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Found 33 results

  1. It is June and we're half way through 2020. It's been a rip roaring good time, no? All of that aside I'd like to do my half year in review. Not that I've been watching 20 matches a week or anything but, I think I've accomplished some wrestling watching goals that have been years in the making. Those big 2 are the wXw 2011 tournament and 1988 NJPW. I'd like to break things down by decades or era going forward. Then, from there I can say what my pick is. It is a little bit of comparing apples to oranges when looking at wrestling from 1980-2020. Some of the freshness of my approach is making that type of comparison. It is not saying "well that's a good match for 1985" or "that was OK for a 2018 match." I really am of the mind that great wrestling and especially classic wrestling is timeless. The trends and tropes may shift over time but, a hard fought match telling a compelling story will always be exciting, memorable, and worthwhile. I think breaking the matches down by year will help me organize my thoughts and provide a better resource to a reader. You may only want to know about stuff from the 1990's or 2000's onward so, it gives you the chance to see how I compared it to contemporary and historic matches without reading my actual review. My hope is that a person might see I think Sami Callihan vs Big Van Walter is comparable in quality to Vader vs Fujinami. And that then piques their interest in one match or the other. To me that's the real value of match reviews - making comparisons between the familiar and unfamiliar in order to bridge the gap in styles, genres, eras etc. If you've read this blog then, you know my tastes are ecclectic. I don't talk much about Lucha or WoS British style but, that's only because others here have provided such superior insights that I really don't think I can add anything. I just watch and enjoy. I digress! Let's get onto the lists! Oh, these are only matches that I've watched this year so, any review where I pulled a review from the graveyard to share won't be covered here. Best Matches Watched - January - June: Pre 1970's: Mighty Atlas vs Angelo Poffo (Chicago 1956) Honorable Mention, Very good match with nice action and pacing. Simple story but, well worked. 1970s & 80s: Akira Nogami, Tatsutoshi Goto, K. Yamada, K. Hoshino & S. Koshinaka vs Hiroshi Hase, K. Kobayashi, Kensuke Sasaki, N. Honaga & H. Saito (04/27/88) Tatsumi Fujinami vs Big Van Vader (04/27/88) Tatsumi Fujinami vs Riki Choshu (05/27/88) Shiro Koshinaka vs Owen Hart (06/24/88) Tatsumi Fujinami vs Riki Choshu (06/24/88) Tatsumi Fujinami vs Big Van Vader (06/26/88) Riki Choshu vs Antonio Inoki (07/22/88) Shiro Koshinaka vs Kuniaki Kobayashi (8/08/88) Antonio Inoki vs Tatsumi Fujinami (08/08/88) 1990s & 2000s: KENTA & Marufuji vs Samoa Joe & Danielson (ROH Best in the World 2006) KENTA vs Samoa Joe vs Bryan Danielson (ROH In Your Face 2006) Low Ki (Senshi) vs Chris Sabin (TNA Bound for Glory 2006) Honorable Mention, An action packed match with 0 TNA bullshit to spoil it. Golden era X Division stuff. Daisuke Sekimoto vs Manabu Nakanishi (BJW 2007) Honorable Mention, A very good to great match that told a great story that that fans & myself could believe. Precursor to the BJW Strong Style revival stuff. 2010 to present: Sami Callihan vs Tommy End (wXw 16 Carat 2011) El Generico vs Kotaro Suzuki (same) El Generico & Emil Sitoci vs Adam Cole & Kyle O'Reilly Yoshihito Sasaki vs Sami Callihan Davey Richards vs Zack Sabre Jr. Daisuke Sekimoto vs El Generico Cole & O'Reilly vs Sabre Jr. & Scurll Sami Callihan vs Big Van Walter Mark Haskins vs Alex Shelley (ROH TV 02/20): Honorable Mention, excellent chain wrestling by Shelley and a good fit for Haskins hybrid style. Crowd actually was into this match which can be tough for live ROH crowds nowadays. Best Wrestler: Tatsumi Fujinami, Sami Callihan Biggest Surprise: Yoshihito Sasaki Looking forward to: Tackling the mountain of DVDs I've got - AJPW, BJW, NOAH, NJPW, ROH and more...RetroMania Wrestling video game... Still deciding on what my next project is going to be... Thanks for reading!
