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Found 57 results

  1. It's the birth of indy dream match wrestling baby. Joe has come back from japan and has yoinked all kinds of cool things from the legends while Danielson is starting to come into his own. The opening hold for hold trading isn't anything brilliant but still feels inventive by 2019 US indy wrestling standards. There is guard work and they work for cross armbreakers but also snug cravates. When Danielson tries to get cute and throw shots Joe would make him pay dearly with a few crossfaces of his own. This was generally pretty hard hitting and they do a good job building to the big spots. This was slightly before they were really starting to put it all together, Joe wasn't quite the menacing badass, but he would really lay into Bryan with kicks, slam him hard to counter a basic headlock etc. On the other hand he would also bump for a feeble Bryan shoulderblock which is just weird. Bryan was pretty fun also hitting a big enzugiri and suicide dive. The one weak part were his head kicks as there seemed to be a lot of light there. Finish was all kinds of fun.
  2. The incomparable Master of Muppets has added a match to his YouTube channel from the house show on Monday night (July 16) in Reading, PA. The match sees AJ Styles team with Daniel Bryan against Samoa Joe and The Miz as part of the awkwardly-named Summerslam Heatwave Tour. The camera quality isn't great in this particular case, but if you can tough it out, it's a good chance to see Bryan and Miz opposite each other -- a matchup that has evaded us on television since Bryan's spring return and will likely happen at Summerslam. RELATED MATCH: Samoa Joe vs Bryan Danielson (ROH Midnight Express Reunion 10-02-04)
  3. Gauntlet match to decide who is going to be the #1 Contender to the WWE Title. My goodness. This match was unbelievable. Daniel Bryan might be, as of June of 2018, the best wrestler on the planet. This completely overshadowed the also incredible RAW gauntlet match this year, and much of that had to do with two things: It felt more cohesive - many have a hard time considering a gauntlet match like a single unit, instead being seen as many smaller matches, but in this case it more than earned the right to be looked at as a whole. It had an overarching story to all the segments and it keep its quality at a constant. Daniel Bryan is the greatest of all time (sort of). He just went all in and made not only Big E look like a bazillion buckes, with lots of crazy exchanges, but also Joe never looked as good in WWE as he did in this match - Bryan takes a beating like no one else (being dropped on his head and nearly dying helps in a more morbid way) and his comebacks feel so fucking natural. The finish to the segment vs Joe and to the Miz segment were so smartly worked that sometimes you gotta give it to WWE and say they can do stuff perfectly. Those two main points, coupled with strong performances from The Miz and a ridiculously over Rusev - and a new feud appearing on the horizon - made for one of the best TV matches of the year, and a strong contender for best of the decade.
  4. A fantastically paced 3-way dance that flowed perfectly. Daniel Bryan's pure babyface fire is absolutely unmatched & that was on full display when the match kicked into it's finishing gear. ***3/4
  5. G. Badger

    Spotlight: Masato Tanaka

