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Found 66 results

  1. First half of this was pretty great as Danielson would torture Evans with ultra tight basic holds while Evans would use his freak athleticism and flexibility to escape and hit spin kicks. Danielson can play Fuchi extremely well as he did both subtle things like digging his elbow into the leg aswell as stuff that looks grossly painful such as twisting at the chin, almost making the back of Evans head touch the back of his thigh etc. Finishing stretch wasn't as great as Evans looked a little sloppy while both guys transitioned from offense a little too easily. All time great finish though. I'd wager Evans performance here was better than pretty much anything Manami Toyota has ever done as he showed greater flexibility, better timed comebacks, more spectacular offense etc.
  2. It is June and by gawd it's the half way point of the year!?? Really? It was snowflakes and salt stains just yesterday! That being said, I want to do my Best Match Watched and other assorted superlatives for the first part of 2019. It helps you but, more importantly, it helps me! Best Match Watched: -Daniel Bryan vs CM Punk - Money In the Bank (2012): This not a classic match but, one of the handful of WWE matches that I've watched this year that I thought was great. -Michael Elgin vs Roderick Strong - ROH Summer Heat Tour (Cincinnati 2014): The full show review is coming up here soon (I watched it over Winter - sue me!) but, this was a classic ROH title fight. -Zack Sabre Jr. vs Tomohiro Ishii - Wrestle Kingdom 13 (2019): Inoki Strong Style lives! Loved it! Great match at least but, a near classic to me. -Jeff Cobb vs Ricochet - PWG Battle of Los Angeles (2016): Not a classic but, a great match! 12-14 minute barn burner and a match lost in an ill fated winter watching project. Ricochet vs a big dude is always gold. He can let loose with his strikes, can bump like a super ball, and his crazy death-defying moves really, truly look like Hail Mary spots. -AKIRA vs Kenny Omega - NJPW Best of the Super Jrs. (2010): Another 'not a classic but great match.' AKIRA decided to go all limb work psychologist here and it was friggin' brilliant. -Prince Devitt vs Gedo - NJPW Best of the Super Jrs. (2010): Simple match layout but, the swearing/intensity of this match was lights out awesome. -Finlay vs TAJIRI - Smash - Final Show (2012): A near classic emotional and physically punishing bout. Fans of either guys need to watch this! -Wahoo McDaniel vs Greg Valentine - JCP (1977): Near classic hard hitting bout and angle. -Rick Martel vs Nick Bockwinkel - AWA (1984): The in-ring work, the story, this is a classic. **Frankly, everything from the Wahoo, Martel and more blog post could be on here but, those are the top two to me!** -Hans Schmidt vs Yukon Eric - Chicago Wrestling (circa 1958): Simple, brutal wrestling - the ropes break, part of the ring breaks. Classic shit. Best Wrestler: Wahoo or Martel at this point. Different opponents and different situations and both brought intensity and passion to every encounter. Biggest Surprise: Right now it's that I'm watching US wrestling more than Japanese wrestling That's not to say the drama and intensity is that much different than puro but, it's probably been a decade since my US wrestling has outweighed my Japanese wrestling. Biggest Disappointment: Ha! Probably the fact that I can't get big projects started and can't seem to finish up ones that are 85% done. But damn, I'm amped that I've gotten the good wrestling in that I have! Thanks for reading! More good stuff to come!