  2. Sorry for the delay! Work the past few weeks has been really crazy with the increase in online retail due to the Corona Virus pandemic. So, I didn't feel much like watching another computer screen after staring at my work monitor all day. You didn't come here for excuses though! You wanted to find out about how the 2011 16 Carat Gold tournament wraps up. Well, after a long wait, here we are -the finale! Night 3 starts with a bang! Sami Callihan vs Davey Richards - An all action match to get things rolling. These two hard hitters left tons on the table for a future encounter but, it was still very good stuff. I would have been happy with either man in the finals. Colt Cabana & Emil Sitoci vs Kotaro Suzuki & Mark Haskins - The best Colt match as he was more business plus, he had 3 really good workers to keep him grounded. Therefore, we got a quite good tag match. Some comedy, nice section to build some tension, hot tags, just a fun watch. Good match Go Shiozaki vs Big Van Walter - I was looking forward to this. I was quite disappointed. Let's just get that out of the way. I felt they killed time in a very -ahem- rest hold taking kind of way. I don't like using the term "rest hold" but, that's what it felt like especially in the context of how other matches in the night used holds to move along the action or the story. Here it felt like Go took Walter for a Sunday drive around the town...with no particular place to go. Then they did that long enough and things got interesting. Then, it wrapped up. OK match I suppose but, don't think Shiozaki wanted to go out in style. This was his worse match of the event to me. Axeman vs Yoshihito Sasaki - I doesn't look good for Go to have a guy called Axeman and a BJW wrestler outshine you but, dammit that's what happened. For as much as a letdown Go Shiozaki was Sasaki (and to a lesser extent Axeman) has been a wonderful surprise. These guys went out there like the previous match could have done. Nothing insane in terms of intensity or stiffness BUT they looked like they wanted to finish the event with a win. That crumb of psychology was all they needed to have a very good perhaps even great match. Thank goodness! Jon Ryan vs Johnny Moss - Right now, I'd rather see these type of matches and be pleasantly surprised rather than let down. Fortunately, these fellow kept the good times rolling by having a technical showcase. It wasn't always pretty but, this buttered my bread. Hold and counter hold wrestling is timeless and this was well worth your time. Very good match -There's a tag team match that's really wXw storyline stuff...I'm skipping it- Daisuke Sekimoto vs El Generico - This is Sekimoto's 3rd defense and probably his toughest challenge. You'd think the more muscular Moss or Bad Bones would take that honor. However, if you're familiar with Generico then, you know he can take a beating and come right back and get the win. Daisuke's best defense, Generico's 3rd 4 star match in as many nights. You might even think it was better. Go see this Future Shock (O'Reilly & Cole) vs LDRS of the New School (Sabre Jr. & Scurll): Party Marty in full effect here! Watch for the crowd surfing afterwards. Anyhow, this was your 2010 up and coming wrestlers going to tear the house down type of tag match. Seriously, this was PWG spot fu to keep your jaw on the ground tag wrestling. This could have been a classic had they knew how to edit themselves but, shoot, I won't hate. They have all become smarter workers since then so, as a dream match time capsule, you ought to see it. This was a blast and if you're a fan of these guys like I am then, you'll think it was a great match. and now, the big match to crown the 2011 16 Carat Gold tournament winner... Big Van Walter vs Sami Callihan - Much like the 2010 Finals, this is your story match. You're using their previous encounters and what you've learned and applying it to this match. Walter is a tank and can finish anyone especially when he hits his powebomb. That move spells DEATH. Sami is a hard hitting dynamo and can finish you with his Stretch Muffler. More importantly, Sami has had a harder tournament - Tommy End, Yoshihito Sasaki & Davey Richards. That's pretty damn good compared to Rico Bushido, Mark Haskins & Go Shiozaki. And you all know how I feel about that last match This was a very good fight where the man who wanted it the most won. That's a feel good story and dammit we need that in wrestling - Even if it means guys getting put thru tables and clotheslined so hard their heads disappear. Excellent ending to an excellent event. Now to do a little summary and awards (?) I suppose... This was a tremendous 3 night wrestling event that is truly under the radar of a lot of people. I bought this and the 2010 event based on the line-up. Both did not disappoint but, 2011 is the superior show. Every night has at least 2 great matches with some faring better depending on your tastes. This 16 Carat event truly was a world tournament that provided some dream match ups I never knew I wanted to see. Does that make sense? Hahaha maybe! This was a nice change of pace after my NJ '88 project. I was really happy with buying this set and would definitely recommend it to anyone who digs these wrestlers. MVP: Sami Callihan, runner up: El Generico Best Match: Davey Richards vs Zack Sabre Jr., runner up: Sami Callihan vs Yoshihito Sasaki, honorable mention: all 3 El Generico bouts Best Surprise: Yoshihito Sasaki Worst Surprise: Go Shiozaki dogging it (although I will say his one finger was taped each night so, I'll give him that. However, this doesn't excuse slow paced, aimless matches on night 2 & 3) Overall: Night #1 was a breeze to watch, the best night overall. Night #2 had a couple rough matches in the front half but, had the two best matches. Night #3 had a couple great matches and the big finale but, got off track with the Go/Walter bummer and it took me a couple fights to wash the bad taste outta my mouth. Nonetheless, it was everyone's 3rd night so, it can be expected and everything else clicked as expected. Again, I cannot recommend this event enough especially since it is sold in one package. Plus there's a bonus dvd that I haven't watched yet. I hope you have enjoyed this review and its encouraged you to branch out of your wrestling comfort zone a little. Totally glad that I took a chance with this. Thanks for reading! Be safe folks! Hoping to do my mid year round up real soon
