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Teflon Turtle

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  1. Right on. To me, this taps in to the larger overall discussion on how we in the wrestling fandom evaluate what makes a wrestler great/a "GOAT candidate." What gets the most weight, and why? In ring? Promos? Drawing power (which depending upon the fan, often has to do with the previous two - but again, in what proportion)? Longevity? Side note, this brought back a random bad wrestling memory for me: Rey Jr. getting booed as the 30th entrant in the Rumble...in whatever year that was...because he wasn't Danielson. I get that it was largely WWE being booed, but it felt so foreign to see Mysterio get a negative reception because he is so great at getting the crowd invested in him even when he's behind a mask, as you mentioned.
  2. I missed the Mysterio/Mysterio or Liger question yesterday too. Rey Jr. is a really interesting case, to me. He has accomplished a ton, understands how to be a great in-ring competitor as well if not better than almost anybody drawing breath, started as a teenager and is still going. But, I've noticed he's been lost in the GOAT discussion...especially within the last decade or so: we've seen the emergence of guys like Okada and Omega, Hiroshi Tanahashi having a great decade, Bryan Danielson cementing his claim, etc. But...I think it's important that Rey Jr. be recognized as an all time great, if not the #1. All of the points made about how he's not the best promo and not the biggest draw are valid. If you ask me, though, he wrote the book on the modern little guy vs. big guy match template, esp. when he arrived in WWE. If he didn't, he's the absolute best ever at executing the psychology of a match like that. This is before we get to him being the cornerstone of a loaded WCW cruiserweight division. I don't really have a solid answer to him or Liger. I guess maybe Liger, since he was never saddled with late-career WWE nonsense? One should not blame the wrestler for his booking, however. If comparing the best work of both guys, I feel it's like responding to the question "Which 3-star Michelin restaurant would you like a free meal from today?" There isn't an incorrect answer.
  3. I had a similar thought. I know the ailments aren't the same, but I also had to call to mind Tetsuya Naito. When Naito was working through his eye issues, he mentioned often seeing 6+ ring ropes while working his match, as opposed to three - never mind how his opponent appeared to him. Given his style, it seems miraculous he was able to make that work. You'd have to be dialed in every moment, and be so, so good at what you do to be able to compensate for stuff like this. Goes to show the level of skill these athletes have attained, as I see it.
  4. Haven't watched the whole show or really even read this entire thread yet, just wanted to say it was cool as hell to see Rocky Romero popping in to wrestle Danielson. Rocky's a good vet who can absolutely still go despite taking a bit of a backseat in recent years, and I loved all the history that got discussed during the match. And the commentators pretty much said this exact thing about this discussion, but them having the freedom to discuss other companies and wrestlers is still so refreshing to me. For JR to be able to say on-air that Kazuchika Okada - a guy not employed by AEW - is a top five wrestler in the world (thereby passing up many AEW competitors JR is getting paid to hype up) still feels unusual to someone raised on a majority-WWE diet. I remember WWE using the phrase "IWGP champion" to describe AJ Styles when he joined up was unexpected, but they would never go as far as AEW is in acknowledging that great pro wrestling happens elsewhere, too.
  5. Same boat, exactly right. The commentators aren't wrong when they say that Edgar had a remarkable achievement in winning the 155 lbs. title when there are guys running around at 135 today who are bigger than he is. But with all due respect to what Frankie accomplished, I'm a much bigger fan of how a guy like Vera comes out to mess you up in every way he can think of versus the "I won 51% of the fight, raise my hand please" fight style. Also, I know DC/Rogan/Anik probably don't need to belabor the point, but Machida has two of those front kick KOs in the UFC. Besides Couture, Vitor Belfort was unfortunately the recipient of the other.
  6. Well, we got "mahogany" in to the MMA lexicon now. It's gonna be real interesting if some of the more striking-heavy fighters at MW want to try their luck. Dana White never seems to like Uriah Hall all that much, maybe they do that next. I'm also wondering if noted professional crazy person Sean Strickland would be insane enough to keep it a striking match with Pereira (my guess would be he's not quite that crazy, but I've been wrong about a lot in life). Perhaps they compromise at Darren Till.
  7. There is a lot of potential excitement to be had on this card. Not discussed in the thread yet: the UFC debut of 2-division Glory Kickboxing champion Alex Pereira. I am both intrigued and terrified by the prospect of that guy teeing off on people with 4 oz. gloves. I am in the camp of people who thinks any discussion of fast tracking him to a match with Adesanya is premature, despite their history. But, if he can stay off the ground he's a big, big KO threat to just about everyone I can think of. Should he win tomorrow, it'll be interesting to see what the UFC does with him.
