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Found 128 results

  1. Brief but very good match that brought lots of quality matwork. Young Keichii Yamada was really good at shootstyle matwork, no question about it. Yamazaki is a UWF guy himself but Yamada was just overwhelming him here with constant wrestling and staying on him like a terrier until Yamazaki is able to dish out some kicks and catch Yamada in a fast scramble with a suplex. Some cool holds and the constant pressure from Yamada made this really entertaining.
  2. Thank you for your patience! I'm going to conclude the singles portion of this project here so, read on!! (6/10) Yoshihashi vs Ryusuke Taguchi: This was OK. I liked the opening mat section but, this felt like a by-the-book junior match. I think there is some drama here as Yoshihashi was part of the NJ main crew but as in a Young Lion/Junior member capacity. I say that as I've seen him paired with Taguchi in some tag matches. So maybe there's something here along the lines of YH proving his worth yadda-yadda but, I'll be honest I might even say SKIP this one. It just wasn't worth the 10 minutes in my mind. Gedo vs Kota Ibushi: Gedo's swearing and trash talking has been a real treat with the project. I crack up every time he tells some one off This match was no exception. His smack talk also strenghtens his dislike for his opponents especially Ibushi. "Come on, Golden Boy!" as Gedo slugs the comely Kota in the jaw. Oh man! That's good stuff K.I. comes back like a technico by finding that opening and wow-ing the fans and his foe with spectacular offensive maneuvers. And dammit! It works here because there's a reason he's doing his flips and dives. He's gotta his skill and agility to best the tough, crass vet! GO KOTA GO!This was a really standout bout in the 2010 BOSJ. 10 minutes of very good stuff here, go see it! (06/11) Jushin Liger vs Davey Richards: A good match that featured a Davey going after Liger's arm. Richards played the young aggressive gaijin going after the never-say-die veteran Liger. If this was a larger show, they could certiainly have put on a great **** match with this story/layout. I really enjoyed this one even though it was only 9 minutes long. Ryusuke Taguchi vs AKIRA: A match of parity and dueling leg work. This was a neat little story as both guys decided they'd hobble each other. There was some good selling and neat transitions but, neither took it so far to delegitimize the previous portion of the match. That is to say, they didn't sell it like a torn ACL only to be running and diving a second or two later. I like this. It was a different match and told a story most people shy away from nowadays. Good match. (06/12) La Sombra vs Jushin Liger: Shades of Liger vs Hayabusa Super J Cup 94 baby! La Sombra was like 'Screw it! I came here to highspots!' JTL hits his backbreaker and shotei palm strike and is looking to make an opening but, the young luchador shuts him down. We get a countout win after he hits a springboard inward somersault facecrusher on Liger on the floor! Now I think it was supposed to be like AR Fox's inward somersault plancha but, how Liger caught Sombra and vice versa made it look like a face crusher/bulldog on the cement. Hells yeah! 5 minutes...sorry to spoil it but, you gotta see it for yourself. Davey Richards vs Kota Ibushi: This wasn't the most developed match and my favorite part was when they were hitting each other BUT dang it! It worked! This was an all action bout and other than an iffy frankensteiner this was spot on. Probably not as good as their ROH bout around the same time (I think) but, this was good to very good stuff. I mean if you're interested in this you'll want to spend the 11 minutes on this match. If you dislike either guy then, uh yeah...I can't say it's what you want Kenny Omega vs AKIRA: I really dug this bout - high level of energy and excellent laser focus from AKIRA on Omega's knee. The Canadian sold it very well. He let us know it was hurting him enough to throw his offensive momentum off but, when pushed he could pull it together. AKIRA kept on it though. Kenny was in real trouble and he needed to put that fact at the forefront of his mind for the rest of the contest if we was going to win. He gave a great performance in building up hope, showing fighting spirit, yet still impressing us with his maneuvers. Likewise, AKIRA put on one of the best outings of the BOSJ round robin in constructing a spirited, intense battle that was believable and interesting even though it focused on a submission based attack in 2010 AND was only 10-11 minutes long! Very good to perhaps great match. So, the MVP of this is totally Gedo! Maybe I'm biased from growing up seeing him in all the sleazies and ECW (check out Jado & Gedo vs Impact Players) but, dammit- he really brought a real sense of hate to his matches. Many of the others we're technically great but, lacked emotion. There were exceptions, notably AKIRA vs Omega and the Hayato matches. This has taken me longer than expected but, it's been fun and something neat to do during the middle of a snowy afternoon. And really, that's the real treat here, NJPW has a bounty of good to great 10 minute matched on Youtube for people to enjoy. So, yeah watch Fujita Hayato's, Gedo's, Omega vs AKIRA and a Davey and Ryusuke Taguchi match and you'll be all set! Thank you wrestling fans!! We'll take a slight detour to some recent NOAH You Might Have Missed and then hitting the 2010 Jr. Tags. There are some real bangers in there!
