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Found 10 results

  1. At this point, I'm starting to think JD stands for JUDO and DEATH. This was another unique match as it has some big violence and blood. Starts out with a few psycho bumps, Sakai takes a really dangerous looking spill down a flight of stairs, misses a moonsault from a height into a pile of chairs etc. To be honest I thought the pace was a little off but it could've been due to the clipping. The second half was really well worked as you had Sakai doing her best Sangre Chicana impression, being bloodied and doing a very good job selling dazed and hanging on by a thread. I really liked how desperate Sakai was to avoid the chain punches from The Bloody, and the worked in some good exchanges. There were a few weird lulls in the match and some parts that felt a little rushed keeping this below it's potential.
  2. The Satomura/Amano sections were pretty kickass. The rest of this was largely a harmless, mindless sprint starring plenty of convoluted ways to get armbars. The finish run was between Satomura and Nagashima and had some funny spots. Something like Satomura spinning Nagashima around in the fireman's carry position to hit her Death Valley Driver anyways can only really make sense in a joshi match.
  3. This isn't going to be a full and complete review since I chose (that's right, chose) not to watch some of the more hyped matches. Specifically, I skipped Bullet Club vs CHAOS because I've been watching wrestling long enough to know that throwing a bunch of superstars into one match does not make it good. That's some bone throwing lazy booking of NJPW talent. But, I'm guessing that ROH doesn't have a lot of say-so. Its pretty clear to this walking fart of a man that the NJPW talent is just thrown in there (Liger & Will included) for novelty sake. That's alright but, in this case the 10 man match, it seemed like a step above a Battle Royal match to me. And to have it be second to last, seems wacky considering most of these guys aren't on TV or full time. Anyways, onto the shit I wanted to see! Kenny King vs Jushin Thunder Liger - Good God yes! I loved this match especially the finish The selling by both guys made this work- just a fun, fun bout. Liger just keeps on ticking! The Briscoe Brothers vs The Addiction (Kaz & Daniels): First and foremost, I love the Briscoe's promo videos. This stuff is fantastic and iconic. They have done really well crafting their chracters over the years. They should be lauded for their characters/personas as much as their in-ring abilities. So, that being said, we've got four pillars of the 2000's independent wrestling revolution (?) in the ring and damn can these guys still go. Obviously, it's not all fireworks but, they let 'em fly for awhile until the 2 on 1 story comes into play. I'd have to say this was a great match and up there with the main event. The factor for me was that I've been watching these guys for a long time now and although maybe nothing brand new was done, they told an interesting story, got me invested, and executed it like the masters they are. I'm a sucker for tag matches but, this was great stuff without trying to one-up yourself. Sumie Sakai vs Tenille Dashwood - WOH championship is being defended by Sumie. This match impressed me. It was very competitive and aggressive. You know Sumie is tough and Dashwood wants to do well in the ring so, they put their best feet forward. It wasn't always pretty but, it was compelling and entertaining. Enjoyed the finish as well. Good match Jay Lethal vs Will Ospreay: ROH World Title on the line. I've never been a fan of Ospreay but, I respect him. I have a new appreciation of the guy after this match. He was bringing stiff chops & kicks, reduced the superfluous spins and flips, and put some more meat on his bones. He's got a more serious attitude in my beady eyes. I think that he's more stylistically in line with the NJPW Jr. greats of the 90's and it shows here versus the confident Jay Lethal. Jay is a veteran at this point and his selling and match layout was excellent here. He treated Ospreay as an equal and forced (perhaps) Will to have a World Title fight rather than a fireworks match. Lethal has never really done fireworks and I've always been a fan of his because of that. So, I can't say for certain that it was Lethal keeping Ospreay focused or if Will has controlled himself but, this combination really worked for me. I've found that to be the case with many, if not all, recent Jay Lethal matches that I've watched- he pairs very well with others. The dude is a damn fine wrestler and has very good to great matches with whomever he's in there with. The tag match with Johnathan Gresham versus Silas Young & Bully Ray on a recent ROH TV episode being a fine example: Technical underdog, big roughneck, seasoned vet yet he still looks & acts like the champ. So, this match was another very good to great match. There