    Masato Tanaka was pretty much responsible for me getting into puroresu. His matches in the States with ECW were eye opening to me. He was tough, intense, and innovative. I would say he, Mike Awesome, and Tajiri were the 3 guys that convinced me that wrestling in Japan was something worth seeking out. After ECW folded, so did my interest in newer wrestling at the time. It was another 5 years before I got back into it. I've never really looked at what "Dangan" Tanaka was doing in that time when I was away. Masato Tanaka vs Samoa Joe (Zero-1 2001 or 2002): There was no date on this from the Youtube video but, based on the size of Joe and his attire (cut off tee & track pants), this was pre-ROH Joe. I believe per Quebrada.net that it's from BURNING HEART League 09/15/01. All that being said, this was 8 minutes of spots but, I'll be darned if this wasn't a blast! Joe was pulling out all kinds of stuff like a Fosberry Flop dive and Pedigree type move. Obviously Tanaka was going over but, you'd be surprised. Cool finish too! vs Shinjiro Otani (Zero-1 07/31/02): A classic 16 minute tournament match. It's like in that **** 1/4 - **** 1/2 range to me. It's best described as NJPW Jrs. style with 2000 era hard hits, a hot Korakuen krowd, and tourney match urgency. Tanaka & Otani don't go for epic, they go for the win. Dangan gets busted open from a Tree of Woe baseball slide if that's any indicator. Plus, Otani's facial expressions are as top shelf as ever. He takes the drama to another level with his emoting. Totally surprised by this match since no one really talks about Zero One especially in 2018...if you're a fan of either guy, see it. It'll be one of the best bouts you'll watch this week. Tanaka & Shinjiro Otani vs Steve Corino & Low Ki (ROH 11/09/02): This was the main event to the inaugural All Star Extravaganza. Otani & Tanaka kept this a lean mean contest. Otani damn near put Ki's face into the back of his head with a kick. Not to be outdone, Dangan hit a brutal lariat and shotgun stunner. Sure, it was Philly but, no chairshots needed. Corino & Ki were excellent as well. Highly recommend checking this out. vs Mike Awesome (Zero-1 02/29/04): Holy shit...wow. For an Awesome vs Tanaka match this might be the most dangerous one. I don't know if the match quality is the tops since they really do just run through the spots but, what spots they are! Highly recommended match for those missing this rivalry. I had no clue this existed especially since their One Night Stand match from 2005 was touted as their most recent battle since ECW. But that's WWE history for ya! Go see this Zero One match and witness the brutal spots for yourself! vs CM Punk (Wrestling-1 04/09/04): I'm not 100% on the promotion title as it appears to be a US indy with affiliation to Zero-1 or a US offshoot when they were trying to do a global wrestling thing. I read in the comments online that Punk was sick at the time but, this was a very good hotel banquet hall level match. Punk focused on Masato's arm amd gave the match a good sound body. It was really solid when they could have just winged a bunch of moves. It felt good because they eventually got into a nice little finishing run. Some big moves were hit and some were countered but, they never gave it all away. These two worked really well together. vs Samoa Joe (1PW 2005?): Again, the poster didnt' put a date but, this looks around the time Joe had the bleached brown/red bit in his hair while in TNA. This was a 10 minute sprint of wonderful stiffness. If the above match was about moves, this was about hitting each other. They go bat shit with it. This pairing is really, really good and I wish there was more available. Match goes to a double DQ but then we get... vs Steve Corino: ECW rules type of match. They're in the crowd and being a little cute for the people that loved ECW back in the day. I'm sure I would have dug this at the time but, the let's take a tour without actually fighting isn't as interesting anymore BUT it's not all of that. It's brutal at times too. So, this is a 2 in 1 or Gauntlet match for Tanaka and a must-see. Dangan all the way man! Tanaka to my knowledge only wrestled in ROH the one time but, he seemed like a perfect fit for early ROH from his performances above. 2002-2004 Tanaka in ROH would have been great and is certainly fodder for fantasy bookers out there. These matches are a hint of what could have been. Next time, I want to tackle what I'll call the Tanaka revival- from my estimates late 2000s to early 2010s. I'll see what I can find on the web.
