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Tim Cooke

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I've recently been watching 70's Jumbo Tsuruta. I've seen the stuff on the 80s sets and a lot of his 90s work, but was largely unfamiliar with the 70s matches matches. I've watched about 40 of them recently and enjoyed the experience tremendously. Not every match is great of course but many of them are. Even when they've fallen short Jumbo is always very watchable in them

 

I think it's amazing that he was basically a top guy from the start working with the Funks and Briscos and looking like he really belonged in there with them.

 

My plan was to move into the 80s and work through his career chronologically as much as I can, but i've just found about 40 more matches from the 70s so i'll be making my way through those first.

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Watched a bit of a WCW from January 1988 last night. Dusty comes out to cut a promo where he comes just short of outright calling Cornette a fag, shoots on the WWF. This is followed by a 8 minute Larry Zbyszko match with 7 minutes of stalling and a fan very aggressively calling Babydoll a stupid whore. Also a Ron Simmons squash that I swear had to go on close to 15 minutes.

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A look at some more of Eddie Gilbert's best matches and angles as we dive into Memphis for a bloodbath with Tommy Rich and Jackie Fargo, then we head to Philly for an all over the place brawl with Cactus Jack. Gilbert gets personal in Smoky Mountain Wrestling as he mocks Ricky Morton's family, which leads to the debut of the Unibomb. We return to Memphis for Doug Gilbert's infamous shoot on Jerry Lawler. Dennis Coraluzzo brings in Gilbert for a battle with Road Warrior Hawk - and we close with Gilbert's chicanery from his run in Global wrestling.

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I just re-watched Starrcade 85. The Terry Allen vs. Tully Blanchard match gets better every time I watch it. The Russians losing the belts . Morton/Gibson was solid. I loved how the Russians threw Morton over the cage after the match. Then Krusher bought in the chain and they triple teamed Gibson . The Russians almost caused a riot. Great stuff.

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Chris Jericho vs. Paul London - WWE Raw #790 7/14/08

Slotted in a relatively dead spot in a really odd episode of Raw (which saw new champ CM Punk buried not once but twice, and Cryme Tyme main event) this match was fuel for the ongoing "Heartbreak Kid" Shawn Michaels and Jericho program that was really heating up. I was in the audience in Indianapolis a month later when Jericho "accidentally" punched Michaels' wife Rebecca in the face.

London was a trainee of Michaels' and idolized him making him a perfect target for antagonism and anger from Jericho. What made this stand out was a rare look at Jericho as aggressor. It was almost as if he was stepping into the role of one of his career best opponents Chris Benoit. He marches London back into the corner to start and just start attacking amid the referee's pleas to separate. And Jericho was getting legit heat. At one point outside the ring you could actually see some drunken stepfathers swiping at him from across the barrier! Not to speak ill of the dead but Jericho was seconded by his stooge Lance Cade who was useless at ringside playing the muscle but felt as out of place as Uwe Boll at the Oscar's. After punishing Paul a bit Jericho made him tap like he was Harold "Stumpy" Cromer.

Post-match HBK came out on the ramp and looking old and as leathery as the jerky he surely makes from all the elk and deer he murders in the name of sport. Delicious postscript to this is a month later at a house show Paul London broke Cade's nose as a receipt for getting busted open by a botched move. All's fair in love and WarGames.

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Finished ROH Final Battle 2007 and here is my take...

 

Jigsaw/Ruckus vs Matt Cross/Bobby Fish - Fun match

 

Larry Sweeney vs Claudio - Skipped

 

Necro Butcher vs Jack Evans - Both are known to take insane bumps, recommended match

 

Marufuji vs Davey - Fun match, Davey oversold the leg early and it wasn't worth it. But, he went balls to the wall a couple times so it was okay for where it was on the card. Marufuji turned it on later and overall I enjoyed this bout.

 

Six man tables match - OK match, it seemed like they had no idea what to do in between the big spots. Too bad...plus bad booking to have a fight without honor\no DQ match here because it served no beneficial purpose to the show or guys.

 

Rocky vs Ernie Osiris - skipped

 

Roderick Strong vs Erick Stevens - Recommended match. Hard hitting athletic match

 

Morishina, Aries, Hero & Danielson - 4 way elimination - Hashimoto blood, Hero shows his future potential, MMA influence in the end. Great 4 way match with every second of the match being used to tell a story. Great match!

 

Briscoes vs Age of the Fall (Jacobs & Black) - Pretty fantastic with well defined characters. It probably would have been great or a classic with a table spot or two (wish the earlier match didn't blow that) to take it to the next level. Highly recommended match nonetheless!

