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Found 13 results

  1. We're back with Ring of Honor 2018 Global Wars in Buffalo, New York. Dalton Castle vs TK O'Ryan - skipped...this starts off as The Boys vs Vinny and Taven which kills the momentum of the show right off the bat. Kenny King vs Cheeseburger - skipped Kelly Klein vs Madison Rayne - skipped...notice a pattern? BUSHI vs Jonathan Gresham vs Flip Gordon vs Kushida - Ah a match that I'm interested in! This was fun but pretty underdeveloped and predictable. Nonetheless it still was enjoyable to see these guys do some cool spots even if obvious. BUSHI didn't do much for me but the other three were pretty good. I like this iteration of Flip Gordon. Jeff Cobb vs EVIL - I want to like Jeff Cobb but his intensity is lacking and his move set is unimpressive for his size. He has a good look and should be a beast but something just doesn't click with me. I've seen EVIL do better but that aside this was good stuff. But was not 'awesome ' as the crowd was chanting. It was a good mid card match that two professionals should be able to have. Nothing more or less. That doesn't really help my impression of Cobb though. Silas Young vs Juice Robinson - Here we go! Best Bout so far (not saying much!). Silas and Juice have a really good thing going. They are basic wrestlers with sprinkles of flash and it works out here. I was really digging this until Bully Ray comes out and spoils the finishing segment. I wouldn't care had the previous 2 bouts been better but damn dudes! Let's get an honest ***1/2 match in the books before you start with the Jeff Jarret-like bull crap! We get 95% of a very good match then some storyline setup. Whatever! Tetsuya Naito/SANADA vs Young Bucks - Thank goodness for the Young Bucks. They can get a show back on track in their sleep. Naito and Sanada have upped their games and have a great Young Bucks romp. Lots of cute sequences and fake outs but damn is it fast and exciting. Its Bucks by the numbers with Naito & Sanada plugged into that equation. And that's nothing to sneeze at Jay Lethal vs Chris Sabin - Proving ground match which is a 15 minute time limit match. If Sabin wins or lasts the time limit then he gets a shot at Lethal's championship. Yeah, best match so far. This isn't turn back the clock nostalgia. Both guys can still go! They play up their equality throughout and man are there some real surprises. I like that older Sabin is more like Alex Shelley now - he's all about Mr. Salty style submission holds. There's one segment when he just tears Lethal apart. This was smart as it not only ate up time but made Lethal weaker and less likely to hit the Lethal injection. This was a great match and if it was longer, I think it had the potential to be a classic. I liked the aftermath too. This felt like ROH of old. Best Friends vs Jay Briscoe/Mark Briscoe vs Cody/Adam Page - Cody looks like a boy in pajama pants. He is like Peter Pan. Thank goodness he's in a multi man match. OK that's out of the way! This was a very good borderline great match. There's a little cutesy crap with Brandi and a group hug but overall this is serious match. Cody looked pretty good as his time was limited. Chuck Taylor was all business so yeah this delivered as a main event. They gave it plenty of time. Delirious can't help but overbook the finish for no good reason. Maybe it protects someone or something but not much makes sense in 2018 ROH. You just hope for exciting ma and stories be damned! This accomplished that and I ain't complaining. We'll finish up with the final stop of the tour in Toronto in a day or two! Thanks for reading I recommend checking out the Lethal vs Sabin match for sure! But the last 3 matches make this show worthwhile.
  2. In October, it was announced that Ring of Honor would be taking time off from Jan-March of 2022. The hiatus would end with Supercard of Honor. In the meantime, portion of the roster would be let go at the end of the year while others would be let go in early 2022. Many including myself believed this was the end of the road for the promotion. I'm not sure calling the Final Battle 2021 'End of an Era' helped dispel our speculation. I just posted on ROH thread that I thought AEW might have some interest in the brand especially with so many former ROH now AEW stars participating in Final Battle. After Final Battle ROH Chief Operating Officer Joe Koff did the ROH Strong podcast to talk about all of this. I've never listened to this podcast and I am guessing many of you haven't either. I had no intention of starting with listening to a suit talk corporate talk for an hour plus. That being said, it also seemed like the only place we were going to get actual details on what's to become of the organization. Again, there's just a lot of speculation floating around by both people in the business and fans alike. I'm going to give you my take aways from the 80 min. long interview. Its actually a pretty easy listen and Koff really seems to have a sincere affection for the fans, employees, and promotion as a whole. They begin by talking about Final Battle and the events that transpired with the tributes, matches, guest appearances and having the Lethal vs Gresham main event with Bandido being pulled due to COVID. Then there's a bunch of thanks given to Delirious (referred by his real name). What's odd is that they do seem to refer to things in the past tense. As in saying WAS instead of saying IS. I didn't make notes on this because they hadn't started talking about the hiatus and etc. But it did seem to initially corroborate speculations. They get to the meat and Koff starts by saying ROH's plans for 2020 were to start a live weekly TV taping ala RAW. So 52 live episodes per week. Perhaps live to tape like the late night talk shows. Additionally they wanted to have a fixed time across the Sinclair stations so it would appear the same time on every station so 22 The Point here in Pittsburgh would have it the same time as WUAB in Cleveland as in wherever else...again like most wrestling shows. Anyhow COVID happened and that plan got shot to shit. ROH then showed a few months worth of