  3. I wanted to give my opinion on the big topic of the new year: All Elite Wrestling. I'm not in the know in terms of facts and figures concerning the owners or the talent its centered around. I don't know what their income is or what they're worth or any of that financial stuff. Similarly, I don't have any scoop on which wrestlers or other performers are going to sign with the company. It doesn't seem worthwhile to post any of my opinions or suggestions in the AEW topic on the main forum. This is more about my take on the whole thing rather than news or debate. It feels that everyone is really excited about all of this because it's a pretty big shake up. Three pretty big wrestlers who worked for ROH and NJPW have branched out on their own and are getting even bigger friends (Omega & Jericho) to join them in their new company. Along with them are some more prominent Indy wrestlers as well a couple more friends from Japan (CIMA and I'm guessing Ibushi (who's Independent) will work with them). Oh how exciting!! It certainly is a bit of a shake up since everyone who's never listened to a shoot interview from the Bucks or Omega thought that they'd go to the WWE. Or at least that's what the YouTube channels wanted us to think. That seriously would have been a creative blunder on their parts so, it's neat to see them go it on their own. But, I don't know what people are expecting. That is to say, I don't know IF, from a match quality standpoint, they are expecting anything different than what PWG has been doing for about a decade. And I don't know if they are expecting angles, stables, arcs, and feuds either. At Jump, I have a couple rhetorical questions: OK you've tentatively got Kenny Omega, the #1 wrestler that everybody wants. But who are they going to have him go up against? Who's out there on the market that he could work a engaging program with? Is Penta and/or Fenix available? And for how long? Cody has more competition on his level but, is this really interesting anyone? What about the Bucks? They can work with anyone but, the problem is that they've already worked with EVERYONE. It seems to me they have one genuine superstar and then A-B level talent in Cody & the Bucks. Jericho is there but, for how long and in what capacity? Now ponder for a moment - what if WWE/NXT didn't buy Ricochet, Adam Cole, reDRagon, Roddy Strong, Keith Lee, and Walter like the 2nd coming of Eric Bischoff in WCW...then this AEW thing would have some teeth, no? It'd really have some fangs if they could get guys to jump ship from the 'E to AEW. Supposedly there's talk of the Revival going over? That might be something... what's Kevin Steen, Devitt, KENTA and the rest of the 205 Live Roster doing nowadays? PAC is a start, right? Truth be told, this really has similarities to old Japanese groups like UWF and SWS especially. I know AJPW at the turn of the 90's better than what happened in UWF but, I'll get back to them. SWS had a big money investor get a bunch of top talent from AJPW and a couple from NJPW to start a company. Tenryu and Yatsu were big F-ing deals in 89-90 AJ. You've got your #1 heel/rival to Jumbo (Omega to Okada) and then Jumbo's tag team partner leaving. In NJPW terms, perhaps its like an Ishii or Goto leaving. Then, Nakano & Takano who were the face "junior" tag team against Kawada/Fuyuki's Footloose. Even Fuyuki left too! They got Naoki Sano from NJPW. Cody, Young Bucks, PAC and Adam Page sounds similar to me. Then you had older guys like Ishikawa & Great Kabuki and other guys who were past their prime at the time like George Takano & Kendo Nagasaki. I won't say Jericho here but, CIMA seems like a decent fit (since read that Daniels, Kaz & Scorpio Sky are on board and I think they are applicable here). Then, you had up and coming juniors like Asai (Ultimo Dragon to be), Masao Orihara, Katayama et al. This sounds like your Joey Janela and other independent guys and girls. Of course the big difference, SWS had the support of the WWF and their stars from the get-go. It wouldn't last BUT, it helped them get a foothold. With AEW, they've burned some big bridges on BOTH sides of the world with this move. Now we come back to the UWF. The company had to fold within a couple years due to differences between Maeda & Sayama as well as the larger financial problems. SWS folded too but, WAR came out of that. We know how NJ worked with Tenryu and his company throughout the 90's and 2000's. Omega is Tenryu level here. So, NJPW has historically been forgiving if they can make money so that doesn't cut things off for them completely. So if the Elite boys are smart, they will try and be like WAR from the get go. They can do this by not going into business to directly compete with the big dogs AND by not focusing on the money. Seriously speaking, I see this as means to put on monthly shows that are PWG like dream cards but in much larger venues. Dream shows once a month, internet based everything (probably no DVDs or Blu-ray), and tee shirts. I could see them touring as well but, a relaxed schedule like ROH. The indy guys and girls make up most of the card and the "Elite" do 6 man matches to lead into the BIG shows. YouTube free matches/shows or streamed service TV shows of these matches is very likely to keep costs down. Perhaps if they book angles or story arcs, a studio show like TNA Asylum/Impact Zone could be there instead or if a TV deal is there. Honestly, I look at this AEW as a vanity project. They probably do too. I don't think they're looking to get richer but, just do WHAT they like-WHEN they like and pay the bills. I can certainly admire them for that. Now who knows what that means for the Adam Pages, Joey Janelas, and the younger folks of the company? The bleeding heart fans, like myself, are excited at the prospect of the performers receiving unbiased wages and health care. I think that those hopes are quickly being dashed against the rocks from what I've seen though. I do think it'll be more PWG-wrestler owned & operated than NJ, ROH, or WWE. So, beyond that, what does AEW hold for us fans? What can they offer us that's new & exciting? Are they going to fall back upon the allure of the Dream Match OR do wrestling with good stories and good booking? Honestly, I think AEW is taking the PWG mentality and product to a national (international?) level. Its not that it'll be anything new BUT, it will be more accessible and more visible than the insular PWG. I'd love to see genuine drama in wrestling and perhaps Jericho will be called upon to book (which would be the very best use of him). They have the resources to do it so, it is a possibility. And finally the larger implications of this company and it's possible success: If it's around for a few years, I wouldn't be surprised if they take ROH's spot as NJPW's US partner promotion. And like SWS/AJPW it may create a situation in NJPW, where they decide to elevate some guys and create a whole new generation of stars for the 2020's. Yeah, it is exciting. Guess we just have to wait and see... Thanks for reading!