 

A highly recommended show and very easy to enjoy.

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Watched the 5-22-93 through 7-10-93 episodes of Smoky Mountain Wrestling. I'm going to keep going and watch the few major shows I have as well but some observations.

The show would be great to watch weekly, but it's not so easy to binge watch. Because the roster is really small (maybe 12 name wrestlers) you get the same stuff over and over again. I have maybe 40 hours of Jim Cornette shoot interviews on my external hard drive and after one episode even I was thinking "this show has too much Jim Cornette" after some episodes.

 

I definitely think Dutch and Bob Caudle were the best commentary duo in wrestling around that time. Dutch isn't too heelish nor too neutral, he really does hit the perfect balance and even when he says outrageous things, his tone is funny enough it's not irritating at all.

 

For a very left wing guy, Cornette sure pandered to his audience. Evil needs more money from Social Security Ron Wright, and HRC wannabe Tammy Sytch are gimmicks I'm sure that audience ate up, and they are presented just tongue in cheek enough, I'm sure many of his viewers didn't get the irony anyway. Speaking of Tammy I do agree she's really good here, even early on a more interesting character than the cocky cheerleader Sunny. It's a bit odd that Cornette basically gave her his Memphis gimmick (clueless rich putz who's not from here, wants to manage babyfaces but is so obnoxious they get shot down again and again until they change their mind and become full heels) as I cannot think of two managers so different from that time period.

 

Brian Lee's heel turn seems really well done and her basically admitted she used money and sex to lure him in was pretty blunt for 1993 wrestling. I do think it's a problem because I just don't see Tracy Smothers as a babyface you can build the singles division around, but I'm sure they figure something out soon.

 

The Armstrongs are a bit bland. Bob's promos are great, a weekly highlight but when the brothers wrestle they don't bring the rage enough. Part of it is their high flying technical style but take a guy like Tito Santana, who worked the same way usually but knew when it was time to KILL YOU (Valentine feud comes to mind). The Heavenly Bodies are great though, I really love Jimmy Del Ray right from the start. The Harris Brothers...........are not driving me to watch something else. I think that's the nicest thing I can say about them.

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Dying at this 10/18/93 Raw that starts with this:

 

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is followed with this

 

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Which is followed by the first Double J vignette that sees Jeff complaining about country music politics at the country music hall of fame while flubbing multiple lines and at one point a plane flies overhead and nearly drowns him out. And this is in a pre-taped promo that easily could have been reshot, which leads me to believe this was actually the best take they got out of Jeff.

 

And THAT is followed by Randy Savage having this to say about Hulk Hogan:

 

"I think Hogan's a prima-dona, a backstabber, and he's a liar, and he thinks he's the messiah walking around the face of the earth and there's only one power, and that's up above, brother, and that's the way that it is."

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November of 1984 sees an exodus of talent from the WWF, plus Snuka returns from hiatus to go after Piper, Andre gets an unplanned haircut, the WWF runs a card with NINETEEN cage matches(!), Bruno returns to MSG, Bruiser Brody and Ric Flair tangle in St Louis, The Omni plays host to a big tag team tournament, The AWA beats the WWF in a head to head battle for the Twin Cities, Wrestlers not showing up to work continue to haunt the AWA, the WWF messes with Pro Wrestling USA's touring plans, Jerry Lawler takes on monster heels, Kerry Von Erich heads to Hollywood, The Von Erich Family finds an unlikely friend, Mid-South heads back to the Superdome, Bill Watts books a major babyface turn, and Starrcade goes down in JCP - plus more news, notes and results!

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The final installment of the "Best of Eddie Gilbert" collection sees Gilbert in the Mid-South, building a stable with Missy Hyatt while her charge John Tatum finds himself left in the cold. We see Gilbert and company competing with Terry Taylor, The Fantastics, and The Missing Link. We next take a look at Gilbert's attempts to give a portrait of himself to a lucky fan, leading to a goofy blow off. Then comes Gilbert's alliance with Communists, leading to an epic angle with Bill Watts and the Russian flag. Dr. Death, Ted Dibiase and others all play a role. We close with the Freebirds picking a fight with "Cowboy" Bill Watts. I've added as many videos as possible so you can enjoy the journey along the way.

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Been watching the 2016 WWE PPV's since I saw very few of them, or only watched the acclaimed matches. I'm up to HIAC now. Backlash has definitely been my favorite so far. At least I am using my Network subscription.

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I am currently watching Wrestlemania XV which I have not seen since 1999. I have three more matches to go but so far it is everything everyone says about it and worse.