  3. Way better than the crap that was their July match. Essentially Kanemoto makes Liger his woman in this one. Kanemoto is great as a violent bully and he just kicks the snot out of Liger from start to finish. Unfortunately Liger lacked his usual fire. Add a pissed off Liger comeback to this and you'd have a minor classic on your hands. They went to the usual bomb throwing in the last 3rd, altough it wasn't egregious.
  4. This is just that heated puroresu you don't see very often anymore. This felt like Tenryu had been carrying the WAR vs NJ feud in his lumpy Grinch heart all of this time. He & Chono made their time count while allowing the (somewhat) younger members to take the brunt of the beatings. Smart veterans! Speaking of beatings, Sasaki and Nakanishi's chop & lariat battle was badass. Nakanishi doesn't get the respect that he deserves. He is a helluva clean-up hitter in these type of bouts. Also, Suzuki was his charismatically crazy self. So, you know you gotta see this for that psycho bastard in his prime. This was a great match for sure. I know I'm leaving stuff out but, you're going to want to see it for yourself!
  5. This was very fun. Good stuff early on w/ Liger overwhelming Cody, and Cody only getting the advantage with the help of the greatest manager of all-time, BURNARD the BUSINESS BEAR. Bless. Cody was very good on top & I liked the brief leg psychology they went with. Liger of course rules as a babyface w/ his selling & comebacks. ***1/2
  6. This Liger vs NOAH stuff never ceased to be awesome. This is all about planting the seeds of the upcoming Jr. tag title match, as Liger is now teaming with the awesome Osaka Pro ass-kicker Takehiro Murahama. Marvin is an unmasked luchador was kinda was the talk of the day back then, while Suzuki is still a rookie, mostly, but shows very good potential. But really, as KENTA and Murahama trade great kicks, the crux of the match is Liger & Marufuji not respecting each other. And damn, this is awesome. Maru blocking Liger's shotei and holding his hand while badmouthing him, Liger deviating Maru's superkick and slapping him in the mouth. Meanwhile, Murahama and KENTA are kicking each other again, really hard. Excellent six-men match in front of the hot Korakuen crowd, with tons of purpose and heat, foreshadowing the big match to come.
