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Found 14 results

  1. The homecoming and debut of The Rainmaker gimmick for Okada. This is around 5 minutes total. His look is something else - his face especially in comparison to today. This is very cookie-cutter, with no heat, but I'll tell you what - the guy could hit a dropkick, including a big seated dropkick off the top rope. Rainmaker pose draws crickets and its an awful clothesline this time out anyway.
  2. You know a match is good when it has a Canadian Destroyer spot in it that isn't bad! I was ready to not feel this match at all, because YOSHI-HASHI is such a boring performer, but damn he brought it here. Showed most personality he has ever shown in a match; good fire & those slaps. Great stuff. Ibushi was great as usual w/ his deadly offense & sick bumping. Very good stuff. ***1/2
  3. Typical match of it's kind, but I usually always enjoy them, so I ain't complaining. This was very fun. Everybody got their time to shine & it resulted in a very good, fun match. ***1/2
  4. Talk about it here. PTBN review:
  5. This was the perfect length for a YH match. A quick opening matwork segment leading to ZSJ going after the arm and cranking it out like only he knows how. YH was good in selling the damage and then was able to mix in his comebacks building up the sympathy that had been laid out in the prior 6-7 minutes. I enjoyed him sending Desperado down to the floor before he eats the knees of Sabre on the Swantom. That leads to the finishing run where he narrowly escapes the pinning combo of Sabre and then loses by submission to an adaptation of the octopus hold. ***1/4
  6. Fun back & forth to start things off, but the match really picks up when YOSHI-HASHI is talking shit to Nagata, who was down, just getting up - Nagata has this look on his face that says "really son?" & then he starts kicking the crap out of YOSHI-HASHI. Awesome stuff. Great way to start this G1! ***1/2
  7. Cole is over with the crowd, getting quite a few chants - despite being the heel. The catchphrase is of course over as well, and in a fun bit early, YOSHI-HASHI apes it as his own to really miff Cole. Pretty standard Cole title defense, lot of trading, but Cole does come off like the bigger star. They trade finish kickouts and then move into a sequence with YOSHI-HASHI working the shoulder with a submission and a sleeper, where Cole barely survives. Cole continues to sell on offense, he was fine there. More escalation, layout here is booked well; Cole hits his real crappy looking destroyer and a shining wizard (again) for another two count. That's it though, he pulverizes YOSHI-HASHI and hits another Last Shot to retain. Even with some extra kickouts in the back half, this was easily better than Lethal's ROH title defenses and the crowd was really into it. ***
  8. Coming into this I was hoping YOSHI-HASHI would get zero offence in. Of course there's no way that would happen in a New Japan match in 2016 but it should've. Shibata was killer on offence, some weakish stomps aside, his forearms, uppercuts and kicks were absolutely brutal. YOSHI-HASHI's offence on the other hand was so ridiculous I had trouble taking it seriously, he's a guy I liked as a hot tag but I had my doubts about how he would translate to being a singles worker, and if I see more performances like this it would just point to the Naito match being a complete carry-job. **3/4
  9. Very interesting match. Essentially it's Matt D's write up of the Buddy Rose-Martel match I'm going to watch like three years from now. Naito has to get YOSHI-HASHI over and help legitimize him after he spent years as a jobber. There isn't much in the opening portion worth discussing-but there was a phenomenal moment during YOSHI-HASHI's early shine where it looked like Naito was going to cut him off because he positioned himself like he was going for a Hiptoss, which is a lead in to his Sliding Dropkick. Just *positioning* himself like that made YOSHI-HASHI executing a move during his run mean that much more. There was *armwork*, in terms of how much the limbwork meant, they didn't really go all in on it but it did provide at least some interesting moments and served a purpose in getting sympathetic heat on YOSHI-HASHI. The only modern New Japan-ism I dislike I remember seeing in the finishing stretch was YOSHI-HASHI's comeback Lariat, and that's because you can see it coming and Naito wasn't really *going* for anything. It's not that it even bothered me much (didn't really affect my enjoyment of the match one way or the other)-but it is worth getting that type of thing out there and thinking about predictability vs. unpredictability. I do accept the predictability of Makabe's comeback. I know what's coming next and it doesn't matter. But sometimes the same thing is an issue. Hopefully watching more of the stuff where these types of tropes are heavily featured will help me explain it better. As far as the stretch goes-it was special. It was special because instead of just doing *stuff* they truly struggled over it. And sometimes it wasn't even about the struggle-but just that Naito smacked YOSHI-HASHI in the face ten times before doing a Frankensteiner instead of just doing the move on its own put over YOSHI-HASHI as a threat. And where the armwork helped is that you could do a sequence where YOSHI-HASHI would fight out of Naito's move and then have Naito attack his shoulder, quickly cut him off and continue his control segment. Another thing that made the match special was that Naito, who usually goofs around and sticks his tongue out even in the dreaded New Japan serious moments like forearm exchanging and whatnot, sold YOSHI-HASHI's main submission closer to how he sold when he was a face than now when he is a heel. It wasn't to get heat on himself here put to put over YOSHI-HASHI's hold as a serious threat. The elbow exchange they did here was very good-no weird pauses, worked with urgency and with them slapping the taste out of each other's mouth incorporated into it. There was a botch that the match would've been better off without, but sometimes you just can't help those things, a man slips from you when you're trying to slam him, what can you do? And that's not something I'm going to hold against this type of match when they did so many things right. ***1/4
  10. Fun match. Matt has talked about in when commenting on Ultimo Guerrero matches but there is something to spots where you know what's coming next and it still works, like when Ishii made the hot tag here and would reverse both heels when they went rope running. I liked how aggressive Sanada was here, really wrestling to his character and the height he got on his leaps was unreal. Fun finish, YOSHI-HASHI's new submission is a cool neck crank, I'll easily take that over stuff like Goto stealing finishers from US indies. **3/4