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Found 32 results

  1. ROH Conquest Tour 2015 - Hopkins MN Avari Davari vs Bobby Fish - OK match with some decent psychology and selling. There was bad weather so, I think this match was a little longer than it needed to be for anyone who was running late. Romantic Touch vs Will Ferrara vs Beer City Bruiser vs Cheeseburger - Let's say you hadn't seen ROH since 2009 and then years later, this happened to be the first match you saw. I would not blame you for completely thinking they had ruined Ring of Honor. You've got a comedy character, a big fat guy, and a scrawny guy with a ROH dojo graduate. I skipped this one. Michael Elgin vs Caprice Coleman - The first real match of the night. It would have been much better in the #2 slot but, perhaps they realized that not everyone had shown up and the above 4 man match was to kill more time. This was a fun 3/4th speed match with some nice moves. Adam Page vs ACH - Former teammates square off. Neither guy is an absolute favorite but, both dudes have the potential to deliver a good match. So, I was pleasantly surprised with a very good to a perhaps great match. They kept the flashy flipping to a minimum and threw a load of mean chops, elbows, and lariats. One of ACH's clotheslines looked like he'd been studying AJPW tapes. Folks in attendance booed the finish but, I think it was more out of having fun rather than actual disappointment or anger. Match of the evening thus far. Arik Cannon vs Danny Duggan - The local attraction match that kept the action going. Probably the best I've seen Cannon look and Duggan looks promising especially for ROH at this time. ODB vs Truth Martini - A clear pee break match...I like ODB and am OK with Truth Martini (I never really cared for managers in ROH in general) so, this was fun. The most interesting part is that Corino (on commentary) says the hardest he was ever hit was by Jazz in ECW...and Corino has wrestled Kawada and Hashimoto! Sweet tidbit! Roderick Strong vs Silas Young - This is a good match just on paper. You know they're going to hit hard and keep the pace up so, I was confident this bout would get things back on track. And I was not disappointed. This bout felt like a genuine struggle which is much appreciated in 2019. They had answers for each other's tricks & traps and I think that helped make this a great match. In fact, I wouldn't sneeze at anyone who would rate this **** 1/4. Great finish and MOTN thus far. Briscoes vs War Machine - The tag team equivalent of the above match. Physical and surprisingly quick match. Now its not like the Young Bucks were facing off against Jay & Mark but, War Machine hustled like a couple of Young Vaders. Another great match where **** 1/4 would totally be acceptable. -Main Event- Jay Lethal vs Kyle O'Reilly - A long TV title match that hearkens back to the 2000's ROH style. Unfortunately, it ends right when it starts getting phenomenal. In the olden days, they would have kept going and this would have been a classic title match. Ah well, ROH has a PPV schedule and they work toward those so, I can't bitch too much. What we get is really great and certainly hyped the fans in attendance. Fun segement after the match too...we ALMOST get an impromptu World Title match (again ROH may have done this back in the day and it certainly would have made this part of the show a classic ala PWG Giant Sized Annual #4 Danielson vs Generico). Still, the main event portion made up for the slow start of the show and paid some things off from earlier even if not ideally. Overall, this was a very good B-show with 3-4 great matches. It does start kinda rough but, I really think that's a logistics issue rather than crappy booking or wrestling. Hey, you can always skip them. So, if you just watch ACH vs Page, Roddy vs Silas, the Tag match, and the Main Event - you will have a blast!