  8. @JLowe Very true, and now that you mention it, it's definitely more than three. Punk being the most obvious. I don't think Omega or Danielson drink at all. Young Bucks...I don't recall if they've come right out and said they're straightedge, but I don't believe they've ever been into anything at all. Dustin Rhodes has experience with turning his life around. I guess my thought was also whether Mox is actually that close with any of these guys, and if not, would either side be comfortable building those bridges.
  9. It can be hard to recognize in the moment, but those types of choices around stuff like this - especially when there are kids involved - can truly have generational consequences. If Mox made the choice to seek treatment with his family in mind first, my respect for him is up tenfold. One hopes that AEW can be a supportive environment (seemingly so, based on what we've seen from wrestlers speaking up online) so Mox can continue to succeed with this and his family can reap the benefits.
  10. I'm thinking this falls outside the realm of speculation: I hope all that happened was Mox realizing he needed to be there and set the example for his kid as they go through life. My dad wasn't an alcoholic, but was the type to have a few beers after work. He realized or came to believe pretty early on in my life (think toddler-aged) that he wasn't setting the best example for me. From that day on, I don't think I ever saw the man with anything other than a nonalcoholic beer in his hand until well after I could drive a car...I might have even hit my 20s. It made it much easier for me to learn from a man who showed that he could talk the talk and walk the walk. Just him doing that was probably enough to alter the course of our lives as stressful situations or other things that might've otherwise tipped the balance towards drinking as a coping mechanism have come up over the years. Alcoholism is a disease, it's not the same for everybody. No judgment at all here. Glad that Mox is getting help so it (hopefully) works out that he can set that example for his child too, and just be there as a parent as much as he can.
  11. I haven't watched too much of the G1 so far this year, but yeah...I think everything else being normal would've mitigated all of this a bit. Each person will have a different perspective, but to me a big part of the lure of prime NJPW was that there was something for everyone, and they could cover quite a few pro wrestling bases across the span of a single show or tour. Don't like EVIL? Have no fear, Toru Yano will raise everyone's spirits in the next match. Not a Yano fan either (or you've misplaced your sense of humor)? OK, because Hiromu Takahashi and Dragon Lee are about to blow the doors off the venue in the match after that. NJPW had problems for a while with roster stratification (how long El Desperado had to wait to move up might be a good example), and factions feeling stale, but it felt minor when compared against the bell-to-bell action and pace of their shows. Now, they really feel between a rock and a hard place. I have a hard time placing all the blame on the promotion or booker(s). With COVID restrictions in Japan, they're limited in who they can bring in (or who feels it worth the time and money to come in thanks to those restrictions and quarantining), how many tickets they can sell, how many matches they can put on, and when they have to clear out of the venue by. Since their shows traditionally have been built like old or small fight cards - just match after match with no promos, skits, a ton of video packages, whatever - it seems like the only solution they could offer was artificially inflating match times versus radically changing everything they do. I'm sure they also had to weigh how to give the fans that showed up their money's worth. Five 10-minute matches before you go home probably isn't going to do that (especially in the G1, but this has been a problem for the last year and a half), but they've still struggled. I unfortunately have to agree with those whose interest in NJPW has waned, though I wish it wasn't so. Even depleted, they still have one of the best pro-wrestling rosters of all time, their wrestlers still generate interest when they turn up in places like AEW, and absolutely none of what has gone wrong feels like the fault of the wrestlers themselves.
  12. Yep. That was very close to, if not the exact match we would've gotten had it taken place in an NJPW ring. Well...hang on. We'd have to specify "when," as it seems to me that Suzuki moved away from submission/grappling based matches as soon as fans weren't allowed to cheer during the pandemic, leaning more heavily towards strike-based matches. The opening part of this match in AEW featured more grappling out of Suzuki than we've seen in some time, at least in his NJPW work. This leads me to my next point: there is an unwritten rule in modern NJPW where nobody submits Minoru Suzuki, and pretty much nobody gets the better of him in grappling exchanges. Your hope is escape, you will not defeat Suzuki on the mat, period. I liked how AEW bent this rule but didn't break it. Everybody knows Danielson is formidable on the mat in his own right, and therefore he got a lot deeper on his submission attempts than most would on Suzuki. But, Suzuki still had answers and worked out of the holds, despite being in a little more trouble with them as the match wore on. I feel like they struck a really nice balance with that here. Would Danielson have gotten as much should the match have taken place in NJPW? His name and reputation makes me like to think he would've, but it's something to ponder. To me, this was also a remarkable match in that most everyone had no doubt as to what the outcome would be, but the wrestlers drew us in anyway. Two of the absolute best on earth, there is no question.
