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Teflon Turtle

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  1. I think @For Great Justice and @Greggulator both raise good points about the FTW title segment. If you're going to do a hotshot angle with lots of surprises, that's about as good as it gets. But...for wrestlers on the come up, why not give them a longer story to sink their teeth in to and build up to it? Not enough TV time...? Anyway. It makes sense that Starks would have to drop the FTW title sometime. It feels like they're on the cusp of something with him: his stock rises a little every match, and he is absolutely (sorry) ready for the big time. I don't know how he gets slotted in elsewhere (probably not immediately), but that man should be holding a more prominent singles title before long. At least for me, he's appointment viewing, and I will not say that about many wrestlers. Would've liked to have seen him and Hobbs establish themselves with a more significant tag run, but honestly, Hobbs seems like he's ready to break out too.
  2. I like what both @Raziel and @Stefanie the Human had to say here. In my darker moments, I often reach the conclusion that the idea of "there is no ethical consumption under capitalism" can simply be stopped at "there is no ethical consumption." Unless you exist entirely off the fruit of your own labors and do not pay taxes, odds are good that your money has gone to a person or organization that is morally reprehensible, often on a daily basis. As far as products go, someone or something has probably suffered at one or several points of the line to get it in to your hands. (Or the environment was polluted along the way.) I'm not the smartest person alive so maybe someone understands is better than I do, but I feel there's enough complexity along the modern supply chain that no one person can untangle all of the moral issues involved and/or eliminate all suffering whilst continuing most people's current way of life. In one of his standup bits, George Carlin once said (I'm mostly paraphrasing) that there are no innocent victims, "your birth certificate is proof of guilt!" When I was younger, I didn't get it. As I've aged, I've started to unfortunately see the sense in it. To bring it back around to WWE: their roster is filled with extremely talented people, many of whom seem like (ignoring George Carlin) decent human beings who seek to make the world a better place. I'm thinking of folks like Big E, Sami Zayn, just to name two. While I'd love to support them and and I want to continue to see them do well, I couldn't justify giving WWE any money so long as folks like VKM were in charge, and there are deals in place with Saudi Arabia. In order for the cash to get in to the hands of the talent, the corporate juggernaut must take their cut first. Just a bridge too far, for me.
  3. Oof, my "finish up work and try not to look at the internet after 6 PM on weekdays" rule really leads to missing big news sometimes. Anyway...doesn't feel real. I didn't express it, but I was in the camp who thought Vince would pass away before he retired. I also have a somewhat nervous feeling that we do not escape 2022 without seeing a "Vince McMahon spotted backstage at [insert location of WWE event here]" headline somewhere. Maybe multiple times. I'd love it if WWE's product underwent some changes, especially to the direction of the shows (I am also among those who stopped watching because I find the constant camera cuts make the shows unwatchable and do a disservice to the skills of the wrestlers, making their matches hard to visually follow). But, I am something of a pessimist when it comes to American corporate culture. I wonder if we see the status quo mostly maintained, simply because nobody will want to stick their neck out on a new idea and risk being wrong when simply collecting a paycheck to keep things as they are is the safer option.
  4. I'd agree that the worst booking decision was Undertaker losing the streak, leading to years of Lesnar/Roman. If we were looking at the last 25 years instead of 20, my answer would be the WCW/WWE "invasion." That might be the biggest missed opportunity in wrestling history, for me. If we're talking about booking decisions that put me off of a given promotion personally, it's Shinsuke Nakamura's handling on WWE's main roster. When he and AJ faced off in that MITB, that crowd knew why it was a big deal and reacted accordingly. Instead, Nak loses to Mahal twice, has a so-so match with AJ at Wrestlemania (which again should've been an absolute sure thing), leading to a heel turn that pretty much nobody wanted. That Wrestlemania match was the thing that made me say "if they can screw even that up, which they did, then there's no point to watching this product any longer." Granted Nakamura may not be entirely blameless in wanting to take his foot off the gas a bit for the sake of longevity, but having him lose to Jinder twice followed by the Wrestlemania heel turn is unforgivable, booking-wise.