  4. I cannot say what exactly prompted me to explore Dragon Gate. My project from a couple months ago looking at DGUSA was perhaps the genesis (I still have one DVD to go). But, I've become a Shingo fan after the AJPW 2018 Champion Carnival . Then, I saw he is/was in this years PWG BOLA. Oh that's what prompted this! yeah, I have a mountain of older PWG DVDs to watch but, I might have check those out. So, let's get on with this! I'm going to list these in order of viewing so, you can get a better feel for what I saw and have some context for my views. Shingo Takagi vs YAMATO (Kobe Wrestling Fest 2016): Fucking radical sick match! No seriously this was a great match. YAMATO was trying to put Shingo to sleep or break his arm. That war of attrition really helped draw this out into a longer match without necessarily running through killer moves. The Y-man damaged Shingo's wing which both weakened the effectiveness of his strikes AND kept YAMATO in the fight longer than Takagi's ferocity would normally allow. I say that because this resembled a AJPW match more than Dragon Gate to me. The one con (at first glance) is YAMATO seemed sedate at the start. This was my first Y-Man match so, this could have just been ignorance of his style/mannerisms. Nonetheless, this was a fantastic singles match between my two most favorite DG guys. KAGETORA vs Dragon Kid (04/06/18): It's nice to see KAGETORA since my 2010 wXx project and Dragon Kid has been cool with me since the DG influx in ROH more than a decade ago. But, something did not click early on with me. I lost interest rather suddenly...Unlike the above match, this resembled Dragon Gate in bad way. I suppose that's shitty of me but, if it's lost me in the first few minutes, it's not worth me working through the match. It's building on a shitty foundation. BxB Hulk & YAMATO vs Ben-K & Big R Shimuzu (Kobe Fest 07/22/18): Right here I'm going to say this was my favorite match of the whole project. This was Classic tag wrestling! The Big-Ben team is such a back-to-basics team. They remind me of a late 80's AJ team who rely upon energy, effort, and stiffness. Really, the same can be said of YAMATO. BxB Hulk was the weakest participant at the start but, old-age or experience has quieted his flippy tendancies. He's traded that and his dance moves for precision kicks ala Katsu Nakajima. (Speaking of which- check the ref out! The frizzy fro and 70's stache must be a trend in Japan!? Rock it the fuck out dude!!). More about the match: Ben-K and Big R are rolling like true legendary tag machines (sans the metallic pants). YAMATO is about up top on the "Sorry I slept on this Dude" list along with Shingo. BxB is still creepy but, the dude is axe kicking brain stems and I cannot/will not hate that! Mixed this with their amazing chemistry, basic story, surprises and I'll consider this a classic contemporary tag classic. If you're watching Indy Wrestling or NJ even, you owe it to yourself to watch this bout. Shingo Takagi vs Masato Yoshino (07/22/18): So, I had high hopes for this but, yeah this was very super disappointing. It was very 1 sided and Yoshino's repeated comebacks were not believable. I might say this was comparable to the 03/26/95 Aja Kong vs Toyota WWWA match. Similarly, some people loved that and some did not. This was just too long and not very good because of that. This would have benefitted from a 2/3 falls stipulation. Instead we get a ton of kickouts and selling shit like death then popping up like a whack-a-mole trying moves at warp speed. Rysuke Taguchi vs YAMATO (NJPW 05/30/09): Best of the Super Jrs.- Tha Funky Weapon vs the Y-Man- aw yeah! The K-Hall crows is eating this up big time as both dudes are working the crowd. Taguchi starts showing 'Mato that he's NJ elite and powers past any counter attempts. Luck runs out though. Ryusuke is elbowing the Dragon Gater in the face but, YAMATO is actually smiling. Now, it gets straight violent and quiets the crowd. God Bless YAMATO! This is a great match that is truly competitive. Go see this!! Plus NJ has it on their Youtube channel so, you've got no excuses Jushin Thunder Liger vs YAMATO (NJPW 06/03/09) Again BOSJ match. A shorter fun match between these two talents. Liger is such a puro hero. Again, free and easy on the NJ YT. YAMATO & Kzy vs CIMA & Ricochet (08/11/17): Ricochet back in DG and YAMATO just wasn't enough for me to get past the first few minutes. Again, this is more of my preference than saying it's crap. YAMATO & Cyber Kong vs EITA & T-Hawk (12/28/14): A match with clear face/heel roles so, it's hard to screw this up. Both teams impressed but KONG & TOMATO were my team of choice since their stuff was simpler. Hawk & EITA did an excellent job hanging in there with their seniors but, their intensity (or sense of it) was sacrificed for a good performance. That is to say they were being careful. A very good match and Y-Man's star continues to shine. BxB Hulk vs Shingo Takagi (12/28/14): This had a nice into video showing that these 2 have history. Good enough for me! Petty Meltzer gave this ****1/2 and I could see that but, I felt it was a tad below that. It could have been slimmer but here's my take away notes. Pros: Nice Appropriate amount of stiffness (Hulk's kicks & Shingo's elbows & lariat), great execution of moves (stuff looked fought over, pulled off in a believable manner), Good pacing despite 30+ minutes Cons: That being said if this was a couple minutes shorter this would have been a Classic bout. Despite this not being what I'd call a classic (****1/2-*****), I watched this twice in a row. It is just a blast to watch and totally worth seeking out if any of this stuff appeals to you. So, yeah! Pretty awesome stuff overall. Dragon Gate isn't my favorite promotion and even from what I saw it can be hit or miss. When it hits though, it hits as well as NJPW or NOAH for me. So, it's no true surprise that Shingo has been called up to be the newest member of Los Ingobernales de Japon. I loved that promo video NJ released and to have Shingo be the man, ah that's awesome! It's not yet time for my 2018 Best Match Viewed awards but, Shingo is damn near locked to win my wrestler of the year pick!
  5. Mixed up indeed! Young Bucks & Paul London vs Scott Lost, Joey Ryan, Karl Anderson (The Dynasty International) (Express Written Consent 2009): I would consider this to be in the golden era of PWG...Like 2007-2011. It wasn't hyped to hell, still had plenty of CA state talent, shows weren't supercars etc. It was kinda ROH level but, still with comedy. Bucks were feuding with the Dynasty team so, this 6 man was nice. Anderson was already in NJPW and London was coming back from his post World wrestling release. Paul entered the ring in his astronaut jumpsuit only to reveal he was wearing a WWF tee shirt!! Hahaha, that is to say a World Wildlife Foundation tee shirt His wrestling was off just a bit this match but, he certainly made up for it. The Bucks were phenomenal and any hiccups were quickly forgotten. Trust me. One note is that they hadn't begun the super kicks yet so, if that bugs you- don't worry! The Dynasty international were great foils for the face team and Scott Lost was particularly impressive. This was a blast main event for the card. I recommend checking it out if you want to like the Young Bucks but hate their overly self aware B.S. as of late. Dalton Castle vs Jushin Liger (ROH Reloaded Tour 2016): I'm not sure on the date. Its up on their Throwback Thursday playlist so, it should be easy to track down. This is a fun little comedy match with some nice moves thrown in as well. Its a 10 minute TV match but, gave me a couple chuckles. Most importantly, its a fantastic bout to show friends and family who are non-fans...especially if you're trying to coax them into going to a live show or something! OK now the real heavy duty shit... Jun Kasai vs Takashi Iikuza (01/28/18 TAKA production): I don't know if this match had a wacky deathmatch stipulation. It was just wild fight in the crowd then eventually in the ring with chairs and Kasai brought a ladder along with a razor saw board. I mean I hope those are not shaving razors because holy shit! The last 5 minutes would be utter bananas! I loved this match...just chaotic stuff and really dangerous. We watch wrestling because we want to feel something...well, I was afraid for the safety of both guys. That and a little squeamish. There was not really a lot of blood or gore per se but, the violence was there. Having been watching early 90's FMW, this was very similar in tone and taste. Awesome 13 minute hardcore bout. I really loved this!
