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Matt D

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Matt D last won the day on January 13

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  1. I thought he was aping one of those Crockett promos where everyone talks about everything else going on. (But especially puts over Dusty)
  2. When I first saw Garcia, before I started diving into the indies work which changed my mind a little, my big takeaway was that he married the intensity and the technical skill and the logic and the research with an "I was born in 1998 and you will never understand my put upon grief” heel preciousness which I can appreciate having an almost 20 year old in the house.
  3. I disagree with that take. Here's what we wrote about the Kingston/Santana/Ortiz vs Garcia/2.0 match.
  4. My friend, Garcia just beat a name guy with an Abdominal Stretch. Moves can be reclaimed!
  5. Dark 1/18/22 Cole vs Kaun: There's probably nothing in wrestling I hate more right now than the opening of Adam Cole's matches. The fans sing along to the song. They do the boom. Then he teases the shirt. They go nuts for it. He kicks it away denying them all. Do they boo? No. The match starts. Cole locks up. He disengages. He shouts Adam Cole Bay-Bay. They all chant along. What a bunch of pathetic losers. In the end, though, it's Cole's fault. He's the one conducting the music. If he realizes that the reactions are broken, he needs to change something. This isn't some sort of meta-thing where he's trying specifically to get under my skin. It's just him being a cool heel and the crowd eating it up. But it's gross that they get such a kick out of him abusing them and then go right back for more and I don't even want to watch his matches after that. Anyway Kaun looked ok but not necessarily better than Bison in the next match, so whatever. Gunn Club vs Bison XL/Larintiz X: Bison and Larintiz make a good big man/little man team. They should use them more. Larintiz had some good escapes and Bison cleaned house well. It feels good to see the Gunns get temporary comeuppance and here Austin's leg clip worked great as a cut off, which is how it should be used. Hirsch vs Perez: Hirsch was charming on the Unrestricted podcast talking about the things she loved when she was adopted to America as a kid: "And another thing about America? Birthday parties." It feels too early for that corner pull out Saito Suplex to be scouted, but maybe I just wanted to see it. I do kind of like that she can finish a match just by running across the ring and kneeing someone in the skull. Perez has a unique look (and a great standout promo picture) and can bring some intensity. I kind of wanted to see Perez do a few more throws but it's not like the match needed it. I'm just greedy. Also, maybe a bit more heeling, but her issues lately come off as "excessive swagger" and she had that here, so it's subtle. Archer vs Cross: Archer was still high energy but he looked tired to me, maybe? My favorite thing here was how he just bodyslammed the guy across the ring. The repeated headsmashes after the finisher was good too. This was kind of a low end Archer squash though. Blonds vs Gray/Alanis: Julia with the subdued waving and clapping is better than them really hammering everyone over the head with it. Alanis is a tall, lanky guy but he took the Blonds stuff well at the end. Griff's promo was ok. Pillman's was, at least, short. It is not going to go well for them tonight. Velvet vs Vipress: Vipress is such an American Gladiators ripoff heel name, but she sure had a lot of stuff. And Velvet is best taking stuff and using her athleticism to dodge and work from underneath. So this worked out pretty well. Unlike Elevation last night, you could run a pretty good indy just on the enhancement talent we've seen so far alone. Skye Blue vs Robyn Renegade: Again, the Renegades would be a good pick up along those lines. I loved Robyn getting in a "You suck" shouting match with the crowd. Charlotte imposed herself well on the outside. I do see a niche with Skye doing some tricked out and elaborate chain wrestling to start in her matches if she can further develop those skills. She seems to be leaning in that direction which makes her more than just the plucky underdog in a world where Cora Jade exists. Her finish is just flinging someone onto their face awkwardly though. I kind of wish she'd just use the flying body press instead. Anna Jay vs Nieves: Weakest of the women's matches on the show so far. Little things like Anna shuffling into position and how her roll before a kick doesn't work as well as Hirsch's roll away to get momentum. That doesn't mean she's not improving in every match in other ways, like in her confidence as she walked away after a shot. Nieves had some nice elbows in the corner but didn't get to do all that much else. Just Anna getting her reps in as is good and necessary. Garcia vs Greene: Greene is one of my least favorite Garcia opponents on the indies, not necessarily because what they do is bad (it isn't), but because Garcia has to dumb down his matwork a bit and that's usually why I'd seek him out on the indies. In this sort of studio setting, however, it was perfect. Garcia's cutoff strikes are so good and so intense. Greene just sails around the ring looking very natural and his big spots all worked here with their unique entries. The flapjack is great and his gutwrench power bomb off the ropes was really interesting. I would have bought Garcia winning off of the armbreaker cradle he did but to actually win a match with a killer modified abdominal stretch in 2022 is just top notch and it'll be such a cool thing for Garcia to get over. Bear Country vs Zubaz Bros: Good showing for Bullock and Ryan. They took all of the Bears' stuff. They were funny. I wouldn't mind seeing them against Best Friends or Reynolds/Silver. This was a little like a boss fight where the radius of attack was so high that if you even got close to Bear Country, you got crushed. Best Friends vs Wingmen: 10/10 for what they were trying to do. Avalon and Drake were both equally good in taking Yuta's stuff, albeit in different ways. All of the Cassidy comedy hit for me. Yuta's reactions for Cassidy tagging out almost immediately once he got in and for Nesmeth randomly being in the ring worked. Everyone was totally on all the time and that's what you want in a match like this, even if it means watching Avalon be creepy on top of Yuta in the ropes. He got his comeuppance, at least. Good show. I don't think shining up the Blonds, Skye, etc. honestly helps draw more eyes to Dynamite or anything but it makes for a more complete, fleshed out overall package for anyone watching it already.