- On commentary you have 99 Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler. Anybody who complains about today's announcing has to listen to this. I think I would prefer Byron Saxton, David Otunga and Tom Phillips to that atrocity.

- The opener hardcore title match (Billy Gunn vs. Hardcore Holly vs. Al Snow) is a fine 7 minute WWF-garbage match, nothing wrong with it.

- The tag team title match (Owen Hart & Jeff Jarrett vs. Test & D-Lo Brown) is a complete nothing match. The only reason for it being on the card is presumably for Debra to be on the show and appear almost naked. In addition there is a stupid partners-that-hate-each-other Russo thing going on on the challenger side.

- Butterbean vs. Bart Gunn was fun for what it was.

- Mankind vs. Big Show is another nothing match, with a blown screwjob finish followed by the first of many Big Show turns.

- The IC title match (Road Dogg vs. Val Venis vs. Ken Shamrock vs. Goldust) is a 10 minute match that feels like a 60 minute broadway. In theory you have enough talent here for a decent match, in praxis this sucked pretty bad. Plus there is some stupid thing going on with Ryan Shamrock deciding the match. I don't even want to know the specifics why she is with Goldust and Meanie here.

- Kane vs. Triple H is what you expect from a Kane vs. 99 face Triple H match. Nothing offensive, but nothing really positive either. Another screwjob with Chyna running in and turning babyface at the end.

- Sable vs. Tori is a 99 divas match. Things would get even worse in the early post-Stratus era, but not by far. Match ends with another female interference (this time by the recently deceased Nicole Bass). The whole psychology of this seems strange. The story of this (Tori being Sable's stalker) seems to indicate that Sable is the face and Tori the heel, but (a) the crowd is doing reverse reactions (okay, it's Philly, Hat Guy is even sitting the in the second row) and (B) Tori gets screwed by a run-in.

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Been watching some early 90's WCW. Really love the oddball matches they would have. The most recent one was Sting and Dustin Rhodes vs Paul Orndorff and Chris Benoit. What a strange match up to see. So many different styles. Nothing outstanding or anything. Just a sold TV match. All guys worked pretty hard and it was a fun watch.

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I watched Wrestlemania XV at my college dorm. The audience seemed to like it but I remember even then thinking it was a disaster, with only the main event and Shane vs. X-Pac being good. I think the think was they just turned Sable heel, but really she didn't do much heelish. I'm guessing this was around the time they decided to get rid of her too.

 

It was definitely a throwback to Wrestlemania's IV-VIII with the "get everyone on the roster" mentality. A lot of those matches were short and equally pointless as well.

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Also still watching SMW from 1993. The build to Fire on the Mountain's main event has been great, and I actually can't wait to see Bullet Bob finally get his on Jim Cornette. Given I am watching 24 year old footage and I like Cornette a lot (I even provided him a bunch of DVD's of his childhood horror host last year) that says something for the performers and the angle

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Last night I watched Memphis wrestling from 10-8-1988. It was a great episode! The episode really centered around 2 storylines: the build towards the Tennessee-Texas Shoot Out 8 man tag match at the Mid South Colosseum and the Stud Stable trying to hijack the show.

 

The main things to have watched for were the promos and the build to the next Monday show. The Tennessee and Texas storyline was centered around the Jerry Lawler-Kerry Von Erich feud in which both sides from CWA and USWA got involved in their previous AWA World Title match. We get an awesome promo from Lawler, Jeff Jarrett, Bill Dundee and Eddie Marlin about how not to mess with Tennessee! We get a video promo from WCCW promoter Frank Dusek.

 

The Stud Stable was around for pretty much the entire show in one way or another. We got a funny video of Downtown Bruno being Bill Dundee's servant. Ron Fuller and Jimmy Golden wanted payback on Jeff Jarrett and Brickhouse Brown for beating them and stealing the Tennessee Stud's loaded boot at the last Mid South Colosseum show. They did end up interfering and beating up Jarrett and Brown in their match on the show. they also courted Sid Vicious who came out and squashed Tommy King.

 

Overall this was quite the exciting show and the video also contained the original commercials which also added to the whole presentation. Highly recommended!

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I watched Wrestlemania XV at my college dorm. The audience seemed to like it but I remember even then thinking it was a disaster, with only the main event and Shane vs. X-Pac being good. I think the think was they just turned Sable heel, but really she didn't do much heelish. I'm guessing this was around the time they decided to get rid of her too.

 

It was definitely a throwback to Wrestlemania's IV-VIII with the "get everyone on the roster" mentality. A lot of those matches were short and equally pointless as well.

