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Everything posted by Jack

  1. For what it's worth I thought it never quite got going in the way you'd hope, but it was still Matt Riddle vs. Rampage Brown and had plenty of neat moments. Surprise Matt Riddle might be the best kind of surprise and the best kind of Matt Riddle! I was also at that ATTACK/Fight Club show the other week and had such a blast! The Fixxion Warehouse might be the best place to watch wrestling in the country, it's such a charming, intimate dive. And Moustache Mountain vs. Dunne/Moloney was outrageously good fun.
  2. Thought this was extremely good fun! Sloppy in places but totally charming, with Amazing Red's students evoking him with some really jaw dropping high flying...
  3. I reckon Chris Hero is head and shoulders the best U.S. worker at the moment. A lot of people have mentioned him but I'm honestly surprised there are one or two that haven't. I'm fairly confident in putting Matt Riddle, Drew Gulak and Roman Reigns as the next three, but the fifth choice is really tricky. Styles or Cena or perhaps Ricochet, though for whatever reason I don't seem to have watched much of his work this year. TJP is a very good shout.
  4. Thought Reigns-Styles was FANTASTIC. AJ just flung himself all over the place, Reigns kept up with him all the way, the interference from the Usos and Anderson/Gallows was really well done and added lots to the drama, and down the finishing stretch I really bought a bunch of Styles' near falls. My heart was pounding heart with all the tension. I reckon internet favourite vs. internet villain is probably the most compelling in ring story WWE tells these days?
  5. Maybe I'm just an abnormally large Cody Rhodes fan but I really think he could have worked in a main event role? He was a fine wrestler, a really good actor by WWE's standards, he tried his hand at a wide variety of characters and was convincing in pretty much all of them, and it certainly doesn't hurt that he's a good looking young man as well. You could even say he's DASHING hahaha. I was rewatching his and Goldust's matches with the Shield from late 2013 last week and it's some of the most emotional pro wrestling in recent WWE history. It's still quite moving even now. Certainly guys have had decent main event runs with less about them than Cody has. It would have been great to see him get a proper chance at least.
  6. My knowledge of Japanese wrestling (or indeed any wrestling outside of my Western comfort zone) is underdeveloped to say the least, my knowledge of Japanese women's wrestling even more so. But, fuck, I just watched Aja Kong vs. Manami Toyota from the Tokyo Dome in November 1994 on a whim, largely because I like Awesome Kong and Kongo Kong and wondered whether Aja Kong was somewhat similar, and as it turns out, maybe... maybe it's the greatest professional wrestling match that has ever happened? I mean, it's impossible to say considering I only saw it five minutes ago. But I just couldn't believe what I was watching at times. The athleticism from both of them was incredible and it was combined with moments of sheer nastiness, it was just so compelling. It's almost perfectly tailored to my fickle attention span as well, just under 20 minutes and it felt even shorter considering there was zero fucking around from either of them, they just started beating the heck out of each other and kept going. I've got to get acquainted with as many Aja Kong/Manami Toyota matches as possible.
  7. Sabre Jr-Hero was pretty damn marvellous, wasn't it? I think I could have watched a full hour of that. The whole show was really good as well, I enjoyed Riddle vs. Nese and Gargano-Scurll tons, and thought Lio Rush looked terrific in the opener. I think Evolve might legitimately be my favourite promotion in the world at the moment
  8. Ah I'm really sorry I missed you! Didn't check this thread before I left. I am aiming to ramp up the amount of shows I go to this year so maybe we'll bump into each other some time! What did you think of the show? 4 hrs is too long for any card I feel, but I really enjoyed the majority of it. Marty Scurll vs. Tommy End was terrific and I thought the eight man tag had a ton of energy and ambition. Two of my favourites are through in the Cruiserweight Series as well! Marvellous!
  9. I've managed to get a ticket for Progress tomorrow at the last minute! It's the first time I'll have ever been and I'm so excited I can barely sit still! I'm going to the RevPro show at the Cockpit next weekend as well, which means that as far as I'm aware I'm going to see all the UK qualifiers for the Global Cruiserweight Series that have been announced so far? Unless there were any at the last RevPro shows in Reading and Sittingbourne or something. Isn't professional wrestling in 2016 so utterly surreal? I've picked these shows almost at random and now I'm going to get to see matches with genuine WWE implications. What a time to be alive.
