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Found 212 results

  1. I have never heard anyone talk about this match, but goddamn it's absolutely amazing. The early stages see Danielson annoy Walter greatly; he pretty much outclasses him in their grappling exchanges, but he does it while talking shit & delivering some cheapshots to the big lad. Walter gets more & more pissed, but as he starts to get some offense going, Danielson attacks his knee. He targets it like an assassin throughout the match - all the while talking shit & breaking rules, too. Walter gets some brief comebacks as the match goes - even unleashing some of those brutal chops he is now famous for, but ultimately Danielson's in ring generalship is too much; he just cuts off every comeback Walter gets very quickly. Amazing stuff. Terrific psychology & an absolutely great performance by Dragon. Kind of a gem, because as I said, I've never heard ANYONE talk about it. ****1/2
  2. This is an odd one. Likewise CM Punk and Living Colour, Bryan coming out to the remix of Walkyries makes him stand out so much, whereas Barrett & Rhodes, already looking cookie cutter, have those awful generic, same sounding metal stuff. The WWE really lost the plot with music themes in the 00's. Apparently, this is all about Big Show (who looks great) vs Bryan. So, Wade starting gets no reaction at all, although his work actually looks solid as all hell. So they have a match with Show, which could be a TV match for all it matters. Solid, looks good, but no heat. To insure even less heat, let's get Cody Rhodes in the mix. He's like a Stromtrooper : he's bland, doesn't do anything memorable and has no chance of winning. You can hear the "boring" chants. Santino. Wow. No idea why this guy is in this match but he's crazy over. He does a few things then gets beat up. Show vs Wade vs Rhodes keeps on being solidly boring, the crowd soon dies again when Santino isn't involved. Somewhere there's a terrific spot with the two faceless guys suplexing Big Show on the steel, which is an insane spot for Show to take with his weight. Great Khali. He looks even worse than before. Can't even walk right. Throws three awful Baba chops then Big Show (who's moving like a cat, a big cat but a cat nonetheless) spears him. Out. Well, that was worth the time, really… Shows turns to Brian's pod and the people chant for Santino. Well, this match isn't working. Then there's a really odd spot with Show actually breaking the chain links on top of the pod to get in. Well, Brian was due out in a minute or two, why even bother ? Show dropping himself inside the pod gets a huge pop, but then it opens and Show beats on Bryan a bit. Token "throw guys through the plastic" spot. And then the ending stretch actually gets really good, Wade & Rhodes take out the Big Show, Santino rolls Cody into a surprise pin. Wade proceeds to have a very good match with Daniel Bryan until he gets eliminated. Wade isn't over, but his work really was crisp, well timed, good bumps, yeah, he's the Jericho-Arn of the match. Whatever happened with this guy ? So, there's no way Santino is winning, right ? Well, the crowd still goes insane, like batshit insane for this comedy guy. Bryan does a hell of a job making them think he's actually got a chance. The excepted ending finally happens, but they have managed to turn a completely heatless match to an absolute frenzy, with the guy who has the less chance of winning ever (if you don't count R-Truth). That has to be considered great work. Post match with Sheamus attacking heel Brian was stupid though. Was he supposed to be a babyface doing shit like this ? Plus he was not over one bit… They really wanted this guy to be something special, which he never was. Overall, it's hard to really rate as for most of the match it was completely heatless and went nowhere, despite Wade & Show really looking good, then got into a legit great final against all odds. You can argue Show was the MVP as he was the only person of interest during the entire first phase, but in reality Bryan truly was as he made the last segment work great and took the most spectacular bumps too. Khali got the Kane spot and sucked like nobody's business in it. Overall, I'd say very good I guess, but it's the tale of two matches, really.
