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  1. Why I can't remember that we reset this project on Saturday rather than Sunday will forever remain a mystery to me. Apropos of that @SirSmellingtonofCascadia I will get to my review of the Regal/Brookside v. Barrett/Nagasaki you gave me later this afternoon. In the meantime I don't want to leave @Casey hanging and with Regal on my mind, how about this? BTW Casey, if you want to send me that Megumi Kudo match you were thinking about our first go around I am down.
  2. Hey, neat @SirSmellingtonofCascadia! I also really enjoy Regal, and haven't seen any of his early work - nor have I seen any Robbie Brookside, so I'm looking forward to this. For you, how about some NOAH tag action? Yoshihiro Takayama and Minoru Suzuki are putting the IWGP Tag Titles (yes, New Japan's tag titles!) on the line against the baby-faced, beefy boi team of Takeshi Rikio and Takeshi Morishima. It feels to me like this one has a bit of a southern tag formula influence to it, but see what you think for yourself: OH! Forgot to mention originally that there are a good 6-7 minutes of introductions at the beginning of this footage, so the match is about 16-17 minutes.
  3. Thanks for this @Zimbra, your assessment is spot on. PROS: I'm not even entirely sure where to begin with this one there's so much cool stuff, so how about this: Looking at the four guys involved my first thought was "Kikuchi is eating the fall. Okay, maybe Fuchi, but c'mon..." Now I was right but you know what was awesome? Kikuchi never once performed as if he was the obvious low man. Kawada chops the snot out of him the first time the two of them are in the ring together and Kikuchi is all, "Nah, I don't think I'll be intimidated today - I think I'll elbow you in the neck instead." It's very cool. Surly old dudes who mock one another before trying to make each other's joints bend the wrong way are fantastic, so Fujiwara and Fuchi provide an embarrassment of riches on that count. Speaking of surly, Fujiwara's repeated demands for Kawada to join him in the ring only to immediately tag out just as Kawada finally gets in and the crowd goes nuts was such championship level trolling that I can't actually do it justice with words *chef's kiss.* Fuchi spends every moment locked up with Fujiwara doing something: Advancing a hold, looking for a counter or escape, etc. It's the sort of thing we don't get to see nearly enough of these days and it's a real treat. CONS: I have to really start picking at the nits to come up with something negative about this. Umm - Fujiwara kind of lays in a hold early on for, like, 15 seconds. Other con: I have not watched nearly enough Fujiwara, but that's on me not the match. Is this a match that is going to be rated as an all-time AJPW classic? Not even close, but if I was at this show and this was the last match before intermission? I would be totally happy with it. It's 12-ish minutes of perfectly acceptable puro, and sometimes it's great just to be able to enjoy that sort of thing. Give it a watch, you'll likely be glad you did. Thanks again @Zimbra
  4. @Zimbra Tenryu punching guys in the jaw? Perhaps this will fit the bill: With Chosu & Fujinami in the match as well I'm thinking everyone is getting punched real hard...
  5. Thanks @Casey I think I've settled into pro/con for my reactions, but haven't yet gotten over my propensity to let the match sit for a week before I write it up. You are dead on about the video quality: The Starch-o-Rama Vision makes me feel like I'm sitting in the rafters and wearing reading glasses that have vaseline on the lenses. But no matter, we press on... Pros: Lance Russell on the call once again. I am starting to wonder if Memphis style is truly up my alley the more I see of it but you know what? I'm going to keep watching it with no problem because my lack of exposure to it has also limited my intake of Lance Russell and that needs to be fixed. Once again this is the culmination of a long program and Lance gets me everything I need to know about the whys and hows of the match within the first few minutes. After that he's just pure gold on the mic, though I think I need to look up one of his calls on a match where Lawler is a heel: Lance does have a bit of a homer-ish bias toward Lawler here, but even that fits in with the whole Memphis vibe as I currently understand it. I really like the unusual barbed wire set up here. It more or less fulfills the same function as a cage would in the meta-context of the match: Keep the wrestlers in the ring, add an element of danger, and be a useful tool for violence. I've never seen a setup like this before, so the uniqueness of it is kind of neat. Dutch Mantell seems a high quality nasty brute, one whose work I am also mostly unfamiliar with (again owing to my lack of Memphis viewing). Based on this match I think I am going to look up him squashing jobbers, it seems like that would be a good time. Also for the second time running I think Lawler's opponent has better punches than Jerry, at least in this footage. Cons: The match has been clipped, or rather footage lost (I suspect due to tape degeneration given the overall quality of the video), and we're missing about five or six minutes of the match which includes at least two transitions. The ending fell flat for me once again but for a different reason this time: They go through roughly twenty minutes of violence and torture, end up exhausted, knock their heads together, Lawler ends up bouncing off the ropes and falling on Mantell, 1-2-3, oh look, he's champ again. Maybe they were trying to keep the program going or something, but after what felt like the lead up to the culmination of a story this 'got the title essentially on a fluke' was pretty unsatisfying to me. Lawler's more cartoony antics make me wonder if Hogan lifted a bunch of Lawler's act for The Hulkster character. If there is speculation around this I've never read it (or don't remember doing so). I'm pretty firmly landing at @SirSmellingtonofCascadia's position on The King: I think I'll be rooting for the heels against Lawler going forward. Overall I liked this match a bit less than the last one, but do still think folks should at least give it a try: Call it a tepid thumbs-up. No shade on @Casey here at all, as I am pretty willingly engaging with material I would have passed by entirely if not for my partner's good faith efforts. Also, I will check out Megumi Kudo on my own time.