  7. This was superb. Liger's offense was nasty & Ospreay's bumping for him was ridiculous in a very good way. A super fun, great bombfest. ****
  8. Mixed up indeed! Young Bucks & Paul London vs Scott Lost, Joey Ryan, Karl Anderson (The Dynasty International) (Express Written Consent 2009): I would consider this to be in the golden era of PWG...Like 2007-2011. It wasn't hyped to hell, still had plenty of CA state talent, shows weren't supercars etc. It was kinda ROH level but, still with comedy. Bucks were feuding with the Dynasty team so, this 6 man was nice. Anderson was already in NJPW and London was coming back from his post World wrestling release. Paul entered the ring in his astronaut jumpsuit only to reveal he was wearing a WWF tee shirt!! Hahaha, that is to say a World Wildlife Foundation tee shirt His wrestling was off just a bit this match but, he certainly made up for it. The Bucks were phenomenal and any hiccups were quickly forgotten. Trust me. One note is that they hadn't begun the super kicks yet so, if that bugs you- don't worry! The Dynasty international were great foils for the face team and Scott Lost was particularly impressive. This was a blast main event for the card. I recommend checking it out if you want to like the Young Bucks but hate their overly self aware B.S. as of late. Dalton Castle vs Jushin Liger (ROH Reloaded Tour 2016): I'm not sure on the date. Its up on their Throwback Thursday playlist so, it should be easy to track down. This is a fun little comedy match with some nice moves thrown in as well. Its a 10 minute TV match but, gave me a couple chuckles. Most importantly, its a fantastic bout to show friends and family who are non-fans...especially if you're trying to coax them into going to a live show or something! OK now the real heavy duty shit... Jun Kasai vs Takashi Iikuza (01/28/18 TAKA production): I don't know if this match had a wacky deathmatch stipulation. It was just wild fight in the crowd then eventually in the ring with chairs and Kasai brought a ladder along with a razor saw board. I mean I hope those are not shaving razors because holy shit! The last 5 minutes would be utter bananas! I loved this match...just chaotic stuff and really dangerous. We watch wrestling because we want to feel something...well, I was afraid for the safety of both guys. That and a little squeamish. There was not really a lot of blood or gore per se but, the violence was there. Having been watching early 90's FMW, this was very similar in tone and taste. Awesome 13 minute hardcore bout. I really loved this!
  9. I really enjoy puro from the late 80's so, I'll admit that I probably get more rewatch value from pre-Jushin Liger Yamada than most. I think when I think about his work with and without a mask, he's probably in my top 10...I think! There's been a backlash against the 90's NJ Jr. style but, I've also seen that with the 80's Jr. stuff as well. That's cool but, that ain't me. Keiichi Yamada vs Marc "Rollerball" Rocco (09/01/87): JIP, All action plus a leapfrog face to the nuts spot! Yes! This is PWG style complete with Shooting Star Press in '87! Go see this! It's timeless fun stuff plus short. Yamada & Nobuhiko Takada vs Rocco & Owen Hart (09/07/87): Headbands, flashy jackets, it's 1987 alrighty! The Japanese team come out to the Rocky Theme. Oh snap, Rocco's got a studded leather glove like Judas Priest or Iron Maiden. British Metal in full effect sucka! Starts fast with Yamada & Rocco but, Takada's in soon. Fan's chants are loud as a jet engine. Owen's in with the T-man. It's a little slower but, still great. Yamada and Rollerball are back and again they are working cobra quick. This is frenetic yet, beautifully executed wrestling. All 4 guys are cardio machines. The finish, while not my favorite, works for this match. I would have liked something ultra brutal or cool but, it'll do Really great match especially if you're open to a Junior workrate match.
  10. Damn good match, heel Liger is always fun to watch and La Sombra was awesome as the young flying babyface, the school boy suplex is a great looking moving and I liked what they did with it in the first and third fall. Liger being bested at every turn near the end and having to cheat to get the W was a great heel move that went accordingly with the story they were telling. Can't say this was special or anything but I can't find much to complain about either, a very good encounter that's worth a watch. Kinda off topic but good lord Lucha commentary is horrible, I've made my dislike for it be known in the past before, even made a thread about, but after more than a year without watching any lucha, this brought back some memories of me trying to watch as much as possible for the GWE project and just wanting to punch something at how distracting it is. Morales is the only one worth a damn and he gets to speak like 3 times the whole match, the crew trying to make a thing about Baby Richard counting slow in the third fall when the dude was counting at the same pace the whole match - and in the final fall too - was really weird,