  6. The Riesman Stan Lee Biography is just 1.99 today btw. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08478JWYG?_bbid=33966805&tag=individualbookpagesite-20
  7. More ground to cover: The Pillars: At the start of 89, none of them were positioned in a way, looking at the text alone, that would make you think that they were inevitable. Taue and Kobashi were non factors, rarely, if ever, on televised cards. Kobashi was in the midst of his losing streak. Tiger Mask was injured a few months into 89 but nothing about him in those first few months of the year made him stand out. Kawada had replaced Hara as Tenryu's regular partner and had some very gutsy performances in tags around the start of the year. He still teamed with Fuyuki on the side. He was definitely presented as the lowest person, hierarchy-wise, in tags with Jumbo and Friends, but scraped together a little more offense as the matches went on. Unfortunately, Tenryu started teaming with Hansen and he got demoted back to Footloose. While he competently portrayed toughness and had mean shots, I wouldn't say he particularly stood out more than even Fuyuki. Tiger Mask looked much sharper when he came back in early 90, and the match-ups with Tenryu in tags really give us a hint of what we lost out on there. I'd say he wasn't hurt by the Takagi injury but Inoue first seemed to benefit more and then Kobashi. As for Kobashi, he spent the back half in 89 on the rise but still developing. Into 90, with the best of 7 series and onward, he started to take more and more in his matches (I'd argue too much at times) but also showed some creative flourishes in junior tags. Taue slugs along showing nothing until right at the very end when Tenryu seems to finally wake him up (though at a painful cost). Tiger Mask would have been more on someone's radar for the first 3 months in 90 than 89 but still didn't feel like a sure thing. Kobashi was veering wildly into a frustrating place. Kawada could always be counted for a certain level of quality but there was nowhere for him to go. Taue was just beginning to emerge. Not sure things by April 1990, not any of them. Again, if I had to bet on who'd be a star, I'd potentially bet on Takano over any of them. Junior Heavyweight Title: As much as I get frustrated by the Juniors tags, I really loved the handful of Junior Heavyweight Title matches we've gotten. Just in 89, it goes from Fuchi (who had held it since 87) to Joe Malenko to Inoue to Fuchi to Nakano to Momota to Malenko to Fuchi. Almost all of the title changes are really strong, with long matwork to begin and escalating suplexes and holds and usually a clever finish. Very different from anything else the promotion was doing and very different from what we think of NJPW Juniors style (which isn't to say you wouldn't get the occasional dive). Nakano was the weakest of the bunch but could be carried. Everyone else brought a ton to the table. Momota is a guy I wasn't familiar at all but he's incredibly likable and had a great connection with the crowd. Inoue might have been the best person in AJPW not named Tenryu or Jumbo. Great timing. Great execution. Could build up a ton of momentum. Could work the mat. Had some big bombs, especially the flip sentons. I really enjoyed 89 Dean Malenko, and the energy he brought that he wouldn't have later, but Joe was a real workhorse with cool suplexes and able to chain one hold to the next on the mat, and Fuchi could basically do absolutely anything at this point. I wish we had twenty more matches with these guys. Baba: Here's where we do often see Fuchi otherwise, holding the fort and doing the work in the Baba/Rusher/Momota(or Kabuki) vs Fuchi/Eigen/Okuma tags, being able to make things look credible but still hit all the necessary comedy spots. I prefer these a few years later when they just give up on the wrestling and lean harder into the comedy. I wouldn't say that those matches are necessarily better than these from a sheer quality standpoint (they're not) but they're a lot more fun for the lack of trying. Here, you might even get Rusher trying, which doesn't particularly go well. In 89/90, when Baba wanted to, he could still create genuine emotion. They built up Abby/Baba into a match that felt like a huge deal. Baba/Rusher vs Tenryu/Hansen was the biggest shock of the entire project for me. (And Rusher getting his revenge on Tenryu with the mist months later was also striking and pretty wonderful). It always felt like a big deal if he was in a six man against Jumbo or Tenryu. And yes, at the end, it was great to see him with Andre. I do wish we had gotten a big build to a Tenta match in 89 too though. Foreigners: Hansen was a force. I am a little more sympathetic to him than I was in watching him in the 80s, where he (and Brody who brought out his worst tendencies but also made him look better by comparison) had frustrating match after frustrating match against interesting opponents. I get more now that it was just the style, but he could be so rigid and ungiving that he brought out the worst in the style by cutting off all narrative possibilities. When it worked, though, the energy and narrative payoffs could be through the roof. Completely dependent on his opponents though (unless he was inexplicably giving way too much to Crusher Blackwell or someone which occasionally happened). Spivey developed pretty well in 