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Found 783 results

  1. Coffey

    NJPW G1 Climax 2019

    There are some posts on the last page of the Current New Japan thread in the Megathread Archive about the G1 Climax but I think it deserves its own thread. Going to be a barn burner this year. A Block: Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kota Ibushi, Kazuchika Okada, Will Ospreay, EVIL, Sanada, Bad Luck Fale, Zack Sabre Jr, Lance Archer & KENTA B Block: Juice Robinson, Tomohiro Ishii, Toru Yano, Hirooki Goto, Jeff Cobb, Jon Moxley, Tetsuya Naito, Shingo Takagi, Jay White & Taichi Pretty stacked. They did a good job with the blocks, too. You have some money matches in the A Block & you have new & interesting matches in the B Block. Then they have guys like Yano & Fale in there to switch things up so it's not just a bunch of workrate matches. I'm really digging the line-ups. There's definitely some matches that catch my eye. Anything having to do with Jeff Cobb or Shingo, in example. I'm also curious on who is going to win it all this year. I want to say they're going to pull the trigger on Ospreay but it might be too soon & NJPW seems to wait awhile longer than most before trying things. Jeff Cobb Vs. Jon Moxley is going to be interesting. I'm really looking forward to Shingo Vs. Naito. You know what you're going to get with Tanahashi, Ibushi & Okada, so some of the intrigue there is gone for me but you know the matches will be good. Curious to see how KENTA looks nowadays, healthy & away from NXT. <Opening Day> Saturday, July 6th (Local time): American Airlines Center in Dallas TX, the USA ・Saturday, July 13th: Ota City General Gymnasium in Tokyo ・Sunday, July 14th: Ota City General Gymnasium in Tokyo ・Monday, July 15th: Hokkai Kitayell in Hokkaido ・Thursday, July 18th: Korakuen Hall in Tokyo ・Friday, July 19th: Korakuen Hall in Tokyo ・Saturday, July 20th: Korakuen Hall in Tokyo ・Wednesday, July 24th: Hiroshima Sun Plaza Hall in Hiroshima ・Saturday, July 27th: Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium in Aichi ・Sunday, July 28th: Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium in Aichi ・Tuesday, July 30th: Takamatsu City General Gymnasium in Kagawa ・Thursday, August 1st: Fukuoka Citizen Gymnasium in Fukuoka ・Saturday, August 3rd: Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium in Osaka ・Sunday, August 4th: Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium in Osaka ・Wednesday, August 7th: Hamamatsu Arena in Shizuoka ・Thursday, August 8th: Yokohama Cultural Gymnasium in Kanagawa ・Saturday, August 10th: Nippon Budokan in Tokyo ・Sunday, August 11th: Nippon Budokan in Tokyo ・<FINAL> Monday, August 12th: Nippon Budokan in Tokyo
  2. Talk about it here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=znbz6HUNbss
  3. The best of the Fujinami-Choshu singles series, featuring a masterful performance by Fujinami. A story of pride and honor. **** 1/4
  4. You could classify the matwork here as "NWA" style-in that holds are worked and worked over until there is a transition and that transition really determines the quality of the match. Sometimes it feels like a waste of time but sometimes it's worth sticking through it. It's worth sticking with it here. Before the match Andre gets annoyed by Inoki getting a bigger reaction than him and refuses to shake hands. He attacks Inoki's arm early on-no sitting in a hold for five minutes but repetead wristlocks and armlocks that really establish his dominance. Andre easily drags Inoki to the middle of the ring once Inoki reaches the ropes and does a cool hammerlock slam, both of which make for cool visuals. Andre gets frustrated with the ref over.....something, leaving himself open to Inoki who goes for his leg, thereby establishing Inoki could get in control that way. When Andre goes to attack Inoki's arm again Inoki tries to kick away at Andre's legs, but they don't transition into Inoki's control quite yet. Eventually Inoki manages to counter Andre's armlock with a Headscissors-which looks amazing. Andre then manages to cross over Inoki's legs and changes his focus on attacking them. Inoki eventually manages to counter that with a Keylock-another big visual. They do tease Andre countering it a couple of times but before countering it Inoki turns him back into the Keylock to further establish the armwork. Once Andre does pick Inoki up into the air instead of placing him on the top rope like the norm is in 70s matches he throws him out of the ring, putting over the peril of the situation. Andre