  2. Here is my list of the best matches that I watched this year. Again, this isn't a MOTY list but, is more of a year in review for me AND a guide for folks looking for wresting to check out. So first is my January to May list: Inoki/Sakaguchi vs Thesz/Gotch (NJ 1973) Strong BJW vs SUWAMA/T. Soya (AJ 11/26/11) Onita/Tarzan Goto vs M. Kurisu/Dragon Master [Kendo Nagasaki] (FMW 04/01/90) Jun Kasai vs Takeshi Iizuka (TAKA Prod. 01/28/18) Roderick Strong vs Kyle O'Reilly (ROH 02/21/15) Briscoe Bros. vs Mike Bennett/Matt Taven (ROH 02/21/15) Tomasso Ciampa vs Johnny Gargano (NXT: New Orleans) Kurt Angle/Ronda Rousey vs Triple H/Stephanie McMahon (WWE WrestleMania) Shinjiro Otani vs Masato Tanaka (Z-1 07/31/02) Masato Tanaka vs Yuji Nagata (NJ 03/19/11) Chris Hero vs Big Van Walter (wXw 2010 16 Carat Gold Final) Masato Tanaka vs Daisuke Sekimoto (Z-1 08/02/15) Shuji Ishikawa vs SHINGO (AJ 04/29/18) June 1st to Dec 31st Naomichi Marufuji vs Jun Akiyama (AJ 04/25/18 CC) Sakuraba vs Nakamura (NJ 01/04/13 WK7) Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Masato Tanaka (NJ 08/15/09 G1) Nakamura, M. Tanaka, Takahashi & Naito vs H. Tanahashi, Makabe, Nagata & W. Inoue (NJ 12/04/10) KENTA vs Naomichi Marufuji (NOAH 01/22/06) (I left off 10/29/06 because everyone already knows of that) KENTA vs Kenta Kobashi (NOAH 03/05/06) Misawa vs Takeshi Morishima (NOAH 03/05/06) Misawa vs Naomichi Marufuji (NOAH 12/02/06) Choshu, Koshinaka, Hoshino, Sasaki & Kobayashi vs Super Strong Machine, Hamaguchi, Kurisu, Tatsu Goto & Hiro Saito (NJ 06/26/90 2/3 Falls) Hase & Sasaki vs Koshinaka & Iizuka (NJ 12/13/90) BxB Hulk & YAMATO vs Ben-K & Big R Shimuzu (DG 07/22/18) BxB Hulk vs Shingo Takagi (DG 12/28/14) Shingo Takagi vs YAMATO (DG Kobe Wrestle Fest 2016) reDRagon vs The Briscoes (ROH 05/11/13 11th Anniv. Show) Eddie Edwards vs Matt Taven (ROH 06/01/13) Eddie Edwards vs Kyle O'Reilly (ROH 07/12/13) Michael Elgin, Jay Lethal, Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander vs Adam Cole, Matt Taven & reDRagon (ROH 10/26/13 Glory by Honor XII) see: https://forums.prowrestlingonly.com/blogs/entry/693-enter-the-redragon-part-4/ Kevin Steen & the Young Bucks vs Michael Elgin & the Briscoes (ROH 03/07/14 Raising the Bar Nt. 1) * not yet reviewed* There's a month worth of classic wrestling right there. I'm really not sure what the Best Match I watched is...damn. I go through and think of different reasons I like one over another. OR there's some that I cannot recall as clearly as others. A few of these are known as great or classic matches already so, I won't pick those. I mean, hopefully many of these are matches you've only heard a little about...or maybe nothing at all. That's really what I want to do - expose people to different stuff and let them know that there is really awesome wrestling to be found where others may have said it does not exist. So with that I'm going to pick Eddie Edwards vs Kyle O'Reilly (ROH 07/12/13) as the Best Match Watched. Frankly, I'm pretty strong on that point even without those qualifiers. Some may not like it just because of the participants or the company. OK that's fine. Others may see it derivative or formulaic but, I disagree. I feel it builds off of classic styles and encounters while adding its own flair. Plus it tells a great story, is excellently performed, intense as hell, and I just love that finish. It's really quite perfect in my book Recency bias is totally acknowledged. Before I move on, I'm going to hype up Masato Tanaka here Shinjiro Otani vs Masato Tanaka (Z-1 07/31/02), Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Masato Tanaka (NJ 08/15/09 G1), Nakamura, M. Tanaka, Takahashi & Naito vs H. Tanahashi, Makabe, Nagata & W. Inoue (NJ 12/04/10), Masato Tanaka vs Yuji Nagata (NJ 03/19/11). DAMN SON! Now let's see who gets cheers and jeers: Standout Wrestler: Daisuke Sekimoto, Atsushi Onita, Masato Tanaka, Shingo Takagi, Naomichi Marufuji, Eddie Edwards, Jay Lethal, The Briscoes, reDRagon, Roderick Strong, The Young Bucks The Winner: Tanaka had the early part of the year for sure. Eddie Edwards has the very end with his re-invigoration of the GHC belt and 2013 ROH matches. The winner is Naomichi Marufuji though. The 09-10 NJ Jr. stuff was pretty great but, along with Shingo, he stole the show at the 2018 Champion Carnival. What put him over the top was his 2006 in NOAH. From his start with KENTA in the 01/22 to the amazing title fight vs Misawa, 2006 was Marufuji's. He may not have the quantity of classic matches that Tanaka accrued this year but, he had his share along with a bevy a great ones with a variety of opponents in different promotions and years. Probably not a popular pick again but, I know what I saw and the dude killed it. Surprise of the Year: Early FMW