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Found 784 results

  1. Two generational rivals going against each other one more time. Shinsuke Nakaura, G1 Winner against Hiroshi Tanahashi, Ace Of A Century and IWGP Heavyweight Champion. It's a high stakes match and it plays out as such. From the entrances, it felt like this had way more weight to it than most of their other matches, even the ones in the Dome. A calm hesitancy early on, both looking for openings with Nakamura, occasionally, hitting a flurry of strikes, one of which caused Tanahashi to retaliate by going for the knee. But with Nakamura being more skilled on the mat, he fought and struggled, even getting a Fujiwara armbar locked in. Both wrestlers blurred the lines of whether they'd get a little heelish with Taanahashi playing dirty with the leg but Nakamura being a bit dickish with his strikes, so the fans were split all the way through. Chants of Nakamura and Tanahashi, even boos in some cases, were prevalent throughout the bout. I loved the way they put the cross armbreaker over a dangerous move. Tanahashi's utter desperation to stay out of it anyway he could was great. The struggle which lead to Tanahashi locking on the cloverleaf which then gave Nakamura the opening to lock it on before Tanahashi got to the ropes was just fantastic. Nakamura unable to follow up on the sudden Boma Ye finish, his bread and butter, just after Tanahashi had him in the cloverleaf was great selling, very consistent with his selling the entire match. The finishing stretch wasn't a total bombfest that you would expect from a New Japan main event. Instead it was a battle of Nakamura trying to find a clean connection with his Boma Ye and Tanahashi trying to weather the storm, and hit the High Fly Flow in return. Great match with yet another tremendous Nakamura performance with Tanahashi be awesome himself, albeit the lesser of the two in the match. ****1/2
  2. 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.
  3. I liked the opening-consisted of basic holds but they worked them well, and Shiozaki bridging out of a hold and then transitioning into a hammerlock looked cool. Tanahashi made Shiozaki use Chops as a means of a comeback instead of just "stuff he does" which was a good call and there was stuff I liked in here-Shiozaki patting Tanahashi's head and playing with his hair, Tanahashi acting like a dick, using Misawa's elbow combinations and attempting a Tiger Driver. Shockingly there was legwork in this match-and it even managed to produce two spots I liked-Tanahashi changing the direction of his Dragon Screw when Shiozaki started fighting out of it and Tanahashi quickly Chop Blocking Shiozaki when he got out of.....whatever move Tanahashi was attempting and was about to go for a rope run. However...........there was a lot of stuff here that I did not like. Most of Tanahashi's legwork was boring and looked weak-I really have no use for watching him dropkick someone in the leg fifteen times, doesn't captivate me whatsoever, doesn't look good, doesn't add anything to what they're going for. Shiozaki didn't even bother selling the leg most of the time except when he Moonsaulted, and lord knowns I've seen enough japanese wrestling I'm not going to lose sleep over it. In fact I'd much rather have that than Shiozaki making cringeworthy faces. The problem there is that it did render huge portions of Tanahashi's runs on offence meaningless and Tanahashi's legwork wasn't engaing on its own. Shiozaki hitting Tanahash with embarrisingly bad kesagiris and punches telegraphed he wasn't actually going to get out of Tanahashi's moves. Tanahashi's Fujinami tribute slaps also looked bad. Shiozaki botched a top rope swinging side slam really bad. Finishing stretch was very reminiscent of what's going on in New Japan these days-lots of jumping around, pop-ups, run the ropes-get countered transitions etc. Tanahashi at least does less Sliding Blades these days-it got really repetitive here. Shiozaki countering Tanahashi's Go Flasher Small Package coutner by just lifting him straight up was neat, but it was too late to suck me back into this. And then there came Tanahashi's questionable set up for the HFF.... **1/4
  4. 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
  5. Yuji Nagata vs Kensuke Sasaki - NJPW 01/04/04 Up until the finish, I thought this was a classic, bloody, Dome brawl. I was perplexed why no one talked about this match until that finish, which takes it down quite a bit. Sasaki returns, but not to a hero's welcome. No, he must have been portrayed as a turncoat for leaving Inoki's New Japan to join a short-lived Choshu's promotion that would focus more on pro wrestling. Sasaki fit the 90s New Japan Strong Style well, but Sasaki stuck out like a sore thumb in Inoki's MMA-influenced New Japan of the early 2000s, but he comes back here to challenge Inoki's boy, Yuji Nagata at the Dome. Without the title on the line and New Japan in its nadir in terms of critical quality, I can see why this is overlooked, but I thought this was awesome. They are chippy before the match starts and have to be held back during introductions. It feels like Sasaki is a Choshu-like invader taking on the Hero of New Japan. They just stand up and duke it the fuck out. Sasaki rocks him with a slap to the ear. Nagata tries to fight back and Sasaki hits him a lariat. Sasaki goes for the cross-armbreaker to win the match, but Nagata retreats to the outside. Sasaki whips him into the railing and goes for the chair. Nagata in desperation smokes the chair back into Sasaki's face with a wicked kick. Sasaki does a nice blade job. Sasaki gets a lariat to back of Nagata's head and sends him head-first into the post. Nagata does a nasty, gory blade job. We get the double juice and Nagata & Sasaki stand up in the ring and just throw haymakers, headbutts and strikes. It was fucking awesome. Nagata is left in the middle ring laying and you can see the pool of blood forming around the back of the head. Sasaki just goes vampire crazy gnawing on Nagata and then headbutting him. Sasaki gloats and the New Japan crowd boos loudly. Damn! Northern Lights Bomb! He chooses to go for the ten count. He goes for it again, but Nagata gets a wild kick to the head that rocks Sasaki. Nagata follows it up and you really feel like it going to build to this awesome finish and be a slam dunk 2004 match of the year contender, but then Nagata just puts Sasaki in the Rings of Saturn for like 60-90 seconds until Sasaki passes out. It was very anticlimatic. Up until the finish, a damn exciting brawl. I loved the visual of the double juice with them standing up and just trading strikes in the middle of the ring. Sasaki was actually playing a good heel. Definitely worth a look and see.
  6. Uuh what to you think happens in this match. Two thickly built japanese dudes have a tea party or something? No they beat the hell out of eachother. Hara starts this match working like Kurisu, trying to take the match to the outside and brain Saito with chairs. Meanwhile Saito just tries to cave Haras chest in with kicks. I've no idea why no japanese promotion (besides W*ING for a brief moment) has tried to do more with Saito in the 90s because he was a perfectly good b-side Hashimoto and the crowd loved him here. Lots of nasty kicks and lariats, Hara takes bigger bumps than you'd expect from a thick old dude, and they keep it short and sweet.
  7. Talk about it here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=znbz6HUNbss
  8. The best of the Fujinami-Choshu singles series, featuring a masterful performance by Fujinami. A story of pride and honor. **** 1/4
  9. 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
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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. ***
  13. 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!
  14. 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
  15. 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.
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