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Teflon Turtle

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  1. I don't think I've ever commented on MJF too much in the past. However...man, the start of his promo was genuinely funny. Dude even got his Mona-Lisa Saperstein impression in there, which fits him for a whole bunch of reasons. Anyway...I'll say this. After the year he's had, and after that promo, Jon Moxley should be AEW world champion until the day he retires - and when he does retire, he should exchange that belt for ten dump trucks full of money. That guy had me wanting to tear down a skyscraper with my bare hands, and I wasn't having a great day up until now. Also, I can't resist going up to a slightly more "meta" level. Having the guy who professes to be the heart and soul of AEW address the circumstances in the fashion that Mox came up with borders on genius to me. He didn't explain one iota more than he had to, didn't mention any party involved in the brawl post-PPV, and imbued the title and his chase for it with some meaning again (at least in my eyes). Of course, what we're almost assuredly going to get is MJF as champ via shenanigans with either Mox, Danielson, or Hangman on the chase. (The fantasy-booking part of me who really wants a shakeup thinks MJF should hold the belt for a bit, and the person who takes it from him should be Ricky Starks.)
  2. I didn't feel like posting any thoughts at 3 AM for a variety of reasons, so I'll just try to get everything out now. The tag title match and the trios titles matches were both a heck of a lot of fun to watch. Tag titles especially. I know many wrestling fans will inveigh against "video game style pro wrestling," but to me Swerve is like a character in a video game or old kung-fu film who has a fighting style that is entirely unique to himself. I don't know if we necessarily see that too often in wrestling any longer, at least not to the extent he's able to take it. Not related to his moveset, but it's also pretty effective when he lets his heel side come out. He's good at it. The "call an audible" thing is insane to me. I've never seen anything out of Swerve/Lee where they would deserve to get the rug pulled out from under them mid-match. No reason why AEW can't find a way to build up to a big rematch there. HOB vs. Miro/Sting/Allin was also fun pro-wrestling. I can only hope Malakai does what he needs to do to get right, whether it's mental/physical/emotional at this point. The main event was an excellent match. Moxley absolutely has a "wrestler of the year" argument. The fact that dude is doing this immediately after having a child, getting sober, and getting back in shape is...I don't know I have a better word than "commendable" at the moment but it doesn't feel like enough. As for the scrum stuff...I've reached the point where I tie seemingly everything in life back to "The story of the Chinese farmer." AEW has joined the list. All of this "is it a work? is it a shoot?" stuff just makes me say "We'll see." Tony's comments about having more money than Jim Crockett, to me, are telling. If all of these disagreements are real, the question to me is at what point will money be unable to make all of these problems go away? If the disagreements are worked, to what extent will this bring more money in? Will the promise of enough cash be enough to get all of these clashing personalities to work together? I guess we'll see. They have some potentially interesting storyline directions to go, if they can get everyone to cooperate. After what Punk has said - real or not - it would make sense to have someone like Hangman double down on his comments and insist he was right about needing to save AEW from Punk. It would be logical for his character to continue to feel that way after the events of the PPV and the scrum; it wouldn't be unreasonable in-story to state that Punk is close to burning AEW to the ground, and he's not even necessarily doing it intentionally. He's just being himself, damn the consequences.
  3. Well, my weekend plans have changed. "I must inquire about the actions you shall endeavor to take whilst the the most significantly proportioned upper extremities within the entirety of the celestial body upon which we inhabit are proceeding upon your person in an uncontrolled fashion. (Despite the fact that we share identical parentage.)"
  4. There's something I want to mention about the whole Thunder Rosa thing even if the "hiding in the bathroom" thing is (almost assuredly) nonsense. There are a whole lot of physical problems that can render one's skill level in legitimate fighting irrelevant. High-level combat sports fighters drop out of fights due to injury all the time. Why? Because they run the risk of getting injured more seriously, and more to the point, the injury renders them incapable of defending themselves to their fullest ability. You can have all of the knowledge in unarmed combat in the world, but if you so happen to have something like (just for example, I have no idea if this is Rosa's issue) recurring problems with bad back spasms, the last thing you want to do is try to fight somebody. Skill level doesn't matter if you can barely walk or rotate your midsection. There are a whole bunch of reasons, physical and otherwise, why Rosa could've come to the conclusion that fighting a very strong person in the prime of their life was not in her best interest that day.
