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Matt D

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Matt D last won the day on March 27

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  1. If so, they need more house shows. Edit: that’s too mean. It was 60% ok! It was just 40% not ok.
  2. I’m pretty excited for Negro Casas vs Tony Deppen.
  3. 11/15/90: Misawa/Kikuchi vs Kawada/Kobashi: back to HH. I have no idea what was going on with the music as they came out. It got tagged as copyright for "Up Where We Belong (From "An Officer And A Gentleman")". Why did they come out to this? I have no idea! I had it listed as Misawa/Kawada vs Kobashi/Kikuchi and this grouping was way more interesting. It was more balanced for one as Misawa/Kawada were more main eventers than Kobashi at the time. Plus it was just a more novel pairing all around. Kobashi absolutely reveled in being able to tower over Kikuchi and bully him. Kikuchi was plucky at first and had moments were he just unloaded in the corner but his stuff didn't have enough oomph against Kawada and Kobashi. And of course, Kawada reveled in it all the more, because he really didn't get to bully anyone in 1990. He was always up against guys who were larger or more seasoned than he was. Kobashi had a bunch of power stuff including his over the shoulder bomb that he worked for and worked for and Kikuchi fought and fought until he finally got it for a meaningful two count. And it was follwowed by a super high angle backdrop too. Misawa was leaning into things too, when he had the opportunity. He hit a crazy tope over the top on Kobashi where he was almost doing a headstand in midair. A couple of times Kikuchi made the tag to Misawa and Misawa fought right back but Kikuchi would want in again and would get swept under. They had this cool way of doing the cloverleaf/Scorpion where they just lifted him up into it and wrenched him in half. Anyway, with a Misawa set up, Kikuchi got one last flurry on Kawada, but it really wasn't meant to be. This had some very good FIP stuff but was mainly fun to see Kawada and especially Kobashi assert themselves.
  4. ROH taping for tomorrow: Miyu Yamashita vs Shazza McKenzie ROH Six Man Tag Team Championship Match: The Embassy vs JP Griffy, Dak Draper & Arin Singh Tony Nese & Ari Daivari vs Aussie Open Top Flight & The Lucha Brothers vs Rush & Dralistico & The Kingdom Mark Briscoe promo. I assume they're taping Athena vs Emi after? So maybe we get Miyu vs Athena instead of Yuka vs Athena. I am certainly ok either way.
  5. Andretti's presentation was pretty weird. They were limiting him to 1999 juniors offense at first. He was like the world's best possible Evan Karagias. I wasn't sure if it was because what Jericho wanted to take or if he wanted to present him at only a certain level or what. I've seen him do more on Dark but not in every match. On some level, it might not have been the worst idea since it made him stand out by being different, but he wasn't different in a way that accentuated anything positive.
  6. It's situation by situation, based on utilization and circumstance and performance. That situation sure didn't work for me. When something doesn't work for me, regardless of who is in the match, I'm pretty quick to mention it. Likewise when I'm forgiving something. Here was my write up here on Mox vs Hangman III:
  7. Where I always make the mistake is that I want to see these guys against a real base. That was my House of Black/Elite mistake. With Vikingo, I want to see him against Keith Lee, or Christian, or Brody King, or Orange Cassidy, or Jeff Jarret, or Ethan Page. I want the contrast.
  8. Mox is Hansenian in doing what makes the most sense in the moment, with some big spots/transitions thought out in advance. He has the instinct of "Oh yeah, this is what I'd do, time to smash this bastard!" With Hangman, I get more of a sense that his concern is.. "Hey, wouldn't it be cool if...?" If you guys really push me, I'll explain how Mox bleeding is similar to Bret's five moves of doom (in a positive way), but please don't make me.
  9. It's going to be so annoying when Khan licenses "Eye of the Tiger" for the Elite next time they're in Chicago.
  10. Lightning round as I've written too many words on DVDVR in the last 24 hours for everyone's sake: Comoroto vs Fox was a very long ten minutes, but I still sort of want Comoroto to be world champion. Sorry. Everything he does looks absolutely credible. You could repackage him and send him at Mark Briscoe as a legitimate ROH TV Title challenger for instance. Just do anything with him! That was a very complete Skye Blue vs Queen Aminata match. I want to see Blue vs Starks and Aminata vs Emi or Trish (I think we had an Aminata vs Emi tease in a multi-person tag once). Mean Uno is pretty great, let me tell you. Those were nasty pile drivers. Shafir vs De Lander wasn't quite as interesting as Shafir's match on Elevation. De Lander looked like the world's best Kayla Rossi which makes sense given she's sort of playing that role for Cardona right now. I'd still like to see what babyface Clayton looks like. I've been trying to figure out what Darius has that Dante hasn't for weeks now and I'm pretty sure it's his forearm. He's got a good forearm that Dante doesn't have! There you go. Build on that, Darius. They shouldn't be doing the assisted flip over DDT every match. That should be a special spot that only makes sense in situational moments. I love Dante's ambition with his half and half spinout slam finisher since it's something a guy like Comoroto should be doing instead, and I like the kick set up, but it just doesn't seem sustainable. Oh, Grey and Alanis are always pretty good, and maybe could be an undercard ROH team? Maybe. Speaking of not sustainable, the Dirt Sheet Driver. I love that people have called QT out on the idea he can't do it to bigger guys so now he's going to try to do it to Satnam Singh or something. They should hire Green and put him with Toa. Repackage Booker as Waylon Mercy Jr. and put Parker Bordeaux in with him as Nathan Jones Jr. While I'm asking for things, I think Serp needs some sort of fake Million Dollar Belt style title. I skipped Takeshita vs Karter because no one needs me to complain about that. I think of you guys constantly, really.