  6. Work was busy and the weather was nice so, I didn't get around to watching day #2 of wXw's 2010 tournament I thought about skipping today but, figured I'd share my take on the most popular wrestlers not in WWE- Kenny Omega & the Young Bucks. Although both are sort of the antithesis of the blog as they are just so darn well known and praised by Dave M. And that's cool because I do like them both. No, they're not my favorites or wrestle according to my stylistic preference. But, shit they make it fun and sometimes even great. Tetsuya Naito vs Kenny Omega (NJPW 08/13/2016): I liked this one especially towards the end. All in all this reminded me of a souped up 90's NJ Jr's. match. Didn't get the spitting schtick but, whatever... I'll say this: selling a hurt leg is easy to do. Hop around a little, rub the knee etc. but, selling it well is much more difficult. Omega did a pretty good job down the stretch with nice little touches especially toward the end. Was it Kawada-like? No but, I was believing in a submission... So much modern offense is based on running and jumping that basing a match of a bum wheel can be a recipe for junk but, I have become more lenient in my judgements though. I will give Omega credit for sticking to it as best he could based on his style and the current NJ style. I mean he very well could have blown it off by hulking up, calling upon his fighting spirit or whatever but he did not. Naito was excellent in his selling too...just in a more generalized fatigue/brain damaged kind way. Some of the looks he made after a big move or counter were priceless! So, overall it got me engaged and invested. I bought the leg damage and thought it was a great match. Glad I went out of my way to watch it! The speech afterwards was a nice bonus. Go see this! Kevin Steen & Super Dragon vs Young Bucks (PWG FEAR 12/10/11): The outset of the match appeared to one sided. The hefty Super Dragon & even heftier Steen were mauling the Jackson Brothers. Elbows, punches, chairs, you name it. Obviously, the Bucks mount a comeback and we get one brutal hardcore match. What makes it so special (in addition to Dragon's return) is the intensity that Steen & Super brought. It legitimately looked like they wanted to hurt/kill the other team. The Bucks were heel but, man they garnered sympathy. Every move even if just a punch or stomp gave a little hope that they would survive. It even looked like they had a chance of winning when they'd isolated Steen from Dragon. Its a wonder no one was hurt more than they were. A really well done hateful No DQ (Guerrilla Warfare) match. No glitz no glamour. Kenny Omega vs Hirooki Goto (NJPW G1 Climax Final 08/14/16): I watched this match twice since I saw that people gave it ****3/4. Here are my thoughts from both viewings: Omega is charismatic and his mannerisms and expressions are indicative of a character he's playing rather than "himself." He engages the crowd very well with these attributes which have a tinge of dark humor. It's fun to watch. I am a fan of Goto especially in his IC fights with Nakamura. I thought this would be similar since Omega is playing something like Nakamura's but, Goto came across as bland. He was not as stiff and or intense as I would have liked. They could have traded out Goto for any big/strong wrestler as I felt this was all Kenny. Watching this made the Naito match all that more worth watching again. All in all this was a great match with the powerbomb fake out and the tributes to Ibushi and past Bullet Clubbers. I was hoping that they would play more off of Omega's knee from the Naito match from the previous night...that would have been awesome and a recipe for a classic but, i just had higher expectations than what this turned out to be. Great match nonetheless! Generation Me vs. the Motor City Machine Guns (Full Metal Mayhem match, Final Resolution TNA 12/05/10): This is a recommended TLC match which I'm a little down on as a gimmick. Oh excuse me...Full Metal Mayhem® match! Duh! I liked this mainly because they keep the action moving despite the death trap made in the middle of the ring. The MCMG provide some psych in building this too. "Oh man, I can't get both belts! Its too tall for these ladders!" The Bucks are restrained in their shenanigans but, bring the Indy wackiness. The Guns wisely abstain from their combos (either due to age/injury or a stylistic choice). They still go off the turnbuckles and stuff but, it wasn't a Junior acrobatic type train wreck. And it wasn't a plodding "set up the high spots" match either. I liked it a lot actually. Should mention: Sabin damn near fell off the contraption after the match. Now I will sing Kenny & the Bucks to the tune of Sir Elton's 'Benny & the Jets' Come on and join me!