  3. Without further ado, let's take a look at Night #2 of wXw's 2011 16 Carat Gold Tournament! Axeman vs Rico Bushido vs Tommy End vs Bad Bones - Hard hitting wXw guys doing a fun spot match. Jay Skillet vs Jon Ryan - I like Ryan from his match with Davey but, you can skip this match. It wasn't bad. It's nothing special to me though. Colt Cabana vs Marty Scurll - Another outright comedy match. Marty is much better at this than Zack just because he's more vocal and outgoing. Fun stuff Carnage vs 2-Face - This was OK. They probably didn't need to hit as hard for this kind of match. Post match stuff had storyline stuff so, this was a vehicle for that. Poor use of Carnage IMO. Mark Haskins vs Big Van Walter - A simple David vs Goliath match with Haskins showing a ton of heart. He didn't have the cleanest execution but, it looked natural when going up against the juggernaut of Walter. Good match and best thus far. Day 2 is OK thus far but we're only half way through. Let's see what part 2 has to offer...It should get better. El Generico & Emil Sitoci vs Future Shock (Cole & O'Reilly) - I was really glad they took their time in setting up heel vs face dynamics here. Sitoci made a great first impression. He reminded me of Paul London. That's interesting because London and Generico had a nice tag team in PWG in 2010. So, that dynamic was here against the cocky upstart team of Future Shock. This was an exciting match with nice offense and fake-out spots. Best match of the show thus far. Great stuff! Sami Callihan vs Yoshihito Sasaki - Man, this looks promising! Sami really looks like he's got a screw loose! He brings so much intensity and bravado to the ring that, I'm invested before the bell rings. A handshake to start the match means Sasaki and Sami are going to be rough. And good gravy, this is violent wonderful wrestling and a near classic bout. This really puts the night back on track by topping the tag match. Go Shiozaki vs Kotaro Suzuki - NOAH match in Germany! This was a very good match but, felt it was lethargic compared to the previous couple matches. Also, the fan cam on the ground wasn't in the best position. So, we could see the action OK but, we were mainly seeing their backs. They were in a different venue and the hard cam and the floor cam were coming from the same side of the ring for this match. These things don't bother me too much but, I felt that because we couldn't see the impact as well as could be expected, we were missing some of the action. The crowd also seemed tired and I could only say it was very good at best. Davey Richards vs Zack Sabre Jr. - I understand the pacing and card placement with the NOAH match now. They wanted to give the crowd a cool down for this battle. The pacing was aggressive from bell to bell and Holy crap, they just beat the slop outta each other! This has grappling, strikes, nice counters & escapes. Up & coming ZSJ vs top tier Richards provided a classic encounter without a doubt. If you're a fan of either guy, you should see this for sure. Daisuke Sekimoto vs Johnny Moss - Match for the wXw belt. This was a good ***1/2 bout to close the night out. There was no way they were going to top the previous match so, they gave the fans a nice hard hitting simple title fight. Overall, Night 2 was a great show but, really one of two parts. Part one was nothing special although the 4 Way opener and the Haskins/Walter matches were worthwhile. Your best bet is to watch those two and skip to the 2nd half where stuff really picks up with a 3 amazing matches. Davey vs ZSJ is the best bout thus far. Thankfully, the 2011 tourney is sold as a set so, if you're looking to buy this DVD or that DVD, you don't have to choose one night over another What's even better is that we've still got Night 3! Thanks for reading!
  4. I have been meaning to watch this tournament for awhile now. I bought this along with the 2010 tournament so, this has been a long time coming. The box art of the DVD set features all of the participants in this year's event. It is pretty damn stacked even compared to the previous year. We have stars from ROH, Big Japan, NOAH, Independent US talent as well as European wrestlers. This 16 Carat Gold event may be the most diverse and globally representative tournament assembled in recent memory. Enough fluff! Let's get to the wrestling! Kyle O'Reilly vs Karsten Beck vs Marty Scurll vs Axeman: This 4 man match will determine who will be an alternate for the tournament. Nice to have some incentive for the guys...they surely fought like they meant it. Axeman was a nice surprise. He and Kyle have a similar style. Fast paced fun opening match. Yoshihito Sasaki vs Carnage: Sasaki is a guy who's name I've seen here and there the past decade but, never knew how he flew under my radar. I mean, I have Fire Pro Returns and don't recall seeing him. Ha! I was wrong. He's listed under the Zero-1 promotion as a low ranking wrestler. That was 2004 in Japan and in 2011 he's made his way in the world. And I have to say, damn! I was missing out. He's got a