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doctorhbomb

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About doctorhbomb

  • Birthday May 16

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Peoria Prancer (2/11)

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  1. So I didn’t think I’d ever be interested in another AEW show after the explosion embarrassment a long while back. I was wrong. It isn’t close to my favorite wrestling show ever (I mean, really?), but it was very fun. Doubt any of the matches are worth a rewatch, but I’m not disappointed I purchased the show. The Adam Cole fake-out got me.
  2. First AEW PPV. And my last. I knew that before the ring “exploded.” I actually enjoyed the main event for the most part (though the blood seemed a little... not bloody). The street fight was fun but also felt like a bit of a bait and switch. I liked Miro on offense more than almost anything else on the show.
  3. Watched the opening tag. I liked it, but there did seem to be some close calls during some of the more dangerous spots (most of them involving Shotzi). The opening stretch, with Ember and Shotzi working over Dakota Kai's leg, felt unnecessary. Sure, it establishes that Dakota Kai really need Raquel, but that could have been done in any number of ways. "Working the leg" also went nowhere, as Kai was kicking and sprinting just fine late in the match. Ember Moon looked great at times: easily the most athletic person in the match, though Raquel looked really impressive. For some reason, this felt like a Southern style tag sprint (but I'm not even sure that's a thing) – which is odd, since that style is driven by actual heat. Skipped through the other matches. Didn't care about the other Dusty tag. Didn't care about the triple threat match, though Mercedes looked really great in the bits that I saw. Would be into a confrontation between Raquel and Mercedes down the road. Maybe. Gargano is unwatchable. This match basically killed any possibility of submission finishers. (Not really, I know. But you know what I mean. If Kushida can't get a submission from a crossarm breaker after working over Gargano's chicken-leg arms for 20 minutes . . . well, then. He must really suck, at submission wrestling. Good thing that's not his gimmick. Wait . . .) Main event was great. To compare it to other self-indulgent NXT main events is an insult. Yes, it was self-indulgent, but these two (again, from my perspective) are way better than Cole (who makes me cringe). Better than Gargano (likewise). Better than Ciampa. Better than Lee. I'd rather watch them wrestle for 30 minutes against each other than any combination of these other dudes. But that might be because NXT just totally burned me out on Cole–Gargano–Ciampa matchups.
  4. Favorite match of both nights was Shingo and Cobb. Easily. Loved it. The two bumps that popped me the most were the snap head scissors from Ibushi to Naito (apron to floor) and the crazy belly-to-belly Cobb hit on Shingo out on the floor. Not the biggest or craziest bumps but the two that caught me off guard and looked the best (to me).
  5. I enjoyed the first two matches of Power Struggle. ZSJ's frustration with his bootlaces was just great. Tapping out one of the Young Boys who was trying to help him? So good. Running with scissors? Wow. Suzuki v. Takagi was fun. Some strikes looked legit dangerous. Suzuki's facials are top level. The best. Crowd was super into this. The last four matches just didn't hold my attention. Liked parts of the second half of the show, but was tuned out for a lot of it.
  6. Everyone should watch Tanahashi and Liger interact after Tanahashi’s match. It’s the best. #airhug
  7. Just finished the final show. It was REALLY good. The first three tags were super fun. After 108 singles matches in a row (90 tournament matches; 18 young lion matches), multi-man matches felt like a novelty! Question: anyone know what Tanahashi was saying to KENTA after their tag match? He seemed to be teasing him about his briefcase . . . or maybe something more was happening. Not a fan of the two tag matches before the main event. I really wanted more aggressiveness from Okada. It started promising, but it was strange that the most impressive performer in the match wasn't even involved in the big angle on Night 17. More Naito/EVIL? Meh. Okay. So I was NOT looking forward to the main event, but it was GREAT. These guys took their time, didn't sprint through anything, and the match was laid out into really distinct and logical chapters/segments. The selling was good; there were some neat nostalgic spots. The effects of the LEG KICK match factored in. Add in the CRAZIEST near fall of the tournament (which was itself a callback) and a hot crowd? Overachieved (for me). A few slip ups, but SANADA and Ibushi handled them like pros. After that, I might be something of an Ibushi fan! Really liked his performance. SANADA also looked great here.