wasn't a ton of backstory but, the action was very engaging, they worked a story, and these two had chemistry. In fact I felt so much chemistry that they could put on a great marquee rivalry. One that ROH needs after the NXT drain. So, it was a very good way to end the PPV/show . They could have just done the Ospreay spectacle with Lethal along for the ride but, instead opted to have a interesting and engaging match that left me wanting more. Overall, this was a very good show. I'll admit I saw it for free but, I enjoy ROH's product. So, if they keep it up, I might even go to a show or get a PPV or whatever the fuck its called or does nowadays. Honor Club? Seriously, I dig the TV show as it reminds me of old WCW Thunder. They do need some better connection between the TV and major shows though. I'm not asking for WWE scripted poop but, it was weird to discover that John Gresham was in a dark match despite being in 2 great TV main events right before Death Before Dishonor. I'm glad the Ospreay bout was great but, it felt odd for that to be there instead of Bully Ray vs Lethal or a rematch from the TV tag match. A Fight Without Honor match? That have been great as well as give the impression of actual booking. But, uh maybe that WCW Thunder comparison is more accurate than I thought... I appreciate you taking the time to read! Thanks! Check the show out on the stream club network or DVD or something
  4. Hiromi Yagi, we meet again!! Yagi is a hidden great wrestler and it's always great to see her get a chance to stretch out and work her magic. This was a pretty kickass fight between two girls with legit ability; JD' was pretty judo-centric (they had a judo jacket shootstyle match earlier in the show) and that was felt very strongly in this. Modern day junior workers should study matches like this, as this was fast paced, unpredictable, hard fought, exciting pro wrestling, and every move they did required minimal cooperation. There was no time killing or filler work, both ladies just went for the kill the whole time, always fighting for an armbar or chokehold. I dug the matwork and Sakai adds a lot, and when they weren't fighting like mad for the advantage there were a few neat spots. Yagi is a rare joshi worker who understands how to add meaning to sprint sections by resisting basic spots. Yagi refusing to be thrown makes Sakai following up with a dropkick a lot more logical, Yagi selling the fuck out of her arm added some sense of desperation to her comeback, Yagi going into a bridge and forcing Sakai to elbow her in the stomach is such a simple spot that makes even a simple pin attempt look important. She also knows how to make believable comebacks, as most of the time she would counter with a flash submission, until she had gained enough momentum to hit her big throw, which felt like a big moment. That is not to put down Sakai because she is a badass suplex & submission artist of her own. Textbook finish very well executed. This rocked.
  5. Fang Suzuki vs Sumie Sakai - Chain Rope, Chair pit & ladder match (12/29/2000 JD'): Not sure if that's the official name of the match...but, it presents a helluva visual, right? This was a great match. I'll just say that right off the Louisville. There were dives, blood, moves on the chairs...it was right there with ECW, FMW, or WWF at the time, in terms of inventive gimmick and actual execution. Even better, they didn't give us the fucking tour of the arena as was the fashion of the time. I liked that then, I won't lie but, only if it seemed organic. I've seen quite a few fights where there is pretty much zero reason to traipse amongst the ticket holders. Anyhow, this was Sumie kicking ass and Fang being an excellent foil. The real joy of the match is in the surprises. They had every right to milk the stips and stomp & headbutt their way into a couple highspots and bloodlettings. I don't want to spoil this for anyone. I will say the finish wasn't my favorite but, was an emphatic end to a war. Great stuff. Susumu Yokosuka vs Milano Collection vs Touru Owashi vs Dragon Kid - 4 Way Elimination Match (08/28/04): Fantastically fun 4 man match! Although it took me a minute to figure out the gimmick w/ the turnbuckle & the hidden golden tickets. What is this Willy Wonka Wrestling!? Really cool match that was pretty crazy once things got goin' and goofy in a good way at times. The stiff lariats from Mr. "Too Many U's in my Name" really helped make this a legit match & balanced the goof troop stuff...so it was real fun, dog