best of shows (we'll get back to that) and eventually came back with the Pure Title Tournament (see my past posts about that). He mentions in the meantime AEW has grown and IMO ROH has stagnated. They have done the best job in keeping people safe in terms of their and the Maryland Athletic comissions COVID protocols. Koff seemed please in keeping fans and staff safe although probably wouldn't have been a strict. Koff is adamant that Ring of Honor is not going out of business. Its not a matter of IF they come back its a matter of WHEN. They are "re-imagining" Ring of Honor. He does not express what this means (I'll take some guesses). He did say the plan is to cease matches and plans of touring until March when the plan is to return with Supercard of Honor. Koff said they will still be having TV shows in that time. I assume they have some stuff already taped and may do a year end retrospective. But more interesting is Koff remarked that ratings were positive for the Best Of shows in the Spring and Summer of 2020. In case you missed these, each week would feature a wrestler or team and showcase usually 3 standout matches during the ROH career or since Sinclair owned the promotion. If we read between the lines of what Joe Koff was saying, it sounds like this will be the plan from Jan-March. He said the shows without matches did really well (paraphasing). Well there's no ROH episode without matches but he must mean this from a production standpoint. So no matches booked, produced (filmed, lit, etc.) and wrestled. He was very careful not to give anything away for the future but repeated 're-imagine' and emphasis on the fans importance and 'focus on fans.' What this means I don't know and now comes the speculation - Informed speculation. At the end, I'll say what I'd like to see but this section is more interpretation of what Koff has said. First, I really believe this hiatus period of Jan-March will be Best Of episodes using ROH's back catalog. This will do well in the ratings while requiring minimal production and staff. This keeps ROH on TV while keeping fans happy. I think one thing everyone wants is easier access to ROH's back catalog even if its just 2011-2021. There's some really awesome stuff in there that I don't believe is even available on ROH's Honor Club service. I'm getting ahead of myself. I think COVID is a big part of letting go of talent and taking a hiatus. They were trying to wait the pandemic out while other companies eventually said screw it. Ethically I agree with ROH. Financially though this was pretty bad. They have had no show revenue for 2 years! This 3 month period is a time to hibernate and slow the bleeding as well as wait COVID out a little longer. In regards to his emphasis on the fans, I would think this means more social media activity but also listening to what the fans want in terms of booking. I don't think they will do away with Delirious but they will give fans more input as they do with The Experience shows and Unauthorized where people vote on matches or stipulations. I think they may have some folks pay more attention to what fans are saying online and booking with instead of against those opinions. Oh one other thing I remember is regarding the Forbidden Door. People believe Final Battle 2021 shows that ROH will be working with other promotions like AEW and Impact. Koff was quick to say there never has been a Forbidden Door with ROH. This is true and good of him to say this. ROH was THE promotion that worked with other companies - Zero-1, AJPW, Dragon Gate, NJPW, NOAH, Chikara, CZW, CMLL, and of course they had a working relationship with TNA on and off for awhile. WWF used to do it with ECW. I mean the NWA was before all of that! So anyhow, I do see this as a very real possibility. This is something the fans want to see. Fans of puro have been privy to this for the past 20 years. But the hope is that the AEW fans who jumped ship with the Elite and other talent will come back to ROH even if only on occasion. I think everyone would want another ALL IN level show down the road. Koff remarked that one of his best memories was doing ALL IN even though the aftermath was less than desirable. Could we see something like this in March for a true Supercard of Honor? That's what I've got as far as informed speculation. Koff didn't show his cards past what they are going to do in the meantime. He was pretty firm about Ring of Honor not going away. It would just be coming back different. I'm going to go bat-shit with the ideas. One thing I've thought of is having the majority of ROH's TV show be flashback matches along with promos all themed toward upcoming PPVs or which could be teased on AEW TV perhaps. This all depends on who ROH wants to keep or build around. I would love to see ROH focus on the Pure Rules or guys like Gresham, Tracy Williams. The ROH product will focus on a core group of guys but various talent will be brought in from the Indies or elsewhere (AEW, Mexico, Japan) to challenge them. Those guys and girls would venture out on occasion as well. This would be similar to the NWA territory days. Essentially re-unifying and sharing talent after Vince tore it apart 35 years ago. Again we have seen this in Japan in the 2000's Pro Wrestling Love Era. Again, we kinda would see this with TNA, PWG and ROH for awhile...I think we can see it again. I'd love to see this along with classic matches every week or two. So I don't think ROH is going to dissolve. I know ROH has put their back catalog out for the highest bidder so I think if someone gave them the right dollar amount for that and everything, they would take it. Koff is a businessman as he reminds us at the end of the podcast. I just don't know if that'll happen. OR maybe that is exactly how this is all going to go down... AEW buys ROH then they do like a RAW vs Smackdown thing with them? Or perhaps they will cut enough costs and re-envision their business model to work better work around COVID. They are very adaptable as Koff said and I believe him. But then again, business is business. Thanks for reading! Just had all of that floating around in my head so I hope it makes sense.