  6. Thanks @Casey, and no worries about the violence content in that one: It's only when we get to light tubes/guys carving each other up with gardening equipment/etc. that I start to back away from the violent graps. This is probably on the downside of NOAH's peak, but I have always had a soft spot for Akira Taue and his bizarre, grumpy, awkward grace: Edited to add: The match itself is just a hair over 20 minutes of the 35 in the video.
  7. Original post no longer relevant, but to respond to @Curt McGirt below: Damn, that sounds like a fine afternoon/evening!
  8. @Super Ape How about some Houston Wrestling?
  9. Someone forgot what day it was repeatedly this week. That someone is me... @SirSmellingtonofCascadia Thanks for this. I can see what you mean about escalating action over the course of the match. I have seen this match before, but it's been a while and I am more than happy to revisit it. I'm not really into doing blow-by-blow write ups, so here are some pros & cons. Pros: Lance Russell on the mic. Good god, what a treat! He does so much to put the varying aspects of the match over that my wife (who as she would say herself is not really a wrestling fan but is rather "wrestling adjacent") heard the audio as I watched and at the end laughed and said, "That was awesome just listening along." From the prior results that led to the match, to Bock's viciousness, to Lawler's endurance, to the reasoning behind the ref's actions in a no DQ match, to the rising emotion in his voice at important moments: It was a masterful call. Nick Bockwinkel is better than you (until the second he isn't), and every movement, facial expression, and bit of sadistic punishment he dishes out lets you know it. He bumps big at the right times, sells like a champ, and does kind of foolish things like not taking a pretty obvious count-out victory when there is more pain to be dealt, totally in keeping with what and who he is. I love Bock, and to lean into a board trope: Lawler may have great punches... but Bock's are better. The story of the match is great: Lawler without a pinfall victory over Bock, his hair on the line, working as the challenger and default underdog (thanks for the info Lance Russell!), facing the reigning double champion. To say he starts slow is an understatement, as Bock works him over for a solid 5-6 minutes as they build sympathy. Things do escalate logically and in a thematically satisfying fashion throughout, with one exception I'll cover in 'cons,' and both performers clearly know how to give the crowd what they want. Jerry Lawler is also very, very good at this whole wrasslin' thing and I did find myself enjoying his bumping, selling which is really first rate. Cons: I hated Lawler's final comeback. He basically just 'hulked up,' going from just about beaten to invulnerable in roughly 10 seconds. I found it really annoying even though I will usually forgive such things if the audience is hot for it which, to be fair, they totally were. A slightly different choice of sequence, thirty more seconds to incorporate a miscue or a counter of something Bock was trying would have sat a lot better with me. Just about every word Jerry Lawler spoke on commentary during the Attitude Era. This is it, this is why I've consistently failed to connect with Lawler as a performer - I didn't see any of his classic work before having to suffer through the worst of his announcing and I just can't develop any sympathy for his character, and that is obviously a vital part of the character "The King," especially in a match like this. You might think from the cons that I'd give the match an overall thumbs down, but I don't. Quite the opposite, actually. This is a great match and should absolutely make anyone's viewing list, totally recommended. Bonus Pros: The fan who got picked up on Lance Russell's mic saying "C'mon Lawler, the king ain't dead! Get up!" Lance Russell's repeated statements of "Bockwinkel is THICK!"
  10. @SirSmellingtonofCascadia Oops! I think you meant to tag me for that Bock/Lawler match. Thanks! Throwing some 1990 All Japan your way. Tiger Mask II starts the match but finishes it as someone else, kicking off/accelerating the generational conflict in the promotion (my understanding of the story of AJPW is broad but not deep, so apologies if I am misinterpreting things). Pretty dope match, regardless.
  11. Thanks once again for organizing the shenanigans @Matt D. I'm able to watch YouTube & Daily Motion, and would be happy to take in anything with the exception of death matches (just not my thing). Bloody brawls up to and including Muta/Hase are okay, but light tubes, staple guns, and other assorted plunder give me the heebie-jeebies. Go figure. One thing I would be happy (well, that may be overstating it but I want to challenge myself a bit) to see is Jerry Lawler: I will confess to possible heresy by saying his work has never done anything for me. I'd be happy to watch any recommendation of his work and see if I can finally spot what I have been missing (or finally settle on "Maybe this guy just isn't for me").
  12. I would like to sign up once again, this was good fun.
  13. @Matt DThanks for organizing this! My apologies to everyone, I'm a week behind and not likely to be able to catch up with the two viewings until the weekend. Will have write ups by Saturday. Outside life went a little meat-grindery the last 10 days. Thanks to everyone who has widened my horizons, professional grappling-wise.
  14. I'll narrow it down: Lucha or World of Sport would be dope, but I'll take just about anything with the exception of modern deathmatches (just something I feel like avoiding these days).
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