  6. A very good match up between 3 all-time greats. They all showed fatigue from wrestling their way to the tournament finals - I am not sure if it was planned or not, but I thought AJ's struggle to hit the Styles Clash on Joe in the closing stretch was really great. Great strikes, submissions, dives & overall just all 3 shine when it's their turn to get their shit in. ***1/2
  7. G. Badger

    Spotlight: Samoa Joe

    Saw that Samoa Joe is on Smackdown now...nice! Even in 2018, I gotta say more Joe vs AJ & Danielson is always welcomed. It's a smart move too! I'm no WWE genius but, three future hall of famers working together seems like a no-brainer especially if they're gonna put Orton and Nakamura in the mix. Here's a little spotlight on Samoa Joe from 2005. If he can bring some of that magic to 2018, I might have to tune in. Samoa Joe vs AJ Styles (TNA Sacrifice 08/14/05): I thought this was a fantastic meeting of two of this generation's best wrestlers. It was really everything you could hope for in a match between AJ & Joe. Athletic, intense, and surprising. Also thought the ending was good for the match/story as well. A 100% clean finish or draw would have been preferred but, I think this match is still a classic. Samoa Joe vs Kenta Kobashi (ROH 10/01/05): This match had legitimate instensity as Joe was facing, no testing himself against Kobashi. He had to bring barbarian like intensity lest he be mauled. This was really great! I found the execution to be a little off at times especially on Joe's submission attempts, they were a bit loose. Overall it was above average though much of the match was comprised of strikes. And maybe that's a complaint some of the ROH fans have. It was very much a AJPW style match. There weren't amazing sequences, chains of moves, or the usual flashy business...just hardhitting, believable Kings Road style wrestling. Surprisingly, that King's Road or maybe Ark style (with all the macho strike-offs) was there as Joe paid homage to Kobashi's greatest foes & even the Orange Crush himself. If I can remember correctly, he did Misawa's elbow suicida & step-over facelock, Kawada's step kicks, soccer kick, & stretch plum, and even Kobashi's turnbuckle bomb. I thought that this really elevated this match above all the rest of ROH's stuff. It was great for those who didn't notice these parallels/homages but truly inspiring to those who did. This shows great judgement on Samoa Joe's part by acknowledging Kobashi's history, AJPW's history, and infusing it with his own. Re-Watch: Joe versus Kobashi is probably one of the greatest matches that has taken place on American soil in the past decade and in the decades to come. It has everythingdrama, story, crowd energy, the moves, the stiffness. It all comes together this night in NYC. Just beautiful stuff! It hits on a different level than the other 5 star matches because it is like the ultimate puro fan taking on the King of Puro and damn near beating him. Its totally for the marks but, Kobashi still has a reputation to uphold. And sweet Jesus, does he deliver! Bumping it up a half star to perfect-o! Samoa Joe vs Jushin Liger (TNA Bound For Glory 10/23/05): 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. Samoa Joe vs AJ Styles (TNA Turning Point 12/11/05): AJ took it right to Joe and set the tone for this match. Intense and physical as hell. It was full of nice surprises,teases, hard way blood from both guys, and fantastic pacing. Plus, the post match kept the story going setting up Daniels vs Joe. This really is a classic match alongside anything they did in ROH. Its really a testament to how TNA was mismanaged. Styles, Joe, and Daniels could have been having classics like these for the Heavyweight belt for a few years instead we got 2000 era WCW redux and all kinds of other stupidity. Here's hoping that the writers don't blow it this time around..I mean they've got Danielson and Nakamura this go around. Don't screw this up fellas!
  8. The JAPW Homicide and Teddy Hart continues... Not as great as the previous cage match between Homicide and B-Boy vs. Teddy and Jack Evans as it lacks the blood and intensity from that match, but this is still really fun. It's basically a handicap match for the early part of this before the lights go out and Samoa Joe comes out and cleans house. Joe and Hernandez brawl around ringside while Teddy and Homicide go at it in the ring. Joe returns to the ring and he sets Homicide up for the Hart Attack before he turns on Teddy and powerslams him. Homicide then buries Teddy with a brutal Cop Killa. Fun match.