  11. The NJ vs NOAH feud was pretty well regarded in what was considered a down year for puro. This talk was over 5 years ago so, its something I think most people, especially those not hip to pre-Kobashi GHC title run NOAH, may have missed. Tsuyoshi Kikuchi & Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs Jushin Liger & Wataru Inoue (02/17/02): This is one of the earliest in the feud and its full of stiff shots and heat. Its getting hot in here! Like Nelly! Remember him? Not Nelly Furtadoshe was cute though. No the rapper-esque guy with the bandages on his cheek and gold fronts. Yeah, now you remember unfortunately. I was more a Ludacris fan. And I didnt really care for him either. Where was I? Oh! Wrestling!! This was a fun fire building match especially when you pick a side. I picked NOAH. I like Liger but, most of the NJPW roster at this point in time is unremarkable. Inoue is a good example of that. Anywho...It was great seeing Kikuchi of yore. I mean this dude stood toe-to-toe with the likes of Jumbo and Kawada in the early 90s. He brings what remains of that of part of his intestine with him to this match. Kanemaru is fun but certainly needs that surly old goat to help him out against the likes of Liger and Watery Inoue. Jushin Liger & Minoru Tanaka vs Tsuyoshi Kikuchi & Yoshinobu Kanemaru (04/07/02): God what happened to Liger!? Why is he such a jerk-ass heel!? Man does he punk the hell out of old Kikuchi and fancy pants Kanemaru. This was pretty good but, the NOAH team was out classed and outmatched. That doesn't stop them from laying in some shots. I'm a bit of a Minoru fan so, this was a fun one. He was such a dick here! This isn't so much a puro-style match as a fun American heel-babyface type tag match. KENTA vs Wataru Inoue (08/29/02): This is wrestled like you typical early 2000s junior match. Theres a lot of stiff elbows to no real effect, theres fun spots but, the match isnt awesome or anything. It's a quick small show match with two youngsters. I love me some KENTA and if youre a fan then you'll like this one. He bleeds from his mouth and he wouldn't want it any other way. Its pretty good for two rookies. Solid but, unremarkable. By the way the cross-arm bar and the mounted elbows are really big in 2002 it seems. I think this is from the influence of PRIDE Fighting or Takayama or something. Koji Kanemoto vs Makoto Hashi (08/29/02): Hashi goes up against king prick Koji! The thing is that Koji thinks hes tough shit but, Hashi is from NOAH- the hardest hitting, biggest bomb dropping-est (what?) promotion in the world. Thats good for Hashi since Koji figures hell practice his kicks on young Makotos lumpy head. Makoto remembers he eats kicks for breakfast - Kid tested mother approved. In turn, he chops and head butts the piss out of Kanemoto. I mean Hashi brings his A game to take out the then IWGP Jr. champ. I'm always rooting against that smirking bastard! I love to hate him. The Noah Doughboy does me proud. Now that I think about it this match reminds me of the early 90s NJ vs. WAR feud. Its good stuff.
  12. Aaaaaah! Pro wrestling! WAR Hoshino!!! Hoshino immediately goes to town on goofy original costume Liger and just destroys him with barrages of awesome punch combos and rights and lefts and then some. Liger fires back with an awesome flurry of palm strikes only get punched in the FACE again and sinking to the 3rd rope selling this like a pro. After eating a truely Murdochian asskicking of punches, stumpy leg kicks and elbow drops, Liger makes a brief comeback directing a charging Hoshino to the outside and then crushing him with a sideways suicide dive against the guardrail. Hoshino won't back down though, as he posts Liger, slaps the referee and then fires back with a big plancha of his own! Liger does some of his goofy early mannerisms, such as going into fighting stance like a video game character, and not really having great comebacks, but he does love to kick Hoshino in the face here. Hoshino continues his utter dominance with fun ways to work over Liger such as ripping his mask, kicking him in the face or busting out a cool leg stretch/pin combo. Hoshino eats one of the nastiest koppu kicks I've seen but is able to gain the upper hand using his speed again and gets a nice string of nearfalls before Liger has to the steal the win in a flash. What is this bizarro world match? This had a really great opening that was hinting at a hidden classic and then turned into a fun somewhat flawed junior match. Still, way too fun, with Hoshino getting big chants and of course continueing his beating on Liger after the match with the ref doing a flip bump for a Hoshino punch. Liger really doesn't look like he'd have arguably the greatest junior match ever just a few days after this, but I was glad he let Hoshino have this match anyways.