The worst was still to come in between the good matches (though the main event was (a) overbooked - three ref bumps for example and (B) started with a ten minute arena brawl, which is not something I enjoy watching in 2017): Undertaker vs. Big Bossman Hell in a Cell. The match was not particularly good to say the least, they had so little heat that you could have heard a pin drop, the finish came completely out of nowhere (I assume they went home early as someone called an audible), the post-match angle was so revolting that everbody who was creatively involved with this should have been fired (somehow this did not make it into the top five of the WON awards for "most distgusting promotional tactic", though the match was number three in "worst match of the year") and Michael Cole shouting "COULD THIS BE A SIGN? COULD THIS BE A SIGN? COULD THIS BE A SIGN?" while Bossman is (literally) hanging above the ring is just (rotten) icing on the (disgusting) cake.

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The Meadowlands plays host to Hulk Hogan defending his WWF title against Big John Studd. Plus Jimmy Snuka butts heads with Bob Orton Jr, and JYD clashes with Mr. Wonderful. Roddy Piper is on hand to provide a race baiting promo. Bobby Heenan wrestles in possibly one of the worst matches of his career. Ken Patera, Johnny Valiant, George Wells and Buddy Rose face off with jabronis and a women's tag match sets the bar for boring...

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Been catching up on a lot of WMs for the site since for some reason I've avoided doing them.

 

3 is pretty good even though none of the matches are good. I really think Steamboat/Savage was not a good match, as it made absolutely NO sense with the angle, was sloppy, and both were blown to shit by the end with a shitty finish. Hogan/Andre was better, imo. Also liked Herc vs Billy Jack better.

 

4 is a miserable experience all the way through. Made even worse that they had Ted/Macho on SNME 2 weeks prior in a much better match.

 

5 isn't good either, but it's such a big improvement on 4 that it gets a pass. Hogan/Savage legit has a 3rd of the match devoted to Savage working Hogan's HAIR.

 

6 doesn't really have anything worth watching besides Hogan/Warrior and Jake/Ted, but I love the show. The perfect apex of the Golden Era. Hogan/Warrior is really incredible, Pat Patterson at his best.

 

7 is dope as hell. I can't believe people act like this is one of the worst shows. Warrior/Savage is also Pat Patterson at his best. Warlord/Bulldog is a dope hoss power match. Rockers vs Faces of Fear. It's a good show.

 

8 is whatever. HBK/Tito and Piper/Bret are the only things worth watching. Macho/Flair is probably their worst match together, and everything else is garbage.

 

9 is a very well booked show with multiple career performances (Tatanka, Yoko, probably Crush, Lex in WWF) multiple intersecting storylines that clearly laid out TV to Summerslam. I feel like people just stayed pissed at the Hogan thing at the end of the show, but they forget that 1. Hulk clearly challenged the winner before the match and wanted Bret to win so he could see if Hulkamania could still run wild 2. Yoko and Fuji CHALLENGED HIM 3. Bret told him to go for it and it was clear that Bret (who had been KO'd by Lex earlier in the day and got cheated in the finish) would face Hogan later in the year, where Hogan would pass the torch. People also forget that it was by far the biggest reaction of the night and people were happier to see Hogan beat Yoko than they were sad to see Yoko beat Bret.

 

10 is horrible despite two all time WM classics. Literally everything besides Bret/Owen and HBK/Razor is absolutely horrendous.

 

17 extremely overrated, but similar to WM 6 where it's the peak of the era with a great main event. Austin/Rock might be the GOAT WM main event.

 

18 better than 17, Rock/Hogan might be the GOAT WM match, Austin/Hall is very underrated, and Taker/Flair is one of my favorites from both.

 

19 has the most stacked last 4-5 matches, although I don't think there were any classics or anything. Hogan/Vince was incredible fuckery.

 

26 is much weaker than I remember. HBK/Taker 2 was much weaker than I remember, especially.

 

31 is very fun. Sting/HHH is the best.

 

 

 

Uh...I think that's all I've done recently.

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Nice overview, especially your comments on 9. It's been quite some time since I watched it, but I recall enjoying it. My response to WM 9 is always, "This is way better than it's reputed to be."

 

___

 

I am catching up on some recommendations from WWE.

 

 

Fastlane: Reigns v Ambrose v Lesnar - I still can't stand Reigns, but Ambrose carried him to good match.

 

Mania: Charlotte v Becky v Sasha - hot crowd. Terrific pace and drama.

 

Raw (post Mania): Owens v Jericho v Cesaro v AJ. Crowd was super into all four guys, but they were white hot for Claudio. Great fun.

 

CWC: Ibushi v Perkins. Well done flippy spotfest. I got bored quickly, though.