  3. Kaitlin Diemond vs Karen Q - sorry, I skipped it. Long show for me. Chuck Taylor vs Adam Page - From last night's main event, we get a really good opening match. Seriously, this felt like a regular ROH opener compared to the previous show in Buffalo. That's even with me skipping matches too. The Buffalo show was anemic up until the Silas vs Juice match. This was just as good as that and we really haven't gotten started! Vinny Marseglia/TK O'Ryan vs Tetsuya Naito/BUSHI - What is Naito doing this low on the card? Ian, Colt and Caprice (I thought I missed Colt when he left but man I'm just a fan of Ian & Cedric together) indicate that Cody won't be on the show due to injury so they had to shuffle the card a bit. I guess that's part of why we get Page vs Chuck and this tag match. This is surprisingly good. Its sleep walking Naito and Bushi vs Vinny &TK probably having one of their biggest matches. It was rough around the edges but damn they brought just about everything that they have. With that said, I'm going note how despite this being a Global Wars tour, there's been a pretty meager NJPW presence. I'm not counting Juice because he's stylistically American. Other than Kushida, the LIJ guys have not really done anything to blow my socks off. If I was a younger fan, it'd be cool just to see them but in my heart, I'd be disappointed. Kinda like Kenta vs Misawa in ROH in 2008. It was cool and historical but not the all time classic we wanted. Well here ROH isn't even giving us fans the opportunity for top shelf performances. You stick main eventers in the mid card or below the top couple matches then I'll have to ask "why bother bringing them over?" It draws I guess but it doesn't seem to be productive long term. But heck I'm talk about stuff 3years ago! Next match! Matt Taven vs Christopher Daniels - Good match with few surprises though. I'm not complaining because its doing its job & I like both guys. But its wrecked by more interference leading to the finish. Is this fucking WCW? Jay Briscoe/Mark Briscoe vs EVIL/SANADA - Best Bout so far. Mark and Jay just beat Sanada like its Japan. Sanada and EVIL get steamed and man we get a very very good match. Its what you want and kicks into high gear but damn! We get another cheap finish. Come on! Can't they get a clean finish booked? Heck don't do 2 in a row at least...I wouldn't have minded this one if they didn't do something cheap right before this one. Everything that came before was really good stuff though so I still liked this overall. Jonathan Gresham vs Flip Gordon - I wish they would have given this at least 2-3 more minutes. It was over before it had a chance to get into high gear. Nonetheless, this technically was the best match this far. Flip hurt his leg and Gresham went after it in some very clever and punishing ways. Flip, to his credit, sold it quite well. I mean actually the best selling we've seen all tour sans Sabin vs Lethal last show. He hesitated on his movements, collapsed when he could have capitalized, and carried it through to the finish. Had this been a little longer, this would have been a great contest. Instead, they had to rush the finishing portion and wrap it up just too soon. ----- Frankie Kazarian/Scorpio Sky vs Super Smash Bros - ROH Tag Title Match - Yeah boy! This is what I'm talking! 12-13 minutes of straight bananas junior tag action. It was exactly what the show needed at just the right time. You could say that it was foolish to make this a title match since it telegraphs the outcome. But having the Smash Bros on here vs Kaz & Scorpio is all that matters. Great match, a blast! Trent Beretta vs Juice Robinson - This was supposed to be Trent vs Cody but the American Nightmare is injured. So they booked this instead. Seeing as both are NJ guys moreso than ROH, they fought this like a NJ match. Juice damn near died on a missed cannonball/rolling senton into and over the guardrail. You know the fans have changed because no one was chanting 'holy shit! Holy Shit!'. If there was a time to chant it, this was the time! From there they told the story of Juice hurting his back and Trent hurting his ribs. They weren't going to live and die on this story but it gave the middle of the bout substance. It was a means to explain why they were laboring to get to their feet and pull off their moves. I prefer this to plain old ' we're tired' or 'we're loopy'. The whole thing was excellent and really made me want to see more of Trent & Juice. They did exactly what the Global Wars tour is meant to do. Expose folks to new/different guys and make ROH seem like the place to watch. Near classic match, like ****1/4+ type stuff. Almost 20 minutes 'vintage' ROH action. The last three fights actually resemble Ring of Honor of old. ----- Chris Sabin/Kushida vs Young Bucks - Another great tag match. I think having this after the Smash Bros one may have hurt it some. I waited a day to watch this but felt it didn't rock my world like that one did. Also seeing a few Young Bucks shows the past week or two diminished the pizzazz if their spots. They are less spontaneous than they seem after you've seen them a few times but n close proximity.That's one of my biggest issues with them. That all said, this is an all over the place crazy sequence heavy match. I am a fan of Superkicks as they add a bit of ferocity to what sometimes appears to be a gymnastics or acrobatics routine. All 4 guys did an excellent job pulling that off though. I wish we got to see more Kushida on his own in the Global Wars tour. Since these matches have all been free for alls, I didn't feel like I got to see what he was all about. Nonetheless, he's a talent and if I were younger, this match would have been mind blowing along with the SCU/Smash match. Jay Lethal vs Kenny King - ROH World Title Match - I remember really digging Kenny King's push back in 2018. I would catch ROH TV here and there. His hunt for Lethal was engaging so I am psyched to see this match. Even more so after watching him develop in FIP this past viewing year. He is a talent so to now see him with a larger frame and a killer instinct, he seems ready to take it to champ Jay Lethal. Jay Lethal 2018-present has been one of the best at making everything he's in seem important. So although the Toronto fans may not have had the energy for this, it was a helluva title fight between two rivals. 20+ minutes of intense and exciting wrestling. I wouldn't say it is perfect but it is a fantastic main event and end to the Global Wars tour. A classic match to me. ----- This without a doubt is the best show of the tour and although the Global Wars title might not be accurate, it still was high quality modern wrestling. This show is packaged with the Lowell, Lewiston, and Buffalo shows. It runs for $10.00-2.50 (the lowest was a black Friday deal) but even if you spent the $10 it would be worth it. A word to the wise ROH's S&H is kinda high so plan on getting a couple things to offset the cost. But yeah, a fantastic show in Toronto and a smattering of very good to great stuff across the other 3 dvds...including the excellent Sabin vs Lethal match in Buffalo ...this is a no brainer. Thanks for reading! Hoping to take a rest for the next few days. Then I'll post my year end Best Match Watched list and any superlatives I want to mention. Stay safe folks