nurses his arm for a bit but Inoki quickly returns to the ring and we get to the finishing stretch, with Inoki nailing a couple of big Enzuigirs that connected well and Andre doing a Suplex and a ot of headbutts. I particularly liked the Canadian Backbreaker counter where Inoki pushed the corner-post instead of the ropes to counter Andre into a Back Body Drop. Unfortunately politics get in the way here-as Inoki can't even get a visual count-out win, Andre immediately no-sells him and only loses because he started brawling with a remember wrestler ringside, then gets back in the ring and lays out Inoki to get his heat back. Damn that 50/50 booking Very good match based around strategy, though I doubt Andre had the skills to produce anything truly great with lots of matwork. ***1/2
  5. William Bologna

    Tatsumi Fujinami

    Fujinami is a wrestler I've long thought I'd like without ever seeing much of his work. As a longtime All Japan mark and all-around wrestling philistine, I've never had much occasion to dive into the work of a man who is, according to the inarguable dictates of science, the 20th greatest wrestler of all time. Of all time! But I have an NJPW World account and some time to kill between their last letdown of an event and upcoming, dog-ass awful tag team tournament, so why not watch every Fujinami match on the service? They didn't make it easy (I hesitate to blame Gedo personally, but who else is there?). Normally a wrestler has two entries in the tag list; one in Japanese, and one in our Roman script. For some reason, there are four Fujinamis in the archive, and each one has a different number of matches. Dammit, Gedo! I choose the first of these, with the largest number of matches (44). It seems to be mostly in chronological order. WWF Junior Heavyweight Championship bout Carlos Estrada vs Tatsumi Fujinami I guess this is the title that wound up in the J-Crown before the WWF demanded it back. Here's what I like about Carlos/Jose Estrada (and kudos to the MSG ring announcer for that rolled R on his last name): The dude starts heeling immediately. He lofts the belt like a dick and then proceeds to bitch and moan the whole time the ref is checking him. Here is a man who will take a shortcut, you say to yourself. Meanwhile, Fujinami's in the other corner wearing the traditional young lion gear and looking all wholesome and full of fighting spirit. Estrada brings a lot of hip tosses and some pretty sweet full-body-windup punches, and Fujinami gets his fighting spirit comebacks here and there. In response to a couple totally rad dropkicks, Estrada puts on the full heel handshake act. The beg-off, the hands behind the back, the offered handshake, the full drop to the knees one hand behind the back offered handshake. Will this virtuous young man fall for the wiles of the crafty veteran? What if I told you there were no wiles, and Estrada just wanted to shake hands? And the fans boo him for just shaking hands and not cheating? Seriously, this guy's an amazing heel. Eventually Estrada goes for and misses some kind off flip of the top rope. Fujinami hits him with what must be one of the first recorded dragon suplexes, and - making an argument that wrestling in 1978 is better than it is in 2017 - pins him with it. Fujinami reacts with wild, hair-out-of-place enthusiasm - he can't believe he did it! His joy is infectious, as the American crowd seems to be just as excited as he is (at least the collection of sideburns and turtlenecks picked up by the camera is). Estrada sells like he's dead, because he's a pro and he just got nailed with a damn dragon suplex in 1978. An in-ring in-Japanese interview follows, in which they seem to talk a lot about the suplex and about Fujinami doing his best. This must have been fascinating for the audience. This was great. Early Fujinami was like Hirai Kawato, and that's pretty much the best thing you can be.
  6. I have to have watched this match like ten times already. Great Antonio is this giant fat guy, he no-sells everything Inoki does and slaps his stomach to showcase dominance, then if that wasn't enough starts stiffing Inoki with brutal clobbing shots to the neck which infuriates Inoki and results in one of the most famous and brutal wrestling shoots of all time. An absolute spectacle, I love battles of carnies and you can't go much better than this match in that area. The strongest image is probably the one that comes after the match as a bloody and likely concussed Antonio contemplates where he is and what happened to his greatness.