no nonsense hard hitting style that I appreciate.His opponent Carnage does as well. I remember him from 2010's shows. Very good match here and a proper way to start the tourney. Two matches in and this feels better than 2010. Zack Sabre Jr. vs Colt Cabana: Is Colt NWA champ here!? This was funny at times but, took too long to really go anywhere. This was a popcorn match to me. You'll be OK fast forwarding to the last five minutes or skipping altogether. Much like the other World of Sport style matches (not that this was exactly but, it had that feel and style) of 2010, this feels out of place next to 2010 puro style bouts. Adam Cole vs Mark Haskins: Both dudes have come a long way from here. This was a very scatterbrained Indy wrestling match. Stuff was done with little rhyme or reason. Unlike the ZSJ/Cabana match, this was relatively short and an OK watch. Go Shiozaki vs Johnny Moss: Thank goodness they got the show back on track. Fans started out pretty much behind Moss but, Go won them over with his hard hitting never say quit attitude...kinda like how Rocky won over the Russian crowd in Rocky IV. This was a very good match and the ending portion was that stuff you want from NOAH's top dog. This was another very good pairing. Big Van Walter vs Rico Bushido: Never heard of Bushido but, he reminds me of how I imagine Ricky Reyes fought and looked like in the Rottweiler days of ROH. That's probably all wrong but, I'm cool with that assumption. He was all martial art kicks and Walter put him down after a few power moves. Short and unoffensive match. I have nothing against so-so matches but, at least make them short like this match. Davey Richards vs Jon Ryan: Ryan has no chance in hell beating Davey...just by the looks of him. But to Davey's credit he gave a lot to J.R. He got some heel moves in and was able to fight Richards and be a credible opponent. So, don't let his cheesy ring gear and physique fool you! I really thought an upset might happen. Another very good match. Sami Callihan vs Tommy End: This was an intense, fast, hate filled match. These guys were wXw regulars and this must have had some back story to it. You don't need to know it though. These dudes were aiming to maul each other. Tommy End is much improved since 2010 and Sami has gotten even better. The best bout so far! Great match with a fantastically aggressive submission finish. Yes! Kotaro Suzuki vs El Generico: This is a pretty high profile match for 2011. It's like an unofficial Best of the Super Jrs. match. It had lots of good action that kept the excitement and drama going. Who would win? Generico is a mega star in indy wrestling and Kotaro is GHC Jr. champ...every nearfall felt like the one that would do it. They both have so many tricks in the bag so, the end was always in doubt. Great match. As good or better than the previous bout for sure. A sweet way to end day one!! Wait...that wasn't the main event? Daisuke Sekimoto vs Bad Bones (wXw Hvywt. Championship match): This is like the cherry on top of a sundae. It starts of slow but, gets action packed as the match progresses. The last few minutes made a big difference as this was scratching at great match territory. Reminded me of the Hayabusa/Tanaka era FMW matches. Very good match overall...like ***3/4 territory. Then we get a very enjoyable post match with Bones and Johnny Moss comes out to challenge Daisuke. Very psyched to see Night 2! This was a heck of night of wrestling. This was much better than I remember the 2010 Night #1 being. Each match that I enjoyed delivered the excitement and entertainment that I was hoping for. Not one wrestler in those matches dogged it and in many cases they went above and beyond to have the best match they could. If they can keep it up then, this might be one helluva ride. Thank you for reading!
  5. 4 guys who can go doing their thing for 24 minutes in a garage. Obviously getting to see Ishikawa in a lengthy match in 2019 is great, but the main reason I liked this is that everyone was pretty vicious. Ishikawa clogged Thatcher in the jaw during their first exchange, no real friendy grappling, lots of punches are thrown on the ground, Ringkampf would work over their opponents with nasty stomps and knees etc. Walter seems to understand how to not get stale as he hitting these Tenryu punts and busted out an awesome uranage. I haven't seen Irie in a while but his matwork was fun and he had these cool swinging Vader Hammers. Ishikawa was pretty much the star of the show always doing something interesting and not only grappling it out but also acting really smart. For example, he would get mount and work over Walters kidneys with glee only to get raddled by that big bear paw like austrian hand. This didn't build to something great but the action was very good throughout and there were a few highlights and smooth Ishikawa submissions to keep you happy.
  6. Well shocker, this was good. I've been a wXw sceptic forever, but gotta give it up for them flying in an old japanese guy almost no one has heard of and let him completely outwork their boy and everyone else on the show. I've never been blown away by Thatchers grappling and he didn't do anything great here either, but that may have been the story of the match. Basically Ishikawa outclasses Thatcher the whole way through, making up great counters and doing cool shit I've never seen him do before. Thatcher has to resort to potatoeing Ishikawa and he doesn't hold back. Some BattlARTS worthy smacks here. This doesn't reach the higher pantheon of Ishikawa singles match but that is a pretty high bar and for Ishikawa taking on an unfamiliar guy who looks so much bigger that it's seemingly not the best matchup and have a match this good is really impressive.