  8. Block B final (Night 18) was okay. I didn't enjoy Night 17 as much as others (especially the Leg Kick Match), but it had a big angle (mostly lost on me but clearly significant) and really fun/good matches. It was a better final. Yano v. Yoshi-Hashi might be the first time in the tournament where I was disappointed with a Yano match. He usually pulled out something new—or some new variation on an old trick—but here the variants just didn't seem fresh enough. I give him props for keeping his schtick fresh this far into the tournament. Juice v. Goto was fine but not too remarkable. Liked that Juice held onto the hammerlock when pushing Goto into the post / turnbuckle pads. Often see wrestlers released hammerlocks really early and just unrealistically lead their opponent over to a guardrail or ring post. (I mean, all of this is unrealistic, but you know what I mean. Good technique.) Tanahashi v. ZSJ was more up my alley but without any clear stakes it was hard to get invested. Intense wrestling and counter wrestling (especially early on with ZSJ's use of the headscissors). Like that ZSJ tried to keep wrestling after the bell. KENTA v. Naito was okay. Don't remember much about it. Except that KENTA used his flimsy briefcase and that it was too long. EVIL v. SANADA was not good but the crowd's investment helped a lot. WAY too long. Fourth match of the night that ended in a cradle or flash pin. Oof. That Dragon "Sleeper"/Forehead Vice . . . Ishii overcoming Jay White / Gedo was way more fun than SANADA surviving EVIL/Goto. I'm torn about the final. Not a fan of Ibushi but not too excited for a SANADA win either. Intrigued to see how it will play out and if the angle with Ospreay might factor in.
  9. Finals of Block A (Night 17) was entertaining: better than Night 15 but still not as good as most Block B events. Cobb v. Takahashi was better than I thought it'd be. Don't like Yujiro at all, but when he finally hit his DDT finisher, there was a sense of bittersweet finality to his run over the past few weeks. In his last match, he finally hit his big move and took away a win. Cobb looked great here against a guy who doesn't appear built for Cobb's offense (a bit denser than some of these leaner dudes). Suzuki v. Takagi was fun. Might be my favorite match of the show (other than the main event). Ospreay v. Okada was . . . meh. There was a strong sense of urgency and high stakes to it from the very beginning, but the ****ing Cobra Clutch, man . . . it's a buzzkill every time. I imagine other folks will enjoy this and the finishing angle more than me. It is a bit surreal to see a former indy darling go toe-to-toe with Okada (even if it's a much deflated version of Okada). Ibushi v. Taichi was – aside from a pretty killer sweep kick – a boring 17 minutes of repeated butt and leg kicks. No thank you. Not pleased at all but not surprised with the result. Ishii v. Jay White was GREAT. It made sitting through repeatedly boring interference worthwhile (in the sense @gordi gives above). Ishii is easily in my Top 5 (and maybe Top 3) performers in this tournament. One of my favorite main events too. Maybe my favorite.
  10. Night 16 was much better than Night 15. KENTA v. Yoshi-Hashi was more entertaining than I thought it would be. Found myself pulling for Yoshi-Hashi. That hasn't happened very often during this tournament. Felt like KENTA was in the double shoulder/butterfly lock (whatever it's called) a bit too long, but his vocal and facial selling while in the hold was really good. ZSJ v. Juice was great. Lots of fun wrestling/striking. Less trash talking than usual? My MOTN. Yano v. Naito was a delight. Naito's stalling was a nice touch; I enjoy the willingness of the aces to mix it up with Yano's silliness, and I laughed out loud when Naito was hiding from Yano only to try to sneakily remove the turnbuckle pad. EVIL v. Goto was pretty good, but the heel-ish antics that felt new to me against Tanahashi have already grown stale. I've enjoyed Goto in this tournament quite a bit, though I wish there had been a bit more nuance with his selling from match to match. Wanted to like Tanahashi v. SANADA more than I did. I don't really have any complaints; it just couldn't keep my attention. Crowd loved it, and I did catch some really fun segments. I'm just not into "main events" these days. Btw, the preliminary matches continue to be consistently great matches. No DDTs. No leg slaps. No super kicks. No standing flip splashes. No apron spots. No X-on-the-knee.