  10. http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x3swsop_sami-callihan-solomon-crowe-vs-mike-bailey-czw-seventeen-2016_sport I really like Sami Callihan and I really like Mike Bailey, and as such I thought this match, which not entirely uncoincidentally happened to be Sami Callihan vs. Mike Bailey, was very good indeed.
  11. I went to see a small Revolution Pro show in Portsmouth this evening and wanted to ramble about it on here for a bit because I'm still mega excited from it. I don't get to see anywhere near enough live wrestling considering it is such a great thing. I tend not to be too bothered about RevPro's Portsmouth shows even though they're so close to where I live. since they're so much more low key than the big events in York Hall and such, but this time around they had Zack Sabre Jr vs. Timothy Thatcher! Yeah! That was a match I've wanted to see since they had that really cool match in Evolve a year and a half ago. It wasn't quite up to that level, but was still such good fun. Timothy Thatcher is so impressive. He is just so focused, he will never miss an opportunity to do something small but vicious to an outstretched limb. He controlled most of the match by working away at Sabre's arm, but Sabre pulled out the victory with the Penalty Kick. There were European Uppercuts and slick submission reversals in abundance. It was top. Before the show I was shuffling past the merchandise tables seeing if they had a DVD of the Sabre vs. Styles event available, and then suddenly I ended up at Sabre's table, from which he was selling his T-shirts. Now, technically I am an adult male, a 20 year old adult male, a grown up, but there is something about pro wrestlers that make me feel like an utter child, and ZSJ is one of my favourite wrestlers in the entire world, and so when I managed to blurt out "Zack, I'm a huge fan!", I genuinely started shaking a bit. Happily, Sabre was so nice. I told him that his match with Thatcher was the main reason I'd come to the show, and he said it was the first time they'd wrestled each other in the UK, and he seemed a bit hesitant about it because there were a lot of children in attendance who might not be the target audience for their style. He joked that they would do "BattlArts mixed with the holiday camp style," and I tried to think of a hilarious quip and opted for saying that they would probably be the first wrestlers ever to try and merge those two, and it kind of hit me that I was talking about fucking BattlArts with one of the best pro wrestlers on the planet, and it was so cool. Anyway, the point is, Sabre-Thatcher had a darn good match and Zack Sabre Jr is a very pleasant man and I am hopelessly giddy in the presence of pro wrestlers. The rest of the show was good fun as well. Carlito was there, which was a fun novelty even if his match wasn't especially memorable. There was a tag team match immediately following Sabre-Thatcher which featured The Flatliner running through old comedy spots from 90s WWF, from the Bushwhacker walk to Mr. Socko to the Stink Face, and he got the biggest ovation of the entire night, which made me wonder whether maybe charming silliness is actually what the pro wrestling is all about, rather than straight laced grappling. The main event was a Triple Threat between Marty Scurll, Will Ospreay and Pete Dunne. It was a definite house show main event, much more restrained than the Scurll/Ospreay singles matches that have got such attention recently, but still good fun. Marty Scurll is tremendous, he just exudes cool and charisma. Will Ospreay put in a fine shift as well, we got glimpses of the athleticism that is going to make him absolutely huge in 2016, surely. I had such a good time and cannot imagine how I would pass the time without pro wrestling. It really is a very good invention.
  12. Timothy Thatcher? He's another wrestler who's had a superb year, both in terms of the quality of his matches (the stand outs being his bouts with Chris Hero for WWN and PWG) and the vastly increased amount of exposure he's received. He's doing a tremendous job as Evolve Champion and really exemplifies what I think that company is doing so well at the moment.
  13. I think the obvious two from the U.K are Zack Sabre Jr and Will Ospreay. ZSJ cemented his reputation as one of the best technical wrestlers in the world and smashed into the main event scene of the major Western indy promotions. He won the Battle of Los Angeles as well, of course. Ospreay is arguably the most jaw dropping high flyer in the world at the moment and has set himself up to explode internationally in the year to come with his New Japan bookings lined up. He had a quality match with Matt Sydal in June, and again his Battle of Los Angeles performance was significant for him. His match with Mark Andrews in that was a gem.
