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Everything posted by Beast

  1. I can't think of too many other times that a match lost a crowd and the crowd was blamed instead of the wrestlers on here. As garretta said above, there may have been ways for these 5 to win the crowd over, but they stuck with whatever they had planned and it fell flat. Maybe if I watched this with the sound off I'd have enjoyed it more, but this IS uncomfortably awkward as is. I felt bad for all involved as they were clearly busting their asses, but again, why is it the crowd's fault for not caring? Now, this match shouldn't have been presented on PPV without a solid buildup and especially not in the middle of a card that was already suffering from lack of depth (meaning each match was 5-10 minutes too long throughout the night), but it didn't seem like there was even one moment that Morton, Gibson, Prichard, Del Ray and Cornette turned off the autopilot to reconsider what was happening and pivot towards a more successful match. To my ears it seemed like Del Ray's "gigolo" gyrating got a reaction, but it was brief and then back to spot, spot, spot; exactly what Cornette complains about today. ** feels more right than *** or **** and that's for the moves themselves more than anything else. I just don't understand why this match gets a pass when it's almost 15 minutes of talented guys failing to do what they needed to to win over a new crowd.
  2. Beast

    Comments that don't warrant a thread - Part 4

    Watching the first Superstars/Challenge in late '86, they are pushing Graham's return (with promos talking about eating tarantulas and such). Of course he got injured immediately, was gone for a year, came back briefly and then transitioned to commentary, but how crazy would it have been if he had a solid run in that period? He's challenging Savage in the latest clip I saw, so imagine him facing Savage, Race, Roberts, Kamala, Hercules, etc... at MSG/Boston/Spectrum in that phase of his career. Probably would have been like the never-ending Savage/Animal series of matches, only without Steele's built-in gimmick gaga to keep it entertaining enough.
  3. Really enjoyed this. My first Strickland match and he impressed. The commentary by Excalibur and Kevin Kelly sold the story of Strickland being done in by his need to try and beat Sabre at his own game, but Sabre patiently waiting for Strickland to make a mistake. It was a slower pace than the previous matches on the SuperShow, helping it stand out in a positive way for me. Biggest criticism I can give is that some of the holds, while looking effectively painful, required the opponent's cooperation in getting set up, but Sabre and Strickland were so great at telling their overall story that it didn't matter in the end.
  4. Absolutely fantastic. Similar story and ending as the preceding Philly match, but the body of the match is completely different. I love how they take the layout of the initial Championship Wrestling heel turn match and replace Bruno's hesitancy and care towards Larry with rage and competitiveness. It makes what could have been stretches of "rest holds" into something much more meaningful and entertaining. Plus both guys really play into the brutality and power of the stuff Bruno throws at Larry. Love, love, love how Larry is able to take control by brawling. Bruno seems so focused on cranking on the holds he refused to lay into for their first exhibition and Larry knows the only way he has a chance is to beat Bruno down with kicks and punches and cheap stuff. And the ending is magnificent. They end up outside where Larry slams Bruno's head into the mat (with an awesome sell job by Bruno) and then keeps beating on him as he comes back in. Eventually Bruno starts to "Bruno up" and Larry tries to recreate the circumstances of his control segment by running outside, letting Bruno follow and cheapshotting him again as he comes in. Repeat a few more times until Bruno finally catches Larry before he can leave the ring and starts his own beatdown. Unfortunately Larry gets his foot caught in the ropes and as Dick Kroll tries to separate them, he gets inadvertently shoved down leading to a DQ win for Larry. Perfect storytelling, especially to continue the feud for more MSG shows. Bruno gets a measure of revenge, but Larry sneaks away with the victory and the fans want to see him get his shoulders pinned so they'll keep coming out for this.
  5. Good stuff; lots of interesting pieces that kept me involved over the 25 minutes. The holds get more and more intricate and painful looking, and the high spots are placed well. This was one of the first tag matches I've seen where the tag outs genuinely feel strategic, in that the guy in control knows his partner is more rested so he may as well switch out. Every moment feels earned. Lots of big spots throughout, with the highlight being Dean dropkicking both Bulldogs over the top while Davey was about to press slam Dynamite onto Joe.
  6. Beast