  5. I haven't participated in the "best of the half-year" discussions elsewhere on the board, but if ZSJ continues at this rate, I think he has wrestler of the year locked up easily. I really liked that KENTA match. Speaking of...is there any non-deathmatch wrestler wearing the accumulation of his style more than KENTA? The scars he's got from that Tanahashi match alone are massive. I am too indecisive to pick a best G1 match. I am also quite grateful that NJPW has given us so much to choose from over the years. I was out of breath from that Naito/Omega match from...2017, I think? Whichever one was so massively dangerous, or at least looked it. My answer will change tomorrow, and the day after that...
  6. I have never watched Alexander Otsuka's pro wrestling, but I probably should. As I recall, his MMA and puroresu careers were concurrent. Also, go look at his record. PRIDE absolutely threw him to the lions, with the exception of two or three fights. Possibly the only Japanese pro-wrestler who ever got done dirtier in MMA was Yuji Nagata.
  7. I am in agreement that despite being one of the most popular wrestlers of the last...six or so years...that it still feels like Naito has never really gotten his due. He truly is one of the best, but at least in the Western world, it has always felt to me like he has been in the shadow of people like Omega and Okada even though he has shown repeatedly that he can go step-for-step with the top tier. The injuries have held him back, certainly, but he has earned the right to have his legacy cemented beyond just being NJPW's first double champ. (I speak from a position of total bias as he may be my overall favorite wrestler, but at times following him feels like being a pre-2004 Boston Red Sox fan, or something along those lines.) Y'know...I am among the camp that enjoyed the Ospreay/ELP match. I am neither Ospreay's biggest fan or detractor, but I've felt for a while that he and Phantasmo match up well with each other. I think their match today had an excellent, sudden, yet believable finish. Although, after seeing ELP get over on near-constant hotdogging and douchebaggery, it did feel a bit strange to essentially see him work as the face here. This is not to say that I don't appreciate him, and it'll be interesting to see how the rest of his tournament goes. I might be seeing things that aren't there, but I feel like Jay White is much more at ease working in front of Japanese crowds than he was during his AEW appearances. I don't know if that's because he didn't get the reception he was expecting in front of larger American crowds, or what. I think he's shown that he's talented enough and smart enough to make adjustments and grow, but again...we'll see, I guess. I remain a big fan of his and still hold that since his singles career started as the "Switchblade," that he improved at a rate that we maybe had never seen before. And yes...Jeff Cobb's strength and athleticism is downright ridiculous. Good main event to cap off a fun G1 opening day.
  8. I forgot to write about this, and you mentioned it. I don't know how much more time Minoru Suzuki has left in his career, but he is a personal favorite. Whenever he has come over to the U.S. and gotten a big "Kaze Ni Nare" response from American crowds after mandatory years of silence over in Japan, it's a feel good moment and...I'm sure this is corny as hell...I bet he appreciates it even though it would be terribly out of character. That was probably the biggest chant he's heard in a long time, now.
  9. I got a little curious...couldn't decide whether JR was being sarcastic as a way to tell Excalibur "don't bring that guy up again" or if he genuinely doesn't know. Probably the latter, I hoped for the former. That crowd was ridiculously hot all night. I really hope NJPW was paying attention to who got those pops, and selfishly, what area of the United States they got them in. I couldn't make this show, but want to get to one in the future. I'm convinced that if NJPW ran the opening night of the G1 in Chicago like they did in Dallas a few years back, they would do pretty good business. Beyond that, one thinks that Chicago has to be the first city considered for future crossover events given how everything went over. I'm jealous of everybody that got to be in that atmosphere, and I will typically only tolerate large groups of people for live music. Earlier today, I wondered if they would've had Shibata run back his match with ZSJ as the "mystery opponent." That didn't make sense with Blood and Guts looming, unless they would just have him destroy everyone on the opposing side and have him be an "honorary member" of BCC. I like what we got better. Didn't expect that, but was very pleased to see it. Speaking of ZSJ - that guy is having a killer year. I understand why the NJPW side of that match needed to drop the fall, but I really hope he has some rewards coming his way. I dunno what there is to say about Claudio that hasn't already been said a billion times over the years. Those two are as good as pro wrestlers get. Might have more to say later - I missed a few matches and want to re-watch this.