  9. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UT9d1IYyKJ4 As always before a Zebra Kid match, I’m obliged to tell you that he is one of Paige’s older brothers. This is supposed to be a non-title match, but Joe decides before the match that he “lives with honour”, so he’s putting the title on the line. This gets a big pop from the crowd, although as ever when a title gets put on the line, makes the result way more obvious than it already was. Interestingly enough, I believe this is the match where the ROH Title became a world title in ROH canon. This is a fun 10 minute sprint, although one largely dominated by Joe (as you would guess) after the Zebra Kid gets the initial advantage following some early strikes and throwing himself around as a human weapon, which includes a Cactus Elbow off the apron onto Joe, who was sitting on a chair. Watching him throughout his career, Zebra Kid/Roy Knight may never have been the most refined or smooth wrestler but I’ve always loved his intensity with which he does everything and he has some really nasty looking kicks and punches. His matches always bring a chaotic feel that draws you in. After the initial flurry, Joe catches him with his signature STO out of the corner and from then on is pretty much in control, spending the sizable chunk of the match throwing Zebra around and trying to kick his face off. Notably the Ole kick on the floor puts Zebra’s head through the wire mesh of the crowd barrier. Another fun little trivia note is that I think this is where the Ole Ole kicks start. The event was taking place on FA Cup Final day here in the UK, and the Ole singing from the crowd is very much patented on a football (soccer) chant. What’s more, after hitting it, Joe celebrates like he’s scored a goal with a run round the ring and a pretty decent looking knee slide celebration. Maybe he was just an Arsenal fan who won that game that day… Zebra gets one last brief flurry towards the end but when coming off the top trying to hit his finishing move the Zebra Crossing (top rope elbow drop) he gets caught in an arm bar. He gets to survive that and a subsequent big lariat but ultimately gets put away with a Rolling German into a Rolling Dragon into a Bridging German suplex to enable ROH to level at 2-2. I enjoyed this finishing sequence, as it was a great combination of moves, and I’m a fan when people don’t have to win by hitting a specific finisher. Joe was very good at this time at being able to win matches in multiple ways. The match overall is a fairly straight forward and largely one sided win for Joe, and there’s not really any drama in you thinking Zebra Kid has a chance of a victory, but as an intense sprint it’s fairly entertaining. (** ¼)
  10. Man was this a blast... The invading dominant ROH world champ makes a return to IWA-MS to take on the local babyface superstar who's lost a couple of matches in a row at IWA-MS events at the Lincoln Center and wants to redeem himself and defend himself and the honor of his organization. Both guys bring the hate and you can tell Hero's genuinely frustration early on. The match is Hero trying to out grapple Joe and Joe trying to out strike Hero. Before the wild exchanges occur, Hero tries grounding and tiring Joe out before he gets caught up and engages with Joe in a striking battle which of course is going to backfire on him even though he holds his own for a bit. During the wild strike exchange, Hero shoots for a double leg takedown and the crowd erupts. That sets the tone for the remainder of the match until the finishing stretch. The finishing stretch sees Hero getting overconfident and hitting Joe with a Hero's Welcome and instead of going for the pin, he tries it a second time before Joe catches him with a backdrop driver and he chokes him out. Hero does a great job putting over the choke as he doesn't move until Ian Rotten and Dave Prazak come in the ring and pour water over his head to wake him up. Luckily this ended at the right time and it didn't over stay its welcome with the endless running streak of head drops, fighting spirit and finishing move trades these matches usually fell into around this time period. Say what you will about the dueling chants, but the crowd was split here and hot for the entirety of it and it really added to the match as you rarely ever see crowds this hot at indy shows. Prazak nailed it on commentary by saying there was 250 fans in attendance, but it felt like 2,000 fans. Great stuff. ****
  11. There was a ton of lead up and hype surrounding this match as Angle had come into TNA just the month before. Joe was undefeated for 18 months. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=_madQBbghRk They fought this match like the really wanted to prove something. No run ins, cheapshots, or anything like that- just two athletes trying to establish their dominance. Joe trying to keep Kurt down and Kurt trying to show it didn't matter where he was, he was the best. This was really wrestled well for their first encounter. It gave room for the feud to grow but, certainly paid off the build up. Angle was bleeding throughout and it just added to that competitive intensity. Very exciting stuff and a impressive start for Angle in TNA. I thought it was a great match especially for being under 14 minutes.
  12. What a good match to have in your first day of the year. Samoa Joe is interesting because his pacing is very different than from most wrestlers in WWE, but he compensates by having the presence. Roman, as usual, also brings the fire and the selling, and the stipulation added to the match no only brought some suspense and nice spots, but it kept things fresh. After avoiding the Coquina Clutch, Reigns gets the win - his first one against Samoa Joe - after hitting the Spear. Great stuff.