    [1982-01-01-NJPW] Tiger Mask vs Dynamite Kid

    Love this as a sequel to the first match almost a year earlier. Dynamite has had months to watch Sayama stay undefeated (I assume), and the rematch has real stakes with the vacant WWF Junior Heavyweight Title on the line. Dynamite comes out aggressive from the bell, Sayama matches him and it looks like it'll be a repeat of 4/23, only for Dynamite to switch gears and viciously attack the knee. So we get a slower more methodical match, but it makes total sense for Dynamite to try this game plan out. And it actually works, with Dynamite somewhat quickly hitting Sayama with an awesome looking cradle piledriver and far reaching flying headbutt, only to then stop the count himself at two to repeat. So Dynamite succeeds, but wants to really hammer home his superiority which ends up being his downfall as Sayama moves out of the way of Headbutt #2. Dynamite regains control with a Figure 4 but once Sayama reaches the ropes it's all over. Dynamite tries to put it on again but is repeatedly kicked off. Both men back to their feet, Sayama stops selling the knee as much, but lets call it adrenaline as he leaps over a charging Dynamite in the corner, grabs him in a rollup (with all of own weight on top of Dynamite's legs) and gets the victory. This truly feels like it's playing off at least the dynamic set up from the first match, with Dynamite trying new things and Sayama being prevented from hitting the same types of moves as the first time. I'm very intrigued to see how Dynamite reacts to his own hubris costing him both the rematch and a title.
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  9. My first exposure to this series, and I wasn't aware until after watching it that this was literally Sayama's debut as the Tiger Mask character in NJPW. Great, easy to follow story. Dynamite is wary of the fast paced kicks of Tiger Mask, and even when he's able to catch one, Tiger Mask still turns it into an enziguri. Dynamite tries to match Tiger Mask move for move, until switching game plans and going more aggressive. He clamps on some holds and eventually tries to tear off the titular mask. He lays in some clubbering blows, but Tiger Mask is always able to bounce back. Dug the nice selling of Mask's knee after getting out of a leg hold. A couple mistimed spots, but that's easy to forgive considering this must have been Sayama's first time under the mask, as well as against Dynamite. The ending sequence is spiffy, with Dynamite missing the headbutt, Mask throws him outside, Dynamite takes control and tries to bring Mask back in with a suplex which is reversed into one of the better German's I've ever seen. Mask gets the win, but Dynamite recovers and throws another kick. Mask responds in kind before the ref breaks it up and declares Mask the winner. Left me wanting more, especially to see if and how their feud evolves. A good taster of what was to come I imagine. Will especially be interested to see if Dynamite becomes more and more aggressive as he becomes more familiar with Tiger Mask.
  10. Just signed up for the VIP audio at the Torch. Can anyone point me to any podcasts/episodes/interviews that should go to the top of my listening list?
  11. Beast

    Comic books and Manga Thread

    First half/book set up an intriguing setting and story, but the second part is the epitome of the modern decompression trend. Everything grinds to a halt, and literally 5 issues are all about Cap attacking Zola's base, with page after page of different variants of the same ideas spouted over and over. It's the type of story that could have been done in 2-3 issues years ago. JRJ's art is always worth looking at, but Remender's purple prose had me skimming large chunks by the time Cap and Jet Black went back and forth about guilt and being good for the fifth time. The second half eschews the '30s flashbacks as well, which I think went a long way in masking the pacing issues in the first half.Without them it's a very basic and straightforward story which loses its momentum as it drags on and on. Fantastic idea, mediocre execution in my opinion. Love that it was able to be made and released though. Give me an attempt at something unique rather than same old same old any time.
  12. Beast

    Unboxing the 80s

    I've watched all the early Honky stuff and I'm still not convinced it wasn't planned from the start that he'd be a heel and everything leading up to the vote and his official turn wasn't just part of the storyline. But if everyone involved claims otherwise, I guess it's just amazing luck.
  13. Beast

    Comic books and Manga Thread

    I love Earth X, but also haven't read it in a good decade. I found the followup series to be more a collection of cool ideas with not much in between, but I love the concept, Leon's art, the intricacies of the universe explored and just how crazy it gets. Appreciate the effort a whole lot and someday soon I should re-read, plus finally read the newer followups.
  14. Beast

    The Cancellation of Jim Cornette

    Originally Vader was supposed to win the title at Survivor Series, leading to a rubber match at the Rumble where Shaw would win in front of his hometown crowd. So the two non-title victories by Vader were supposed to keep him strong. Cornette's blamed the failure on Michaels for refusing to let Vader be Vader, laying out a match where Vader sold like any other Michaels opponent for the first section rather than being a monster, and their general lack of chemistry.
  15. Beast

    The Cancellation of Jim Cornette

    It's funny, one of Bret's complaints of that era is how when they did the dueling training videos leading to WM XII, they had Bret being stretched by his father while Shawn had more active "Rocky-style" activities. And then they basically pair Shawn with his own "Stu" for months and months.
  16. Beast

    The Cancellation of Jim Cornette

    Michaels didn't like having an old man attached to his gimmick of being the guy all the girls loved. If you go back and watch a lot of their appearances together, Michaels basically ignores him unless having to directly interact with him in an angle. Same with interviews, he never acknowledges Lothario unless he has to directly refer to him or angles he was involved in.
  17. Beast