  6. I got to see these matches up on ROH's site today. Its episode #344 , aired 04/20/18 for what its worth. All take place on the Supercard of Honor show from 'Mania weekend. Ok with that outta the way, we go to the fights! Kelly Klein vs Mayu Iwatami: This was pretty enjoyable. There were some flubs but, this wasn't meant to set the world on fire. I guess this was a semifinal to determine the Women of Honor champion. Kelly made a good first impression whereas I was hoping from more from Mayu. I've seen her in Stardom back in 2015 or 2016 and thought maybe she could have brought more to this. Nevertheless, this was hard hitting & competitve and A-OK in my book. Sumie Sakai vs Tenille Dashwood: Dashwood has a very good look and character. Turns out she was Emma from WWE. That means very little to me...other than I can see why her character-work is really polished. As with the previous match, this was good but, nothing amazing. The highlight was Sumie bringing some mat wrestling to the show. That's something the modern product (oh I fucking hate saying that but, I've been watching WWE Network for an hour and it gets burned into your soft brain)....Mat wrestling is something that is lacking from the modern ROH show. So, it was nice to see even a flash of it here. *So it turns out (per Wikipedia) that the previous matches were prior to the main show.* Kelly Klein vs Sumie Sakai: This is for the WOH belt. This starts out pretty heated and does really well in topping the previous two fights. It was really good and building to something but, sorta just ends. I'm not sure if it was supposed to be longer but, I liked it nonetheless. I almost get the feeling that ROH management wanted all 3 matches to be less than 12 minutes so that they could put them on an episode of TV. As in, "Keep it short, we're gonna put all of these matches on the show. Wrestle for the TV show and not the PPV or live event". Here's my gripe with that idea sorta in mind. Colt Cabana and the other commentator go out of their way to make ROH seem pro-women or "pro-feminist" by changing words around and making apologies. For instance, it's a fisherwoman's suplex or it's her-story (instead of history). These things aren't said with tongue in cheek either. Then, Colt talks about how they're making things right by finally having a championship for the women & they have Daffney, an old school ROH and Shimmer wrestler sit ringside to promote some historical-gender connection or something. It was a cool blast from the past though. Initially, I felt that this was all some marketing/sales ploy to get a couple bucks from sympathetic viewers or attract female viewers by softly riding the wave of pop feminism. I was cynical of their intentions and well, I suppose I still am BUT, I genuinely think they are trying to be supportive. Sure, allowing more than 1 of the 3 matches to be on the PPV show, giving them more than 10 minutes per match, and putting the WOH title match above one of the FOUR other men's title matches that night MIGHT be MORE supportive but, it's something...I suppose. Really, it's not much is it? It's embarrassing actually but, the real positive is putting the strap on veteran 46 year old Sumie Sakai. Clearly she's not the same in-ring but, she's got loads of experience. And that is what this group of women need in terms of stepping up their game. These wrestlers are not Charlotte Flair, Asuka/Kana, etc. They need leadership and guidance in order to approach that level. It's a gutsy thing to have the face of your Women's division not be some young "hot chick" especially when your fan base is young men. I think everyone assumed Kelly was going to get the nod because of the youth factor. It was a good move to wait on that. ROH hopefully will keep the belt on Sumie for awhile and set the tone for their division as one of competition, athleticism, and progression. If so, I'll probably watch it more regularly than WWE's women's division.
  7. This match was like a joshi version of Atlantis/Blue Panther. Just what the hell was going on with these two girls? I'll just assume that this is how Jaguar Yokota taught them wrestling is supposed to be like. Just a straight up grappling match with a ton of legit ability in both workers and a strange lucha influence to keep it sweet and graceful. I swear to good some of the sequences here wouldn't look out of place in a 1991 CMLL title match. At one point, Sakai floated into a flying headscissor, which turned into a standing choke, that Yabushita then countered into an ankle pick. Really unlike anything I've seen in a wrestling match before. Same for Sakai's strange huracanrana where she slipped underneath almost as if pulling guard and then gracefully rolled into a pin. That kind of stuff could look cute and contrived, but they had their timing down pat and the rhythm was just right, moving from matwork, to sparringly used rope usage, to hellish suplex moves. Yabushita again went for the arm like a bat out of judo hell, and the selling was top, adding just the right kind of fatigue and desperatin. Some of Yabushita's armlocks were straight out of Negro Navarro's book. Really I've no idea what was going on with these two to have a match like this in a dying promotion. I guess it's just a thing between two workers who trained together and just did they kind of bout they enjoyed.