  7. I'm going to dig into wXw's 2010 16 carat Gold Tournament but, am only a few matches in. This is what I've got so far from Day #1: Ares vs Matt Jackson: Fun 8 minute match with a bit of comedy from Ares. Munenori Sawa vs Paul Tracey: I'm not familiar with Tracey. Sawa looked good and Tracey was OK. 7 minutes and better than the first bout. Yuji Okabayashi vs Martin Stone: Best match so far. Very good to see grappling here in this setting. Simple but, effective stuff. Stone gets the upset with a DDT. Recommended first round match. So, another project of mine is to take a look at 2010's AJPW. I'm going to try and cover it chronologically but, I've got to go back and rewatch a few things since I've lost my one notebook. Anyhow... SUWAMA, Masakatsu Funaki & Takao Omori vs Seiya Sanada, Taiyo Kea & Manabu Soya (09/25/11 AJPW): This is exactly the exciting, hard hitting match that I hoped it would be. It never treads into parody of former AJPW or NOAH territory with unneeded strike battles or meaningless machismo. The characters play their part during the 20 minutes of action. Highly recommended match. Koji Kanemoto vs KAI - Jr. Tournament Finals (09/25/11 AJPW): Holy crap! This was awesome They really beat the crap out of each other. KAI is a guy that I've seen a couple times and liked. I'd not yet say, "Hey gotta search out me some KAI footy!" but, he is one to watch. Koji worked on the leg here, setting up for his Ankle Hold. KAI did very well in selling the leg damage (even though he did do some flying moves). I felt he sold it enough within the narrative: He's young and he's going to work with the moves that got him to the finals. Koji was punk as fuck and the A+ worker that he can be- especially as the tough vet. The match featured loads of stiff strikes, variety and smarts. Both guys were battered by the end. It was a true contest for something important and a classic match in the Jr. tradition. Kaz Hiyashi & KENSO vs Minoru Tanaka & Koji Kanemoto - RWTL (11/26/11 AJPW): KENSO is another guy that I've come to watch for. He's kinda a heel and uses his belt to choke guys. I like this kind of guy in the 2010's. He's got some moves but, is much more of a character than a world class athlete. I'm kinda tired of guys that are young athletes but, rely upon a gimmick rather than their abilities. They work a parody gimmick but, have no idea how their work matches up to their character. So, they do a bunch moves that their character would/should not do. KENSO is a guy where he's got a charisma about him without being a cartoon character with a 100 moves. Anyways, this match was one long finishing run at 11 minutes. Very exciting rush match. Minoru & Koji are cocky jerks taunting KENSO until he has to smack the taste outta their mouths. At this run time, I highly recommend watching this. Its just good stuff. Takao Omori & Manabu Soya vs Seiya Sanada & KAI - RWTL (11/26/11 AJPW): Here's that KAI fella again! Omori & Soya have teamed up here as Wild Hearts. The thing is Sanada & Soya were tag partners just a few months ago. Not sure who wanted the split but, they square off right at the bell. Seiya goes for speed and shocks Soya. KAI's in there and they go for the double team. These two young guns look dynamic as all get out! Oh shit! They are fighting in the stands now. Old man Omori's out there choking Sanada with a child's parasol! Hahahaha! Back on inside the ring and KAI's trying Soya but, come on dude! Manabu is a freaking caveman...and not the Fred Flintstone type either. Omori gets in there and wisely slows things down with KAI. The K man eventually finds an opening to get Seiya, the fire plug, going. Omori's had enough and puts big Soy sauce in there. Hey, deadlift suplex a motherfucker, Soya! This is a real back and forth match. Omori's trying to Axe Guillotine Driver KAI off the top now. Great! erase his head from existence! Just tons of double team destruction but, surprisingly never goes into bonkers territory. Both teams were very impressive. This was a great match. Crazy enough, that was not the main event of the night! I'll get to that next week
  8. G. Badger

    The 2010's: wXw 2010

    OK so, I've finished Day #1 of wXw's 16 Carat Gold tournament for 2010. Its been a pretty good day or evening for wrestling. Unlike PWG's BOLA the guys pace themselves and the card actually builds to the main event. I'm going to put everything for day #1 in this post. Ares vs Matt Jackson: Fun 8 minute match with a bit of comedy from Ares. Munenori Sawa vs Paul Tracey: I'm not familiar with Tracey. Sawa looked good and Tracey was OK. 7 minutes and better than the first bout. Yuji Okabayashi vs Martin Stone: Best match so far. Very good to see grappling here in this setting. Simple but, effective stuff. Stone gets the upset with a DDT. Recommended first round match. Claudio Castignoli vs Johnny Kidd: Slower & more cerebral than any match thus far. Wrestled the traditional British style. 13 minutes of light hearted fun. Kagetora vs Nick Jackson vs Tommy End: Kagetora looks the best to me. Nick did his thing which was exciting but, Tommy was still young here...more like Tommy Beginning. I would have been OK with a Nick vs Kagetora match. 9:30 time and worst match so far. WXW DAY 1, DISC 2 Adam Polak vs Erick Stevens: Shazam! I haven't heard or seen of Erick Stevens in a while. I liked him as a really solid upper midcarder. Polak reminds me of Moby or perhaps Billy Corgan in a sparkly unitard...Yeah this was pretty fun. They're fighting on the outside. Stevens was charismatic as heck baby face here. Polak whom I've never seen before did well. Nice finishing stretch and probably the 2nd best match thus far in the night. Switchblade Conspiracy (Jon Moxley & Sami Callihan) vs Up In Smoke: Mox & Sami are tag champs. I'm liking this as I'm watching. It's clear they've got chemistry and experience working together. High energy but Switchblades slow the pace and take control. Hot tag happens but the Knifeboys retake the reigns. Sam's heel work is very good. The babies do all kinds of fun moves which is a shit ton of fun. Highly recommended match. 10 minutes of well worked exciting stuff. Best match of the night so far! Big Van Walter vs Daisuke Sekimoto: Psyched for this one. 15 minutes of hard clubbering action. I got into this one, I'll be honest. Daisuke, as jacked as he is, is dwarfed by the Big One. It was hard not to get behind Sekimoto when Walter is challenging the Japanese star to give him his best shot and the Austrian isn't even phased. Highly recommended match right here. Chris Hero vs Bad Bones: Ok, here we are. The closer to night one. Bad Bones brings an axe to the ring. The fans are pumped for Hero. I am as well but, Bad Bones cannot match him in the energy department. So, in my view, it was clear that Hero was coming out on top. This got pretty good in the end and I certainly want to see more of Metropolis' own and perhaps Bad Bones in a tag scenario in the nights to come. Pretty good wrestling and I'm sure a blast for the live crowd. I'll say I was disappointed by the main event but, I'm liking the potential for Night 2. Those should be some really good match-ups. Not only the tourney matches but, the matches with the losers as well. I think Night #2 will be better than the first.