  14. I'm about six months late, but I'm just getting started on my New Year's Resolution of watching much more wrestling from Japan than I have previously, since I hear it can be pretty good sometimes. I really really enjoyed Tomohiro Ishii vs. Yuji Okabayashi from Legend Pro on the 13th. It's funny (at least, it is to me)- even a year or so ago I would have watched a match like this and been all like "WHY AREN'T THEY DOING MOONSAULTS?," and now I watch matches with moonsaults in them and go "WHY AREN'T THESE HUMANS MUCH LARGER AND INTENT ON CRASHING INTO EACH OTHER REPEATEDLY UNTIL ONE OF THEM FALLS DOWN?" I think I've grown to appreciate just raw power and feats of strength more maybe, I really liked Okabayashi's almost effortless powerslam on Ishii, and then Ishii one-upping him later on with a crazy superplex. The only thing that disappointed me really was it wasn't quite long enough, it ends kind of abruptly and was missing a few extra minutes of slamming and lariating and razor sharp near falls for my liking. Still, it was a hugely worthwhile use of 15 minutes or so. Okabayashi is rapidly becoming one of my favourites, it'd be great to see him live sometime.
  15. Jacobs' run in ROH from 2004-2007 was absolutely outstanding and should have solidified him as one of the top top top indy guys. The way he was able to transition from childlike comedy wrestler who thought he was the Berzerker to psychotic cult leader who thought he was emo Jesus remains so incredibly impressive, each little stage in that evolution was so natural and perfectly realised. His Steel Cage match with BJ Whitmer posted above is possibly the best epic feud ender that ROH ever did, and his promos surrounding that match are the best I've ever seen in an indy promotion. Some of the comedy stuff he did was really really funny as well, particularly the 'Jimmy Loves Lacey' stuff, you wouldn't believe that was leading somewhere so dark. I get what Jingus is saying about him being too small to be believable as this leader of men, but I think that it's unfair to dismiss Jacobs even slightly because of your own personal prejudices surrounding that, he did pretty much everything right in trying to portray himself as a dangerous maniac despite being small even for ROH, and personally I thought he was by and large very convincing, especially because he never tried to be this all-powerful, magnetic leader- the group were almost always on the brink of collapse, and it was always because Jacobs was just not quite cut out to lead. He never put together a proper reason as to why the group existed, instead just spouting vague anti-corporate slogans and hoping that would be enough to legitimise them; he accidentally drove his girlfriend Lacey out the group and then had an in ring breakdown when she left him for Austin Aries; he grew jealous of Tyler Black and kicked him out despite the fact he was by far the most successful wrestler they had; he tried to brainwash both The Necro Butcher and Delirious and failed with both... I liked The Age of the Fall angle a lot. I think in many ways people just didn't understand it properly and were expecting them to be, like. an indy version of the N.W.O, rather than just this deranged fantasy of this ultimately pathetic little guy. In short, I think Jacobs is just brilliant, and it's a shame he hasn't really shown that very much these last few years. He's proven before he can be one of the smartest talents out there, I hope he'll get to demonstrate that again someday.
  16. I don't know if I'll finish in time, it's a shame because from what I've read so far it seems really good. But how could I possibly read a book when Ecuador vs. Honduras and Algeria vs. South Korea have been on the television?
  17. Jericho has such a good podcast, I think I prefer it even to Austin's. He always seem so enthusiastic and knowledgeable about his guests and gets on the wavelength of them all, it makes for a really enjoyable listen. I like the structure and coherence of the interviews as well, he gets great stories out of people without ever letting it drift too far off topic.