  13. G. Badger

    Assorted NJPW from 1987

    No one really seems to talk about the 1980's Japan anymore. That ship has sailed and people have moved on to other stuff, I suppose. A few years ago...maybe 5 years...I can't remember, NJPW, AJPW, and essentially UWF were being watched in depth and ranked by a good handful of folks. Pretty awesome stuff. I've got the lists saved on a USB drive. I'm not going to even try to recreate or resurrect the 80's projects with my Saturday posts but, I love the 80's Japan stuff. 1986-1988 NJPW is one of my favorite periods in puro. Even in posting these, I realize how much more I need to check out in 1987 NJPW. Nobuhiko Takada & Akira Maeda vs Keiji Mutoh & Shiro Koshinaka (03/20/87): Oh my goodness! This match was awesome! The UWF team was soooo stiff and the NJ team was just totally exciting yet, looked good taking a beating. Maeda wasn't going to kick somebody unless he could kick them in the head. This seriously was bell to bell fun. There were moments where the excitement ebbed but then bam! It flowed right back to where it was before. A true lesson in crowd control that frankly you only witness in the finest of wrestling matches. This stuff is timeless. Takada & Maeda vs Mutoh & Koshinaka (03/26/87): Damn these guys can really go! In six days these guys delivered another must-see tag match. Surprisingly it's in a different vein than the earlier one although there are some similarities. Both teams just have great chemistry and put over each others moves so well. Fast paced action throughout & certainly the stuff tag fans like myself can never see enough of. Not as good as the first but, still really great stuff. The abrupt finish is the only thing holding it back from being an all time classic match. ****1/4+ type scenario. Takada & Maeda vs Yoshiaki Fujiwara & Kazuo Yamazaki (05/25/87): I'll have to re-watch this as I was a bit tired but, still this was a very good stiff match. I didn't really appreciate Takada killing the momentum in this match with leg locks or arm-breakers when it wasn't really called for. Match was really something with the other 3 guys though as Maeda's perfectly OK with getting kicked in the head. Takada vs Kuniaki Kobayashi (08/20/87): The '87 IWGP Jr title finals. This took a damn long time to warm up as it was Takada's usual stall job. He uses cross-arm breakers and wakigatame as rest holds! Come on! He's a good worker but doesn't know how to use his submission moves to build heat, he just throws them out there. Kobayashi is pretty cool here but sorta lets Takada go which hurts the match until the final stretch which is pretty top notch. Selling of damage would really help in this setting. ***1/2ish perhaps... Takada & Maeda vs Fujiwara & Yamazaki (09/01/87): I felt this was better than the 5/25 match because Takada wasn't in too much to kill the momentum. His time killers were ok because he was in just for a little bit. Still the other 3 were much better and Fujiwara really brought his B+ game here especially with Maeda who continues to be one of my favorites because he strives for realism. Case in point he had a Kobashi mouse on his cheek...take your pick which head shot did that! The big downside with these UWF only matches is that the exciting aspects like double team moves and drama generators like saves are eschewed in the pursuit of a "pure" athletic competition. Re-watched: Saw this a day or two later with my Dad who's pretty critical & he really liked it. That's the confirmation I needed this is a damn good match. I wish the ending was better but, still good and more natural than I thought. Plus it helps push Yamazaki forward. Takada & Yamazaki vs Keiichi Yamada & Shiro Koshinaka (10/25/87): I strongly feel that the best showcase for the UWF guys in NJPW is against regular workers. It lets them work their submission against "trained" sellers so the drama and importance is really played up. Also the UWF guys are really good pro-wrestlers too so they have no problem taking the pro moves as well as incorporate some of their own. This really helps the variety of the match. In any case the best guys to face the shooters are Fujinami, Koshinaka & Yamada. I also liked Mutoh in '87...anyhow...this was another really great match...which I've forgotten the ending of but, I just love how these guys work together Koshinaka, Yamada & Yamazaki vs. Hiro Saito, Kintaro Hoshino & Kensuke Sasaki (12/03/87): This was an all action 6 man match. It really was a showcase for the stars. I cant say it was back and forth as 5 minutes were skipped ahead. Nonetheless this was a fun action packed match. I dont think there was much drama but, that doesn't take away from how enjoyable this was.