  9. G. Badger

    The 2010's: wXw 2010 & 2011

    Finally got back to the 2010 16 Carat Gold Tournament: 2010 16 Carat Gold Show: Day #2 Big Van Walter vs Munenori Sawa: 10:30 run time. David and Goliath match here. It was fun but, nothing too deep or engaging but, good for the opening match. A little disappointing though. Erick Stevens vs KAGETORA: 8:30 match. Whoa!! This was quick energetic and really good. Lively as all hell. Stevens brings a star prescence that this venue demands. Otherwise the show feels smaller than it is. He & KAGETORA had some very nice sequences. Recommended match right here! Plus a bonus from 2011 that's free on wXw's YouTube channel: Zack Sabre Jr. vs Dick Togo (11/24/11 wXw 11th Anniv. Show): This kicked maximum butt! It was near perfect to me. Togo & Sabre scrambling on the mat- in & out of holds, pulling pinning combinations out, fighting for pro moves, and stiff as the day is long. Man, 30 seconds of a little more work and this would have been an all time classic. This was a classic match nonetheless. I could see people not digging this but, screw it if folks aren't digging this then, we're looking at this all different.
  10. G. Badger

    The 2010's: wXw 2010

    Missed yesterday's post. I'm running out of suitable material for some of the odds and ends of days like Monday, Wednesday and Thursdays. Or I get distracted trying to find stuff for those days and miss the mark on my projects like today's wXw 2010 16 Carat tournament post. I came through today though! Before my laptop ran out of batteries Martin Stone vs Chris Hero (Day #2 tournament match): This was really evenly matched and probably one of the better tournament matches thus far. Starts out with both men trying for hammerlocks or wristlocks and then, the gates to stiff strike city are opened. Chops, elbows (from Hero, duh), and euro's & haymakers from Stone. Reversals & fake outs are the hallmark of 2010 wrestling and those were here but, not to the extent that they felt contrived. Stone is a fellow I'd like to see more of. 2010 Hero has been pretty darn good. This was 15 minutes of great stuff. I'd say around the 4 star range. Started watching Absolute Andy vs Steve Douglas No DQ & Falls Count Anywhere title match. My battery started dying but, this is what I've got written in my notebook: Starts up on the balcony, a trip through the restroom, up on some tables, Andy takes a tumble down the steps. This is a lot of fun so far! ECW or Attitude era brawl. Hope to watch the rest later and report it here
  11. G. Badger

    The 2010's: wXw 2010

    It took me a damn while but, here we are. The conclusion to 2010 16 Carat Gold Day 2. Main event: Steven Douglas vs Absolute Andy: I started out liking this match but, I'll cut to the chase. This was the worst match that I have seen in a long time. The main detraction was being so fucking long. I can handle a little bit of bad...I watched Baba & Rusher vs Kimala & Abby from '89 the other day for instance. That was relatively brief and knew what it was as a match. This thing...holy shit. It was amateurish and a poorly executed self conscious epic. I don't know who gave them over 15 minutes and the main event slot...considering how good the rest of the night was. I could sorta excuse their execution issues (Andy mostly) if the NO DQ stuff was a bit more brutal. Make this a deathmatch or something! Instead we got the same old tired chair stuff and sheets of particle board for tables!? I couldn't fucking watch anymore. If they would have cut the B.S. down to 15 minutes this would have been a fun match but, this was an overlong turd. I wish I would have known ahead of time and saved myself the trouble. Ah well, I guess that's why we take chance and watch these things. I will add insult to injury and say if this is the standard of most wXw matches then, this is not my type of wrestling company. The fact that this was a world title fight doesn't give me much confidence in wXw. The shows thus far have been above average but, most have been non roster match ups. The DVD set has been worth the purchase price. I'm just really surprised that they would put on something this "local armory/VFW hall Indy" when you've got Chris Hero & Martin Stone putting on a great match right before.
