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Matt D

Secret Santo 2018-2019

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Microstatistics gave me Megumi Kudo vs. Mayumi Ozaki (FMW barbed wire match 4/18/1997).

Really fun and violent match that did a great job building up to the barbed wire rope spots. Conversely, the barbed wire board spots were so simple yet so clever and completely unexpected. While I really like what Masashi Takeda is doing in BJW right now,  those matches are way more indulgent. This match was more about building tension to those spots which I think has become sort of a lost art. I also liked how the match went on it became less about Kudo trying to punish Ozaki with the barbed wire and more about using literally everything in her arsenal to try and put her away.

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NotJayTabb (and I ask here "If not Jay Tabb, then who?")

Gave me a 1987 Reslo match: Fit Finlay and Dave Duncan vs Orig 'El Bandito" Williams and "Guy they got off the street" Geraint Clwyd.

This was your Big Daddy special, just without someone quite the caliber of Roy Regal or Sammy Lee. The first fall was primarily Duncan in the ring destroying Clwyd and Finlay on the outside directing traffic and tossing an errant limb into the ring to be used as a prop any time poor Clwyd got anywhere near the corner. I haven't seen a ton of Williams, though I have read his autobiography which is unbelievable, entertaining, and carny and kind of sad towards the end given how much hope he rested on the gargantuan shoulders of Mason Ryan. The pop when Duncan finally makes a tag is massive. It's one of those crowd reactions that just lights you up and puts a smile on your face. I love that almost immediately thereafter, now that it was Finaly's time to be in the ring, Clwyd is tagged right back in, as if Williams promised his mother that he'd get as much ringtime as possible. He ends up getting one goal, a brave dropkick, before losing to Finlay 32-1. It all goes rather quickly from there. Anyway, I was glad to have seen this both for Finlay and friend demolishing a barely overglorified living training dummy (wrestling buddy?) and for the crowd coming unglued for Williams.

Thanks for the match.

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On 12/21/2018 at 1:04 PM, Matt D said:

 

Thanks for the match.

I think you pretty much enjoyed it for the reasons I chose it: namely seeing poor Geraint Clewd get massacred and the huge reaction Bandito gets from the crowd. I loved his autobiography too, his blind faith in Mason Ryan made me a fan to the extent that Ryan is one of only two wrestlers I've paid to have a photo taken with at a show.

Catching up with my reviews with the UWA 6-man that Jetlag chose for me. I'm an amateur when it comes to lucha, I'm still in that stage where I find some of it a bit choreographed and difficult to get to grips with, but on the other hand I adore the likes of Casas and Santo. I found this match really easy to sit though, there was a grace and fluidity of movement that belied some of the athletes involved - I know that Super Porky is a robust guy, but the other Brazos aren't exactly svelte, yet they move around so nicely. I loved how excited the commentators seemed to get when Porky was in the ring, uttering his name repeatedly. I really liked how wrestlers seemed to be able to find a takeover or a reversal from anywhere, often arms are getting hooked suddenly into an armdrag, and the dive train rightly ends with the bulk of Porky flying though the ropes. Really neat match that reaffirms that I need to watch more lucha - looking forward to the match Matt D chose me last week.

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Ok, think I've got it. Edger and aaeeo off for a week. Tim's on. Think I have fresh pairings on the second randomize.

Jetlag
Matt D

joe g
Microstatistics

NotJayTabb
Tim Evans

Headcheese
NintendoLogic

boss rock
cad

Jetlag, you're a hard man to find stuff for, but give me until tomorrow and I'll work something out. 

Merry X-Mas everyone. 

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Based on Tim Evans's most recent posts, he seems to have seen a load of different wrestling, but especially a lot of indy wrestling. I'm pretty sure he won't have seen this, one of my favourite matches I've seen live. Featuring a tiny teenage Tyler Bate

 

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@MattD:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qXEVpC9SLY0

 

Also, for Christmas, I finally wrote up the two matches I was given by microstatistics and aaeo:

Shawn vs. Chris Jericho

Well I'm not a huge fan of either of these guys. This actually had a good opening which was a bit like a WAR or similiar japanese heavyweight match. Strike exchange before Shawn tries to take out Jerichos leg only to be cut off. Jericho acknowledging the legwork before going on to work over Shawns ribs/mid section was a nice touch. After that it turned into your typical WWE style big match. Everything was well timed and planned but the portions that followed were hurt by Shawns hokey selling and poor execution. The blood part was also hurt by Jerichos weak punches. Rating: A good match in theory.