  13. BRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUN. Sheer spectacle. That's what this was and I loved it. I really did. Braun has been on a tear in 2017 and he just keeps making the absolute most of every single opportunity that he's been given. He went out there tonight and just showed why he is an absolute monster. The dominance of putting Brock through two tables and throwing an office chair in the faces of both Reigns and Joe. Add to that one of Lesnar's best sell jobs bumping like a nut for Braun and selling his ass off for Reigns. Sure, Joe was just a bit of an afterthought and that's a shame, but man when this match was on it was ON. I'm honestly unsure how to rate this right now. The first few moments with Braun killing everyone dead was five star material easily. Things do slow down once Lesnar comes back from his stretcher spot but even then you get great moments like Braun kicking out and shoving Reigns to his feet and Lesnar eating three Superman Punches.This is a shade under five for me, because the second half just doesn't maintain the momentum but what a showcase for these guys. ****3/4
  14. This Raw monster division has really been something else this year, and it looks like it might be getting even crazier going into Summerslam. I wish we got this without the commercial breaks, but still, I really enjoyed it. Both Roman and Joe are wonderful at looking like huge, incredibly dangerous monsters while selling for each other's monster-ness. Roman does it with an "I don't know how I'm gonna continue" look; Joe looks more angry than anything, but it works for both of them. In addition to their usual spots we get a Roman trying to put his shoe through Joe's face and Joe cutting off a Drive By with a great clothesline. But this isn't actually just a Reigns/Joe match, as BRAUN comes through to wreck shit and we don't just get a regular beatdown, but the start of a three way thing. It makes sense that Braun comes out on top, because the Samoans have been beating the shit out of each other, but both Joe and Reigns get shots in, and Joe even has him on his way down in the Coquina before Reigns goes for the Superman Punch and interrupts. I love it all. ****
  15. Yet again Lesnar proves that, whenever he shows up, he is the best guy in WWE by a mile. Great performance where he was able to display his resourcefulness and toughness while constantly projecting vulnerability and putting Joe over as a huge threat. He sold the hell out of all of Joe's offense and was very consistent with the selling, basically from the prematch ambush to the end. He even sold when he was on top (for example selling in between executing suplexes). I liked him busting out new stuff like the sideslam or the between the legs switch around which showed he was being forced to dig deep. Joe was good too with the relentlessness and the cheap tactics which put over his desperation. Great finish with a creative use of a finisher. It was almost like a flash pin where Brock took advantage of Joe poor positioning and stunned him just long enough for a 3 count rather than it being anything decisive. Nice post match selling of the neck by Brock as well. *** 1/2
  16. This is a Four-Corner Survival match with Double Stakes ... meaning the winner of the first fall gets a Pure title match (and both the winner & loser are subsequently eliminated from the match) then it becomes a singles match between the last two competitors for a shot at the World title. Kind of a silly stipulation, and it makes the psychology of the match wonky. Why would anyone want a shot at a secondary title over the World title? Anyways. There's a lot of cool mat & limbwork here; Joe being Joe is great, as usual; continuation in the Cabana/McGuinness storyline; an interesting first time match-up between Shelley/McGuinness. Good, well-worked match with decent storytelling, but not without its flaws. Rating: ***
  17. Five good-to-great wrestlers, at worst, in the ring together and Vordell Walker. There's a lot of first time match-ups here, besides Joe/McGuinness, and Spanky/Danielson hasn't been done in so long that it's basically on that same hype-tier (if that's a word). This match had good action & psychology, but I have a couple issues: the segments where the match breaks down and everyone is in the ring together felt oddly timed ... there wasn't much of a build to those specific moments - they just go unpredictably wild, which was jarring to me; the escalation was steady, but the momentum stalled right before the finishing run & took me out of it a little; and they could've easily chopped a good five minutes off this match to tighten it up. Anyways, too much Vordell Walker, but the other five do a good enough job carrying him nonetheless. The first time interactions between Danielson/Gibson, Joe/Gibson & Danielson/McGuinness (!) ruled. McGuinness debuts the Rebound Lariat, too! Good, but flawed, match. Rating: ***
