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  1. soup23

    [2019-06-09-NJPW-Dominion] Kota Ibushi vs Tetsuya Naito

    The bump made me really squeamish and that is something that usually doesn’t affect me inside of the match. This felt like escalation via dumber moves and that style never registers with me. Maybe one for rewatch. **3/4
  2. soup23

    [2019-06-09-NJPW-Dominion] Dragon Lee vs Will Ospreay

    I took the Child’s Summer Movie approach to this match and enjoyed it for what it was. I thought Ospreay had less WM7 reaching for the heavens visuals here than in the BOSJ final. Dragon Lee isn’t that compelling overall this year but that tope was nuts. **** (7.9)
  3. soup23

    [2019-06-09-NJPW-Dominion] Kazuchika Okada vs Chris Jericho

    Hated this. Jericho looked old, sloppy and not as clunky with his strikes that made the Omega match work. Beyond that, Okada isn’t athletic enough to hide his short givings. You also had a tidy Okada main event with crowd brawling, flap jack transition and all the other bells and whistles that got cut off with a cute finish playing back a year ago. **
  4. Wild seeing a NJPW Tokyo Done main go under 20 minutes. I liked this more than Marty but see the critique. I thought Takayama was terrific. Calculated and lethal. He is the ultimate gate keeper. Nakamura couldn’t match that both from a storytelling standpoint as well as a striking standpoint besides the knees to the body. Overall him wearing Takayama down and winning with the KO shot felt fulfilling but unworthy all at once. ***3/4
  5. soup23

    [1998-03-21-LLPW] Shinobu Kandori vs Yumiko Hotta

    A brutal match that mixes in compelling gripping storytelling in 12 minutes. Joshi was certainly all but dead with their peak by 1998 but Kandori winning the Big Red In this manner was as satisfying closure to that era as any. ****3/4
  6. This would have been very good if JIP for tv. As it is the first ten minutes of matwork didn’t grip me at all and nearly marred the whole match. Once Kengo starts throwing strikes, things pick up and Liger really starts honing in on the leg. Worth watching but not a lost classic. ***
  7. Rewatched this for the first time today and whatever story I saw the first go around was erased by the selling of Ibushi this time. It felt similar to Ospreay vs Takagi to me in that the overarched stories was better than the micro story making sense within the match. ****
  8. Gave some stream of consciousness notes on this. Critiques of Shingo vs Ospreay 1. too much outside brawling in first 5-10 minutes. White/Tana and Juice/Mox both had intense feuds that predicated that. This match did not. 2. Ospreay facials 3. Ospreay kicking out of nearfall after first sliding clothesline too soon 4. inconsistent selling with sequenes 5. announcers wanting to call the match off after top rope DVD and Ospreay is doing multiple springboards 1 minute later 6. neck work was largely forgotten 7. Count out tease was pointless 8. 630 with point of impact being the neck was dumb 9. Ospreay winning strike exchange leading to finishing run doesn't fit the personas Pluses of Shingo vs Ospreay 1. Shingo played his role as dominant bully really well 2. Most of Ospreays dynamic offense sparkled including the Liger bomb 3. They waited to pull out some special moves for this match like Made in Japan 4. Os Cutter was a nice equalizer on the edge of the ring after Shingo had been on top for a while 5. Ospreay pounces right after count out tease 6. Shingo kick out of Os Cutter was well timed and amped the match up to the finishing run 7. pace was fine in that the match was 33 minutes but it didn't feel as long as other NJPW main events 8. Ospreay pumping bomber kick out was well timed and contrast to surprise he had when Shingo kicked out of Os Cutter 9. I liked finish with Ospreay hitting the Hidden Blade, knowing the match is at hand and him delivering the KO shot with the top rope Os Cutter and Storm Breaker. Ended up at ***3/4 overall on the back of overarching story and athleticism.
  9. Easy MOTN for me and a great story. White looked the part as s threatening heel that is also a punk and Tanahashi was so sympathetic and spot on with him coming back to extinguish this punk, but even he’s rested up self isn’t enough. The Gedo interference was annoying but did lead to the dueling low balls which was entertaining. ****1/2
  10. soup23

    [1996-01-15-WCW-Nitro] Ric Flair vs Sting

    Rewatched this for a podcast and liked it A lot more than before. Flair gets in a ton of offense and Sting looks incredible. The finish with Luger was done ambiguous enough that I could see sting giving Luger the benefit of the doubt. ***1/2
  11. I really thought I would like Jarrett more in PWO2K but he was so unmotivated and just resigned to being a dis-interesting garbage brawler here. Kanyon did a much better job of offense in the previous match. THis has the great ending and DDP could still rile the crowd up to an lather with an exciting victory but its more of a feel good moment than a good match. **1/2
  12. This impromptu match is made by Jarrett and Flair using a clip of DDP saying he would fight Kanyon anytime anyplace. DDP gets busted open early and is a great underdog here. With him knowing that Jarrett is waiting, he tries to end things early since he is hurt so this becomes a bomb fest with tons of big moves thrown at each other and Kanyon's offense being optimized. DDP is a great underdog but eventually with help from Jarrett, he succumbs to the onslaught of Kanyon and loses. ***1/4 (6.6)
  13. I talked about in the opener how I doubted what the ceiling of those six would be, Sans Stasiak, the sky is the limit for the remaining three in watching the 2000 and 2001 stuff. This was another all action tag match between the two that didn't go too long and also didn't forget that it was a tag match threading the line on having a cohesive structure. O'Haire in particular continues to be the true standout and looked like a can't miss prospect. ***1/4 (6.4)
  14. Maybe I am delusional, but I have really enjoyed Dustin's return to the promotion in 2001 and shockingly think Rick has been effective too. These two had a good brawl on Nitro and followed that up with another hard hitting match here. Nothing special but a meat and potatoes special with effective strikes feels so unique watching it now in the landscape of springboards and superkicks. Maybe its the Cornette coming out of me but this was good stuff and continued the momentum of the PPV. *** (5.9)
  15. I don't know why Yang and Karagias were paired up but they almost ruined this match. Their parings in the first half was one botch after another. Luckily they were the first two out and the rest of the match was much better. I don't know whether watching a match like this, you saw a high ceiling for most of these guys sans Helms but as far as providing an effective and entertaining match, you at least thought the four final competitors were capable and they delivered here. Helms going after Moore was the highlight. *** (6)