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Found 11 results

  1. I am really conflicted on this one. We do get a cut at the beginning so I am unsure how much we miss but all we do get is essentially a bomb spot fest. I have no other way of describing it. The moves were brutalizing and impressive but I didn't have any conjecture to what I was watching. This would be a very interesting match for the people that praise Strong BJ in 2016 to watch and see where they align because as a brutalizing spectacle, I enjoyed it more than the Seikmoto and Okabayashi affairs in the current year. Kuroda was presented as the underdog here that was not willing to give up. His eventual victory was treated as a breakthrough moment with the crowd going crazy and pounding the mat. Some of the near falls were insanely close and harrowing having me on the edge of my seat as the outcome was in doubt. Overall, this is one I may have to reflect and rewatch at the month's end as it certainly accomplished as a match what it set out to, but it wasn't the most aesthetically pleasing match to me in what I desire out of pro wrestling. There in lies the rub. ***1/2
  2. A really fun opener to start the PPV out. The crowd was energetic and this carried a pace interspersed with violence to keep the tempo up. Some stuff like Tanaka being able to kick out of the chair shot onslaught of Balls made him look strong. I do really like Balls' punches and think he is underrated as a worker around this era. His matches rarely go too long and he is able to convey a sense of violence to everything. This made me excited for the rest of the PPV. ***
  3. I wasn’t crazy about watching the build in real time but the five minute video package they do here really is well done and gets you hyped for the match. The entrances and presentation feel big time. Jinsei Shinzaki comes out to take a rindside seat. As for the match proper, this was a tremendous Hayabusa performance. Much like Sabu, he can be inconsistent but he was completely on point here with his execution and his more emotional tones. Sometimes Hayabusa’s selling is suspect but I thought he gave more openings here that Tanaka didn’t take advantage of for whatever reason. An example is him going forearm first into the table a few minutes after Tanaka hit him in the arm with the chair on the outside. The story revolves around Tanaka trying to ground Hayabusa’s attack with huge bombs and rest holds at the scent of Busa gaining momentum. Tanaka hits a huge powerbomb from the ring to the floor where Busa just barely catches a table and takes a ton of punishment. That is tough to watch for someone we know got so physically broken down pretty soon after this. I can see some criticism of the fact that Busa fires off a couple of suplexes that Tanaka no sells and gets right up from. I think in a weird way that worked for me here in that Tanaka is a huge bomb monster where it takes a combination to take him down. Busa finally is able to get some sustained offense for a nearfall as we near the end of the match. Tanaka busts out the whole arsenal in trying to put Busa away but is unable to with Shinzaki looking on as stoic as ever. Busa blocks the running forearm and hits the Kanemura powerbomb followed by the Emerald Flowsion to win as the crowd rushes the ring. They certainly went big here with a ton of kickouts and as many moves as both men could possibly through out. It will be a point of subjective taste, but it felt earned and deserved for me in this match. This match wont be for everyone but it was for me. ****1/4
  4. One of the better 6 mans of the year so far. This is the first time JInsei has been in FMW in over a year and they play off that history with him and Busa doing a really great sequence at first with some mat work that was friendly but aggressive. Things open up from there when Gannosuke comes in and cribs the Busa/Jinsei spots including the pose. The meat of the match revolves around the beating Oya takes. He has his ribs taped up and the heels do a great job hounding on him. Gannosuke is one of my personal favorite guys in wrestling just from the way he runs the ropes so violently like the ultimate loyal henchman. The finale is long and intricate but I didn't think it was too ridiculous from a kickout standpoint besides Hayabusa taking three powerbombs from all three opponents and then kicking out. This was after Gannosuke realized he was outgunned and he had to survive the onslaught from Tanaka and Oya. In the waning moments, we get a sudden turn as Jinsei turns on his team and Gannosuke in particular for the insulting nature of the early portion of the match. It didn't make the most sense logically but it got a huge pop so I will give it a pass. Him and Busa run through some of their double team moves and Busa picks up the win with a 450. **** (8.2)
  5. Really bizarre match with H getting beat up and having to leave the match, Fuyuki coming in and taking over only for him to be knocked out and then Hayabusa returns for the finale. A lot to unpack and try to decipher in combination with Balls and Tracy Smothers continuing to be this big foreign stable. The action here was good but I do think a lot of the context and significance of the storyline was lost on me. I am still unsure of how I feel about Tanaka for the decade. I am kind of at a loss on how to grade this one given my overall feelings but the action did seem fun and intense and “good”. ***
  6. Quite the disparate collection of talent here. This is actually not a 14-man tag so much as it is a 7x7 series, and it's not nearly as fun as it sounds based on the 13 minutes of clips we get. Pretty rudimentary, which is an odd thing to say about a match where Tracy Smothers is on the same team as Kyoko Inoue. But I don't get the sense that not getting this in full is any type of injustice.