  10. ...well, that figures. At least Okada wasn't in a full-blown match. Actually, at the moment I'm feeling more relieved that I didn't miss a chance to chant "Kaze ni Nare." I think I am starting to be swayed to the camp holding the belief that AEW tries to pack too much in to their shows. I didn't hate that Christian segment, but I felt it could've been a little shorter to help fit in other things. That Shafir/Storm match maybe could've also waited. Here's why: for those who are not avid NJPW followers, Zack Sabre Jr. is an entertaining talker, with his post-match backstage segments usually being a highlight amongst NJPW's roster. Don't just rush him out to the stage to yell for ten seconds, give him a mic. He's plenty capable. Let him introduce himself to a new audience, give Danielson a retort to help build up the match on Sunday, then plant seeds to a future match between the two so it's not off the table for good. I feel that was a missed opportunity. I'm with the rest of you: Danielson's replacement has to be Claudio. They have history, so does Claudio and Regal. Just about anything else will be something of a letdown. I'm happy there will be LIJ representation at Forbidden Door. Seemed like AEW was careful to avoid mentioning that stable name.
  11. So...I live closer to Milwaukee than Chicago. When Forbidden Door sold out, I thought about getting a ticket to this show instead, thinking I could still see a bunch of guys from NJPW. Decided against it for whatever reason. If Milwaukee, WI - of all places - gets the "coin drop" we're always going on about, y'all might have to check up on me or something. I am almost nervous to watch this one. Even though it's never terribly rational, "fear of missing out" is a real thing for me right now. Anyway...glad Malakai has a singles match, hope this leads to bigger and better things for him. I'll be back after the show to register my disappointment or relief, depending upon which wrestlers from NJPW show up.
  12. Fantasy booking dream matches aside, I still am a bit baffled by the build to this event. I get that extenuating circumstances kept quite a few people off the card (I don't think it is now or has been reasonable for a long time to expect Ibushi to show up, given what we've been hearing over the last month or so). I also get that the tickets for this event sold out largely on hype and what "might happen." But...you still need to sell the PPV, right? Fans don't even know who's on the other side of the IWGP World Heavyweight title match yet, and the event is happening this Sunday. Further, the card only has 6-7 matches announced when typical AEW PPVs have had...what...roughly 11 matches of late? Are they expecting people to shell out and tune in with the notion that there will be a lot of surprises? I agree that this may not be the only AEW/NJPW crossover card, but I don't think they're doing all that great at getting people excited to buy the event if they can't be there in person.
  13. Since we're trying to get things back to an "I like wrestling" direction, I have a story from today that I thought I'd share in the only place I know of where people would appreciate it. So last year I bought a house, and have since been taking occasional trips to local antique stores to look for furnishings and decorations. Now...go to an antique mall in the upper Midwest (...assuming you live in the U.S.) and you are bound to find a decent amount of WWF/WWE and WCW stuff. However, today I stumbled upon a Blu Ray of Kawada/Kobashi singles matches from IVP Videos at a random antique store booth. Twelve matches, three bucks! Felt like I struck gold. I can only hope there actually are wrestling matches on the DVD and I didn't accidentally buy something horrifying (it still is the 2020s, after all). I also found what appeared to be a Brutus the Barber Beefcake jigsaw puzzle. I did not buy it, but stood there laughing at the existence of such a thing for a good minute or so. I like pro wrestling.
  14. This is kinda what I mean when I say that longtime wrestling fans lose sight of just what a bizarre subculture wrestling is. As if a guy accused of real-world wrongdoing appearing on national television shortly after to do anything under a fictional alternate persona isn't insane enough...unless they do the deal where Vince is already in the ring when the broadcast goes live, there's a solid chance that dude walks out to "No Chance in Hell" just like "normal." Regardless of what his actual situation is. And people will pop for the song, because it's Vince, or "Vince," and/or they don't really care, or they've just been conditioned over the years. At least to me, that's 1000% batshit crazy and abnormal but many fans won't even stop to think about it. Then again, politicians use songs they don't understand at campaign rallies all of the time...but perhaps I've said too much.
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