  7. This is probably the best YB match I've seen so far, because, they don't go spot-crazy. Aries and Strong work them over and they do a good job selling the puishment, and then when it's their turn, they keep things simple. Some might not like the hundred back and chest rakes, but, they made it work, and Nick mocking Aries was amusing and they were good at keeping Aries from making the save. After Strong tags out, he and Aries are back in control and it seems more and more like they're going to win the titles, especially after Aries pushing Nick off the top rope and they have Matt all to themselves, but, Matt doesn't stay down. He blow anything off, he takes the abuse and barely kicks outs The finish comes down to Matt outsmarting, and out wrestling Strong, when he counters his backbreaker attempt into a crucifix and steals the win. As much as the Bucks have annoyed me while watching their PWG work, and made me scoff at hearing them being called the best team in the world, they finally showed me something here. Edit: In fact, the only real exposing part of the match was when Nick when for the Last Chancery and Strong put him in the Stronghold, and that was only because Nick had to slow things down, because Roddy wasn't ready.
  8. El Generico comes down in street clothes and we find out that he is no condition to compete because of his shoulder injury. The PWG Champion Bryan Danielson storms down to the ring and tells Generico if he doesn't wrestle tonight, he'll never get a title shot. 'Serious Wrestler' Heel Danielson was so good, gutted we never got to see it in the WWE. Anyway, match starts and Bryan works on Generico's arm and shoulder and it's brutal. Think Zack Sabre Jr. style stretching and times it by ten. Generico gets a few hope spots in after he nails a handful of Helluva kicks, but Danielson eventually puts him away with Cattle Mutilation. This was very enjoyable. It reminded me of an old school Mid South TV angle. Only thing that holds it back is that it's too back and forth for what it was hopin to achieve, but it's PWG, so it's to be expected. ★★★¼
  9. RyanClingman

    Collectivism in Pro-Wrestling

    With so many new business models popping up in wrestling lately -- like the planned 'The Elite' self-promoted show later this year -- I've been wondering how close we have ever gotten to a collectivist wrestling promotion. What I mean by this is a "a promotion run and owned democratically by the talent themselves". The best I can come up with is early PWG, but even then outside of the first few shows there was only ever a small number of roster members making decisions -- Super Dragon, Joey Ryan, Lost, and Excalibur as far as I understand it. And later it would seem that most of the power collected in the hands of Super Dragon. Is this really the closest we have gotten to a collectively run wrestling promotion on a scale of any real note? Is pro-wrestling culture predisposed to reject this sort of organization more so than other entertainment industries?
  10. This starts off with both guys feeling each other out with some technically sound yet rather dry grappling. PAC is the main offender here, he's a far cry from becoming the King Of The Cruiserweights that we all love today. Luckily, he more than makes up for this with his insane athleticism. The match's finishing stretch is very back and forth and a lot of the spots still hold up today as impressive. It's cool to see how a 2006 crowd reacted to a top rope reverse frankensteiner, something that we have become desensitizes to nowadays. A great showcase of what to expect from a PWG match. ★★★★
  11. I thought I liked Sami Callihan until I watched a sixty minute match of his. His flaws were exposed here. Spitting and swearing a lot doesn't make you a good worker. I don't want to sound too negative on this. Cole excelled at being the asshole heel, and the drama of Sami trying to get one more win so the match would go into overtime was very compelling. The commentary is great as always and the playful nature of it helped me digest the long match much easier than if they called it seriously. Some good-great stuff here, but there's so much filler and the match does drag on, I doubt I'll rewatch this any time soon. ★★★
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