  14. G. Badger

    Assorted NJPW Tags from 1986

    Here are some really great tag matches from New Japan in 1986 that don't get much talk. Thought I'd share the love! Nobuhiko Takada & Osamu Kido vs Antonio Inoki & Keiichi Yamada (02/05/86): Wow what a great little match! The crowd really lets you know what's up since the work isn't mind-blowing or anything. This is the beginning of the legendary UWF/NJ feud and you can tell right here that dammit! It means something. Each guy just does his job well and it really pushes the intensity. Takada is such a bastard here & Yamada is such a good underdog but, we always knew that! Kido was impressive & Inoki is such a badass that anytime he was in the ring the place blew up with cheers as if the smallest offense could end the UWF guys chances. Tatsumi Fujinami & Kengo Kimura vs Akira Maeda & Osamu Kido (08/05/86): An excellent strong-style tag match that was awesome when Fujinami & Maeda was were in together. They did some neat allusions to their 06/12 classic with Fujinami dodging the corner wheel kick. Maeda was sort of all over the place with his kicks, in the dangerous kind of way for instance he blasted Kengo in the mouth that almost killed the match. Still that makes him exciting and dangerous...adding to the combat sport aspect of strong-style. I would've liked a smoother finish. Overall pretty great match and fun compliment to the 06/12 match. Takada & Fujiwara vs Shiro Koshinaka & George Takano (09/05/86): A very good tag match with Takano being much better here than as Cobra, Takada was also much better here especially with his kicks, Fujiwara & Koshinaka are awesome throughout. Akira Maeda, Kazuo Yamazaki, Nobuhiko Takada, Osamu Kido & Yoshiaki Fujiwara vs George Takano, Kantaro Hoshino, Kengo Kimura, Shiro Koshinaka & Tatsumi Fujinami (09/16/86): People don't think this one is as good as the one in March & maybe they're right but, I didn't think so. I thought this one was much better from an in-ring stand point. It was a sprint like the last one but there was actual sprinting and much more involved one-on-one action as the feuds had developed & the NJPW team was better without the fat old blonde guy Ueda & Inoki wasn't there to be the spoiler...it helped put the finish in doubt.
  15. NJPW handheld flood gives us Liger's first shot at the IWGP Jr. Title. Altough this is very different from the matches that would come in the future. Essentially young Yamada is a huge underdog against shootstylist Takada. During the early matwork portion Yamada is super cautious to avoid all of Takada's UWF submissions. Eventually Takada gets sick of this and blasts him with kicks. Takada goes for the Tombstone but Yamada desperately avoids that move aswell. Soon Yamada is selling big and the crowd is going bananas for every offensive move and counter he is able to land. Basic match executed extremely well and really fun to check out a way different Liger.
  16. Fukuda enters the BOSJ and pushes the legend to the limit! Liger goes out of his way to make this indy nobody look great! It's hard not to love Fukuda here with how he withstands Liger's stiff shotais and busts out a bunch of great throws and holds. Opening matwork was pretty rockin' and better than the usual Liger trademark surfboards. Fukuda's sleeper variations were pretty choice and him getting control over Liger was done nicely. They do a pretty great section where they exchange pitbull headbutts on their knees to mix up the bomb throwing. The crowd gets hugely into the possible upset too. Sweet match.