  4. I got the 4 disc set from ROH last year on a season sale and shoot might as well check it out. I always wanna watch stuff in chronological order but I got to give that up or I'll never watch everything. This set is $5 for 4 discs. This is disc one...just want to keep it simple. Eli Isom vs Flip Gordon - I skipped this...great start, right? I got too much to watch to spend time with this. Frankie Kazarian/Scorpio Sky vs The Bouncers - The start of my show and this was the way to do it. Speed vs power and vets vs younger guys...yeah this was very enjoyable. Was it the best use of Kaz & Scorp? No but, it was fun. Jeff Cobb vs Cheeseburger - I can justify The Bouncers but I really can't justify Cheeseburger. Skipped...terrible use of Jeff Cobb here. Matt Taven/Vinny Marseglia/TK O'Ryan vs Dalton Castle/The Boys - ROH Six-Man Tag Title Match - This was a really fun comedy match with some very good moments of wrestling. If you're feeling a PWG 6 man this will do the trick. Jay Briscoe/Mark Briscoe vs Cody/Adam Page - I'm watching these like ROH TV shows where they squeeze 3 matches in an hour. This is my main event for the "episode." And wow! This was a very good match. I'm not a Cody fan but he works really well in tag matches since his weaknesses are well concealed. The Briscoes are the tops and were working on making this a great **** level bout. Page was definitely game for that. Christopher Daniels vs Juice Robinson - This was disappointing but it did confirm my practice of treating every 3 matches like a TV episode. This then was fine for a TV opener. On to the next match! Bully Ray/Silas Young vs Young Bucks- I can understand that people don't want to see Ray in ROH. But this is more TNA then ROH in 2018 and they can really use a guy who can draw some heat...even cheap heat. There's no real faces or heels in the company here. He and Silas actually feel like actual heels and they are in their with the biggest faces of the company (tweener faces I guess??). The biggest stars of the company at least. So they work a real simple face/heel match. Bubba...or Bully bumps for the Bucks, Silas is the athletic heel and the Jackson boys do their stuff. This was a great match. People will disagree but the heel stuff made the Bucks' moves mean something. Jay Lethal/Jonathan Gresham/Chris Sabin/Kushida vs Tetsuya Naito/EVIL/SANADA/BUSHI - Big names and the main event to this episode and DVD! And you know that it came through! It wasn't as good as the previous match but once it picked up it gave you all the action you wanted to see from the guys. I'm not seeing the NJ guys as much as I used to (fine by me) but this is a nice way for someone only seeing NJPW in ROH to get a taste. Like TNA doing their Global X matches, its a really good 15 minute action match that is fast and exciting without killing anyone. That being said, this didn't have a lot of personality from LIJ besides EVIL. Lethal's team was fun as heck though! This was a really good DVD. I'd totally say this by itself is worth the $5. There's no classic encounter and only one great **** match this was so easy and fun to watch. Thanks for reading!
  5. Best things from recent AEW is: Andrade - I wish he would do that promo where he told his manager " I am the boss." With his accent it gives me Narcos vibes. Darby - of course. Brit Baker - her confidence keeps growing. Reba is hilarious and Hayter my girl. Sabrina Deeb - best in ring talent, she needs to be making the big bucks to help train the current roster. Nick Jackson's new found confidence - I love the macho man strut. Never gets old. Dan Lambert- he gets it. I was big LAX fan so I still love Santana & Ortiz but they have not shined recently The acclaimed are great. Max has charisma and Bowens can work. Worst things and or most overrated: MJF - ok get heat, but nobody ever gets revenge. He's just an entitled chubby rich kid. His promos are waaay Overrated. Maybe the wrestling writers have something in common with him and can relate. And I get that. But he had 1 match that I enjoyed. The match vs. Sammy Guevara. His in-ring is mid. His promos are just him putting himself over which only works when u have years of talent to stand on. FTR & Wardlow are better without him. The heat he gets is Eva Marie heat. Dark order - I don't get it now that Huber is gone. RIP. Just bunch of nerds. I had hoped it was going somewhere, but now I wish they would keep it on Dark or BTE. Maybe #10 I think might have talent. Tony Khan needs to dump some of these bums. Anna and the Brazilian broad can get over without these jobronis. Nila rose - I just don't think she fits with this group of women. Maybe she can take Nia jaxx spot in WWE. To end on a good note, I forgot to mention Pentagon and Fenix. They were mega over at the couple shows I went to in Milwaukee and Chicago. The reason I might sound harsh on Dark order, is because when the show isţ not cool anymore, the ratings will tank. I loved nWo and went to Nitro because I thought Scott Hall and Hollywood Hogan were so bad ass and cool. But when they weren't on TV anymore, it was just wrestling. I know some ppl like just wrestling, but I love promos, because look what promos did for Austin and the Rock. They still are funny as heck. Inner Circle is 1st thing that grabbed me in the beginning, but the promos are getting cringey. Darby, Sammy, and Omega should talk little less because they are over, and some of their promos hurt them. This is just short list, of course Danielson is amazing. And mox and miro are proven.