    Comic books and Manga Thread

    Great read, thanks for sharing. Very wide-ranging list. A lot of those '70s runs have always sounded interesting, but Englehart/Gerber/Thomas/McGregor and the like must have been paid by the word. Your reviews are helpful in picking out what has aged best. I was just thinking about how the '80s runs by Byrne/Claremont/Miller/Simonson et al are huge defining runs for their characters, while the '70s are in this weird place of creating a lot of important characters and featuring some important plot lines, but with a totally different (maybe more laissez-faire) feel. I'm not familiar with Busiek's "The Order", but Matt Fraction's unrelated comic of the same name is supposedly very good. He also has a really fun Fantastic Four/FF two title run, with the latter especially playing great homage to the Lee/Kirby run; art by Allred. What's in your current pile?
  18. Much appreciated. This seems like one of the shows I'll listen based on subject covered so writing it all out like this is fantastic. Thank you!
  19. Beast

    Comic books and Manga Thread

    Thomas and Justice League Of America writer Mike Friedrich each included versions of the other companies' characters at the same time as kind of secret crossover (not to necessarily create lasting characters). So Thomas' Avengers met the Squadron Sinister/Supreme while Friedrich's JLA met the Champions Of Angor which included Thor, Scarlet Witch, Yellowjacket and Quicksilver analogues. The Angor characters didn't have the staying power of the Squadron, but did reappear during the great Giffen/DeMatteis/Maguire JLI run with some frequency. Thomas was certainly indulging in fanservice, but that sort of pseudo crossover happened from time to time in the '70s with so many fans/friends becoming writers at Marvel & DC. Another example is the surprisingly large amount of comics set at the Rutland, Vermont Halloween Parade during this period. Englehart, Wein, Conway, Thomas, Friedrich, etc... all loved to find ways to connect to the opposite companies characters.
  20. Beast

    Most unselfish top guy

    I'm genuinely curious about Goldberg. So he lost a dark match well before his actual Nitro debut, let alone the streak? I'm not sure how that makes him generous. He wasn't generous enough to work any sort of program with Jericho in WCW, even when the end result would have been to squash Jericho.
  21. Beast

    Comic books and Manga Thread

    I've constantly gone back to that run as it's how I wish Constantine was always portrayed and how Ennis always told stories. It was Ennis' first mainstream run, but in my mind it's his peak. Just enough grotesque wackiness without going overboard. The second issue (42) "A Drop Of The Hard Stuff" is a fantastic piece that sets the tone for what's to come really well.
  22. I actually enjoyed this quite a bit. Watching the TV leading up to this, Taz legitimately felt unstoppable while Bigelow was finally the big monster he should have been in the US post-1986. It's all about two spots, but they're both amazing (and the first is terrifying). Especially compared to Scorpio vs RVD from earlier in this show, this had the same spot-spot-spot type momentum, but because these two bruisers had been built up to be near unbeatable, this felt more like a modern Brock vs. Goldberg-type match than just a punch/kick/spotfest. I still love the fans' reaction to them going through the ring. I'm assuming nothing like that had been done before, at least on a near-national level in the US? Compared to WWE pulling out the ring breaking every 5-10 years, this felt legit amazing.
  23. Beast

    Comic books and Manga Thread

    Been enjoying reading everyone's thoughts on comics. I did my own Starlin and Gerber deep dives the past couple years. Starlin's Cosmic Epic is pretty readable up until Infinity Gauntlet/Warlock & The Infinity Watch, but loses something as he heads back to the Warlock/Thanos well over and over. I've read most of Gerber's Man-Thing and found it interesting, but disappointing. The plots/scripts are hit or miss, and while I was hoping the ideas would at least be out there enough to carry me through, I guess he doesn't really hit upon the style he's known for until Defenders/Howard. I also read Hard Time, which was basically his last major work (early 2000's DC) and it kinda feels like it's from a totally different creator. Not necessarily better or worse, just different. More serialized I guess. I recently finished John Byrne's Alpha Flight. I guess it's one of his least favorite runs, but boy is it pretty fun. It's unlike any other group book I've read in that he purposefully separates the characters most of the time, choosing instead to tell smaller stories featuring solo or small groups, then combining everyone for a big wrap up blockbuster story at the end of every year. It goes a long way in developing these relatively new characters into ones you love spending time with. One of his own criticisms is that the characters had no reason to exist past being quickly put together to give the X-Men "equal Canadian counterparts" to fight and further develop Wolverine's pre-X-Men backstory, but he truly does a fantastic job building them up over his 29 issues. Then it goes quickly downhill when Mantlo takes over, but those first 29 issues are real standouts in an already packed decade for Marvel (and Byrne's career in general). Right now I'm reading both the Giffen/DeMatteis/Maguire JLI as well as Ostrander's Suicide Squad. I've read the first 20 or so JLI issues before and all of Squad, but not for a decade or so. Post-Crisis DC has some real gems, and the way these two books also play with the supergroup genre as well as reflect upon the time they were written is fascinating. Again, these are books that feel well-planned and almost like high quality modern cable shows. At around the same time, Moore, Gaiman and Morrison were (or had) revamped Swamp Thing, Sandman, and Doom Patrol and Animal Man, but these more mainstream books are just as innovative with their takes on DC characters and mythology, just more "comic booky" maybe...
  24. Very cool, looking forward to listening to this!
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