  11. Look, I'll be honest too. Back in the day, Dolph was always "most underrated." People would gripe about him not getting pushed but that was kind of the end of it. Some of the problem is the notion now that Omega's idea of wrestling is progress, that it's the ultimate evolution of what pro wrestling can be, that it's far superior than everything that's come before it, so amazing that it breaks the scale. And it just leaves whole elements of what I value in wrestling behind to get a leg up in other aspects. I get that it's just people's opinion but we're in a society here, right? It's hard to escape that. Even if he was just "most underrated" instead, it probably wouldn't be so bad. It's kind of like my deal with Brody. I wouldn't be half as frustrated with his ringwork if he wasn't put on a pedestal as the all time legend, best brawler, most fearsome, etc., when he was a guy who had shitty looking offense and broke the rules in the most selfish way possible by bumping big and then refusing to sell. If people took a more nuanced approach to him, it wouldn't bother me as much. I get that's not the most helpful thing, but I'm human.
  12. Let's talk about structure. Structure is a tool. It's a framework. It's a way to create consistent expectations and to make a baseline. There is both a cost and a benefit to deviating from that baseline in every match. At some point you need to zig instead of zag and to play with the fans' understanding and expectation in order to create surprise and interest. That's fine. Every match does not need to be shine > heat > comeback. You can have AWA style tags with double heat. You can start with the heat. You can go back and forth with reversals and transitions. Despite what Tito Santana might tell you, shine > heat > comeback is not some law you have to adhere to, though it helps to have that baseline to give you something to deviate from and something to return to so you don't get lost. Here's what I do think you have to adhere to: a shared sense of consequence. Selling creates meaning. You can't have storytelling without meaning. If the same thing happens in match 1 and match 3, it should have either the same consequence or an understandable reason for having a different consequence. There was a Moxley match not that long ago where someone hit a traditionally late match bomb in the first minute and then the other wrestler had to fight his way back from that for the next many minutes. That's interesting and appropriate. That creates a different sort of narrative but one that shares the emotional and narrative weight with everything else around it. There are a lot of Hangman matches where he hits a bomb in the first couple of minutes and the other wrestler is back in control a minute later. That's completely different. I write a lot about how both Jon Moxley and Orange Cassidy drive someone to their absolute limit by pressing and pressing and pressing. Moxley has a sort of implicit Hansen-ian style of wrestling storytelling. He constantly drives his opponent with the violence of the moment, constantly forces the opponent to either fight back or get swept under. This creates its own sort of implicit narrative where it builds and builds to a moment of comeback, where the pressure heightens until everything boils over. The reason why the Yuta match worked was because Yuta sold and sold and sold, so that every little act of defiance and every tease of a comeback meant as much as possible. Everything was internally consistent, not just with the characters being presented, but with the moves and level of violence of the rest of the card and within the match itself. It was about creating the possibility of suspension of disbelief. And again, you can rationalize different things in different matches. So long as I can rationalize why something is happening, it's generally fine. Sometimes I can buy an early bomb not working like a late match bomb because the wrestlers are fresh, or a late match bomb not hitting as hard as it could because a wrestler is too hurt to make it work, or because the other wrestler had been in control for minutes and minutes, or even due to some specific built-up nature of a wrestler. It's not one-size-fits-all but it still has to fit in the moment. Structure helps for a lot of reasons, including to tamper down bad habits, and also because it's time-tested and developed the way it did for a reason. It's sort of how car design advanced over the span of decades to be aerodynamic. You can create a car with a different size and shape for various reasons but there'll be benefits and drawbacks. That said, what's important is coherence, consistency, resonance, meaning. Mox can get away with it because he creates his own sort of inherent storytelling of what's logical in the moment, the endless press forward, the endless building of pressure. It's because his violence is of the kitchen sink variety. He escalates by biting someone's forehead, something that matches the needs of the moment, not necessarily by hitting them with a Zangief spinning pile driver at a time that doesn't serve the match and the overall universe the company is creating.
  13. 11/15/90: Slater/Deaton vs Baba/Andre: I'll probably note this a few more times but it's because it is sort of noteworthy. One big aspect of these Andre tags is that Baba has to work more than usual. It means you get to see him sell and of course he's really good at that. In general, it's about Andre and Baba being uncooperative enough to make it believable. Whenever Deaton and Slater get an advantage it's because they're working together. Othewrise, it's just a lot of fun to watch Andre throw people into Baba's foot. Deaton was a good bumper for these guys. 1990 Slater is obviously not 1980 Slater, but he could still stooge. There are a lot of other teams in this RWTL that I'm looking forward to seeing Baba/Andre up against though. 11/15/90: Dory/Terry vs Hansen/Spivey: This starts with Spivey just bodyslamming Terry over the top pretty much unprotected. Then Hansen tosses Dory onto the floor and smashes him with a chair. Then Spivey tosses Terry in so he can Flair Flip to the floor and Hansen smashes him with a chair too. That sets the mood. Shortly thereafter, Terry bumps himself into the crowd off of nothing just for the hell of it. It may or may not have been an elaborate lure so Dory could get a revenge shot on Spivey with a chair, not like it matters as Terry rolls back into Hansen stomping him. They're just really beating the crap out of Terry. It's ok though. Hansen puts his head down so Terry can kick him and just headbutt Stan a few times. Great staggering like only Terry can do. Of course once Dory comes in he and Hansen just wrestle, because of course they do. Look, let me just sum up the rest. When Terry's in, it's great whether it's Terry vs Spivey or Hansen. When it's Dory vs Hansen, it's really good and really interesting. Just novel stuff that feels fresh because no one tries to take Hansen out like this, not even Jumbo anymore. When it's Dory vs Spivey, it's really not so great. Finishing stretch is fun with Dory trying and trying and Hansen just getting him with a lucky lariat.
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