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Kropotkin's Beard

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  1. I had to go out as soon as the show today ended but I have to say that El Desperado vs Jun Kasai was a wild, wild bloody mess of a deathmatch. Despy came out in all white, including a lovely white mask, like the pro that he is in a match where he was obviously going to bleed. Some absolutely gnarly spots, with a lot of intangible emotion from things like the fact that Despy is clearly a massive Kasai fan & was headbanging along to Jun's entrance song, & the fact their "rivalry" has gone back to before the pandemic, the really great vocal crowd, it all combined to make this one of my favourite matches of the year to date. I'd also say that the Aoi & Inaba vs Maika & MIRAI match is a lot of fun too, & the JTO trio vs Yuji Hino, Yasu Urano & Isami Kodaka was good, especially when we got Hino & Takekura colliding. And the opener was just loads of fun with the crowd so into Suzukigun. I had a blast watching the whole show, it's really not going to be on a year end list for best show but I felt like I got my money's worth & what more can you ask for really?
  2. It's worth reminding people that if you are so inclined, tomorrow/today in Japan features a TAKATAICHIDESPEMANIA show, produce shows which have always been reliably good fun (like the one earlier this year where all of Suzukigun sang happy birthday to Miho Abe, that was wholesome) with one or two extremely good to great matches. Here's your card 12/9/2022, Monday 6:30pm JST/8:30pm AEDT/10:30am BST/5:30am EDT/2:30am PDT TAKATaichiDespe Mania Yoyogi National Stadium 2nd Gymnasium, Tokyo Akira Jumonji, Genta Yubari, Hideki Sekine & Hikaru Sato vs Suzukigun (DOUKI, Minoru Suzuki, TAKA Michinoku & Yoshinobu Kanemaru) Arata, Eagle Mask & Ryuya Takekura vs Isami Kodaka, Yasu Urano & Yuji Hino Hibiscus Mii, Yu Yamagata & YuuRI vs Misa Kagura, rhythm & Sumika Yanagawa Aoi & Tomoka Inaba vs Maika & MIRAI CIMA, Kaz Hayashi & TAKA Michinoku vs Dick Togo, Gedo & Great Sasuke Hirooki Goto & Ryusuke Taguchi vs Taichi & Yoshitatsu El Desperado vs Jun Kasai The previous meetings between Desperado & Kasai have been great, just a delight. Anyway, it's a PPV on New Japan World for ¥3,000, or about $21 at current exchange rates
  3. Without thinking about it too hard, I think I'd like to pick 2006, which was probably my peak year for indy wrestling viewing. I'd love to go back & see the entire ROH CZW feud in person, the first Dragongate 6 man over Mania weekend, a GHC Heavyweight Title defence in America with Marufuji vs Nigel, the entire year of Danielson, Aries & Strong's really good Tag Title run, Kings of Wrestling in ROH, to be there at that year's Final Battle for Danielson vs Homicide in New York City, there was IWA Mid South running a show with the brutal Low-Ki vs Necro Butcher match AND Hero vs Milano Collection AT, one of the better TPI tournaments from my memory (though 2007 stands out over that), Chikara was loads of fun with the Tag World Grand Prix featuring CP Munk & Colt Cabunny along side the cool Team DDT vs Team K-DOJO match, a really great Kings of Wrestling vs North Star Express match & then the KOW vs Skayde & Milano finals, the deeply entertaining run of Hero & Claudio as the first Chikara tag champs, where they were kind of goofy & Hero was still in his absurd cravate based offence that was deeply obnoxious in a really entertaining to hate way, there's a very under-rated Arik Cannon vs young Jon Moxley match, I think that year had a really enjoyable Kingston vs Sweeney feud where there was even a classic "hitting the face with a car" bit, that was the year The Colony showed up in its original incarnation of Fire Ant & Soldier Ant In Japan you have NOAH with some fun stuff even if it's past its peak now, Marufuji winning the Heavyweight title, the year ends with Misawa's final reign, there's the Kensuke Sasaki 20th Anniversary show which as Tenryu & Katsuhiko Nakajima vs Sasaki & Kobashi, in All Japan there's Kojima's Triple Crown run which featured the defence against Suwama that kind of proved that Suwama was THERE, Nakajima & Sasaki were All Asia champs, Shuji Kondo was the dominant Junior Heavyweight champ, New Japan has the first New Japan Cup, Taichi has his first New Japan matches on the weird indy-like shows they run with guys like Tsubo Genjin & Badboy Hido & GENTARO appearing on New Japan shows, an extremely good Junior Heavyweight match at the end of the year between Minoru & Kanemoto, Tana vs Nakamura in Nagoya, Dragon Gate doesn't have the greatest year but Susumu Yokosuka's one of my favourite wrestlers & he has a super solid first Dream Gate title run & Stalker Ichikawa has matches with both Tenryu & Minoru Suzuki which I would love to see live. Definitely a year I have a lot of fondness for even if I have no memories of WWE from that year. Oh, the amazing ECW PPV December To Dismember was that year, that'd have been hilarious to see live. That also means there was the Cena vs RVD One Night Stand match which I think would've been a lot of fun live, & Rey Mysterio vs Sabu. And that year also had some Benoit vs Finlay PPV match that was very good, MNM were there, London & Kendrick were obviously a fun team, could've done without the Vince McMahon vs God stuff, I think that was that year. TNA still had Monty Brown pouncing fools for at least part of the year, Christian Cage, Angle vs Joe, LAX with Hernandez just yeeting people. And it's TNA so there will be plenty of awful stuff that's at least funny bad.