  6. Here we are at Part #2 of my non-comprehensive and completely based around my cheapness look at AJPW 2012. I have this and the 03/04/12 showon a AJPW comp type DVD. I think there's two more shows after that. Let's see how things go! Mutoh/Akebono/Ryota Hama vs Daisuke Sekimoto/Yuji Okabayashi/Yoshito Sasaki - This was a fine example of Korakuen hall 6 man magic. Mutoh and his team's limitations were hidden because no one was in there long enough to be offensive. Also the BJW team (who are some of my faves) have a simple hard hitting style that works well against the giants Akebono and Hama. Mutoh was relatively untouchable and did his trademark moves but - its fun to still see him out there! It was generally a predictable match with the fat guy spots, fighting spirit toughness and the aforementioned Muto spots but it was a ton of fun! Masa Fuchi/Hikaru Sato -vs- Hiroshi Yamato/Yasufumi Nakanoue - This was about 7 minute and had some good stuff but was too short to rate. Kenny Omega -vs- Kaz Hayashi. *All Japan Jr. Title - Overall, I think Kenny Omega is OK. Kinda like how I really like pancakes and french toast but waffles are OK if the other two aren't available. I wanted to say that first and foremost because I think his weird antics and attempts to get heat didn't help this match. The start of the match was a really exciting sequence followed by a spectacular moonsault off of some tables set atop the K-Hall stage. It was something special. After that his control section, which took up the middle of the match, were a series of tepid Muto spots where he was looking for cheap heat from the AJPW crowd. I don't think most people care because in 2012 who the hell was Kenny Omega to the AJPW crowd? It would be different if Muto was at ringside with Kaz. It really just looked bush-league. As the match kicked into high gear, Omega was performing at the level we would see in NJPW. In fact he out performed the veteran Hiyashi who threw some of the worst punches in the strike exchange. Omega was throwing stiff chops but Kaz wouldn't take the bait and dragged this potentially exciting moment down. The finish was pretty darn good but overall this title fight was disappointing. I guess my hopes were for a **** great match. There were glimmers of greatness but in the end this was just a good match with flaws. Jun Akiyama -vs- Takao Omori *Triple Crown* - This is not a mid 1990s Triple Crown defense obviously. But they were able to take this back to the late 80's -'92 era of Triple Crown matches. It was not tremendously spectacular but it was fought with ferocity and guts. And a bit of wits too. What interested me in this period of AJ was Akiyama's return but also in his stylistic choice to go back to the old days of AJ by focusing on smart hard hitting physical matches without the head drops or flash. This was a fantastic example of that as the body of the match focussed on his attempt to weaken Omori's Ax Bomber lariat arm. Omori then trying to fight despite that weakness and then realizing he can't get the win without it. This was a great match between two vets of the golden 90's going out there and showing folks (and probably Kenny Omega) how its done. Solid **** match right here. ---- Overall, this was a pretty good night of wrestling. Nothing that's must-see but I'm sure the Akiyama vs Omori is something that an old fan of AJPW would enjoy. I would recommend that for sure. the BJW 6 man match is also very fun. Again, the Kaz vs Kenny bout had some high points but is more about it being two guys letting me down. But I wouldn't dissuade anyone from watching it ...I still think its got more positive points than negative. Thanks for reading! Stay safe folks!
  7. Generally speaking, I live in a cave with my head under a rock when it comes to contemporary wrestling. I poked it out a little bit last year to see the empty seats of Smackdown for historical purposes. When the Wonder Wall was debuted, I lasted 15 minutes before I became dizzy. I took a small trip away from the cave to see Ring of Honor attempt to return to form with their Pure Title tournament. I thought it was fantastic but they squandered or scared away whatever interest that drummed up. Now with CM Punk (and perhaps Bryan Danielson) in All Elite Wrestling, I am compelled to lift the stone from my head and check it out. So I watched his return promo in Chicago and man! that's entertaining! He's still got it. I'm not going to watch anything else on purpose mind you but I wanted to see that. You know...for historical purposes. I liked Punk's speech because he explained his comments regarding wrestling when he was doing MMA/UFC. He acknowledged his time in ROH and made the distinction between that wrestling and what he was doing for almost a decade in WWE. I was confused by a few (hundred) fans booing ROH in a past life. I'd be less confused if they booed ROH in their present form. Who boos a mention of ROH from 2002-2005? Are these folks completely ignorant of the giant influence the company had on both CM Punk and the current American pro wrestling landscape? That's an aside though.What I thought of after a couple days after is more interesting than the excitement of CM Punk back in a ring. Or more interesting on the historically ignorant fans. What really stuck with me is that Punk's history is kind of not true. Now I know it may have been kayfabe but Mr. Brooks, Phil if you will, has a tendency to blur the lines between a work and a shoot when on the mic. So we can say some of this was true for Punk & Phil. But I don't think any of it was any form of an objective truth. Chick Magnet Punk says that things had run their course in ROH and then went to WWE where he didn't wrestle for almost a decade. Now that's not true because no one wrestled in ROH either. I'll defend WWE's " sports entertainment " ideology in so much that what they do isn't wrestling. Pro wrestling is more dramatized combat with melodrama than wrestling