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  1. There are some posts on the last page of the Current New Japan thread in the Megathread Archive about the G1 Climax but I think it deserves its own thread. Going to be a barn burner this year. A Block: Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kota Ibushi, Kazuchika Okada, Will Ospreay, EVIL, Sanada, Bad Luck Fale, Zack Sabre Jr, Lance Archer & KENTA B Block: Juice Robinson, Tomohiro Ishii, Toru Yano, Hirooki Goto, Jeff Cobb, Jon Moxley, Tetsuya Naito, Shingo Takagi, Jay White & Taichi Pretty stacked. They did a good job with the blocks, too. You have some money matches in the A Block & you have new & interesting matches in the B Block. Then they have guys like Yano & Fale in there to switch things up so it's not just a bunch of workrate matches. I'm really digging the line-ups. There's definitely some matches that catch my eye. Anything having to do with Jeff Cobb or Shingo, in example. I'm also curious on who is going to win it all this year. I want to say they're going to pull the trigger on Ospreay but it might be too soon & NJPW seems to wait awhile longer than most before trying things. Jeff Cobb Vs. Jon Moxley is going to be interesting. I'm really looking forward to Shingo Vs. Naito. You know what you're going to get with Tanahashi, Ibushi & Okada, so some of the intrigue there is gone for me but you know the matches will be good. Curious to see how KENTA looks nowadays, healthy & away from NXT. <Opening Day> Saturday, July 6th (Local time): American Airlines Center in Dallas TX, the USA ・Saturday, July 13th: Ota City General Gymnasium in Tokyo ・Sunday, July 14th: Ota City General Gymnasium in Tokyo ・Monday, July 15th: Hokkai Kitayell in Hokkaido ・Thursday, July 18th: Korakuen Hall in Tokyo ・Friday, July 19th: Korakuen Hall in Tokyo ・Saturday, July 20th: Korakuen Hall in Tokyo ・Wednesday, July 24th: Hiroshima Sun Plaza Hall in Hiroshima ・Saturday, July 27th: Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium in Aichi ・Sunday, July 28th: Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium in Aichi ・Tuesday, July 30th: Takamatsu City General Gymnasium in Kagawa ・Thursday, August 1st: Fukuoka Citizen Gymnasium in Fukuoka ・Saturday, August 3rd: Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium in Osaka ・Sunday, August 4th: Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium in Osaka ・Wednesday, August 7th: Hamamatsu Arena in Shizuoka ・Thursday, August 8th: Yokohama Cultural Gymnasium in Kanagawa ・Saturday, August 10th: Nippon Budokan in Tokyo ・Sunday, August 11th: Nippon Budokan in Tokyo ・<FINAL> Monday, August 12th: Nippon Budokan in Tokyo
  2. After a failed attempt to get into the NFL, Brock Lesnar turns his attention to the world of Japanese wrestling. We cite Lesnar's autobiography "Death Clutch" as to get an idea of Lesnar's mindset going into NJPW and touch on his mindset wrestling his what was perceived as his final match in IGF as well. Also get an interesting peak into how the Inokis did business when they were heads on NJPW.
  3. G1 CLIMAX 28 First day at Korakuen looks dope, same as the 1st night in Osaka, all from Block B of course. Really interested in what they draw for night 1 at Budokan. How much people can Tanahashi vs Okada keep drawing? It's the only real option they had in that block too. Night 2 at Budokan is very solid. Kenny vs Ibushi and Naito vs Sabre fighting for a spot in the finals. The more predictable outcome is Okada vs Ibushi with Okada winning, with Nato beating Kenny on night 1 of their block, securing a title shot for Sep. or Oct. Is Gedo really gonna do the Tana/Okada storyline again (this time for Naito/Okada) just 3 years after he originally booked it? We'll see..