Onita, SHINGO & Marufuji and the 2018 Champion Carnival, 2010's ROH, Yoshi Yatsu in 87-89 AJPW, WWE 205 Live, digging WWE Women's division. Finding out the greatness of YAMATO, Matt Taven & Togi Makabe. Akira Taue still had it in 2006 as he knew how to play his older broken down/comedy character but still be aggressive and serious when called upon (similar to 1989 Giant Baba). Realizing that '89-90 JCP/NWA Muta was awesome especially when considering his 90's NJ stuff. Weekly ROH TV reminding me of WCW Worldwide in a good way. The Winner: The Maufuji pick is kind of the Surpise of the Year because I really did not think that going into this post. But, overall - I'm going to say Early FMW & Onita. Onita and FMW were some of my first experiences with Japanese wrestling but, to circle back around 20 years and find something really awesome was a heck of a surprise. Not only were the matches a blast (no pun intended) but, finding out about the history was really interesting as well. The late 80's and early 90's are a really neat time & place to visit in Japanese wrestling and FMW at that time should not be missed. Favorite Project: FMW 89-92, Post ECW Tanaka, Hayabusa in AJPW, NOAH 2006, reDRagon/2013-14 ROH, and NJ vs CHAOS in 2010 The WInner: CHAOS vs NJ because I never heard anyone talk about it despite it scratching that old school night in-night out feud itch. It was so much fun to watch these house show matches that felt like Jumbo vs Misawa, or M-Pro vs Kaientai DX.I gained a lot of respect for Tanahashi here and found something from the NJ 2010's that I could wholly dig! Disappointment of the Year: Munenori Sawa in wXw 2010 could have been better, Brock vs Roman at WM, Nakamura...Ballshot Expert, Kobashi vs Marufuji '06, American Wolves vs reDRagon not living up to its potential save Edwards vs O'Reilly The Loser: Wolves vs DRagon because it was THE reason the Wolves re-united and reDRagon was formed but, it felt too much like WWE or TNA than ROH. Or at least the ROH I was used to. It was inconsistent and did not feels as big & epic as ROH was making it out to be. ReDRagon would go on to be so much better without the Wolves feud. Never got around to: Getting deeper into FMW past 92- the two big Youtube channels that had a ton of FMW footy were removed so that was a big blow to that project. 2010's NJ Jr project- I wanted to look into the phenomena that got the NJ hype train going - Apollo 55 & Golden Lovers. This is something I do want to get around to soon. Looking forward to watching in 2019: David Starr, Jonathan Gresham, getting back to 2010's AJPW, 88-90 NJ/AJPW (my massive DVD set is still waiting), more ROH & PWG from 3-5 years ago Also, want to check out early 80's Gran Hamada pretty soon here. Thanks for reading! I hope I gave you some ideas! Happy New Year
  3. G. Badger

    Enter the reDRagon - Part 4

    ...and we're back! reDRagons vs Michael Elgin & Jay Lethal (10/05/13): Titles are on the line against the super team of Elgin & Lethal. This was a very good match but, not tremendous. It was a little goofy when Elgin does his 2 on 1 stuff but, the final bit was great per usual. Champs vs All-Stars: Adam Cole, reDRagon & Matt Taven vs Michael Elgin, C & C WrestleFactory Jay Lethal (Glory by Honor XII 10/26/13): We get over an hour of wrestling action. It is very difficult to keep a person's interest over that period of time but, it did. In fact, not only was I interested, I was invested. The match told a series of stories over the course of its duration. It was physical and compelling and an overall great match. Heck, I'd even say it was a ROH classic. The wrestlers along with the Corino/Kelly announce team, Truth Martini & the Hotties, Homicide & Kingston, the 3 referees, and Nigel all played their parts perfectly. It felt like a play with a cast of 19. Now, this could have easily been overbooked and bungled yet, it always seemed to be aware of that possibility. The match, as if an organism, would step back from the brink of parody to deliver something unique and surprising. vs Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander (11/16/13): This starts out with C & C getting the jump on the DRagon which eventually leads to them focusing on Caprice's arm. This is a good face in peril bit. Somewhere along the way, the legal man situation gets mixed up but, heck! it's just a TV match. It's not as offensive as a big deal PPV match. But, it's a hell of a TV/ small show match! Its not a perfectly executed but, these guys have the right idea as opposed to the Wolves matches. This bout knew what it wanted to be and acheived that. It had flow and the fans genuinely gave a damn. Not a perfect follow up to the Glory by Honor match but, a very good match nonetheless. ...until next time wrestling fans!