  12. Man, it has taken me a long damn time to get through this set. That's on me and not the quality of the wrestling. I've been distracted by the WWE network stuff and YouTube. I've clearly got the attention span of a 3 year old At this point, I don't know what's tournament and non tournament. Also if I skip something it's because I skipped the match intentionally. I'm just trying to get finished...It's like I'm trying for my 16 Carat GED at this point! Big Van Walter vs Erick Stevens: Tournament match. I've been buying Stevens as a baby face with a chance all tournament long so, I was not disappointed here. His comeback on Walter was fierce. Elbows, chops, slaps, and clotheslines to the Austrian's face. The arc of the narrative should have had Erick go over but, it wasn't to be. Highly Recommended match. Stevens had an awesome showing over all 3 nights. Oberhausen Terror Corps vs Up In Smoke: Again, OTC has a bitchin' name. Here they're looking to kill Cheech & Cloudy...who have a terrible tag name. Its not as bad as Special K but, are the spiritual successors to the thin highspot oriented drug referencing Indy group. Anyhow, Cloudy gets assaulted by the zee Germans. The Smokers' teamwork gives them a fighting chance and makes this a very, very fun match. Ares vs Chris Hero: Tournament match. Anything with Hero or Walter in them is a tournament match since they're in the finals. Those are the only fights that I know are part of the tourney. Anyhow, rather than rewrite my summary of this match, I'll say that I fast forward-ed the 2nd half of this. These two have history and probably thought a 22 minute match was a good idea. Fans probably loved it but, this went on too long and Ares just doesn't do it for me this far along in the brackets. Hero has been so-so thus far. The Martin Stone match was great though. Claudio Castagnoli vs Paul Tracey vs KAGETORA vs Tommy End: This was fun! Good action, exciting and just what was needed. 16 minutes but, sad we didn't get to see Claudio vs KAGETORA in singles competition. Strong BJW vs Switchblade Conspiracy: wXw Tag belts on the line. They kept it simple and worked their story well. BJW are strong & tough but, if Sami and Moxley could last the punishment and isolate an opponent then, MAYBE they could beat the Japanese team. 20 minutes was perfect timing here...its a highly recommended or perhaps great match. The tag team bouts haven't disappointed all super-show. This is the end of Day # 3, disc #2. I'm going to get the final disc up and do a run down off all three days since it took me forever to get these watched and the reviews are all over the blog. We're looking at ZSJ vs Sawa, Nick vs Matt Jackson, Hero vs Walter for the final installment. Addendum: Watched Johnny Kidd vs Terry Frazier as it was listed in the Match Discussion Archives and figured I was missing something. It is a definite change of pace from the entire rest of the card, I'll say that. It goes to 5 rounds, Frazier jaw jacks with the crowd like Larry Z, they do a traditional British match. It was fun but, I would recommend watching it separate from the other matches. It takes you outta the right mind set. Otherwise, well done entertaining stuff but, nothing more.
  13. Booyah! 2010 16 Carat Gold Tournament is a wrap! Let's jump in to the matches for Day 3, Disc # 3 'cause this entry is gonna be a doozy. Zack Sabre Jr. vs Munenori Sawa: Light Heavyweight strap on the line. A bit of a letdown to get started with. I suppose they were going for a shoot style-ish match but, it came across as winging it. It was fun but, not particularly memorable. Diez minutos. Matt Jackson vs Nick Jackson - Battle of the Bucks: I have never heard of this happening elsewhere but, second to last match on the final night seems like a fine place to try it out! No worries though. Its 16 minutes of crazy Jackson action...heh you like what I did there? I'm a goofy ass, sorry. This is a great match and one of the best of all 3 nights. The reason it was great was because they didn't have to worry about tournament booking. They could essentially do a PWG match or more fairly a Young Bucks match. Its a quarter hour of moves and counter moves and totally delivers when it needs to. Chris Hero vs Big Van Walter - Tournament Final: 21 minutes and the match of the weekend. It seems like they saved up all weekend (?) to have a match that told a story. Or at least, a story I could get behind. Hero is looking his best ever, he's got his KO Kid persona in full swing but, Walter is this young, tank who's rolling over his opponents. Hero is the first to show weakness as he injured his hand/arm from hitting Walter in the head. Walter composes himself and methodically clobbers Hero. We're rooting for the golden locked grappler now. It was all fighting spirit chops but, now he's got a Austrian gorilla pummeling him. Of course, it ebbs and flows but, does so in a believable and logical manner. That cannot be said for many of the shows matches...and that's OK. But this is the Finals so, we better see something smart and genuinely dramatic. And we do! It's a near classic match to me. Maybe like ****1/4+ or ****1/2. It was different and not one of those move heavy, oh-shit type of matches. It was closer to something Tenryu vs Jumbo so it's weird trying to measure it against the Bucks match that happened previously. Great finish, great post match...what a final match! Well done wXw!! So now, I want to do a recap or summary since all of my other blog posts are all over the place. This match list is from Highspots. DAY ONE - FIRST