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  1. These are the matches that makes the year worth it. 2001 has had some good stuff lately but it feels like the narratives have already been established and were waiting on something like Kobashi coming back or ROH starting to change directions. This was easily one of the top 100 matches of the year. It feels like a match that may have been viewed by double digit people. It’s a one camera show with no commentary. It feels akin to taking a long road trip and finding that great BBQ place on the side of the road that delivers. They start friendly enough although Yu Yu declines the opening handshake. Amano throughout the match goes time and time to the armbar and it looks nasty. The finish works in that it was a speed vs power battle and one side won based true on that breakdown. Post match has Amano teasing a handshake and then locking in one more armbar for the road upping the animosity. Great match. **** (8.1)
  2. One episode of the GWCW list is in the can. Just has to be edited.
  3. soup23

    [1985-01-25-NWA-St. Louis, MO] Ric Flair vs Kerry Von Erich

    Great match. I agree this is a bit greatest hits for these two but they absolutely shine together. The main thing that drew me into this match were the teases. There were multiple points that usually signify momentum changes and they held off on them here. The finish was also well done by saying Flair got lucky but him as the NWA champ, he can twist it to saying he was resourceful. ****1/4 (8.3)
  4. The day after a serious natured MSG show, the WWF crew arrives in Philly and produces this match which is a shit load of fun. The faces and heels are all cracking smiles at various points and it really feels like the type of match where everyone goes back to the hotel and pounds a case of beer afterwards. That isn't to say that people are taking it easy, they just knew the notes to hit to garner a reaction and they did so. Rose is bumping all over the place and being a pain in the ass. Fuji pops off a shockingly fast belly to belly to gain a fall on Bellamo. Muraco is in his prime run and has some more interaction with Snuka that will build later of course. Rocky fires off a great flurry of punches. Andre is using his size and laughing and kicking the shit out of the heels. A great popcorn match that could be used as a an example of the 1980-1983 era of pre-Hogan WWF and who was effective. ***1/2
  5. soup23

    Ric Flair

    February 83 is a good month for Flair with what we have on tape. No classics or even great matches but he works three distinctively different world title matches in three promotions. World Class vs Gordy has him as defacto face due to heat on Freebirds. Flair plays this off well as being ancillary in the whole feud. He has a demeanor of seeing there is a lot of shit going on and not wanting get directly involved. St. Louis vs Brody is a Ric vs bigger opponent template match but it goes an hour and Ric finds interesting ways to ground Brody and keep the match interesting. Florida vs Scott McGhee is most impressive. A no name challenger in the biggest match of his life. Ric plays it slow just looking for an opening and not going into deep waters against the inferior opponent. This match has no leg work by Flair and sure enough once Scott wipes out on a big charge in the corner, Ric suplexes him and wins clean.
  6. soup23

    [2001-07-20-JAPW] Low Ki vs Homicide

    Another great match in this feud marred by the crappy ending. Xavier has been impressive but he felt really show horned into this feud. I’m still hoping for some more long form Homicide vs Ki matches in the future as it’s still the current indie feud of the decade.
  7. soup23

    Jumbo Tsuruta vs Shinya Hashimoto

    In the same sentiment, couldn’t the Hashimoto is better argument part of the “changing contrary opinion” canon. That is the trapping I’ve experienced the last few days and why these arguments get very tedious very quickly. Last GWE we had a TON of critique for Flair. He’s certainly not above that but in the end what happened? Flair won the overall vote comfortably. It seems so far this go around we are hearing loud opinions from a few but will that translate out to the finished list? That remains to be seen. All of that is to say that my original argument is simply that for me, Hashimoto doesn’t have the high end matches Jumbo has. As backing to that I pointed to other data points from three sources that seem to agree. Elliott spelled out his reasoning for Hashimoto above and that’s cool and what I would like to see more of. Stuff becoming a new canon doesn’t just make it correct in a way but an expectation has to be taken into effect that the new discoveries may not translate over the entire voter base. I haven’t seen many deep dive into Dragon Gate and we had open mocking of Alan’s list that was presented at the Torch. Is that what we want this to be representative of?
  8. soup23

    Jumbo Tsuruta vs Shinya Hashimoto

    Yeah, of that list I agree they are all great and some reach the 4.75 level for me 1/4 tag, 8/98) but certainly not as many as Jumbo and that is where my point was centered toward. Hopefully if the consensus is Hash is better and has as much top end as Jumbo that will be reflected better in future GME lists.
  9. soup23

    Jumbo Tsuruta vs Shinya Hashimoto

    Interested to hear what the MOTYC are for Hashimoto? I have plenty of his matches as great but few at 4.75-5 level and the sentiment seems to equate that from the yearbook viewing, Meltzer year end lists and Greatest Match Ever. The latter had 6 Jumbo matches in the top 100.
  10. soup23

    Jumbo Tsuruta vs Shinya Hashimoto

    Damn, I’m shocked Hashimoto is winning. I love Hashimoto but I just don’t think he has that extra gear to produce MOTYC matches that I saw Jumbo utilize in the 76 Funk match, 1/28/86 tag, 6/5/89, 9/1/90, and 4/20/91. Hashimoto is a top 20 contender for me, Jumbo is top 5.
  11. soup23

    Kiyoshi Tamura vs Negro Casas

    Tough choice and I love the analysis that OJ brought here. I agree that Tamura really utilized the sink or swim approach. Of the stuff we have on tape, I think he performs best of all workers that have this tendency. Casas certainly excels when given stuff to do but when not, he certainly isn’t above just being there and hanging out. I think the notion that he is a Funk like candidate that has longevity and was always interesting is way overblown. Still the man has a 5 star match from me in 1987 and 4.75 match in 2012. Tough call but I’m leaning Tamura today.
  12. Hammer is such a great heel. Everything he did here looked cunning and targeted. He mixes in the brutality of his strikes with the underhanded shortcuts when feeling extremely well. Kerry for his part was also great here showing fire when needed and selling when needed. Great duality throughout the match. Overall this is an excellent resume builder for each guys year. Kerry has the Freebirds stuff and Hammer has the Piper feud but when I get to the end of the year, I intend to have an eureka moment where I recall this match and it catapults both. ****
  13. The wrestling here had me hooked and ready to proclaim this a lost classic. The garbage spots and Asuka shoe horning her dominant performance and booking in lessened the match overall. Uneven match as a result.
  14. Great match with double juice and intensity. Both women had great expressions throughout the match and the strikes and escalation felt appropriate.
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    Great Sasuke

    2000-2001 Sasuke is inconsistent without the high end classics of the 90s. Instead of boring matwork he replaces that with aimless brawling a lot of the time.