89/90, trying to take on Brody characteristics but ending up more of quasi-Hansen instead. The Bulldogs frustrated as much as they wowed, but Davey had a natural charisma and strength that the crowd went for. If he stayed and was on his own, he could have been pushed to the top in 90. The Fantastics didn't quite work for me. They had high energy tags but suffered without a heel/face dynamic. Rip Rogers was hugely entertaining and I wish they had put him in the Baba tags. Ivan Koloff could totally hang in January of 90. Dick Slater could the year before. Tom Zenk never showed the heel leanings I wanted from him. Ricky Steamboat was massively disappointing as traveling NWA champ, not sure if he should be working like Flair and giving way too much to guys like Nakano. The Can-Ams could do all the moves and could create solid matches where they leaned on their double teams and the crowd respected them, Kroffat's skill and Furnas' strength and athleticism, but they hadn't quite worked out how to break the mold and build tension and get heat in Japan yet. Abby was super protected, with the best cut off timing in the history of wrestling and the elbow drop that you'd believe could drop anyone. David Sammartino showed solid heel leanings in one match and I wish we had more of that. Shamrock was pretty dynamic in two matches. Tommy Rich wasn't. Williams and Gordy charged into the scene like a runaway train early in 90. Williams had that Brock energy, with the way he'd just roll back to his feet after getting knocked down almost preternatural. Gordy had been an okay Hansen partner but they were electric together in these first few months in Japan.
  8. Sersi and Ikarus having no chemistry is a feature and not a bug.
  9. Just saw it now. I was hoping that they went with something along the line of the recent Jeff Lemire run And it looks like they have to some degree, that same sort of psychological/cerebral thriller (which, if you're keeping score, is yet another genre Marvel's now hitting that they haven't really done before) vibe.
  10. Elevation 1/17/22 Sydal/Moriarty vs Miller/Kross: Kross was not working the Dragon Ball gimmick and this happens to be the match where he actually gets some offense, looking like a poor man's Tyler Breeze. Moriarty is well placed in a tag, really, as it lets him hit his stuff but doesn't let it wear out its welcome. Tay vs Ameera: Some good shots in this one. I like Tay's throws if only because no one else does them. Tay can go from happy-go-lucky to potentially bleeding and pissed and back to happy-go-lucky incredibly quickly. The twist out Bossman Slam was fun. Gunn Club vs T.I.M. and Cole: Colton really does have a great dropkick. I only like Austin's trip/chop block to the leg when it makes sense in a match as a cutoff or transition. I don't like it to set up other things. Colt 45 looked good here. I wonder what the breaking point with them and Billy is here. If this leads to Billy/Danhausen vs Colton/Austin matches, that'd be pretty surreal. T.I.M. looked ok but I hate typing the periods. Kazarian vs Kozone: Kazarian is crisp and his matches make sense but he's the sort of guy that I just really don't want to see in a purely enhancement match. Use him to build up someone like Garcia or to give some ring time to an enhancement talent with obvious roster potential like Toa Liona or someone training at the Nightmare Factory (and I can't say Kozone isn't but..). Just don't send him out there to beat someone to pad his record. Soho vs Paige: Good strikes here, with Paige showing a lot of personality. I don't think the corner facesmash worked out all that well. No Future doesn't look particularly more deadly than Ruby's roundhouse kick (and I hate Taz calling them 'round kicks'; brief aside as he wasn't there) and it feels particularly hard for the camera to catch well. It would be a killer comeback move though. Private Party vs Emory/Scott: Kassidy and Quen together is a lot of the same thing. I've come to enjoy the Kassidy/Blade pairing recently as there's more contrast. I wouldn't say the thing is even bad. It's just a lot of it. Here, I thought they balanced their showoff offense with cutting off the ring and keeping a guy in a corner well. It wasn't just pure noise. Lethal vs Moss: Last time Lethal gave the guy a ton and it was because it was a trainee of his. This time? No idea. Maybe because it was slotted in the main event of Elevation? I thought the Lethal Injection set up worked particularly well here and boy does it not always. I'll also say this about Lethal: he really knows how to work out a hold and time it well with the crowd. Maybe 10% of the roster can manage such a feat, if that. You can tell he's a 20 year vet. Not much happening here. Needed some Eddie Kingston to make up for it.
  11. That was on my mind and it stood out even more because the juxtaposition of the trios (Which was the year prior of course but I saw them on the same night) where Tenryu bled.
  12. As they’re slowly and seemingly building Nese vs Hook, you now have us all imagining the Keith Lee vs Hook match we’re not getting.
  13. Gross. Only good thing about MMA in this world would be Johnny shitting on it with a throwaway line and it never being referenced again.
  14. They can always bring him in now and again without having him under contract too.
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