  17. This is it - Jushin Thunder Liger's last ever BOSJ match. I actually was really rooting for him to win the whole thing because I feel like him vs. Hiromu II at Dominion would've been absolutely incredible. But it is what it is, they made Liger lose every match in the tournament leading up to this one - and while I initially didn't agree w/ that decision, I gotta say that this match made up for it. You got the most hated, the most annoying, the slimy ol' Taichi going against the man here. Right from the get go as Liger is making his entrance, the Suzuki-gun jumps him - Taichi talks some trash & that leads to him working the heat big time on Liger. He does it so in the most dickish, heelish fashion ever & it's just fucking awesome. Kicking Liger in the head, ripping his mask, cutting his gear w/ scissors. Finally when Despy & Kanemaru get involved again out comes KUSHIDA & Taguchi who take care of them, which leads to Liger, with his gear destroyed & all making a super comeback - emotions were running wild during that one and I got them goosebumps watching him hit Taichi with his signature stuff, just completely destroying the dick that almost ruined his last ever BOSJ match. This was wonderful pro wrestling. Liger is the best. ****1/2
  18. Definitely my most awaited match up of the whole tournament (alongside KUSHIDA/Taguchi) & they delivered just like I knew they would. The opening was super great & set up the pace for rest of the match - loved Liger's work on top, it's always a pleasure to see him do his thing & Hiromu sold + bumped his ass off for him. The transitions were also really great; loved Hiromu getting the advantage by using his quickness & then going for that big apron powerbomb. Him working the heat on Liger was terrific & Liger's big comeback was obviously superb. The nearfalls towards the end w/ Liger almost getting the W were amazing as well. Just a really damn good match. ***3/4
  19. What an amazing match to kick off this year's BOSJ with! A kickass 8 minute sprint with a fantastic sense of urgency & drama. ****
  20. Joe taking on two puro legends in 1 month is pretty remarkable! Amazing cool entrance by Joe and Liger's wasn't too shabby with his NJ music, full shoulder pads, and streamers. Liger, sized wise, looked like a good match for Joe. Shorter but, thick as Joe. Crowd was amped. Joe pretty much did his 'standard' TNA act here but, Liger switched it up from his 2005 routine and played it like a younger junior taking on the heavyweight. So, we got a few moments of brilliance from Liger as well as him taking to the air. The only thing stopping this from being a great match was the time it was given. It reminded me of a Fire Pro Wrestling match where you get a Critical just as you're starting to amp things up. Highly recommended match and a successful dream match in my book.
  21. Had to check this out because of the potential Suzuki vs. Shibata interactions, and I sure wasn't disappointed, because I got some awesome action between those 2! It looks like they might do a singles program between them, it sure felt like it w/ Suzuki constantly targeting Shibata & staring him down + attacking him post-match. I am hyped for that. The match was super fun - you got Liger as the FIP, and he was awesome, as you'd expect. Suzuki-gun did some solid heel work over him, ripping his mask & all - but the highlight of the match was indeed the Minoru Suzuki vs. Katsuyori Shibata sequence when they were both in the ring. Their interaction did not disappoint. Awesome match. ***1/2
  22. Their first match. Kind of an introduction of the style they came up with, meaning they hit aaaaaall their death moves, reckless dives in rapid succession. Starts out with some fast matwork and hints at aggression including Liger pummeling Sano on the ground, but quickly turns into a pure move exhibition. They would go on to have better and more intelligent matches in the future, but there's still plenty of death and drama to be seen here.
  23. I imagine Taichi would be universally loved if he worked 1973 WWWF since all he does is stall and cheat. The opening was fun and Suzuki's willingness to stooge was crucial to it. Mathc lost steam in the middle with the Liger in peril section, attacking the mask might get heat but it's boring and somewhat pointless when it goes for a while as you understand they're pretending to try to take it off instead of actually trying to take it off. Finish was fun with the face team clearing the ring with lots of doulbe/triple team moves and the Funaki-Aoki finish was more dramatic than I'd expected as they set up the nearfalls very well and I bought into them. Aoki's frog splash looked amazing and got a big pop as did Suzuki's apron kneebar. ***
  24. I absolutely loved this. The 2016, 74 year old Liger can still bring the Thunder. He wrecked Kushida's knee with dropkicks before dropping it on the railing and posting it. If you need Kushida to sell it every step of the way you'll be disappointed, but I thought it was very solid and was even ripping at Liger's gear while trapped in a hold that I thought was a great touch. What's more, I loved that there were clear strategies on both sides here. Kushida was going after the arm from the early stages to set up the Hoverboard Lock, while Liger worked the leg like a killer and pulled out all of his traditional big spots. They did such a great job building Liger's challenge until absolutely faking out the crowd on a near fall. A title change here probably doesn't make any sense at all, and I don't know how often Liger can pull off this kind of performance (or how many other opponents could get this out of him) but they had you dying for another Liger title win. Very interested to see if we get Kushida in the G-1 this year, but think he'll be mixed in at that level eventually. An easy **** and I could probably talk myself higher.
  25. Neat little maestros match, a couple of escapes were a little awkward but other than that this was a blast.
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