  7. I don’t know if this was taped before or after the RVD match with the injury but anyway this will be it of RVD until May. Styles informs us this is the first ever meeting of these two. T’m honestly really weary of RVD in the 2000’s on rewatch. Even though the stuff vs. Sabu and Jerry Lynn didn’t really hold up to me as classics, it did at least seem different from what we were seeing throughout the country in the 90’s and did in a weird way feel more big time than the indy stuff that we watched the time and time failed to resonate. In the 2000’s it feels like a RVD routine would be 5th from the top of most CZW or IWA-MS shows. These two actually have some good chemistry with each other IMO as Tanaka takes the fight to RVD and the match overall doesn’t deviate into RVD’s signature spot and showoff routine. Tanaka tries to suplex I think RVD through a table but it looks more like a DDT and it was a sick bump either way. Selling isn’t on the menu for either of these guys tonight as RVD smashes the chair in Tanaka’s face, he kicks out, and then is on offense and DDTs RVD onto the chair. Match works though to a degree because of Tanaka throwing the kitchen sink at RVD and him coming back. In that way I compare it to the Sabu Guilty as Charged match even though neither are going to ever be my favorite match style. RVD is able to hit a swinging kick on the chair and the five star spash to retain. ***1/4
  8. These fucking guys again? It kind of felt like a little crowd sweetning was going on but I am not positive. As a match overall, this was not their best effort. I liked the beginning as a more wild, intense brawl with strikes but then Tanaka completely no sells a chair shot and here goes Awesome setting up the furniture because he of course has to. Tanaka hits a DDT from the apron through the table and the crowd gives a big holy shit chant. Awesome does hit a really great looking big splash which honestly had more impact and looked more dangerous to me than the table spots because I am so immune to them. When Tanaka kicks out, he grabs a table of course. Back and forth on the top and Awesome hits a powerbomb through the table to win. Yawn. **1/2
  9. I was happy to see Lance take it to the Tanaka as on paper he looked like someone that might let Masato steamroll him and the match will be awkward overall. This also didn’t overstay it’s welcome making it a welcome addition to a house show if you are attending. There was too much your turn, my turn for it to reach very good levels, but I enjoyed myself. ***
  10. Sometimes these matches hit me and sometimes they just feel sloppy and clunky. This was in the latter portion as the beginning really felt like everyone was off a step and just didn’t have the intensity that they sometimes do. Things pick up with a big chairshot and the Tanaka tornado DDT spot through the table. Even something like Tanaka’s missile dropkick didn’t get much air. Finish runs through the same thing as the week before with Awesome’s big splash and the Bomb through the table. Every thing felt more crisp the week before. This made me feel like the feud overall was getting into Spike vs. Awesome territory. **1/2
  11. This is a good house show in displaying what were the main matches ECW was running at the time. Hot start that kind of derails when Awesome does his tope over the top and comes crashing down right on top of his head. A really good pace to this even though psychology can be essentially thrown out the window. Today, people discuss that as the big lads division but where a match like this does have an edge is that the strikes and spots do look brutal from these big guys throwing them. Tanaka hits a tornado DDT from the apron through a table and then a running chair shot from the entrance. Inside Tanaka hits another tornado DDT on a chair for a nearfall. Awesome is able to regain the momentum after an Alabama slam which is continuously an underappreciated move. A thunderous Awesome Bomb from the top gives Awesome the win. Damn that was impressive. ***1/2