  4. After finishing up the 2000s Japan project, I wanted a departure from puroresu and the 2000s so I decided it was a high time for me to go through 1980s in America. I have been reading about these matches for a decade plus in some cases and in others I only learned of their existence through this enriching and wonderful project. In either case, I was ready to watch some bitchin wrestling featuring my some of my favorite wrestlers from my favorite decade for entertainment, the 1980s! In my mind America, there was a power six at the start of the decade: WWF, Jim Crockett, AWA, Mid-South, WCCW and Memphis. I am starting with the last four. The one nice thing about doing this after everyone else is that I can use the results as a guide to focus on the best of the best. My current aim is to bring myself up to speed on any every era and every promotion by focusing on the classics before doing any deep dives into any on particular one. Another goal of mine since about 2012 is to determine what I believe to the greatest match of all time is. Now, of course, I can't resist a fun *** or **** match when they come up thus detours into WWF tag team scene and late 90s WCW during this time. It is not my sole focus to find the OMG GREATEST MATCH ever, but I do want to familiarize myself with the classics first so I will not be watching all 150 matches from all the sets. Instead, I will focus on 40-50 from each set that appeal to me either because of the combatants involved or the critiques given, I am about halfway through this project and have posted the match reviews in the 1980s subforum and on my blog with links provided. I though post my general thoughts on each territory thus far. Memphis Wrestling Watched: Lawler vs AWA World Champions, Lawler vs Savage, Lawler vs Idol, Rich and Bam Bam, a total of 22 matches Need to watch: Lawler vs Dundee, Lawler vs Mantell, Lawler vs Funks, Fabulous Ones, Miscellaneous Non-Lawler Classics Match Rankings Thus Far (only >=****1/4): 1. Randy "Macho Man" Savage vs Ronnie Garvin - ICW 1982/1983 Steel Cage Match ****3/4 Violent. Perfect build to piledriver finish. What an awesome finish it was! 2. Jerry "The King" Lawler vs Austin Idol - Memphis 4/27/87 Steel Cage Hair vs Hair Match ****3/4 Awesome selling of punches. Great heel finish. 3. Jerry "The King" Lawler vs Bam Bam Bigelow - Memphis 9/7/86 Texas Death Match ****3/4 Masterpiece. Great David vs Goliath story 4. AWA Southern Heavyweight Champion Nick Bockwinkel vs Jerry "The King" Lawler - Memphis 11/8/82 ****1/2 Lawler's big victory over Bock. 5. AWA World Heavyweight Champion Rick Martel vs Jerry "The King" Lawler - Memphis 10/12/85 ****1/2 Heel Martel! 6. AWA Southern Heavyweight Champion Randy "Macho Man" Savage vs Jerry "The King" Lawler - Memphis 6/3/85 ****1/4 Anit-workrate classic Findings: I think moreso than any other territory I have watched I feel like this is the worst way to watch this territory. This is probably pretty obvious statement for most people. but I think it needs to be stated. I really ought to watch the Memphis TV surrounding each of the matches to better appreciate the context of the matches. That being said I have done my reading and I understand the gravity of the ICW vs CWA war and how much Lawler vs Savage was a blood feud. I understand the ardent desire and journey of Jerry Lawler in facing the AWA World Champions. It is the story of your high school classmate that is the best ball player on your team and you believe he can be a major league ball player. Jerry was the King of Memphis, but when Bock or Martel or whoever it may be strolled into town, That's what made the Bock victory in '82 so special even though it was just for Southern Title, it was a victory over the AWA Champ and it was cool to see him finally get it. it was your local hero getting that crack at playing major league ball. It is a great story no doubt. Even though, I am not watching Memphis correctly per se, I feel I understand the context well enough to make my observations on match style. Jerry Lawler may be the greatest limited wrestler in history. He has right hand and his left hand he is going to ball them up and give you everything he has got. He does not create much movement on his own, but he will bump big. He is great at selling and his comeback is perhaps the greatest in the history of wrestling. There is one comeback against Nick Bockwinkel that is just so fantastic. I think his best matches are these main event style, long build through selling matches. I have liked the Memphis brawls I have seen, but none of there are really any better than great. I think the AWA and Mid-South are much better brawling territories from what I have seen. The only Lawler match ranked above, I would consider a brawl maybe the Idol one, but I ranked that mostly for the amazing selling of each individual and the awesome finish. The Lawler vs Bigelow Texas Death Match, which I think is Lawler's masterpiece so far, is rooted in David vs Goliath storytelling more than anything else. I