  4. The next few entries are going to follow Bobby Fish and Kyle O'Reilly's early days together as reDragon. I'm using the ROH compilation as my main guide but, also have a few show reviews as well. This introductory post covers Chapters 1 & 2 on disc one. It's chill but, things pick up next time. But, let's get started! Fish vs Claudio Castagnoli (2007): This was an OK match. Fish's ROH debut. OReilly vs Austin Aries (2010): A good match and Aries was the man at this time period. Don't think this was O'Reilly's debut but, probably his first BIG match. So Fish re-debuts here to help Kyle O'Reilly pull away from Davey Richards. Will Eddie Edwards get back from Japan in time to help Davey or has that bridge been burned too? vs The American Wolves (Final Battle 2012): Bobby & Kyle come out and beat up Mike Mondo and Davey comes out. OK whatever...Kevin Kelly says that Eddie hasn't agreed to the tag match and it's a 2 on 1 thing but, of course Edwards comes out. The Wolves are back together if only to kick Fish & Kyle's asses. This was a very good match but, felt more about the Wolves being together and came across as a showcase of that. This would have been a fantastic episode of TV or mid level show ender but, kinda felt small for Final Battle. Moments of superb violence nonetheless. Then there is a TV Tag Gauntlet (02/13) to determine the #1 contenders. So, I'll do the match-ups one at a time. a) American Wolves vs Bravado Brothers: Good match, reminds me of a 2010 era PWG opening match. b) Wolves vs SCUM (Jimmy Jacobs & Steve Corino): This is a full speed match but amounts to nothing. However, Jacobs and Corino cheap shot the Wolves after the bell which gives Fish & O'Reilly an advantage. c) Wolves vs ReDRagon: Bobby & Kyle come out with smirks on their faces like smug bastards. This is balls to the wall especially for TV. Davey & Eddie do their synchronized swimming but, Dragons look/feel like they're in their having a fight to win. Head kick brainbuster combo collapses Edwards upon himself. Very good match Next time, we'll see more versus the American Wolves as well as Dem Boys, the Briscoes! Thanks for reading
  5. My apologies for anyone regularly following this little project. Work has been crazy as its the holiday shopping season and I haven't had the time to write up my next entry. But fuck it, I get one day off a week so, let's do this! Bobby Fish vs Davey Richards (Reclamation-night 1 07/12/13): A very intense kick filled contest with very nice spots and holds. It was a good match that felt great at times. It just had a weird pace and I never felt like it kicked into overdrive. Perhaps I'm wrong but, at this point I'm not quite sure what Fish's singles moveset is like. It seems sorta like the Koji Kanemoto's moves- heel hold, brainbuster, falcon arrow and kicks. I know he starts using a high angle Saito which they refer to as a Back Drop Driver (which is cool when Nigel is out there because he knows all about the "real" ones from Morishima). Anyhow, the finish was acceptable but, anti-climactic (or even "iffy") but, the match as a whole was good. Eddie Edwards vs Kyle O'Reilly (07/12/13): This match was included as a bonus on disc #2 of the ROH. I am very glad this was there because it's been the best match thus far. This was the brutal intense stuff I'd wanted out of this feud. It focused on grappling and was in the lineage of Kobayashi/Tiger I, Pegasus Kid/Black Tiger II/Liger NJ Jrs. matches. Likewise, this too was a classic match in the style. It had wonderful pacing that built the intensity up into the finish rather than let is peter out at the beginning for the sake of shooting off fireworks throughout the match. Serious classic stuff! Now we're on to Disc #2 of the set reDRagon vs Forever Hooligans (ROH TV 07/27/13): Fish and O'Reilly are very good in their roles as the cocky heels here. I haven't mentioned their promos at the end of the last disc but, they are really fun and worth a laugh. So here Fish turns a non-title match into a championship bout out of hubris. I certainly get it because the DRagons truly look like a wrecking machine team here. Their characters and in ring work seemed to be gelling because unlike the Briscoe matches, it was clear that they were the stars of