ROUND MATCHES Ares vs. Matt Jackson Munenori Sawa vs. Paul Tracey *Martin Stone vs. Yuji Okabayashi- Recommended! Claudio Castagnoli vs. Johnny Kidd KAGETORA vs. Nick Jackson vs Tommy End *Erick Stevens vs. Adam Polak - Recommended! *The Switchblade Conspiracy vs. Up In Smoke -Highly recommended!! *Big Van Walter vs. Daisuke Sekimoto - Highly recommended!! Chris Hero vs. Bad Bones DAY TWO Quarter Final Match: Big Van Walter vs. Munenori Sawa *Quarter Final Match: KAGETORA vs. Erick Stevens - Recommended! *The Young Bucks vs. Up In Smoke vs. The Crimson City Saga - Recommended! *Winner faces Switchblade Conspiracy - Highly recommended!! Paul Tracey vs. Johnny Kidd *Strong BJ vs. Oberhausen Terror Corps - Highly recommended to Great!!! *Quarter Final Match: Ares vs. Claudio Castagnoli - Recommended! *Quarter Final Match: Chris Hero vs. Martin Stone - Great!!! WXW World Heavyweight Title Match - Falls Count Anywhere: Steve Douglas © vs. Absolute Andy - ~Avoid~ (As a rule, the tag matches kick ass. They delivered every outing. Going through this I realized I left off two reviews from Day #2 The Young Bucks vs. Up In Smoke vs. The Crimson City Saga. Crimson City is ZSJ and Tommy End. The Bucks win and face Switchblade Conspiracy in a 10 minute Highly recommended match.) DAY THREE *Semi-Final Match: Big Van Walter w/Terry Frazier vs. Erick Stevens - Highly Recommended!! Oberhausen Terror Corps vs. Up In Smoke Semi-Final Match: Ares vs. Chris Hero Johnny Kidd vs. Terry Frazier Claudio Castagnoli vs. KAGETORA vs. Paul Tracey vs. Tommy End *WXW World Tag Team Title Match: The Switchblade Conspiracy © vs. Strong BJ - Great!!! Zack Sabre, Jr. © vs. Munenori Sawa *Nick Jackson vs. Matt Jackson- Great!!! *2010 Finals Match: Chris Hero vs. Big Van Walter w/Terry Frazier - Classic!!!! Overall, its a great DVD set. Its not a purposeful "cream your jeans PWG BOLA" stuff circa now. Its more like 2010 PWG. Its spaced out yet, it's Indy in terms of structure and pacing for the most part. The highlighted matches are obviously better and each night is booked with longevity and endurance in mind. I like this much better. Impressions: Good: Erick Stevens, KAGETORA, Young Bucks and the tag matches in general, and Hero vs Stone & Walter. Bad: Tommy End, Ares, doing traditional British matches in this setting, the camera angles and black Glad bag canvas take some getting used to. Ugly: Absolute Andy vs Steven Douglas Meh: Claudio, Sawa Um what else? These are DVD+R so if you're interested in buying from Highspots or wherever, triple check your DVD or computer. This might be downloaded on there too, I guess. This was a really international show and totally worth a purchase especially if there's a sale. It'd be a good weekend viewing...or 5 fucking months in my case Click the wXw tags to get back my older posts if you've not read those. I've got the 2011 Tournament as well! So, that's on the horizon. In the meantime, I should have Masato Tanaka in the 2010's in a couple days. Fantasy booking moment: Tanaka vs Walter
  14. For those of you who don't know: AMBITION is a pseudo-shootstyle tournament wXw runs once a year. This was very good for what it was; WALTER clubbers Cobb, Cobb throws an absolutely hellish suplex and finishes with a nasty neck crank. The problem was that it went 2 minutes. Seriously, screw wXw for that shitty booking because this could have been great. Still, that Cobb suplex has to be seen.
  15. Chris Hero and Homicide go 40 minutes in a seedy german nightclub. This was actually quite good when they stuck to matwork and basic stuff. They understood how to make their holds meaningful, and Homicide punishing Hero with stomps, kneedrops, headbutts etc. was pretty damn good. However, some of the reversal sequences they tried came across as sloppy and Hero may have oversold as he was acting dead for much of the 2nd and 3rd fall which reflected poorly on Homicide.
  16. For those of you who don't know: AMBITION is a pseudo-shootstyle tournament wXw runs once a year. This was excellent. Grappling Riddle using his legit ability is so much better than PWG style flopping around Matt Riddle. One could argue that this was a little your-turn-my-turn-ish, but fuck that. This was some real wrestling and I won't say no to that. Riddle as a highly athletic, flexible modern MMA freak vs. the carniness of Thatcher with his nasty facelocks and toeholds was great. They are smart enough to stay on the mat and deliver the focussed, high end grappling you want from a shootstyle main event. Also really liked how they built a really great, edge-of-your-seat-type finishing run while sticking to their strengths and keeping it groundbased. Riddle desperately contorting his body to avoid Thatcher's wristlock and making an awesome comeback using his ground knees is easily the highlight of his career so far. The only problem with the match was that the actual finish looked like crap, but everything up to it was fine fine wrestling.
  17. For those of you who don't know: AMBITION is a pseudo-shootstyle tournament wXw runs once per year. This was surprisingly good. Al-Ani is a talented german guy who can go on the mat, and Thatcher meant business. Al-Ani didn't do anything brilliant, but he could put up a fight against Thatcher, which was enough. Thatcher did all these neat little tricks and nasty holds. Twisting at the ankles, a nasty rolling clutch and a really painful looking grovit that he finished Al-Ani off with. This stayed on the mat and that was the right thing to do.
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