  7. Pretty simple match. Tiger comes in with his goofy rapier and is ambushed by an overzealous Inoki throwing wild punches. Jeet produces forth a foreign object and stabs the fuck out of Inoki and from then it's Singh procuring every dirty tactic in the book to work over Inoki. Choking, hits to the throat, bashing his into turnbuckle post, tables and chairs, and then some more chairs... Inoki quickly comes up bloody and there seems to be a DQ of some sort but the match is restarted (or 2/3 falls?) and Singh continues the beating. Inoki finally makes a pretty cool comeback by ramming into Singh like a bull. After some good payback using the steel posts again Jeet is bloodied aswell and Inoki finishes him off by snapping his arm, forcing the ref stop. This match had good pace but at over 20 minutes it was far too long. You can argue whether Singh's tactics were effective heel work or lazy garbage brawling... if the later, atleast give him credit for being the patron saint of the art form. Inoki ate an epic beatdown and gave gruesome comeuppance, so the match did everything right in that regard.
  8. Kazuchika Okada defends the IWGP Heavyweight title. Pretty good stuff from Jericho here in between the aggressive attacks, heel stuff and generally trying to stay one step ahead of Okada story wise. I like Okada in general but this was a nothing performance. Aside from the gloating at the start, he contributed nothing to the match. Good finish with Okada outmaneuvering the "brawler" Jericho with a simple wrestling move. The pacing was pretty lethargic though and large parts fell flat. Not bad but hugely disappointing. ***
  9. It is June and by gawd it's the half way point of the year!?? Really? It was snowflakes and salt stains just yesterday! That being said, I want to do my Best Match Watched and other assorted superlatives for the first part of 2019. It helps you but, more importantly, it helps me! Best Match Watched: -Daniel Bryan vs CM Punk - Money In the Bank (2012): This not a classic match but, one of the handful of WWE matches that I've watched this year that I thought was great. -Michael Elgin vs Roderick Strong - ROH Summer Heat Tour (Cincinnati 2014): The full show review is coming up here soon (I watched it over Winter - sue me!) but, this was a classic ROH title fight. -Zack Sabre Jr. vs Tomohiro Ishii - Wrestle Kingdom 13 (2019): Inoki Strong Style lives! Loved it! Great match at least but, a near classic to me. -Jeff Cobb vs Ricochet - PWG Battle of Los Angeles (2016): Not a classic but, a great match! 12-14 minute barn burner and a match lost in an ill fated winter watching project. Ricochet vs a big dude is always gold. He can let loose with his strikes, can bump like a super ball, and his crazy death-defying moves really, truly look like Hail Mary spots. -AKIRA vs Kenny Omega - NJPW Best of the Super Jrs. (2010): Another 'not a classic but great match.' AKIRA decided to go all limb work psychologist here and it was friggin' brilliant. -Prince Devitt vs Gedo - NJPW Best of the Super Jrs. (2010): Simple match layout but, the swearing/intensity of this match was lights out awesome. -Finlay vs TAJIRI - Smash - Final Show (2012): A near classic emotional and physically punishing bout. Fans of either guys need to watch this! -Wahoo McDaniel vs Greg Valentine - JCP (1977): Near classic hard hitting bout and angle. -Rick Martel vs Nick Bockwinkel - AWA (1984): The in-ring work, the story, this is a classic. **Frankly, everything from the Wahoo, Martel and more blog post could be on here but, those are the top two to me!** -Hans Schmidt vs Yukon Eric - Chicago Wrestling (circa 1958): Simple, brutal wrestling - the ropes break, part of the ring breaks. Classic shit. Best Wrestler: Wahoo or Martel at this point. Different opponents and different situations and both brought intensity and passion to every encounter. Biggest Surprise: Right now it's that I'm watching US wrestling more than Japanese wrestling That's not to say the drama and intensity is that much different than puro but, it's probably been a decade since my US wrestling has outweighed my Japanese wrestling. Biggest Disappointment: Ha! Probably the fact that I can't get big projects started and can't seem to finish up ones that are 85% done. But damn, I'm amped that I've gotten the good wrestling in that I have! Thanks for reading! More good stuff to come!
