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Beech27 last won the day on April 10 2014

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  1. This is interesting, coming off march madness. People struggled with how much credit to give Riddle, since he mostly worked really well thought of guys who could lead and highlight a pretty inexperienced wrestler. Well, here he's facing a guy who is pretty stubborn about getting his spots in, and isn't known for being especially flexible or generous. Also, the crowd sings a lot.
  2. Honestly, I'm not invested enough in any of the outcomes here to do that, and given the speculative nature of my original point. That is, I could imagine a scenario where Naito got by Miz--I wouldn't have predicted it--whereas nobody is beating AJ. Secondarily, I perceive Miz to be held in justifiably high regard here. So I don't think losing to him "of all people" is especially telling. Third, a lot of people really just don't like Omega.
  3. Miz had a great year. I think that sentiment is--rightly--close to unanimous on this board. Omega, on the other hand, is incredibly divisive. The impression I get--as it was basically stated in a number of his threads--was that several people would vote against Omega every time, no matter who his opponent was. Given how close the final tally was, those votes could have been the difference. Naito wouldn't have received that treatment, I don't think.
  4. Naito would be in my personal final four. (In a bracketless world, I'd have AJ, Omega, and Hero as well.) But, Naito faced AJ. Whatever round you face AJ is the round you lose, no matter who you are. A different bracket, and I could have seen Naito advancing over Miz--Omega came close, and a lot of people just vote against him--though probably not either NXT tag darling.
  5. It was a brilliant bit of truth telling/commentary on pro wrestling as a whole--what it is, what it should be. But I still think there's something fundamentally lacking, given that it built to nothing, really, except more Talking Smack arguments. Bryan didn't wrestle, and won't. No one acted as his surrogate. And Miz--this was basically my argument in the Omega thread--didn't really benefit, ultimately. He's in the same spot on the card, saying the same things, as he was before the brand split. The promo was an incredible bright spot--but it was a match struck, with no kindling to carry the flame.
  6. I've found the whole process enjoyable. It's less about who wins, to me, than understanding why others like what they like, and even why I like what I do. It's easy to passively watch wresting, but if I'm gonna invest hours a week, a little mental energy makes it richer. I haven't done any such thing since the old Top 20 Puro MOTY polls, but it's been fun. Useful, even. A lot of people have written up some really good arguments, which, even when I don't agree, it adds perspective and forces me to examine my own tastes and biases.
  7. This isn't really a match I'd wanted, as I'd hoped ZSJ was gonna fill out the thinner junior ranks. (And of course he could do that, eventually, as this is an openweight belt and all.) But it could be really good, if Goto steps up and beats him around the ring--basically, work like Hero did against ZSJ. Given he's mostly been playing the underachiever/underdog role for the past couple years, I think this could be an interesting opportunity to see him really work from out front. I don't want several "look how equally strong and tough we both are" strike exchanges and suplex spots.
  8. As I understand it, Bryan suffered largely from doing top rope headbutts and incredibly stiff strike exchanges, in LOTS is matches. Omega doesn't do the former, and as much as one can, working in Japan, he avoids the latter. He also shifts into a more comedic/"sports entertainment" role when working most of the consequenceless tags that fill out cards. Certainly his big matches feature some nasty head/neck bumps and dives. As spectacular as it was, I don't think I ever need to see him springboard into the audience again. (Ultimately it's his knees I'd worry about, more than concussions.) As for Miz... well, there's working smart, which he does, but it's also true that his offense just doesn't look very good, and his bumping isn't terribly impressive. (He ain't making the rainmaker look like a real finisher, that's for sure.) Neither of those things are criticisms per se, as his matches are really compelling anyway. But, I think there's a distinction to be drawn: It's not work smart OR work an athletic style. I think Omega is actually a pretty good case study in how to do both, as he can shift between drawing laughs in an opener and believably main eventing in a week. He takes the big bumps, hits big spots; but he saves them for the suitable moments.
  9. Ishii got to win many (most?) of the tough guy strike exchanges, and passed out rather than suffer a pin or submission. So I'm hopeful that level of protection means he's in line for something. (Honestly though, the former felt like an in-match spoiler to me. Like, ok, no way is Shibata losing if he's getting dropped by so many strikes.)
  10. Knowing nothing else, I'll watch any match or segment either guy is in. I'm voting for Omega, and my reasoning--as with every other round--is pretty simple: he had more matches I liked, and his best matches were better. I think there's a broader case to be made, though, which goes basically like this: Miz was--ahem--awesome doing Miz things, and had the best possible year anyone could have during which they didn't actually elevate themselves or anyone else. He was a midcard stooge heel at the beginning of the period, and that's what he is now. Nobody he worked with is better off. Omega, on the other hand, went from being a midcard stooge heel/sometimes top junior to a guy who could main event in Japan for the next five years, if he wanted; from the guy most famous in America for wrestling a blowup doll to the guy who basically perfected the "blockbuster action movie" main event style (which you may still hate, granted). He made himself a star in Japan, and--even if only briefly--made a Japanese match the biggest story among even relatively casual American fans.
  11. Now that Balor is (basically) back: Have they established whether the 205-pound cutoff for the cruiserweight division is compulsory? Like, if he's still (billed as) sub-200, does he 1) Become a cruiser? 2) Keep wrestling as a heavyweight anyway? 3) Go to Smackdown, which doesn't have the division, or this problem? I suspect 2) is what we'll get, though that does establish that borderline guys are choosing to be there, which isn't great.
  12. NXT

    For the purpose of authenticity, I'm hoping it includes absurd levels of distortion and blast beats. The font on his merch should be totally illegible, also.
  13. 16! There's really not a case to be made against Styles, so I won't try. Week to week, I'd watch whatever he did, and enjoy it. The format of March Madness biases me towards guys who have matches I want to go watch again, though, and Naito has more of those.
  15. For fun, the relevant quote: Anyway Styles is a wrestling genius. As for the rest of it... well, he's not a Stardust Genius--not that Naito is any longer--but I'd love to see him get a main event run on Ancient Aliens.