love how committed Lawler is to his style. Styles make for matches. The homogenization of wrestling has ruined this as so many workers can't tell a story no longer of a contrast of styles. Here we can see how Lawler the puncher works against a giant like Bigelow, frustrates a technical wizard like Martel and controls a wildman like Savage. There is no adaption necessary because his style is universal and he melds it with his opponent. There is no plug n play into his spots. He responds to a wrestler's character and his opponent responds accordingly to his. I am always surprised when people say AA is Cena's road agent. Nothing about Cena matches feel very Arn Anderson to me. Cena's character is very Backlund-esque and he has power in common with Backlund, but in terms of match structure he is deeply rooted in the Lawler dynamic. He likes very short shines and likes to get that heat quickly. They both sell fantastically. Lawler was better at the comeback, but they both transition to the comeback through no selling. Lawler has the strap down. Cena has the shoulder tackles. Cena is at his best when adds the wrinkle of cutoffs ala an extended Misawa comeback because the modern style necessitates longer finish runs. Lawler had the advantage of quick finish bursts so that incredible burst of energy would quickly followed by a finish of some sort. Overall, I have enjoyed watching Memphis and think that Lawler is tons of fun to watch when he is selling his ass off and gets you amped for that comeback. There is something lacking in his pure brawls like the tags against Rude/Bundy and Idol/Rich. I don't think he is great at sprints because he is not great at movement. He has quick bursts of energy, but a 10 minute sprint is not his forte. Granted I have only watched 20 of his matches so may be I will see him rock out a good sprint brawl. Quick word on Randy Savage, dude was a fucking rockstar in Memphis. Dude would run up and down the apron and gets a huge pop when he was a babyface and mega-heat as a heel. He is one of the best character wrestlers of all time. If we were not missing a huge chunk of Lawler/Savage Loser Leaves Town I would have that much higher that is the anti-workrate classic. Awesome character work by both men. In addition, I wish we had more of his ICW stuff. He rocked it against Garvin. That was a great violent steel cage match that built and built to the piledriver finish. What a fantastic finish it was! Look forward to more Memphis and to watch some Memphis matches without The King to see what others were up to.
  5. Hey folks! I haven't posted too much here since joining but I follow the conversations regularly and listen to pretty much all of the PTBN-PWO Podcasts. I've recently started a project at PTBN breaking down the top matches of 2014 as voted on by the Voices of Wrestling contributors. A lot of this non-WWE stuff I'm seeing for the first time, so it's a perspective you might not get elsewhere. Hope y'all enjoy! Here's Part 1 http://placetobenation.com/breaking-down-the-top-matches-of-2014-part-1-25-21/ And Part 2 http://placetobenation.com/breaking-down-the-top-25-matches-of-2014-part-2-20-16/
  6. I watched episode 3 of the AXS New Japan show on Saturday and came away with a bunch of somewhat connected, someone random thoughts on the match (Okada vs. Tanahashi from 4/7/13), production, announcing, and great 1 hour wrestling TV shows. · This was easily the best Tanahashi/Okada match from just an in-ring standpoint. They were both super over and had Sumo Hall in the palm of their hand, something that I’ve thought almost all modern day Japanese wrestling has been lacking. The match was well laid out, with super solid early to mid-90’s New Japan heavyweight structure – nothing glamorous or flashy, just rock solid. There is an interesting review (not written by me) as part of an on-going ebook series coming out in early February that takes a look at Tanahashi’s thoughts on match layout (from his book) and how he incorporates that into his vision of wrestling in the ring so I won’t go into any more detail here but structure wise, I thought this was great for 2013 and would have played in many other time periods as well. · Neither Tanahashi or Okada really fit well into what I like about pro wrestling but credit them for laying out and executing this match well. Even the striking sequences were well done. This is the match they should have had at the Dome earlier this month. How both of these can be rated ***** is beyond me because when you watch both in their individual contexts, it is clear which one is better. · John Cena gets a lot of criticism (fairly or unfairly) for lacking with his execution of moves but Okada and Tanahashi were sub-Cena in their forward roll (this was slower than a 70 year old Mil Mascaras would have done it) and one or two other sequences. Cena would be blasted for it but Tanahashi and Okada seemingly get a pass for these minor, yet meaningful, details. · This was not the best 1 hour pro wrestling TV show