  3. I took a small break from my New Japan 1988 project to cherry pick a few Golden Era Ring of Honor matches that I had been wanting to see. The theme I guess would be Samoa Joe and Bryan Danielson but, KENTA is in two of the three matches. So its really Joe, Danielson plus KENTA matches that I wanted to see AND are free on ROH's Youtube channel. I've had these bookmarked for months and been waiting to see for more than a decade. There's no time like the present to check these out! Samoa Joe vs Bryan Danielson (ROH Title, Midnight Express Reunion 2004): I've seen their 2003 match and heard that this was their best. It is considered a classic and in 2004 with the storyline of Joe post Punk encounter #1, I can see giving it that status. I'm not going to take that away in honesty because, I'm sure there are wrinkles that I've missed in 2020. That being said, I thought as a stand alone title fight this was very good (and perhaps great). I think the story was Dragon trying to force Joe to go long (like Punk had) but, also try to systematically dismantle the champ. That and Danielson post NJPW tour could hit with the hardest so, Joe didn't stand a chance. However, the Samoan Submission machine was in Terminator mode not only eating what Danielson was throwing but, dishing out some sickening blows himself and possession "the choke" or Coquina Clutch as TNA would brand it, I've read comparisons to 90's AJPW and I can see that as there were few slams and suplexes compared to strikes and submissions. Where this differs is the organization department. Most notably Joe's need to fit in the Ole kicks 2/3rds of the way in. This is the point where my excitement went off track. Each guy was desperate to close the fight and now Joe finds it necessary to do his showboat/insult move? He should have just faked it out and just chest kicked Danielson or something more visceral. And that's the thing... the match was at a gut level violent...like Tsuruta vs Tenryu then, Joe (and I don't really blame him in '04) inserts an Indy fan service move. A bit of wind went out of my sails. My other quibble is Danielson's attack psychology. The awful 2004 announcers (whom I muted on the 2nd watch) even acknowledge the change in gameplan. This is so heavy handed on their part frankly...they're explaining rather than letting the wrestler do so with their actions. Anyhow, I would have preferred a Liger-like focus from Bryan on Joe's leg or neck early on then settle into the middle of the match only to call-back to that to set up the ending portion...even if it would not lead to the finish. Instead, it doesn't seem like he can commit to a single plan of focus and neither can Joe from a selling standpoint. So, the story of the challenger doesn't come across as strongly as it should have, Those things would have made this an all time classic in my eyes...I think this was the time where Gabe S. was really pushing the long matches = great match ideology for ROH. The above flaws would have been less bothersome if this was 5 -10 minutes shorter. Not that it NEEDED to be but, they story would have been tighter and the earlier portion would have look less like time-filler. Nevertheless, I watched the damn thing twice in two days and enjoyed it both times so, I gotta recommend watching this. Samoa Joe vs KENTA vs Bryan Danielson (In Your Face 2006): This is another match that I'd been wanting to see for a decade plus. I'd seen clips from the ROH Live Wire from another DVD and thought this looked awesome but, perhaps too good to be true. I was wrong. This was precisely the match I'd hoped it would be. A high intensity, ultra stiff action packed 3 way match during their peak.Honestly, 2006 was the peak of their peak and this was special. A classic match that doesn't go too long or get too cute. Perhaps an all time classic if I'm going to be honest with myself. The shorter match length (20+ minutes I think) kept everything mean and showing how much Joe & Bryan had improved in just over a year...and ROH for that matter. Naomichi Marufuji & KENTA vs Samoa Joe & Bryan Danielson (Best In the World 2006): I watched this bout right after the above and if you have the luxury, I suggest you do the same. It plays off of (and in real time sets-up) the heat between Joe & KENTA beautifully. Not only that but, we have 4 of the best wrestlers in 2006 facing off and this is probably the closest to a AJPW Big 4 match as ROH did. Some have given this **** but, that's the bare minimum in my view. This match deviated from the balls to the wall fest that many were hoping for and instead provided all kinds of build ups and cool-downs that only master wrestlers can do. And I'm not talking about kickouts but, they achieved this by scaling up the intensity and urgency through body language, speeds, how hard they through their strikes, when they chose to tag, etc. It was a thing of beauty and like all true classics, I could have watched this all night. Even when a error was made, it was forgiven and forgotten as a miss rather than a mistake. If you are a fan of these guys and this style, check this out. You may not think as highly of it as me but, you will have fun. That goes for all of the above! Three remarkable matches available for free on ROH's 'tube page. I'd like to get the DVDs of the ones featuring the NOAH guys since I'm old school but, if not I'm stoked that I saw them. Thanks for reading! We'll get back to NJPW 1988 next week for sure!
  4. This was going pretty good and then this of course being Memphis, had to be overbooked and have ref. bump and interference despite it being about 7 minutes long. Also King pretty much blew away the previous legwork and just stormed through it ignoring it. Despite starting out good, this took a turn for the worse and ended up not being that good. Forgettable.
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