 

Nakajima vs. Okuda

I don't think I've seen Okuda before. I probably should check out more of him as he is doing a Murakami tribute, MMA gloves and all. This was pretty much a mindless stifffest but that is okay for a short semi squash. I mean, Nakajima wouldn't even sell a stiff punch to his body. There was also no discernible escalation from Nakajima. Okuda stepped on his face, and Nakajima pretty much put the usual beatdown on him. Also, I HATE the spot where the two guys just exchange snapmare -> soccer kick over and over. It's probably the worst of all the current japanese wrestling tropes. Much of this was just get hit - scream - hit back. I'm sounding overly negative here but if these guys learned how to sell they would have way better matches.

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On 12/9/2018 at 10:31 AM, Boss Rock said:

For HeadCheese, I pick Kaientai DX vs. Gran Hamada, Super Delfin, Great Sasuke, and Gran Naniwa from Michinoku Pro (12/16/1996). One of the greatest spotfests ever.

 

 

Do you guys know what is being thrown down, it looks cool. I am not sure if seen a baseball slide headscissors before. I think this second time or third time watching Masato Yakushiji and I am interested in seeing more of his matches. A really fun chaotic closing stretch and ending I did not expect. A fun match.

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NintendoLogic, I recommending

Ryback vs. Kalisto from the Payback 2016 kickoff on May 1sr or Cajun Crawdad, Hermit Crab, and The Whisper vs. Danjerhawk, Green Ant, and Thief Ant from Limitless Wrestling Feed The Need on May 11th this year. 

 

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I've been trying to watch these a couple times before commenting on them, but I'm so far behind that I'm just gonna share my initial thoughts on Taue vs Kobashi. It was more complex than Hansen vs Williams, which was basically just a back and forth part, a Hansen sells while Williams beats him up part and a finishing run. Here Kobashi was making a spirited comeback at like four minutes into a twenty one minute video (although apparently that would make it the thirteen minute mark of the match, because of the clipping). I'd read about how Kobashi was a ham and he really was making some exaggerated faces, but you can't deny that the crowd was behind him.  There weren't a whole lot of neat ideas here, in the sense that they didn't try anything creative physically. In spite of that, I was liking this the most of the three matches I've seen for this so far, just because I thought they were working a better match. The homestretch felt like a finisher heavy WWE match. Chokeslam, kickout, chokeslam countered, chokeslam countered into a move that gets countered into a chokeslam, kickout... it was too repetitive and convenient. I say that but I was still interested in seeing if Taue was going to blow a match that he really should have won, just from how dominant he was throughout, so even though stylistically I didn't like that part it managed to keep my attention.

For Boss Rock: Ciclon Ramirez vs Javier Cruz, June 10 1994
(Youku was giving me issues when I tried to watch it there, so I ripped it and put it on Youtube)

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On 12/17/2018 at 6:35 PM, HeadCheese said:

For SirEdger I nominate

 

Barry Windham vs. Doug Furnas from NWA Clash Of The Champions #11 - "Coastal Crush"or Jiro Kiroshio vs. Masato Tanaka from ZERO1 Fire Festival 2018 - Day 1

 

Alright, finally had the time to watch this now that Christmas has passed. By the looks of it, it seems like Jiro Kiroshio goes by a gimmick the mix of Tyler Breeze and The Brian Kendrick. I was most definitely put off a bit by the way the match is edited, especially very early as I would've taken much less of Kiroshio's entrance and more of the opening sequences of the match as it took me a bit of time before getting fully in the match. However, I'll say that I loved how they built it as I was waiting the very moment that Masato Tanaka would go into "zero fucks given mode" and starting beating the tar out of Kiroshio with the elbows and everything. And we also got to have a couple of table spots as well (shoutout to Tanaka for the unusual use of the broken table to smash Kiroshio's leg on the ringpost. Kiroshio can sure take a good beating as I cringed everytime Tanaka stiffed him (the slap/forearm exchange on the mat towards the end is particularly brutal). They also certainly got me in the series of sliding elbows by Tanaka, with Kiroshio going down a few times before Tanaka could even hit him with the elbow. I was a bit disappointed about the time limit draw finish for this one as I would've liked to see a definitive winner for this but I thought the match overall did a good job highlighting the scrappiness of Jiro Kiroshio to go with the cocky prettyboy gimmick that he's getting. For a first time seeing Kiroshio in action, it certainly interested me in watching some more of him in the future. And you can't go wrong with Tanaka as well - amazing that he can still go at that pace with all the beatings he took in his wars with Mike Awesome. Very enjoyable match for the most part, despite the way it was edited. Thumbs up on this one.