 

Raw (Nov 28): Sasha v Charlotte, FCA. Serious hatred here. They used the stipulation beautifully, ending in a really nasty backwrench submission off the handrail.

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Nice overview, especially your comments on 9. It's been quite some time since I watched it, but I recall enjoying it. My response to WM 9 is always, "This is way better than it's reputed to be."

 

___

 

I am catching up on some recommendations from WWE.

 

 

Fastlane: Reigns v Ambrose v Lesnar - I still can't stand Reigns, but Ambrose carried him to good match.

 

Mania: Charlotte v Becky v Sasha - hot crowd. Terrific pace and drama.

 

Raw (post Mania): Owens v Jericho v Cesaro v AJ. Crowd was super into all four guys, but they were white hot for Claudio. Great fun.

 

CWC: Ibushi v Perkins. Well done flippy spotfest. I got bored quickly, though.

 

Raw (Nov 28): Sasha v Charlotte, FCA. Serious hatred here. They used the stipulation beautifully, ending in a really nasty backwrench submission off the handrail.

Roman is SIGNIFICANTLY better than Ambrose. Ambrose has never carried a match in his WWE career.

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Ambrose entertains me almost every time. And Roman Reigns will put me to sleep if he's not in there with somebody good. (The Hell in a Cell against Rusev is a perfect example of a match that felt endless.) Carried may have been too strong a term. But I feel like he did the bulk of the work to make the match interesting. Lesnar was very well used, though they did a good job of keeping him out of most of the match. So his contributions had great impact, but he was prevented from dominating the match all the way through.

 

Reigns has much better punches than Ambrose. DA's punches are shameful. I have no problem making that admission.

 

Maybe I will come around on him one day. The way his matches are laid out and he is sold, it feels a lot like John Cena. Unfortunately for Reigns, John Cena is a more rounded performer.

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3 is pretty good even though none of the matches are good. I really think Steamboat/Savage was not a good match, as it made absolutely NO sense with the angle, was sloppy, and both were blown to shit by the end with a shitty finish. Hogan/Andre was better, imo. Also liked Herc vs Billy Jack better.

 

Savage vs Steamboat makes absolutely perfect sense within the context of the feud. You have to watch the matches leading up to it.

 

I still love this as an overall show. Always loved the opener.

 

5 isn't good either, but it's such a big improvement on 4 that it gets a pass. Hogan/Savage legit has a 3rd of the match devoted to Savage working Hogan's HAIR.

 

Man I have not watched this show in ages but now I really want to watch Savage work over Hogan's hair. That sounds amazing.

 

7 is dope as hell. I can't believe people act like this is one of the worst shows. Warrior/Savage is also Pat Patterson at his best. Warlord/Bulldog is a dope hoss power match. Rockers vs Faces of Fear. It's a good show.

 

Do people act like this is one of the worst? This is probably my favorite overall show. I'm glad the Rockers vs Faces of Fear match routinely gets love now when people talk about this show. I think that's a legit great tag match. I've always really liked Nasty Boys vs Hart Foundation and Bossman vs Perfect. Savage vs Warrior I think is a top 10 WWE match ever. I've always had a soft spot for Martel vs Jake. Tenryu appears on the show. Fuck I need to rewatch this whole show I think. This strikes me as the best Mania top to bottom.

 

8 is whatever. HBK/Tito and Piper/Bret are the only things worth watching. Macho/Flair is probably their worst match together, and everything else is garbage.

 

I have a completely irrational love of Piper vs Bret. Its not his best match obviously, but it is unquestionably my favorite Bret Hart match. Interesting that you think Macho vs Flair is their worst match against each other when I feel like the consensus would lean towards it being their best. I definitely think so. I haven't watched HBK/Tito in forever, but I'm not really a big fan of Michaels in 92, 93.

 

18 better than 17, Rock/Hogan might be the GOAT WM match, Austin/Hall is very underrated, and Taker/Flair is one of my favorites from both.

 

Dude fuck yes. I recently rewatched this and it is truly awesome. I wouldn't put it #1 but it is on my short list.

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Steamboat/Savage was built to be Steamboat coming back with his righteous rage and getting his pound of flesh from Randy. Instead, it was 15 minutes of arm drags and sloppy roll ups, both guys got gassed about half way through the match, and it had the horrible finish of Steamboat needing outside interference to win anyway. Even without the context of the feud, it's not a particularly good match, as neither guy has a focus during the match and there's not really anything going on story wise to get attached to. They have plenty of much better matches at MSG/Philly/Boston/Toronto over the years at are easy to find and at least a couple are on the Network.

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