the battle. Not to say the Romero/Koslov team (who were a very hot tag team at the time) weren't good but, they truly looked like champs in this very good match. ***spoiler*** So, it was odd to me then, to have then lose to the guest NJ team. Nonetheless, Bobby and Kyle's ranting promos after the match were awesome. Kyle is clearly getting more comfortable in his character and Fish looked like the full package by just killing it on the mic with thoughtful and purposeful statements. You believe in his character when he speaks. This really elevates this segment or event into something really great. Now, from the next match-up we realize that the Hooligans were transition champs so the Wolves and reDRagon could fight for the title at Manhattan Mayhem V. American Wolves vs reDragon (08/17/13): It was match that could have been so much more than just good. The beginning and end were very good but, the meat of the match was unorganized. Additionally the Manhattan crowd seemed to be lifeless by this point and some were vocally criticizing the fight. That is to say tag legalities and rules went out of the window and they put on a Young Bucks free for all with all 4 men in the ring for minutes at a time. I agree with the fans criticisms but, when the rest of the audience is near silent , don't be a dick and yell at the ref "Who's the legal man, Todd (Sinclair)!?" Because it really looked like 4 guys jumping and doing kinda hokey double team spots for people that NOT ONLY didn't care but for people actually talking shit on what you're doing. I think that made them panic and do things to try to win the crowd back. This in turn got short term pops but, sidetracked the match. Also, I watched a Young Bucks match recently and they don't do this '4 in the ring' stuff as long as you might think. They are usually popping in an out of ropes pretty fast but, doing it often. Here, the Wolves & DRagons were having a tornado tag match. I watched this bout twice and it really was unengaging up until the final few minutes. However, I think if this was in front of a more appreciative crowd, it would have helped both my perception and what the guys did. Sorry to end this on a bummer but, better stuff is on the horizon for reDRagon. Thanks for reading and sorry for the delay! Happy Holidays! and remember that it is retail, warehouse workers, and customer service people's holiday season too. They have the stress of buying gifts & driving in shitty traffic on top of their job being hellishly stressful right now. So be kind! Not only is it the right thing to do but, you'll probably get treated better in return. You know kinda like that Golden Rule thingy...
  6. G. Badger

    ROH - Defy or Deny 2 - 2013

    So, before I continue with the reDRagons set, I'd like to review this show from January of 2013. Now, in case you were wondering, this isn't some essential show to Fish and O'Reilly's story. It just so happens that I have a few ROH DVDs that I've been meaning to watch that fit in with this watch-project's chronology. This one has been on sale for awhile and has gotten recommendations. Plus once ROH dvds are gone, they're gone (I just can't do the streaming subscriptions, I learned from my WWE network experience). So, Deny or Defy 2 sounded like a solid show and I bought it. Let's see if it's any good! Adam Cole vs Silas Young: This was a great opener and a great match overall. Cole is a known talent but, Young should be one as well. He works a more roughneck style now but, here he's doing a more athletic style and it's fantastic. This took me by surprise! Bobby Fish vs Tadarius Thomas: This was a good quasi shoot style match while still providing Fish a chance to blow bubbles with the crowd. Very good all-around work on his part. It's a dry yet, smart match. Charlie Haas vs Rhett Titus: Interestingly, Haas is wrestling how Silas Young wrestles now. So, it's a back to basics match. The fans are engaged and Charlie is working the fans to good effect. This may be something you don't necessarily give a shit about but, it is a fun, enjoyable match. Perfect for this spot on the card. I'd rather see these guys now instead of Flip Gordon and Cheeseburger...not to name names. Just saying... The Briscoes & Jay Lethal vs SCUM (Rhino, Steve Corino & Jimmy Jacobs): Seeing Rhino & Corino brings back memories and it feels right to have Mark & Jay (who've been with the co. in its original post ECW Philly days) fighting them. It's like ECW never went away and that's what this felt like. Brawl heavy match with some nice moves but, it's more about the characters and a pacing & finish that leaves you wanting more. Great match to me BJ Whimer vs Matt Hardy: This is a good match but, really it feels like a cool down for the upper card. I might even say this was just OK. I think it served its purpose. Kyle O'Reilly vs Davey Richards: This was pretty intense and fits perfectly into the Dragon's story arc (although not required). I'll say that Davey is clearly into doing his schtick at this point in his career. It works in a single setting if only because he can't do tandem moves & sequences. Usually it's the opposite for folks as they can do their spots, run around and look great. This doesn't fit Davey's persona though. He's got to go back to full speed ahead ultra aggressive Davey rather than rely upon Eddie's work and throw in hammy wolves spots. So, Kyle is the star of this to me. A very good to perhaps great match. Kinda wanna watch this again now... Defy or Deny Match: Kevin Steen vs Eddie Edwards vs Roderick Strong vs Michael Elgin: Elimination matches where no long term booking or planning comes into play are best left brief. I think that is my criticism here. Now, it's a great match (**** range) but, it could have been a classic with the talent in the ring if it had been more concise. And maybe you'll watch this and think it was.That's cool because there were points I was totally thinking that too. But I felt fluff got in the way too often for this to be downright amazing. Let's just say it is a big time main event nonetheless. It certainly felt like the money match and it absolutely worthwhile. Overall this is a fantastic show and for the sale price is worth checking out. The card flows well, and certainly delivers in terms of consistent quality with 4 out of 7 matches at the **** mark or so. You will want to watch the whole thing. Also if you dig the Undisputed Era guys, this is a excellent show to see what they were doing back in ROH. Gracias!
  7. They hit some cool looking spots here like Bate's dive followed up by that lariat he does bouncing off the ropes and the finishing spot. As usual though, they did a bit too much and O'Reilly kicking out of the knee drop into the burning hammer was lame as was the extensive heel hook. Bate's knee selling after the extensive heel hook was pretty bad and Seven just standing on the ring apron while O'Reilly has him int he heel hook instead of just diving in and breaking the hold they usually do in tag matches along with the towel throw tease was lame. Not a MOTY candidate or a ****+ match or any of that talk, but I thought this was a fun card opener regardless of that.
  8. Man, I was hoping to watch a few more matches but, I've got some business to take care of today & probably won't get the time. I did get to watch the 4th match on the card (I'm counting the Hollis/Gresham stuff as one match). I'm glad I made the time because this one is a doozy! Roderick Strong vs Kyle O'Reilly (02/21/15): This was a very dynamic & competitive match, a classic style ROH bout. This wasn't a TV match plus a little more. No, this was the hard hitting wrestling you want. Kyle was like a shark going for the kill. He was going for kicks or combinations when standing and going for armbars when on the mat. Roderick was selling this damage really well...more than just shaking the arm or holding it. He adjusted his offense because of it and when he relied upon it to power his way to a pin, it collapsed on him. Nevertheless, he was practicing what commentator Kevin Kelly said was turning a good defense into a good offense. Or something to that effect I thought this was a great match and probably a classic in the style. If you're reading this then, you'll probably dig this fight. It is exactly what you would want from these two. And for the #4 spot on a show, it over delivers without being overkill. An aggressive, masterfully paced & technically proficient wrestling match. That's hard to do in the 2010's.