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Just watched the Volador Jr/La Sombra vs Negro Casas/Heavy Metal match Matt D selected for me. Though I'm not fully integrated with lucha, these are four guys I've seen a fair bit of in some form or other, with Casas making my top 10 back in the GWE, so I had high hopes for this. 

Really liked how aggressive everyone felt in this match. Sometimes, I find lucha can be a bit airy (and don't get me wrong, I'm fully appreciative of a good lucha brawl), but here it felt like everyone was laying in their stuff, especially when Casas and Volador were in the ring together. I particularly loved Heavy Metal nailing a vicious dropkick in the corner during the second fall. It's almost redundant to say this in 2018, where he is still having good matches, but a 49yr old Casas looks tremendous throughout this, moving fluidly, nailing a lovely clothesline to a seated Volador on the apron, and flashing a massive grin after catching Volador with a boot to the face on a moonsault. Volador and Sombra maybe stood out less, but I think that's because of how much fun Metal and Casas were rather than their own faults. With his flared trousers and his movement, Volador did come across as a masked Fandango, but I really like Dango anyway, so that's no bad thing.

Plenty of highlights in the bout - loved the top rope press slam hit by Metal in the first fall, loved the only natural "legdrop to wrestler hung up in ropes" spot, as Metal grabs on to avoid a Hamrick bump only for Volador to hit a Fandango-esque (see!) top rope legdrop on him. The third fall saw everyone bump like loons, with big dives a plenty and Metal eating a big hiptoss to the floor. By the end, I had a big grin on my face, great stuff here.

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On 12/24/2018 at 5:16 AM, NotJayTabb said:

Based on Tim Evans's most recent posts, he seems to have seen a load of different wrestling, but especially a lot of indy wrestling. I'm pretty sure he won't have seen this, one of my favourite matches I've seen live. Featuring a tiny teenage Tyler Bate

 

Well this was an interesting match. I wasn't expecting it to go as long as it did. It might have gone on too long. I'm usually not a big fan of funny heels but the henchmen do a good job at it. Most of the match is Tyler getting destroyed. He looks to be about 16 here and it's hard to take him seriously. Still, he's bigger than Brookes was. Tyler makes a hot tag to Brookes and at least the young lads get some offense. I enjoyed the match for what it was.

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Colon vs Ayala was one hell of a war. I liked Colon's splitlegged selling of punches but what really surprised me was how well Ayala sold. Writhing in pain in a figure four and tumbling to the floor in exhaustion aren't really what I expect from a big muscleman. The figure four section in general was really smart. I had no idea how Ayala would get out, especially with the commentary team talking about how Colon didn't have to break, and then they made it a fall, with the ref not starting his count until Colon let go of the hold. Colon came up with a cool escape too. The last few minutes were a bit repetitive, with Ayala punching over and over, but I guess that was sort of the point. Colon had nothing to fight back with at that stage, so the beating could theoretically have gone on until he was injured permanently. My biggest complaint was that the brass knuckles spot would have worked better in a match in which disqualification was an option, but no big deal. Badass match.

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On 12/24/2018 at 11:57 AM, Jetlag said:

@MattD:

 

I'll be honest that I haven't seen as much Yokota and Asuka as I probably should have. A lot of the 80s AJW stuff I've seen is the Nagayo vs Dump stuff, and while Asuka's on the side of that, it's not quite the same. Therefore, this lost a little big of significance to me.

Thankfully, it's so direct and impactful, it didn't really need it. By this point, these were past the point of fully formed to be almost transcendent. Asuka had this air of danger to her, like she could sneak a kick in at any moment, do damage, and turn the tide of the match. Just a dominant force. Yokota was almost preternaturally smooth on the other hand. The opening agility demonstration, while probably rote for her, seemed akin magic while never feeling like an exhibition. 

Her consistent selling of the arm for most of the match was great too. It's a shame she dropped it in the stretch, as it would have added to her first failed attempt to hit the double-underhook pile-driver for instance. That sort of goes back to what the point of the limb selling is. Is it just to kill time? Is it to garner sympathy? Is it part of a larger attempt at storytelling? If it was the latter, she missed an opportunity or two to tie it up with a bow, even after Asuka had moved on to other things. The stretch might have played upon their matches from years past but it didn't really call back to the match they had been wrestling up until now. It was great action, but lacking resonance. I really did like everything leading up to it though.  

(One interesting thing here is that PeteF3 watched this match almost as blind as I did back in 2015 and he came out of it wanting to see more of Yokota's smoothness and agility. I came out of this wanting to see more 90s Asuka crushing people).

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