  11. Oof. Night 15 was, overall, not good. Boring matches and/or deflating finishes. Hopefully others like it more. Cobb v. Ospreay felt underwhelming. Not sure if I can put my finger on why. Felt like they were both just going through the motions, even if they were working pretty hard. Surprised by the ending. Ibushi v. Takahashi was not good at all. Ibushi should have steamrolled him. Watching Ibushi fight up from underneath against a guy who hasn't won a match (and whom White beat easily)? Oof. Crowd liked Taichi v. Takagi, but it didn't keep my attention. Both guys have grown on me over the course of the tournament, but I just didn't like this. The end of White v. Suzuki was really a letdown. Match was fun all the way through, but the finish annoyed me. The only time I've really liked heel-ish antics in this tournament was in Yano matches and in heel v. heel matches. Otherwise, it's all just so paint-by-the-numbers. White was in Suzuki's submissions here a little too long for my liking, and the fact that he could just keep slipping out of holds into a position to hit his finish felt pretty business-exposing (I know, sorry) rather than exciting. (Is it possible they'll go with a White v. EVIL final?) Okada v. Ishii. Sigh. I should have liked Ishii killing Okada in the corner with neck chops and cutting off comebacks with a diving headbutt . . . I just didn't. More complaints: Okada literally couldn't apply the Cobra Clutch to Ishii. The first application was awful. Ishii was clearly just palming the back of his own head (with Okada's fingers barely resting on top of them). The second application might have been worse. The third was depressing. And the fourth . . . FFS. Anyway, the diving knee drop was pretty great.
  12. Nights 13 and 14 probably mark the first time that Block A put on a show that was clearly better than its Block B counterpart. With that said, Night 14 was also pretty fun. ZSJ v. Yoshi-Hashi was really good. Brutal arm submissions here, and YH brought some brutal strikes that ZSJ sold really well. YH could have been a bit more consistent with selling his arm, but that's just nitpicking. ZSJ was great post-match. KENTA v. Yano was one of KENTA's more enjoyable G1 matches but a bit down on the list of Yano's best. Fun stuff, more dueling heelish tactics, and a wacky ending. (Briefcase contents revealed!) SANADA v. Juice was decent. Oddly, the only thing I can really remember (other than the interminable dragon sleeper counters) is Juice's interaction with a young fan as he walked to the ring. The air "high five" choked me up a bit. Really sweet. Wasn't really expecting the finish we got. Tanahashi v. Goto. Now this one takes me back. I'm sure they've wrestled many, many times, but I'm recalling their feud from . . . 2007? Really enjoyed that. Crowd loved this, and I did too. WAY shorter than I expected, but since I have long match fatigue that didn't bother me one bit. Pretty bonkers top rope avalanche spot near the end, which did its part (in a way) to set up the finish. Wasn't really all that into Naito v. EVIL. Others might dig this more than I did, since I don't really have the storyline investment (having missed their unfolding feud throughout the year). Seems at this point Naito shouldn't be as fooled by Togo's antics but . . . alas. Getting a bit tired of the low blow, but then again we're also 70 matches in (not counting the excellent preliminary matches), so I guess I shouldn't be too harsh on the booking / match layout. Wanted a bit more aggressiveness between the two. Crowd didn't seem as into this match as Tanahashi v. Goto, but they were far from bored.