  9. Undisputed Era continue to refine their chickenshit trio shtick in wonderful ways. With British Strong Style being the overwhelming hometown favorites, seeing them absolutely thrash the Era was a wonderful thing to see. Strong, O'Reilly, and Cole bumped huge for all three BSS guys and it was great. Perhaps one of my favorite spots was Adam Cole taking a huge jumping bump off of a Dunne forearm. Speaking of Dunne, that man is so good at being a fired up, intense babyface. He really sells the hatred he has for Strong and all their interactions make me eagerly anticipate their inevitable singles blow off match. Great match here, fast paced, exciting, and with the right finish. ****1/4
  10. I've said this before but O'Reilly and Strong might be some of the best chickenshit bumping heels in the world. They've translated their indie athleticism and energy into an insanely fun ability to feed into the babyface team's offense. This was about as classic of a tag team format as there is. Early heat segment on Trent Seven that leads into a huge hot tag from Tyler Bate and straight into a wild and fun finishing stretch. Thought that Bate looked fantastic with his strikes, energy, and continued freak of nature power spots (the deadlift German while O'Reilly was on his back looked amazing). Liked the story that one of Undisputed Era's biggest flaws is how often they miscommunicate as indicated by how often missed spots from them became huge transition points not just in this match but in their other Tag Title matches. Reminds of when The Young Bucks had their 15% transitions in PWG during their big run. Awesome match, a nice addition to their six-man tag from last night and I look forward to seeing more from both teams. ****1/4
  11. They get a surprising amount of intensity from this match, starting with Roddy's awesome dropkick through the ropes. I wouldn't have thought he would be the hot tag with Black the face in peril but that works great too, starting with Aleister taking a really nice apron bump off a Fish leg-sweep and ending with Roddy coming in super hot. I don't like the ending, with Aleister, who in the preceding months couldn't have his focus broken enough to say a dudes name, looking like a complete buffoon. The journey to get there was fun though. ***1/2
  12. Best match on the show. Some awkward moments but that was to be expected. Once Wolfe & Dain got involved, things kicked up a notch & the action remained really good from that point on till the end. Everybody gave really good performances. ***3/4
  13. ShittyLittleBoots

    [2017-05-14-WCPW] Kyle O'Reilly vs Tyson Dux

    Good early back & forth stuff, which then lead to O'Reilly controlling things with a headlock. That was seriously great. Tyson Dux managed to start working on Kyle's leg, which was great. KOR answered that by getting way more intense as he started to target Dux's arm. Great battle of strategies. Really the only thing holding this from being ****+ is that Kyle's selling of the leg was super spotty - but other than that, this was really awesome. ***3/4
  14. This ruled. They worked the David vs. Goliath dynamic with O'Reilly chopping down the bigger man in Big Mike - loved all of Kyle's offense, he was really great in this match. Elgin answered to KOR's submissions & striking combinations w/ big bombs & hard hitting lariats. It was all super enjoyable. ***3/4
  15. I thought this was a level above their BOLA match from last year which I had at ****1/4. This one was more intense w/ them going full faux-MMA style with it. If you like these 2 & like that kind of stuff, I am sure you'll find a lot of enjoyment in this one. I sure did. ****1/2
  16. Top fucking notch. O'Reilly was all business here while Keith Lee always wants to do his shtick - it's a part of his charm. Lee quickly realized that O'Reilly wasn't there to play around so he starts showing why he truly is LIMITLESS with all that athletic stuff he pulls out while still being a dominating big man wrestler. Loved the story of Kyle being super focused on chopping the big man down, he did awesome work to Lee's leg throughout the match, which eventually paid off as he got him on his knees. Fantastic storytelling. Then the terrific ending after the re-start deal where he just destroyed Lee with those striking combinations & that brainbuster. One of the finest matches of the year. ****1/2
  17. So here we have Kyle O'Reilly's first match post ROH, a surprise opponent for the ECCW champ in his hometown (and old home promotion). These guys have some history in looking through Google (and YouTube), going back 7 or so years. I thought O'Reilly looked on another level here, and admittedly he probably is. He brought the same strikes and selling that he usually does and I didn't think El P could come close to matching. First 6 minutes is O'Reilly working him over, which is then completely written off for the rest of the match as they transition outside. O'Reilly gets thrown around, the crowd is actually pretty much behind El P despite the surprise. We get two dives from El P to the outside, which looked fine (also to note, the hard cam missing some of the outside action isn't an issue, one can use their imagination - I liked the raw feel of no announcers and camera cuts). 12 minutes in now, we get a "this is awesome" chant that is immediately followed up by an El P rope walk moonsault to the outside which was really nice (now chant!). Back in El P goes up again and I guess is going for some kind of stomp but it looks as awful as the Balor/Rollins SummerSlam spot when he gets grabbed into a submission coming down. Phantasmo finally starts selling like 14 minutes into the match after O'Reilly knees him in the head. To that point, literally everything had been shrugged off, which was glaring to me at least. Really impressive van terminator from El P - clear across the center of the ring. Great spot. Another good sequence followed: Tiger bomb by El P countered into a guillotine choke (tiger bomb on a bigger guy seemed a bit excessive but it's a good reversal spot), which felt like a possible finish, eventually he powered out and countered into a vertical suplex which was really impressive. We get a bunch of strikes and kicks that build to a double KO and then into a pretty decisive finish for O'Reilly: big clothesline (one count, which the crowd didn't really do much for unfortunately), penalty kick (quick two count kickout), brainbuster (two count), into the arm bar for the submission. I'm right around ***3/4 to **** here. Really good stuff.