  18. I'll add to the general consensus that it was a pretty good book. It's left me feeling quite sad and a bit overwhelmed. There's not very much happiness in this, is there? I mean it starts OK with Tony reflecting fairly cheerfully on his youth, but even then it was pretty clear this wasn't going to end well for anyone. Soon a variety of unhappy things are occurring to everyone and the only punctuation for it is Tony reminding us that we're all going to grow old and enter into this fiendish plot with our own memory to delude ourselves into thinking we're good and happy people, and it's not going to work particularly well. So that's unpleasant. I think Barnes did a great job in condensing the miserable lives of three people into 150 pages and not making it seem rushed at all; I'm definitely overwhelmed in a good way rather than just feeling a bit confused and annoyed. I liked pretty much all the characters? I thought Tony seemed like a thoroughly decent and relatable person. He's frustrating and selfish and he torpedoes everything that's dear to him, but I don't think he ever does anything maliciously, Even that horrible letter to Adrian and Veronica is just some dumb student-y thing to do, there's no way he could have foreseen how much hurt it would cause. I think that Adrian 100% convinces himself that his suicide is a totally acceptable and logical thing to do and isn't motivated by any desire to hurt. Fear, definitely, but then I'd be fucking terrified if that happened to me. Outside of that, he's just a normal student, I don't think being pretentious and taking himself too seriously is that remarkable or despicable. Veronica deals as best as she can with all the torment she's been put through. They're all just average humans reacting in the way average humans do to things. Perhaps when their behaviour is actually chronicled in a novel it seems much worse than it is. There were a couple of minor things I didn't like. The book's attitude to suicide was really weird, it just kind of flipped from everyone going "hahaha, Robson committed suicide!" to "isn't Adrian such a hero for committing suicide?" to "isn't Adrian such a coward for committing suicide?" And there was no challenge to any of these attitudes, they were just presented as the normal way to react, as if Adrian should have committed suicide because he made a very deep philosophical quote that instructed him to, but shouldn't have committed it because he went through a very traumatic emotional event. I didn't really like the dialogue in places either, it was a bit too witty and self-confident for this kind of a book. I liked Tony's little musings, I agree with everyone who's said they're identifiable and thought provoking. Tony going to the pub on his own for no reason and arguing about chips with a confused bar-tender, while being vaguely aware that this makes him look like a "pedant or an idiot" was so so sad. I think no matter what you think of Tony's actions, he's atoning for it in how bleak his twilight years are. And that's all I can think of to say at the moment!
  19. It's already been mentioned in passing, but I think The World's Greatest Tag Team vs. Rey Mysterio and Billy Kidman from Vengeance 2003 deserves a proper nomination. This is just such an easy match to enjoy. The crowd is excited, the moves are well executed, the story is simple but effective. The World's Greatest Tag Team are going to try and keep the match grounded and slam and stretch the challengers in an attempt to disrupt their pretty aerial moves. Meanwhile, Rey Mysterio and Billy Kidman are going to try and hit lots of pretty aerial moves in an attempt to dazzle their way to victory. Both teams keep to their strategies well, there's no gaping logic hole at any point in the match. The strategies are mostly there to facilitate all the cool moves rather than actually drive the match, but it does its job well. There's a lot of really great sequences. Billy Kidman's Shooting Star Press off the top rope to the floor is beautiful and perfect. Later on, he elevates Rey Mysterio onto the top turnbuckle and he hits a super huracanrana on Charlie Haas in one, fluid motion. How good do you have to be at wrestling to be able to do that and make it look so smooth and simple? In 2000 years I wouldn't be able to be able to do that, I'd just send myself or my partner crashing painfully into the turnbuckles. It's done so precisely it seems like a perfectly logical thing to do, to hurl your tag partner high into the air and hope you've propelled him so perfectly he can pull off a snappy lucha move. I think the finish is the best bit though. Haas has Mysterio up for a powerbomb and Rey is resisting. Shelton sneakily blind tags himself in, hops neatly to the top rope, and then soars through the air into a facebuster as Haas finally gets his powerbomb. It's a beautiful, emphatic finish. There are some nice moments outside the big moves as well. Haas tries to slam Mysterio but Mysterio wraps his legs around his head and tries to drag him down with a headscissors. Haas has to fight to get the slam. Later on Kidman battles against a Benjamin powerbomb, and Mysterio does the same to Haas as I've already mentioned. I'm not going to try and claim this is some kind of bar fight or something, it more closely resembles a gymnastics exhibition, but little moments of struggle like that remind you that the tag titles are on the line and both teams really want to win them. There's like two proper moments false finishes in this and that's just great. I think if the match took place today it would probably have about five more minutes of kick outs and it just wouldn't be necessary. Mysterio hits a seated senton on Haas, and Shelton's response is to boot poor Rey in the head. Then later on there's the super huracanrana I've already talked about and everyone in the arena seems to buy that as the finish. Even the actual finish has a bit of accidental uncertainty added to it because Michael Cole initially thinks Shelton Benjamin's not the legal man when he makes the pin, he watches the replay and stands corrected but it's a cool moment that underlines how frantic and chaotic it gets towards the end. This match puts a smile on my face.
