corner bump on the outside was nasty. That finishing sequence was creative and neat. I'm all for these two feuding over the US title. Riddle has been coming along nicely on RAW with some quality singles TV matches against Sheamus last year and now this one against Lashley.
  10. This was more traditional pro-wrestling than shoot style or Bati-Bati as Hoshikawa is a Michi Pro affiliated wrestler, but this is still a good match. They set this up with Hoshikawa using flashier and more pro-wrestling oriented offense as he throws some somewhat flashier kicks which of course Otsuka being the punishment freak he is he just dives in head first into these kicks and he does a fantastic job at putting them over a KO potential strikes and it builds the drama for the finish. Otsuka's comeback is a bit brief as he gets tired of playing around with Hoshikawa and then just dumps on his head with a TTD before teeing off with some big throws.
  11. This was a really fun Michi Pro house show multiman match. It's a lot more held back and a slower paced match with a fantastic Súper Astro performance. He does all of his signature spots and he does a neat comedy mask swap with Shiryu that leads to him being confused and punching the ref. Aside from his performance, everyone else is perfectly fine in their roles in this. Not an all-time classic or anything, but it never drags and is a perfectly fine way to spend 20 minutes.
  12. Regal comes in with a taped thigh which you know Arn will look to exploit at some point including kicking it to break a double knucklelock. There’s a great bit where Arn locks in a ridiculously tight headlock which looks like he’s about to burst Regal’s head. I had no idea Sir William was Bill Dundee. I thought he was great. You could tell he was working the ringside crowd during the double knucklelock they are loudly shouting at him. Arn’s armwork was pretty neat. He yanks Regal around and rams his arm into the ringpost which gets a great pop. I feel Tony doesn’t get much credit, but he does a great job explaining why Arn’s armwork here. Of course everything Regal throws connects and looks brutal. I really dug the finish with both of them showing signs of urgency as the count down was starting. That quick abdominal stretch counter by Arn leading to a small package was neat as well as the finish with Regal using Sir William’s umbrella for leverage to pull off the pin at the last second while everyone was buying into another time limit draw. Really great match.
  13. Edwin

    MOTYs by year

    My list is more so my favorite matches from each year than what should be considered MOTY.
  14. Hard Hit is such an odd and fascinating company. It puts on unique shows that aren't necessarily for everyone, but I thoroughly enjoy them as they do a great job of putting on shoot style matches between pro-wrestling and MMA fighters who mostly fought in Pancrase. Tsuchihashi is the difference maker here though as he's mostly spent most of his combat sports career fighting for Akira Maeda in The Outsider (an MMA promotion Maeda founded to put on MMA fights featuring guys with no combat sports training who are mostly gang members) which is why he is all tattooed up. The match isn't your traditional pro-wrestling match and is more so 4 guys rolling on the ground countering each others submission holds without a single strike thrown. There is plenty of great looking spots though, including HARASHIMA countering Imanari rolls into scorpion death locks, HARASHIMA tugging on Matsumoto's gi pants and pulling him into a German suplex, Sakaguchi trying to jump into Tsuchihashi's guard with a cartwheel and of course the beautiful helicopter armbar finish. Again, this isn't traditional straight up pro-wrestling or shoot style per se, but it does have elements of pro-wrestling and shoot style.
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