  13. Thanks everybody who picked up on the OC question. I enjoy his work, but was a bit taken aback when he actually spoke in that "debate" against Jericho and and wondered what the story was ever since. Now that I've thought about it, so far I've kinda explained it to myself similarly to what @Shartnado posted. In boxing (or I suppose any other combat sport that involves striking) you often hear of fighters who need to get hit once or twice to loosen up and really start going to work. The opposite side of that coin is "everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth." I don't really think that's what OC is going for, but it's how things have come across to me on occasion. Then again, @LoneWolf&Subs has a good point too. OC could well be setting up traps for his opponents and lulling them in to a false sense of security. What @(BP) posted seems more like what the OC character is truly about and is actually going for, if we remove the "combat sports" context that I can't help but filter almost everything through.
  14. The more I watch AEW, the more I like it. Feeling like a total traitor - I'm skipping G1 shows in favor of Dynamite and Rampage. Tell me three years ago I'd be passing up NJPW shows for that of an "upstart" promotion and I'd have laughed in your face, but here we are. Danielson/Jackson was a great match. I liked the touch of Danielson being able to shrug off just about every strike Nick threw except the superkicks. The two really have contrasting styles of pro wrestling, and I was curious to see how they would mesh. They resolved it with that, in my mind. So...not to veer too off-topic with respect to this specific show, but Danielson had some Tenryu-inspired moments in his offense against Nick Jackson on Rampage, and Darius Lockhart had a Tenryu-inspired logo as part of his gear on one of the Youtube shows this week. Since it may be a while before we can get Danielson/ZSJ (which ZSJ is already teasing) or Danielson vs. Jonathan Gresham...not to mention both Danielson and Lockhart used a very, very similar hammerlock > armbar > uh, pinning combination thing this week...I think I need to see Danielson vs. Lockhart yesterday. And how the hell does one not feel good about how the main event went? Seeing all of these pro wrestlers rally around and (literally and figuratively) lift up -1 in light of what happened is some of the most heartwarming stuff I've seen all year. One thing I've gotta ask as someone who has neither followed every AEW show or Orange Cassidy's entire career: has it ever been explained why he suddenly dispenses of the hands-in-the-pockets stuff and "wakes up" mid-match? Is it really just summed up by the "troll smile" he gave PAC in their match, or...? I was under the impression that Cassidy kept the "low effort" stuff going for most of if not the entire match on the indies, so I wondered if something changed. (Bear in mind this isn't me trying to hate or poke holes - the guy is a very good pro wrestler either way. I'm just curious.)
  15. While Kenny is a divisive figure, I really enjoyed his NJPW run. I echo those of you who said this was the closest AEW has gotten to the NJPW version of Kenny. The match style, even another bit of a reference to Kota Ibushi in the colors of Omega's ring gear this time. To me, the match felt like a conversation between two experts in their field...who are just getting to know each other. There are more depths to that matchup that can be explored another time, I think. The first third to half of the match was so heavily strike-based that it leaves them plenty to do in the future, even structure the next match completely differently if they want to. I still dig Malakai Black overall, but at times it almost looks like the stuff he's going for in there is just unorthodox enough to disrupt his opponent's rhythm, and not in a "within kayfabe" sort of way. Unless my eyes deceived me, Cody may have gotten lucky to avoid a legit knee injury on that flying scissors takedown Black attempted during the picture in picture segment. Sort of an awkward landing for him, and that technique is banned in many Judo and BJJ competitions for its high potential for causing catastrophic leg injuries. I grimaced when I saw it - if that truly had gone wrong/gone worse, it probably ends the match on the spot. I mostly enjoyed everything else, but I didn't find it the best idea to send out one of the biggest stars in wrestling to have him say "How to you follow that?!" after Omega/Danielson. Not that it's a completely incorrect thing to say after a match like that (you may be able to count on two hands the number of wrestler pairings worldwide who could follow that match, and some of those pairings involve the two guys who just wrestled...), but at the same time, I don't need to be told that everything that follows will underwhelm me by comparison. At least for me, it deflated a bit of my excitement for the rest of the card.
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