  20. I've been working my way through bits and pieces of the list, I really don't know all that much about wrestling from outside my Western comfort zone, and one of the reasons I decided to make an account here was to get involved in these type of discussions and try and learn a bit more about what I think is my favourite thing in the world ever, so I was really excited and intrigued to see what I'd make of some of the matches Of the handful I've seen so far, the two that stood out for me were the Marufuji/Ibushi vs. KENTA/Ishimori match from the summer of '07, and particularly the Tanaka/Kanemoto vs. Ohtani/Takaiwa match. I was surprised by how much I dug the latter one because I have such a short attention span and an opening stretch where everyone just kicks the shit out of each other without really attempting any moves wouldn't usually be my thing; But I was totally on board through the whole thing, and then the finishing sequence was just amazing. Really really loved it. MaruBushi vs. KENTAMori was just such a frenzy. Didn't quite get into it right from the get-go like I did the New Japan tag match, but once they cut loose I was just wowed. I'd seen all four guys wrestle before but I was still totally taken aback by the fluidity and speed at which they went, it was pretty amazing. I tried some of the Kings Road-y stuff with Misawa/Kobashi/Akiyama et.al.... I don't want to say I didn't like it, because as I was watching I knew I was seeing a really really good match, but I just didn't get into it as much as I did the junior stuff. I think it's my aforementioned attention span, it stops me from truly getting hooked into lengthy matches built around submissions and strike exchanges, I need more things happening to amuse me. That said, I really liked Misawa-Kawada from I think 2000, it wasn't one of the bolded/italicised matches but I remember finding that much much more accessible. Not sure where to go next, there's so many potential options! Some of the Michinoku Pro looks like it might be to my taste. I'm interested in seeing the Women's matches as well and seeing how stylistically different that is from what I'd consider 'quality' North American women's wrestling, the Awesome Kong-Gail Kim feud and Shimmer and what have you. This is such a fun project, I'm really pleased it got put together.
  21. Whether this counts as a major card or not I don't know, but the first ROH match I ever saw was a guest Chikara Six man at Good Times Great Memories and it sold me instantly on ROH, Chikara and indy wrestling as a whole. It was just a crazy whirlwind of cool dives, intricate multi man moves and fun, offbeat comedy. I'd never seen anything like it at the time. It sounds silly considering it's not a particularly important match on the whole, but I think it might have solidified for me that wrestling was going to be my thing and not just something I followed casually.
  22. I'm just catching up with Smackdown now. Bryan-Cesaro is fantastic, better than the Bryan-Orton from Raw match for me. I think Cesaro might be better than Bryan? I sometimes feel like I know vaguely what's coming next from D-Bry, great as he is, whereas Antonio shocks me with something incredibly cool all the time. And his uppercuts are better. It's hard to tell because Bryan gets more opportunities for good, long matches, but every time Cesaro is given a chance he delivers.
  23. I saw this mentioned in passing earlier in the thread but I think I'm going to go ahead and make a case for Chris Benoit vs. Eddie Guerrero from Vengeance 2003. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKSZwsQZvno The early and middle portion of the match are pretty much what you'd expect from these two, really really good, straight laced wrestling. Towards the finishing stretch there's a ref bump and interference from Rhino, which might put some people off, but it facilitates some fine Guerrero lying/cheating/stealing, and the main event style shenanigans make it a very distinct match; you won't find many Benoit-Guerrero matches with this kind of ending, but you won't find many WWE main events with that quality of wrestling either. It's the best of both worlds, a smooth and satisfying hybrid, and makes the U.S. belt feel more important than it ever has in WWE outside of maaaaybe the Benoit-MVP stuff.
  24. Jack

    2014 Yes/No NEW JAPAN

    I have been encouraged by the bravery of one or two others to say no to Okada-Naito. I thought it was OK, but the first 75% of the match wasn't anywhere near engaging enough to justify the seemingly endless near-falls. At one point I was really enjoying it, but by the end I was wondering when it was going to end.
  25. The haiku format Can't contain Haku's power He just Death Grips the format and then writes whatever poetry he wants
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