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Found 66 results

  1. IWGP Heavyweight Title Match: Satoshi Kojima (c) vs Shinsuke Nakamura - NJPW Nexess V 26/03/2005 On one hand, both of these two are favourites of mine. However, 2005 Nakamura is someone that’s very raw and way below the level he would reach later down the line. Kojima is pretty much his first peak of his career being in the middle of his Triple Crown title run, having an absolute classic with Kawada at AJPW Realise. But he’s not exactly known for being able to career lesser wrestlers. So can a peak Kojima offset a raw Nakamura? Off the bat, they establish Nakamura has the better technique, with him taking Kojima to the ground with ease where he chokes him out. And then again with the arm wringer into a kip-up spot. Kojima uses his strength to counter Nakamura fairly well but in the end, Nakamura’s focus, on the arm in particular, pays off with a double wrist lock being tightly cinched in. The match gets into a big point of the match where they are just meandering through, trying to pad out the time with as many submissions as possible. Kojima attacked Nakamura’s leg with a very Tanahashi style of offence. A few dragon screws, the seated leg submission he does (I don’t know the name of it). That doesn’t go anywhere. There is a brief brawl on the outside that goes nowhere. The match was just there for a while. And it loses me and the crowd. It even got to the point where Kojima’s Machine Gun Chops/running forearm barely gets the “Icchauzo Bakayaro” chant. The match eventually picked back up when Nakamura locked on the Fujiwara and the crowd bought it as a finish. Nakamura even gets a bit vicious when he refuses to let go of a cross armbreaker when Kojima grabs the ropes. But Kojima then wallops him with a lariat which was an awesome payback spot. There were some more awesome moments in the latter stages of the match like Kojima throwing away his elbow pad to a big pop. Nakamura throws in his flash submissions like the jumping triangle and his Fujiwara armbar counter against Kojima’s lariat attempts (which looked amazing). The nearfalls were really well done being sparsely done making it feel bigger when Nakamura kicks out of the running lariat. They mostly relied on submission holds for potential matchenders. I dug the little scramble at the end before the bell rang as well. A good way to end the match. The match had its really great moments where I was fully invested in the match. Such as the first 15 minutes with there was some solid mat work and they laid the foundations for a really good match. The closing stretch was really good as well. It wasn’t a classic hot finishing stretch that you’d associate with Japanese wrestling. There is a ton of focus on submissions with occasional bursts of suplexes and lariats being thrown by Kojima. Nakamura shined signs of promise, although he was a little out of his depth in the body of the match. Kojima is a bit too limited to really carry someone who was only 3 years into their career for 60 minutes so there was a big chunk of the match where nothing interesting was happening. There is a great 30 minute match in this, but given the end booking, they were shackled to go 60 minutes. A match well worth watching if you like both wrestlers though. ***1/2
  2. This is the last show of GAEA Japan with two big retirements happening. Chigusa Nagayo and Sakura Hirota. What a way to end. And Hirota goes out the only way she can. Sakura Hirota doing a Tiger Mask cosplay is the finniest thing you'll ever see. All the Tiger Mask routines are done in hilarious fashion, in addition to some dancing but honestly, Ozaki's reaction is what kills me. She is so bemused at Hirota and struggling not to laugh half of the time. The bit with Ozaki-Gun and the GAEA roster tripping both up when they ran the ropes was a super fun spot that plays on the usual antics of Ozaki-Gun. Great pay off too with Yumi Ohka (???) getting confused and tripping up Ozaki. And the hits keep coming with the continiously failed spinning back fist attempts by Ozaki. There was a really good spot with Police where Hirota throws the tiger mask away and has a slap fight with him, leading to a big kiss. I can go on and on, this is a riot to watch. Well worth checking out if you're into comedy wrestling. Hirota goes all out for her retirement match (which would last around 5 years) and gives the fans the time of their lives. ****1/4