  8. JD STAR KILL EM ALL!!!! I had stupidly high expectations because it's BIG MATCH HIROMI YAGI!!!! and naturally as such this was underwhelming. I'll put the blame on Sakai as she seemed to be kind of going through the motions. There were still a few cool little moments mostly thanks to Yagi who had developed a cool veteran aura. Some nice matwork, neat armbar work, getting a cheap takedown from the ropes etc. Sakai, on the other hand, looked kind of poor. I guess she just didn't feel like it that night, because, you know she had very good matches with Yabushita, a judo girl with an armbar-centric moveset, what's stopping her from matching up well with Yagi? But it just didn't happen. Then just as it seemed that the match got going it ended. The finishing move itself also felt like a total burial of Yagi. Hiromi Yagi, you deserved better.
  9. This was one of the more interesting matches I've seen in a while. This match was different from the Sakai/Yabushita match they had in March of 2001 as this was a grudge match. Yabushita comes in wearing street clothes and this is a fight from the get-go. However, due to their unique styles, this ends up being far weirder than your typical joshi brawl. The pace is very good as they avoid overly long wandering brawling and instead go back to the wrestling while keeping the story in tact. Also, even though Yabushita's heel faction was at ringside, there were no intereferences, which was a nice change of pace from what I'm used to in joshi. It was really neat to watch Yabushita going back and forth from busting out flash submissions to going for weapons and illegal chokes. It sounds like a mess, but you gotta trust me when I say this actually works because the timing and pacing is on point. The wrestling exchanges here were super nifty and almost lucha-esque in their rhythm at times. Stuff like Yabushita reversing a pin attempt by sweeping on top of Sakai, the ultra-quick springboard moves or a few extremely well timed transitions made me think these two are far above your average worker. Execution-wise they weren't quite as sharp as I like, for example Yabushita has a weak chain punch and Sakai kind of blows a missed punch, but there was nothing that hurt the match too bad, and both girls also have good offense, Yabushita especially rocks her flash armbars and there were a few very cool, believably used suplex variations. Most importantly Sakai was a very good babyface here adding a lot to the match with her charisma and timing. There was one spot where Yabushita is fed up and attacks her arm with a series of nasty chairshots, leading to Sakai making a desperation comeback by giving Yabushita a fisherman buster on the chair, but the referee refuses to count because she used to chair. I have no idea if the referee was a heel or just trying to do her job, but I thought that was a seriously great moment. Her selling of the arm was again pretty much impeccable and I thought they did a good job with the long, dramatic finishing run that could have easily killed the match but didn't. Very good, unique match. Fucking joshi of all things keeps surprising me with shit like this.
  10. This was a great match from two completely random names. I really like the Sumi Sakai from around this period that I've seen, as she was really using her judo and mostly dumping opponents on their heads with uncooperative throws before killing them off with nasty judo chokes, but the roles were kind of reversed here, Yabushita was a lunatic always fighting for armbars and constantly attempting to rip off Sakai's arm. Match was worked kind of like a juniorish BattlARTS match, with the junior stuff being cool, they had some cool ways around springboard moves, nice unpredictable flying armbars, also Sakai has this cool Yakushuji style headscissor to the floor. Match gets really great once the fatigue kicks in, as Sakai's arm starts to become dead weight, so she dumps Yabushita with some hard suplexes, which Yabushita sells suprisingly great (considering how suplexes are usually sold in joshi), and always going back to the arm, until Sakai catches one of her many attempts and kills her off Fuchi style. Pretty great stuff and something I'd easily rate ahead of many joshi "classics".
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