  4. Jake Lee vs Kengo Mashimo should be good fun. Also fascinated to see Dragongate guys locking up with Hideki Suzuki just for the style clash
  5. YAMATO vs Speedball has the potential to be terrific!
  6. Thanks for that, some stuff there I haven't caught yet that I'll go back to catch this weekend (especially as there's no football this weekend because of the whole dead queen thing) My own top 10, for something with almost no crossover with yours MUSASHI vs Fujita "Jr" Hayato, Michinoku Pro, 1st July, Michinoku Pro Tohoku Junior Heavyweight Title Katsuhiko Nakajima vs Go Shiozaki, NOAH, 1st January, GHC Heavyweight Title El Lindaman vs Shigehiro Irie, GLEAT, 18th May, G-REX Title Z-Brats (Diamante & Shun Skywalker) vs Kung-Fu Masters (Jacky Funky Kamei & Jason Lee), Dragongate, 30th July, Open The Twin Gate Titles Arisa Nakajima vs Tsukasa Fujimoto, SEAdLINNNG, 29th April The Briscoes (Jay & Mark Briscoe) vs FTR (Cash Wheeler & Dax Harwood), ROH, 1st April, ROH World Tag Team Titles Daisuke Masaoka, Jun Kasai & Masashi Takeda vs ERE (Drew Parker, Toshiyuki Sakuda & Violento Jack), FREEDOMS, 10th July * Bandido vs Mike Bailey, Wrestlecon, 31st March Kenoh vs Kaito Kiyomiya, NOAH, 1st January, GHC National Title Fuminori Abe vs Masato Tanaka, 8th July, ZERO1, Fire Festival * notes a deathmatch. Top 6 are all matches I have at ***** I think my favourite thing about 2022 wrestling is that I have a Tomoaki Honma match in my top 25, the Kasai & Honma vs DOUKI & Despy match from TakaTaichiMania 2.5 in May. El Desperado vs Jun Kasai has been one of the most entertaining low-key rivalries in Japan over the past few years, since they met in a wild & violent brawl in 2019 where Despy broke his jaw & that meant DOUKI got booked for the Best of the Super Juniors & the wonderful little gremlin has been a highlight of New Japan's juniors ever since.
  7. I have to agree with Gordlow here, Kingston vs Ishii was right up my street. Especially as I've started to notice Ishii's hard style catching up on his body a little more this year, so just getting to see him doing classic Big Tam is something that will always fill me with unbridled joy I do need to catch that CMLL match. Possibly dumb question but is NXT LEVEL UP a YouTube show or TV or where do I go to check it? Because Dempsey is already often worth going out of my way to watch.
  8. Especially as most of the time they are drawing what, 4-500 in Korakuen at present.
  9. https://twitter.com/b3rt4/status/1566798884537602048?t=mLwZlCRyyaMqGjalmpuQCQ&s=19 Big Japan's Death Mania X show, which features a fun opener plus Astronauts defending the tag titles in a predictably stiff war and oh yeah, Yuji Okabayashi vs Shigehiro Irie whipping ass
  10. I know this is from an eternity ago but I just saw this and a) I love Nomura b) this match was delightfully stiff, a lot of it was Watase the underdog getting eaten up and then firing back up, Irie seems from what I've seen to be having about as good a year as at any point in bus career between his GLEAT, GanPro, AJPW, BJW & the usual hundred tiny and smaller indies he manages to work for. An awful lot of fun anyway
  11. A friend was there and said it was great, with an excellent crowd, so that all sounds very exciting
  12. I'm still mad that Dick Togo went from a really fun NOAH Junior League run in January 2020 to turning up in New Japan alongside EVIL.