  3. John Cena defends the WWE Heavyweight Title I'm starting to think that there is some revisionist history (damn, I hate that phrase, but it's apt here) going on here. For years, the story was that the fans turned on Cena because of his new cookie cutter army gimmick but here he is, still in his Chain Gang gimmick. They even call Cena's fans the chain gang. Its the same schtick that he had months prior to big plaudits. So that's not true, at least not here, who knows weekly because I was like super young to remember this era of wrestling. Anyway, this was pretty neat. And I attribute it to Cena's great showing here. He was explosive and showed tons of urgency in his opening barrage of offence. Cena isn't the most varied wrestler, offensively, but he could get the most out of what he can. His short running clothesline was used greatly as a momentum changer, he had some..not stiff but impactful back-elbows which did a ton of damage. Loved his selling too. He made Jericho look really good here, slowing down whenever Jericho hit his big spots in the match, the struggle he had for getting out of the simplistic of holds went a long way. Jericho was perfectly functional as an opponent, as he usually was, and was good, albeit a bit unremarkable in that sense. He didn't stand out above Cena, he just was the foil for Cena's comebacks, which isn't a bad spot to be in. Reminds me of 80s WWF title challengers. The crowd was super into this match. People may say "they were anti Cena", they weren't. It was very 50/50. No boos for Cena, nor Jericho. It was loud let's go Cena chants, let's Go Jericho chants. Shout out to the finish as well. That was so good. Quick and perfect. ***1/2
  4. This is a decent introduction for the feud’s first match. This is still a battle between two friends, two WWE Tag Team champions in fact. After Chavo Guerrero planted some resentment in the mind of Eddie towards Rey Mysterio, as well as some miscommunication leading to Eddie lose against Doug Basham or Rey to take victories away from Eddie inadvertently in tag matches, they are full force into the feud. They started the match like you'd expect these two to start. Mysterio trying to move fast and hit an aerial move with Eddie keeping Rey close via a knuckle lock or taking him to the ground. Both Guerrero and Mysterio took big bumps early on, Rey landing big on the back body drop to the outside floor and Eddie went flying across the ring on a monkey flip. There was a nice sounding thud to the bump as well. Eddie Guerrero spent a ton of this match on top. He hit some lovely tiltawhirl backbreakers but mostly it was Guerrero wasting time aimlessly locking on holds - one of which was a really bad looking STF with Eddie not even attempting to squeeze on the head with it. Although, I liked Tazz’s call here with him saying that the move could just be a base for him to do anything he wanted, not just the STF. The match had its magic moments when Rey was on offence and they were going back and forth. The seated senton attempt into the powerbomb is always an awesome spot and it was in this match as well. Everything else was just kinda empty. The last time I watched this match, I wasn't really into it that much because of the reasons stated here but the big moments were still fun and it told the story well. However, it was more of a story suited to Smackdown not WrestleMania. I can take comfort in that they have more matches than this. **1/2
  5. I'm not entirely sure why I'm continuing to watch Jeff Hardy's TNA matches. I've already reached a conclusion on how he was as a worker at the time and it's probably not going to change. Maybe I should stop. This was fine. Jeff Hardy was my favourite wrestler when I was 12 and Raven was in that spot when I was 13. MVP was before any of them and inbetween were The Rock and Jericho. Then I discovered puro through my new favourite KENTA and eventually I stopped having a favourite wrestler. As far as this match goes. Some good, some bad. I liked Raven avoiding Hardy's chairshots but literally the next spot had him stand there while Jeff set up his chair jumping. Then Raven avoided Hardy's chair jump spot which I liked but-urgh-why not just avoid it on the first try. You don't have to get all your shit in. This had enough violence in it to keep me interested throughout the whole thing but also some eye-rolling stuff like them doing a top rope-nothing (trust me it looks like exactly it sounds), the ref helping Raven set up tables, a blade job that went on forever etc. I liked the dramatic shots of the women in the crowd turning away, now that I think about it they could've been plants but I don't think TNA would be capable of using plants in such an efficent manner, more likely they had them chant for Kevin Nash or whomever old they signed at the time. **1/2
  6. A highly praised match, that I don't think I have ever seen. However, after the last great AJ match (vs Joe) that I watched I need more 2005 AJ in my life. This match starts off hot with AJ diving out of the cage onto Abyss during his entrance. They then brawl through out the arena. Strange choice for a cage match, however it is the main event of a show where every match is in a cage, so they probably needed to change things up. Finally it looks like AJ is going to get into the ring and he gets the cage door slammed into his back and then viciously into his face. Way more vicious than I have ever seen. It might had been the great bump AJ took, but it looked brutal. AJ is busted open and then Abyss goes to work on the cut. This match feels more like a grudge