  5. 100%. Fighters have to be so careful with how they move their head in both kickboxing and MMA. Ducking and weaving under punches is pretty much out because of knees and kicks. One can slip straight punches, but must keep the movement as small as possible to avoid ducking in to kicks. Usman bought that the straight left was coming and tried to both parry it and slip his head out of the way. Because Leon's kick followed it so closely/was timed just right, Usman didn't have enough time to get his arm back to where it needed to be (looking at the replays, it appeared he was trying to, but it was just too late. Could've just been reflex). Just incredible to watch. I mostly caught it on replays; live, I looked down to take a bite of food and Usman was already falling. Truly "blink and you'll miss it." Edwards, for his part, landed that kick and put his foot right back in his stance. Didn't come off balance for a moment throughout the whole movement. Really added to that "what happened" feeling as it barely registered that Leon had left his stance at all!
  6. If Leon Edwards wants to adopt "The Excellence of Execution" as another nickname, I'm here for it. That's as good and as precise as you will ever see that headkick setup done in MMA.
  7. All Rockhold needs to do from here is pick up some fireworks on the way home and jump off a vending machine or two to cement his status as MMA's Kota Ibushi. I write that with (mostly) all of the affection that status is due.
  8. Something about this whole discussion has been troubling me...giving me real "I can't tell if I'm the dumb guy or the smart guy" vibes. Or it's more AEW geographical pedantry, who knows. But anyway: am I missing something where Virginia and West Virginia suddenly became the same state? AEW absolutely was not in Hangman's hometown or "backyard," regardless of what Punk said about Hangman being from around those parts. Where Hangman is supposedly from in VA is in the southern part of Virginia, not too far from the border with NC. I have a lot of family from that area. It is a four and a half hour drive (thanks, Google) between there and Charles Town, WV. Maybe it's just my personal experience, but my family has never once talked about West Virginia being close to us. Now...sure, there were probably some Hangman fans from Virginia who made the drive, but it's not as though they were able to walk home from the arena. Chicago is roughly the same distance away from Green Bay, WI, but you won't find many in Illinois who are Packers fans based on that proximity. Maybe I should just go to bed.
  9. We have all touched on this a bit in this thread, but much of what has been written about this G1 has been us repeating ourselves. Fitting given what the consensus opinion of NJPW has been these last few years. Much of what I have to say about the final, I feel I've written before. I still want to type it all out because the final was an amazing match, overall. Spoilers to come, but that is probably my MOTY so far and it has been a while since I've been able to say that about a G1 final. I'm probably forgetting something and need to rewatch a bunch of stuff, but gut reaction is that. A non-spoiler thought first: I've seen a few comments in the AEW subforum lately about their production. Stale as NJPW's booking might be, they are still hands down the best produced, directed, and photographed/shot pro-wrestling on the planet. I don't know if this is a contentious statement or not, but even in the pandemic they have not lost that crown. On to the final: One more thought not requiring spoilers: Kevin Kelly and Chris Charlton did a fantastic job on commentary during that final. They sounded as involved as the fans were, and that is probably the closest the two of them have come to losing their minds in the same way the Japanese commentary desk will often do, with it feeling as equally convincing. I feel Chris especially has made a ton of progress. I really look forward to how he sets up main events during the wrestler entrances. His "[Ospreay] drives it like he stole it" call during the main event was spot on. Again I feel compelled to draw an AEW comparison: Taz and Excalibur is a really fun two-man booth, but if you like your commentary a little less loosey-goosey, Charlton and Kelly are the best commentary team in wrestling.
  10. Separate post for spoilered thoughts on the semi finals:
  11. I think I've made similar posts before also, but I think there's a good chance that the system that NJPW has been running upon fails completely within a few years. Here's what I mean: there is a non-zero chance that the change in the house style in the mid/late 2010s is going to result in guys having to retire outright and suddenly. No more "NJPW dads." On top of that, they've had a roster of guys who reached such astronomical heights (in kayfabe), that it's also going to be hard to believe that they can be shuffled down the card so drastically. Now...the counter argument there is that if Jushin Liger could have "dad" status, then nobody should be exempt. But, is your all-time record-setting champ in Okada going to drop falls on match 1 of cards? Tanahashi may be willing to in sprit, but his body may have other ideas. Naito, same thing. One of the most immensely popular puroresu stars of the last 20 years who is already showing a lot of wear and tear. Dad status is an awfully long way to fall for him (potentially a very tragic arc, given the whole "shuyaku" thing...) and his body straight up may not allow for it. Without them (especially if they all stop wrestling or leave NJPW at the same time), New Japan's most capable wrestlers are currently all foreigners besides Shingo, who himself is going to be 40 this year. EVIL and SANADA are not top guys. As plucky has YOSHI-HASHI has become, he's not selling out the Tokyo Dome.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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...
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. ...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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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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