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  1. I am going to talk a little about this match but the thread really works to signify the differences Mid South tv had compared to other territories so far in my 1983 watching. Angles seem hotter in WCCW and Memphis but they do have the usually collection of bizarre heels ala Sabu. Mid South felt more straight laced with one occasional segment for that type of heel involving Kamala and Kabuki. THis tv episode has a Matsuda vs Wrestling II match and Bob Roop expertly on commentary talks about the precision and craftiness that Matsuda has that can be unassuming given his speed. Guerrero vs Gino was the tv main event and they went out there and gave them 9 minutes to craft a story. Chavo uses a surfboard and overall it felt like more competitive, ground based wrestling than we have seen on tv in other areas. Watts does a great job on commentary talking about how at Houston he witnessed Gino cheap shotting Chavo with a chair. THis plays into the finish as Chavo gets a measure of revenge and ends up scoring the pin. FUn match. ***
  2. A good litmus test for 1983 NJPW and the quality of the promotion overall. This didn't make the DVDVR set and I agree with that sentiment but I thought it was a ton of fun especially seeing MDM beat the shit out of their opponents and them having to utilize flash to counteract that. Tiger Mask is someone I seem to have more tolerance on than his biggest detractors here but I thought he was really effective mixing in his high spots and selling when needed. An enjoyable tv match overall. ***1/4
  3. Really quick clip of the match but a great angle. Jimmy Hart had been on ringside wrapped head to toe in a bandage for the first couple weeks of the year. Here he is tied to Dundee and tries to interject into the match. When that happens, Hart runs out in his regular attire and distracts King allowing Bock to "regain" the AWA title. The person dressed as Hart is revealed to be Andy Kaufman and they do an amazing gloating promo in the back
  4. I don't know how much play Morishima will get in the upcoming GWE debate, but if you are looking for his first great singles match, I would seek this one out. He has shown a lot of signs of life in 2001 and is stretching things out more with the 30 minute draw with RIkio and longer shingles match in the GHC tournament. Still, this was a match that would have been sub 10 minutes a year or two earlier and was stretched to 17 here. Morishima has his head shaved and I am unsure if that is some sort of punishment given the culture or just a new look. I had been waiting on Akiyama to deliver a performance that felt like a successor to his WOTY output from 2000 and this was the closest so far. He grinds Morishima down with a nasty combo or leg scissors and headlocks. The torque and crank on Morishima's neck looked impressive and it was a great strategy by Akiyama in doing things in a heelish way without actually breaking the rules. Morishima's comebacks were well timed and he got the right amount of nearfalls before the finish calls back to the earlier neck work and revisist the front face lock of Akiyama as a lethal finisher. Overall, a very sucessful match. **** (7.9)
  5. Certainly a half baked death match with random ideas such as Necro lighting his leg on fire for a legdrop and Page lighting his head on fire for a headbutt for the finish. What this lacks in overall logic though, it did make up in violence and energy. Necro continues to gain that cult following among the IWA hardcores and has injected a great sense of enjoyment in the main event death matches they have presented. That along with Punk, Cabana, and Hero being able to stretch out their legs on the undercard has made IWA MS into my favorite indie to watch currently sans NWA WIldside. They have more consistent booking than CZW and the show features good variety. This was a good primer for next week's KOTDM. ***1/4
  6. Low Ki and Xavier continue to have great chemistry with each other and is so far, Ki's best consistent work of 2001. The rest still shows how the booking of Ki has been pretty awful since the Super 8 breakout. He is in a big angle here in ICW instead of messing around with the likes of Elax like he is in JAPW. However, the heel owner bit is so played on the indies and ICW should be thankful that USA PRO is around so they aren't viewed as the most desperate Attitude era nostalgia act indie. Tammy Sytch and MIssy Hyatt had an awful segment on this show and it was main evented by another mundane ECW alum main event involing Balls and Dreamer. Ki and Xavier both deserve better than this and I hope the ladder match is a wake up call and change in direction allowing the young indie talent to get their due.
  7. soup23

    [2001-05-27-GAEA] Chikayo Nagashima vs KAORU

    Good match but this speaks to some of the booking problems I have with GAEA. They have crafted a perfect underdog storyline of Meiko rising up the ranks and culminating in the 4/29/01 HOkuto match but other picking up upset victories like Nagashima here lessen than affect. Nagashima and KAORU are more evenly matched but even on this same exact show, you had the champion go down in a singles match to Yamada. Getting up for 1-3 big upsets is something that can be exhillarating as a viewer. Watching this match and seeing Nagashima win, my reaction was more shrugged shoulders that of course that happened and she won based on everything else that has happened in GAEA so far.
  8. I thought this was awesome and gripping from the start. In the middle of a BOSJ tournament, Samurai and Liger are here to rain on the Tokyo parade of the Osaka contingent. Samurai's best role is as the underappreciated, fuck you wrestler and he shows that off here trying to bully Murahama and giving him that great piledriver in the middle of the heat. LIger of course is awesome as the cocky ace and Murahama is again building a top 10 WOTY case. His strikes are pristine, his speed is intoxicating and beyond that, he has all the storyline elements down to a science. He tags in Delphin with the right amount of desperation. THe leg lock sub on Samurai feels like a bonafide finish. The guy is incredible. Delphin is also a fav of mine but he was the weakest here. Still, it was really nice to see him get the victory and kudos to LIger for doing the job. ****1/4 (8.4)
  9. soup23

    Who Are the Best Hubs?