  10. Most of the match is worked in Nishimura's style, lots of matwork and spots you're used to seeing in his matches like the neck bridge test of strength and so on, Sasaki mostly plays along and occasionally utilizes his strength to escape Nishimura's holds, which is the only thing setting it apart from the usual Nishimura sequences. The finish leans more towards Kensuke's style, as he takes the initiative and starts rocking Nishimura with bigger moves while Nishimura tries to avoid them and utilize his throwback techniques like Cobra Cluthes, the Octopus Stretch, Inoki's low kicks from the Ali fight and so on to fight back. Both guys are good at whey to but it felt like they needed a few more years of seasoning to really mesh in a way that could produce greatness. ***1/4
  11. Man, you gotta give some credit to these guys for understanding how to work these exciting matches. You won't get any workrate or high end grappling in a Rusher match, but they knew how to set the crowd into a frenzy. Man Inoki blocking Kimura's chops is about the coolest basic thing nobody ever does. Lumberjack stip didn't come into play match except to force wrestlers back into the ring. Inoki trying to snap a bloody Rusher's arm repeatedly probably would've been better if Kimura knew how to sell, but the crowd sure went wild for that armbar. This is why you don't mess with Inoki.
  12. Calling this match shoot style or just shoot inspired might be the easiest way to get it over it but it would provide a shallow and historically inaccurate description. Shoot style was the creation of 1984 and 1988. New Japan continued to have its own style that would come in contact with the shootiness, but really started seriously flirting with it when they had the UWFi feud and then started bringing in Naoya Ogawa, Don Frye and so on. It peaked in the early 2000s as that was the peak of both PRIDE and Inoki's insanity, and you can see it in this match. It doesn't feel like UWF or RINGS or UWFi or PWFG. There's a distinct flair and style in this match-one that has maximized many of the elements of New Japan training Maeda used when creating the original style, but they also appropriate many of the elements used in modern combat fighting of the times such as soccer knees, knees on the ground etc. I know many aren't really fans of it, and politics and workers that couldn't thrive in the style could detract from it, but as far as looking for a good example of it being done right this might be your best bet. The brutality is just off the charts, but watching them fight for guard positions and takedowns and seeing how they set up the big spots is just as interesting. Shibata soccer kicking Fujita right in the eye is up there with the most brutal spots in wrestling history and you get a bunch of zoom ins at Fujita's swelling too. There was something chilling about the whole thing that's hard to put into words, during his entrance Shibata just completely covered his face with the towel and he ended it laying on the mat looking lifeless, as if he was a young lion going to a battle he wasn't ready for. ****1/2
  13. Man, I love this matchup. Young Punk Choshu was the best. You can say what you want about Inoki, but he was great at portraying himself as an untouchable badass. You look at some of the stuff Inoki does here and it's no wonder people thought he was a genius. He also always has these crazy facial expressions. I think the first 15 minutes or so of this didn't even have a bump but still ended up mesmerizing pro wrestling. This was worked like a technical battle of megastars so that was really cool. Both guys struggled hard and every movement could possibly lead to a finish which is exactly what you want from a match with really high stakes. Choshu was aggressive and really putting Inoki through the wringer, not just when he throw punches and stomps, but also in his grappling, butting heads when looking up and uncorking a super tight front headlock roll. Inoki came across as calm and cool headed so exactly the perfect counterpart to Choshu's rage. His selling was really strong too, at the beginning of the match he was dominating on the ground, but after Choshu really put the torque on him with the Scorpion Deathlock he was limping and stalling. Seeing the cool headed Inoki getting into desperation mode when Choshu tried the move again was great too. A limping Inoki punching Choshu in the face from the knees was epic and so was Choshu trying to bulldoze the legend with lariats and suplexes. I think if they had continued in that vein the match would've cruised into my all time top 10-20, but instead they slowed down again and went back to the holds. It was still really strong work and they delivered a great, clean finish. For a clash of the titans type match in front of a super hot 80s crowd that was mostly built around matwork this pretty much delivered all you can ask for.
  14. After a failed attempt to get into the NFL, Brock Lesnar turns his attention to the world of Japanese wrestling. We cite Lesnar's autobiography "Death Clutch" as to get an idea of Lesnar's mindset going into NJPW and touch on his mindset wrestling his what was perceived as his final match in IGF as well. Also get an interesting peak into how the Inokis did business when they were heads on NJPW.
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