like you'd see in high school, college, the Olympics etc. That's a sport. But frankly, I could say all professional sports aren't sports either but are this sports entertainment since no one's playing in an empty gym (until last year) and people are being entertained either through TV, videos, clothing, games. There isn't intentional and planned melodrama (although it happens organically). It lacks nuance for Punk to say he left wrestling in 2005 and came back now in AEW. It is kinda not true. I've watched his stuff in ROH (as we'll see below) and all in all it wasn't that different from what he was doing in WWE. Punk never mentions UFC. I wouldn't either. What he left in 2005 was the freedom and identity that ROH and the Indy scene afforded him. He could be himself. Brooks left a community that embraced him for an opportunity to make a living and potentially make a fortune. I don't think he anticipated what it would cost. I don't think he knew it would cost him friends and fans and would embarrass himself in the process...I recall him saying if UFC had been around when he was younger he would have gone into that instead of wrestling. Man, you ever hear of karate or judo? That wasn't true when he said it. And I don't think anything he said the other night is true either. This is why I stay in my cave and keep my head beneath a boulder. He's not the same person. I just know too much about Phil Brooks to really believe CM Punk anymore. But maybe that's the state of contemporary wrestling in general? I just know too much to really believe any of it. That's all a lead in to some reviews of when Brooks or perhaps Punk was a wrestler before not being a wrestler (never was a wrestler) and becoming a sports entertainer (always was a sports entertainer) and then a mixed martial artist (a sports entertainer but STILL not a wrestler believe it or not!) and a wrestler again (still not a wrestler). vs Raven (Death Before Dishonor 2003) : This was a dog collar match and I believe the consensus is that this is their best bout. I don't know since its all I got to watch but this is very much a Raven match. If you like his style and character (which I do) then this is something that you want to watch. Its a bit on the loner side but it pretty simple in terms of execution and scope. Its violent like it needed to be. Its got some stuff ECW fans would like too...remember this is only a couple years after they closed so that wasn't as odd as you might think. Great match vs AJ Styles (Tradition Continues 2003) : This is almost a 180 from the Raven ECW style match. Instead we see Punk stay in step with the Phenomenal One. It was full of fantastic counters and reversals. The human game of chess cliche is going to be applied to this match because I'm not always very good at describing what make a good match so very good. I think something I appreciate on this viewing is the teasers they chose to do. It just felt organic and competitive and dammit I'm a fan of that. I'm going to say this is a classic match. If you're keeping track, I wouldn't put it in the top tier but its certainly overlooked because it takes place in 2003 which probably doesn't get much love. And if anyone wants to sample 2003/Year 2 ROH they'll usually go to matches of AJ, Danielson and London putting on masterpieces. But in 2021, do people even do that anymore? Other than me? W/Ace Steel (Second City Saints) vs Dan Maff & BJ Whitmer (The Prophecy) (Death Before Dishonor II 2004) : Second City Saints was an awesome name. BJ Whitmer lousy name. Here's my BJ Whitmer rant: I can't believe that he/they wanted to keep a name with a double entendre in it and not have it purposely imply that 2nd meaning. Case in point D.P. Associates in FIP was a purposeful double entendre for the sake of a bunch of 20 year old guys having a laugh. BJ Whitmer never struck me as the type of talent that had a sense of humor about his in-ring persona. That aside, this was a bananas garbage wrestling spot mtach. This was your typical overkill wrestling to show how tough you were. As a match, it stunk BUT as a violent spot driven spectacular, it was great Its a few years ahead of its time but does bite off more than it needed to in order to get the same message across. vs Jimmy Rave (Manhattan Mayhem 2005) : Here we see Punk's (Phil's) version of the dog collar match. And you know its not bad at all. Its decidedly more move oriented but with Punk and Rave in there I did not mind. Rave is such a great opponent for Punk because he can stooge when he needs to, he can get nasty when he needs to, and he can do moves when he needs to. Frankly he's much like Punk in that regard. We get a good deal of blood from Punk and we get the Embassy interfering. Its quite great to be honest. I've not seen this before but I have seen their cage match and man this was a great (probably forgotten) feud. So there you have it. A few matches from CM Punk's time wrestling/sports entertaining in ROH. As you have already figured out, I picked some unsung ones for 2021. They aren't the Joe matches or Summer of Punk ones. 3 of the 4 are quite like stuff you could see in WWE actually. Again, either he never was a "wrestler" or he never left wrestling when going to the WWE. All semantic games aside- He should have been honest in saying he made a mistake in leaving pro wrestling and its fans when going to the UFC. And if he (Phil is Punk at this stage in his career) should have said thanks for welcoming him back despite his mistakes. In my opinion, CM Punk is the best all around pro wrestler of the last 20 years. His return to the square circle is huge and his promo was exhilarating. He will do great business for AEW. However, I think his cleverness in dissing WWE hides the real hurt of his MMA phase. As great as I know him to be, I just can't trust CM Punk anymore. I have to forgive him first. I'm probably making a mountain out of a molehill. I'll be back in my cave. Thanks for reading!