ever. That’s plain hyperbole. If it was said that you should watch this show if you are looking for a good (even great) English commentary on Japanese matches, I would have accepted that. But when you build something up as the greatest, it better be the greatest. These episodes, off the top of my head (noting that Memphis was usually 90 minutes and the one match I’m including from Raw is obviously 2 hours) are all much better glimpses at truly great 1 hour pro wrestling TV shows: o Memphis 6/4/83 (Lawler vs. Dundee Loser Leaves Town Hype Show) o All Japan 5/22/84 (Jumbo vs. Kerry & Flair vs. Race) o NWA Worldwide 7/9/85 (Rock n Roll Express vs. I. Koloff/Krusher Kruschev) o Memphis 10/16/85 (Dundee turns heel) o Mid South 11/6/85 (Ted Dibiase vs. Ric Flair with Murdoch turn) o Memphis 3/1/86 (Dundee/Landel beat up Jeff Jarrett – Lance Russell and Dutch Mantel call Jerry Lawler on the phone to ask him to come back and restore order) o NWA Worldwide 5/3/86 (Tully Blanchard vs. Ron Garvin) o NWA Worldwide 1/24/87 (Ric Flair vs. Barry Windham) o NWA Worldwide 5/14/88 (Midnight Express vs. Fantastics US Tag Title Switch) o All Japan 9/16/90 (Jumbo/Misawa II, Fantastics vs. Kikuchi/J. Malenko) o New Japan 11/24/90 (Liger/Benoit, Sasaki/Hase vs. Muto/Chono, Hashimoto/Choshu) o All Japan 4/18/93 (Gordy/Williams, Kawada/Taue, and Misawa/Kobashi) o WWF Raw 4/13/98 (show builds around Austin vs. McMahon as the main event – maybe the most convincing build in a 2 hour show that I have ever seen in hyping and building towards a match) · Mauro Ranallo and Josh Barnett were both solid and unfortunately in today’s wrestling landscape, that passes as great. I thought as a team they were better than Ross and Mathews, but that isn’t saying much. Needless to say, they aren’t making you forget about 1990-1999 Jim Ross with their announcing. At one point, Ranallo talks about how these guys are blending many different styles including catch-as-catch can wrestling. They did a nice job blending lucha elements, New Japan heavyweight psychology from the 90’s, some junior flying, and even some strong selling, but I didn’t anything that even began to reference catch-as-catch can wrestling, especially considering that he was almost definitely referencing the style that Karl Gotch helped make popular with the younger generation of wrestling in the late 70’s and early 80’s. I like Ranallo and thought with Bas Rutten, he was excellent in Pride from 2004-mid-2006. But I also thought Stephen Quadros and Bas Rutten were equally as good in Pride and I’m not sure anything either of those announcing teams did would qualify as greatest of all time. To be fair, they sure did blow away the final team of Robbie Mikoski and Frank Trigg. Ranallo made Trigg passable when he first started announcing with Pride, but Trigg was unbearable afterwards. I imagine Ranallo and Barnett would have been excellent in Pride and would most likely be enhanced greatly by calling the matches live at the building as they are taking place. · A two year old match airing on network with limited cable coverage hurts the presentation. Not sure what the answer to that is (hopefully they have Ranallo and Barnett call future big shows on PPV at the arena) but it is something that needs to be addressed. · I like the old World Pro Wrestling graphic that takes you in and out of commercial breaks but I think they clutter it up aesthetically with the match date at the bottom. · I very much appreciate Tanahashi and Okada a lot more for their ability to identify a better way to work a match to get (and keep) both over by not having to use meaningless elbow exchanges, pop up no sells after big moves, and one count kick outs in the late stages of matches as the main ingredients of a match (11/9/14 Goto vs. Ishii springs to mind as great representation of everything wrong with that style).
  7. http://placetobenation.com/where-the-big-boys-play-62-wcwnew-japan-1991-supershow/ Chad and Parv take a trip to the Egg Dome in Tokyo for the WCW / New Japan Supershow 1991: Rumble in the Rising Sun! - [3:25] Wrestling Observer and PW Torch roundup: Butch Reed off to the rodeo circuit?, health update on Tommy Young, yet another sensational firing for Buddy Landel, and the find out what's the most talked about backstage story in the wrestling business! - [43:30] Review of WCW / New Japan Supershow: Arn buys a robe, Jim Ross provides a guide to wrestling in Japan, Tony Schiavone makes fun of the concession stand, and El Gigante does a suplex! - [1:41:10] End of show awards and question for the listeners: what are some better interpromtional shows than this one? The PWO-PTBN Podcast Network features great shows you can find right here at Place to Be Nation. By subscribing on iTunes or SoundCloud, you’ll have access to new episodes, bonus content, as well as a complete archive of: Where the Big Boys Play, Titans of Wrestling, Pro-Wrestling Super-Show, Good Will Wrestling, and Wrestling With the Past.
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