  13. Agree with @gordi and @Custos. Night 13 was great. Loved every match for different reasons. Almost the perfect wrestling show (entertainment-wise). Hell, I even popped during the late arm bar sequence in the preliminary match . . . so good. EDIT (additional thoughts, though I wish I could recall more specific details): Cobb v. Ishii matched up SO well. Finishing spot was executed beautifully. White v. Takahashi was brilliant. Loved the premise of the match, which didn't click at first until I noticed that White wasn't wearing boots . . . Taichi v. Ospreay went better than I expected. Commentators went nuts for Ospreay. (I'm out of the loop on the backstory here, if there is one). Very entertaining. Suzuki is amazing. The match v. Ibushi is worth watching if only for the look on his face (pictured above) and his laughs. Still not a fan of Ibushi, but he's clearly super talented. I'd just rather see other folks in his place. Main event was my favorite Okada match of the tournament (though this isn't saying much). I've liked Takagi's top card matches. It's a bit unreal how the Cobra Clutch immediately deflates a hot crowd's excitement.
  14. I really liked Night 12. I caught the final few minutes Goto v. Yoshi-Hashi (thought the show started at 4:30am CST; it started at 4am). What I saw I liked, though I'm struggling to remember any specific details. ZSJ v. Yano was great. Favorite match of the night. Maybe got a bit too serious at the end, but I was thoroughly entertained. Happy with SANADA v. KENTA. Result was satisfying, and a dropkick into the briefcase into KENTA's face made me laugh. Great visual (though KENTA didn't sell it nearly long enough). Quite like Naito vs. Robinson. Might be my favorite Naito match of the tournament . . . but I'm also a bit weird. Naito's matches tend to go on a bit too long for my liking, but I really enjoyed the finishing sequences here. Might watch this again. EVIL v. Tanahashi. Tanahashi is a master, and I really dug some of the Club's heel-ish antics here (and subsequent drama)—except at the end. No reason for the ref to walk a chair all the way across the ring and just stand there with his back turned after dropping it. Not well timed. I've always been a fan of the STO, though, so it's nice that it's treated like such a strong move.
  15. Night 11 overdelivered (for me) after two of the less impressive shows of the tournament (Nights 9 and 10). I was also surprised by some results (though in hindsight maybe I shouldn’t have been). I really don’t like Takahashi at all (bad sliding kicks, awkward reverse DDT, horrible gear), but I was happy with the result of his match against Ishii. There’s a lunging headbutt here that made me jump. Okada v. Cobb was good. Crowd liked some of Cobb’s strongman stuff. I’m enjoying this new spin on Okada’s matches where he needs to get a bit sneakier / clever in order to pull out wins. The Dropkick / Tombstone / Cobra Clutch combo is. Not. Working. Against. Anyone. Almost everyone also ducks the rolling lariats he has recourse too when his opponents get too counter-y. I think he hit it against Cobb, and Cobb didn’t even drop. Ospreay v. Suzuki was more fun than I imagined going in. Ospreay tries to go toe-to-toe with Suzuki right away and has his arm destroyed as a result. He did an okay job selling (not much nuance but also never ignored), but I’ll never understand why wrestlers will insist on using a damaged arm to throw forearms rather than just use the other arm. (Which he does at one point but not consistently.) Really think Ospreay’s at a point where he can start cutting out moves that made him popular on the indies. Crowds don’t need to see the standing shooting star anymore, for instance. Just a thought. Almost everyone is doing standing moonsaults and flips and superkicks and blah blah anyway. Start doing something different. Taichi vs. Jay White might have been my favorite heel v. heel match of the tournament. And my favorite Jay White match of the tournament. From the beginning they start playing (rolling out of the ring on opposite sides at the same time), and they keep it up while also having a pretty decent match. Good and very entertaining match. Takagi vs. Ibushi. I liked this if only because Ibushi lost. Not a fan. He’s clearly uber-talented, but he’s way more awkward as a top guy than Naito or Tanahashi (who’s untouchable). There’s a back elbow – jab – lariat combo in here that popped me. Fun main event but not one of my favorite matches of the tournament.
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