  8. The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson) defend the AEW World Tag Team Titles. There's a great feeling of excitement and energy from this match which elevates everything. The crowd are really into Mox & Kingston's entrance singing along to "Wild Thing" and the match starts hot with them going straight for the Bucks and we get a big brawl on the outside. This is all very well done and I really enjoyed the first 10 minutes of this match. The big problem though is the inconsistency with how the referee enforces the rules in the first half of the match, only to completely drop it in the second half where the Young Bucks are just happily double teaming Moxley for literally minutes at a time without the ref doing anything about it and Kingston just stands on the apron. AEW would really be a lot better if they just officially announced that Tag Title matches are fought under tornado tag rules or something and quit enforcing tags at all. At least while the Bucks have them. Or do an angle that the Bucks are bribing referees or something, I dunno. Just make it make sense. ***1/2
  9. Coffey

    AEW Status/Progress Report

    All Elite Wrestling has been around for a bit under two years at this point. Contrary to what you'll read on other corners of the internet, such as Wreddit, or Twitter, it's not an AEW Vs. WWE (or NXT) battle - however, that is not to say that some of the positive/negative talking points about AEW do not have any merit. So, now that AEW has Dynamite, along with the new Friday night show & two YouTube shows in Dark & Elevation, I thought maybe we could discuss some of the often brought up talking points about AEW, the direction of the company & areas you may be concerned about, if any at all. Regardless of if you're a viewer that never misses Dynamite, only watch it every so often or checked it out once or twice & decided it wasn't for you. I'm curious what your turn offs & ons about it are. How do you feel about the commentary in AEW? Jim Ross & Excalibur specifically. How do you feel about the ring style or the look of the show/arena? What are your thoughts about the talent that AEW has been bringing in like Jake Hager, Shawn Spears or more recently, Mark Henry & Paul Wight? Do you think that AEW relies too heavily on comedy? What about their abundance of factions/stables? Managers/Valets? How do you feel about the decisions Tony Khan has taken, or how Dave Meltzer seems to give AEW the constant benefit of the doubt where as Jim Cornette will barely acknowledge when something is good? Are AEW presenting the women well? How about the tag team division? Is AEW relying too much on gimmick/stipulation matches? Most importantly, what do you think the greatest positive about current AEW is & what do you think is their biggest hindrance at this point in time? I wanted to get some conversation going outside of the AEW megathread to maybe just discuss what we like & what we're concerned about going forward.
  10. I thought this was an OK TV main event. Darby is one of the craziest guys currently active in wrestling and he's made a name for himself as a bump freak. His offense is pretty neat as it's just him flinging his body at his opponent recklessly. As expected, he takes some ridiculous bumps here, but I would have cut out the powerbomb on the ramp late in the match especially after he got press slammed from inside the ring to a table that was several feet from the ring apron. I dug Darby using his belt to tie up Cage's feet but I could have done without the turnbuckle kickout climb spot which was hokey and the Sting appearance (but I get understand why they did it).
  11. So AEW did their barbwire explosion match and it was a bust. I kinda saw that one coming. If you've seen any recent Onita explosion stuff its not really the same quality of boom-boom explosions from the 90's. Its more sparkles on speed than scary !BANG! type stuff. I also heard that they didn't time the match properly and the had to stall for 4 minutes for the finale. That sounds worse than the big explosion not working. But for real...it was not going to be early 90's FMW explosion stuff...people had to know that in 2021. Those ones looked damn near illegal...even for Japan. That's my G. Badger hot take that no one asked for Anyhow lets get on to the Frontier Martial Arts wrestling! We go to May of 1998. Jado & Gedo vs Hayabusa & Masato Tanaka (05/05): This was the match you expected from all four guys. It was all action with Gedo & Jado being the heels to the max and our heros have to overcome their cheating ways. It feature a bunch of great exchanges and really would be on my Top 100 FMW list. It was a ton of fun. A great match to me! Masato Tanaka vs Hayabusa (05/19): Bahu's top singles match of FMW so I had high expectations. But man, I was disappointed. It was not as good as their 03/13 classic. It wanted to be consciously epic by having a load of false finishes but, it just does not work in 2021. I don't think it works in 1998 to be honest because the lay out was all wrong. It starts with a wonderful opening exchange then gets to the wrestling to injure a limb type stuff but, that goes nowhere because it leads right to the false finish portion. This is the MIDDLE of the match mind you because then we get to the strike exchange and 2-3 move sequences. These things are the logical escalation when mat wrestling/joint locks aren't working. A guy gets angry and starts throwing bones. The short sequences work because they have enough energy/stamina to still counter/parry/reverse. This does NOT make sense after getting dropped on your head a half doesn't times. Maybe one or two strike exchanges that are out of desperation OR going for a knockout blow. But that should be the finish. Even if they kept the layout, it could have been shaved down to 20 minutes (five minutes from the middle) and it would have been very good to great. It was good on the things mentioned above and maybe you would like it more than me so, I can't trash it. But, their match from earlier in the year is the classic to me. Hayabusa/Tanaka vs W*ing Kanemura & Kodo Fuyuki (05/27): Thank goodness another great all action tag match with a tried and true structure to cleanse my palette. This is sort of the big stakes version of the Jado & Gedo match. It was a near classic to me as FMW seemed to have their tag matches down like 88-90 AJPW...I would give Fuyuki some credit there as he was right in the thick of many of those bouts. Ricky Fuji vs Gedo (05/27): Another face/heel match but, this was not as crazy or anything. Fuji is a midcard star so this pretty much what you get. Tetushiro Kuroda vs Masato Tanaka (06/19): This was like 95-96 Kobashi vs Misawa in that it pits lariat against elbow. Plus they laid a good foundation with arm work then escalated in the fast paced action with counters, reversals, and improvisations. Although Kuroda & Tanaka have about the same experience, Kuroda is the up and comer at this point so, again the Kobashi/Misawa analogy works to some extent. That