    Hansen is first person that came to mind. Have the WWWF stuff, Puerto Rico, AWA, NJPW candidates like Inoki, Andre match, AJPW 80s and 90s and then even candidates like Luger with the WCW stuff.
  10. soup23

    Random Match Theory and Other Metrics

    Yeah, I think the chances of something "good" is high with those two or someone like Hansen but I do feel the random match theory really plays up more the variety and that is where it may lack from those type of workers. THey are all strong enough that they have aberrations but I fee like 90% of the matches they compete in follow some sort of template that I can visualize. My thinking would be with those type of workers, instead of bouncing around with a random match theory, a more chronological watch would be rewarding.
  11. A match where the end rating can be deceiving. This was a very good match that featured good grappling, brawling and some excellent highspots. The downside were that the finishes were disappointing and the face team seemed to gain the advantage too easily and then take it home with the finish in fall 1. Similarly, Devil is a bloody mess in fall 3 but gets the win easily after a mundane move compared to the crowd brawling on the ground. Overall, a good match but also one where with people like Jaguar and Devil and looking at them through GWE prisms, this didn't really elevate either in my eyes. ***1/2 (6.7)
  12. Starting the Freebird run in WCCW with the most microscopic look I have given it and one match in, we have some flaws. I understand Buddy is the loss post of the Birds and he didn't lose here (match is a draw), but there is no reason he shouldn't have pinned Adias in the later stages of the match. Adias is up and coming and the narrative of him lasting 9 minutes with Buddy could have been built up effectively on commentary. Bad booking aside, the match was fun with Buddy as the ring general. Simple stuff like asking the ref to check the pinfall allowing him to cheat and other underhanded tactics that are revolved around him working a hold and feeding into the comeback and hope spots of Adias effectively. Good showing for Buddy and he deserved better than having the match go to a draw. **3/4
  13. soup23

    [1983-01-06-NJPW] Tiger Mask vs Kuniaki Kobayashi

    I thought this was the best match in the first week of 1983. Hot pre bell spot with Kobayashi attacking and tempers flaring and then everything calms down for the Japanese National Anthem to play. The match settles in and it struck me as a good contrast beginning of Kobayashi working the mat and grinding TM while TM showed more flash and flurries. It provided a good contrast to the two and then escalated into a finishing run that was exciting and intense with a lot of close calls. The finish sucks but it is 1983 Japan so that comes with the territory. ***3/4
  14. soup23

    Random Match Theory and Other Metrics

    Been thinking about Random Match Theory since it was presented on the kickoff pod. One thought I have is that it certainly seems to help individuals that worked a variety of roles (heel/face, tag specialist but singles star, different gimmicks) more so than what I would refer to as Template workers. Two high profile template workers that I think Random Match Theory would probably penalize for me is Rey Mysterio and Ricky Steamboat. On the surface, a random match theory generator would produce mostly good results and matches in a variety of different promotions but I am unsure at the variety of the matches that would be presented or how that would help raise these candidates overall. Contrasting to someone like Funk or Jumbo where you could go from NWA title match era FUnk to Hardcore plunder and be amazed at how entertained you are from two striking different performances from two eras from the same man. Ditto for 70's Jumbo and then jumping to 1991 grumpy Jumbo due to the random match generator. The other beneficiary of this theory seems to be the high profile indie stars too. I think it is no secret that more time is put into crafting matches nowadays than in the past where you were just working with opponents night in and night out and sticking to familiarity. Workers like Hero, Generico, Danielson, Strong, Cesaro all have distinct eras from a multitude of promotions and have been consistently good throughout their entire career. This is a double knockout blow in random match theory as the quality and uniqueness would both be high for each of those listed above. Overall, this isn't a theory that I am sure will carry much weight for me as I do think it is stringent on both consistency and uniqueness which aren't my highest points of criteria when evaluating wrestlers overall.
  15. soup23

    Ricky 'The Dragon' Steamboat

    It won't penalize him per say but Id o think it is an interesting case for what Matt is saying that Steamboat is likely to be a top 20 finisher for most and when it gets to that high on the list, any glaring flaws would have to be weighted against the other strong upper quarter contenders.