  18. Here's your Ring of Honor title match sandwiched on the Wrestle Kingdom card. Initially watching this spoiler-free the morning of the show, it had heightened dramatics given the O'Reilly contract situation. So that story was the elephant in the ring throughout. I realize I'm high man on this one, but I really liked Cole here and thought this was an exceptionally sound, good match and a contrast to their match at Final Battle, which was centered around hardcore/No DQ stuff. Cole hits a couple finishers and wins this one clean as a sheet. ***1/2
  19. Really good, borderline great match. All 4 guys looked great, especially Hero who was great as usual, and then Bobby Fish who was really great here too. It went almost 30 minutes, but it never felt like a long match, and that was something I was afraid about when I read how long it went, but these 27 minutes were very enjoyable as Fish, O'Reilly, Hero & Dunn beat the crap out of each other w/ their great looking offense. ***3/4
  20. This was great. Loved the early trash talk by Cole, which lead to an early shine by Kyle, which was just fantastic - he kicked Cole's ass all over the ring, and it was very enjoyable. Kyle controlled the early portions of the match, until Cole started to go after his knee - Cole's knee work was very good. Kyle countered that great tactic of Cole by going after his arm, and Kyle's arm work was a true joy to watch, he absolutely brutalized Cole's arm. Eventually they dropped the selling sadly, and the match essentially became a bombfest. I thought that this was great, but it could've been even greater had they not dropped the selling - that is a minor complaint about a great match though. 2nd best match they've had against each other behind the BITW '12 classic. ****
  21. Yeah this ruled. Early matwork was super neat, like some sort of weird pastiche of shoot style and lucha title match matwork. I was never sold on O'Reilly due to him being a Davey Richards protege and working more like junior than a proper UWFi cosplay guy but he has improved, and for a workrate match with little backstory this was exceptional. Shibata always brings his stubborness as something that is going to be played up in the match, and the kind of spots like suplex no selling and him daring the other guy to hit him as hard as he can are gonna be there, but this was shooty enough that it didn't matter even in this type of match. It's been a while since I've been so lost in just plain enjoying in wrestling that I didn't really think much of critically breaking down why it works or not for me. Shibata's short irish whip Fight Kick (that's what kenka means. IDK how it turned into a yakuza kick.) Props to O'Reilly for really keeping up with Shibata here too, stuff like his hammerlock knee drop is something I'd expect to see in a Satomura match. "This is what New Japan wrestling is!" said the New Japan shillman announcer. I wish. O'Reilly's mouthguard falling out of his mouth for the ref stop finish was as great of a visual as you get to see in fake fighting. ***3/4
  22. I roll my eye whenever a japanese commentator talks about how O'Reilly is a shooter or how he works "UWFi style" but him and KUSHIDA mesh really well and are way better at working Minoru Tanaka style matches than the actual Minoru Tanaka. Lots of nice flashy faux shoot junior matwork here with some insane counters. Limbwork was entertaining and both of these guys won't forget to sell but the selling itself is very much surface level with not a lot of depth to it. O'Reilly's Rebound Lariat might be as bad as Ambrose's, which is saying a lot, but otherwise this was really fun. ***1/2
  23. I'm not going to miss out on an opportunity to watch Sakuraba grapple and this delivered as a fun little match. I think both members of ReDragon are overrated and I wish Bobby Fish would stop screaming so much all the time, O'Reilly hit a nice kick combo and Gedo's shtick was fun as usual but this is all about Saku and his grappling exhibition with the lads. **3/4
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