being said, these two's chemistry is just as good as Hayabusa/Tanaka IMO. This was Classic stuff. Hayabusa, Daisuke Ikeda, H. Oya & Ricky Fuji vs Fuyuki, Nakagawa, Kanemura & Gedo (06/19): Multi-man matches are usually pretty good and this is no different. At the very least, you get a little bit of everything here and that's pretty much the best way I can sum up this bout. It went on after the above singles match since it was Team No Respect vs Team FMW. Tetsuhiro Kuroda vs Hideki Hosaka (07/10): Dull-ish start as Hosaka wanted to work the arm and Kuroda wasn't having that. After that though things got entertaining and they traded moves and it was good opening match and was only 10 minutes. W*ing Kanemura vs The Gladiator (Mike Awesome) (07/10): Of all of the matches I've seen so far, this one is most like a "FMW match." It is very reliant upon the table & chair spots and other highspots as opposed to the more NJ Jrs./AJPW athletic matches we've seen. As a Mike Awesome fan, I'm going to say this is because of Mike Awesome (RIP). This is what he does and this is what you're getting in a bout with him especially a singles bout with a bigger name opponent like W*ING. His 6 man and tag matches are more dynamic and brawling but, in these big encounters you'd better believe his opponent is getting bombed through a table to the floor. That all said, this is no problem to me! I'm game for all types of wrestling and if you're going to do that kind of match then these two are some of the best at this time. Pretty good match and much better than their 12/11/96 match IMO. Hayabusa, Daisuke Ikeda, H. Oya & Ricky Fuji vs Fuyuki, Nakagawa, Jado & Gedo (Elimination Match) (07/10): This was the fancier and longer verion of the 06/19 match. It was a good match but honestly nothing tremendously distinguishable from that match. I didn't keep notes on this one so, that perhaps is my fault for having these blur together. I tend to enjoy elimination bouts so, I would say check it out. Its not some 80's NJPW level stuff but, its fun and now that I remember it - it has a surprising finish. This was not a mind meltingly awesome of an installment as FMW '98 #1 but, if you're a Masato Tanaka fan then, you really ought to check the matches out. The two great tag matches with Hayabusa and the classic with Kuroda are totally worth your time. Then you have an old school spot match with Kanemura & Awesome that will still impress you. Search Bahu FMW and you will find a wealth of FMW stuff online. Thanks for reading! Sorry for any delay too - I've been watching odds &ends stuff and pulled my old copy of Fire Pro Returns out. I've been messing around with playing my edits of FMW and BJW guys Keep staying safe!
  12. I'm literally headed out the door right now, so I'll write more later. But, the short of it is that this is easily the best match I've seen all year!
  13. G. Badger

    Zine Review!? - Wrestle Void

    I need some kind of format or guide to help me talk about this 'zine 'Wrestle Void.' A blog is in the same vein as a 'zine, right? Its me talking about things I find interesting. What interests me with Wrestle Void? So, I suppose that's my hook with this little publication, right?! Let us begin... This is a really fun rag to read -Straight and simple! The letters from the editors/co-founders at the start of each issue are a reminder that we as fans are real people. Gravy's letters especially drive this point home. Wrestling fandom is something we participate in to escape life sometimes but, it is something we use to deal with life as well. In other words, we use pro wrestling as a diversion but, use it as a tool to cope and combat hardships. The performances in and outside the ring are fun but, provide many of us an example of how to deal with loss, how to persevere, how to recognize and overcome our weaknesses, etc. If this wasn't true, the stories of matches and angles would not resonate with us. In additional to these letters or prefaces to the zine are other testimonials by contributors on what wrestling means to them. Many of these deal with the authors coming to terms with their love of wrestling as the enter the adulthood. I find it refreshing to read how others are dealing with this. I really enjoyed Marj's take on how she thought she'd "grow out of it." I'm sure most of us had thought that at one point or another, right? Then, there is usually a local Cleveland scene piece. This is AIW (which I'm pissed that I haven't been to) and has featured Magnum CK Parsons and PB Smooth. I've never heard of either guy until reading but, damn I feel like I'm missing out. I think this local focus is something special and hope they keep this as a featured part of their publication. Next, there is a what I'll call general wrestling talk. Meat and potato opinions/review stuff that we know and love: top 25 wrestlers of 2018, BJW show review and a take on the All-In event. Co-Editor/Creator El Jordano Diablo handles this duty quite well with help from contributors. Issue #3 features more humorous stuff like 'The Struggle of a Fat Fan" by Rev. Jess Smith and Hobo Chef's (Gravy's) Wrestlemania watch party menu - "served with a side of Adam Coleslaw - Baybay!":D The humorous bits in issue #3 are really something I hope they continue! Finally, near and dear to my heart, there is the art! Awesome drawings and collages are there to keep the eye moving from one article to the next but, also to remind you that this pamphlet is a work of love. For instance, Issue #2's centerfold of Marj's "Fight Like a Girl" piece features a simple slightly anime inspired 'poster' of the WWE's modern era of great women wrestlers. I was psyched see Bull Nakano on there! Hells yeah I think graphic art is the one thing that sets an actual publication apart from online content. This is from someone who had a zine all through college and is doing this blog (duh). As an artist, I would love to be able to put all of my wacky ass wrestling drawings up here but, the medium doesn't allow for it in a palpable way. So, kudos to them for doing it right! All that being said, I cannot say that I have the same views, opinions, and taste in wrestling. Wrestle Void does NOT match my viewing habits nor opinion of contemporary pro-wrestling. Nevertheless, I endorse and support their growth! This is a substantive small press publication that promotes the love of pro wrestling. These men and women want to get folks excited about wrestling. Not only that, they want to turn folks on to the awesomeness that is non WWE wrestling (sports entertainment?) whether it be independent or international. I gotta support that shit! I hope you do too! Note: I reviewed issues # 2-4. Looks like 50 copies total per printing/issue. Nice color stock paper cover with art, B&W interior. Costs a few bucks but, how much do you spend on coffee or beer a week? All of the folks contact and social media stuff is in the mag but, I'll say for FB and Twitter look 'em up with @wrestlevoid Thanks for reading!
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