match than any match the WWE has had in years. I miss this TNA. Before they lock themselves in the cage Abyss brings a chair, chain and a bag of thumbtacks. Abyss' destruction segment is fun with AJ being rammed into the turnbuckle which has the chain on it and just being tossed into the cage like a sack of potatoes. AJ's comeback starts by countering a gorilla press into a DDT, which looked great. His comeback is destroyed after a minute or so with an INSANE Black Hole Slam! That gets two and now the thumb tacks are brought out by Abyss. He goes for another Black Hole Slam, but AJ counters. He tries to power bomb him into the tacks, but ti's countered into a Styles Clash right onto the tacks. Surprisingly that is not the finish. AJ goes to the top of the cage, but Abyss chucks the referee into the cage knocking AJ down to hang outside. Abyss goes to the top with the chain and hangs AJ. He chokes him, but AJ counters and sunset flip power bombs Abyss into the tacks for three. This was really good, but not on the level of Joe-AJ. It felt like it went a few minutes too long at the end and the crowd brawling at the beginning could had been short. None the less, great stuff. ****1/2
  7. This ruled! The four way setting fits this type of match much better as you can have wrestlers continue to fight while others set up spots. Sabu's presence helped this a lot, he was the best worker in here, here was a spot where Jeff used him to jump onto Abyss and then offered Sabu to use him to jump onto Abyss as well and Sabu just stomped him and it was the best, the amount of disgusting bumps and insane dives delivered as you'd expect but I also liked how they used weapons to transition and as cut-offs. Jeff Hardy continues to jump off high things and it gets REALLY preposterous here. Finish ruled as well, Rhino hits a Piledriver off the top rope and gets the win but Sabu throws himself at him to break it up only to do so a split second too late. ***1/2
  8. Here we go again! I actually liked the opening quite a bit, them brawling outside the arena was surprisingly fun, probably because I'd much rather watch them slam each other onto walls than exchange weak punches. Jeff Hardy most certainly jumped of a high place. Match seemed to flow really well until the dreaded obvious setting up of spots began. Lots of things I disliked there: Hardy going for a Twist Of Fate with a different arm to set up a counter, Abyss running the ropes one more time so he could be in position for Hardy to kick him in the balls (I did like that as a counter even if they did give it away), pretty much any time Hardy sets up a chair when he could do the same move he does without jumping on it and it would look better and be more efficient. Aaaaaaaaand doing the Twist Of Fate stunner-style when you're trying to smash someone's face into a ladder is also stupid. I always disliked the "stunner onto a object" spots actually. Looked like it hurt Austin's ass more than the other guy. I did enjoy watching these two take stupid bumps and Hardy's Diving Legdrop in particular looked super nasty. **1/4
  9. Look-I'm giving Jeff Hardy's first TNA run a shot. I like trainwrecks. "Full Metal Mayhem" screams "we wanted to do a TLC match but WWE copyrighted that". This is a garbage match in TNA, is there an unnecessary additional stipulation that accomplishes nothing? You bet there is! I didn't expect this to make sense and it met my expectations, it had the obvious setting up of spots I feared and Hardy even won a ladder-assisted test of strength against Abyss. Lots of walking around that doesn't look like fighting or them fighting while wasted. I'm sure Jeff Hardy vs. Jerry Estrada would've been a classic though. The Twist Of Fate on the floor was embarrassingly looking bad and I'm sure I could pick this apart if I cared enough to do that. Hardy is a maniac that will take insane bumps which prevented this from totally sucking. **
  10. Pretty by the numbers japanese big match but not bad. Sasaki gets the advantage using his power early on, finisher on the floor, some limbwork ensues, lots of stiff shots etc. It's a formula that works and these two are good at it. Sasaki is pretty fly here hitting a big plancha to the floor and really walloping Kawada with potatoes. There is some neck work which ends up not being of much importance but leads to some fun moments. Sasaki cosplays 90s Kobashi by chopping Kawada in the neck and hitting flimsy bulldogs, it also leads to a pretty sick piledriver. Kawada was halfway into lazy mode as he had some nice transitions such as kicking Sasaki in the face when he tried his silly facebuster or slipping underneath for the cheap powerbomb, but he would also just go back on offense at other times. Kind of dumb finishing stretch, but not offensively dumb.
  11. Awesome match and one of the best sub-5 minutes matches I've seen. The grappling at the beginning is insanely amazing and the rest of the bout is great too. *** 3/4
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