  18. Joe is coming off a huge loss to Austin Aries at Final Battle, so he's out to prove he's still at the top of the food chain. This is another opportunity for McGuinness to step-up and climb up the ladder (see: vs. Homicide @ Midnight Express Reunion). McGuinness tries to approach Joe methodically, but Joe is familiar with McGuinness' habits and he ratchets up the aggression & pace - forcing McGuinness off his game plan & on the defensive. The few moments where Joe slips-up McGuinness is able to get some hit-and-run armwork in, but he's panicky & desperate so it's not as effective and doesn't lead anywhere. McGuinness gets a little bit of a rub by kicking out of some of Joe's lower-tier finishers, but the Coquina Clutch puts him away for good. Joe was not playin' around at the end. Very good match that both raises McGuinness' profile & reestablishes Joe as a force to be reckoned with even after losing the World title. Rating: ***½
  19. It's the much-awaited Pure champion vs. World champion and ... their partners, too? They establish hierarchy early into the match. McGuinness & Lethal are equals, Walters is a step-above them due to his Pure champion status, and Joe trumps all. The general structure of the match is similar to your 90's All Japan/2000's NOAH tag matches. Joe has no respect for the Pure championship as he believes it only exists because no one can take the World title off of him. He bitchslaps Walters around and then kicks a handstanding McGuinness' head off in two sequences that sum up Joe's goal in this match - assert dominance. And it's just an absolute joy to watch. Every time he enters the ring he swings the momentum to his favor. His preoccupation on dominating the Pure champ ends up being the team's downfall, though. McGuinness traps Lethal in That Arm Submission as Walters distracts and prevents Joe from saving Lethal. Rating: ***¼
  20. Very hard hitting, intense three way dance. Starts off in super explosive fashion, it gets derailed & loses it's steam a bit after KENTA gets legitimately knocked out after receiving the mother of all slaps from Joe, but they get back into things quickly & the match remains awesome till the end. ****
  21. A world class tag team in KENTAFuji going against two of the best singles wrestlers in the world, a dream team of the aces of ROH in Bryan Danielson & Samoa Joe. No way this wasn't gonna be great. It started off with some nice work between Danielson & Marufuji - that transitioned into Marufuji being the FIP, which he was tremendous at I might add - that really was a pleasant surprise because in some of the KENTAFuji tags in the past he hasn't been the strongest FIP. Here he thankfully was tremendous. Joe & especially Danielson were fantastic with their work over him, working the heat on him in terrific fashion. Eventually Maru makes the hot tag to KENTA who is really fiery in that - he goes right after Joe & my goodness their interactions were HEATED. Such a shame we never got to see a singles match between them in 2006-2007. Danielson gets to be the FIP now, and he does absolutely amazing job in that - selling his ass off for KENTAFuji who did their awesome work over him. While Maru was really great in his FIP segment, Danielson really was on another level. Same could be said about the next hot tag - KENTA was great, but goddamn Joe came in like a KILLER when Dragon got to make the tag to him. The whole finishing stretch was really damn awesome too, with everybody getting to shine. Truly one of the best tag matches in ROH history. ****3/4
  22. 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.
  23. A very strong opener. Joe looked great working on top & Zayn was awesome as usual working from underneath. Very good stuff. ***1/2
  24. ShittyLittleBoots

    [2017-02-27-WWE-Raw] Cesaro vs Samoa Joe

    An awesome little match, the psychology w/ Cesaro's knee was good - Joe's targeting of it was great & Cesaro's selling was really good. Couple of more minutes and this would've been **** for me. ***3/4
  25. Reigns was my most awaited main roster opponent for Joe, and I thought that their first meeting truly delivered. Physical, Joe looked fantastic when he was working the heat on Reigns w/ his killer offense, and Reigns did some really great selling, and I loved every hope spots of his, and the big comeback towards the end was great, too. These 2 have a classic ****1/2+ PPV match in them. ****
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