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  1. Agreed on 15 minutes being more or less the sweet spot. I've been thinking about this for years, and of course it's all relative to what anyone watches and what's formed their expectations for a match over time, but anything stretching past 20 really starts to test my attention span, and begins feeling more like an exercise in just getting to an arbitrary time spot rather than an organic development of the bout--unless people are really clicking with one another, or there's a compelling narrative reason for stretching things out. This has really been a thing for me in NJPW over the last few years, as the big bouts have stretched closer to King's Road lengths rather than the traditional strong style sub-20 minute matchtimes. It has definitely made me appreciate the G1 a lot more, given the hard 30 minute time limit on block match-ups, with most seeming to hew closer to 18-22 minutes.
  2. I'm sure someone can speak more authoritatively to the specific dynamics at play, but my view is Kobashi is essentially the Superman of wrestling in this period, and nobody wants to see the hero actively fight against an official to try and continue to brain a defenseless opponent, even if its a villain on the scale of Takayama. He had gone well past losing his cool, and Akiyama was trying to bring him back down to earth--more so in looking out for his partner's own sense of honor than expressing any immediate concern for the outcome of the match, I'd think.
  3. I'm in the middle of one of my manic periods where I binge a bunch of shit and then go into wrestling hibernation for six months, but I just watched this for the first time and it's perfect and beautiful and I love it and I had to talk about it somewhere: Takayama is the baddest man alive (natch). Kobashi goes psycho. Omori is a fucking goon. Akiyama starts off a house of fire and then plays FIP because somebody has to. It's 15 minutes of four guys beating the shit out of each other (Takayama puts on two holds lasting maybe a combined 10 seconds) and that's the Platonic ideal of a match for me right now.
  4. Pure fantasy booking, but coming off the two big Ls I can totally see another disappointment or misstep leading to a (at least pseudo-)turn on Tanahashi and an extended run in that disassociated state. Speaking of Ibushi/White, I still get chills thinking of the former hauling off on the latter in the G1 finale. Brutal, brutal stuff.
  5. I haven't seen Nakajima in a minute but he's looking tremendously scummy and I'm here for it.
  6. You absolute fools. Clearly this is the culmination of a half-decade campaign to secure the financial backing and political buy-in for the relaunch of Party Marty 2020.
  7. After the NEVER division tag at NYD (a reddit comment to the effect of "four unrestrained refrigerators in the back of a moving truck" has stuck with me), Shingo vs LA Dojo TrimSpa Goto is maybe my most anticipated match of this tour. Also, I am both excited and terrified at the prospect of Hiromu and Lee making a point to ball the fuck out in their reunion bout. Take the over on cervical compression! Sidebar: my parents shipped down to Florida early last year, and being that they're an hour and change outside of Tampa, I was thinking of rolling a first visit into that New Beginning USA show... but boy is that a card I'd be hard-pressed to watch for free.
  8. Late to the party, but after working my way back into NJPW a little over the second half of 2019, Naito Two-Belts and Hiromu coming all the way back and taking gold has me bought way the fuck back in right now. I dug a lot of stuff over the two days, with Ibushi/Okada maybe taking the cake, but special s/o to the emotional crescendo of Naito/Okada. Also: Okada is probably the best big match wrestler and purest "top guy" in the business right now, and he's out here taking avalanche poisoned ranas on his fucking dome (...at the Dome! ). Insane.
  9. Outside of the SCU/Elite six man title bout, the lineup for next week's UMBC show is brutal. Particularly with no Jeff Cobb (at least currently announced) on the card, it really shows a product hard up for new and exciting talent and development beyond running through retreads and relying on the novelty of foreign talent (when available).
  10. Boy is that the most vanilla design possible for the Pirate Princess.
  11. Bullet points from last night: Darby Allin is the fucking truth and maybe a top 10 guy on the planet I'd pay money to see. Banger with Anthony Henry, but I'd watch him work a broomstick these days. Surprisingly, Drake/Bravado also topped my favorite matches of the night. Equal parts character work and physicality, played to a T. Dream was predictably amazing, especially working full-on babyface with Theory. Very good match that wouldn't be out of place in NXT, which Dream played up in his post-match promo. Came off as a super sweet and appreciative guy for all the success he's had so early in his career.
  12. Updated Joppa card now: Janela/Fox is a big improvement to me (as opposed to vs Theory and vs Dickinson, respectively), Dream of course, and Allin/Henry should be dope. Think they got me back in now.
  13. Huh! Clearly Gabe and Paul are listening to me... But that is a much more interesting show now. Curious/kinda confused on who gets a match with Janela in Joppa now, if they are pulling Theory out of the WWN title shot to match up with Dream.
  14. Poking around the Events page, it looks like the SD crew just has Eastern Canada dates on their Saturday 8/25 to Tuesday 8/28 run, and then Ohio and Michigan shows from 9/1 to 9/4. So Raw (and Roman, and Ronda) still enjoying the flagship "perks" at the moment...
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