  13. All I really know about Braun is he used to push over ambulances and then at some point "graduated" to running around the ring while choo-choo sounds played. At least I think that happened, I was assured the clip I saw wasn't an edit
  14. I finally saw the big SenJo show from July and Chihiro Hashimoto vs ASUKA was a fantastic match. Absolutely inevitable it would be great of course but. Top 10 joshi match for the year for me Also apparently Hashimoto against Ryo Mizunami happens THIS SATURDAY, so I'll be keeping a close eye on their Youtube for when that gets uploaded.
  15. It sucks but it's just how it works in Japan. AJPW.TV, Dragongate Network, Wrestle Universe, Nico Pro, BJW Core, they all do it.
  16. That's absolutely horrendous news. Cancer is a real shit
  17. Absolutely horrible news about Joe. Really hope he can beat it again. Jake Lee has chosen Naoya Nomura to replace Joe as his Budokan opponent
  18. Oh, that's terrific. That's a fantastic touch that I didn't see.
  19. Really dug those Prominence matches, Suzu Suzuki's dedication to facing the best that deathmatch wrestling has to offer is extremely fun. Also Toshiyuki Sakuda using Risa Sera's face to advertise his upcoming DIE show is a spot I always get a kick out of. I've only just seen the 1st night of the 5☆GP but thought Giulia vs Hazuki was the standout of the show. Trying to think if there was anything else I've seen lately of note. Hikaru Shida vs Ibuki Hoshi in Ice Ribbon at the end of July was awfully good.
  20. The women's hardcore/deathmatch group Prominence held their latest show yesterday & for some reason their stuff is showing up on some random Youtube channel so here's some matches from it (that I haven't seen yet) This was the opening match, Risa Sera vs Risa Fera. Fera is a rookie for some micro-indy that runs shows in the Ice Ribbon Dojo apparently (I'm going by the tiny bit of information I could find on Reddit) & Risa Sera has decided to allow her to gain experience on Prominence shows until she graduates university. Next up is a hardcore intergender tag with Hiragi Kurumi & The Psychopath Boy Toshiyuki Sakuda (he of sticking skewers through your cheeks) against Risa Sera & FREEDOMS' deathmatch luchadore Violento Jack Finally we have the main event, a deathmatch with The Violent Prodigy, one of the craziest teenagers in the world, Suzu Suzuki, facing off with the KING of FREEDOMS Title holder Daisuke Masaoka. This is not the same Suzu Suzuki you may have seen in this year's Stardom 5 Star Grand Prix, she wants to prove that Rina Yamashita is not the only woman who can hang with the top male deathmatch wrestlers (in fairness, she did that already in singles matches with guys like Masashi Takeda)
  21. It does seem a little weird there's not a spot for Nomura on the Anniversary Show, definitely. I do hope he's recovered from COVID
  22. Ryuji Yamakawa vs Tomoaki Honma from Big Japan, 2nd January 2000. As someone who is mostly familiar with Honma from New Japan (honestly, post neck injury Honma at that too), seeing that athleticism from him means I will probably never forget this absolutely silly but fun spot
  23. Tokyo Sports have confirmed that Takao Omori and the returning Manabu Soya will challenge Ashino & Honda at the Budokan for the All Japan Tag Titles
  24. DDT have announced the first 3 matches for the Jun Akiyama 30th Anniversary show on the 18th September & there's a couple interesting things. Main event has Akiyama, Tetsuya Endo & none other than Yoshinobu Kanemaru facing off against Konosuke Takeshita, Shunma Katsumata & Yuji Nagata. Jun has also setup a co-main of Naomi Yoshimura against the heavily touted DDT rookie Takeshi Masada, with Jun saying that as his debut was a singles co-main he wants Masada to get the same opportunity. The opener will also have Akiyama disciple Yusuke Okada against another DDT's promising young guys, Yuya Koroku. Cara Noir is also booked for the show, not sure if that's their DDT debut or if they are booked on earlier shows in September, will be their Japanese debut whenever they go over.
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